Levis Motorcycles

Today in Motorcycle History

Levis 1920-1921 Models

A Three-speed T.T. Levis for 1921.

A pioneer among the lightweight two-strokes, the 2¼ h.p. Levis remains substantially unaltered for 1921.

Levis 1921 Clutch Diagram

The addition of a cork inset clutch makes the new Levis three-speed gear box ideal for road work on a light machine. Of course, wider ratios are used than those which were employed on the gears fitted to the T.T. machines in the Isle of Man. The weight complete, with all the operating mechanism, is under 10 lb.

A Three-speed 2½ h.p. T.T. Levis.

A Road Edition of the I.O.M. Machine to be marketed in Addition to Three 2½ h.p. Models.

HITHERT0 the Levis has appealed mainly to the novice and the weaker sex; and, although an extraordinarily capable little machine, its 211 c.c. engine and single gear do not make up the specification of a "road-eater's mount. But the 2½ h.p. model (67x70 mm. bore and stroke = 247 c.c.), which, amongst other things, gained The Motor Cycle Cup in this year's T.T., is a different proposition; and all who love the light, fast, go-anywhere type, will welcome the news that for 1921 Messrs. Butterfields, Ltd., of Stechford, Birmingham, are marketing what is practically a replica of R. O. Clark's Isle of Man model.

Ultimately the T.T. Levis will have a three-speed gear box and clutch (of Levis Manufacture and design), and it is hoped to show one so fitted at Olympia. At present, however, the gear is in an experimental stage, and, although the same type of box, minus clutch, emerged with honours from the 250 miles gruelling in the Isle of Man, we were told that it will not be adopted as standard until it passes exhaustive road tests. Chain and belt transmission is used, and the drive is direct on top, while first and second speeds are obtained by sliding pinions on a square mainshaft. The design and internal workmanship appear to be exemplary, while the weight, including a handle-bar-operated cork inset clutch, is but 9 lb. 2 oz. The provisional prices are £58 single geared, and £83 with three-speed gear box and clutch.

Touring, sports, and ladies' models of the 2¼ h.p. machine will be marketed next year. The former two differ only in detail, i.e., handle-bars and gearing; while an exceptionally low frame allows an admirable adaptation for feminine use by simply adding a belt guard. The price of the 211 c.c. machine remains at £60; and the specification now includes an E.I.C. magneto, and a B. and B., Senspray, or special two-stroke Amac carburetter.

More than interesting evidence that the standard Levis, as supplied to the public, is a genuine lightweight, is forth-coming in the fact that, when the railway's refused to carry machines that were over 112 lb. by passenger train, Messrs. Butterfields continually despatched their products so, and only rarely found it necessary to send on the tool-kit under separate cover.

Although the larger T.T. Levis is indisputably capable of pulling a sidecar, the makers do not recommend this, and refuse to spoil a real solo machine by adding weight.

The Motor Cycle November 4th, 1920 PP 539, 540

Olympia Show 1920

Levis. (Stand 121.)

  • 2½ h.p.; 62x70 mm. (211 c.c.); single-cylinder two-stroke; drip feed lubrication; Amac (or other) carburetter; chain-driven magneto; single-speed gear; belt drive; Hutchinson 24x2¼ in. tyres. Price £60.

Butterfields, Ltd., Stechford, Birmingham.

Two-strokes as a rule are suspected of being uneconomical that is to say, their consumption is considered to be high in proportion to their power. Therefore, great interest is being shown in the result of the recent Levis consumption test, when the machine averaged over 20 m.p.h. over a fifty-mile course, with a petrol consumption at the rate of 320 m.p.g. (officially observed by the A.C.U.). In fact, the makers guarantee a mileage of 120 to the gallon, and state that the average machine, as it leaves their works, will, with reasonably careful handling, achieve 150 m.p.g. When one realises that, combined with this low consumption, there is the advantage of flexibility (in that the single-gear Levis will two-stroke from 6 up to 35 m.p.h. or more), one begins to appreciate the firm's faithfulness to the single-geared machine.

The larger sporting model, of 247 c.c., is also being shown. This is the size of engine which won its class in the 1920 T.T., and is now being marketed at £68. The engine and machine are almost exactly similar to the smaller type, except for the larger bore and stroke and a different silencer. An interesting point is the tank fixing, which is arranged (on rubber buffers) so that the tank and under tube may be removed together by undoing two bolts, thus giving exceedingly easy access to the cylinder. The engine is still lubricated by drip feed, with special pipes to the cylinder and one main bearing, which are a Levis feature. The cylinder feed lubricates the gudgeon pin and the other main bearing, while the direct main bearing feed also oils the big end.

The 1920 Olympia Show. The Motor Cycle, December 2nd, 1920. Page 704