Today in Motorcycle History

Despatch Rider Motorcycles


Dreng and Co of Fern Road, Erdington, Birmingham. built motorcycles from 1915 to 1917

The Dreng machine had a 211cc or 269cc two-stroke engine and went by the name of Despatch Rider. The carburettor was either Amac or B and B; magneto Dixie or Ericson, and forks by Brampton, Druid or Saxon. Drive was by direct-belt and the finish was in service khaki.

The machines were built to serve the British army in France and also for use on other war fronts, where the motorcycle was an essential link in the communication chain. The machines were very simple and were fitted with either the 210cc Peco or 269cc Villiers two-stroke engine and direct-belt drive. Both ladies and gents versions were produced. To suit the needs of war, they could be used and disposed of, as necessary.


A HANDY little machine is that made by Messrs. Dreng and Co., of Erdington, Birmingham, and known as the "Despatch Rider." It is made in both men's and ladies' models, the specification being the same for both, except that the latter has the top tube dropped to allow for the rider's skirt; it also, has a belt guard fitted. The engine is a 2¼ h.p. two-stroke of only 211 c.c. Druid, Saxon, or Brampton forks are fitted, and either 25in. or 24in. wheels. The riding position is exceptionally low, being only 28in. from the ground. No change speed gear is fitted, the idea being to keep the machine as simple and light as possible. As will be seen from the illustrations, it has a neat appearance, while the khaki enamel gives a smart finish.

During a short trial run on the Despatch Rider we were struck by its handiness, ease of starting, and absence of vibration. The little engine also had a good turn of speed. It is a suitable mount for those requiring a light and simple machine.

The Motor Cycle, August 26th, 1915. Page 209.

Sources: Graces Guide, The Motor Cycle

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