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British Motorcycles

Motorcycles, Mopeds and Scooters Made in Great Britain

Notes on some of the rarer British marques

This page lists brands of which little historical information is currently available.
For a more complete listing visit the British Index.

A

AC Sociable Tricars

B

Barko
Built by Arthur Barker, the 1915 Barko is quite similar to the 1915 Calthorpe Junior.
Source: Graeme Robert Wilson


Border Bandit
Built by Rob North and a partner in the early 1970s, possibly in California.


Busy Bee
These were cycle attachment engines from the 1950s which were home-built using instructions published in Model Engineer in 1951.
Source: BuyVintage


E

Earles
Ernie Earles built a simply beautiful BSA 500cc twin using a light alloy frame and forks of his own design. These forks were used on BMW motorcycles for many years, and the design remains very much in favour with sidecar riders.
The Earles BSA is on display at the Sammy Miller museum.


G

GMS
Geoff Monty was a successful racer and motorcycle parts specialist who developed a series of racing motorcycles. The GMS Special used a heavilly modified BSA Goldstar engine of 250cc. In partnership with Allen Dudley-Ward the Monward Triumph was produced in 500 and 650cc versions (the fastest of which was believed capable of 145mph), and in 1966 a Rickman Metisse-framed Triumph appeared.
Monty died in 2009, aged 92.
Source: Wikipedia


H

Harding
Manufactured in Bath by Gordon and Loxley in 1921, their focus was on invalid carriages, which they built under government contract during WWII. Production ceased in the early 1950s.
Some post-war models used Cyclemaster engines.


1939 Haythorn 4 500cc

Esta moto de construcción artesanal tenía un motor de cuatro cilindros con árbol de levas a la cabeza, refrigerado por aceite, y una novedosa transmisión de dos velocidades utilizando dos transmisiones diferentes por cadena a la rueda trasera. Este ejemplar, en el museo de Sammy Miller, es la segunda de las dos motocicletas hechas por John Haythorn, un ingeniero automotriz escocés que trabajaba para un fabricante de sobrealimentadores. Su desarrollo finalizó cuando fue trasladado para apoyar el esfuerzo de guerra en 1940, pero ya era una máquina utilizable que había sido presentada a la prensa del motociclismo.
A handcrafted motorcycle which has an oil-cooled OHC four-cylinder engine with a novel two-speed transmission using two different transmissions per chain to the rear wheel. The second of only two built is on exhibition at the Sammy Miller Museum. It was constructed by John Haythorn, a Scottish automotive engineer who worked for a supercharger manufacturer. Its development ended when he was transferred to support the war effort in 1940, but it was already a usable machine that had been presented to the motorcycling press.
Source: Sergio Scalerandi

S

Hunslet
The Hunslet Scootacar was manufactured by Hunslett Engineering Company of Leeds, better known for its Puffing Billy style locomotives. Powered by a Villiers 9E 197cc engine, the tandem two-seater microcar had a fully enclosed fibreglass body. Designed by Henry Brown, around 1000 of these three-wheelers were built betweeen 1958 and 1964. From 1961 they were also available with a 324cc Villiers twin in the Mk3 version.

An example of the Mk1 was on display at the Bruce Weiner Microcar Museum for many years.


X

Xtra
The Xtra was an English three-wheel cyclecar built from 1922 to 1924 by Xtra Cars, Ltd., of Chertsey, Surrey.




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