Triumph Motorcycles

Today in Motorcycle History

Daudel Motorcycles

Mystery Solved.

Fri Dec 18 2015
HeckYes at
I believe that the term "Daudel" is a slang and somewhat affectionate term for Warren Lewis's Triumph.
Austin, Texas

Q: Do we know the make and model of Warnie’s motorbike?

A: Warnie called all his motorcycles Daudels. Joel Heck provides this detailed answer:

"There is no model of motorcycle (and no motorcycle manufacturer) by this name, but Warren Lewis used that term for his motorcycle. The word seems to come from the German, since he also calls it his Daudelspiel, and the “spiel” part of that word means “play.” Warren once spelled Daudel as “Dawdle.” It may be related to the Swiss word Badautle, which means “simple person.” In February 1921, we know he was riding a Triumph motorcycle, and yet he refers to it as his Daudel. Therefore, it seems clear that the Daudel is Warren’s affectionate term for his motorcycle, especially since he called several different models by the same term."

The only photograph extant purportedly of C.S. and Warnie shows them aboard a c.1924/25 Harley-Davidson combination.

In "Conversations with C. S. Lewis - Imaginative Discussions About Life" by Robert Velarde, the author writes that Jack (C.S.) and his brother Warren, in conversation with Tolkien (Tollers):

"Jack," Tolkien said, greeting him with a smile. "It's so good to see you again. And Tom," he said, pausing briefly, perhaps taking in my oversized overalls, "I'm glad to see you again as well."

A large man sitting in a corner took what looked like a last drink from his mug, stood and came over to us.

Warnie, I'm glad you could join us," said Jack.

"You know I wouldn't miss an opportunity to visit the Bird and Baby," said Jack's brother, Warren Lewis. "Is the Daudel still in one piece?"
"Yes, Warnie, it's fine," said Jack, adding with, I thought, an expression of mock seriousness, "although we almost hit a bus and were bombed in London."

The information above is a tad confusing, because elsewhere it is stated that C.S. never owned a motorcycle, but often rode as a passenger with his brother Warnie. Explanation may be that this was during WWII, and while Warnie was away at the war the motorcycle was in Jack's care and someone else was the rider. "He was granted the temporary rank of major when recalled to active service on 4 September 1939." ~ Wikipedia

Thu Sep 18 2008
sjw at
Illustration needed for a sermon
Daudel Motorcycle & Sidecar
I should be so pleased to be able to show my congregation what a Daudel motorcycle looks like
Bedfordshire UK

Dec 18th 2015
An unexpected Christmas present!
Thank you, most sincerely,
Stephen Williams.

Date: Thu, 24 Feb 2005
subject: Daudel Motorcycle
Email: dhg at
message: My Uncle is said to have owned a 'Daudel Motorcycle' in 1930. I can find no history of such a machine can you help?
Thanks. Douglas Gresham.

A: My ancient copy of Tragatsch does not list such a machine, but I found a reference to them here which reads: "[C.S.] Lewis's conversion to Christianity was powered by the internal combustion engine. He made the voyage from atheism to theism on the upper deck of the Headington bus in 1929, and completed his journey to Christianity in the sidecar of his brother's Daudel motorcycle en route to Whipsnade zoo."

Can anyone enlarge upon this - is there such a motorcycle, or is this a furphy? Ed.

Date: Sat, 26 Feb 2005
subject: Daudel Motorcycles
Email: dhg at
message: Sir,
Your quote outlines the reason I am asking. C.S.Lewis was my stepfather and his brother my uncle.

Sources include:
and numerous others.

N.B. C.S. Lewis was "quite a guy". The Wikipedia entry is concise and highly readable.

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