Today in Motorcycle History

Aston & Atlas Motorcycles

A Brief History of the Marque

Made in England from 1922 to 1925, these lightweight motorcycles had a 142cc two-stroke single-cyclinder engine with two or three-speed gearbox and belt drive to the rear wheel.

Aston Co

Aston Co. of Witton Lane Birmingham

  • Aston and Atlas were motorcycles built from 1922-5

    The machines were built and originally sold as the Atlas. It was a lightweight 145cc two-stroke single. Simple in construction, it had transmission options of two or three speed with belt or chain drive and a rocking front fork. With the down-turn in trade in the mid-1920s, the name vanished.

    1921 These small and lightweight motorcycles were first seen. They were fitted with a 143cc two-stroke engine, a front Amac or Wex carburettor, rear-mounted CAV magneto and large external flywheel. The gearbox was either counter-shaft or an Albion two-speed. With an optional clutch, the simple frame was fitted with rocking forks.

    1923 The company tried badge engineering by changing the marque name on the tank to their own Aston name, but this failed to help sales.

    1924 The best model had three speeds and all-chain drive.

    1925 They went back to producing their original models, and this was the final year of production.


Atlas 1921 Lightweight

Although weighing only 75 lb., the Atlas lightweight is an exact miniature of much larger and more powerful machines.


Atlas 1921 Brakes

Interconnected hand and foot brakes are fitted


The 142 c.c. Atlas, with Singie-speed Countershaft, selling at £31 10s.

THE aim of the Aston Motor and Engineering Co,. Ltd., Witton Lane, Aston, Birmingham, in producing the Atlas lightweight was, frankly, to make a runabout suitable for short business or pleasuire journeys where a pedal cycle would otherwise be used.

This has been most successfully accomplished, and the resultant machine, with its sturdy, compactj and clean lines, immediately strikes one as being capable of doing even more than the manufacturers claim. It will be sold at £31 10s., and should be both economical and handy.

Of the usual three-port type, the two-stroke engine has a bore and stroke of 55x60 mm. (142.5 c.c). Plain bearings are fitted, except to the inside of the mainshaft, which is mounted on a Hoffmann race, and the flywheel is of sufficiently large diameter. A double sprocket is fitted,, which drives both the magneto and the countershaft, the chains being protected by a single cover, and lubricated by surplus oil from the release valve. The countershaft runs on ball bearings.

Brakework has been carefully and ingeniously carried out. Both shoes operate on the belt rim. The foot brake is heel-operated, and the hand brake by cable from the handlebar, which, when sufficient pressure is used, connects up both shoes. Thus a very gradual and sure pull-up may be effected by the inverted hand lever.

Lubrication is by petroil, and a fuel consumption of 240 miles per gallon has been obtained. Well-known components are used for carburation, ignition, etc., and the mudguarding (4½in. guards) is well carried out.

Altogether, the Atlas is one of the most promising ultra-lightweights we have encountered, and at the low price at which it is offered excellent prospects should lie before it.

The Motor Cycle

Sources: Graces Guide, Henshaw.

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