Page 45. 1956 Harding Model C TWS Tricycle Motorized 32cc Cyclemaster SOLD

1956 Harding Model C TWS Tricycle Motorized with 32cc Cyclemaster engine

Update 16-11-08: Now sold – see photo at bottom of page…


This motorized trike is surely the most stupid vehicle ever made.


Our ‘addiction’ to cyclemotors is understandable when you consider how similar they are to the original pioneer motorcycles from the dawn of motorcycle creation. As we cyclemotorists aren’t rich enough to afford 1902 veteran bikes, we get our kicks instead from these post-WW2 machines that were hastily concocted and dumped onto a market less discerning because nearly all ‘proper’ cars and motorcycles had to be exported to repay Great Britain’s massive war debts to the USA.


By the end of the nineteenth century, many companies were fitting engines to pedal bicycles and tricycles. The better ones soon became what we subsequently called ‘motorcycles’ and ‘cars.’ The unsuccessful models faded into obscurity: few survived and little is known about them today.


Postcard photo thanks to

But this ridiculous contraption dates from 1956. Cyclemaster Ltd was trying to stay afloat in a dying market – the new-fangled ‘mo-peds’ were much more efficient than old-fashioned cyclemotors. So I assume they were desperate enough to try this joint effort with R.A. Harding of Bath to supply ready-made motorized three-wheelers. But there was really no excuse for producing such a white elephant.


The Harding tricycle is, frankly, atrocious to ride even in its un-motorized form. The 18″ front wheels with Ackerman steering are not particularly stable and it’s important to keep the steering well greased, otherwise it can get stuck at full lock. Which reminds me of riding my sister’s horse 20 years ago; as we passed the barn where the horse’s food was stored, it decided to turn right while I kept on going forward.


So, fellow enthusiasts, I ask you to use your imagination to visualize an unstable tricycle with front wheels that are small so may jump if you hit a pot-hole.

Now add a 32cc engine to the rear so that you can go faster!


My only explanation for the folly of the Harding Model C Cyclemaster is that R.A. Harding Ltd were in trouble with the sales of their invalid carriages.

Did someone at the company have a brainwave and decide to make a motorcycle so dangerous that it would result in more invalids, to help sell their other products?

On the plus side, some of the Model C’s did have three brakes. All three on the single rear wheel. The levers on the handlebars controlled two brakes on the rear wheel, with the Cyclemaster engine’s coaster brake providing additional stopping power. This one only has one brake.


R.A Harding (Bath) Ltd, 19, Lower Bristol Rd, Bath, Avon.

R.A. Harding was a company based in Bath, well-established pre-war as a manufacturer of ‘bath chairs.’ Like Kendrick of Reading, they also dabbled with TWS (Two-Wheeled Steering) tricycles, though the Harding models had 18″ front wheels. In 1956 they marketed their TWS tricycle with a Cyclemaster engine fitted.


The company was established in 1921 by Mr. J. Gordon and Mr. E. Loxley. For the company, they used the maiden name of Mr. Loxley’s wife.

In the early years, they made a greater variety of invalid carriages than any other manufacturer. By 1930 they offered 8 different models. They built invalid carriages for the government during WW2, but found it hard to compete with AC when that company moved into the market. Their motorized tricycles ceased production by the early 1950’s, though their tricycle range continued.



What exactly am I buying here? Can I use it?


Okay, so apart from an absurd 1950s motorized three-wheeler and a little-known piece of British motoring history, what exactly are you buying here?


My Harding Model C tricycle (excluding engine) is in very good working order. This quirky trike is very collectible in its own right, even if not motorized as per the specifications of the R.A. Harding/ Cyclemaster ad above.


This Cyclemaster engine was ‘restored’ by a previous owner but, although it looks extremely presentable, it needs some ‘fettling.’

I’ve only used it for Cyclemaster Museum displays and shows, so for my purposes it’s been fine as is. If I fitted a replacement cyclemaster engine, I’d want more money for it. So it makes more sense to offer it as is, with the engine requiring work, to keep the price down.

The carb is missing. And where the engine fits on the shaft of the wheel, there’s too much play, allowing the wheel to touch the drive mechanism. The so-called ‘restorer’ had bodged it up with old washers to take up the slack and it didn’t work. It’s not difficult to sort out, but I pay my mechanic by the hour, and this is the kind of job best done by an enthusiast who enjoys such things. We’re constantly restoring old bikes so have focussed instead on other, more important jobs.

Most enthusiasts are capable of buying a cheap unrestored cyclemaster from ebay and combining it with this one to make one good running machine.


So there you have it.

Isn’t it the most absurd vintage vehicle for sale on ebay?

Wouldn’t it make an ideal Xmas present for the man who has everything?

You can pedal it around to the envy of your friends. Take it to shows. Or restore the engine, register it, and use it for local commutes or vintage rallies and runs.

If you have any questions, please phone or email as below. Otherwise, good luck in your bidding.

However, if you are one of those people who knows exactly what they want and doesn’t like to beat about the bush, or your finger is uncontrollably drawn toward that buy-it-now button because of the sheer absurdity and delight of this rare but ridiculous vehicle, then may I offer my condolences?

Like many of my friends (and myself) you have the ‘cyclemotor disease’ and there is no known cure 🙂



To compare it with my un-motorized Harding TWS Tricycle, PLEASE CLICK HERE


Or go to the ‘Online Bicycle Museum’

and scroll down to the page: 1956 Harding ‘Model C’ TWS Tricycle



and on its way to a Microcar/ Scooter Museum in Thailand (along with some of my scooters)




OWNER: BuyVintage Online Auctions

LOCATION: Brighton, E.Sussex, United Kingdom

DELIVERY: is not included in this auction. Our website contains details of recommended delivery services.

United Kingdom – delivery is usually £70 for a 2-wheeler to most parts of England, and extra to Scotland, Wales, etc. This trike is not large, so I think the transport chap would only ask an extra £20 or so for delivery.

Europe – delivery would probably be around €500 to main parts of Europe. Please contact CHAS MORTIMER direct to get a quote.

France: I’m close to the Newhaven ferry terminal (connects with Dieppe). I can meet you there.

North America, Australia, New Zealand, Japan – I’m happy to organize shipping for you.

PAYMENT: Paypal is okay for cheap items; otherwise deposit only on paypal please.

International purchasers – I do not use paypal; international bank transfer is the normal method.

AFTER PURCHASE: Please email me your phone numbers; I prefer to speak to all purchasers personally.

FEEDBACK: I do everything I can to make your purchase a pleasurable experience. But I only leave feedback when someone has taken the trouble to leave it for me.

VEHICLE CONDITION: Vintage vehicles are wonderful beasts – but each has an individual personality and they sometimes have bad days just like you and me.
You will need basic mechanical skills (or a local mechanic) to use one on a regular basis.
2-Stroke engines – and cyclemotors in particular – are notoriously unreliable. Basic servicing is generally required if unused for even a few weeks.

These are rare vehicles whose values are not necessarily based on running order.
Unless an auction description specifically states that the vehicle is running, THE VEHICLE IS SOLD FOR RESTORATION.



If you have any questions about this (or any other vehicle in these BuyVintage Online Auctions),
you can contact Colin in our Customer Service Department between 9am and 7pm daily:

By Phone – (UK 0044) 07866-126469

By email –

The Auction Catalogue is our website –



to see what’s currently being sold



Published on April 17, 2008 at 8:36 am  Leave a Comment  

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