Today in Motorcycle History

F. E. Waller

FEW were motorcycles produced in 1920, and from 1926 to 1928, by F. E. Waller.
  • 1920 Waller had already exploited the market with his patent valve-spring attachments which protected stems and springs from road dirt. Having marketed them under his own initials, he then ventured into motorcycle production and started with a 6hp sv JAP engine in a low, sporting frame, and Saxon spring forks. Drive from the engine was direct by belt to the wheel, but the design had a novel type of friction gear, the details of which were kept secret. In the September of that year a prototype was built and shown to the public and trade. It was hoped that it would be of interest to a manufacturing company that would take on its construction, but none was forthcoming and the idea was shelved.
  • 1926 Waller again aroused interest with an unconventional machine of the car-on-two-wheels ilk, whereby the rider sat in a low bucket seat. The engine in this new FEW was either a 600cc sv single or 976cc sv V-twin JAP engine, three-speed Burman or Sturmey-Archer gearbox and all-chain transmission. Models available ranged from the 600cc Popular, 976cc Special and the 976cc Paramount Duo fitted out to carry two people, sitting in bucket seats that were fitted within the wheelbase. The multi-tube frame lay at wheel-spindle height or below, until, from a point there, a triangulated maze of tubes rose upwards to a normal steering-head and link-action girder forks of conventional outline. The panels over this elevated forward structure were carefully arranged to act as leg shields, whilst panelling over the rear wheel provided a clean area for carrying luggage. An instrument panel was formed behind the steering head and the rider was given further protection by a small screen in Triplex glass. Foot-boards kept dirt out and the engines were also fitted with the patent FEW valve attachments. Late that year they exhibited at the Olympia Show, but there was no sign of manufacture.
  • 1927 In the Olympia Show of that October, there was confirmation that the models would be available the following year, together with a slightly lighter version fitted with a 499cc sv Blackburne engine.
  • 1928 Selfridges of London then displayed three models and the marque was also listed in buyers' guides, but the make did not last beyond the end of the year.

FEW 1920 6hp JAP

A big solo machine which at present retains the simplicity of the fixed gear, but which will later incorporate a special design of friction gear.


THE F.E.W. motor cycle, illustrated above, has been designed by the inventor of the F.E.W. valve attachment, and incorporates a 6 h.p. J. A. P. engine unit, which is accessibly mounted on four engine plates suspended from the two down tubes.

Triangulated Rear Frame.

At the rear the suspending member is triangularly constructed. The two tubes suspending the engine are bolted to the saddle tube, whilst two similar tubes, brazed to the rear fork, are fixed at the same point. A gear box is not at present fitted, but a novel type of friction gear will be incorporated at a later date.

The petrol and oil tanks are somewhat unconventional. The former, of very large capacity and being of the saddle type, conceals the top tube.

Lubricating oil is carried in a circular tank which is held by clips to the front down tube, and the drip feed lubricator and pump are conveniently located at the top. Saxon spring forks have been fitted for demonstration purposes. A new design, however, will be introduced later on.

Mudguarding has received special attention, and adequate protection at the front and rear is provided.

The silencer and the exhaust pipes have been very neatly designed, and a special fitting is provided whereby the rider may, if required, considerably reduce the noise of the exhaust.

F.E.W. Valve Attachment.

A very comfortable riding position is afforded by the horizontally sprung saddle. This is suspended on two leaf springs anchored beneath the tank, and also on a bracket fixed to the top of the saddle tube.

As may be expected, the F.E.W. valve-attachment forms part of the equipment. This valve spring fitting was fully described in the issue of The Motor Cycle dated September 18th, 1919.

Novel Tappet Adjustment.

Tappet adjustment is provided at the base of this device, and is regulated by a small disc and locking ring. The standard J. A. P. tappet may also be used; but, it is claimed, a more minute adjustment can be made from the F.E.W. attachment.

The designer, Mr. F. E. Waller is anxious to place this machine on the market, and is open to negotiate with any manufacturer to whom the design appeals. Mr. Waller's address is c/o Messrs. Rubberine, Ltd., 444, Market Road, Caledonian Road, London, N.17.

The Motor Cycle, September 30th, 1920.

Paramount-Duo were motorcycles produced between 1927 and 1928 by FEW.

This model was rather unusual as it had two bucket seats and partial enclosure, not dissimilar to the OEC Atlanta-Duo that would appear in the 1930s. The engines were either the 499cc Blackburne or 981cc JAP V-twin driving a Burman or Sturmey-Archer gearbox. The design was not well-received and, as there were few buyers, the make soon left the market.

Source: Graces Guide

mickthetune at
Few paramount special
I worked at Few, the bike was on show in Selfriges in London, I have the only sleeve valve engine that they made, see Autax Langham NSR Colchester we also made garage equipment.
Michael Whitnell
Tiptree Essex England

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