1952 Berini M19 Cycle Star (Cyclestar) – the Dutch Cyclemaster
In 1952 HNG produced the CycleStar, type number M19. The 32cc engine was developed from the DKW blueprints like the Cyclemaster manufactured in Britain. It uses many of the same parts as the M13 & M14. The engine fits under the bottom bracket and uses a roller drive to the rear wheel. The Cycle Star had a spring fork using rubber bands and short leading links.
A few years ago, before I set up the Onlince Cyclemaster Museum (www.Cyclemaster.co.uk), I started to collect variations of the Cyclemaster. Among other models, I was on the lookout for a Berini Cycle Star, the Dutch version, to complete my collection. I’d never actually seen one in the flesh.
At Beaulieu Autojumble I did a double-take when I spotted this 1952 Cyclestar – and even more so because it was on the stall of my friend Fabian. He lives only 10 miles away from me, but I didn’t know he owned this machine.
Fabian had found it in Holland and restored it. Obviously I had to buy it immediately.
The original Cyclemaster wheel sold in the Netherlands for the equivalent of £27. As an option, for about £38, you could buy it in a special frame with a rubber-sprung bottom-link front fork. Just like the M13 (the front-mounted Berini – see below), the first engines were 25.7cc and later 32cc; the type number was M14.
The Pluvier factory never made any engine parts or bikes; these were made by other factories, Cyclemaster Ltd for example. What is sometimes called the “Dutch Cyclemaster” is, in fact, the very first model. This had no hub brake, a Bantamag ignition and an Amal carburettor; the magneto cover had a “CM” logo with curved lines and no “Cyclemaster Made in England” plate. The side cover had two holes: one for the tap and one for the filter, the fuel tank had radial ribs. The bicycle was made in Germany by Rabeneick; the wheels, head lamp, rear lamp and saddle came from Holland. Cylinder capacity was 25.7cc in 1950. One year later this was changed to 32cc—still with the Bantamag and Amal carburettor but now the magneto cover had straight lines and a “Cyclemaster Made in England” plate.
I suppose that one of the original Dutch Cyclemasters mentioned above is now much rarer than this M19 Cycle Star. The Cycle Star, however, is a beautiful machine. In my opinion it’s much prettier than the British Cyclemaster company’s attempt at a mid-engined Cyclemaster, the Norman Cyclemate.
For a more comprehensive low-down on Berini, you could check out this page at the Online Cyclemaster Museum – PLEASE CLICK HERE