Anzani W3 – 3 Cylinder Motorcycle Engine

Anzani W3 - 3 cylinder cycle pacing machine 1907

Anzani W3 - 3 cylinder cycle pacing machine 1907

Many of you remember the Feuling W3 engines produced by Jim Feuling, a few of which still survive and occasionally find their way into custom builds of one sort or another, but how many of you have heard of the Anzani built before 1910? The Anzani 3 cylinder used the same W3 configuration as Feuling and powered the Motos de stayer (cycle pacing machine) and a racing motorcycle.

Anzani W3 Racing Motorcycle 1905

Anzani W3 Racing Motorcycle 1905

Anzani LawnRiderAlessandro Ambrogio Anzani was the man behind the machines and he made a wide variety of fascinating engines and vehicles. British Anzani, the company, supplied engines for light aircraft and cars and eventually even made farm and horticultural tractors and mowers, including the very art deco looking LawnRider, which looks like a cool alternative for bikers when they have to mow the lawn. It was a very diverse operation.

The company finally went out of business around 1980, but not before producing some amazing machines. There's a pretty interesting article covering their range of activities, it makes for an interesting read, including the section on the Powerplus Clipon engine.

Link: Iceni CAM


  1. HoughMade says

    Pretty neat old stuff…but I’m starting to see where Confederate gets its ideas from.

  2. stonerider says

    British Anzani were best known for the “Seagull” outboard motor so beloved of yachtsmen for decades. To an admitted “landlubber” the design seemed to remain unchanged for the duration of its production. It was, without exaggeration, an icon for the sailing fraternity but who knew Anzanis’ products were so diverse?

  3. Prestons says

    About the seat position in the first photo: the motorcycle was used to pace bicycles on a short banked track. The bicycle drafted the motorcycle so putting the motorcycle rider far back gave the best draft as did having the rider bolt upright in the saddle. Sometimes you’ll see a roller off the back of the motorcycle so the bicycle can touch without a crash. Some bicycles used 20″ or 24″ front wheels to get closer to the pacing motorcycle. The better draft made the speeds much higher.

  4. Paulinator says

    I’m surprised that this thread is so relatively quiet. Anzani made “it” happen in several fields at the dawn of a new millenium. Next to the Wright brothers’ hop, Bleriot’s spanning of the English channel is the most notable achievement in pioneering flight (says me). And what was at the business end of his very successful aircraft? Anzani’s little fan tripple that ran like a champ! Does anyone think a circa 1909 Harley Davidson engine could muster the power and reliability that was yielded by the unusual featherweight Anzani?

    IDEA… develop the 21st century version of this engine in a superlight superbike? half way between a Britten and an R1…Hu-Uuummmm.
    – too tired right now…must sleep on it.