The ex-Murray Motorcycle Museum
1902 Kerry 308cc
Registration no. AP 28
Frame no. 394
Engine no. 130
This is the earliest and arguably the best of the half-dozen surviving Kerry motorcycles, having spent the 50 years prior to 2006 on display in the Murray Museum on the Isle of Man. Since then it has been returned to running condition but is otherwise essentially as purchased.
The East London Rubber Company chose the 'Kerry' name for motorcycles manufactured on its behalf by the Belgian Sarolea concern, using re-branded Kelecom and FN engines, from 1902 to 1906 before merging its motorcycle interests with those of Abingdon-Ecco (formerly Coxeter & Sons) in 1907. Production of 'Kerry-Abingdon' machines commenced soon after at Abingdon's Birmingham works using their own engines. The firm also produced proprietary engines, adopting the initials 'AKD' after Abingdon Tools merged with King Dick Spanners in 1925.
The first Kerrys such as this example had an atmospheric inlet valve, mechanical exhaust valve, battery/coil ignition and FN-Longuemare carburettor. The 70x80mm bore/stroke engine was rated at 2¼hp and mounted inclining forwards in a loop frame. Other noteworthy features included mudguards and brakes both front and rear, and a valve lifter. Workmanship and finish were described as first class throughout, with the machine priced at 38 guineas. By 1904 Kerry was advertising a nominally 400cc engine plus a 500cc version for racing. The engine in the standard motorcycle was now vertical while a clutch, chain drive, two-speed transmission and a sidecar were announced as extra cost options for the 1905 season.
This machine carries the registration number 'AP 28' signifying that it is the 28th motor vehicle registered in East Sussex (in December 1903). The 110-year old Kerry has been awarded the Antique Motorcycle Club of America's 'Century Medallion' plus the Winners' Circle Preservation Award as an accurate survivor of this interesting 'Pioneer' marque. Indeed, 'AP 28' started a recent Pioneer Run but was pulled up because of 'operator malfunction'. Restored circa 1960, the machine is described as in generally good condition and offered with recently expired MoT (April 2012), Swansea V5 document and Pioneer Certificate.