Holden's motor bicycle, 1897.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
This horizontal four cylinder direct drive motor bicycle was patented by General H C L Holden in 1896 and 1897. It was one of the first (and most noteworthy) attempts to produce a practical motor bicycle, after Daimler had patented and constructed the first petrol motor bicycle in 1885. The motor has four horizontal air-cooled cylinders placed two in line at each side and incorporated in the frame. The complete machine weighs 123 pounds and has a top speed of 25 mph.