1919 Rover Motorcycle

Barry Murdoch


My other Rover Motorcycle is a 1919 Model Rover that I imported from the Netherlands. It is fitted with the same engine as the 1912 bike. In 1915 the addition of a 3 speed counter shaft gearbox and clutch was introduced and the front forks were fitted with horizontal top springs, the petrol tank got a slightly tapered shape and the mudguards were made wider, altering the performance of the bike considerably. From then through until 1924 few changes were made. Both of these bikes are fitted with fully operational carbide /acetylene front and rear lights.


The Rover Company was a prolific manufacturer of motorcycles during the Great War, supplying both the British and Russian Armies. Eventually the Rover Company concentrated its efforts on car manufacture. Motorcycle production ceased in 1924 by which time over 10,000 motorcycles had been produced.


This motorcycle was delivered new in Stockholm and then made its way to the Netherlands where it was partly restored to its existing state and used in the making of the movie “Sa vit som en sno”, I was given a video of this movie but I have no idea what it is all about, (I can't speak Dutch.)


The question has been asked, what are they like to ride? You may be surprised to learn that they are pleasantly comfortable, and they go quite well, especially the 1919 bike with the clutch and gearbox but they don't stop very well, so it doesn't make much sense to try and go too quick. I am fortunate that, in the Hunter Valley we have some good quiet country roads where I am able to ride them.


Barry’s 1919 Rover Motorcycle.


Another characteristic of these bikes that you may find interesting is that they are both dry sump motors---they have no engine crank-case oil sump, they are total waste engines, all excess oil from the oil lubricating tank and pump that is mounted on the petrol tank, after having lubricated the engine goes straight out the bottom, so, when you park the bike in the drive it is best to make sure it is someone else's drive, they leak a lot of oil.


I do hope that you find these bikes and their history as fascinating as I do.


Barry Murdoch

April, 2020