OK-Supreme Motorcycles

Today in Motorcycle History

History of OK-Supreme Motorcycles

OK-Supreme motorcycles were manufactured in Birmingham from 1926 to 1940, the company formed by Ernie Humphries after a partner left the OK firm.

The OK Supreme Company of Birmingham was a family concern of father Ernie Humphries, son John and daughters Freda and Alice.

It was established in 1926 when Humphries and his partner Fred Dawes split after making O.K. machines from 1911 - Dawes deciding to focus on bicycles. The Humphries firm designed an attractive range of sporty machines mostly fitted with JAP engines.

  • 1926 The existing OK range continued with the production of various two-strokes and four-strokes, fitted with JAP, Bradshaw or Blackburne engines.

    1927 Only JAP engines were used. A machine was placed at the TT, taking third in the Lightweight.

    1928 A machine fitted with a modified JAP engine, with a new cylinder head, twin exhaust ports and a down-draught inlet, won its Lightweight class at the TT. Ernie Humphries bought the failing HRD Motors for the factory and tools, selling the rest, including the name, to Philip Vincent.

    1929 Further racing successes inspired the firm to extend its range, mostly with JAP engines, but some still with Blackburne.

    1930 Expansion continued, but it was the older models with JAP engines that were placed in the TT.

    1931 A Lighthouse model, so named because of the little inspection window in the cam tower, was launched.

    The firm began to give all its models names. The best knowm were the Flying Clouds. All the machines kept pace with changing trends and engines developed, most from JAP.

    1939 Matchless engines appeared.

    1940 Although production had ceased the previous year, OK-Supreme was still listed until the end of the year. The firm then became involved with vital war work.

    Note: Even though production ceased in 1939, 350cc JAP-engined OK-Supreme grass track racing machines were still available through John Humphries until his death in 1946. (John was the son of founder Ernie Humphries).

Sources: Graces Guide