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Autocycle A B C

No.17 - Norman...

Norman Cycles Ltd of Ashford, Kent was a pedal cycle manufacturer that entered the motor cycle arena in 1938 with both an autocycle and a 125cc motor cycle.  The autocycle was called the “Motobyk” and followed the usual pattern of a Villiers Junior powered machine.  It was unsprung and had the smaller style of fuel tank like many other pre-war autocycles.  A back-pedal brake was available as an option.  The basic model Motobyk cost 17gns [£17.85] in 1938.

1939 Norman
1939 Norman Motobyk
A 'transitional' machine, it has the new, larger tank but retains the 'Junior' engine

In 1939 Norman changed over to the Junior de Luxe engine and also introduced a tradesman's model (the Carrier Motobyk).  Production of the Motobyk continued during the war with a batch of 230 being built for the War Office.  The Norman factory was also responsible for building Rudge autocycles during the early war years.  Subsequently, several detail features of the Rudge were incorporated into the Norman machine.  After the war it remained in production until 1949, costing £53 6s 9d [£53.34] in 1948.  It was not fitted with engine covers but these were available as an extra.

In 1949 it was replaced by a 2F version: the Model C.

1949 Norman
1949 Norman Model C

This continued in production for several years until it was withdrawn in 1957, having been effectively replaced by the Sachs-powered "Nippy" moped that had been introduced at the end of 1955.

... and Rambler

Rambler autocycles were the same as Norman autocycles, Rambler being the name used by Norman for its export models.

Rambler autocycle
Rambler autocycle
(Compare with the Norman version above)

The next article in this series will describe the Raynal autocycles.


First published - May 1999


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