Levis motorcycle, 1916.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
This small Levis was first introduced by Butterfields Ltd of Birmingham in 1911. It proved to be a popular lightweight machine which was simple to maintain and economical to use. While the road performance and steering were mediocre, the simplicity of the machine's two-stroke engine and direct belt drive resulted in a standard of reliability which, at this early stage in design, enhanced the practical value of the motorcycle as an effective mode of transport. The small vertical two-stroke engine produces 3 hp and has a capacity of 211cc. A Fellows magneto is driven by an enclosed chain from the crankshaft and power is transmitted directly to the rear wheel by a Pedley 'Vee' belt. The machine weighs approximately 120 lb in total.