4. Singer – 1904


The Perks and Birch attachment was a simple idea of housing an engine, fuel tank and carburetor entirely within a wheel. Approximately 200 examples were manufactured before selling the rights to the Singer Cycle Company in October of 1900, which continued its manufacture until 1904. Originally the engine was surrounded by the wheel’s spokes but a later design improved engine accessibility by moving the spokes to only one side. By 1904 Singer caved-in to the conventional wisdom of the Werner design, but the engine-within-a-wheel concept would be seen again on the 1922 Megola, the Cyclemaster and BSA Winged Wheel of the 1950s, and in the ’60s on Honda’s P50.

1904 Singer

Country of Origin Great Britain
Engine Type Four-stroke, Single-cylinder
Engine Capacity 222 cc
Horsepower 2 hp
Transmission Direct, from gear wheel on engine shaft, later models featured a chain that ran from the engine to a countershaft sprocket and back
Ignition Magneto
Brakes Rim