Wiseman Motorcycles

Today in Motorcycle History

Sirrah Motorcycles

Alfred Wiseman of Birmingham built a number of motorcycles in the 1920s, including Sirrah and Verus.

Sirrah motorcycles were produced from 1921 to 1925.

  • 1921 The Sirrah was brought out as the cheaper, lightweight version of the Verus, fitted with a 292cc two-stroke Union engine, and two-speed Burman gearbox in solo or sidecar forms.

    The range expanded quickly and included models with a wide range of capacities: from Blackburne; JAP; Bradshaw; Barr and Stroud; and Wiseman. All had Burman gearboxes and the frames and forks were conventional.

    1923 Late in the year they adopted a new universal frame for all models with the tubing formed to avoid all but one joint, which was welded rather than brazed and lugged.

    1925 Motorcycle production came to a close.

    Note: When production ended, the name of Sirrah had already found its way onto a number of special purpose machines, including an inspection trolley that could run on South American railway lines. A similar device that could run on road or rail was also produced for the Indian railways.
    Wiseman continued their involvment with railways until 1962 when the firm was acquired by Ruston & Hornsby.

Sirrah 1922 250cc

An all-chain drive 250 c.c. sports model - the Sirrah. A lightweight Burman three-speed gear is fitted.

Sirrah 1922 JAP

A 2¾ h.p. J.A.P. engine-three-speed Burman gear box and final belt transmission are features of the Sirrah.

Verus 1922 5-6hp Footboards

Footboards, silencer and magneto cover on the 5-6 h.p. Verus are of aluminium.

Verus 1922 5-6hp Suspension Plates

Aluminium plates neatly cover the gap for the fork blades in the front mudguard of the 5-6 h.p. Verus.

Sirrah and Verus Models for 1922.

All Classes catered for. T.T., Touring, and Sidecar Machines

THERE are few firms who make a wider range of models than Alfred Wiseman, Ltd., Glover Street, Birmingham. In addition to the deservedly familiar Verus, this concern is responsible for the lesser-known, but nevertheless popular, Sirrah lightweight. It may come as a surprise to many that during this year 250 Sirrah machines of one model alone were sold.

For 1922 the Sirrah range is being extended to include almost every type between the single-speed lightweight and a 5-6 h.p. J.A.P.-engined twin with all-chain drive and 26x3in. Dunlop Magnum tyres. Intended as a double-purpose mount, the latter machine is most attractive, both in specification and appearance, and its very short wheelbase should ensure its popularity as a solo mount as well as with a sidecar.

Massive, but clean mudguards (8in. in front), a saddle tank, Brampton forks, a Webb front brake, Sturmey three-speed gear box, and final chain drive through an Enfield cush hub are the salient features of the specification; but it must also be mentioned that the frame is particularly neat and strong, and has survived nearly a year's severe road testing.

At the other end of the scale, the Sirrah two-stroke has a Union (70x76 mm. =293 c.c.) engine, and when fitted with a gear box (Burman), either a plain two-speed or a two-speed with clutch and kick-starter may be supplied. Footboards or footrests are optional. This model, like all its namesakes, will sell at a very competitive price, but not at the expense of finish and general quality.

Coming to the larger lightweights, there is a choice of belt or chain drive, of 2¾ h.p. Blackburne, or 2¼ h.p. and... (continued p513)

The Motor Cycle, October 27th 1921

Sources: Graces Guide, The Motor Cycle, sciencemuseumgroup.org.uk.

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