Today in Motorcycle History

Hockley Motorcycles, Birmingham

Hockley motorcycles were produced from 1914 to 1916 by a firm in Barr Street, Birmingham.

In December of 1914 the company announced their new motorcycle, intended for colonial use, and it was certainly exported to Australia.

The machine was powered by a 269cc Liberty or Villiers two-stroke engine that either drove the rear wheel directly by belt, or by chain to a two-speed gearbox and then by belt. The engine had a Senspray carburettor and ML magneto, and the frame had twin downtubes.

The Hockley Two-Stroke

The Hockley two-stroke has been made for some months past, but practically the whole of the output has been for foreign and Colonial consumption.

It possesses a number of interesting and commendable features, the most obvious of which is the frame design. As will be seen from the illustration, an extra tube is provided from the head of the engine, which, it is claimed, resists the to-and-fro or - "nodding" movement of the short arm of the fork column; and the fact that the engine vibrations are spread over a greater area minimises the possibility of metal crystallisation and subsequent breakage. The head is longer than in usual practice, and a good steering angle consequently obtainable.

The special feature of the engine lies in its lubrication. The oil and petrol are kept separately, the former being distributed via a drip-feed lubricator into a plated brass well clipped to the down-tube. In this well is placed a ball-valve, which automatically with the engine speed regulates the supply of oil, the engine sucking the ball down according to its speed, while it remains up when the engine is stationary, so completely stopping the flow of oil. From this well the oil is distributed to the engine by three pipes; one leading to the cylinder and the other two to either side of the crank-case, where they feed directly on to the main bearings.

The Hockley engine otherwise conforms to ordinary two-stroke practice. It is of 2.75 h.p., bore and stroke 70 x 70 mm., and the radiating fins continue to the bottom of the cylinder. Two exhaust pipes are provided, which emerge into a well-made cast aluminium silencer.

The specification includes BTH or ML magneto driven by adjustable Brampton chain enclosed in an aluminium case; Senspray carburettor, Saxon compound spring forks, Dunlop 26 x 2 studded tyres, Dunlop 0.75 in. belt, saddle of good quality, front, and back wheel stands, two pannier tool-bags, strong guards "- the back guard has a steel liner on its inner side for strength -" aluminium foot-boards, etc.

A personal trial revealed the comfort, absence of vibration, power and flexibility of the Hockley two-stroke, while the distinctive and tasty finish called forth much favourable comment.

The Hockley is made throughout by the Hockley Motor Manufacturing Co. at Barr Street, Hockley, Birmingham, and retails at 28 guineas plus 10 per cent. With a two-speed countershaft gear the price is £6 extra.

Autocycle Illustrated August 11, 1915


YET another addition to the ranks of two-stroke manufacturers is the Hockley Motor Manufacturing Co., of Bar Street, Birmingham, machine which this firm is produce is expressly designed for overseas though it is intended to market this country as well.

The most striking feature is the frame design, which is claimed to give such a powerful construction that it is unbreakable even when used over the worst Colonial tracks. The chief point in this construction is the arrangement of two down tubes, one from the top and the other from the bottom of the head lug, which meet at the engine carrying lug and thus strengthen the most vital part of the frame.

Throughout, the machine is constructed on commonsense lines, and the big ground clearance and large tank capacity are peculiarly adapted for rough travel in countries where garages are few and far between. Saxon forks and a sturdy and sensible equipment with good mudguards help to give the impression of solidity without undue weight, and the engine is a simple and reliable unit with the magneto carried high-up behind the cylinder, well out of the way of water splashes, mud, and grit. The magneto is chain-driven from the crankshaft, and the whole platform slides in a line with the drive for chain adjustment.

The Engine.

The bore and stroke are 70x70 mm., and the cooling ribs run down to the base of the cylinder casting, being neatly arranged to give the maximum cooling effect in combination with good looks, All bearings are of special phosphor bronze, and lubrication is by a sight feed drip oiler. The flywheel is outside and of large diameter, and the machine may be obtained either single-geared or with a two-speed counter- shaft gear and chain and belt drive. Twenty-six inch wheels are used, and the brake gear in particular is well carried out. Altogether the Hockley Motor Mfg. Co. may feel proud of a machine which is eminently suited to the purpose for which it was designed.

The Motor Cycle, December 17th. 1914.

Sources: Graces Guide, The Motor Cycle

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