Originally a respected bicycle manufacturer, Humber turned its attention to powered transport in 1896. The transition resulted in the successful launch of their first motorcycle in 1902, produced under Phelon & Moore's license. By 1908, Humber had developed its own in-house design, marking a swift evolution in production capabilities.
During this period, Phelon & Moore components continued to play a role in Humber designs, although Humber itself had already divided the production of two model lines between an upscale factory in Beeston, Nottinghamshire, England, and its main factory in Coventry. Importantly, the upscale Beeston models were fitted with a French-made Longuemare carburetor. Early Beestons were powered by a 2¾-horsepower, single-cylinder engine and two-speed clutch, with a transistorized coil or magneto-driven ignition system to assist with startups.
Surviving examples of these early Humber Beeston motorbikes are exceptionally rare, with estimates suggesting fewer than ten remain. When new, Humber’s top-tier models like this 2¾-horspower Beeston were renowned among motorcycle racing enthusiasts for their outstanding hill-climbing ability. Prince Albert I of Monaco—a famous and early promoter of motor racing—owned a Beeston, and for many years he used it on solo runs between his palaces in Monte Carlo and Paris.
This fabulous 1903 example was treated to a complete restoration in the 1990’s. It is gorgeous in every respect, having been restored to a very high standard with gorgeous nickel detailing, beautiful paintwork on the frame and tank, correct Longuemare carburetor, Phelon & Moore single-cylinder engine, roughrider handlebars, counter-sprung Brooks B100 saddle, Lucas Colonia No 260 acetylene headlight and an acetylene taillight. The bike has remained on static display within a climate-controlled gallery since restoration and will require some sorting to be restored to road use.
Among the rarest and most sporting of early 20th-century single-cylinder motorcycles, this magnificent 1903 Humber Beeston is a gorgeous piece of rolling sculpture and will hold a place of pride in any prestigious vehicle, vintage motorcycle, or automobilia collection.
Sold on a Bill of Sale.
Offers welcome and trades considered
Stock number 7621
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