The Panther Page

The Bikes: Heavyweights - Humber models

Some of the earliest motorcycles produced to the Phelon and Rayner patented engine as frame member design were made under license by Humber Ltd., in Coventry. Disputes over royalty payments led to this licence arrangement being terminated in 1905. Announced in 1901, I believe that 1902 was the first year of production. All machines had single cylinder four-stroke, inlet-over-exhaust sidevalve motors. There were two variants of the early solos: the standard "Coventry" model and the upmarket "Beeston" model.

This is by no means a definitive guide to these Humber machines! For more details see Barry Jones' excellent book "The Panther Story", or I believe there is a history of Humber.

1901-03 1.5 / 1.75 h.p. Humber

This Humber, which claimed 1.5 or 1.75 h.p., was the first P&R derived machine. It was still in the Humber range in 1903.

1902-05 2.75 h.p. Humber

Humber produced a 2.75 h.p, solo from 1902/03 to 1905. It had a single speed transmission and Longuemare spray carburettor.


This machine is in the UK National Motorcycle Museum and is apparently from 1902. It has a 344 c.c. engine, presumably delivering 2.75 h.p. It has a mechanically operated exhaust valve and an atmospheric inlet valve and is fiitted with a clutch.





1904 Humber w PR engine - from Murray Museum #21904 Humber w PR engine - from Murray MuseumThis machine was in the Murray Museum and came up for sale by Racing Motorcycles and subsequently Yesterdays Antique Motorcycles. It is apparently a 1904 model "Beeston" model ~350cc.

I am grateful to Racing Motorcycles for providing permission to use the pictures. They were selling the machine in 2006.


1904 Humber Beeston Engine1904 Humber Beeston Engine1904 Humber Beeston1904 Humber BeestonI am grateful to Yesterdays Antique Motorcycles for providing permission to use the pictures. They were selling the machine in 2006.


1903 2.75 h.p. Tricycle

I believe that this a tricycle variant on the 2.75 h.p. machine and was not a success so only produced for the one year.

1903-04 2.75 h.p. Olympia

I believe that this a forecar variant on the 2.75 h.p. machine.

1905 1.75 h.p. Lightweight

A cheap machine weighing just 72lbs.

1905 4 h.p. Olympia

Replacing the earlier 2.75 h.p. forecar machine it had a water cooled engine and an under-floor heating system for the forecar.

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