Australian & NZ Motorcycles

Australia and New Zealand Motorcycles

This page covers motorcycles and motorcyclists from both the land of the long white cloud and the lucky country.

Famous names like Phil Irving, John Britten, W. O. Bentley (born in the UK to Australian parents), Jack Findlay and Harry Hawker are mentioned.

  • Index of Australian & NZ Makes
  • Josef Ganz


    Whiting Motorcycles, quite an extraordinary tale.

    Pasco Motorcycles, a gallery.

    Australian Motorcycle Dealers

    Swinging Jean Foster

    Alan Puckett, Artist

    Melbourne Show, 1924 gives a brief overview of Victorian dealers.

    Osborne Louis de Lissa of Australia managed Motosacoche Ltd (GB).

    Numerous Australian speedway machines are discussed in the pages of the Speedway Workshop

    An account of the first motorcycle to reach Australia, in early 1896, a Hildebrand and Wolfmuller

    For more information on Australian motorcycle history visit the following pages:
    Murray Barnard's Ozebook.
    Simon Fleming's Australian Motorcycles.


    Manufactured by G.W.Revell of 301 Victoria Street, Abbotsford, Victoria, in 1912 and 1913.
    Source: Saward via Wikipedia

    A one-off custom, narrow-angle V-twin, Earles forks.
    Exhibited at the Australian Motorcycle Museum, Nabiac, NSW.
    Source: MxN

    Manufactured by J Absolom of 88 Brisbane Street, Launceston, Tasmania. At least one motorcycle under his own name around 1915
    Source: Saward, via Wikipedia.

    Manufactured by I.J. Mitchell of Blyth, South Australia
    Advertised motorcycles built to order in 1905-06. At least one machine was registered.
    The British firm of the same name exported machines to Adelaide which were distributed by the Sphinx firm (in 1907), so it is possible that this was one of those.
    However, the advertisement below from 1906 gives a rather different picture.
    Source: Saward via Wikipedia

    MOTOR Cycles. - The Advance is the latest, cheapest, and best ; built of B.S.A. parts and fitted with a 2¼ horse power Minerva engine. Pnce, £40. Inspection invited. The Advance Cycle and Motor Works. 199 Elizabeth-street. Trove NLA: The Brisbane Courier Thu 10 May 1906

    Arthur J. Tooze of Adelaide, South Australia built two motorcycles, the first with a JAP 2¾ hp single, and a second machine with an 8hp V-twin JAP engine. The twin was found in the 1970s and appeared to have not been completed.
    Source: Saward via Wikipedia


    The first Alron motorcycles were built in Western Australia by RON Lyon and Al Hayes and derived from Sprite scramblers from Britain.

    This and later models were fitted with the reliable Ossa engine and gearbox from Spain. At $900 the Alron 250s were not cheap for their time but the hand built frame, superior electrics and a quality finish gave good value for money.

    Competition from the Japanese eventually saw the decline of Alron Industries.
    Source: Birdwood Mill Museum SA

    Manufactured by Martin J Shelley at the ANA Cycle Works in Rathdowne Street, North Carlton, Victoria between 1910 and 1919. The ANA used engine from Fafnir, JAP Precision, Abingdon King Dick and others, and fitted Sturmey-Archer gearboxes.
    A restored 1919 V-twin exists.
    Source: Wikipedia

    Manufactured by Aero Motor Works of Goodwood Park, Adelaide.
    W. Ryal built motorcycles fitted with JAP engines from 1918 to 1920. See also Ascot.
    Source: OTTW


    Baden Powell

    The following advertisement appears in 1904 and 1905.

    C. A. BLAKE,
    The "Baden Powell" Motor-Cycles are unsurpassed for Workmanship and Material.

    Jewish Herald (Vic.) Fri 23 Sep 1904 (Trove)

    In 1911, "Charles A. Blake operated a bike factory" at 181 Bridge Road. Blake's motor engineering works was listed at a similar address in 1914. Listed in Sands directory for 1913, 1918, 1920 and 1925. (


    Bailey & Co., was active from 1903 to 1908

    Universal CYCLE WORKS.
    Bicycle Engineer, Enameller, and Electroplater.
    Cycles and Motors Built to Order
    Repairs of every description neatly executed. Accessories in great variety
    Address - 238 King William Street, South, ADELAIDE.

    Quiz (Adelaide, SA : 1900 - 1909) Fri 16 Nov 1906

    Sources: Simon Fleming; Trove.

    T. Perryman of Richmond, Victoria produced a machine using a Precision engine, circa 1915.
    Extensive searches in Trove and Google for further information proved fruitless.
    Source: Saward via Simon

    Balfour Motors, 155 Mercer Street Geelong, Vic. 1912-1918
    The Balfour Bros. marketed motorcycles using JAP singles and twins which were possibly assembled by E.W. Brown.
    1917 advert gives address of 45 & 47 Malop St, with no mention of BAL-JAP - but it does mention JAP motorcycles for sale, along with Triumph.
    1919 advertisements give their name as Balfour's Motor Garage, located cnr Malop and Gheringhap Streets. Sole agents for B.A.L, Triumph, De-Luxe, Indian...
    Sources: OTTW, Simon Fleming


    Manufactured by the Finlay Bros, 322 Elizabeth St Melbourne.

    Primarily a cycle builder, they built motorcycles under the GEM brand and later as the Barb. The engines were from Georg E. Mathiasen of Copenhagen and were imported between 1904 and 1909. It is believed that the Findlay Bros firm continued motorcycle manufacture until 1914.

    They also built the "Floater" sidecar.

    Bob Finlay was actively involved with motor pacing, and also competed in motorcycle races.

    In 1916 the firm sold Excelsior and James motor-cycles, and in 1919 advertised B.S.A. For 1920, Cleveland and Villiers were added. 1929 saw the main advertising focus as BSA which continued until at least 1936.

    Bicycle production continued into the 1950s.

    Sources: Danish Motorcycles and Automobiles 1900-1920;; Trove NLA; et al

    Built at the Edward Beauchamp works, 284 Chapel Street Prahran.

    Charles Mayman created nine Beauchamp racing motorcycles between 1901 and 1903. He died racing one on Boxing Day 1904.

    Speed King" Motor Cycle Under You
    Just drop a line to
    E. BEAUCHAMP. Chapel-st.. Prahran.

    Punch (Melbourne, Vic.) Thu 30 Oct 1902

    Progressive citizens will find it to their advantage, when they
    Desire to Mote
    to consult one of the pioneers of the Motor Car and Motor Cycle trade -
    E. BEAUCHAMP, Prahran.

    Punch (Melbourne, Vic.) Thu 9 Jun 1904

    BEAUCHAMP Motor and Cycle Works
    161, 163, 165 High Street, Prahran

    Malvern Standard, Sat 5 Jan 1907

    259 to 261 High Street, Prahran

    Malvern Standard, 23rd Feb 1907

    There is little mention of the firm after January 1907.

    Leon Mitchel has written a detailed and fascinating 3-part account of Mayman and the Beachamp in Serpolettes Tricycle.
    Sources: Trove NLA; Leon Mitchel,; et al

    Beare Sixstroke
    Malcolm Beare patented and developed a remarkable engine which is best described as a cross between a twostroke and a fourstroke - hence, sixstroke. The machine had numerous qualities including far fewer moving parts (no poppet valves) and simply staggering torque. A video shows a Malcolm astride a single-cylinder version with the front wheel planted against an obstacle, spinning the back tyre at what seems like very low rpm. The Ducati version was equally impressive.
    A con-man took control of the company and stole the patents and the investor's funds. Allegedly.
    Source: MxN,

    B & W
    Manufactured by Bennett and Wood, Sydney.
    Known as the B&W Hornet, it was a 1938 predecessor of the Acme.
    Source: OTTW

    Bennett & Barkell (B & B)
    Produced from c.1910 to 1932 (or later) by Bennett & Barkell Ltd. of 234 Pitt Street, 124-132 Castlereagh Street, and later the corner of Meagher and Chippen Streets, Sydney.
    Using JAP engines and Chater-Lea frames with Druid forks, models of 2½ h.p., 3½ h.p., 4 h.p. (500cc), 6 h.p. (770cc) and 8 h.p. (1000cc) were offered. Some later models had an unusual suspension system which linked the seat with the footboards to better cope with harsh Australian conditions.
    A very fine example was restored by Len Oakman of Wagga Wagga, NSW, and remained in the family after his passing.
    Sources: Wikipedia, Trove NLA, et al.


    B. and B. Motor-cycles are built for Australian conditions. They are lighter in weight than the usual type of heavy-duty machine, but much heavier than the usual light-weight 90 or 100 lb. motor cycle.

    The frame is scientifically constructed, too, and though lighter in weight than many higher-powered machines, will stand a greater road strain. The engine is only 2½ h.p. J.A.P., but owing to the light construction of the frame it accomplishes as much as, if not more, than the cycles which arc encumbered with a superfluous amount of metal.

    Tyres are Dunlop or Continental heavy motor cycle, and either will give a great mileage before needing to be replaced.

    £55 is the price of ibis cycle, and it's the lowest you can secure for a machine of the quality of this B. and B.

    If you will call, we shall be glad to demonstrate one to you, and it you have a friend who knows "what's what" in motor-cycles, bring him along. He can but endorse the remarks we make.


    Largest Cycle-building House in the State
    234 Pitt-street, and Castlereagh-street, Sydney.

    Trove NLA: The Sydney Morning Herald, Sat 27 May 1911

    Bilyard & King

    James Bilyard of Hobart and Sim King of Launceston who had stores in their own names in those cities produced "Bilyard & King" motorcycles around 1924 powered by a 494cc sidevalve Triumph engine. A belt drive machine, it had very robust front forks and a rim front brake.

    James Bilyard had previously built the Havelock motorcycle prior to WWI.

    In the mid 1920s they were both agents for BSA and Triumph. By 1927-28 the Bilyard firm was named Bilyard & Son, at 110 Elizabeth St, and were Abingdon motorcycle and Swift motor car agents.

    James Bilyard died in September 1941.

    Sources: Yesterdays, Trove.

    Blue Bell (Wagener)
    Manufactured by Wagener's Blue Bell Cycle Works
    121 Argent-Street Broken Hill and 140 Patton-Street Adelaide.
    Advertised Blue Bell 4 h.p. along with Singer, New Hudson and OK Precision.
    Barrier Miner (Broken Hill) Tue 30 Dec 1913 (Trove)
    Source: Trove NLA.
    N.B. It has been suggested that a Blue Bell was made in 1907.

    Blue Bell (H. Canet)
    Manufactured 1915

    H. CANET.

    At the Blue-Bell and Hummer Cycle Works, Wyndham-street, Mr H. Canet has a large stock of machines on hand. Besides using all genuine parts, Mr. Canet puts special strengthening pieces into the main bars and front forks. Strength, stability, reliability, complete satisfaction are the watchwords of this establishment.

    Trove NLA: Shepparton Advertiser, Thu 16 Dec 1915

    Notice of Removal!

    H. CANET.

    Of the Blue Bell Cycle Works has bought Mr. N. EUNSON'S Rose Motor and Cycle Business, and will now carry on both businesses In the premises lately occupied, by Mr. N. A. Eunson.

    Rose, Precision & Peerless Motors

    Supplied in Junior Two Sroke 3½ h.p. and Big 4 Singles. 3½, 4½, 6, and 8 h.p. Twins.
    Call and Inspect before purchasing elsewhere.

    Rose and Blue Bell Cycles built to order from £6 10s.
    Fully Guaranteed.

    BIG STOCK of both MOTOR & CYCLE ACCESSORIES. TYRES PETROL, Etc., always kept on hand,
    REPAIRS of every description, including Lathe Work and Stove
    Enamelling done on the Premises.

    H. CANET'S Rose and Blue Bell Motor & Cycle Works
    Wyndham-street, Shepparton (Opp. M, T.-M'Alpine's Store.)
    Phone 94.

    Trove NLA: Goulburn Valley Stock and Property Journal, Wed 29 Nov 1916

    Blue Spec
    Manufactured by E Wagener (and possibly W. Wagener) 1907~1918
    Motorcycles were built using Minerva and JAP engines.

    E. C. Wagener on an 8 H.P. Blue Spec All-British J.A.P. registered fastest time at M.C.C. Speed Trials at Meadows.
    The Mail (Adelaide, SA) Sat 20 Nov 1915 (Trove)

    Sellick's Beach Races Jan 1918

    E Wagener on an 8 h.p. Blue Spec JAP is mentioned several times, as is W. Wagener on an 8 h.p. Blue Bell JAP. The Wyatt JAP also had several mentions, with several wins. (Trove)

    At least two Blue Spec machines were registered in South Australia in 1920. It is not clear whether these were new, or re-registered older machines.
    16876.—J. D. Piayford, Norton's Summit, 6 (h.p.) Blue Spec - June 1920
    17450, G. Marques, Goodwood, 2¾ (h.p.) Blue Spec - Aug 1920

    Sources: OTTW, Trove NLA.

    Manufactured by Bullock Cycle Works, Adelaide, c.1902-1920.
    John Bullock built a variety of machines over the years. The earliest were re-branded Werner motorcyles around 1902, and later he sold Healing Precision, Sun-JAP and Abingdon with his name on the tank. It is possible he also fitted machines fitted with Green Precision water-cooled engines.
    In 1913 there were two Bullock stores, at 65 Rundle St and 101 Petrie St, which sold Clyno and Zenith machines along with their own Bullock motorcycles. In 1917 they advertised Reading Standard 12hp V-twins, with an additional store in Murray St Gawler.

    A Fine Cycle.

    I was introduced on Tuesday to a beautirully made and powerful motor cycle. The great feature of it is that it « of local manufacture. It is a Bullock J.A.P. of 8 to 10 horse-power, and was built to the order of Mr. F. W. R. Crowe, of Dulwich, Adelaide. Low in the body, the cycle gives an excellent impression of the power it contains in its twin cylinders. It is heavily sprung in forks and saddle, so as to afford the maximum of riding comfort. A distinctive feature is a Jardine four-speed gearbox, with a kick starter. It bas a very sweet cork clutch. Three-inch tires assist the springforks to absorb road shock, and the feel are carried in comfort on long, curved aluminium footboards. The drive is chain-cum-belt covered in from the weather - a fact which not only conduces to smoothness of running, but to the lives of the chain and belt.

    This Bullock-J.A.P. has a large mechanical horn with a note calculated to make even a policeman jump. The colouring is a greenish French grey, with nickeled parts. Altogether, she is good to look at.

    The Register (Adelaide, SA) Wed 14 Jun 1916 (Trove)

    1920 Advertisement: BULLOCK'S "Dalm", 2-stroke Motor Cycle, New shipment just arrived; 80 guineas.. The engines, and possibly the complete machines, were most likely sourced from J.N. Taylor.

    Sources: Trove NLA, et al


    Manufactured by Davies-Franklin Cycle Co., Ltd of Ballarat, Victoria. 1904~1913
    Little information is available on these motorcycles, other than a 1913 model was fitted with a JAP engine using a frame from AG Healing. That year the business was sold to WH Leech.

    Mortimer Franklin and WP Davies established the Davies-Franklin firm in 1895 and it became very well known in Ballarat in the years prior WWI the Sturt Street workshops built bicycles and all manner of components, and by 1904 Davies-Franklin had the largest bicycle factory in the country, with 60 employees and an extensive sales network marketing their product across Australia.


    MELBOUBNE, August 23, The Davies-Franklin Cycle Company's garage, in Gheringhap street, Geelong, was gutted by fire to-day, and the contents, including three motor cars, were destroyed. It is supposed that the fire occurred through an employee dropping a lighted match on to an oil-saturated floor.

    Evening Journal (Adelaide, SA) Thu 24 Aug 1911

    Sources:, Simon Fleming, Trove NLA.

  • De Luxe

  • Drysdale
    Manufactured by Drysdale Motorcycle Co. of Melbourne
    Four of these machines have been built to date (Mar 2021) - two 750cc and two 1000cc. Three of them are in Sports format and one of the 1000's is naked. They are built to order using engines and components specified by the customer. Models include the 1000cc Drysdale Bruiser, one of which was stolen in 2015.
    Drydale was also responsible for the equally remarkable 2WD Dryvtech.
    Sources: Ian Drysdale, et al



    Manufactured by Eden Cycle & Motor Works, Fitzroy, Victoria. 1904~1905

    A photograph of the shopfront shows the wording "Motors & Cycles Faithfully Built to Order".

    The brothers E & E Tapscott (Ernest Eden and Edward Cyril Tapscott) established the firm in 1903. By 1907, Ernest was working in Tasmania, and in 1910 Edward was living in Sydney.
    Sources: Simon Fleming,



    Manufactured by Elliott Garage & Cycle Factory, Payneham, with showroom at 91 Flinders Street Adelaide by Laurie A. Elliott and Bertrand Elliott. [1]

    Early models used Precision, Velocette and JAP engines, mounted in a Chater Lea chassis. Later they also used Sun frames. Most had Elliott Payneham displayed on the fuel tank.

    In 1917 the Elliott Bros. exhibited bicycles and motorcycles at the Adelaide Royal Show to considerable acclaim, with the result that many country dealers began to sell their products, including Elliott-Villiers two-strokes. Three new 2¾ Elliotts were registered in SA during Jan 1917.

    An advertisement from 1922 announced that the Automobile Association was using these machines.

    It is thought that they may have rebadged Wolf motorcycles in the late 1920s until 1935.

    Elliott's sold other marques, for instance Raleigh in 1931, Panther in 1931-34, Calthorpe in 1931-1934, and Singer cars in 1938. [2]

    Ted Warren became a test rider for Elliott's motorcycles in 1917, and competed in the lightweight class, gaining many laurels. He endured a serious accident in 1923.

    The Gawler Place business in Adelaide employed Jack Wise and Frank Duckett who both became international speedway riders.

    Victor Elliott, the younger brother of Bertrand Elliott, became a partner in the new location at 63 Pirie Street, Adelaide. Victor was already quite well known in the motorcycle field and held several records. He also became a cycling champion.

    In 1928 Elliott Bros ceased selling motorcycles to concentrate on bicycles.

    Birdwood Mill has two of these motorcycles, a 1926 Villiers 172cc and a 1923 300cc JAP.

    Sources: Simon Fleming's Australian Motorcycles, Trove NLA,, et al.

    Reliable Elliott Villiers.

    The Elliott Villiers 1¾ h.p. motor cycle was the lowest powered machine in the competition at Sellick Beach recently, and was only allowed three seconds start on a 2½ h.p. machine. The handicappers of the Motor Cycle Club evidently hold a high opinion of the Elliott featherweight motor cycles. It is gratifying to see that these low powered machines have sufficient speed to get into first and second place in their heats and fourth and fifth in the final of the under 600 class. It was the first time that S. N. Rowe had ridden in a competition.

    Trove NLA: News (Adelaide, SA), Mon 6 Apr 1925, Page 8.

    1. In 1920 things got complicated when a dispute caused a division of the partnership, with the result that there were two separate "Elliot" businesses. See
    2. Dates refer to verified sources, ie newspaper advertisements - marques listed were probably sold in other years.

    Empire (S.A.)
    Manufactured by Empire Cycle & Motor Co, 232 Rundle Street East, Adelaide, and later also at Hindmarsh Square. They are believed to have built motorcycles using Minerva engines in the early days, and later Brown engines.

    Advertisements from 1911 and 1912 mention Empire bicycles but not motorcycles, other than LMC for which they were agents.

    Registration notice
    7651—J. Pink, Clare, 3½ Empire.

    The Journal (Adelaide) Fri 28 Jan 1916

    The Empire Motor & Cycle Co., Ltd., of Adelaide, HAVING Purchased the Business Book Debts, and Goodwill of Frank Pfundt, Cycle Dealer and Builder, wish to intimate that they are carrying on the TWO SHOPS, and have a very large stock of Cycles and Sundries...

    Border Watch (Mount Gambier, SA) Sat 13 Apr 1912 [1]

    NB: 1 This may be relative to another brand, Pfundt & Higgs.

    Sources:, Trove, Saward via Simon.

    Ever Onward
    Created in 1968 using a Barr & Stroud engine (probably a 500cc W.A.7) fitted to a Norton frame with components from Coventry Eagle, Enfield, Levis, BSA and elsewhere.
    Source: et al

    Manufactured at 203 Swanston Street, Melbourne by Edward Walker Brown, 1910-1918.
    They used Chater-Lea and later Sun frames fitted with a variety of engines from NSU, FN, Fafnir, Sarolea and JAP. Forks were from Druid, Saxon and Truffault. A 1914 machine appears often in vintage motorcycle rallies and has won many awards.
    In 1918 the firm was sold to Turner Brothers of Melbourne.
    Sources: Simon Fleming, tinkerman, et al


    Manufactured 1914-1921
    Prior to World War I, W.H. Smith of the Smith Brothers Garage at Petersburg in South Australia sold (and possibly assembled) bicycles and motorcycles using the name The Burg. Following the outbreak of war with Germany in 1914, the town was renamed Peterborough due to anti-German sentiments. In response, Smith re-badged his motorcycles Favourite. (1) It is estimated that fifty Favourite motorcycles were built at the Smith Brothers Garage, of which four survive. (2)
    There are three known survivors, one of which is at the Birdwood Mill.
    (1) Saward, R. (1997) letter to Ken
    (2) National Motor Museum, display text

    "16657, W. Dower, Unley, 3½ (h.p.) F.D.C." Registered South Australia, May 1920
    Source: Trove

    Firth Bros
    Firth Bros., of Richmond, Melbourne manufactured the Firth motorcycle in 1914-1915 using a V-twin of their own design mounted in a Chater-Lea chassis.
    The firm also built Maplestone forks (c.1914-1920), and built complete engines.
    From 1922 until about 1928 they built the Invincible-JAP for Turner Bros. These were fitted with a Burman Gearbox, forks described as an "Excelsior/Henderson copy", and saddle tanks from Edwards Brothers. Engines were JAP singles and V-twins of various capacity, the most common apparently being the 770cc version.
    Sources: Simon Fleming, Australia Post, et al


    Manufactured by Frank Grimley, Ltd.,
    263 Clarence Strect, Sydney.
    Sole Importers Sarolea (adverts in 1904 and 1905)
    The firm also advertised a Traveller Motor, weight 75lb, along with Traveler cycles.
    Howard Burrows has a two images of Grimley motorcycles, one a single and the other a Sarolea twin.

    IF YOU ARE INTERESTED IN MOTOR-CYCLES, do not fail lo see our Exhibit of "SAROLEA" MOTORS at the Agricultural Show.

    Our stand is in the same position as in previous years, i.e., opposite the side entrance of the VEHICLE PAVILION, and next to the BEE EXHIBIT.

    We shall also have on show our "TRAVELLER" MOTOR, weight 751b. This is the machine that has caused so much comment in Motor-cycles lately.

    Sole Agents -
    FRANK GRIMLEY, LIMITED, 263-5 Clarence-st., Sydney (near Town-hall).

    The Daily Telegraph (Sydney) Wed 27 Mar 1907 (Trove)

    Sources: Trove, Howard Burrows


    Manufactured by James Bilyard, The Havelock Cycle & MotorWorks, 141 Elizabeth Street, Hobart, 1904-1910
    Fitted with Sarolea engines of 2¾ h.p. to 7 h.p.
    In 1915 Bilyard was listed as a Triumph agent, and later he partnered with James D. King (aka Sim King) of Launceston to import Triumph and BSA, and the firm became Bilyard and King with stores in both cities. They produced motorcycles name "Bilyard & King" around 1924.

    3 H.P. Havelock Motor, first-class order,
    Complete as new. Stock £40.
    Motor and Cycle Accessories just received.

    Daily Post (Hobart, Tas.) Fri 30 Apr 1909

    Sources: Simon Fleming, Trove NLA.

  • Healing

  • Hercules

    Manufactured by Harry Jackson, 163 Queensberry Street, North Melbourne, 1912~1927.

    Numerous engines were fitted, including Coventry Victor, JAP, Precision, Villiers, LMC, Sarolea and Motosacoche.

    In 1916 Jackson offered the Hercules with JAP 4 h.p., Precision 4½ h.p. and Precision Junior, LMC 4 h.p., Villiers 3½ h.p., Sarolea 6 h.p. 3 speed, in addition to the "colonial" engine.

    For 1919 they offered a Hercules "Sparke De Luxe 7 x 9 H.P."

    A Hercules sidecar chassis was available from Jackson's in 1917.

    built to order, colonial engine; £30 complete, £32 terms,
    163 Queensberry St., North Melbourne.
    HERCULES KING MOTOR has Bosch magneto,
    Druids forks, A.M.A.C. or B. and B. carburetter, Brooks saddle, Dunlop tyres.

    The Argus, Wed 30 Aug 1916

    Sources: Trove NLA, et al.
    Other marques with this name: Disambiguation


    This is a British machine built in Birmingham for export. Production ceased during WW1 and did not resume.

  • Hockley 1914-1916
  • An advertisement reads: "HOCKLEY 2-stroke, 2¼-h.p., 2-specd gearbox, splendid condition, real bargain. - 23, Wainhouse-st. Torrensville." The Advertiser (Adelaide, SA) Tue 18 Feb 1919.

    Two of these were registered in SA in 1920 - they were likely old stock, or re-registered after the war.
    15782, H. Beanland, Rosefield, 2¼ Hockley. (Jan 1920)
    17510 J. Gilbertson, Virginia. 2¾ Hockley. (Oct 1920)

    Source: Trove NLA


    Marketed by Turner Bros & Co., 343 Swanston Street, Melbourne 1922~1928
    The machines were built by Firth Bros. Fitted with JAP 4½ h.p. singles and 770cc and 1000cc V-Twin engines driving through a Burman gearbox. The forks were made similar in style to those of Henderson and Excelsior, and the machines had a rear brake which was operated by the left foot with the clutch actuated by the right. There was no front brake. Saddle tanks were from Edwards Brothers, and the saddle was by Messenger.
    Leon Mitchel owned one for some time and said he had a love/hate relationship with it. The controls were not on the love side of that equation.
    The firm also built Turner motorcycles from 1914 to 1919, and built machines for Carbine (Melbourne) from 1914. They acquired the Carbine firm in 1922.
    Sources: Leon Mitchel, Saward (via Simon Fleming), Trove NLA, Australia Post.


    "Invincible J.A.P." Models

    A new 6 b.p. and 8 h.p. motor cycle evolved in Australia is the Invincible J.A.P., constructed from all-British materials. The builders of this machine have embodied a number of fitments similar to American big-powered cycles, and the design of the whole frame is modelled after them.

    J.A.P. engines has been installed in the 4½, 6, and 8 h.p. models. The gearbox is the British Burman, with plate clutch, and the change is of gate pattern fitted to the lank, and so arranged that it is impossible to overrun the neutral. The twist grip control is a feature, also the big forks, and the 28 x 3 wheels, equipped with hubs for heavy service. The tubing used in the frame construction is Renold's heavy gauge reinforced, and the engine clearance is six inches.

    The production has been manufactured for Australian conditions. Messrs. Gard Bros., of Gouger street, whose policy has always been 'British first,' have secured the local agency.

    Trove NLA: The Mail (Adelaide) Sat 27 Oct 1923 Page 27

    Built by J. W. Empson of North Sydney, 1911-1914
    Empson appears in numerous competition results for the period: French's Forest Hill Climb Nov 1913; 24 Hours Motor Cycle Reliability Trial, Sydney, Nov 1913 (equal first); Blue Mountains trial, Feb 1913; Bobbin Head Hill Climb, May 1914, (first place); Red Cross Hill Climb, Coogee, 8th August 1914.

    Frank Delandro rode Iris motorcycles in several Sydney events. He managed J.W. Epsom's Cycle Works in Falcon St North Sydney until 1912 when he left to begin his own business, becoming a Douglas dealer.
    Sources: Trove,, et al
    Other marques with this name: Disambiguation


    James Holliday
    "Motor Cycles, Motor Cycles, built of Rex parts. P. & R. accumulator; component sets and parts. James Holliday, 199 Spring-st., city."
    The Age, Melbourne, Sat 7 Feb 1903
    This is the only record found, and it is not clear whether the brand name was James Holliday.
    Source: Trove

    J.N. Taylor
    J.N. Taylor of 121 Grenfell Street, Adelaide did not manufacture complete motorcycles, it would seem, but they built frames and manufactured engine components including pistons. They also imported engines.

    Dalm Two-stroke.

    A consignment of Dalm two-stroke engines have been landed and unpacked by the South Australian wholesale agents, Messrs. J. N. Taylor &. Co., Limited. These are being built into two-stroke mounts locally, and the completed article looks neat and attractive...

    The Mail, 10 Jun 1916

    Two machines were registered as "Dalm" in 1920.
    16504 W.A. Farratt, Finnis, 2¾ (h.p.) Dalm.
    Registered SA April 1920

    16759, R. E. Carter, Prospect, 2 Dalm
    Registered SA May 1920

    Agents for Indian, 1925, 1926
    BSA distributors SA 1918, 1919
    JAP distributor for South Australia
    Source: Trove NLA



    James Hill & Sons of 63 Grenfell Street, Adelaide, assembled motorcycles using Kelecom engines from 1902 to 1904, most of which were sold with the Kelecom name on the tank. The engine was named after Belgian engineer, Paul Kelecom. The 1902 machines used 1¾ or 2¼ hp engines in a BSA bicycle frame set, with the engine mounted on the seat tube. In mid-1903, the engine was mounted in the now conventional position in front of the pedal bracket, with choice of 1¾, 2 ¼, 2 ¾ or 3¼ hp engines. Trove NLA.

    C. B. Kellow (Charles Brown Kellow) [1] was a successful cylist, winning the prestigious Austral Wheel Race in 1896, and shortly after the turn of the century raced motorcycles. He ran a bicycle business in Swanston Street, Melbourne with W. Howard Lewis, assuming sole ownership around the turn of the century. Early in 1904 the business moved to larger premises in Lonsdale Street.

    KELLOW Motor Cycles and Bicycles. - Art catalogue, illustrating Australia's best production, post free. C. B. Kellow, manufacturer, 151 Swanston-st. Est. 1889.

    The Age (Melbourne, Vic.) Sat 7 Feb 1903 (Trove) [2]

    By 1904 he was importing Wolseley cars, and in 1905 he was racing motor cars - first a Talbot and then a Napier, for which he became the agent. In 1904 he landed a shipment of 10 cars, 8 of which were sold within 2 days. Motorcycles took a back seat.

    Later he formed the Kellow-Falkiner company which in 1914 was selling Overland, Minerva, Wolsely, Standard, Talbot, Renault, Albion and Rolls-Royce at 456 Bourke St and 206 Russell St.

    In the 1920s they had showrooms at 379 St. Kilda Rd., Melbourne, which could only be described as fittingly palatial for the luxurious automobiles they displayed. [3] Another branch of the company was responsible for importing Australia's first road-train. It was electric.
    Sources: Trove, Leon's Serpolette,, et al.

    1. Henry Brown Kellow (1871-1943) changed his name by deedpoll to Charles.
    2. This is the only reference found thus far to Kellow Motorcycles.
    3. The building now houses the Royce Hotel, and has retained the original splendour.

    "T.J. Richards and Sons, Pulteny St Adelaide. Designers and Builders of the "Kent" Motor Cycle." Trove 1914.
    A newspaper article from 1916 states:
    "L. S. Eglinton again showed that his locally produced Kent is a side-car mount of sterling qualities by winning the side car class. This Kent machine was entirely designed and manufactured here by the rider. Even the castings were done here. It is a truly Australian machine, with Australian tires and Australian 'Copper King' belt."

    One new Kent motorcycle registered Jan 1917. Trove.

    Kent motorcycles appear in the SA Registry records for 1920, for instance:
    17535, G. H. Fidge. Prospect. 3½ (h.p.) Kent. - Oct 1920

    See also Rova and Rova-Kent.
    Source: Trove NLA

    Manufactured by Eglinton & Clarke, 93-97 Pulteny Street, Adelaide

    The Rova Kent was designed and constructed by Messrs. Eglington and Clarke, two prominent members of the Motor Cycle Club. The engine is of the overhead valve type, and has two exhaust and two inlet valves. The four valves are actuated by two long, adjustable tappet rods, extending from the top o£ the cylinder to the timing case. Those tappets work the overhead rocker arms, each one of which is fitted with a compensating device which ensures each pair of valves acting in perfect unison. The cylinder head is separate from the cylinder proper.

    One of the most noticeable features of this engine is the cylinder itself, which is fitted with an auxilliary exhaust port. Practically the whole of the exhaust gas is carried away through the this exhaust port, and into a long TT pattern pipe, which extends past the rear axle of the bicycle. The cylinder is also fitted with non-return valves. The tact of the exhaust gas passing through the auxiliary port means that the heat, which is inseparable from a motor engine, is greatly reduced. The two overhead valves act as scavengers to the rest of the cylinder.

    The crankcase is of polished gun metal, as is the timing case. The timing, wheels and cams are of the outside class, end the unique construction enables any desired valve setting to be secured. A chaindriven Bosch magneto is fitted, and the [] type of B and B carburetter. The machine proved itself in the hill climb, held at Golden Grove on October 5, 1912, and on this latest occasion it more than fulfilled the expectations of the designers. Trove NLA: The Journal (Adelaide, SA) Fri 14 Mar 1913

    Knight Eaton

    Mr Knight Eaton, manager of the Brisbane office of the Austral Cycle Agency, built a motorised bicycle in 1893.

    The first motorcycle imported to Australia arrived in Brisbane in late 1895.

    "What anpears to have been the first power machine of any kind introduced into Queensland was a motor bicycle imported by Mr. Knight-Eaton, then manager of the Austral Cycle Agency (Quensland branch). This was put on at a sports meeting held on the Brisbane Cricket Ground, where it awakened considerable interest."
    The Brisbane Courier, Sat 19 Jan 1907 (Trove)

    Sources:, Trove


    Manufactured by Jack Krown, corner of Elizabeth and Albert Street, Brisbane.

    Krown, a bicycle racer, began riding pacers in 1900 at the Brisbane cycle track.

    His motorcycles were fitted with Minerva engines.

    A report from July 1905 mentions a 2 horsepower Krown and Spencer. This is David Spencer, a fellow motorcycle racer who also built motorcycles in Brisbane.



    Manufactured by Leitch & Co., Gray St, Hamilton, Victoria.
    June 1904, Leitch Motors Built to Order. Ernest Leitch & Co. 385 Lonsdale Street, Melbourne.
    March 1912, advertised Leitch motorcycles, £65.
    1913 advertised Rudge, Thor, E.W.B. (Melbourne-built), JAP, King Dick, FN, Douglas - but no mention of a Leitch motorcycle.
    1914 & 1916 they advertised Indian. 1917 they advertised Leitch Cycles and Indian motorcycles.

    See our LATEST LEITCH MOTORCYCLE. Catalogues Post Free.
    REPAIRS Executed Promptly and at Right Prices. TENNIS RAQUETS restrung Neatly.
    Only the Best Material and Repairs - Our Workshop is the best, and repairs entrusted to us will be executed promptly in a first class style. We repair in a style second to none. Only best material used.
    E. LEITCH & CO. Prop. Ltd, Gray St , Hamillton,
    N. M'DONALD, Manager. D. D. RILEY, Travelling Representative.
    Telephone No. 144.

    Trove NLA: Hamilton Spectator Tue 21 Sep 1909

    N.B. 1. Hamilton had Leitch Pictures (cinema) in those days, possibly related. 2. In 1918 and 1924 there was a Sandford, Leitch Motors in Exhibition St, Melbourne, a car dealer. There is no indication that there was a motorcycle side to this business.


    Manufactured by Bob King of Lennox Engineering Works at 180 Lennox Street, Richmond from 1913 to 1916.

    About a dozen Lennox motorcycles were produced, most of which had engines built by King. Two were apparently each fitted with a twin-cylinder engine from another source.

    Frames were Chater Lea supplied by J.E. Tilley, as were many other components including the engine cylinders.

    The engine used in the Lennox was developed by 'Robbie' Robertson, a J.E. Tilley employee working on the engine of John Duigan's aeroplane, who fitted one of the aero-engine steel cylinders to a new single-cylinder crankcase.
    Source: "A Flying Life: John Duigan and the First Australian Aeroplane" by David Crotty.


    Manufactured by Vivian Lewis Ltd., Lewis Cycle Works, Adelaide from 1901 to 1927.
    174-180 Gawler Place, Adelaide, (1913) 168-180 Gawler Place (1922)
    Branches — Balaklava, Broken Hill, Clare, Kadina, Mount Gambier, Port Pirie, Unley. (1922)

    Established in 1892 to built bicycles, they built cars for a brief period before launching their motorcycle marque, which proved very successful.

    They fitted engines from Minerva (1902-1904), Stevens, Precision, JAP and Villiers, and also their own water-cooled 335cc sidevalve engines, introduced in 1910.

    At the Adelaide Spring Show of 1913 the Lewis 3½ h.p. water-cooled, three-speed motorcyle proved very popular, and by 1914 Lewis motorcycles had won every almost every event they entered, and also established a 24 hour world record."

    A 1920 advertisement offered a Lewis 2-stroke and Lewis 6 h.p. JAP, along with P&M and Sopwith ABC motorcycles.

    Lewis Motor Cycles.

    No branch of Australian industry has achieved greater success than Motor Cycle Manufacturers, as seen by the consistent wins- of locally manufactured machines. Take the last three years' record as an illustration. During 1913-14 season, out of 14 possibles in which they: competed, Lewis riders won first place on 11 occasions. It was in this year that J. G. Ramsey made his famous 24 hour ride on a 3½ horsepower Lewis and won the coveted honor of being the first Australian to establish a worlds' 24 hour record. In this season also the interstate-reliability ride from Adelaide to Melbourne was held and the team of four Lewis riders all rode through without losing a single point - a most unique and creditable record.

    In 1914-15 season ten events were contested and nine first places were secured by the local machine, including the 60 mile championship.

    The Lewis does not live on past victories. This season it has contested on four occasions, and has secured the judges awards of first place in every instance. These competitions are not limited to speed alone, but include reliability runs, hill-climbing contests, and petrol consumption tests. All-round excellence is required to secure such consistent victories, and the Lewis Company are to be congratulated upon having built up in South Australia a reputation for manufacturing a machine that can win against the world's best makes.

    Blyth Agriculturist (SA) Fri 7 Jan 1916 (Trove)

    Sources: Wikipedia NL, Simon Fleming,, Trove NLA


    Ma Belle
    Manufactured by Ma Belle Cycle & Motor Works
    176 Burke Rd., Camberwell. 1916
    Built to order using Precision and JAP engines, 1916 only.

    The "Ma-belle" Works

    Have your Cycle or Motor Cycle built to your order and specification.


    Agents for all the Leading Makes

    Tyres and all accessories


    Tell us your requirements; we offer you the advantages of our practical experience.



    Trove NLA: Hawthorn, Kew, Camberwell Citizen. Fri 16 Jun 1916


    Manufactured by Mallee Cycle Works, Scott Street, Warracknabeal, Victoria, 1905.

    Harry H. Mercer built the machine in his workshop using a Minerva engine and probably BSA frame components sourced from Healing. Later he became an agent for agent for AG Healing & Co.

    The Mallee appeared at the 1910 Warrnambool show. It appeared again at the 2011 show, having been restored.

    Sources: Saward, et al

    Malvern Star

    The Malvern Star brand was established in 1898 and was acquired by Bruce Small in 1920. Prior to this date a small number of motorcycles were produced by the company using imported British-built JAP engines. The company expanded to become Australia's leading manufacturer and assembler of bicycles by the outbreak of World War II in 1939. The Malvern Star Auto-byke was first introduced after World War II as an economical, lightweight motorised bicycle at a time when few cars were available and petrol was still rationed. Malvern Star assembled the machine in Australia using locally-made frames and a variety of imported components including a British-built 98cc single-cylinder Villers Mk. 1 Junior two-stroke engine with a two-speed gearbox. Small had obtained an exclusive Australian licence for these engines in 1945. Similar machines were made in Britain and sold in Australia under the Excelsior brand from 1937 with the same 98cc Villiers engine. Advertising for the Auto-byke promised "fun and adventure in the great outdoors.

    An earlier Malvern Star autocycle incorporates a 49cc Mobylette engine. In the post-1945 years Malvern Star also sold a diminutive 32cc Berini cycle-motor priced at around 8 Pounds. This unit could be fitted over the front forks of any bicycle and was claimed to achieve a fuel economy figure of 240 miles per gallon. Malvern Star also acted as agents for imported Vespa, Jawa and CZ motorcycles and motor scooters which combined with the end of petrol rationing soon made the autocycle obsolete.

    Source: Museums Victoria Collections - Licence: CC BY 4.0

    1918 - Malvern Star 3½ hp JAP in The Victorian Motor Cycle Club reliability trial. Leader (Melbourne, Vic.) Sat 23 Nov 1918

    "Atrocious Villain" to be Flogged

    At the Criminal Court yesterday, before the Chief Justice and a jury of twelve, Thomas James Patten Todd was convicted of an offence against a youth on 9th January last at Pakenham. His Honor termed accused "an atrocious villain," and sentenced him to 3 years' imprisonment and to one Whipping of 15 strokes with the "cat".

    Theft of Motor Cycle.

    A report was mode to the Criminal Investigation Branch yesterday of the theft of a motor cycle, registered No. 19063. The machine was owned by Mr. Harry D. Abraham, customs agent, and was left on the wharf outside No. 4 Victoria Dock while he was attending to business. The machine in a Malvern Star, built by T. S. Finnigan, Malvern, and the engine is a 6 h.p. Twin Jap, the number of-which is known...

    Trove NLA: The Age (Melbourne, Vic.) Tue 21 Mar 1916


    Bruce Small Pioneers the Way to Economic Cycling.

    Born at Ryde, N.S.W., on the 11th December, 1895, Bruce Small commenced a career which was destined to make its mark in commercial life. Employed as a lad in the estate agency business, a grounding in matters pertaining to finance and systems was obtained, and it was in this capacity that even in these days of his early youth, a distinct liking and aptitude for business life was in evidence. Later on the sport of motor cycling engaged his attention, and success in this direction caused him to seek employment where the mechanical trend of his mind could be given full scope, and it was in the capacity of foreman of one of the largest motor cycle factories of Melbourne that he studied the laws of manufacture and production, until in 1920 he took the step which was destined to bring him so much into the public eye, and which promises to eventually become one of the greatest ventures of this kind in Australia.

    The business known as the 'Malvern Star' Cycle Works has been carried on for many years by Mr. T. S. Finnigan, and when Bruce Small assumed command there was a tidy cycle business at 185 Glenferrie road, Malvern. Realising the advertising value of results in the sporting side of the cycling world, but handicapped by the lack of capable riders, he set about to secure talent, and with that object in view his first step was to persuade that wonderful old rider and world's champion, Don Kirkham, to resume training for active competition, and it was into the hands of this veteran he entrusted the coaching of such useful talent as specially came under his notice; the chief of whom has been, of course, the present-day Australasian Road and Motor-paced Champion, Hubert Opperman, whose meteoric career has created such profound impression in sporting circles, and whose name to such a wonderful extent popularises the 'Malvern Star' bicycle, for rarely is the name of Opperman mentioned but the thoughts fly to the 'Malvern Star.'

    Then that youthful prodigy, the late Ernie Lindsay, who met with his decease early this year, (as the result of a motor accident), and who showed promise of becoming the greatest bicycle rider of all time, holding even at the age of 16 years world's records over 100 miles, was another find which came about through his close attention to the sporting side of the business, and his quick discernment of youthful possibilities.

    Other champions, too numerous to mention, but chief among whom would be Jack Watson, present holder of the 100 miles world's record; Roy Johnston, and Bill Smith, of motor paced fame; R. W. (Fatty) Lamb, Jimmy Beer, Geo. Sheppard, Horace Horder, Aubrey Box, and Jack Ballantyne, a body of riders which to-day undoubtedly constitutes the strongest team existing in Australia....

    Trove NLA: The Prahran Telegraph (Vic.) Fri 19 Jun 1925


    A. N. Mapleston built Maple motorcycles 1907-1915 before sailing to England where he joined the Royal Flying Corps.
    Norm Maplestone also developed the Maplestone forks which became world-famous. These were manufactured by the Firth Bros. of Melbourne from about 1914 until the early 1920s, and by Webb in the UK 1920-1923, when the name was chamged to Webb.

    Whilst in England he met the daughter of Frank Baker (Precision). He married her, and returned after the war to set up a business selling Beardmore Precision motorcycles in Elizabeth Street, Melbourne, the heart of Victorian motorcycling for the next 50 years.
    Source: MxN, Trove NLA.


    Two of these were registered in South Australia in 1920.

    16463.- R. C. G. Anderson, Mile-End. 3 (h.p.) N.S.W.
    Registered SA March 1920

    16489.- F. K. G. Boase, Mile-End, 3½ (h.p.) N.S.W.
    Registered SA April 1920
    Source: Trove


  • Peerless

  • Planet
    John Oliver of Kew, Melbourne, had some experience in the motorcycle trade having produced machines under the Planet and Planet Aero marques. His son Monty related that John had arrived home a little the worse for wear after a night on the tiles, then sat drew and up the plans for this behemoth on a piece of brown paper - a story reminiscent of another Australian story, the sketch of the Vincent V-twin on the back of a beer coaster. Or whatever. The Planet became a reality, and could reputedly achieve the very respectable speed of 85 m.p.h - but just where he found roads suitable for such astronomical speeds is a mystery, bearing in mind that the recently set record for a run from Sydney to Melbourne averaged 18mph along the Hume Highway - a narrow dirt road lined with gum trees and rutted by carts and carriages. In the sixties and early seventies parts of the old dirt highway were still plainly visible running parallel to the two-lane macadamised road.
    Source: Museum Victoria

    Manufactured by FB Puckridge Co., Port Lincoln, South Australia
    Produced motorcycles powered by Minerva engines from 1905 to 1910.
    Sources: OTTW, Trove NLA.


    Minerva Engine and best of everything.
    Tried and Tested.
    Full particulars on application,
    Tyres, Accessories and Repairs at Lowest
    Prices, for nett cash only.
    Golf, Cricket, Football, and Tennis Ware at Adelaide Prices.
    F. B. Puckridge,
    Port Lincoln

    Trove NLA: Port Lincoln, Tumby and West Coast Recorder. Fri 16 Jun 1905

    Prince (NSW)
    Manufactured by The Prince Cycle & Motor Works, West Maitland, NSW.
    Built from 1903 to at least 1904 using Minerva, Clement-Garrard and Sarolea engines.
    Source: Trove NLA


    Built on the premises, and fitted with the world- famed "CLEMENT GARARD" ENGINE, and all the LATEST and MOST UP-TO-DATE FITTINGS, and GUARANTEED, PRICE, £60.
    Fitted with the "SAROLET" ENGINE, PRICE, £57 10s.
    Or fitted with the 'MINERVA' ENGINE, PRICE, £55.
    NOTE. — The CLEMENT-GARRARD ENGINE holds ALL THE WORLD'S RECORDS in England, France, and Germany, and is strongly recommended by Motorists throughout the WORLD.
    The LATEST SUCCESS of the CLEMENT GARRARD MOTOR was against ALL-COMERS at Pheonix Park, Dublin, scoring a triumphant victory.
    The Prince Cycle & Motor Works
    West Maitland.

    Trove NLA: The Maitland Daily Mercury, Sat 19 Sep 1903


    Quirk's Mona

    Manufactured by Quirks Lighting & Engineering Ltd, Belmont Street, Alexandria NSW. (1913 - 1915)
    Showrooms at 117 Pitt Street, Sydney.

    Quirk's Mona was built during the early years of WWI. Everything including the 4½ h.p. 496cc sidevalve flat-twin engine was built in-house, with the exception of the Druid-style "Peerless" forks which were sourced from Healing & Co in Melbourne.

    An example was auctioned by Webb's in New Zealand in 2012. It had been part of the Paddy Ryan collection and is thought to be the sole survivor of the 100 or so machines built. It was fairly complete, and the lot included the remains of a second machine. Engine numbers are 272 and 397, and the complete machine was fitted with Maplestone Forks forks, rather than the Peerless which appeared on those pictured in advertisements.

    Considerable interest will be aroused over the statement that a new motorcycle is under construction in Sydney, and 'will be placed upon the market shortly. It will be known as the "Royal Q.," and already New South Wales motorists are giving it a good deal of attention. The machine has been designed by Mr. E. Francis, of the Quirk Lighting and Engineering Company, of Alexandria (Sydney). The engine has many ingenious feature. It is of the horizontal twin opposed cylinders type, with bore and stroke of 87 x 97. A chain transmits the power from the engine to a countershaft three-speed gearbox, the final drive being taken by belt. A metal-to-metal clutch is fitted, being hand operated, and worked by a cam. The spring frame which Mr. Francis is now perfecting will be standardised. Mr. Francis is an expert rider, and has so much confidence in the new local production that he intends to attack the mile record on it.

    The West Australian, Sat 20 Feb 1915

    Sources:,, Trove NLA.



    Matheson & Ripper, 295 Lonsdale St, Melbourne.

    Numerous models were built for Regnis from 1912 to 1920, most of them by A. G. Healing. These included the Peerless fitted with JAP, MAG, King Dick, Precision and De Luxe engines, all of which were sold under the Regnis brand.

    Originally named Lamande & McColl, the firm which marketed the Regnis changed its name several times before becoming Matheson & Ripper.

    Sources: Simon Fleming, Trove NLA, et al

    N.B. The word "regnis" is derived from a Latin word meaning "king". Terms referring to royalty abound in the motorcycle world, and were very popular in Australia where, to this day, the Governer General can request that the British monarch dismiss the elected leader of the country. This actually happened in 1974. In 2014 an Australian prime minister knighted Prince Philip, a bewildering act which caused much derision. Later seen by millions eating a raw, unpeeled onion on national television, Tony Abbott has some distinct similarities to King George III. Abbott, a "10 Pound Pom" (an immigrant from England in the 50s), boasted frequently that he had turned back the boats, and sent refugees to offshore detention camps where they were incarcerated in inhumane conditions, often for many years, before being returned to the horrors they had fled. Many died.

    Abbott, whose party had performed a Brutus act and deposed him, replacing him with a multi-millionaire who kept much of his wealth in a Cayman Islands tax haven, was duly repatriated to the (dis)United Kingdom to help destroy their country with Brexit.

    The Rose
    Manufactured by Mr. N. A Eunson of South, The Rose Motor is believed to have been built from 1904 to 1913. It was a typical veteran powered by a Brown IOE engine.

    The firm was taken over by H. Canet of Blue Bell cycles in 1916 and became Rose and Blue Bell Motor and Cycle Works.

    "H. CANET, of the "Blue Bell" Cycle Works has bought Mr. N. Eunson's Rose Motor and Cycle Business, and will now carry on both businesses in the premises lately occupied by Mr. N. A Eunson."
    Shepparton News Mon 8 May 1916

    Sources: OTTW, Trove NLA.

    Built in Renmark, South Australia. Advertised in 1913 only.

    Your ROSENTHAL Cycle
    Or your ROSENTHAL Motor Cycle.
    ROSENTHAL, the Cycle & Motor Manufacturer."
    Renmark Pioneer, Fri 30 May 1913
    Source: Trove NLA


    Leon writes that "Sampson's, 108 Pulteney Street in Adelaide c.1921.
    Results from Trove:
    1. 1920 Sampson's 158 Rundle St sold motorcycle tyres, accessories etc, but no Samson or other brand of MC mentioned.
    2. 1924 Sampsons sold bicycles, 164-166 Pulteney St.
    Sources: Leon Mitchel, Trove NLA.

    Solar (NZ)

    It seems likely that Solar NZ rebranded Sun motorcycles. See Sun Motorcycles

    Southern Cross

    Built by the Harris brothers of Kellyville NSW. Only four were constructed, one of which has been restored. They built their own engines and fitted them to frames and running gear from various sources.

    The Sister-in-Law of Norm Askew (of Wiley Park) sold the bike to Bob Levy (of speedway fame) and it was later in the hands of Ray Owen, who restored it at considerable cost. It changed hands again and then was bought by a member of the Harris brothers family.

    An engine also survives and is in Tasmania.

    Source: Howard Burrows at EML
    Other marques with this name: Disambiguation

    Manufactured by Bennett and Wood, Sydney.[1]
    A 1904 advertisement reads "Speedwell F.N. Motor-Cycle".[2]
    An image from the Victoria Museum shows a motorcycle dated 1911 with "Speedwell" on the tank. Another image of a WWI despatch rider kneeling beside a motorcycle with Speedwell Australia on the tank is dated 1917. Both machines are rebadged FN shaft drive machines from Belgium.
    A secondhand 6 h.p. Speedwell-JAP was advertised in October 1917.
    1921. Fred Hoad of Tumut, Speedwell and Abingdon motor-cycles.

    1. Manufacture is incorrectly attributed on some sites to Bennett & Barkell. The name Speedwell was in use by Bennett and Wood on their bicycles since the days of the penny-farthing.
    2. Trove NLA


    is a machine that fulfils every possible requirement for the motorist who considers enjoyment to be the great desideratum. He looks for reasonable, comfortable, but not excessive speed; he wants power for hill-climbing; he expects a fair absence of vibration, even running, constructional strength, low petrol consumption, and reliability.

    Every point is embraced in the Two-speed Speedwell, and we guarantee that the motor-cyclist will endorse this statement, and find that we have in no manner exaggerated the sweet-running and satisfaction-giving qualities of this standard Motor-bike.

    Price comes last, as it should, for it means less than nothing if it is not accompanied by quality. Still, the price is remarkable for such a machine, and points to a very large turnover, which enables us to accept SIXTY-FIVE POUNDS, Cash,
    or £70 on easy terms. We shall be pleased to make you a liberal allowance for your old machine. BENNETT AND WOOD, LTD.,

    Trove NLA: The Sydney Morning Herald, Sat 22 Apr 1911. Page 8


    Manufactured by David Spencer (1870-1958), Haig Street, Torwood, Brisbane. 1905-1911

    Between 1905 and 1911 at least ten of these racing machines are known to have been built, two of which survive intact - a 475cc model (restored) and a 380cc machine.

    "...cedar and bronze patterns for casting crankcases, flywheels, cylinders and heads, carburetors and frame lungs that survive to this day. Spencer, also made from scratch his own control levers, petrol taps and oil pumps, machining and assembling the motorcycles himself."

    D. Spencer on his 2 h.p. or 2¾ h.p. motorcycle is mentioned often in the motorcycle competition reports for 1907, 1908, 1909, and 1910.

    There is a record of a Krown & Spencer motorcycle from July 1905. The Krown motorcycles were fitted with Minerva engines.

    Spencer died in 1958. He and his wife Alice had nine children.
    Sources:, Trove.

    Manufactured by A.D.Tyler of Sphinx Motor Co, with address listed as Peel Street, Adelaide and Bent Street, Adelaide. Dates are given as c1903~1907 and 1903-1912.

    In 1903-04 they produced the Sphinx Brown, with an engine from Brown in the UK. Later they built water-cooled versions of the Sphinx using engines from Advance.

    A fire at the works in Peel Street in May 1904 brought a halt to proceeding after only a dozen or so machines had been built.

    The premises presented a sorry spectacle after the fire had been extinguished. The ground floor was almost covered with the remains of what were once costly motor bicycles and parts. The steel rims were doubled up like pieces of bent hoopiron, the tyres had completely disappeared, and altogether the bicycles looked as if they had been tossed aside ior some rubbish heap.

    The Advertiser, Mon 23 May 1904

    The firm restarted in 1907 (possibly in Bent St) marketing imported Advance motorcycles and tricars which they rebranded. They ceased trading in 1912 or 1913.

    "Motor Bicycle Handicap (two laps, open to club members only - A D Tyler, Sphinx, 2¾ hp, scr."
    "Car Stopping Competition - A. D. Tyler, (Sphinx, 8 hp)."
    "Starting Competition (for motor cars) - A. D. Tyler (Sphinx Brown, 8 h.p.)"

    The Register (Adelaide) Monday 14 November 1904

    N.B. There was an W. Tyler, motorcycle dealer of Flinders St Adelaide 1906-1908, and a Sphinx bicycle was built in Perth WA in that era. However, very little advertising appears in Trove about A.D.Tyler or Sphinx Motor Co.

    Sources: OTTW, Trove NLA, Simon Fleming,, et al

    Other marques with this name: Disambiguation


    Swastika motorcycles were built initially by Jimmy Wells, and later by Lou Borgelt, at 144 Magill Road, Maylands, S.A. At that time the symbol did not have the sinister implications it gained in the 1930s.[1] Wells commenced his business in 1909 and built the first bike about 1914. These early machines used mostly Villiers engines, and a few JAPs. He was assisted in the assembly work by Lou Borgelt, who at the time was apprenticed to Wyatt Motoria, helping Wells at night by cutting and pinning frame components, ready for Wells to braze the next day.

    In early 1915 Wells was in financial difficulties and the business was put into the hands of the liquidator. Borgelt, just out of his apprenticeship, bought the remains, initially seeking jobs with quick cash turnover. A few machines were built using leftover parts, but no more were built during WW1. In 1918 Borgelt started assembling again, using components bought from Taylor’s [2] in Adelaide, and JAP engines. His later machines were built by Healing and rebadged. The end came in 1922 when Borgelt obtained the New Imperial agency. These JAP-engined machines were superior to the local machines.

    Source: Nick Smith quoting from Rob Saward's tome, with corrections by Robert Elliott.

    In June 1915 Wells enlisted in the AIF and prior to being shipped off he sold the business to Borgelt. A member of the 10th Battalion he was received a medical discharge in 1916 and was sent back to Australia. He was 24 years old.


    Intends To Visit Isle Of Man For T.T. Races

    Mr. L. A. Borgelt, who has been connected with the motor cycle trade since 1909, will leave for England by the Moldavia today. He will visit motor cycle factories in England and on the Continent. and intends to see the Tourist Trophy races on the Isle of Man. He will be away for six months. Mr. Borgelt was the guest of honor at a dinner given by representatives of the motor cycle trade, salesmen and speedmen, at the Hotel Botanic on Tuesday night.

    The president of the Motor Cycle Traders' Association (Mr. S. J. Lower) occupied the chair. Other speakers were Messrs. Frank Taylor, P. Moody, W. W. Devling (on behalf of the Motor Cycle Club of South Austria), J. Chapman, Arnold Hansen. George Bolton. D. Faulkner, L. Elliott, and L. Woodrow. Mr. Borgelt began work with the old Wyatt Motoria in 1909, under Messrs. L. Blake and W. Todd.

    In 1915 he opened a business in Maylands. He first entered for competitions in 1920 and won various trials, hill climbs, and races at Sellick's Beach. In 1922. he toured England and the Continent, re turning by way of America in 1923. Mr. Borgelt was one of the first riders to compete on the Gawler racecourse track when it was used for motor cycle races.

    The Advertiser (Adelaide, SA) Thu 27 Feb 1936 (Trove)

    1. The Swastika is a Tibetan Buddhist symbol which was commonly found in many designs, for instance bookbinding decorations.
    2. J.N. Taylor, JAP distributor for South Australia.

    Further reading: There is an excellent article on the Swastika-JAP in OldBike Magazine by Robert Elliot and Jim Scaysbrook, 1st September 2014.


    Manufactured by Timothy Hunter, a motor-cycle dealer and racer, from 2004. The firm initially built pitbikes and minibikes, and later developed 125 and 140cc offroad machines. There were plans to market 250 and 300cc dirt machines produced by GasGas in Spain.
    They also market Ebikes.
    Sources: Wikipedia,


    Manufactured by Chas Hay and Son, agents for Douglas, Villiers, Blackburne and Invincible-JAP

    9 Invermay Road, Launceston

    There appears to be no reference to the Torpedo motorcycle of Launceston in years other than 1924-25.


    BEST in 3½ H.P. CLASS, £58.

    OR £25 DOWN, £1 PER WEEK.

    Includes all the latest features. Villiers engine, with fly-wheel magneto, driven off the crank shafts. No chains or cogs, no valves or timing gear in engine, no -trouble.


    Chas. S. Hay and Son,

    Opposite Railway Station. INVERMAY-ROAD. Phone 969.


    Examiner (Launceston, Tas.) Sat 7 Feb 1925 (Trove)

    Source: Trove NLA


    Manufactured by S. Gilbert & Sons, 1904-c1915

    Stephen Gilbert began business in 1902 constructing bicycles in Strathalbyn, South Australia. The first motorcycles appeared in 1904 under the name "Treblig" (a semordnilap of "Gilbert") fitted with Minerva engines sourced from Healings. Twin cylinder versions were introduced in 1907, and in 1910 they began fitting JAP motors.

    The firm was still trading 110 years later as Gilbert Motors Strathalbyn.


    Last week Mr. Gilbert, of this town, did a fast ran on the Treblig motor manufactured bv his firm here, leaving Strathalbyn at 12.2 and arriving at the post office Adelaide as. the tower clock chimed 1.30, the thirty five miles over partly cut up and generally bad road, thus being accomplished in one hour and twenty-eight minutes...

    Southern Argus (Port Elliot, SA) Thu 14 Jul 1904



    ... a very creditable display of 'Treblig' and other bicycles, motors, &c, from the local cycle and motor factory of Messrs. S. Gilbert & Sons.

    Southern Argus (Port Elliot, SA) Thu 10 Oct 1907


    STRATHALBYN SHOW ..A Treblig motor was on view fitted with a Minerva 2 3/4 h.p. air-cooled motor, and the latest torpedo shaped tank, which hold 2 1/2 gal. of petrol. High tension magneto is fitted without the coil, which is usual with other ignitions. The control is fixed to the handle bars, turning the right hand grip altering the spark advance. It is also fitted with an automatic carburettor. Spring forks are supplied, and being a long machine riding is very comfortable.

    Southern Argus (Port Elliot, SA) Thu 29 Oct 1908


    Messrs Gilbert and Sons of this town have just completed a very fine motor-cycle of their well-known 'Treblig' brand, which has in it several new features, bringing it up to the very latest style. It is fitted with a J.A.P. twin cylinder engine of four horsepower, high tension magneto, Brown and Barlow carburettor, three-speed gear, spring forks, and has all the newest devices for simple working, nothing better having yet been applied in this State. The machine has good ground clearance, works almost noiselessly, climbs hills with the greatest ease at top speed, and is most beautifully fitted up, the high-class workmanship leaving nothing to be desired. Messers Gilbert are to be congratulated oh their latest type of cycle, which surpasses altogether any of their previous excellent productions.

    Southern Argus (Port Elliot, SA) Thu 2 Jul 1914

    Sources: Trove NLA, Simon Fleming, et al



    Manufactured by Alfred E. Holmes, Scottsdale, Tasmania, 1914-1918

    It is reported that Veribest motorcycles were constructed using Villiers, Precision, Peugeot and Saroléa engines. The Holmes bicycle of that brand is mentioned in the press for those years, including several in 1913, but there is no mention of a Veribest motorcycle.



    Having purchased the business lately carried on by FRITH BROS., the public are hereby notified that the business is now carried on in the new premises, KING-STREET.

    BICYCLE REPAIRS and all small Machinery Repairs effected.

    B.S.A. Bikes Built to Order for £12/10/-. High-grade English Machines built to order, from £8.

    Remittance must accompany all Orders by Post.

    Alf. E. HOLMES.

    Daily Telegraph (Launceston, Tas. : 1883 - 1928) Sat 3 May 1913



    (Alf. E. Holmes and Tas. Holmes)

    Wish to notify the public that they have now taken over the Motor and Engineering Business in King Street, Scottsdale, lately carried on by Mr F. H. Briggs, and formerly by Alf E. Holmes.

    Car owners can now rely upon getting their work promptly attended to, and satisfactorily carried out by skilled mechanics, who have had at least 5 years experience.

    All kinds of motor car, motor cycle, engineering, water and gas fittings done at shortest possible notice.

    North-Eastern Advertiser (Scottsdale, Tas) Fri 14 Jun 1918


    Motor and Engineering Works

    A Progressive Business Scottsdale and the North East Coast generally are fortunate in possessing such an up-to-date and complete motor and engineering shop as that so successfully conducted by Holmes .Bros, at their commodious and well equipped establishment, King Street. A glance round shows that there is no need for the motor car driver motor cyclist, or ordinary push cyclist to go to the city for every class of repair and for the very best accessories and requisites. This shop is well equipped with all the most modern devices for producing the best possible work, and the proprietary have succeeded admirably in satisfying the public of their ability to execute repairs or small engineering work in the very best and most reliable manner, at prices in many cases below those of city gauges and firms. That being so. every Northeastern motor and cycle man should make a point of supporting local industry and progressive enterprise, all exemplified by the fine work turned out by this popular firm, and give Holmes Bros the patronage their merit richly deserves.

    Passing motorists will here find all supplies of best petrols, oil, lamps tyres, tubes, etc at lowest possible prices, and all A1 quality. This popular and progressive firm have also, made a solid reputation in with their famous and fast 'Veribest' cycle, which has proved true to name on many a Tasmanian track. This machine, which is one of the most reliable and popular, is "built like a watch" of the very best materials and parts, whilst the workmanship and finish are as high class as that put into any machine in the State. Indeed the whole record of this popular firm is one of progress, achieved as the result of giving patrons the best work possible. Holmes Bros are also local agents for the world famous Red Indian motor cycles.

    North-Eastern Advertiser (Scottsdale, Tas.) Tue 24 Jun 1919

    Sources: Simon Fleming, Trove NLA

    Manufactured by James B. Wilson in Sydney.

    The Victa used JAP engines of 3½ to 6 h.p. housed in Chater Lea frames.

    A caricature titled "J. B. ('VICTA') WILSON, Motor-cycle Club of New South Wales" appears in the Saturday Referee and the Arrow (Sydney, NSW) Sat 23 Jan 1915.

    E. Wyburd (6 Victa), (2 mentions)

    Referee (Sydney) Wed 17 Dec 1913

    B. Murray, 5 h.p. Victa;

    Referee (Sydney) Wed 8 Jan 1913

    E. Wyburd (Victa), 6 h.p
    J.B. Wilson. (Victa), 3½ . h.p.

    The Daily Telegraph (Sydney) Wed 23 Jun 1915

    E. Whyburg 3½. Victa

    Sunday Times (Sydney) Sun 30 Jun 1912

    R Murrav Victa-Levis 2 3/4

    The Daily Telegraph (Sydney) Sat 6 Feb 1915

    J. Wilson (6 Victa).
    A Fletcher (6 Victa).

    The Daily Telegraph (Sydney) Wed 10 Dec 1913

    G. Whyburd Victa 3½

    The Daily Telegraph (Sydney) Mon 24 Jun 1912

    R. Murray Victa Levis 3½

    The Daily Telegraph (Sydney) Thu 24 Jun 1915

    R., Murray; (6 Victa)
    J. B. Wilson (3½. Victa),
    L. V. Palmer (6 Rome)(Roma?)
    E. Meller (3½ Iris Precision)

    Sunday Times (Sydney) Sun 22 Jun 1913

    E. Wyburd (3½ Victa) 30 sec 1

    Sunday Times (Sydney) Sun 15 Aug 1915

    Sources: Simon Fleming, Trove NLA

    Manufactured by JN Taylor & Co of Adelaide, 1919-1921
    Machines were built using Blackburne and JAP engines. A factory fire in 1921 brought production to a halt. The Victor is the only Australian marque which used the Blackburne engine, and quite why they did so is something of a mystery as Taylor's were the JAP distributors for South Australia.
    Source: OTTW, Leon Mitchel.


    Manufactured by Wagener Bros, 149 Rundle St, Adelaide from 1906 using Minerva engines.
    In 1913 the Wagener name was associated with Blue Bell motorcycles, still in Adelaide but at a different address.
    Sources: OTTW, Trove NLA.

    Some models were built by Sun in the UK and rebadged.


    1932 Models Arrive.

    THE British Motor Cycle Company has received a batch of the new 1932 model Waratah motor cycles.

    These machines are totally redesigned, having visible top rail, tapering away under the saddle, and giving an exceptionally low riding position, and gaining very high ground clearance

    An interesting feature is the enclosed webbing of the front forks, making them exceptionally strong and practically unbreakable.

    The machine, which is quite an attractive lightweight, is fitted with electric light, battery, and dimmer, soft top saddle, and balloon tyres. The engine is a Villiers 147 c.c. two-cycle type, giving remarkable brake horsepower. Petrol consumption is estimated at approximately 150 miles to the gallon The machine is quite suitable for Queensland road conditions.

    All persons interested should not fail to inspect this impressive English lightweight machine, which is now on display at the showrooms of the British Motor Cycle Co., 205 Adelaide Street, Brisbane.

    Trove NLA Brisbane Courier Dec 3, 1931

    Manufactured by Wyatt Motoria, Grenfell Street, Adelaide.

    Motorcycles were produced from 1909 or earlier until 1918, using JAP and Dalm engines. They also sold Wyatt sidecars.

    "City agents Norton Motor Cycles." 1909


    The above is a reproduction of a front view of the Wvatt Motoria's new premises in Grenfell street. The frontage is a 40 ft. one, and the depth is approximately 100 ft., with a back entrance from Twin street in addition to the garage entrance. The garage and workshop occupy the largest portion of the space, although an accessory department ihas been arranged and a set of offices fitted up in the left-hand front comer of the premises. It is probably the largest exclusively motor cycle house in the Commonwealth.

    There are over 40 machines on view for sale, and several sidecars. The workshop is up-to-date in every respect.

    Saturday Mail (SA) Sat 13 May 1916 (Trove)

    Over 40 motorcycles were sold in October 1917:
    Wyatt Villiers to Mr. Syvret, Semaphore
    Wyatt sidecar to Mr. Rogers, Semaphore
    Wyatt sidecar to Mr. Spear, Magiil
    Wyatt sidecar to Mr. Hawber, city
    Wyatt Jap and sidecar to Mr. Thomas, Franklin street
    Wyatt Jap and sidecar to Mr. Oke, Norwood
    Wyatt Jap and sidecar to Mr. Reed, Anstrai Gardens
    Wyatt two-stroke to Mr. Spencer, Glen Osmond
    Wyatt sidecar to Mr. Wohlfish, Mount Mary
    Wyatt Jap to Mr. Smith. Norwood.
    In addition to Wyatt motorcycles listed above, they sold Dayton, Triumph, New Hudson, Norton, Douglas, Royal Exchange, Hazlewood, NSU and others. Many of these were no doubt secondhand.
    The Mail (Adelaide, SA) Sat 3 Nov 1917

    There were many Wyatt machines registered in SA in 1920, for instance:
    10871.—C. J. Todd, Glengylc street, Woodville, 6 (h.p.) Wyatt J.A.P. - June 1920
    16890.—M. S. Hawker, Jun Andrew street, 6 (h.p.) Wyatt J.A.P. - June 1920

    In 1925 Wyatt was South Australian distributor for Francis-Barnett and AJS.

    Advertisements mentioning Wyatt became scarce in the early 30s, and none at all after 1932.

    In February 1936 the Adelaide Advertiser reported, "Mr. Borgelt began work with the old Wyatt Motoria in 1909, under Messrs. L. Blake and W. Todd. In 1915 he opened a business in Maylands." See also Swastika).

    Sources: Simon Fleming, Trove NLA, et al


    Built in 1915 by AC Morley of Minalton, South Australia, this was a 3½ h.p. motorcycle.

    In January 1911 the sale of the land and premises housing "MR. A. C. MORLEY, who is retiring from business..." appeared in the local newspaper. The sale included tools of trade, 3 bicycles, a car and a motorcycle.

    Streaky Bay Agricultural Show.

    Quite a number of exhibits not for competition were shown to advantage. The exhibit of the Eyre's Peninsula Trading Co. displayed by Mr A. C. Morley consisting of Morris Cowley, and Morris London cars, a Victoria player piano, a Vulcan 30cwt. truck, Levis motorcycles, and a Bullock cycle were worthy of special mention.

    West Coast Sentinel (Streaky Bay, SA) Sat 10 Oct 1925

    Morley's Motor Cycle Sales mentioned, Port Lincoln Times 1951.

    There was also a J.E. Morley motorcycle dealer in Grenfell St. Adelaide who sold Hobart motorcycles.
    Sources: Simon Fleming; Trove NLA.


    Manufactured by Lightburn & Co. Ltd., Camden, South Australia
    Based on the British Anzani Astra, the outlandish Zeta microcar had a locally made fibreglass body powered initially by a Villiers 324cc two-stroke twin and then by an Excelsior three-cylinder engine. Based on the Astra (UK) chassis to which they had purchased the rights, 28 front-wheel-drive minicars were built from 1964 to 1966.
    One of these participated in the gruelling 7000 mile Ampol Trial of 1964.
    Lightburn was a well-established manufacturer of tools, cement mixers, washing machines and fiberglass boats.
    Source: Bruce Weiner Microcar Museum


    A brief note about motorcycles represented on Australian Postage Stamps