Today in Motorcycle History


Cleveland motorcycles were produced in Middlesbrough, Yorkshire from 1912 to 1917.

The company offered 3½ hp and 4¼ hp models fitted with Precision engines, Druid forks, belt drive and options of a Villiers free-engine clutch or a Sturmey-Archer three-speed gear.

The frames may have been constructed from components supplied by BSA, but it seems likely that they were built by Haden of Birmingham.

The motorcycles were sold through Pallister Yare and Cobb of Linthorpe Road Middlesbrough - 14 were built in total.

Freddie Dixon fielded a Cleveland for his first IOM race in the 1912 event with the registration number DC48.

The DC48 image is possibly from the book "At the Drop of the Flag" by Ernie Crust. It was captioned, "Freddie Dixon on his 1912 Isle of Man T. T. bike - a Cleveland Precision - this was his T. T. debut. Not being a very communicative youth when he set off to ride to Liverpool for the boat he just told his parents he was going away for a couple of weeks!"

Steve Allport writes, "The irony of the story one of the guys who took the pictures his photographic studio was on the land my house was built on. His parents viewed photography as the devil's work so when he died it was all bulldozed, lost forever."

Cleveland 1917 DC 366

"Interesting to see that the 'road' models used the shorter 5-1/2" headstock lug, instead of the braced one on the TT bike. They seemed to retain the straight top tube frame, despite the general rush to dropped-top tubes for 1912. Otherwise, DC 366 shows a few more nice details - Brown & Barlow carb (which tended to be standard issue on a Precision engine-set), silencer, engine plates, foot-brake etc look like standard items seen on other Precision-engined bikes. ~ Nick Smith."

Sources: Graces Guide, Nick Smith, Steve Allport.

If you have further information or a query related to this page, please contact us