Levis Motorcycles

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Levis Motorcycles

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A Brief History of the Marque

Levis had a long and illustrious career as a producer of both two-stroke and four-stroke motorcycles, and had considerable success on the racetrack and, just prior to WWII, in offroad events. Their fourstrokes included a 250 OHC as well as OHV models and a sidevalve. Early two-strokes were mostly of 3 port configuration but some had six ports. Levis engines were fitted to at least one New Hudson model.

The Levis derived its name for the Latin word for ‘light’, which was one of the diminutive two-stroke's many virtues. Levis began manufacture of its 211cc, single-gear lightweight in 1911. Soon dubbed ‘Popular’, the model was a huge success and remained in production until 1926. Levis had considerable success in 250cc racing in the early 1920s, winning the Lightweight category at the Isle of Man in 1920 and 1922. They introduced a new 247cc production model alongside the Popular for 1921.

Levis 1923 Models
Popular 211cc single speed
Model S 211cc 2 speed
Model T 211cc 2 speed
Model H 247cc 3 speed

Levis 1924 and 1928 models:

  • Levis 1924
  • Levis 1928
  • Levis 1936 Models:

    D Special 498cc
    A Special 346cc OHV
    B Special 247cc OHV
    Light 500 498cc OHV
    Light 350 346cc OHV
    Light 250 247cc OHV

    Other Levis models include:
    1931 Levis Model Z 247cc
    1935 Model D Special 498cc OHV. Pushrod tunnel give the appearance of an OHC engine.
    Levis Model CB classed as OHC 247cc
    1939 Levis SF500498cc, Plunger frame, the two sides were linked by a hydraulic pipe and to friction pads.

    lev-, levi- (Latin: light in weight, lightness; to raise, to lift).

    More history of the Butterfield Brothers and Levis...

    ingleby.thegreen at talk21.com
    I am researching a WW1 soldier killed in 1917. He was serving in the 17th Divisional Signal Coy as a motorcyclist and documents indicate he owned a pre-war (1915) 'Baby Levi" 2.25hp machine. Sadly the relevant page in his soldier's record is badly fire damaged and much of the writing has long gone. Does the information provided sound feasible - I would love to include details (and a photo if I can find one) in a book I am writing on a group of Doncaster based soldiers. Can you give me any info from the scant information provided? The manufacturer appears to be ....lds Ltd? The machine was not suitable for military use as it had no 2 or 3 speed gear and no clutch. It is described as a single cylinder of about 350cc. I hasten to add I know nothing about motorcycles/bikes - I have never owned one nor been on one!
    David Ingleby
    Torksey UK

    • The machine referred to is almost certainly a Levis Baby by Butterfields Ltd. This is the best image we have at present: https://cybermotorcycle.com/gallery/levis-owners/Levis-Baby-beltdrive.htm
      It is described under Levis Baby, 1914, on this page: Levis 1914
      There were several versions, single and two-speed, 211cc and 293cc. It was probably last manufactured that year.

    5 Oct 19
    jean.mackenzie2 at btinternet.com
    I found this photograph in my grandpa's album and wonder whether you are able to identify the model, and the years of its manufacture.
    I also would like to know whether it is possible to track the owner from the licence plate number.
    Jean Mackenzie

    rshimek at outlook.com
    1930 350cc
    Hello, I am helping a customer sell his 1930 Levis. It has a 350cc single cylinder. Is there a good place to market this bike? Thank you in advance.
    Russell Shimek
    Grand Forks, North Dakota

    bill.coburn at outlook.com
    Levis Model K 1925
    What model of carburettor would be fitted to this machine
    Bill Coburn
    Dundee, Scotland

    raandaka at internode.on.net
    Levis 250
    Hi, Im in possession of a Incomlete and disassemled Levis 250 engine number 18982, from our family estate. It looks to be a similar engine to a 1928 model. Can you confirm what model this is please.
    Randy Albrecht
    Adelaide Australia
    • Sorry, have no information on that. Try the Levis club perhaps at facebook.com/LevisMcc/

    mayburywoodburners at gmail.com
    1938 Levis 'D' special   
    Hi, My father is passing on to me his old Levis, he last rode it in 1965. Just wondering if you know of any forums of owners or people who specialise in Levis stuff in case I need info, parts, help?
    Kind regards, Duncan Maybury   
    Bristol, Uk

    Try this page. Also try the search function on the page. Levis at Bikelinks.

    Fri, 20 Oct 2017
    proodhou at bigpond.net.au
    Levis? MC 1174

    Please find attached photo's of a cylinder, piston and crankcase I found in some spare parts I have, it is a 3 port 2 stroke motor with MG 1174 on the cylinder. Would like to know if this is a Levis motor.
    Peter Roodhouse
    Blackwood Australia

    Levis-Barrel-MC1174.jpg posted to comments, above.

    Mon, 04 Sep 2017
    stevenrogerson1 at hotmail.co.uk
    Levis model t two stroke ... I think Model t 1923??

    Hi I'm currently trying to build a Levis popular and model t they were found across two properties and I'm trying to piece them together. One has a gearbox and one doesn't I can't decipher which goes to which any help and info would be a massive help so far it has been a guessing game!
    Steven Rogerson
    Lancashire United Kingdom

    Fri, 28 Jul 2017
    keithread.1 at iinet.net.au
    levis light weight 1914

    i have a levis i beleav it to be a 1914 i bout it from a deceist estate was told i runs but not started for about 10 years so i need to clean out the oil tank fuel tank etc the reason iam contacting you i would like to purchase a workshop manual & starting instructions or starting proceedure i have other bikes but not as old as this one any help & advise would be appreciated keith read
    keith read
    perth western australia Australia

     Wed, 02 Aug 2017
    keithread.1 at iinet.net.au
    levis 1923

    iam looking for a workshop manual & operating instructions mine was handed down to me i have a couple off barrels & casings to levis 2 strokes
    keith read
    perth wa Australia

    Sun Jun 04 2017
    romel70 at atlas.cz
    Motorcycle Levis
    Hello, please help me to determine the model and years of production of this Levis motorcycle. It's probably in the thirties. The motorcycle is my grandfather and his sister. If it does, thank you very much.

    Roman Elias

    Tue Aug 23 2016
    dalewindows at yahoo.co.uk
    Levis manual
    Levis Model m<
    Anyone got a workshop manual for 1926 250cc levis...please ring 07740 244510

    Wed Mar 16 2016
    rockingham14 at outlook.com
    Old Barn find for sale
    Levis 2 stroke not sure of model
    Hello - I have a old Levis motorcycle frame and engine that was in the shed after my father in law passed away. I don't know much about it but was interested to know if anyone wanted to restore it and or if it had any value? The engine is stamped with a number which I think is '?301' - I can't seem to find a frame number.

    Ed: The number is stamped in the barrel, so it's a casting number.

    <bill.coburn at outlook.com>
    Bill Coburn
    Levis engine
    Please can you help me find out year and model of Levis that engine number-18675 would/could have been fitted to ,or, advise me where I might find information.Thank you/
    Bill Coburn.

    Wed Aug 19 2015
    julianlee359 at btinternet.com
    levis popular
    hi I need a lot of help to put this back on the road . Engine number 1174 popular 2 1/4 hp. Patent 659 has you can see I need lots off spares first off a frame if poss. Many thanks julian lee

    Levis Popular c1923

    Fri Feb 20 2015
    paulhutton at btopenworld.com
    Aero engine
    Levis Flat twin
    I am very interested in the levis flat twin aero engine, and would love to know where the photos came from. Can you help?

    There is an entry below from Sept 2007 on this machine. Ed.

    Wed Jan 28 2015
    marcuscronk at hotmail.co.uk
    sideways carb.
    levis 350 twin port
    Hi,i could do with buying a rear wheel and tank ,gearbox and druid top yoke for my 350 levis. Also why is my carb mounted 90 degrees off upright ? Thanks for reading.
    Devon, Uk.

    Tue May 13 2014
    planter472002 at yahoo.co.in
    Levis Engine
    Levis 1927/28??
    I have just discovered the Levis engine shown in the attached pics. It is evidently incomplete and the attached Magneto also seems to be un original { I have a BTH which should fit] but i require a lot of advise and help from people who know this marque well. I all my years of collecting bikes I have never seen a Levis in India!

    Tue Nov 06 2012
    gear change lever
    LEVIS 250cc 1936
    My chrome plater has lost my hand change lever and quadrant. I'm after another, but will settle for dimensions, so I can make one myself.
    melb. australia

    Wed Apr 25 2012
    date of a Levis pop
    levis Pop. Engine no. 4773. Frame no. 5212
    I need to date a Levis pop Engine no. 4773. Frame no. 5212. Can you be of any help with this, it would be much appreciated. Thank you, Paul Clifton
    Watchet, Somerset UK

    Fri Mar 16 2012
    1velodada<at>gmaildot com
    Wanted - gearbox for 1937 levis motorcycle
    Levis 1937
    I would like to buy a gearbox for my 37 levis. Thanks
    los Angeles

    Sun Jan 29 2012
    shop manuals
    levis 600
    Hi guys just putting a 600 together, and i am chasing a shop manual
    townsville North Queensland Australia

    Tue May 24 2011
    swords<at>bigponddot com
    Levis 1929 model Z
    wanted:oil pump, Burman gearbox parts suit '29 Z

    Sat Jan 01 2011

    large 1909?????
    I owned this machine in the 1960,s and according to the details given me at the time the date is wrong I can give details of the bike at the time of purchase the date it is really! given by previous owner plus details of bike known only by me, details of the original tank transfer from memory , if the present owner contacts me I can let him know what I know. The registration number was M 2247 first reg in 1919 as were others of the time M searl
    calvert australia

    Large & Co

    The machine I am refering to is listed in the listing of motorcycles as a LARGE, 'one of,' i,m sorry but I thought when I sent the mail that it went to the relevant page ie the one dealing with the- bike in question oops sorry. I was living in England up to 1971 when I migrated to australia which is when I sold all my bikes including the Large to get finance for my move . If the owner surfaces I can let him have the details I have, by the way the Black 1912 Levis which is on the Levis page is mine and while it mentions the owner riding it since he was 16 in Australian rallies I was obviously riding in the uk prior to coming to australia, my first london to brighton run was as a learner rider.

    On the same page is a photo of a 1912?? Levis at a Belgian rally and unless my eyes deceive me it is fitted with a countershaft- and chain drive-obviously a modern adaption as levis had no chain drive bikes till into the 20,s just a comment. It looks well done whoever did it . Hopefully my comments are of some help to you thank you M Searl- Original Message -- 

    Wed Nov 24 2010
    jowibmx1<at>hotmaildot com
    Levis 600cc D camshaft problems
    1937 600cc D
    Hello, I am the proud owner of a Levis model 600cc "D" 1937. 
    But I have a lot of problems with the camshafts. The camshaft and the cam follower shows abnormal wear.
    I think that it is an oil problem because there less oil between the camshaft and cam rollers. (The camshaft is a high-camshaft). Is here someone who can help me with this problem or has a little bit informatie. 
    i never see an other 600 D riding, so i like te contact with some other owners and maybe they can help me with this problem

    The Netherlands
    Hengelo, Netherlands,

    Sun Aug 01 2010
    levis 211cc 1912 lightweight
    wanted.cylinder and piston for 211cc Levis up to 1920 will do I think in reasonable condition as regards bore wear
    Calvert Australia
    Hi! thanks for your reply , I do have a photo of the bike which I have attached to email, first let me explain before any one jumps on me. My machine is indeed 1912 and was registered in uk on the pioneer register and was ridden while in uk by myself for many thousands of miles and I say thousands! for I used to ride over 400 miles on a regular basis to rallies in times of 16 to 20 hours as was allowed in the regs of the time for the events as they were and then ride home 200 or so miles depending where the rally was held. Because the bike was fitted when? with an albion 2 speed gearbox with clutch of 1914 .it was shown as being 1914 on the register as the gearbox was the latest major component of the machine. so no jumping on me please1 The machine is still in regular use over here till accidental damage to the barrel means a replacement is sought I may still be able to salvage the barrell but if not? I have ridden the bike since I was16 and on my first pioneer run in 1955 .I,m older now! any help given by anyone will be greatly appreciated by me thank you all. M searl

    Mon Jul 26 2010
    Selling Levis Popular
    Levis Popular
    I would like to sell my Levis Popular in Melbourne Australia.

    Mon Mar 01 2010
    levis d special
    levis 1937 500 D special
    trying to find my fathers 1937 levis 500, I think it was a D special. Sold in Sydney in about 1974, keen to find out what happened to it
    sydney australia

    Fri Feb 20 2009
    sime-john at hotmaildot com
    Levis Tools
    Can you help I would like information on original levis / butterfields tools as supplied with machines.
    Stratford Upon Avon

    Mon Jan 12 2009
    ebuckle at bigpond.net.au
    Levis 247cc 2 stroke
    What model or infor is there about this engine number 6613.
    The bike is belt drive to rear wheel through a chain driven gearbox. I think it is around 1922 but not sure
    Bundaberg Australia

    Wed Dec 17 2008
    jjksmith at tiscali.co.uk
    Best Levis 2-stroke
    I wish to buy a 2-stroke Levis and I was wondering which was the best model to go for as a machine for occasional riding.
    i.e The Popular or K series?Also where there sporty versions of the K and what differences were those? Thanks for any help you can give

    Thu Dec 11 2008
    jacks.the.lad at gmaildot com
    Levis Numbers
    Levis Baby
    Does anyone know where I can find information on Levis frame and/or engine numbers? In order that I may be able to find out when it was made.

    ... Thanks. the numbers are:- frame 7705, engine 10207 211cc single speed belt drive
    Hope this will help.

    Sat Nov 22 2008
    brown.laura at tesco.net
    what models are these?
    Rover/Levis ?
    Dear Sir 
    here are two pictures of my Great Grandad and Grandma taken around 1920's, and my Father would like to know which models they are.

      I think it may be an early chain-drive Levis Baby, judging by the exhaust. I think probably 1922 or 1923. Any Levis experts out there care to comment? Their is also an image of a Rover which needs identification. Ed.

    Fri Aug 08 2008
    brithorby at yahoo.co.uk
    Levis 500 or 600 ohv
    Im looking for a 500 or 600 Levis post 1937.

    Tue Jul 03 2007
    elmers at xtra.co.nz
    Levis 1938
    1938 Levis
    Here's an image of my proud Dad with his 1938 Levis - it got taken for the war effort in WWII and he was told in 1945 that sadly it had been abandoned somewhere in the Sahara Desert.
    Auckland, New Zealand


    Wed Mar 05 2008
    criagw at msndot com
    wanted any condition
    levis 600
    I am looking for a levis 600 model in any condition including parts. It was model my grandfather rode but sold many years ago.

    Tue Feb 19 2008
    benlangworthy at hotmail.co.uk
    levis motorcycle
    levis? unknown
    Hi, Iv got a picture of my grandfather (who i never knew) in india, on an flat-tank mototcycle which i think might be a levis, or something similar, could anyone tell me if it is a levis or not, and what model it might be?


      The bike is almost certainly a 1914 Levis Popular. Ed.

    Sun Feb 03 2008
    parkandpedal at bigponddot com
    36 ?? 600 ??
    Got one not sure if its the year i was told. ps chasing a bottom bearing cup for the forks sincerly Mick Byrne.
    Townsville Q.L.D.

    Sun Jan 06 2008
    bolero at worldonline.co.za
    1916 Levis
    I'm trying to get some idea what the above bike would be worth now.
    I've tried numerous web sites and auctions but had no luck
    Cape Town

    The page on Motorcycle Valuations may prove helpful.

    Mon Dec 24 2007
    billedwards at xtra.co.nz
    valve clearences
    levis 1939 350cc sv
    can any one help me with the valve clearences for this model. also interested to know the actual valve timing as there are no marks on the gears. anyone got a similar model as i would like to make contact with them<
    new zealand

    Wed Dec 05 2007
    alcyonuk at googlemaildot com
    Levis 600 1938
    Wanted for the above. Rocker box (same as post 37 500 type, footrests, primary chaincase, rear chainguard, magplatform, Miller magdyno. Paint filler..... 
    Not much to ask for!

    Levis 1938 600 TonyH.jpg
    Levis 1938 600 TonyH

    Sun Sep 30 2007
    clairespalding at aoldot com
    Levis Big End
    Levis 350 Model A33
    Does anyone know where I can buy a new 'big end' for my 1933 350 Levis A33? The original has finally given out. I do approx. 5000 miles a year on this bike and have owned it for over 20 years, I miss not riding my old friend. The 'big end' is the double roller type. 
    Thanks for any help or suggestions.

    Sun Sep 09 2007
    peter.sturgeon at virgin.net
    Levis 500 cc twin two stroke
    I have a Levis 500cc twin 2-stroke engine, horizontally opposed, both cylinders fire together. It is 14-18 war vintage and was used by the Royal Flying corp mountd on a frame driving a cut down Sopwith Pup propeller. Exact use unknown but probably never on a Motorcycle. I do know that it was (recovered) by an Ex RFC pilot and was used on the back of a boat on the local river. I can remember this when I was a child during the 39-45 conflict. It runs sweetly after having the Magneto coil rewound. I cannot find any record of an engine of this type in a motorcycle, does anyone know about this model or be interested in giving it agood home?

    Thu Aug 30 2007
    duncan at futurecentric.co.nz
    parts manual workshop manual or copies
    Levis 1938 500cc
    I am looking for any manuals or copies of, for a restoration project.
    Wellington New Zealand

    Try the page of resources for Books and Manuals

    Sat Sep 01 2007
    I have levis parts for sale
    Levis a 350cc 70 x 90 .
    I am putting these parts on e bay to day.crank case with flywheels ,barrell ,piston,oil pump, and bits
    leicester -le97aa

    Fri Aug 17 2007
    oldjoffa at hotmaildot com
    levis overhead cam 1934 model

    i am wondering if anyone knows about a levis 250cc four stroke with an overhead cam.... any information would be very greatfull
    ENGno.25280 FRAMEno. 24630 thank you .Joffa.

    Thu Aug 09 2007
    oldjoffa at hotmaildot com
    any info
    levis 250 o.h. cam 1933
    please any info on this bike. frame# 24630 engine#25280

    Tue Jul 03 2007
    elmers at xtra.co.nz
    Levis 1938
    1938 Levis
    Here's an image of my proud Dad with his 1938 Levis - it got taken for the war effort in WWII and he was told in 1945 that sadly it had been abandoned somewhere
    in the Sahara Desert.
    Auckland, New Zealand

    [img too small for publication]

    Mon Jun 04 2007
    sonnen at bigponddot com
    Piston to bore clearance
    1937 Levis 500
    Can you please help me to find a piston to bore specification

    Mon Apr 02 2007
    gmack123 at yahoo.com.au
    1923 Levis
    I found this old Levis in original condition last year. It was missing an oil pump and some of the rear brake parts. Does anyone have any information or photos of this model.
    Brisbane, Australia

    Mon Mar 26 2007
    ascooksley at optusnet.com.au
    I am look for sum info a Levis My father used to talk about a motor bike he had once it was a Levis 4&1/4 I know very little about these bike .I am look for some photo and more info on them and how hard it would be to find one any condition will do

    Sun Mar 25 2007
    billedwards at xtra.co.nz
    pictures required
    levis 350cc side valve
    i have just bought a levis motorcycle. i believe about 1936-37 with a foot change gearbox. can anyone help with photos or information on this model
    new zealand

    March 18th 2007
    Ebay Australia
    Showroom quality vintage 1930 350cc OHV LEVIS motorcycle. Owned and restored by a dedicated member of the Historic Motorcycle Club of Qld, this bike is not only in beautiful condition, but is a first kick starter which has been proven reliable on past club runs.It has a single cylinder, twin port engine, twin Brooklands silencers with a terrific note, and a three speed BURMAN hand change gearbox. Fitted with a K & N air filter, it has excellent paint and chrome, and solid aluminium chain case and chain guard. The cylinder head has exposed valves. The magneto was recently reconditioned, as was the Burman gearbox and cylinder head. It has modern bearings in both the front and rear hubs, and has good brakes.Engine # 23285/2. Frame # 21579. 

    Wed Mar 14 2007
    simon.saint3 at ntlworlddot com
    Help Required
    Levis Popular - 1914
    I am looking for some help please. I have a 1914 Levis, fully restored and wish to sell it. How do I get an accurate valuation - any conatcts would be greatly appreciated.
    Dorset, England

    Sun Feb 25 2007
    handylandy-65 at hotmaildot com
    Levis Motorcycle
    Levis 211cc Popular (two stroke)
    Looking for Levis 211cc Popular (two stroke)frame and forks for teens to early tweenties model.Note the characteristic horizontal top bar (Flat tank)& triangulated support for the steering head, Other small parts are also needed. Interested in contact from other owners of 2 stroke Levis's within New Zealand, Australia and the rest of the world.
    New Zealand

    Wed Dec 20 2006
    steph153 at aoldot com
    1938 Levis Model A Special
    Do you know who I could contact regarding parts for my 1938 Levis Model Special?

    Sun Nov 05 2006
    kililoo at aoldot com
    levis motorbike
    Levis "D" Special
    i have a Levis 500 D special which was completely restored by faithful classics sussex in the late 1970s i would like to sell this machine would yuo know of any interested buyers
    n ireland

    Tue Oct 17 2006
    absolutementalblock at hotmaildot com
    Levis 600 cc 1936/37
    I am looking for a 600 cc barrel if anyone has one for sale i would be interested in buying it.

    Fri Oct 13 2006
    jim at electricco.ie
    1929 Levis Model Z

    How's it going,
    Looking for info on our 1929 Levis Model Z, can you put me onto someone who has some info.
    Thanks and regards,

    Jim Hickey.
    Cork, Ireland

    Sun Mar 26 2006
    jnbron at ozemail.com.au
    Need help
    Levis - 500 or 600 ???
    I've recently purchased a Levis - 95% complete. Only problem is I'm not sure what model or capacity it is. I've been told it's a 1936 500cc. I'd like some photos of original or restored if possible and as much information as possible on the Levis.

    Wed Feb 01 2006
    jameskrekelberg at hotmaildot com
    I canot find any information on the levis at all, but i'm looking for info on the 1939 side valve 350cc model

    Thu Dec 08 2005
    dumbrell7 at hotmaildot com
    levis 1928 model
    Hi, i have a 1928 model m levis. It is a 250cc 2 stroke. I am after a rear wheel in any condition. The tyres fitted are 24 x 2.5 beaded edge i think.

    If you could help me with the wheel or anything else of interest for the same model contact me please

    Sun Sep 18 2005
    atcam at slmember.on.net
    Levis Popular Build Date.
    Can you acurately date the Popular I am currently restoring ? Eng number 14112 Frame Number 14226. Does the eng no. and frame number match as been the same vintage? I have 2 other frames NO. C13919 & 15830 Is the "C" significant.
    Andrew Cameron.

    Tue Sep 13 2005
    enquiries at stanfordhall.co.uk
    1932 Levis Motorcycle
    I have a 1932 levis 350cc which I would like to sell. Do you know where I could find out is value and also the best way to advertise it.

    March 12th 2005
    Levis 1930 Vintage Motorcycle Leaflet at EbayUK
    Vendor's Description:
    Original Levis 1930 factory publicity leaflet. Cover mentions "Two Entirely New Models" for 1930 1 both 250, the SV and OHV. 8 page fold-out shows 4 models illustrated with specifications viz, Levis Popular 2, Six-Port super cooled (Both 250 2 stroke), the models A (346 OHV) and model B and C (250 SV and OHV). 

    January 23rd 2005
    Levis 1939 Motorcycle Catalogue on Ebay UK
    Vendor's Description: "Original works 10 page publication. 6 models are illustrated with specifications given from 247 2 stroke to OHV 600cc. A catalogue from the last years of this long lived producer of quality motorcycles. The OHV models have high level exhausts - there is one SV model. Pages of general specification, features, extras etc."

    January 14th 2005
    There is an auction at ebay for a Levis book which reads:
    "This auction is for a 1980's reprint of the LEVIS 1938 motorcycle book of the various models for that year. It covers the following models, Model B special, S.P.3, D special, 600 model and two stroke TS/26, CW/26, E.W, O.C/26, IOM T.T. and side cars. It devotes one page to each model as above with a diagram of the motorbike and its specifications for that particular model. It is in an unused condition and is approximately 9" x 6" and has 10 pages. "

    January 1, 2003
    I'm pleased if You would send to me some information and photos about LEVIS -31 model Z . I haven't find anything about that bike in these websites. My friend will be very pleased about these information. Because he's restore that kind of bike. -- Best Regards -- Juha Vainionpaa -- panjuha at nic.fi

    If you have a query or information about Levis motorcycles please contact us