British Motorcycles

Riley: Motorcycles

Riley motorcycles were produced between 1899 and 1906, in Coventry.

  • 1899 The firm had started to produce tricycles and quadricycles using 2.25hp German Cudell or Belgian Minerva engines, both of which went behind the rear axle and, according to the type, one or two front wheels were fitted.
  • 1900 At about this time engines were changed to a 2.75hp or a 3.5hp MMC.
  • 1901 The first motorcycle appeared as a typically primitive solo fitted with a 1.5hp Minerva or a 2.75hp MMC engine.
  • 1902 A forecar design was added to the range.
  • 1903 During the year a further option was added in the form of a 3.5hp MMC engine. The solos were advertised as the Moto-Bi. Late that year, Riley started fitting their own engines in the vertical mounting position, but still kept the Moto-Bi name. Engine sizes were 2.25-hp, 3-hp and 3.5-hp. The largest of those was intended for forecar use, with the option of water- or fan-cooling, and both forecars and sidecars were included in the range.
  • 1904 The forecar was revised that year.
  • 1905 A further forecar was added to the range.
  • 1906 A fairly heavy machine appeared, fitted with a 6-hp, 804cc V-twin engine, but early in the year the production of motorcycles stopped and the company turned its attention firstly to tricars and then to motorcars.
  • 1912 Spennell's lists them at St. Nicholas Street, Coventry (Wire, Kite; Tel. 216) and as manufacturers of motorcycles.

See also Riley Sources: Grace's Guide

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