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British Motorcycles

GSD Motorcycles

GSD were motorcycles produced from 1922 to 1923 by R. E. D. Grant of Coventry. The initials stood for Grant Shaft Drive.

  • The make, with its unusual shaft drive, created a stir at the 1922 Olympia Show, where it was first exhibited.

    In addition to the shaft to the under-slung worm at the rear wheel, it took the drive from a four-speed, car-type gearbox. This was built in-unit with the 350cc two-stroke White and Poppe engine, and set across the frame. This duplex frame, with Brampton Biflex forks and foot-boards for the rider, had the clutch between engine and gearbox and the choice of hand or foot control.

    Another unusual feature was the position of the magneto, behind the gearbox and alongside the output shaft, so that it must have been driven by a long quill shaft that ran straight through the clutch and gearbox main shaft. There was a cowling to enclose the engine and the machine was said to offer comfort and weather protection.

    As an alternative, a 976cc sv JAP V-twin was proposed, along with a 494cc flat-twin Bradshaw which was built in 1923.

    The make was not to be successful as the design was unconventional and expensive, so there were few prospective buyers.

The 1922 Olympia Show.

G.S.D. (44.)

Four Speeds and Shaft Drive.

2 H.P. Model.

76x76 mm. (350 cc): single cyl. two-stroke; mechanical lubrication; Amac carb.; shaft-driven mag.; 4-sp. gear; clutch and kick-starter; shaft drive; 26x3in. tyres. Price £85.

R. E. D. Grant, 15, St. Paul's Road Coventry.

That it exhibits the novelty of the Show is claimed for considerable more than one stand in Olympia, but there seems to be a general consensus of opinion that No. 44 comes nearest to earning this honour. The G.S.D. has a unit engine and four-speed gear box and final shaft drive, and is the only British machine now on the market to employ this oft-sought form of transmission. Of the car type and design, the gear box has a central ball and socket change, and with the high efficiency White and Poppe two-stroke engine forms a snug and easily removable unit in the duplex frame.

Very careful design is apparent in the transmission, and since the David Brown worm and worm wheel are in one unit, the danger of misalignment is eliminated. Hardy flexible couplings are interposed at each end of the shaft, which is in absolute line with the gear shaft and the worm shaft. The gear ratios are 6, 9, 13, and 18 to. 1, and the gear box and gear change has been designed as to obviate any possibility of damaging the gears when changing. A sectioned box is shown.

The engine unit is cleanly encased and is claimed to be oilproof, an oil tank being incorporated in the flywheel casing and fitted with a float type oil indicator. Mechanical lubrication with a variable feed is employed.

Riding position and the rider's comfort generally have received careful attention, it being the intention of the designer to appeal to the most fastidious class of professional men.

In most respects he has succeeded admirably, and one cannot help being struck at the close resemblance of the machine to a composite model of the best of the oft-published "ideal specifications" of The Motor Cycle's readers.

The Motor Cycle, November 30th, 1922. Page 839

Sources: Graces Guide



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