Today in Motorcycle History

GB Motorcycles

G. B. Motor Co

GB were motorcycles produced from 1905 to 1908. The company was run by F. Claassen and Co, based in Sydenham, London.

The machine made its debut at the late-1905 Stanley Show. The models were a 3hp single, plus 3½ hp and 5½ hp Minerva V-twins which were all fitted with a gear-driven magneto. There were many options including spring forks, free-engine clutch and a sidecar with a coach or wicker body. They also listed a tricycle with a passenger seat, carried between the twin rear wheels and fitted behind the rider's saddle.

With a long 58-inch wheelbase, the models were low in build and quite advanced for the period.

Production continued until 1908, during which year they listed machines with either a 4½ hp Minerva single engine or a 5½ hp Zedel V-twin.

G.B. Motorcycles at the 1905 Stanley Show

A motor bicycle which appeared for the first time in this country is the G.B. It is fitted with a two-cylinder engine, which may be had of 5 h.p. or 3 h.p., and is belt driven. The ignition is by high-tension magneto, gear driven, and a free-engine clutch is also fitted, which is operated by a large and well-designed handle and by a Bowden wire. The clutch also is well made, and does not throw out the belt lines when put into action. Great attention has been paid to points of convenience; a small plunger is inserted underneath the jet, which, when pressed upwards, pushes a needle through the orifice, clearing it of any foreign matter without dismounting the whole of the mechanism. Two small ball valves are fitted on to the inlet valve domes, so that through them petrol may be injected when necessary. The advance of the magneto is effected, not in the usual manner by a lever at the top tube, but by a long brake lever which is attached to a Bowden wire. The spindle on which this lever hinges is provided with a large disc, the result being the lever works just sufficiently stiffly so that it is not affected in any way by the vibration of the machine. With a long lever of this kind a most delicate adjustment may be obtained. The throttle is worked by a lever attached to the top tube, while a small pull-up lever regulates the air supply. Band brakes are fitted to both wheels. The oil pump is carried in an almost horizontal position on the top of the tank, the object being that it can be seen whether the oil fills it when the plunger is drawn up.

Altogether the machine is a thoroughly practical and well-designed mount, the wheelbase being long and the reach from the ground low. The single-cylinder G.B. motor bicycle strongly resembles the other in almost every detail, with the exception that the valves are mechanically operated. These machines can also be fitted with spring forks if necessary. We might mention that the G.B. Motor Co. are also introducing a moderately-priced sidecarriage to attach to the right-hand side, and to run in conjunction with their machines. An illustration of the twin-cylinder bicycle was published last week.

Stanley Show Report, November 1905

Source: Graces Guide

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