Today in Motorcycle History

Wilkin Motors

Wilkin were motorcycles produced between 1920 and 1921, by an established motorcycle retailer named G. W. Wilkin, in Sheffield, Yorkshire.

The machine was conventional and well constructed, with either a 348cc or 499cc sv Blackburne engine, three-speed Sturmey-Archer gearbox and fully enclosed all-chain transmission. A lighter model was also offered and this had the 269cc Villiers two-stroke, with two-speed gear from either Albion or Burman.

The super lightweight motorcycle was a comfortable and efficient solo touring bike aimed at the sporting motorist. It was assembled from ready-made components from different manufacturers.

In September 1920, Wilkin bravely attempted to ride around the coast of Great Britain on a sidecar outfit, accompanied by an Auto-Cycle Union observer in the sidecar. The ride was completed in thirty-two days and covered 3,315miles/5,334km. Only a couple of minor problems were reported - a fractured rear fork stay and a broken exhaust pipe.

Although it proved itself to be a worthy machine, the buying public were not sufficiently impressed to make the marque a success.

Source: Graces Guide

Olympia Show 1920

Wilkin. (Stand 146.)

  • 4 h.p. Blackburne; 85x88 mm. (499c.c.); single-cylinder four-stroke; side-by-side valves; drip feed lubrication; Amac, B. and B., or Senspray carburetter; chain-driven Magdyno; two-speed Sturmey-Archer gear; all-chain drive; Wood-Milne or Hutchinson 26in. x 3in. tyres. Price £190 with sidecar.

Wilkin Motors, Ltd., Onslow Road, Sheffield.

The officially observed "Round the Coast" test is still fresh in the minds of the public; and just as surely have the lessons of that test been utilised by Wilkin Motors. Mudguarding has been much improved and strengthened, and the chain cases are designed to be completely mud and waterproof; albeit they detach with little trouble. Specially thoughtful is the provision of a means of clipping the chains in position, and thus avoiding much irritating "fishing" in the lower half of the gear case when shortening the chain. The gear box is adjusted by means of a special plate attached to the holding-down bolts, which plate may be moved forward or backward by screwing a double-flanged nut abutting on a lug cast in the bottom bracket. Magneto chain adjustment is made easy in a somewhat similar manner.

  • 2¾ h.p. Blackburne; 71x88 mm. (549 c.c.); single-cylinder four-stroke; side-by-side valves; drip feed lubrication; Amac or Senspray carburetter; chain-driven magneto; three-speed Sturmey-Archer gear; enclosed chain drive; 26in. x 2½ in. tyres. Price £122.

It may be recalled that the 2¾ h.p. Wilkin distinguished itself in the Scott and Ilkley trials - two abnormally severe events. The chief features of the 4 h.p. model also apply to this machine, which is also shown as a light sidecar outfit. A specially tuned sporting model with T.T. bars and footrests completes a fine range of machines that we expect to see much in evidence in 1921.

Olympia Show, 1920

The Motor Cycle, December 2nd, 1920.

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