Today in Motorcycle History

Alecto Motorcycles

A Brief History of the Marque
Manufactured by Cashmore Bros of Balham, London.

Made in England from 1919 to 1924, the company introduced chain-driven models in 1923.

There is a short article in The Motor Cycle dated July 31st 1919 on page 112. The image on the page has a handwritten date which appears to be 1915, cost £83. On the back is a report of a review and half a page of special features.

Engine is an Alecto two-stroke twin-port, 76x76mm B/S.

Another article from 1922 states that production is about to recommence and that three 350cc models will be available.

See Whitmee Engineering (Alecto)

Sources: Tragatsch p72, The Motor Cycle, correspondence.

Alecto 1919 350cc 3 1/2 hp

The latest two-stroke to be introduced, the Alecto, which has a 76 X 76 mm. engine nominally rated as 3 1/2 h.p.

Alecto 1919 350cc Engine Details

Cylinder and crank case or the Alecto engine.

Alecto 1919 350cc Decompressor

The compression release, which passes the gas into the twin exhaust pipes.


The Alecto - Another New Two-stroke in the 350 c.c. Class.

A NEWCOMER in the motor cycle world is the 3 1/2 h.p. Alecto, quite an interesting mount, the engine, of which is manufactured by the makers of the machine, Messrs. Cashmore Brothers, Hildreth Road, Balham, London, S.W. The engine possesses several novel features, and is constructed on the three-port system. There is a spacious transfer port, in which there is a plug l 1/2 in. in diameter, and when this plug is removed it allows easy access to the ports for cleaning. The exhaust port has a twin outlet, each outlet being l 1/4 in. in diameter, and it exhausts into a silencer 5in. in diameter and 9in. long, three times the capacity of the cylinder, the exhaust finally passing into the air through a long tail pipe l 1/2 in. in diameter. The release valve exhausts directly into the twin exhaust pipe union, and when the compression is released there is complete absence of sound. This does away with one of the most objectionable features of many two-stroke engines.

The cylinder itself is provided with deep fins, so that the cooling should be quite efficient, and it is composed of cast iron in accordance with A.I.D. specification. The crankshaft is made of 52 ton tensile steel, and the connecting rods are made of the same material, while the fly-wheel is a mild steel stamping. The piston is of an aluminium alloy, known as Magnalium, and possesses two rings, a compression ring and a scraper ring.

Ball Bearing Mainshaft.

Turning to the crank case, the size of the ball bearings is extremely noticeable. These are of the double row Skefko pattern, and the crankshaft journals also run in white metal bearings in bronze housings which enables the crank case compression to be retained. It is also interesting to note that the connecting rod big end bearing is of the split variety, and is white metal lined, not a very usual feature in motor cycle construction.

The metric system is employed throughout in the dimensions of the engine parts.

Another noteworthy feature of the Alecto is the substantial cradle, which is used for supporting not only the engine, but also the silencer and footboards. So far as the rest of the machine is concerned, the frame illustrated is not the final model, which will be provided with a straight top tube and an oil tank carried under the saddle. The machine is fitted with a Brooks saddle and a Juckes twospeed gear and kick starter; the final model will be equipped with Brampton forks.

It is interesting to find that at last the two-stroke engine is attracting designers who are willing to incorporate the results of the latest researches, in construction, and to get away from the tendency to copy one or two successful and conventional designs.

The Alecto motor bicycle is one of great promise, and we look forward with much pleasure to some experience with it on the road. .

The Motor Cycle, July 31st 1919, p112

The Alecto Two-stroke

Olympia, Stand No. 15.

Cashmore Bros., Ltd., Hildreth Street, Balham, London, S.W. 12.

CASHMORE BROS, are showing two standard Alecto machines which are fitted with 3 1/2 h.p. two-stroke engines and the Jukes' two-speed gear-box, which incorporates a clutch and kick-starter. The machines are chain and belt-driven, and are made throughout from the finest material. The engine employed has a bore and stroke of 76 mm. by 76 mm., and is of the three-port type. The piston, which is of the usual deflector pattern is made from aluminium alloy, and is fitted with three rings which are pegged in position, the lower ring acting as a scraper. A double row of Skefko ball bearings support the crankshaft, while the big-end is lined with white metal.

The method of lubrication is as follows: Oil is fed in at the inlet port and runs down to a well formed in the top of the crankcase. From here it passes through two holes drilled in webs on opposite sides of the crankcase to each main bearing. The main shaft and crank web are drilled in the transmission side, and oil is conducted through this passage to the big-end. The machine is unusually well equipped, and the specification includes Brampton Biflex forks, Brooks B150 padded saddle, Dunlop heavy 26 by 2 1/4 tyres, and Dunlop belt. The present price of this machine is £83 7s.

The Motor Cycle, November 26, 1919.

The Olympia Show, 1920

Alecto. (Stand 147.)

  • 3 h.p.: 76x76 mm. (345 c.c); single cylinder two-stroke; drip-feed lubrication; Amac carburetter; cam-driven magneto; two-speed Burman gear; chain and belt drive; Dunlop 26x2¼ in. tyres. Price £87 10s.

Cashmore Bros., Grove Road, Balham, London, S.W.12.

Inspired no doubt by the fine performance of their small two-stroke engine at Brooklands, where it captured twenty-one long-distance records in August last, Messrs. Cashmore Bros, have gone very thoroughly into the question of lightweight sidecar work. The result of their investigation forms the chief exhibit on this stand - the specially designed 345 c.c passenger outfit. This machine has a considerably stronger frame, a larger tank, wider footboards, bigger spring forks and a different type of mudguarding from the solo model, and sells at £125. Another addition to their range is a single-geared T.T. machine, so constructed, however, that it may be converted to a two-speed with Burman gear box, clutch, and kick-starter without any structural alterations.

As far as the engine is concerned there are few modifications from last year's design. Oil leakage around the exhaust pipe flanges and compression release valve has been eliminated by an improved type of union. Castellated brass nuts now secure the twin exhaust pipes, while the release valve pipe is brazed into the valve body. Internally the Magnalium piston is retained; also the neat split big end with its white metalled bearing surfaces. Extremely neat is the primary chain cover, which leaves the clutch boss exposed for ready adjustment. The single geared T.T. model sells at £75,

Olympia Show, 1920

The Motor Cycle, December 2nd, 1920.

The Olympia Show, 1922

ALECTO. (125.)

Speedy Two-stroke Revived.

3½ H.P. MODEL.

76x76 mm. (345 c.c.) : single cyl. two-stroke; drip feed lubrication; Amac carb.; chain-driven mag.; 2-sp. gear; clutch and kick-starter; chain drive; 26X2¼in. tyres. Price £65.

Whitmee Eng. Co., Grove Road, Balham, London, S.W.

One of the first two-stroke machines to demonstrate its capabilities on the track by establishing long-distance records was the Alecto. Although this feat has almost been forgotten nowadays, and for some time the machine was in danger of being discontinued owing to external causes, the reappearance of the Alecto at Olympia brings back old memories.

Speed is still a characteristic of the machine, and a belt-driven sports model, differing only in gear and transmission from the model specified above, is said to be capable of 50 m.p.h. in delivery tune. It is priced at £58.

The same engine is fitted to all three machines on show, which are respectively of the sports, touring, and sidecar types. It has an aluminium piston, floating gudgeon pin, plain big end bearing, and drilled connecting rod, and the oil-ways, as indicated on the sectioned engine, are worthy of inspection. The main shaft is supported on double race ball bearings. Silencing has been much improved, a large detachable aluminium expansion chamber being slung from the rear chain stay. Of course, one of the best-known features of the Alecto is its forked exhaust pipe to avoid the front down tube.

A final belt-drive touring model costs £60. and a three-speed chain-driven side-car outfit £90.

1922 Olympia Show
The Motor Cycle, November 30th, 1922. Page 825

Wed Nov 05 2014
alecto MODEL A
i have a cashmore bros. page promoting the Alecto model a. It has a pic and technical info, also quote from M.C. mag 31-7-1919. cant find anything on line about these.

Fri Aug 02 2013
engine size
Alecto 250cc
I own a 250cc alecto c/w log book which confirms the engine size but people tell me a 250 model was never made (engine was measured prior to buying)
Can you help, many thanks.
Terry, Lincoln

March 2022

Graham Clayton writes, "On the 3rd of August 1920, Stanley Gill became the first rider on a two-stroke machine to set multiple long-distance track records in England."

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