Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

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Holden were motorcycles produced between 1897 and 1902, from a design by Brig. Gen. Sir H. C. L. Holden.

(Patented in 1894, the Holden was the world's first four-cylinder motorcycle).

It used the same inefficient design that Pennington, Hildebrand and Wolfmuller [1] and others used, with the connecting rods directly driving the rear wheel.

1897 The motorcycle was first produced in air-cooled form. The horizontal cylinders drove the rear wheel directly and the camshaft was driven from this by chain and worm gear. It had coil ignition, a surface carburettor and geared pedals for the front wheel.

1898 July. Details and image of the motor bicycle.[1]

1899 The version for that year had water cooling and went into production, but the result was heavy and expensive.

1902 By now the Holden was an obsolete relic of a by-gone age so production ceased.

See Also


Sources of Information

  • The British Motorcycle Directory - Over 1,100 Marques from 1888 - by Roy Bacon and Ken Hallworth. Pub: The Crowood Press 2004 ISBN 1 86126 674 X
  • [2] All Motorcycles Ever Made - Worldwide
  • Wikipedia on Hildebrand and Wolfmuller (1)
  • The Autocar 1898/07/16