Spencer motorcycle

Production date
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Object detail

The Spencer motorcycle, c. 1906-2023, was made by the Historical Motor Cycle Club of Queensland (Brisbane Area) from original Spencer parts donated to Queensland Museum by Dave Dettmar in 1998, sourced period parts and fabricated components.

Engine: 382cc, Single-cylinder, Four-stroke
Bore/stroke: 77 x 82 mm
Transmission: Direct belt-drive, from adjustable engine pulley
Power: Rated at 2.5 HP
Fuel capacity: 3.83 litres
Oil capacity: 0.65 litres
Wheels: 24 inches x 2 ¼ inches (60.96 cm x 5.715 cm)
Weight: 57 kilograms
Top speed: Approximately 72.5 kms/hr (45 miles/hr)
Ignition: Bosch DA2 magneto, pedal start
Brakes: Mechanical rim brakes, front wheel only
TRANSPORT Motor Cycles
Production date
5. Brake Caliper - L155 x W70 x H10mm
6. Control handle - L105 x W45 x H6mm
7. Brake block - L55 x W19 x H25mm
3. section of chain - L77 x W17 x H35mm
4. Seat post - L155 x W155 x H25mm
13. Pipe manifold - L48 x W50 x H29mm
14. Threaded Ring - Dia 35 x H10mm
10 Hose clamp - L50 x W31 x H17mm
11 Hose clamp - L50 x W32 x H30mm
8 Brake Clamp - L110 x W30 x H20mm
9 Ball Bearings - 6mm dia
12 Ball Bearings - 3mm dia.
Media/Materials description
Steel, brass, leather, rubber
Spencer 18
22 / OD
History and use
David Spencer was born in England in 1870, emigrating to Australia in 1890. After marrying Alice Maude Mary Paull in Melbourne in 1892 David worked as an engineer in the Fijian sugar mills. By 1896 he was working in Queensland. He appears to have been employed by George Willcocks, one of Queensland’s most prolific railway contractors.

From 1901 to 1905 the family lived in Ipswich, before moving to Brisbane, where they bought a house on Heussler Terrace, Torwood (now Haig Road, Milton) by 1909. Here he set up a workshop, with a treadle lathe and a forge, in a shed at the back of the property and started a motor engineering business.

David Spencer was also a founding member of the Queensland Motor Cycle Club in 1906. The purpose of the club was to bring motorcyclists together to share experiences and arrange outings. In May 1907 they organised Queensland’s first motorcycle reliability trial. Along with Holcroft and Campbell, David Spencer was one of the prominent names in early motorcycle races in Queensland. He regularly placed in the handicap events held at the Brisbane Cricket Ground between 1906 and 1911, the period we know Spencer competed. David Spencer died in Brisbane in 1958.
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