British Motorcycles

Weslake Motorcycles

Harry Weslake was born in Exeter in 1897. His father Henry directed Willey and Co, an engineering company in Exeter.

At the age of 15 he blew his life savings on a pair of googles, hired a motorcycle and trundled off into the blue yonder until stopped by a policeman who sent him home.

With the onset of war, against his family's wishes he joined the Royal Flying Corps.

Whilst still enlisted he took out a patent on a carburettor. The Wex carburettor by Weslake of Exeter may be something of a tongue twister, but it worked well. He was 18.

By the early 1920s he had his own workshop and became interested in why two seemingly identical engines would perform very differently, so he applied the skills he had learned whilst working with his father, a gas engineer, to discovering the secrets of induction. He gas-flowed the heads.

Over the following decades and through the war years Harry worked with numerous companies in the automotive field including W. O. Bentley (a fellow motorcyclist, Australian born), SS Cars and later Jaguar, Austin, Citroen, and Armstong Siddeley. He also worked with Riley, who did not have the good grace to appreciate him.

Postwar he formed Weslake and Co. Ltd. and in the 1970s his speedway engines had become very successful, winning the 1976 world speedway championship. Two years later in the '78 championship Weslakes took 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th place, with a delighted Harry looking on. He collapsed that evening and died happy.

Weslake Timeline

Wed May 18 2016
ernest.healy at monash.edu
weslake 1976?
I need to replace a cracked piston in a 4 valve Weslake speedway motor. However, the distance between the centre of the gudgeon pin and the piston deck is greater than the Weslake replacement pistons that are currently readily available. Can you please tell me if Weslake changed their piston specifications at some point in time? I was told the engine was bought from Rickard Helsen in the late 1970s and has an unusual serial number: X 66. If I were to use the readily available Weslake replacement piston, the compression ration would be far too low because of the lower piston crown height.
Melbourne Australia

Tue Jul 07 2009

scroft9959 at hotmail dot com



Double Overhead Cam
Many variations incuding belt, chain and bevel drive

Looking for a DOHC Weslake for a private collection!

Wondered if you can help?
North West UK

Sat May 23 2009
johnnytt50033 at aol.com
weslake 500cc ID
weslake 275 6190MS B858 S859
Need help with engine ID re year made ....This pic is in california .
Calif U.S.A

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