Greeves Motorcycles

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Greeves History

Greeves motorcycles were produced from 1954 to 1978, in Thundersley, Essex. The marque re-appeared under new ownership in 1999 and released a new 280cc trials model in 2009.

Bert Greeves began his involvement with motorcycles after developing the Invacar - an invalid carriage developed to cope with the post-war needs of casualties.

  • 1954 The first machines appeared, all using the Villiers 8E engine. The design of the frame and suspension made Greeves unique. The tubular frame had a cast-alloy beam and the suspension had rubber bushes in torsion with in-built dampers - the front being leading-link. These were tried out both in scrambles and on the road and there were four models in total. Of the two road machines, one had three speeds and the other had four. There was a scrambles model and one for trials. Later in the year these were joined by the roadster Fleetwing, powered by the 242cc British Anzani twin two-stroke engine.
  • 1956 Models using conventional tubular frames appeared, along with a twin using the 322cc British Anzani. Simultaneously, the original system of rear suspension was replaced by conventional rear units and the 8E engine was replaced by the 9E.
  • 1957 Hydraulic dampers went into the front forks and the twins began to change to the 249cc Villiers 2T twin engine.

    1958 The designs of competition and road models were growing farther apart, and previous suspension problems had been fixed. The trials bike was called Scottish and the scrambler Hawkstone, in recognition of the locations where they had performed well.

    1959 The 197cc machines were joined by 246cc versions for road or competition use with the A-series Villiers engine.

    1960 Those models continued. A road twin was added, with a 324cc Villiers3T engine. These would run on for the rest of the decade.

    1961 The scrambler had the option of a Greeves top half for its Villiers engine. By this time the Greeves trial model had become a firm favourite and sales were excellent. Over the preceding few years, the machines had performed well in the European series.

    1963 A new era arrived for the company when it branched into road racing, following the success of a modified scrambler. Known as the Silverstone, it was a racer with a 246cc engine, that was built up to 1968 and performed well.

    1966 Only trials and scrambler motorcycles were built, as all the road models were dropped. Villiers was in trouble but Greeves was able to continue. Telescopic forks became an option.

    1967-1971 Production continued but there was little success.

    1972 Output became minimal.

    1978 The company closed when Bert Greeves retired and a fire brought financial ruin.

    1999 The name was revived with an Anglian replica trials bike built in Essex, close to the original home - aimed at enthusiasts of the marque - by producing a classic look using modern materials and techniques. This was the 24TJSB with a traditional Villiers bottom half and Challenger head and barrel for the 246cc engine. The frame had a cast-alloy front beam, twin rear shocks, MP telescopic forks and conical hubs.

Greeves Models

Source: Graces Guide