Tuesday, April 23, 2024
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Museum restoration of oldest exhibit

It can be hard enough getting the parts to restore a bike that’s 25 years old. So spare a thought for the folks at the Sammy Miller Museum, who’ve been beavering away to spruce up a bike that’s just turning 125 years old …

The British 1898 Quadrant features a French Le Brutus engine, putting out a heady 1.5hp, and is a fantastic example of the very earliest pioneer machines used at the beginning of the last century. With an automatic inlet valve and mechanical exhaust valve, two-speed transmission and copper petrol and oil tanks, it seems completely alien to modern eyes. But as part of the British bike industry heritage, it’s priceless.

Starting is via bicycle-type pedals, there’s a unique shaft final drive system with roller sprockets, and there are four main controls for the engine – a compression release, plus throttle, mixture and ignition adjustments. Sounds almost as complicated as turning off the wheelie control on a modern KTM!

The Quadrant is the oldest bike on show at Sammy Miller’s Museum in Hampshire – which is well worth a visit for any bike fan. More info at: sammymiller.co.uk.


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