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Notes on some of the rarer British marques
This page lists brands for which we currently have only an historical precis.
For a more complete listing visit the British Index.
Manufactured by Mike Wood and John Aley, 63 Ditton Walk, Cambridge, mid to late sixties.
This was minibike sold as kit, weighs 65lb assembled. It was powered by a Clinton two-stroke industrial pull-start engine. Several hundred were built.
Allen-Bennett Motor Co of 9 to 11 Royal Parade, West Croydon
In 1922-23 they offered a 2 1/4hp lightweight under their own brand.
Dealers for Douglas, Calthorpe, Matchless, Rudge, Royal Ruby, Rover, OK, Triumph and several others.
Sources: gracesguide.co.uk, contemporary literature.
Aspin rotary valve engines were built by Frank Aspin in Lancashire, beginning in 1937. A 250cc version would rev to 14,000 rpm, but sadly it was plagued by heating problems and before a solution could be found, war came.
The engine was apparently used in speedway, as mentioned here. It was developed along similar lines to the Cross engine.
Sources: aspin.info, douglas-self.com, oldbikemag.com.au, patents.google.com/patent/US2245743A/en
Manufactured by Austel Engineering of Maidenhead, Berkshire, 1985-1991
Chris Castell fitted Morris Mini engines to motorcycles designed for solo and sidecar use. Some 11 machines were built, no two the same. As combinations they were probably brilliant. Aesthetically not so much.
Sources: london-motorcycle-museum.org, wikipedia.en
A. V. Motors 1902-1903
Avon Tri-mobile Bristol, 1905
Manufactured in Glasgow by Lionel Ashley Baddeley (1879-1953)
A report reads:
1907 Auto-Cycle Club 24-hours Run - London-Plymouth-London
Held 26th July 1907. Friday-Saturday. London-Plymouth-London - 423 miles.
L. A. Baddeley, 3 h.p. Baddeley; (Gold Medal)
Built by Arthur Barker, the 1915 Barko is quite similar to the 1915 Calthorpe Junior.
Source: Graeme Robert Wilson
Berkeley Microcars 1956-1960
Built by Rob North and a partner in the early 1970s, possibly in California.
A New Big Twin for Solo Work.
THE Brenda Cycle Co., Moor Street, Coventry, has recently produced a model in which the very latest side-by-side valve super-sporting twin J.A.P. engine is neatly housed in a low and compact frame. The specification of this machine has been got out by Mr. Erling Poppe, and includes 26-in. by 3-in. ribbed Dunlop cord tyres, close-ratio Sturmey-Archer gearbox (the ratios of which are 31/3, 41/4 and 51/3 to 1), Druid forks and final drive by Brampton chain. A luggage carrier is optional. A feature of the machine is its extraordinary compactness and its maneuverability. The centre of gravity is very low, and speeds of over 80 miles an hour can be obtained. Price is £115.
Source: Undated cutting most likely from "Motor Cycling".
Burbury Sidecars and Sidecar Chassis
MODEL No. 30
"METEOR." Coach-built Body.
We are manufacturers of numerous models of Complete Sidecars for Touring and Racing, with Coach-built, Steel, Wicker, and Cane Bodies. Also Side- car Chassis in 14 distinct models. Made to suit any make of Motor Cycle.
Painted and upholstered any colour. Tool Box under seat, and extra Tool Box at rear as illustrated.
T. CADBY & SONS, Ltd., Birmingham.
Works : Rolfe Street, Smethwick; Hunters Vale, and Burbury Street, Birmingham. Write for lists. EXPORT a Speciality.
The Motor Cycle, September 25th, 1919.
Butler & Jordan
90 Bore Brooklands Special 1911
This JAP OHV V-Twin is a unique machine of which little is known apart from the owner's name on documents from the 1920s, Lawrence Butler. Of Jordan there is only conjecture.
These were cycle attachment engines from the 1950s which were home-built using instructions published in Model Engineer in 1951.
Manufactured by Mead & Deakin, Tyseley, Birmingham. Produced in 1923 and likely other years.
"Canoelet Stands for all that is best in Sidecar Construction"
Source: Period advertising.
Carlton Motor Co
The Carlton Motor Co of Cricklewood, London, manufactured carburettors and engines for cars and motorcycles from 1902. These engines were fitted to the Fly motorcycle of 1902. The firm, owned by Arthur Gower, was absorbed in 1902 by Coronet of Coventry, whose chief engineer was Walter Iden. They built cars and automobile engines, but do not appear to have been involved with motorcycles.
Further information on Carlton: Stanley Show 1902
Sources: Graces Guide, The Motor Cycle.
N.B. Unrelated to Frederick Hanstock's Coventry firm which built Carlton Motorcycles.
Manufactured by the Celtic Cycle Co of Dublin, early 1900s
A 1903 Celtic fitted with a 188cc FN engine was part of the Harry Lindsay collection, and is the only known survivor.
The firm was an engineering company which made wheels and had an early involvement in tyres. They made bicycles which were sold in Ireland and London before building motorcycles. They later moved to Great Ship Street next to Dublin Castle as Lindsay & Sons and remained in business until about 1990 when the third generation to run the business retired.
Source: Robert Nason in the Motorcycles 1867-1930 FB Group.
Manufactured by A and B Garage & Cycle Co c.1903~1910
The factory and workshops were located in Bondgate in the centre of Alnwick and Hide Hill in Berwick, and they also had garages in Belford and Ayton, and an agent in Alnmouth.
The company was established by Mr Charles Blackwood Ford but it was probably trading as well before that. Ford was still General Manager in 1910.
A Cheviot motorcycle was ridden by W Atkinson in the 1909 Scottish Five Days Trial
Source: The Early Motor Bicycle Issue 21, June 2022, edited by Martin Shelley of the VMCC.
Built in 1949 for speed records, the streamliner was fitted with a 500cc horizontally opposed four-cylinder engine and a cigar-shaped body in which the rider lay prone.
Manufactured by Colmore Motor Cycle Depot, agents for A.C, Morgan, Calthorpe, Singer, Morris-Oxford, Enfield, Ford, and Humber.
31, Colmore Row, Birmingham. 49, John Bright Street, Birmingham.
Mentioned as using Precision engines, this was possibly a one-off built for the Colmore trial. The Australian rider S.L. Bailey is thought to have worked at Colmore after leaving Humber, subsequently joining Douglas.
Sources: Advertisement in The Motor Cycle, September 26th 1912, et al
"The Coventry Duplex Co.'s motor bicycle with Motosacoche attachment. Note the special construction of the front fork."
Source: The Motor Cycle, 1907
Whilst not a manufacturer of motorcycles, their history is important in the evolution of the automotive industry.
They developed a production line near the turn of the century, possibly influencing Henry Ford who visited the factory in Pottery Lane, Openshaw, Manchester.
They developed the first production rotary valve engine in 1886 and this remained in production until 1902.
When AJS when it bankrupt in 1931, Crossley purchased a good deal of the stock and built some 300 cars using AJS components.
Built by Mr. Raymond V. E. de B. Crawshaw in 1910, this very attractive rear wheel drive tricycle is thought to have been a one-off.
Source: The Motor Cycle
Philip Dingley established the company in 1890. Based at Viaduct Works, 74 Spon Street, Coventry, they built Starley bicycles.
The Red Book of 1920 lists them as a manufacturer of motorcycles.
An article on the firm at onlinebicyclemuseum.co.uk suggests that Dingley took over the old Starley factory at Viaduct Works, Coventry, and mentions that Davison Motorcycles give that address in their advertising in the early 1900s. There was a Starley motorcycle built in 1902/03.
Source: Graces Guide, onlinebicyclemuseum.co.uk.
A quite remarkable special built in Scotland in 1921 by an aircraft engineer, the Duncan has a JAP 980cc sidevalve V-twin mounted transversely in the frame a la Guzzi. Power is delivered to the rear wheel via a two-speed gearbox and shaft drive, and the rear wheel is suspended by air shocks with swing-arm. Now restored and on display at the Sammy Miller Museum, the machine was rather more than somewhat ahead of its time.
In the Dunton electric tricycle, the batteries and electric motor are located on either side of the front wheel. The latter transmits its power directly to the front wheel using a gear transmission. As shown in Fig. 91, the whole mechanism is housed in boxes which are attached to the front fork perpendicular to the axle. The switch for driving forwards and backwards is located on the steering lever; it can be set to three speeds, namely 6, 12 and 18 km per hour, and when reversing to 8 km. The filling of the accumulators costs about 1 M. 20 Pf. And is enough for about 60 km.
The Dynasphere was a monowheel vehicle design patented in 1930 by John Archibald Purves FRSE from Taunton, Somerset, UK. Purves' idea for the vehicle was inspired by a sketch made by Leonardo da Vinci.
See also Garavaglia
Manufactured by Williams of Bromyard, Herefordshire around 1911 or 1912.
Some ten motorcycles were built using TD Cross 499cc 3½ hp sidevalve engines. They had belt drive with pedal starting and were fitted with Saxon forks and an enclosed ZE1 Bosch magneto. It is possibly based on the Haden. One of these machines has survived and was featured in an article in The Motorcycle, October 1998.
Sources: Nick Smith, et al.
Manufactured by Elliott and Co, 325 Upper St, Islington, London, N.
In 1904 they advertised motorcycles fitted with Bradbury engines.
Source: Graces Guide.
Glasgow Auto Cycle Services
An example is displayed at the Myreton Motor Museum in Aberlady, Scotland
1913 Girling 6 HP three-wheeler Delivery Van built in Bedford. It has a single cylinder air cooled engine started from the very off-set handle right, and friction drive to bevel gear on the rear wheel.
Grave and Dwyer of Perth WA advertised "3 wheeler Girling Light Delivery Chassis,
£110". The West Australian, Fri 24 Jan 1913
Source: gracesguide.co.uk; Trove
Givaudan is listed as a British firm by Tragatsch and others. Although at least two British firms are known to have fitted these French engines, there is no evidence to suggest that there was a British marque of this name, nor a subsidiary of the French concern in the UK.
Further information on this topic may be found in the notes on the French Givaudan firm.
GN Cyclecars, 1910-1925
Geoff Monty was a successful racer and motorcycle parts specialist who developed a series of racing motorcycles. The GMS Special used a heavily 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.
Gordon Three-wheelers, 1954-58
Manufactured by Kerswell Cycles, Lawrence Hill, Bristol. 1905
P.J. Kerswell established a bicycle business in 1887. His forecar, powered by a 3 ½ hp engine, appeared in 1905.
Image is from "Bristol As It Was 1914-1900", published in 1965 by Reece Winstone.
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.
Built by Arthur Hertschmann, an engineer with Dunlop Motor Co. of London.
Bicyclette Hertschmann. — M. Arthur Hertschmann ingénieur de la « Dunlop Motor Cie » de Londres, a fait connaître également nn modèle de bicyclette à moteur rappelant la forme des précédentes* Le moteur est à deux cylindres, dont l’effort s’équilibre, et qui agissent à quatre temps comme à l’ordinaire. Les pistons, par l’intermédiaire d’une manivelle courte, actionnent une roue dentée fixée sur la base d’une bicyclette ordinaire, près du pédalier. Cette roue engrène avec un pignon intermédiaire qui transmet le mouvement à la roue motrice à l’aide d’une chaîne à rouleaux. Les pédales ne sont donc utiles que pour la mise en train du moteur et dans les côtes ; elles sont munies d’un rochet pour les débrayer à volonté (fig. 53). assuré par deux cônes largement évasés, dans lesquels l'air s’engouffre pour circuler autour des cylindres.
Hertschmann bicycle. — Mr. Arthur Hertschmann, engineer; Dunlop Motor Co. of London, also know a model of motorized bicycle reminiscent of the shape of the previous ones* The engine is two-cylinder, whose effort is balanced, and which act in four strokes as usual. The pistons, via a short crank, activate a toothed wheel attached to the base of an ordinary bicycle, near the pedals. This wheel meshes with an intermediate pinion which transmits the movement to the drive wheel using a roller chain.
The pedals are therefore only useful for warming the engine and in the ribs; they are equipped with a ratchet
to disengage them at will (fig. 53), assured by two widely flared cones, in which air
rushes in to circulate around the cylinders.
Holcroft 1¾ HP 1901
Built as a one-off in 1901, Holcroft himself became a specialist in the railway industry who ran a large foundry between 1904 and 1928 and held numerous patents for steam technology. The machine spent several years in Sammy Miller's museum before making its way to Austria, where it was further restored. It has a Mitchel 213cc engine mounted in Humber frame.
Source: Hannes Denzel article at mvca.at.
Invicta Cycle Car, 1912
Sole Manufacturer H. Clarke, 1, Clarendon Square, Leamington. Telephone-692. 8 h.p. J.A.P. Water-cooled, Thermo-syphon, Leather Cone Clutch, 3-speed gearbox and reverse clutch...
This was for all intents and purposes a conventional motor car with four wheels. It is included here as it was marketed as a cycle car, advertised in "The Motor Cycle", and there were several other makers which employed the Invicta marque.
Source: The Motor Cycle
Manufactured by A. Ogilvie, St Paul's Rd, Highbury Station, N.1, London
Active in 1926, probably other years.
Isetta of Brighton
Italian micrccars built under licence to Iso of Italy at the old Brighton Railway works in the years 1957-1962.
Source: Period publicity
James H Smith
Built in Camberley in 1904 by an engineering firm which was still operating in the 1950s, only one machine survives.
Source: The Bikesheds archive
Manufactured by the Kitto Automobile Co., Ltd., Chiswick, S.W. 1901-1903
Models were a 2 1/8th hp and a 3¼ hp.
The firm was wound up in 1903. S. B. Saunders was company chairman.
William Henry Kitto moved to the United States with his family in 1904, became a US citizen, and is listed as an automobile manufacturer in Ohio in 1910.
30. The Kitto Automobile Co., Ltd., Chiswick, S.W. The machines shown by this firm are of their well-known narrow type, and adapted so that the engine takes the place of the usual pillar tube, it being fixed at the bottom end to the bracket and the clown tube, and at the top end by a clip into which the seat pillar fits. The engine is 3.25 horse-power, and has combined mixing valve and throttle, or can be supplied with a float feed and spray carburetter. The top tube carries the lubricating oil, and the engine is supplied by a small force pump. There is a single lever to control the exhaust valve lifter and advance sparking. The battery and coil are clamped round the down tube, whilst the petrol tank is on the down stays. An exhaust box, capable of being cleaned, is an advantage. The driving pulley is securely fastened to the rim of the back wheel, not to the spokes. A provision is made within the, driving pulley on the motor to catch any oil which might work through the bearings. The prices range from 30 guineas for the 2.125 horse-power, to 40 guineas for the 3.25 horse-power.
The Kennedy Motor Company Ltd, Shettleston, Glasgow, builders of the Rob Roy automobile, produced a flat-twin engine in the 1920s. Named for the famed diamond, it is thought to have been fitted to a few motorcycles.
L.A.D. Scooters 1919
Manufactured by Frank Desborough of Commercial Road, Wolverhampton in 1951.
Powered by a 125cc watercooled two-stroke flat twin of his own design, the engine was not ready for the first 125cc IOM race in 1951 so a Villiers/Bantam engine was fitted. The machine is thought to have been the first motorcycle in the world to be fitted with disc brakes. Only one was built.
The neat-looking Leader racer fitted with 7 h.p. Peugeot engine, ridden by E. Kickmam in both the Brooklands motor cycle races. In the first race Mr. Kickham finished second, but on the 9th inst. he was unable to catch up the limit men. The engine is fitted with a special current distributor.
Source: The Motor Cycle, 1908
A newcomer into the cyclecar class is the L.E.C, which is sold by the New Phonophore Telephone Co., 31, Budge Row, E.C., and is made throughout at the company's works at Southall.
The L.E.C., a water-cooled engined cyclecar with a Daimler pattern radiator.
Source: The Motor Cycle, 1912
Around 1953 Pantherwerke models were offered in Britain rebranded as the Leopard Bobby. These came in three models, the Mk3, Mk5 & Mk6.
LSD Cyclecars 1919-1924
Mead & Tomkinson 1960s-70s
E. A. MCLACHLAN, 55, Brighton Road, Stoke Newington, S.E. This exhibitor shows a two-seated sociable motor tricycle, which he catalogues at £75 - a machine of simple construction, but with no attempt at finish, and driven by a heavy oil motor, a simple construction, adopting the usual plumber's lamp for starting the vaporisation of the oil, which then acts by direct suction. Two speeds are obtained by means of belts with jockey pulleys, and the weight of the car is given as three and a half hundredweight.
From a report on the 1899 Motor Show (Cordingley)
Source: Graces Guide
Introduced at the Milan EICMA exhibition in November 2007, the motorcycles are produced by a British firm which has them assembled in China. The Megelli range has been exported to 37 countries in Europe, Asia, Africa, North and South America, and to Australia.
Source: wikipedia.en, megelli.com
Mepward Engines 1920-1921
Mitchell, Early 1900s
Marketed by Davis, Allen & Co., 5, 6 and 7, Singer Street, London E.C. Used a clip-on style engine.
This machine originated at the Wisconsin Wheel Works and was fitted with an attachment engine fitted high in the frame above the pedal crank with the cylinder inclined forwards. The Stevens Brothers rode their first motorcycle powered by a Mitchell engine in the late 1890s.
Sources: period literature, historywebsite.co.uk, earlymotor.com
A 50cc four-cylinder two-stroke built by Duncan Mitchell of Moto Decla, Stevenage, in the early 1960s. The engine was designed by Eric Fitz-Hugh some years earlier and further developed by Mitchel, an experienced 50cc frame constructor, who also built a 5 speed gearbox for the machine. With a bore and stroke of 25.3 x 25mm, each cylinder has a capacity of 12cc. The machine was not completed due, it is said, to financial constrictions.
The Mumford Musketeer three-wheeler was designed and built by Brian Mumford of Gloucestershire, 1971-1994.
It was sold as a kit and based on the Vauxhall Viva using the Viva engine, gearbox, front hubs and brakes. The Viva drivshaft delivered power to the single rear wheel via a specially made final drive system. The fibreglass body was secured to a riveted aluminium monocoque chassis and featured retractable headlights and a detachable hood. In 1983 a Series 2 was introduced with modifications to the body. Production was very low volume; possibly only four Series 1 models were sold along with six of the Series 2.
Brian Mumford had a background in aviation, having worked with Avro and Hawker. He founded his engineering business on 30 June 1964 manufacturing custom-built road trailers to individual specifications. Mr Mumford's inventions included a tool for bending the struts for the chassis of Morgan cars.
Sources: 3-wheelers.com, discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk, et al
William Murchie of Newton Stewart, Wigtownshire, Scotland built several motorcycles and at least one car (in 1904) before becoming a dealer for Ford and Austin.
The Nobel 200 Fuldamobil was manufactured by York Noble Industries Ltd, (N. Ireland) between 1958 and 1962 under licence from Elektromaschinenbau Fulda GmbH.
The Nobel name may also have been used in Turkey and Chile.
Source: Wikipedia EN
Norman Engineering Company
Founded in 1919, the firm built motorcycle and industrial engines. Initially based in Leamington Spa, they moved to Warwick in 1936.
Norman 143cc four-stroke engines were fitted to the Kenilworth scooter. They were also fitted to Italian motorcycles of the 1920s such Alfa and Doglioli & Civardi.
Motorcycle engine types included types E, EC, ECR (170cc) and MC (175cc). Production of motorcycle engines ended in 1936.
Sources: Wikipedia, et al.
North British Machine Company (NBMC)
Located at 24 Carlton Place, Glasgow, the company bought several Barr & Stroud engines, so it seems likely that they produced motorcycles, possibly between 1903 an 1909.
In the 1950s they sold motoring accessories, tools and equipment to the motor trade with customers throughout Scotland, and were agents for Elswick-Hopper bicycles
They may well have been related to The North British Motor Company of 310a St Vincent Street, agents for Clement, De-Dion and Lanchester Cars.
Sources: talkingscot.com, classicmotorcycleforum.com
Manufactured by Ransome Sims and Jeffries in 1919, the Orwell was an electric sidecar combination with the batteries located below the sidecar passenger seat. The machine was road registered for road use and tested, but does not appear to have progressed further than prototype.
Source: Graces Guide
The Oxford motor bicycle, a machine with a motor carried over the front wheel, which it drives with a chain, very much after the style of the Werner motocyclette, which machine it is probably an improvement upon, and the Oxford motor car, built either as a three or four-wheeler, at £90 and £95 respectively.
From a report on the 1899 Motor Show (Cordingley)
Source: Graces Guide
Charles Peacock and Co
35 Clerkenwell Road, London
1903 Marketed the Brutus motor in four sizes.
1903-1905 Sold the Carpeviam motor tricycle.
Report from the 1903 Stanley Show
Chas. Peacock and Co., 35, Clerkenwell Road, London, E.C., have many novelties for 1904. We illustrate a new 4.5 h.p. motor, with twin cylinders, they are introducing. This will be very suitable for driving fore-carriages. The workmanship throughout is very substantial. The crank case is provided with clamps for attachment to a loop frame.
Manufactured by Peel Engineering, Isle of Man.
Powered initially by 49cc DKW two-stroke engines, 47 machines were built in 1963 and 1964. The P50 was replaced by the slightly larger Peel Trident, some of which used the 98cc engine and automatic transmission from the Triumph Tina scooter. In 1966 they offered a 12v electric motor version.
Source: Bruce Weiner Microcar Museum
During the 1970's Ray Petty and Harry Carter built a racing special utilising a 750cc Weslake twin cylinder engine housed in a Petty-built chassis. The machine, producing approximately 74bhp, was raced by Harry Carter's son during these years.
A replica of the original constructed by White Rose Racing in 1999 fitted with a reconditioned Weslake 750cc parallel twin engine. A Hemmings clutch and belt drive transmit the power via an RGM four speed gearbox.
The completed machine made its competition debut in 2000 at Cadwell Park in the hands of Gary Carter, Harry Carter's son. It placed first.
Source: H&H Classic Auctions
Precision of Northampton
Manufactured by Precision Motor Co., Derngate, Northampton, 1902 to 1906. Offered complete machines powered by Minerva which they built under licence to the French firm, and also sold the engines separately.
Sources: Motor Cycling magazine March 1902, Tragatsch p252, et al
Manufactured by Heinle & Wegelin of Germany, the PTS Auto-cycle was a tricycle developed along the lines of the Rüb & Haab and sold in the years 1899-1900 by Patents Trading Syndicate of Chiswell Street, London, E.C.. It may also have been marketed in the UK as the Liliput.
In 1945 the business of Southampton bicycle manufacturer Bill Harvell, and the name was changed to Rotrax. They began building frames for speedway motorcycles in 1952.
Mike Compton employed Reynolds 531 tubing to create very light, strong frames for the speedway machines and these were chrome plated by Blakes of nearby Gosport.
Manufactured by the Sabella Car Co., Albany Street, W.
A RUN ON THE LATEST SABELLA.
WE recently had a run on the latest type of 8 h.p. Sabella cyclecar (the Sabella Car Co., Albany Street, W.) This vehicle is driven by an 8 h.p. J. A. P. engine, as are so many of the light cyclecars now on the road. The engine has an additional external flywheel, and is cooled by a fan driven by round belt off the mainshaft.
The Motor Cycle, 1912.
Manufactured by Geier
"In the new Safari moped, introduced at the 1958 Earls Court Show, Stuart and Payne Ltd. appear to have a real winner, for this German machine - powered by the well-tried Sachs engine in either two- or three-speed forms - offers a superb performance, coupled with a simplicity of design which argues both durability and freedom from adjustments."
The Hunslet Scootacar was manufactured by Hunslet 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 between 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.
N.B. There is at least one other marque with the same name. See Disambiguation
The Sheffield Minor, the latest recruit to the list of two-stroke lightweights. The model illustrated is fitted with chain-cum-belt drive and two-speed Albion countershaft gear.
A New Two-stroke Lightweight.
THE latest addition to the ranks of the small two-stroke is known as the Sheffield Minor, and is handled by the Colmore Depot in Birmingham. The machine has a striking appearance, owing partly to the sloping top tube, which is also slightly dropped at the rear end. The power is supplied by a Villiers two-stroke unit, and the transmission is either direct by belt or by chain and belt through the medium of an Albion two-speed countershaft gear.
Lubrication is by sight feed drip to the inlet pipe, whence the oil is distributed in the form of vapour. 26in. x 2in. tyres are fitted, the mudguarding is well carried out, and the machine is finished in black and green.
The fittings are noticeably good and include aluminium footboards, armoured pannier tool bags, heavy type Druid forks, and large pan seat. The saddle is unusually luxurious for a moderately-priced machine.
The Motor Cycle, July 8th, 1915
A Stainless flat-twin engine is fitted to a 1911 Zenith in the Thomson Museum in Palmerston North, New Zealand. Embossed on the crankcase is "Stainless Motor Co Ltd / Stainless England"
Manufactured by Maurice Cox, Stella Motor Scooter Company, Ipswich
Small scooters and motorcycles powered by Villiers 4F and 6F/H engines of 98cc, and limited number of 125cc 9F 125cc units. Most were built between 1961 and 1962. Some 200 were constructed, of which 8 of the motorcycles survive.
An order from the United States brought doom upon the company in 1963 when a dock strike stranded the shipment in New York and the company was unable to pay its debts, forcing closure.
Tamplin Engineering Co of Kingston Road, Staines, Middlesex was established in 1919 by Edward Alfred Tamplin. He acquired a design of a cyclecar by John Valentine Carden, a man of considerable talent who later became involved in aviation.
A four-wheeled vehicle which created a great deal of interest outside the car and motor cycle shows is the Tamplin tandem-seated cycle car, which, in spite of its curious appearance, is possessed of many pleasing features.
An 8 h.p. air-cooled J.A.P. engine is located at the front end of the frame, the drive being transmitted, through a universal joint, to a chain sprocket on the near and outer side of the body, and thence through a standard Sturmey Archer gear box to a single belt pulley on the live rear axle, which is mounted on large Skefko ball bearings, enabling the single belt to drive both rear wheels.
The Tamplin on the road requires careful handling during the first few miles of initiation, as the direct steering gear necessitates a very light touch on the wheel. Later, however, we found the control to be most satisfactory, and in dense traffic the narrow track and quick response to the steering wheel enable the driver to gain much advantage over larger vehicles. The comfort provided for the driver is excellent, but the accommodation for the passenger is not over roomy. When fitted with a windscreen and hood, the Tamplin should be of great utility.
The price of this machine, less accessories, is £150, and it is manufactured by Messrs. Tamplin, Railway Garage, Staines. The Motor Cycle, 11th December 1919
T.B. Cyclecars 1919-1924
Manufactured by P J Fulham in Laurence Gate, Drogheda, a bicycle shop. Drogheda is 50km north of Dublin.
Robert Nason writes, "It's more than likely that they made one or two machines and no more." He also states that a surviving machine presented as a Tredagh is of dubious heritage.
Source: Motorcycles 1867-1930 FB Group.
Knap machines were sold in England under the name "The Tourist". Information is sparse, so they may have been Knap automobiles rather than motorcycles. Knap motorcycles were advertised for sale in England in 1903 by Kennard of 54 Hans Place, London.
Sources: lestricars.es.tl, historicar.be, Graces Guide.
26-30 Lowgates, Staveley, Chesterfield.
Unity Equipe specialised in Manx Norton, Triumph & Triton motorcycles. Alloy and fibreglass tanks were included in the 54 page catalogue of 2015, believed to have been their last. That year they sold the business.
In 1978 the firm bought the rights to the Manx name from John Tickle. The rights were passed to Bernie Allen of Wiltshire in 1989, who sold the name to Andy Molnar in 1994.
Manufactured by V.A.L. Motor Co of 314 Bradford Street, Birmingham
The company produced sidecars but 1913-14 made a cyclecar with 488cc JAP engined machine. The page on Precision engines states that these were supplied to V.A.L.
Mention is made of a motorcycle, but no evidence of such has been found. Red Book for 1917 mentions only cars.
V.A.L. In the V.A.L. sidecar the front of the body is supported from the chassis on a couple of plain helical springs in much the same manner as the Calthorpe, but in the rear quite an individual form of suspension is adopted. Some details of this are shown in the sketch (not posted). The chassis is a perfectly rigid affair, and on the axle tube is mounted a tubular frame, which is free to swing up and down on bearings. This frame is connected to an arm supported by the chassis through a coiled spring at each aide. This arrangement no doubt effects a considerable reduction in weight and certainly makes a very neat and satisfactory construction.
The Motor Cycle, August 6th, 1914. p183
The Volta sidecar is sold by the Volta Sidecar and Accessories Co., 23, Westworth Road, Manor Park, London, E.12.
"...previously known as the Delta..."
The MotorCycle, December 9th, 1920.
Manufactured around 1906 by Warrilow & Co. of Weston-Super-Mare, the motorcycles were available with engines of the customer's choice. A known survivor is fitted with a Quadrant 454cc engine verified to be of 1906 manufacture.
Manufactured by Wilcox Engineering of Holme Lacey, Hereford, 1981-1983.
Tom Wilcox & his three sons, Steve, Mike & Brian built motocross and enduro machines fitted with a lightweight 498cc engine, making extensive use of magnesium alloy in components such as wheel hubs, fork sliders and engine components. The firm machined their own straight-cut gears and engine internals. Suspension was progressive monoshock and long-travel telescopic forks.
The end result was a fine machine weighing just 103kg with the two-stroke engine pushing out over 50 bhp.
Although technically superior in several aspects, the Wilcomoto did not fare well in competition and production was curtailed after just two years.
Source: brightwells.com, et al
Terry Windle manufactured Formula 1 sidecars with monocoque chassis and Formula 2 sidecars with tubular frames for use in amateur sports as well as in the motorcycle world championship. His machines won a total of five drivers' championship titles between 1977 and 2002. Terry Windle decided at the end of 2009 to retire.
The Windle marque was revived by D&D Sidecars which produced tubular frames for F2 outfits.
Source: Wikipedia DE
The Shilovski Gyrocar was commissioned in 1912 by Count Pyotr Shilovsky, a member of the Russian nobility. A clever gentleman, by all accounts, he designed the car whilst living in Britain and contracted the Wolseley company to build it. It was completed in 1914, just as things got rather busy in Russia - and elsewhere.
The gyrocar was powered by a modified four cylinder Wolseley 16-20 engine displacing just over 3 litres. This was front mounted with the radiator forming the firewall, and drive was via cardan shaft to the rear wheel. The machine had no wheel brakes; it used a transmission brake on the drive train.
Capable of carrying five passengers, it weighed in at 2 3/4 tons empty and with a wheelbase approaching 20 feet its turning circle radius was comfortably within that of a football field.
Shilovski returned to Russia at the outbreak of WWI and Wolseley did not hear from him again so they did the sensible thing and buried his machine. It was disinterred in 1938, restored and featured in the Wolseley museum, just in time for the next war. The weirdness failed to abate, however, and Wolseley broke the machine up for scrap in 1948.
Wolseley were also associated with the Italian Wolsit , and a Wolsley engine powered a Royal Enfield motorcycle.
Sources: wikipedia.en, et al.
Xtra Cyclecars 1920s
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