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Very early 2 stroke motor 1900-20s ???

5702 Views 37 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  Cyorg
Ok I know it's a long shot I bought this motor from an old gentleman while I was working in Ireland along with a carbide head and tail light, I bolted the carb on it it did not come with the motor he thought it might be a triumph but could not remember. Just thought someone might know what it is. I think it is around 250cc he said it was off a race bike, the connecting rod has holes drilled in it no piston and the inside was packed with grease when stored. There are no markings Auto part
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A blind cylinder, more likely 1920's. See that little slot on the side of the cylinder? That's were a manifold would bolt on and the carb onto the manifold.

The Amal carb (either 275 or 276) which is postwar is currently bolted onto the exhaust manifold.

That's a big flywheel and out-rigged quite a way so its probably a stationary engine - a pump or similar.

Think it might be Villiers.
That’s not the same engine.

Close but no cigar!
That’s not the same engine.

Close but no cigar!
Not quite, same design. I haven't seen many Villers but the fins on the head of Jruff's are smaller than any I remember. Would a Villers not likely have a casting mark?
I've spent hours and hours looking at old Brit bikes, I think there must be over 100 manufacturers back then. The old man had a few boxes of Trimuph parts but wanted almost 2000 euro, he wanted 450 for the motor, I gave him 75 for the motor and 40 for the lights. I just found one casting number .0. On the flywheel side of the cylinder Auto part
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Don't know if you read this on Wiki, it list some of the bike companies that used their engines.-- "In September 1922 Villiers announced the details of their new 1923 engine range,[9] which included 147 cc, 250 cc and 343 cc engines. These engines featured a radial finned cylinder head, with both the inlet and exhaust port being at the front of the engine, and they all had the Villiers flywheel-magneto. While the 147 cc relied on petrol-oil mixture for crankshaft lubrication, the two larger engines used a separate oil feed system. The new 250 cc engine produced 25 per cent more power than the older 269 cc engine."
Early Villiers = The Villiers Story

The were many manufacturers in the early days, 100's just in the UK. Then there were French, Spanish, German, US and others. Some cast a monogram onto the cases some did not. If you look at a set of Norton, Triumph etc crankcases they are bare with no cast on manufactures name. Those companies that supplied engines to others usually cast their name onto the cases eg Villiers but Villiers started off making complete bikes!

Rover, New Hudson, Villiers, James all made their own 2 stroke motors in the teen's and 1920's. Identifying this engine will be a case of book and internet searches.

Still think its likely a stationary engine but in the early days those magnificent men fitted anything into anything.
You might want to look at Levis motorcycles (London).

Quite similar with blind cylinder, the same number of fins and similar head finning too, very big flywheel. Even if this is not the same engine I think the origin will be the same (Butterfields of Birmingham) as the engine subject to this thread. This bike is from 1926.

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Levis had good success racing, almost winning a lightweight TT in 1920 and winning same in 1922, they could build an early two stroke that was reliable when others couldn't.
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10 to 1 it's a Villiers engine ;)

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Ok this is the closest I've seen so far, compression release on top? a port out front on top to a gauge maybe, intake on the drive side and exhaust out the front same as mine. Some took some time and packed the inside of the motor with grease and paper, the connecting rod has been lightened and it look like it may have never been ran. It may be a pump motor but why is the rod drilled, is that something they just did back then? BTW DID anyone see the moto gp today, one of best I've seen Land vehicle Vehicle Bicycle wheel Bicycle Motor vehicle
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2 sprockets of different sizes, one to turn the blades and another to make it go forward
2 sprockets of different sizes, one to turn the blades and another to make it go forward
one to drive the mag, one to drive the wheels or something else
The fact that the bike has primary drive / rear wheel drive sprocket moves the bike out of the Edwardian period and into the 20's.

Con rods drilled - Quite a few bikes had rods drilled in period. Harley JD had drilled rods, certainly the one I rebuilt did, I had an Ariel 540 cc side valve from 1926 and the rod was drilled and that was definitely not a race bike.

As mentioned I believe its a Levis Butterfield engine.
I guess the next question is - now that you kinda sorta know what it's for....what do you do with it now? Can't be that many people restoring Levis motorcycles, and I'm not even sure where you would get a rolling chassis to make a bike.

so....custom board track racer maybe?
Exactly. But there are some wrinkly old gits out there who can help. It’s suprising that even restored and running some of this really old iron just isn’t popular even in the UK. They are usually unmaintainable, lethal to ride on modern roads (no quarter given by your average self entitled driver) and best put in museums.

Latest project below......

Not quite as old maybe 13 or 14 years younger!


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As much as I like British Motorcycles, that engine always struck me as an odd way to arrange 4 cylinders on an air cooled engine. Some folks love them, but I'd rather have an old Panther... preferably with a sidehack.
An old idea reworked several times, think Turner designed the original 500ohc engine which suffered from an attack of the accountants and was redesigned into the 4G version around 1938, this later engine hung around for quite a few years until the alloy engines turned up (2 and 4 pipers). The early motors 4G are very soft tuned and don’t sufer the same heat problems as the late alloy engines - they work quite well. Parts are hard though.

M100 and M120 Panther you can keep. They weigh an absolute tonne, have got a complete M120 front end here and it weighs almost as much as an Ariel Square 4 engine. Sorry but panthers are best used as an anchors.
wasn't there a guy remaking panthers recently? Someone in the UK? Or am I thinking of the Scot flying squirrel?
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