Founded in 1902, the BAT Motor Manufacturing Co. Ltd was named after founder Samuel Robert Batson. Based in Penge, South London the first Bat motorcycle used a small 2.5 hp (1.9 kW) de Dion engine but poor sales led to Batson selling the company to Theodore Tessier in 1904, following which BAT motorcycles were entered in the 1907 Isle of Man TT races. The company produced the first sprung frame in 1906 and in 1908 developed one of the first sidecar outfits, with two powered wheels on a removable sidecar. Tessier was also an innovator and keen to develop motorcycling technology.
Significant innovations included one of the first practical clutch mechanisms and he also patented one of the first motorcycle full suspension systems, with a leading link front fork and a subframe suspended on springs from the main frame. To raise awareness of the motorcycles, Tessier began serious competitive racing and achieved over 200 wins, setting numerous speed records. Production ended with the outbreak of the First World War but restarted in 1919. They took over Martinsyde Motorcycles in 1923 but financial difficulties led to the closure of the BAT-Martinsyde company in 1926.
Not much is known about the history of this TT model from 1912. It comes from the estate of a private collector who was a prominent member of the Brough Superior Club. We gather that he purchased this example in running but unrestored condition in 2012 and used the bike for a number of events including the 75th Pioneer Run. Following this restoration was undertaken but was halted when he sadly passed away. Fitted with a rare 3½ hp JAP engine the bike is in running order but will need re commissioning to full road use. It is supplied with a Pioneer Certificate from the Sunbeam Motorcycle Club, UK V5C and a history file containing much correspondence.