Today in Motorcycle History

Torpedo Motorcycles

F. Hopper and Co of Barton-on-Humber, South Humberside

  • Torpedo were motorcycles produced from 1908 to 1915.

    1880 Company established.

    1907 Incorporated as a Limited Company. The company was registered on 13 February, as a private limited company, to acquire a business of cycle manufacturers.

F. Hopper and Co.
(Stand 129).

This firm show one example of a motor bicycle, named the Torpedo. It is fitted with a 3 h.p. engine, belt drive, Eisemann magneto ignition, spray carburetter. The control of the carburetter means of a throttle working inside the tube, through which the extra air is drawn. The inlet valve is mechanically operated by means of an overhead tappet rod. The frame is low and strongly built, and although the sample on exhibition has rigid forks, spring forks can be supplied when required.

1907 Stanley Show
The Motor Cycle, November 1907

  • 1908 The machine was first catalogued.

    1910 The Torpedo was seen at the Olympia show. It was intended to use a 4.25 Fafnir engine, but this was changed to 2½ hp and 3½ hp Precision engines, with belt drive and Druid forks.

1910 Cycle and Motorcycle Exhibition
F. Hopper and Co.
Barton-on-Humber. Stand No. 88.
These motor-cycles have a well chosen name in the "Torpedo." There are two patterns, the 3 1/2 HP with ball bear- in motor, adjustable pulley having ratios from 4 to 1 to to 1, Brown and Barlow carburetter, and 2-l/4 in. tyres. The light-weight has a 2 H.P. motor, Amac carburetter, 6 to 1 gear, and 1 3/4 studded tyres. Simms magnetos and Lyso belts are used in both cases, while the tyres are Dunlops. The weight of the full roadster with carrier and stand is reckoned at 160 lbs., while the light-weight is well under 100 lbs.

1910 Olympia Show

  • Later came a 4¼ hp model with hub gears and a 190cc lightweight.

    1914 A V-twin was added.

    1914 Wholesale cycle, motor cycle and motor car manufacturers. Specialities: complete machines, frames and concomitant parts. Employees 50.

    1915 The range continued for that year.

    The company also sold motorcycle sets comprising frame, forks, tank, wheels, mudguards, pedals and handlebars. The trader then added engine, transmission, saddle, tyres and other minor details, including transfer outline, to sell as his own make of machine. It was the same machine as the Elswick.

Source: Graces Guide

N.B. Several other firms used variations of the brand name Torpedo.

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