1910 Royal Pioneer 30.50ci Single
Engine no. 611
The Royal Motor Works was founded in 1901 by Emil Hafelfinger and Charles Persons in New York City. The company sold motorcycles with DeDion Bouton style engines of their own manufacture, in an unusual frame that was built around a vertically mounted engine. Marketed under the trade name Royal, the company existed for nearly a decade.
The plant was relocated in 1907 to Worcester, Massachusetts, undoubtedly coerced by Persons who was already manufacturing lightweight sidecars made from woven Asiatic reed, motorcycle stands, bicycle and motorcycle seats, carriers, and other accessories for the growing two-wheeled market. With a brand new machine designed for 1909, Royal Pioneer stated, "We believe a single cylinder machine capable of doing fifty or sixty miles an hour, swung low, simple, perfectly balanced, accessible in every part, free from batteries and coils, comfortable and silent, built absolutely without regard to cost to the machine of the future". This motorcycle was completely sourced and manufactured in Worchester. Royal Pioneers were built to a higher standard for sophisticated buyers and not down to a price.
Unfortunately, a fire ravaged the Royal Pioneer factory in December of 1909. The company never re-established production, spelling the end of this wonderful motorcycle. Fewer than 500 motorcycles were manufactured from the Worchester plant and to this date, there are only a mere four machines remaining as testimony to one of the finest motorcycles produced in this country.
One look at the Royal Pioneer and you're struck by the essence of quality. A Royal Pioneer was not intended for the average man on the street, but for those who could appreciate its fine quality of manufacture and its subtle use of its advanced technology. It was light, weighing only 165lbs and had a neat, uncluttered appearance. The elegant nickel-plated brass gas tank superbly complemented the black finish of the motorcycle. Graceful swept handlebars further enhanced its lines. There were four grips on the handlebars. One controlled the magneto spark and another actuated the exhaust valve lifter used to start and stall the engine. Throttle and air control on the carburetor were operated by the other two grips. The Royal Pioneer also boasted motorcycling's first double action spring fork.
Perhaps the most unique feature of the entire motorcycle was its engine, a substantial 500cc single cylinder motor with heavy flywheels producing 4˝ horsepower. Large ball bearings supported the cranks as was the practice with hand-built race engines. Another first for Royal Pioneer was it hemispherical combustion chamber which forced the intake and exhaust valves to be mounted 90-degrees to the cylinder head, with the spark plug mounted at the top of the combustion chamber. Because the valves are situated on the sides of the cylinder, they are actuated by pull rods. The single camshaft pulls a bell crank near the cylinder head, and in turn, pushes on the valve stem. The exhaust is routed into the front frame casting that doubles as the engine hanger, where it exits through a muffler under the frame. This frame casting also doubles as an exhaust expansion chamber with an area another pioneering feature of this marque. The first ever free engine clutch on a motorcycle helps transmit power to the rear wheel through a V-belt.
The Royal Pioneer was truly one of the great motorcycles produced in this country, despite its brief lifespan. This 1910 Royal Pioneer is in exceptional original condition a superb offering for discriminating collectors. Offered on a Bill of Sale.