1911 3 ½ hp New Comet Model A1
Birmingham bicycle maker A H Haden began motorcycle manufacture in 1906 with the New Comet. ‘New’ distinguished the product from a Comet machine previously made in London.
This model’s 499cc (85 x 88mm) side-valve engine was made by Precision, another Birmingham company, FE Baker who later made the Beardmore-Precision. Motorcycle.
Transmission is by belt with pedals and a light chain, mainly for starting as a compact two-speed pulley mechanism controlled by the handle beside the fuel tank makes hill-climbing under engine power possible. The exhaust silencer has a by-pass lever to open the baffles for using full performance outside built-up areas.
A member of the Haden family raced a 300cc New Comet two-stroke in the Junior TT finishing in 1920 and 1921, then the brand faded until being revived in 1931 with budget models powered by Villiers two-stroke engines. From 1937 the Haden company concentrated on making tanks parts and components for the motorcycle industry. An offshoot survives as the Haden kettle company in Walsall.
This machine successfully completed the Epsom-to-Brighton Pioneer Run for pre-1915 motorcycles in 2009.
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