Werner motor bicycle, 1899.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Following the comparatively complicated motor bicycle and motor tricycle designs of the 1890s, production of the Werner motorcycle began at Werner Freres Paris workshop in 1897. The light weight, smooth operation of its belt drive, and relative economy of the Werner did much to establish the motorcycle as a practical method of travel, although its high centre of gravity made it prone to side slip, especially in wet weather. The Motorcycle used a high speed single-cylinder air cooled four-stroke de Dion type engine that Werner designed himself to fit to a strengthened pedal cycle. It is regarded asthe first succesful example of the type of machine which came to be known as a 'cyclemotor'.