British Motorcycles

Elswick Cycle Co

Elswick were motorcycles produced from 1903 to 1915, in Barton-on-Humber, Yorkshire. The company was founded, as Elswick-Hopper Cycle and Motor Co, in 1880.
  • 1894 Exhibited cycles at the Antwerp Exhibition as Elswick Cycle Co of Newcastle.
  • 1903 The company had made purpose built frames to attach engines to bicycles and, having previously been involved in the production of cycles, they went on to list machines with either a 2hp or a 4hp V-twin engine. One or both cylinders of the latter could be used as necessary. The make then disappeared for a few years.
  • 1912 They returned to the market in with two models. Conventional in format, both were fitted with Precision 348cc / 498cc engines of 2½ hp and 3¾ hp. Later they produced 4¼ hp and V-twins and a model fitted with a 269cc Villiers engine or a 2hp Precision.
  • 1915 Production ceased.

    1919 Olympia Show

    On this stand are shown two motor cycles. Both machines are identical except for finish, though one is known as the Elswick and the other as the Torpedo. The Elswick is an extremely neat lightweight, fitted with a Precision 3 1/2 hp two-stroke engine, which has sump lubrication as described in the Beardsmore-Precision. The machine is quite simple and on strictly conventional lines. It is finished in the well-known Elswick shade of green and lined with gold and this has a particularily distinctive appearance. The engine chain is neatly encased, the cover also enclosing the outside flywheel. A Sturmey-Archer two-speed gear box with kick-starter is fitted and the machine has Brampton Biflex spring forks.

    The Motor Cycle, November 27th 1919

    There were plans to resume production after the end of the Great War, but these did not come to fruition. The Olympia Show report above is believed to refer to remaining stock being sold off. Elswick concentrated on making bicycles.


  • Elswick Cycles and Manufacturing Co of Barton-on-Humber, built rather attractive Trojan-powered moped scooters with fibreglass bodywork in the 1950s.


  • In the early 1950s Elswick embarked on a moped project using, working with Trojan to test the Piatti Mini-motor. This came to naught and a little later they tested a Dunkley engine, which proved disappointing. A VAP 57 engine was the next in line, and proved a winner. It was displayed at the 1960 Earls Court show, presented as a Scootamatic Lynx.

    Sadly, production costs proved to high and it did not enter production. Six prototypes were constructed, of which two remain.

Sources: Graces Guide, icenicam.org.uk, inbarton.atwebpages.com

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