Pre 1914 British Army Cyclist

D

Decimals

Guest
Upon further review, 1903 Rex is a much closer match:

rex_onbekend.jpg

OBH, thank you - after nearly two years of searching I've had both questions answered within a few days of each other. Thanks so much for taking the time to track this down. It clearly is a Rex, there's no doubt about it, which begs the question, why does the original photo have a small shield on the petrol take which reads 'Irvine Imperial' Perhaps the bike was purchased wholesale from Rex and marketed under a retailer/agent's brand name ?
All the best,

Pete
 


Frankenstein

In memory of Frankenstein 1991 - 2018
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Jun 24, 2016
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And upon further review yet, the "pad" on the side of the cylinder is the muffler. Looky here:

19235.jpg

Behind the pad you can see the exhaust valve, so that's one mystery solved. The lever on my pic above is most likely a "town and country" device to open/close the silencer.

The intake valve is atmospheric (also called automatic) meaning it's a poppet valve on a very weak spring. Vacuum in the cylinder opens it on the intake stroke. Carburetor is very likely a "surface: or evaporation type, not something we would recognize as a carb today.
You don't even want to know how much time I spent looking for that, but damn good job, that one picture was the hardest part for me to match, being that crank on the original didn't match anything at all and I just couldn't find a solid hit..

Funny you mentioned that pad I was really intrigued about that bit when I first saw the thread, I basically chocked it up to be just a heat shield on some muffler bit, I was close.
 

inspectorcritic

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Dec 13, 2015
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View attachment 75013 Could anyone identify the motorised bicycle in this photograph please. I'm trying to date the photograph - the rifle, uniform and equipment suggest British Army, post Boer War, pre Great War. If I knew when this model of bike was introduced I could at least establish an earliest possible date. The shield shaped badge on the petrol tank isn't clear but I think it says 'Irvine Imperial' if that helps at all.
Many thanks

Pete
That is a British 303 junk action rifle had one.
Every time you shoot and load the next round you got to turn off the safety always in the way of the bolt. I ask Parliament official , what's the deal? He replied, we want you to stop and think for a second what your doing your killing someone.
But I had some fat Moroni clone agitating the sh*t out of me I took the rifle he got into a position of being bent over cuz it would not kill if he was standing straight up miss his vitals somewhere I pulled the trigger got him in the top of the head bullet exited his ass**le which he was. The thing was fat had to fig a extra large hole right next to him rollem in neighbour had to get use to me using his yard for a graveyard.

The bullet went out right through the neighbours pickup truck right through his gas tank half way down gas poured out. The neighbor came out showed me the damage saying if it was a M-1 or any US military rifle it would have set the tank on fire. The British were thirsty for petrol in those wars design it to exempt fuel from casualty.

As for the bike I would go to the Whizzer board forum, looks like it is one or some old great grandpa may know of its alie.
 

Old Busted Hotness

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Jul 2, 2018
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OBH, thank you - after nearly two years of searching I've had both questions answered within a few days of each other. Thanks so much for taking the time to track this down. It clearly is a Rex, there's no doubt about it, which begs the question, why does the original photo have a small shield on the petrol take which reads 'Irvine Imperial' Perhaps the bike was purchased wholesale from Rex and marketed under a retailer/agent's brand name ?
All the best,

Pete

I was wondering about that, too. I think you're right, but the real answer is probably lost to history. It's possible (though how likely?) that Irvine Imperial was a military version of the Rex.
 

MadCat

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Jul 23, 2018
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Nice detective work. All of my questions were answered but I never would have guessed that pad was the exhaust, I thought there was a pipe on the other side of the engine. Early 1900’s was crazy
 

Old Busted Hotness

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Early 1900s was amazing. The whole idea of motorized transport was brand new, and nobody had any idea how it was done. They were quite sure, however, that their idea was much better than all those other guys. So they opened a shop and just threw sh*t at the wall and went with what stuck.

Hey, we need to figure out how to mix the fuel with the air. Got any ideas? Well, my wastrel brother in law spends all his time smoking opium, I could steal his Turkish hookah and fill it with petrol, think that would work? Give it a go. Thus was born the "surface" carburetor. Thank God the venturi carb came along.

Today we take for granted that a carbureted engine will start on the first pull, it's not a big deal. Back then you put the bike on its stand and pedalled like a madman, popping the clutch and throwing curses. It was probably less work to walk than to ride.

So many goofy ideas. How about a radial engine in the rear wheel? There were even steam-powered bikes for those who weren't into internal combustion.

And the fuel back then. Lindbergh crossed the Atlantic with his tanks full of the best avgas available, today you wouldn't put it in your neighbor's lawn mower. 70 octane or thereabouts.
 

BuglerJay

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Apr 12, 2021
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I believe the rifle is the earlier Lee-Metford, not a Lee Enfield. They stopped making the Lee-Metford around the mid-1890s, but some were still in service into the early 20th century.
 

Street Ryderz

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I believe the rifle is the earlier Lee-Metford, not a Lee Enfield. They stopped making the Lee-Metford around the mid-1890s, but some were still in service into the early 20th century.
There are many differences between an Enfield and Metford, I still have my grandfathers Enfield and have been maintaining/cleaning it for over 40 years as he did before me. You can see some of the differences here with the Enfield on top and Metford below.
 

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BuglerJay

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Apr 12, 2021
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There are many differences between an Enfield and Metford, I still have my grandfathers Enfield and have been maintaining/cleaning it for over 40 years as he did before me. You can see some of the differences here with the Enfield on top and Metford below.
Cool! Yeah - pretty apparent when seen together. The finger-groove stock and cutout for the magazine cut-off stand out the most - - other than the sling material. Neat! Thanks!
 
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