Today in Motorcycle History

Saltley Motorcycles of Birmingham

saltley logo

Saltley motorcycles were produced from 1914 to 1925*, at Snow Hill, Birmingham.

  • The company was well-established as a bicycle builder and entered the powered market with a lightweight powered by a 197 / 269cc Villiers engine, and with a choice of single-speed or two-speed chain-cum-belt transmission. The onset of war brought an end to the first phase of their motorcycle venture.

    They entered the market again in 1919.

    1921 The latest Villiers Mk IV engine, with flywheel magneto, joined the earlier version. Also added were further models with 347cc Vulcanus and 497 / 545cc Blackburne engines.

  • 1925 The range continued and increased again with the addition of 292cc sv JAP and 348cc Blackburne models. After that, the firm went back to pedal power.

* A 1914 catalogue surfaced recently showing their first motorcycle "especially for export from Birmingham". Previously it was thought that they did not produced motorcycles prior to 1919.

Saltley-Vulcanus Two-stroke Motor Cycle. "NEMINE CONTRADICENTE."


Frame. - Built up with best Reynold's Weldless Tubes, correct to gauges and butted where necessary. All executed with best materials and workmanship as illustrated.
Engine. - Two-stroke 2¼ h.p., 60 x 76 x 211 c.c.
Carburettor - Handlebar control, Amac or Senspray
Ignition. - Magneto Splitdorf.
Fork. - Patent spring buffer.
Brakes. - Bowden front rim and foot belt rim.
Wheels. - 24 x 2in. plated rims, Brampton Hubs.
Tank. - Very strong. Fitted with oil Pump and all necessary taps.
Transmission. - Best quality ¾in. belt.
Stand. - Strong tubular design.
Saddle. - Large pan seat.
Footrests. - Very strong, with rubber pads.
Handlebar, Long, giving a very comfortable position.
Toolbags. - Leather, box pattern, and tools.
Carrier. - Strong tubular pattern.
Finish. - Enamelled black. Aluminium tank with green panels, very handsome appearance.
Tyres. - Avon or Moseley. rubber studded.
Number Plates. - On front guard and carrier.
Petrol Consumption. - 100/120 miles per gallon.
Lub. Oil Consumption. - About 2000 miles per gallon.

The Saltey Motor Cycles are Specially built for Export to meet the demand for a Good Reliable Machine at a Low Price. They are very attractive in appearance and excellent in running, being built of Best Material by skilled workmen.

Olympia Show 1920

Saltley. (Stand 175.)

  • 4 h.p. Blackburne; 85x88 mm. (499 c.c.); single-cylinder four-stroke; side-by-side valves; B. and L. drip lubrication; Amac carburetter; chain-driven magneto; three-speed Sturmey-Archer gear; chain and belt drive; 26 x 2½ in. tyres. Price £130.

Saltley Cycle Co., 86, Snow Hill, Birmingham.

The Saltley Cycle Co. stage three neatly designed machines, embodying the 4 h.p. Blackburne, the 2¾ h.p. Vulcanus, and the 2½ h.p. Villiers power units. All three machines are excellent examples of the assembled type, and neatly finished in handsome colouring.

The big 4 h.p. is an exceptionally good-looking machine, this in part being due to the use of a two-gallon tank of the "saddle" pattern, finely finished in khaki and black. The colouring of the Villiers model is similar; that of the Vulcanus is royal blue with black panels and gold lines.

Olympia Show, 1920

The Motor Cycle, December 2nd, 1920.

Sources: Graces Guide, Steve Brown (1867 FB Group)

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