Today in Motorcycle History

Coulson B Motorcycles

Aeroparts Manufacturing Company, Albion Works, Albion Street, King's Cross, London (1919)

F. Aslitt Coulson Engineering Co., Ltd., Albion Street, King's Cross, N.W.1. (1920)

These motorcycles were produced from 1919 to 1923 by F. Aslett Coulson, previously Managing Director of Wooler Engineering Co from 1914 to 1917.

His initial venture was an aviation company named Aeroparts Manufacturing, which became Flightcraft in April 1918.

With the assistance of his friend Stanley Young, he designed a motorcycle which was introduced with an article in The Motor Cycle in January 1919, the Coulson B. The special feature of the machine was the short swinging links controlled by laminated leaf springs. In most other respects it was very similar to other motorcycles of the period, but the suspension system, neatly concealed within the design, made it comfortable to ride. It had a 349cc sv Blackburne engine, two-speed Jardine gearbox and chain-cum-belt transmission, plus Druid forks. The single model soon developed into a range, including one with a Blackburne sv 545cc engine and Sturmey-Archer gearbox that was also available in sports trim with single-speed belt drive. There was also a two-stroke with a 292cc Union engine.

1920 A number of improvements were made - particularly to the stand, chain-case and gearbox attachment. That November, a Coulson and sidecar went on the London to Edinburgh run, and successfully completed the task without stopping the engine. Another publicity stunt included covering 25 miles/40km, riding on the wheel rim, deliberately minus tyre and tube, to prove the effectiveness of the spring frame.

1921 Due to lack of sales, the original company folded, but later that year the marque moved to A. W. Wall Limited of Birmingham, and Blackburne, JAP engines and Wall-built 269cc Liberty Engines were used.

1923 The rights had been acquired by H. R. Backhouse of Tyseley, who continued the 269cc Liberty model, along with sv and ohv versions of the Blackburne. They also introduced a rigid-frame model. By the end of the year the marque name had changed to New Coulson.

London Motors listed the Coulson B and HB motorcycles

Coulson-B 1919 348cc Blackburne

71 mm. X 88 mm Single-cylinder Blackburne Engine, 348 c c.

THE 2¾ h.p. COULSON-B.

The 2¾ h.p. Coulson, a newcomer into the motor cycle industry. It is fitted with a spring frame and Blackburne engine.

WE recently published a few preliminary details concerning the 2¾ h.p. Coulson-B motor bicycle. The machine has now reached an advanced stage of construction, and in about three weeks' time the manufacturers, the Aeroparts Manufacturing Company, Albion Works, Albion Street, King's Cross, London, N.l, hope to be in a position to make deliveries.

The machine has a simple spring suspension. The frame is sturdily constructed of 1 1/4in. tubing. On the under side of each chain stay there is a leaf spring, the rear end of which is attached by means of a shackle to a link carried at the end of the back forks.

Both front and rear wheel spindles are withdrawable, so that either wheel may be instantly detached tor the purpose of tyre repairing.

As previously mentioned, the mud-guards are wide and generously valanced, the rear guard being bin. across. Between one and threequarters and two gallons of petrol and a quart of lubricating oil can be carried in the tank, which is fitted with filler caps of large size at the forward end. The tank is attached to the secondary frame tube by means of special brackets, the method of attachment being invisible on casual inspection.

The engine is the 2¾ h.p. Blackburne, which is a small replica of the well-known 3 1/2 h.p. engine of this make, and, like the latter, is provided with an outside flywheel. The standard Blackburne features are retained, such as the detachable head, solid crankshaft, and split big end bearing. The bore and stroke of this engine are 71 mm. and 88 mm. respectively (348 c.c). The engine equipment includes the latest type Brown and Barlow pilot jet carburetter, M-L magneto, and a streamline silencer.

The stand is fitted just behind the bottom bracket on which the countershaft Albion two-speed gear box is suspended. The handle-bars are of the semi-T.T. pattern, and are provided with rubber grips and inverted levers for the front brake and exhaust lifter. The forks are Druid stronger type Mark II., and cast aluminium footboards with a rubber rest for the heels are provided. The total weight of the machine is estimated at between 150 and 160 lb.

The Motor Cycle February 20th, 1919.

Coulson-B 1920

Quarter-elliptic springs are used at the Coulson sidecar wheel, following the same lines as the suspension of the motorcycle.
Details of Coulson-B spring frame.

Olympia Show 1920

Coulson B. (Stand 162.)

  • 4 h.p. Blackburne; 85x88 mm. (499 c.c.); single-cylinder four-stroke; side-by-side valves; drip-feed lubrication; Flixi (sic) carburetter; chain-driven magneto; three-speed Sturmey-Archer gear; chain and belt drive; spring frame; Avon 26in. x2½ in. tyres.

  • 2¾ h.p. Blackburne; 71x88 mm. (349 c.c); single-cylinder; in other respects as 4 h.p. model.

F. Aslitt Coulson Engineering Co., Ltd., Albion Street, King's Cross, N.W.1.

Although a comparative new comer, the Coulson B is already a well-established favourite. This quick rise to popularity may be accounted for by the fact that the company make their machines, and do not merely assemble them. The engine and gear box, however, are proprietary units - the former, the well-known 4 h.p. Blackburne with outside flywheel, and the latter the equally familiar Sturmey-Archer. By entirely redesigning the frame, the saddle position has been lowered as much as six inches, thus affording an excellent riding position, and incidentally improving the appearance of the machine to a considerable extent. The nose of the saddle is attached to the top tube, and the rear coil springs to a special bracket. In conjunction with a spring rear frame, the comfort of the rider receives great attention. Made throughout at the company's works, the tank is a good example of modern reinforced design. Internally it possesses a double division between the oil and petrol compartments, and the external finish and outline are most pleasing. This model has sidecar lugs cast integrally with the frame; the 2¾ model lacks these, but otherwise is very similar.

Adjustable handle-bars are standard fittings on both models. The 4 h.p. model is perhaps the only 500 c.c. machine which, complete with spring frame, three-speed gear, and clutch, weighs less than 200 lb., and therefore will be subject only to a 30s. tax. The smaller machine may be obtained with two or three-speed gears.

Olympia Show, 1920
The Motor Cycle, December 2nd, 1920. Page 708

Sources: Graces Guide, The Motor Cycle