Bike Of The Week

1913 Flanders 4

Written by Motorcyclepedia

This weeks bike of the week is a 1913 Flanders 4!

4hp, 485 cc single-cylinder engine

Motown was making music long before Doo Wop rock and roll, and it issued from the exhaust pipe of the Flanders motorcycle. First rolling out of the Detroit-based Flanders Motorcar Company in 1911, this handsome machine with its ‘whale shaped’ underslung gas tank and graceful tiller handlebars was officially labeled the Flanders 4, referring to the horsepower produced by its 485 cc single-cylinder powerplant. It was a motorcycle that certainly made waves upon its introduction.

A large advertisement appearing on page eight of the Sunday July 7, 1912 issue of the Galveston Daily News stated, ‘Flanders 4 Motorcycle Has Them All On The Run. $175 f. o. b. Factory – Magneto Included of Course. What an upsetting of prices the arrival of the Flanders 4 Motorcycle has occasioned. Why, the other makers seem to be in a panic’ we can build 60,000 a year at a $175 price.’

The low price was correct but the predicted massive output was rather optimistic. Today, remaining examples are few and far between. The concept behind the Flanders was based on getting the most bang for your buck by designing a reliable and comfortable machine with a price tag friendly to the pocket book, and substantially less than the competition. While it was value-priced it did not skimp on the refinements, as evidenced by the compression and rebound dual spring design of the front fork. Other features included an advanced Splitdorf magneto.

The Flanders 4 was an enterprise born of a largely successful automobile manufacturer, the Everitt-Metzger-Flanders Company, founded in 1908. Walter Flanders himself had been previously employed by Henry Ford and was said to be responsible for setting up the assembly line system that would make Ford an international success. Flanders also incorporated the principle of mass production into both his cars and bikes, thus lowering their price. Then in 1911 E-M-F was bought by the Studebaker Co. and the last of the Flanders motorcycles, in production for three short years, was produced in 1914.

About the author

Motorcyclepedia

1 Comment

  • Hallo, I ‘m a Belgian collector, and have a for public open motorcycle museum, in Flanders (Belgium). The Flanders brand is special for me but because very rare and too expensive and impossible to join my collection.I have been in Detroit where lot of Flemisch people have settled during the last 100 years, there is even a gazette for them. Is the owner of the Flanders brand from Belgium? Thanks if someone can help me to look for this information.Belgium allthough small had a rich motorcycle industry of which FN as a weaponfactory was one, but also Minerva, Flandria, Sarolea were competitors but there were 220more. My museum is in the biggest motorhotel in Europe at OUDENBURG close to Bruges: site http://www.grd.be
    and its a flat country, where people speak Flemisch the same as Dutch. Greatings