Brough Motorcycles

Today in Motorcycle History

Brough Motorcycles

Brough of Vernon Road, Basford, Nottingham.
  • The company manufactured motorcycles from 1898 to 1925.

    1908 William Brough began the legend that was later to become Brough Superior, the engineering genius of his son George. He began making production motorcycles in 1908. George and William were initially partners in the company.

    1898 Brough built a small car, soon to be followed by a tricycle fitted with a 2½ hp De Dion engine.

    1902 Appearance of first motorcycle, with an engine suspended from the downtube, and braced forks.

  • 1906-1908 Various improvements were made to the design, and several models were produced. The 1908 model had a vertically mounted 3½ hp engine and sprung forks. That was soon joined by a 2½ hp and a 5hp V-twin. The engines were all produced in-house.

    1910 Brough developed and built an advanced experimental engine. It had a rotary valve above the cylinder, which was driven by bevel gears, a shaft, and spur gears above the head and valve.

    1912 A larger, 6hp V-twin model was available for touring and racing. The 3½ hp single was enlarged and a two-speed counter-shaft gearbox added. There was also an 8hp V-twin engine for the Brough Monocar and there was also a ladies' version, with an open frame and a 3½ hp engine.

    1913 George Brough was entered in the Senior TT, on a model with a flat twin engine, but for the race an ABC twin engine was used as their own was not ready. Unfortunately George was forced to retire early from the race. Later in the year, the firm announced their own 3½ hp 497cc flat-twin model with ohv, the U. H. magneto clamped to the crankcase top and the two-speed gearbox to the crankcase underside. Chain drive was used from engine to gearbox while the final drive was from an adjustable pulley by belt. It was also fitted with Druid forks.

    1915 Only the flat twin was listed, in two further forms. One had a three-speed gearbox and the other was for racing.

    1916 to 1923 The standard models were joined by a larger 5hp version. In 1923 they were joined by a larger 5hp version of 810cc.

    1919 George left his father's business in 1919, after an argument, to begin his own company Brough Superior in the same city of Nottingham.

    1924 The larger version continued along with the 947cc model.

    1925 Production ceased.

Ladies' Motor Cycles at Olympia.

Another machine of this type is the 3½ h.p. Brough, which is absolutely bristling with good points. The frame is strengthened by means of duplex down tubes, which are exceedingly neat and graceful as well as strong. Of special note are the extra air-cooling arrangement, the easily detached front wheel, and the efficient guarding which all point to the practical mind of the designer. It is fitted with the Armstrong three-speed gear and handle starting, and would be an ideal sidecar machine for a lady.

The Motor Cycle, December 5th, 1912.

Sources: Graces Guide, The Motor Cycle.

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