AKD Motorcycles

Today in Motorcycle History

Abingdon King Dick


Also known as AKD of Tysley, Birmingham, the Abingdon firm were motor engineers.

1856 The Abingdon engineering company first appeared and produced a range of tools known as the King Dick.

1888 February. Stanley Exhibition of Cycles in Westminster. Open link driving chain for cycles. (Abingdon Works Company).

The Abingdon Works Co., Ltd.

The above company will have a full range of lines in motor cycle fittings, including Starley axles; Abingdon new tricycle axle, with free-wheel and back-pedalling brake combined; but the particularly novel features of the exhibit will be a patent motor differential geared tricycle for belt drive; a motor tricycle with patent driving axle and backpedalling brake; also motor bicycles and their components ; and an improved pattern of rear rim hand-actuated cycle brake.

The Motor Cycle, November 18th, 1903. Page 800
Stanley Show 1903

The Abingdon Works Co., Ltd.

The above firm is showing a light 2¾ h.p. motor tricycle on new lines. It is belt-driven, and on the rear axle is an aluminium pulley of 12in. diameter. The use of more equal sized pulleys tends to make the belt grip well. Inside the gear box there is a two to one reduction gear, and the differential. The engine fitted is a 2¾ h.p. Minerva. The bicycle parts are well made, and all the work is beautifully finished. A triple crown is also employed, and the adjustment of the handle-bars is effected independently of the adjustment of the head. This firm also makes a frame to which an inclined engine can be easily fitted. (Stand 326, Gallery.)

The Motor Cycle, November 25th 1903
Stanley Show 1903

1905 The company entered the motorcycles market with a machine that had the King Dick name. In those early years they traded as Abingdon-Ecco. Their machines, typical of the era, ranged from 2hp to 3.5hp, with solos and tricycles available. They began to make their own four-stroke 350cc single and 794cc V-twin engines. The company first used proprietary engines, such as Fafnir, Kerry, Minerva and MMC but later built their own singles and V-Twins.

In 1905 and 1906, it had produced the 5 hp (4 kW) AKD tricar.

1907 At around this time the company joined with the East London Rubber Co to make Kerry-Abingdon motorcycles for that firm, who bought and sold in preference to manufacturing. This arrangement continued until 1915.

1908 The company moved to new premises in Kings Road, Tyseley.

1910 A neat 3.5hp model was produced, soon followed by a 6hp V-twin. Both were belt-driven and had a three-speed rear hub. There were also two large singles of 499cc and 623cc. The company built its own engines and these were later supplied to other firms including Rex-Acme and Ariel.

Post World War I. The same two models continued.

1922 For that year only, a 4.25hp single was produced. At the Olympia Show in November, the firm displayed a 795cc twin along with 624cc and 498cc singles for the 1923 season.

Abingdon-King-Dick 1922/23

1924 The range had been reduced to two singles and a twin.

1925 This was the final year for the Abingdon name. One of the singles was known as the Abingdon King Dick. After that they were known as AKD and continued as such until 1932.

1926 The models were dropped but the company continued with a 174cc ohv in 1927 until 1933.

1926 They joined with King Dick Spanners and the company was soon known as AKD. The company was also known as Abingdon/AKD, and also supplied engines to other manufacturers.

1928 After a gap of a couple of years or so the company returned to production of motorcycles with a six-model range, all using the same 172cc ohv engine driving a three-speed gearbox. The difference in models was made with fixtures and fittings and some engines had twin ports. There was also a super-sports model.

1929 A special model appeared with an interesting design. It had an ohv 148cc engine built in-unit and a three-speed gearbox. The rockers oscillated against a roller held up against a fixed bridge. Several other models arose from that one and some had a saddle tank.

1930 One model was dropped and two 248cc models were added following the same form.

1931 The model numbers were changed to astrological names, and the 148cc model that was dropped the previous year made a come back - this time with an inclined engine.

1932 This was the last year that the company produced motorcycles and after that they turned their attention to producing hand tools.

The King Dick tool company exists to this day, and a brief history is available on their site at kingdicktools.co.uk

See also Abingdon Motorcycles

Source: Graces Guide

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