The Advance Motor Manufacturing Company of Northampton was a leading engine maker in the early years of the 20th century. This is its earliest motorcycle of 1904, thought to be the only complete Advance in existence.
Its 360cc engine has an automatic inlet valve above a mechanical exhaust valve. The rear wheel is driven by belt from the crankshaft and pedals with a free-wheel hub are provided for starting and helping the engine on steep hills. The handlebar grips, pedal blocks and the box for the ignition’s accumulator are made of wood.
Advance also made motorcycles, tricars and forecars powered by bigger single-cylinder and V-twin engines. A twin-cylinder engine was doubled-up to create a V-four for the Grose Monoplane of 1909 and the first powered Handley Page plane, the Bluebird of 1910. It was also tested as a snow-sled engine by Antarctic explorer Captain Robert Scott.
Moving to a larger factory in 1912, Advance ended vehicle production to concentrate on making components, including the Gradua multi-speed mechanism for Zenith motorcycles and engines for Duzmo machines.
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