Today in Motorcycle History

Abbotsford Scooters

Built in England from 1919 to 1920, these stand-up scooters were powered by a small OHV single-cylinder engine and apart from the pneumatic tyres they had no suspension.

A Brief History of the Marque

From Graces Guide:

  • Abbotsford Motor Co of Kingston manufactured motorcycles in 1919/1920.

    • 1920 The Abbotsford machine was a three-wheeled scooter. It had an open frame with a fuel tank beneath, a 1.5hp four-stroke engine and sixteen-inch wire-wheels. It was single-speed and had no suspension. It was called the Abbotsford Supa Scooter and, as it was reportedly the only such machine of its type, it was suitable for trips to the shops as it had a carrier platform behind the saddle.


    A serious attempt to attract the nervous rider is the reason of the three-wheeled Abbotsford miniature.

    Olympia Show 1920

    Abbottsford* (Stand 162a.)

    • 1½ h.p.; single-cylinder four-stroke; overhead valves; drip lubrication; single-lever carburetter; chain-driven magneto; single-speed gear; chain drive; 16x2 3/8in. tyres. Price £35.

    Abbottsford Motor Scooter and Engineering Co., Ltd., 5, Surbiton Road, Kingston-on-Thames.

    This is distinctly the smallest mechanically-propelled three-wheeler in the building. Just as there is a small but steady demand for the tricycle in the pedal cycle world, so will the Abbottsford make its appeal. But beyond the question of its suitability for the nervous or elderly rider, there lies the wide field of light delivery purposes. Goods to a weight of 168 lb. may be taken on the specially constructed carrier; and we should imagine that, intelligently used, it is an ideal substitute for the boy and tradesman's carrier cycle. A cone clutch and handle starter are provided, the drive from the tiny four-stroke engine being by chain via a countershaft to give the necessary gear reduction. On account of a tendency to sway on corners, the laminated rear springs have been shortened. However, they are still ample for comfort at any speeds the vehicle is likely to attain.

    The engine is the John scooter power unit, which has a bore and stroke of 55 mm. and 50 mm. respectively, the capacity being 142.5 c.c. It has overhead valves and an outside flywheel.

    Olympia Show, 1920

    The Motor Cycle, December 2nd, 1920. Page 717

    * Correct spelling is "Abbotsford".

    There was also an Abbotsford built in Victoria Street Abbotsford, Melbourne Australia, c1912-1913.

    Sources: Tragatsch p67, Graces Guide.

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