Wiseman Motorcycles

Today in Motorcycle History

Verus Motorcycles

A Brief History of the Marque

Verus motorcycles were produced from 1919 to 1926 as the de-luxe marque of the Alfred Wiseman company. Many were fitted with Blackburne engines.

Oreste Garanzini of Milan was the Italian importer from 1919.

Olympia Show 1920

Verus. (Stand 161.)

  • 4 h.p. Blackburne; 85x88 mm. (499 c.c); single-cylinder four-stroke; side-by-side valves; drip feed lubrication; Cox-Atmos or Senspray carburetter; chain-driven Maglita ,; three-speed Sturmey-Archer gear; chain and belt drive; Dunlop 26x3in. tyres. Price with side-car £200.

Alfred Wiseman, Ltd., Glover Street, Birmingham. Very rapid has been the rise of the Verus. A trust in the value and lessons of reliability trials probably accounts for this in no small degree. Anyhow, whatever the cause, the Verus now ranks among the aristocracy of the pastime, and careful examination proves that the position has been well earned. Their "4" sidecar outfit is built entirely on the lines of the more luxurious twins. The mudguarding is cleanly carried out and exceptionally extensive; the rear carrier has evidently been built for an extra passenger, while the front stand, which possesses the unusual refinements of a stop and spring clips, is a typical example of the attention that has been paid to detail. Upon undoing three bolts the whole engine unit may be removed.

Particularly noticeable, also, is the aluminium flywheel and primary chain cover, which possesses an inspection door allowing quick access to the clutch.

  • 4 h.p. Blackburne; 85x88 mm. (499 c.c); single-cylinder four-stroke; side-by-side valves; drip feed lubrication; Senspray carburetter; E.I.C. chain-driven magneto; three-speed Sturmey-Archer gear; chain and belt drive; Avon or Dunlop 26x2¼ tyres. Price £126.

Interesting as one of the few 4 h.p. machines at the Show that may be brought below the 200 lb. taxation limit, this model is, with the exception of the engine, entirely different from the side-car machine. Footrests, "W.D." bars, a small tank with an aluminium toolbox on top, combine to form, a speedy, light and simple go-anywhere machine with all the attributes of the nominal "light-weight." A 2¾ h.p. Blackburne-engined model differs mainly in the gear box - a two-speed Burman, and sells at £108.

The heavier 2¾ h.p. Blackburne engined Verus weighs approximately the same as the light "four" - fuller equipment, mudguarding, etc., account for this.

  • 2½ h.p.; 70x70 mm. (269 c.c.); single-cylinder two-stroke; drip feed lubrication; Amac or Senspray carburetter; Runbaken chain-driven magneto; two-speed Sturmey-Archer gear; chain and belt drive; Hutchinson 26 x 2 ¼ in. tyres. Price £85.

A pair of two-strokes - one engined as above, and the other with a 211 c.c. power unit and direct belt drive, selling at £60 - complete the Verus exhibit. The engines in these cases, manufactured by the company, have a very thorough lubricating system. Oil is led to the cylinder wall, runs through a hollow gudgeon pin and finds its way to the big end, a separate lead supplying the crankshaft bearings.

Olympia Show, 1920

The Motor Cycle, December 2nd, 1920.

The 1922 Olympia Show.


Eight Light Solo Models.

  • 2¾ H.P. Model.

    70x90 mm. (346 c.c.); single-cyl. four-stroke; side valves; mechanical lubrication; Amac carb.; chain-driven mag.; 3-sp. gear; clutch, no kick-starter; chain drive; 26x2½.in. tyres. Price £90.

Alfred Wiseman, Ltd., Glover Street, Birmingham.

Three Verus models are shown, the remaining five on the stand being Sirrahs, which are utility machines produced by the same firm. None of the eight has a greater engine capacity than 350 c.c, and the super-sporting Verus specified above is typical of the rest, except that it has several refinements naturally not found on, say, the 293 c.c. Sirrah sidecar outfit at £67. Best mechanical pump lubrication is employed, oil being carried in a shapely aluminium tank on the saddle tube. Adjustable footrests, internal-expanding brakes front and rear, a tool bag on the top rear stay (no carrier is fitted), and au adjustable drip oil-feed to the front and rear chain, are neat features of this model, which is very attractive in appearance.

An o.h.v. 348 c.c. Blackburne-engined Verus with an unusually disposed exhaust pipe is priced at £94, and a side-valve o.h.v. Blackburne model at £66. Chain-cum-belt drive is used in the last-mentioned case.

2¾ H.P. Model.

  • 70x76 mm. (292 c.c); single cyl. two-stroke; side valves; drip feed lubrication; Amac carb.; chain-driven mag.; 2-sp. gear; clutch and kick-starter; chain drive; 26x2¼in. tyres. Price, with Sidecar, £67.

Already mentioned, the Sirrah sidecar outfit deserves a special specification on account of its very moderate price. The sidecar is a lightweight Canoelet, the gear box a Burman, the forks Brampton, and the rest of the components and equipment of equally well-known and reputable makes. The same machine, solo, with a two-speed box, clutch and kick-starter, and final belt drive, is £50.

Two further light solo models with the same transmission, but employing 249 c.c. Blackburne and 211 c.c. two-stroke Sirrah engines, cost £52 10s. and £50 respectively, while a well-thought-out 150 c.c. o.h.v. miniature called the Weaver completes a comprehensive exhibit, yet hardly fully representative of the very complete range marketed.

Olympia Show 1922
The Motor Cycle, November 30th, 1922. Page 856

A report on the 1924 Motor Cycle Show reads, in part,

"There are to be three models each of Sirrah and Verus machines during 1925. Of the former, one is of 2¾ h.p., with Wiseman two-stroke engine : the second is the same, but with sidecar. The third has a J.A.P. engine of the same power. The Verus models, too, are of 2¾ h.p., one having a Blackbume engine, and the other two having J.A.P. power units. The most interesting machine to us is the Verus special racing sports model, which has an all-steel frame, and is fitted with a J.A.P. overhead-valve engine of 350 c.c. capacity.

Alfred Wiseman, Ltd., Glover Street, Birmingham."

Motor Sport Magazine

Sun Oct 05 2014
1westbrom at gmail.com
Tom Weaver Works Manager Alfred Wiseman
Alfred Wiseman Verus & Sirrah/Lirrah
I just wondered if you wanted these pictures to use on your website. They show Tom Weaver the works manager on 2 bikes- I thought the writing on the back of the picture said Lirrah but your website tells me it's a Sirrah.
The pictures were my grandfathers (William) who was Tom Weaver's brother.

Paul Lockyer


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