This is on the UK eBay, and since listings disappear after a while, this is just a note to self for some future research. First, photos:
…and some information in the listing:
Douglas Pidcock 1922 Electric Motorcycle 18v
The first British Electric Motorcycle (possibly), I have emailed Beaulieu Motor Museum who have said that they have no records of any earlier electric motorcycles.
Originally built from a Douglas 2 3/4 frame then modified with Mr Pidcocks own frame and I think some BSA parts.
Mr Pidock converted the motorcycle to use on his daily journey to work at a engineering company in Peterborough during the time of petrol rationing.
The bike was featured twice in Motor Cycling in 1942 and 1943 and I have the original letter signed by Graham Walker (Murray Walkers farther) the editor at the time, in regard to sending a photographer to take the picture for the article.
Hugh amount of history with the bike includes:
Original letters between the builder Mr Pidcock and Motor cycling.
Original log book
Original copies of the two issues of Motor Cycling
Original sketch wiring diagram
Original letter from S. Steele (Motor Agents) Asking for more details regarding the Bike I guess with the intention of being the first motor dealer to sell electric motorcycles.
Finish is not concourse and personally I think its better this way as it was intended to be a means of getting from A to B.
Riding is quiet as you would imagine with just tire and chain noise. Speed is selected by a lever 3 positions 6v, 12v and 18v and the clutch lever operating a Lucas solenoid switch to bring in the motor. The motor is a Morris lorry starter motor. I’ve had a new industrial charger made and the bike is fitted with 3 x 6v heavy duty rubber batteries. One or more will need replacing as i attempted a ride today and found that there was no charge. Batteries are currently showing 8-9v so i am guessing a cell has gone. They are easily available for around £100
Getting from A to B on this machine is fun if a little slow, max. of 18mph approx. In the few miles I have done the range is about 5 miles or so, a little less than Mr Pidcocks claims. Perhaps you could go a bit further or fast with a motor rewind although motor runs quietly.
Trying to get in touch with the owner for some more information… stay tuned.