HOME and how to join Forum Open Area General Scott topics four volt electrical systems for motor cycles Re: Re: four volt electrical systems for motor cycles


Hi Brian,
At the November 1924 Olympia Motorcycle Show, a new type of motorcycle batteries were introcuced by a company called Batteries Ltd. These batteries were different from the normal lead/acid batteries. The cells did not contain any acid or lead, the plates being of nickel and steel immersed in an alkaline electrolyte. The batteries were called Ni-Fe batteries, and were claimed to be vibration-proof and much more stable than ordinary lead/acid batteries. In the 1920’s, lighting equipment was optional and quite expensive, and electrical lighting was the most expensive of all. Some motorcycle owners preferred battery lighting without a dynamo, which naturally was less expensive. There was one snag, however; if you used a Ni-Fe battery without a dynamo, the voltage was only around 4 Volts, and 4-Volt bulbs had to be used, reducing the lighting power available. In the Motor Cycle of September 24th 1925, there was a complaint about this in a letter to the editor by a mr. P. Victor.
I believe that Ni-Fe batteries were in use as an alternative energy source in motorcycles for quite a long time, and were still mentioned in Lucas handbooks in the late 1930’s.
Does this sound like a plausible explanation?