The Servi-Cycle | America’s New Lightweight

Introducing the new model of a lightweight suitable for pleasure and commercial use. Motorcycle men from the ranks of old-timers and competitors of today are loud in their praise

By Chet Billings, Photography by Unknown

“Of the eight machines first purchased from you, six were sold and the other two put into rental service by ourselves. We figured those rental machines, being ridden, would be our best salesmen, and they have proved just that. Incidentally, we thereby accidentally discovered a surprisingly profitable venture-that of renting Servi-Cycles. We rent a machine at 50 cents per hour to boys and girls, and frequently some young man rents two-one for his girl and one for himself. Our records showed a clear profit upon the rental of these two machines of 257.6% on our investment for a two-months period or 128.8% clear profit on our investment each month. The machines are going good, even better than when new, and the only mechanical attention given them has been minor adjustments and the repair of two punctures. To date, neither machine has been wrecked or damaged beyond ordinary wear and tear. When you consider the number of green riders who have rented them it seems to bear out the statement they are entirely safe.

“We have found that Servi-Cycle attracts all ages and classes. One boy who is selling hot tamales is saving his weekly earnings to buy one. The other day a senator’s son was in to try one out. These little machines have been ridden by a range of persons from a ten-year-old boy up to a 270-pound Olympic champion. They have been ridden by all from a boy who never even rode a bicycle before up to a captain of motorcycle police.

“To demonstrate the handling qualities of Servi-Cycle in traffic, we had a race the other day. It was over a course of 5.6 miles, between a Servi-Cycle and a Ford V-8. Each was to obey every traffic law, which of course limited the Ford to 30 m.p.h. The Servi-Cycle negotiated the course in 14 minutes and 35 seconds, beating the Ford by 3 minutes and 20 seconds. This was through all conditions, including traffic and some open spaces. We also tried a contest between a car and the Servi-Cycle delivering packages. Because it was hard for the car to park near the right addresses the two-wheeler beat with a time less than half that of the car.

“We have been selling four machines a month in a city of 24,000 population. At that rate, in this country it should be possible to sell 240,000 machines per year. A quarter-million motorcycles-boy, what a parade.”

One other view and we finish. This is from Mr. Paul J. Thomson, the circulation manager of the Item-Tribune in New Orleans, La. Mr. Thomson made a test with one of his carriers, who had been going through four used cars a year, to see what would happen with a Servi-Cycle.

He says, “The carrier that I gave it to uses up about four second-hand automobiles per year trying to cover this route. We have had this Servi-Cycle on it day, night and Sunday, rain and shine without ever missing a delivery, going on 3 months and the machine today is apparently in as good condition as when I first gave it to him. It is used for a double delivery, morning, evening and Sunday covering about 80 miles per day and forty miles on Sunday or about 500 miles per week on a gasoline and lubricating cost somewhere approximating $1.25, which I believe is about the lowest price mileage cost of delivery that ever has been devised for a carrier. It is not practical for too great a distance. It operates almost fool-proof. It does not have to have a license. It has a basket on the front of the handlebars that carries about 50 lbs. of papers and an arrangement for carrying a load above the rear wheel of a hundred lbs. or more.

By Chet Billings
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