Wilkinson Sword produced motorcycles from 1908 to 1915, in Acton,
TMC, the initials of Touring Motor Cycle, was a motorcycle
produced from 1912 to 1915, by Wilkinson, of Acton in London.
This was the name adopted for their four-cylinder, three-speed, shaft-drive
luxury machine that had suspension for both wheels and a bucket seat for
To begin with it was sold as the Touring Auto-Cycle, or TAC, but it
was best known by the company name of Wilkinson.
1908 The first machine was originally designed as a military scouting model
G. Tacchi, who was granted patent rights in 1908. The machine, mounting
a lightweight, quick-firing Maxim gun, did not impress the authorities
and Wilkinson carried on with a luxury touring version.
1909 This luxury machine was built by the firm that was already famous
for swords, bayonets (and later for razor blades and garden tools). The
motorcycle was long and had an in-line four-cylinder engine, clutch, three-speed
gearbox and shaft-drive to a worm at the rear wheel. engine capacity was
678cc, the crankcase cast-iron and split horizontally, the drive from clutch
to gearbox by spring steel to absorb shocks, and starting by hand lever.
To begin with, Chater-Lea
leading-link forks were used, but these were soon changed to a Wilkinson
design. The rear wheel was supported by four quarter-elliptic springs.
The oil tank went just behind the headstock, but the petrol tank was placed
on the rear mudguard and the rider was provided with a bucket seat. This
machine was listed as the Touring Auto-Cycle or TAC.
1909 Late in the year, the TAC started to appear with the fitment of a
1910 The TAC was advertised as having a steering wheel.
1910 Cycle and Motorcycle Exhibition
Wilkinson T.A.C. Co., Ltd.
London, S.W. Stand No. 33.
Those motorists who are of opinion that the best results are only to be
obtained from a multi-cylinder engine, whether it be used in conjunction
with a car or a cycle, will be interested in this firm's 1911 models,
for Messrs. Wilkinson and Co. are one of the very few who place a
four-cylindered motor-cycle upon the market. And the " Wilkinson"
motor-cycle has very many up-to-date points to command attention, not
the least being the three-speed gear box and leather cone clutch. The
petrol tank, fitted over the rear mudguard, is of sufficient capacity to
carry the rider for at least two hundred miles. The magneto is very
conveniently situated, and is carried upon a special bracket. The brake
work has evidently received special attention, internal expanding
brakes being employed for both wheels. The front wheel brake is
controlled by Bowden wire from the handlebar, whilst the rear brake is
brought into action by the depression of a pedal connected thereto by
cable wire. All the control levers are conveniently placed upon the
handlebar. The engine, it should be noted, can be started from the
driver's seat. It is noticeable that various minor improvements and
modifications have been introduced into the new model, and it must be
admitted that the "Wilkinson," in many ways, shows a distinct advance in
motor-cycle design and construction. There are two models shown, one
being practically a replica of the other, but more elaborately finished,
whilst the H.P. of both is optional, either a 5-6 H.P. or 6-7 H.P.
motor being fitted, as desired.
1911 The engine size became 550cc for one model that had mechanical inlet-valves.
1912 The capacity went up to 848cc and, originally air-cooled, the engine
was redesigned as a water-cooled unit. The Bosch
magneto was mounted on top of the gearbox and thus under the seat. Bevel
drive replaced the worm at the rear axle, and Druid
forks replaced the leading links. The name was changed to the Touring
Motor Cycle or TMC.
1913 The TMC was only sold as a sidecar outfit, and a brief link with the
Engineering Co was reported.
1914 Both solo and sidecar versions were offered and, during the year,
manufacture was taken over by the Ogston
Motor Co Many detail improvements were made.
1915 The Wilkinson was still listed as 848cc using bevel drive, and as
1087cc with worm drive - both with three-speed gearbox. The power unit
returned after the War in the December car but the motorcycle was
a casualty of the war.