From the May 1936 issue of Motorcyclist Magazine.
Showing the new model Servi-Cycle, manufactured by the Simplex Manufacturing Corp. of New
The other day there appeared in Los Angeles, just as it did in other cities over the country, an advance copy of a much discussed machine. Although the machine has not been on the market more than a year it has been discussed for the past several years. Everyone has talked pro and con about lightweights. Thus the new machine, the Servi-Cycle, was what might be termed the answer to all that discussion. Anxious to see what the answer was like we rode it.
The surprise from riding the Servi- Cycle is as great as the surprise one gets upon first seeing it. The machine has a distinctly flashy appearance despite its size, and it performs like a good soldier. Sitting in the saddle the rider can give one shove forward and be under way. A throttle control in the right grip and a button convenient to the left grip give neat control for turning corners or angling through traffic.
Top speed is 30 to 35 miles per hour. Used as we are to gunning large mounts and then waiting at signals we fail to realize how much distance can be accomplished at a consistent 30.
Pedal rests supplant footboards; a heel-operated rear brake together with a hand-controlled front brake give the rider complete mastery of his mount.
One ride is enough to show a motorcycle man that the machine has a thousand possibilities, and it does not conflict in any way with the existing setup on big machines. In fact, the Servi-Cycle should be the means of winning a lot of new blood to motorcycling.
We rode all over one end of town and found our steed to be both docile and fiery. In other words it is safe for a child to ride, yet has enough steam to be worthy of commercial use.
Let us consider the mechanical specifications. The motor has a displacement of 115 cubic centimeters-a bore of 2 inches and a stroke of 1 5/8 inches. A float type carburetor is utilized and control extended to the right handlebar. Both main bearings are Timken tapered roller bearings and the lower end of the connecting rod is a double row SKF bearing. The piston pin is 3/4 inch. Pistons are aluminum alloy made in a permanent mold. Lubrication is forced feed.
Handlebars are reasonably wide and well shaped. Grips are a little larger than normal motorcycle grips. Action on the right grip is easy, and all mechanism is enclosed. It is readily accessible and cables can be replaced without dismantling the grip. A chrome-plated lever on the left bar controls the front brake. An identical lever on the right grip controls the compression release. Cables, which do not require lubrication, are finished in bright black and may be kept clean and good looking.
Front forks are wide enough to afford a short turning radius. The frame design (on which patents have been applied for) has double-thickness tubing in the lower loop. The seat-post mast is double, tying upper and lower frame members in rigid juxtaposition and enhancing a general streamline effect.
Gasoline passes through a strainer, has a visible sediment bowl and may be shut off at a cutoff cock.
Tanks are designed to eliminate all sharp edges and give very pleasing lines.
Fenders are made of heavy stock, are wide and deep and carry streamlined flares both front and rear.
The saddle has an all-metal base, is padded all over with soft sponge rubber, covered with black glove leather and gives excellent riding comfort and eye appeal.
A heavy wide V-belt is employed, having perfect traction and long life without the necessity of taut adjustments. It is an expensive belt of a type that should eliminate old prejudices to this type of drive. On a lightweight it is a very desirable type of drive since it is quiet, smooth and clean. When eventually the drive must be replaced it may be done at a cost of $2.00 to the customer