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Identify that bike

May 28, 2012

Greg S. in Australia submitted a request via the OcchioLungo page on Facebook, and asked if our readers can help to identify the bike in the photo below:

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Maybe is a ladies model, with that shape to the petrol tank…  It is pretty early, with the AIV and updraft carb.  I thought the tank emblem was like Rex, but is too round and not pointy enough.  If anybody has any ideas, send us a note via the “Comment” button.

   

It looks similar, but different, to the 1910 James with hub center steering, center stand and single sided hubs:

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Thanks Geert and Charlie!  They both commented that the bike was a Zenith Bi-Car, from about 1906.  I found an ad from the 1907 Australian Coachbuilder and Wheelright magazine:Zenith Bi-Car

4 Comments leave one →
  1. charlie 101 permalink
    May 28, 2012 11:09 am

    I have it down as Zenith-bi-car, but I am no expert

  2. Geert permalink
    May 28, 2012 11:20 am

    This is the Zenith Bi-Car I think about 1905-1906.
    The engine used was the German Fafnir.

    Geert

  3. charlie 101 permalink
    May 28, 2012 11:32 am

    http://www.gracesguide.co.uk/Zenith_Motors

  4. May 28, 2012 4:34 pm

    Ha! Thanks for that!

    I’ve been meaning to check on some of these early “centre hub” designs, I suspect some may have in fact not been true centre hub and instead used a short link to an external pivot right alongside the hub. I have seen one design like this, somewhere.

    Besides, some of the hubs on those supposed centre hub devices look far too small to contain such a mechanism so I tend to view them with suspicion.

    Unfortunately the photographers of those early machines rarely had sufficent mechanical ineterest in the machines to give us close ups of the mechanism….and often the resloution of the reproduced photographs was poor.
    I can imagine that a short link would work well enough for the speeds of the day.

    Cheers and thanks Pete, we’ll see what your query produces!

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