Clyno - 4/5 HP
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Clyno D2-492-79-04
Photo ou archives : M. Woollett

Capacity : 650
Model : 4/5 HP
Production : 1912 -
Category : (R) Street Bike


650 V-twin 4/5 hp - 1912

Double-chain drive

An original feature of the 1912 Clyno V-twin was its two driving chains, one on each side. They were in place of a conventional gearbox, for the final-drive sprockets were of different sizes, one for high speed, the other for low. The rider changed speed with a pedal on the end of the bevel box, where a normal gearbox would have been located.

Stevens Engine

The 644cc engine of this V-twin was made for Clyno (founded in 1909 by cousins Frank and Ailwyn Smith in Thrapston, Northamptonshire) by the Stevens Motor Manufacturing Co. of Wolverhampton.

Increasing Popularity

In 1910, Clyno moved from Thrapston into the recently vacated Stevens Screws factory in Pelham Street, Wolverhampton, where the father of their engine suppliers (soon to establish their own AJS marque) had traded as a precision engineer. With its elegant light gray with royal blue pinstripes and tank panels, the Clyno twin was a machine of great elegance and excellent finish, with many parts such as footboards and gearshift pedal finely cast from aluminum. The long wheelbase adopted by the marque gave the Clyno exemplary stability. The 650 was a favorite with the growing numbers of sidecar riders, inspiring Clyno to launch an improved 750cc version in 1914. That model had a conventional three-speed transmission and became famous during WWI as a motor machine-gun carrier.


Engine: 644cc (76x7lmm) air-cooled 55-degree V-twin four-stroke; magneto ignition; total-loss lubrication with hand pump

Power Rating: 6.5 hp (rated)

Valves: side

Fuel System: carburetor

Transmission: 2-speed, double-chain final drive

Suspension: Druid lateral-sprung girder forks (front); rigid (rear)

Brakes: cycle-type rim (front & rear)

Wheels: 3.00x26 inch clincher (front & rear)

Weight: 251 lb

Maximum Speed: 50 mph

The Clyno was one of the best British bikes of its day, with an ingenious two-speed transmission by twin chains selected by a rocker pedal.

Motorcycle encyclopedia Moto Passion, realised by François-Marie Dumas, include almost 2000 photos presented with an exhaustive history of the motorcycles exhibited.

This unique collection has been realised with the participation of many specialists. With many thanks in particular to Yves Campion, Michael Dregni, Didier Ganneau, Jean Goyard, Helmut Krackowizer, Michel Montange, Christian Rey, Bernard Salvat, Mick Woollett, etc

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