Today in Motorcycle History

Earles Motorcycles and Earles Forks

In 1951/52 Ernie Earles of Elms Metals in Birmingham built a simply beautiful BSA 500cc A7 twin (possibly ex-works) using a light alloy frame and forks of his own design. These forks were used under licence on BMW motorcycles for many years, and also by MV Agusta. The design remains very much in favour with sidecar riders.

A letter in notes that the frame is thought to have been offered to Joe Craig at Norton who demurred, and he also refused to supply Earles with a Manx Norton engine. The Earles was ridden in the 1952 TT by Charles Salt of BSA, who achieved 18th place in the Senior. It was also ridden by Cecil Sandford.

The frame was built by Ken Sprayson, "The Frame Man", of Reynolds Tube Co Ltd. It was he who developed the Norton Featherbed of McCandless design. He also built the Earles forks for this machine.

The Earles BSA is on display at the Sammy Miller Museum.

Sources: Graces Guide, et al

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