Enfield 2 3/4hp Quad
Quadricycles, virtually four-wheeled bicycles.
together with tricycles, precede motor cycles
because the first engines with enough power
to propel a rider and certainly a passenger,
were much too heavy to install in the strengthened
pedal cycles of the dat. At the turn of the
century the idea of a motorcycle powerful to
take uphill and down dale without helpfrom the
pedals was still a dream.
Legislation in this country which demanded
that mechanically propelled vehicles be preceded
by a man carrying a red flag (intended for tractionengines
and not repealed until 1896), held back development
but in France a range of De Dion engines had
been developed to power quadricycles and tricycles.
Most of our early machines were based on the
French designs, some direct copies made under
The first Royal Enfield Quad, looking virtually
the same as this production model, was built
in 1897 by R W Smith, joint founder with Albert
Eadie of the Royal Enfield Company, for his
own use. It attracted so much interest that
it was decided to obtain a licence to manufacture
the design from the De Dion company.
By 1900 a production model successfully completed
a 1000 mile road trial organised by the Automobile
Club if Great Britain.
The Quad design is really a tricycle with the
addition of a front axle with wheels steered
like a car with handlebars instead of a steering
wheel (some later quads made by other firms
actually used a stering wheel).
The De Dion single cylinder air-cooled engine
with automatic inlet valve and side exhaust
valve, drives the rear axle by direct gearing.
A small pinion on the engine crankshaft meshes
with a large gear wheel on the back axle.
There is no clutch or means of disconnecting
the drive. By 1900 R W Smith, who was the inventive
engineer of Royal Enfield, patened an improved
drive which gave the choice of two gear rations
and a neutral position.
The Royal Enfield company went on to manufacture
full size cars, their 15 hp model being quite
successful, but a slump in sales caused financial
difficulties and they reverted to pedal cycles
and motorcycles after 1909.