British Motorcycles


Sheffield-Henderson were motorcycles produced in Fitzwilliam Street, Sheffield from 1920 to 1923.

Henderson sidecars were made by the Aero works of Fitzwilliam Street.

  • November 1919. The company announced the Sheffield Henderson Motorcycle, designed by Leonard B. Henderson, who was an aeronautical engineer.

    1920 Having previously been well-known for the production of sidecars, the company moved into motorcycle manufacture with a 3hp two-stroke model with their own engine and two-speed chain-cum-belt transmission. It introduced their own design of front fork, with C-spring linking the double tubed girder to the frame head. By late in the year, a 499cc sv Blackburne model had been added, with a three-speed Sturmey-Archer gearbox and all-chain drive and vacuum-operated oiling system for the engine. It was ideally suited to sidecar usage. In a relatively short time the make gained a fantastic reputation in speed events. The machine could be had with a side valve or overhead valve Blackburne engine or a Bradshaw engine. The machine had a three-speed Burman gearbox.

    1921 A new model was tried, fitted with the 348cc ohv Blackburne engine.

    1922 That new model was catalogued and sold with a guarantee of 70mph (112km/h). There was also a sporting sidecar outfit with a tuned 545cc sv Blackburne engine and streamlined sidecar. In June, the factory even claimed several world records in the 250cc class. Sheffied Henderson must have been one of the very few makes that placed the toolbox under the top tube behind the steering head, a position that obviated a rather unusual tank shape, an early form of saddle tank.

    1923 The marque did not survive beyond the end of the year.

Sheffleld-Henderson 350cc Biackburne 1922

Although a trifle unconventional in appearance, this model of the 2¾ h.p. o.h.v. Sheffleld-Henderson-Biackburne has already won its spurs in the big speed trials.

1921 Olympia Show


In addition to a range of Henderson sidecars for which this Sheffield firm is now well known, two new models of the Sheffield- Henderson motor cycle will be exhibited; one of these will be fitted with the 2¾ h.p. o.h.v. Blackburne engine, and having a frame of rather unique design, which gives an exceptionally low riding position.

This new mount, which is to be sold purely as a sports model, will carry with it a guarantee of 70 m.p.h. A Sturmey-Archer three- speed gear with close ratios and without kick-starter, forms part of its equipment.

The other model is a dual purpose machine having the new 4¼ h.p. Blackburne engine of 550 c.c, Sturmey-Archer three-speed gear, and other first-class equipment. The vacuum lubrication system on this machine is somewhat unique.

The Motor Cycle, November 24th 1921

1922 Olympia Show


With a Speed Reputation.

2¾ H.P. Model.

71x88 mm. (348 c.c); single cyl. four-stroke; side valves; drip feed lubrication; Amac carb.; chain-driven mag.; 3-sp. gear; clutch and kick-starter; chain drive; 26x2¼ in. tyres. Price: Solo. £72; with Sidecar. £90.

Henderson Motors, Ltd., Fitzwilliam Street, Sheffield. All four of the models on this stand are of the same nominal horse-power and are of the same general lines as regards frame, tanks, and detail. There is, however, a wide difference in the type of engine fitted.

One model, as specified, which has a 348 c.c. Blackburne single-cylinder engine with side valves, is of the touring type with deep mudguards, a carrier, and the fullest of equipment. The next has the overhead valve single-cylinder engine, and the makers claim 70 m.p.h. from the machine as an attraction to those whose sporting instincts favour high speed and dropped bars.

The third machine lies midway, having the same engine as the first model, but special cams and aluminium piston and narrow guards. It is of rakish build. As a variation a fourth model is offered with the Bradshaw oil-cooled single-cylinder engine and mechanical lubrication. All of them are shown with suitable sidecars attached, but the special overhead valve machine appears also as a solo mount. A somewhat unusual outline is given to all the machines by the presence of the tool kit just below that portion of the tank which contains oil and by the curious shape of the tank itself.

Olympia Show 1922
The Motor Cycle, November 30th, 1922. Page 828

Sources: Graces Guide, The Motor Cycle

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