Today in Motorcycle History

Southey Motorcycles

Southey of 195 High Street, Berkhamstead, Hertfordshire produced motorcycles from 1905 to 1922.

This small firm produced frames for others. They also produced complete machines, probably for local customers and built to order. These would have used a variety of engines and transmissions, as required.

After the end of World War I they built lightweights. These had a sloping top-tube to the frame and had a wedge-shaped tank. Powered by a 259cc Villiers engine, it had a two- or three-speed Sturmey-Archer gearbox, chain-cum-belt transmission and Druid forks. They also produced a model with a 346cc sv Blackburne engine.

Production was small-scale and, to save on costs and keep the selling price down, the company advertised directly to the public. This practice meant that their market was very limited and the machines were only built until 1922.

The premises was occupied by Sharlands Drapers in the late 1920s, and in later years was Birtchnell's Menswear until shortly before a structural failure resulted in the building collapsing in January 2011.

Sources: Graces Guide,

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