Museum entrance. Ref. 1
Museum entrance. Ref. 1
Motala museum. MC part 2
Text and pictures Björn Bellander. 17 pages. Pictures current 2004, 2006,  2011, 2015
Back  Swedish version   Official website
since 060110
Updated
2021-06-14
© Björn Bellander

 
One half staircase in the beginning of the main exhibition hall you find a nice collection of motorcycles. Sorry but the documentation is not good and also hard to find and when you do the interest is gone. The very old cycles start to disappear generally from Swedish museums. The last was former Technique musem Hälsingborg. They are replaced by 70 and 80 th models. Several earlier object have been moved here. Compare my mc site MC 2011. I have completed with pictures of the mc models from other museums in Sweden. They can be identified through the picture text.
Douglas  ÖWA-wheel  Union  BSA 
MV-Augusta  Huskvarna  Velocette  Motor Guzzi  Ducati 

Look also in the following webpages about Motala museum
Cars  Cars 1900-1910 Cars 1910-1940
Cars after 1940MC 2011 Other pictures

Sunbeam   OK Supreme  Indian   Harley Davidsson  AJS  Ariel  NSU     Star mc    Rex  Cz JAWA  Sarolea  Links
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Swedish version

Douglas

Links

Douglas

Douglas pictures

Douglas Vespa

Douglas Wiki

Douglas MC info

Douglas history

Douglas Dragonfly

Original drawing Douglas. Ref. 1

Original drawing Douglas. Ref. 1Douglas at Beaulieu in England. Ref. 1
Douglas at Beaulieu in England. Ref. 1Douglas 600 1929 at Eds museum. Ref. 1
Douglas 600 1929 at Eds museum. Ref. 1Douglas 1914 at MC Collection. Ref. 1
Douglas 1914 at MC Collection. Ref. 1Douglas E.W. Sport 1927 at MC Collection. Ref 1
Douglas E.W. Sport 1927 at MC Collection. Ref 1Douglas motor E.W. Sport 1927 at MC Collection. Ref 1
Douglas motor E.W. Sport 1927 at MC Collection. Ref 1

Douglas. Ref. 1
Douglas. Ref. 1
Douglas 600

Already 1907 was this mark on sale. The owners did control the production up to 1935 when they sold the company to the investment company Bond.

It was two brothers William and Edward who 1882 started a smithy. From their product there were mostly casted details. In the beginning of 1900 they got commission to cast details for a motorcycle named Fée. This name was later changed to Fairy. In the motorcycle company there were two constructors Joseph Barter and Walter Moore. They developed a 200 cc engine for bicycles. The progress for Light Motors was not good. Joseph Barter was hired at Douglas which at this time had included machining works.

Joseph got now the opportunity to develop a boxer engine where the cylinders were placed along in the frame. This became the identity for Douglas during a long time.

1907 their first cycles was presented on the market. The selling was not as high as expected and Douglas survived on their main competence which was casting and machining.

1910 started in a good way and they got orders for 1300 cycles. This created a certain stability in the company. 1913 they produced with 400 employees about 100 cycles a day. This was a remarkable figure at this time, when neither transports or selling organization were created.

Douglas was known for quality and their motorcycles kept going without service for long distances. This made that for the coming WWI they got orders from the defense and the company had an economical stability up to 1918. The production was during this time 25000 machines.

The company developed itself in a modern way and tried both rear suspension and disc brake in front, although the buyers had no acceptance for these novelties.

After the WWI the requirement for all the military machines, which were sold back on the civil market, a rebuilding set to change them for private use. Here Douglas had much work to do. In the same time the demand for new vehicles was large in the beginning of 20th.

Douglas which was a powerful machine which included a high engine moment became very popular as a side car cycle. This was the right time before the small cars conquered the buyers. The old constructors had now ended and new men had taken over.

Pullin and Dixon developed new types of engines and also a new gearbox. Douglas also tried to sell so called cycle cars 1913 till 1922, but this was just a parenthesis.

In the end of 1920 a new model was shown. This was not sufficient tested and they got big problems which almost led to bankruptcy. The two constructors stopped their employments with large internal frictions with the board and the company had no competent people for developing. The lead succeeded to solve all problems with the model EW.

Douglas also hoped for a new type of competition class in England. It was called Dirt Track. For this the founders of Douglas wanted to sell the MC part of the company to Bond Aircraft Eng. 1935. Douglas wanted probably to put work on casting and machining. They were economical hard pressed by the depression.

After WWII Bond had not the power to adopt itself for the new marked which showed up and the demand sank drastically. In this situation most investment trust companies try to solve problems in a short term way. They search for a license to build an other product. But normally the company has no heritage for the new production. The lead only hide what they should have done earlier.

A license was bought, for production and development, in England of Vespa Scooter. This was the way up to 1957 when production of Douglas machines was ceased. Before this happened the company had developed a new type of Douglas machine.  This was sold under the name of Dragonfly. This cycle was too simple and vacant with it's weak engine and high weight and it was not what people wanted.

Now after WWII the marked search for big, heavy and impulsive things even if people didn't really needed that kind.


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Swedish version

ÖWA-hjul

Links

ÖWA help engine

ÖWA story

ÖWA wheel was named Austro Motorette. Ref 1

ÖWA wheel was named Austro Motorette. Ref 1ÖWA-wheel close up. Ref. 1
ÖWA wheel assebled on the front wheel at Hjorteds moped museum. Ref.1
ÖWA-wheel. Ref.1
ÖWA-wheel. Ref.1

ÖWA wheel assebled on the front wheel at Hjorteds moped museum. Ref.1
ÖWA-wheel close up. Ref. 1
ÖWA 1918 - 1925

In Vienna after WWI there was a self supporting company, Arsenalen. It owned everything that was needed for it's production. Iron work, working of iron and production of food.

After WWI 1919, the government decided  that this company had to be integrated with other industries in Austria.

All the larger units for the iron working parts were differentiated. This became Austria works. ÖWA. In this area they produced machines and tool, different kind of engines and other things. Among all the help engine ÖWA. Everything were a substitute for war materials from 1920 up to 1925.

The allied weapon commission only allowed a certain amount of weapons. It was also preferable to close the iron works.

1925 it was decided that everything worth money had to be sold. This took 3 years to carry through and was not ready until 1929. Among all this was the production off ÖWA help engine, or as the name was Austro Motorette.

Several companies bought production license, but for this one must buy all necessary production tools. This was not easy to find buyers. Production started in Germany, but without license. Even Sweden was interested to produce this engine.

Enough with ÖWA engines were sold in Sweden. All vehicle museums could find an ÖWA for their exhibition in the 2000.

The engine with 83 cc and 1 ps 1925, produced in Germany on license. It was sold as a unit with cycle front wheel and fork. The engine had not any coupling and ignition was handled by a spring percussion igniter.

After WWI this motor was produced as a substitute for war material. Determination came that the area for the factory had to be scratch.

The Swede Bertil Gylling whose wife had connections with the owners at ÖWA, went down there 1925 and offered a low price. He got it all and for this reason got quite a lot of ÖWA Wheels to sell. About 3000 from the 4000 engines he brought to Sweden.

Several countries bought production licenses and all parts and production tools which was left were sold. There is unclear though how this closing down carried through.

At the Technical museum in Stockholm one new engine never used from 1926 can be seen. Normally the motor was mounted on the left side of the front wheel center and gave power to this.

A planet gear gave the right rotation speed before the power was left to the wheel. The engine was a single cyl 2 stroke.

The motor had a low current system with 6 volt. A so called hammer made contact to an anvil instead of a spark plug, when the piston was in it's top position. The very insignificant spark hopefully activated the fuel mixture. It was able to change this anvil from outside by the driver.

Two copies of ÖWA cycles were driven from Stockholm to Helsingfors over Haparanda and according to newspapers they succeeded to make it.

The remaining copies left in Sweden 1939 were sold for 65:- a piece. One ÖWA can also be seen at Rydaholm museum.

 


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Swedish version

Union

Links

Union story

MCHK om Union

Union and Ohs Works

Detail of engine at Eds museum. Ref. 1
Detail of engine at Eds museum. Ref. 1Info om motor från Eds museum. Ref. 1
Info om motor från Eds museum. Ref. 1

Union Super Sport. Ref. 1
Union Super Sport. Ref. 1
Union Super Sport 1951

It is just like that the four Swedish motorcycle marks Furir, Eiber, Suecia and Union have some sort of heritage.

All four types had been started and developed by private persons. All of them had for it's time made extraordinary vehicles and all of them have not succeeded in the long run in spite of their small production and lack of money.

From these are Union the last and most advanced motorcycle which has been planned in Sweden. This happened in the end of 1940 after the war and the cycle only survived till 1951. The main reason for Union was that there was no printed agreement with the granter of loan. When the man behind died it became too easy for the new responsible to withdraw money flow. Maybe outside people can have the opinion that as the production just was on the way to start it was not the right time to kill the economical base. It was expected that cash flow was expected to be positive. The bankruptcy seemed at this time to be quite unnecessary.

In Sweden Huskvarna had developed a new engine built on the English Sturmey Archer. It was named Huskvarna 112 TV. It was aimed for the Swedish army which later named it Monark/Albin M42. The cycle engine was built by Albin factory in Kristinehamn and assembled by Monark.

Birger Berggren who was well familiar within the MC sport i Sweden and had good contacts with the best designers as Mannerstedt, started the project for a new heavy motorcycle in Sweden.

The Huskvarna/Albin engine was developed by the men around Mannerstedt and Gunnar Hagström. They were although not permanently appointed to the project. Birger found a financier through family contacts. Erik Berglund who owned OHS ironworks and Habo sulphate factory, with large areas of forest, several manor houses, an electric power station and a local railroad. The power station and the railroad are still in use even if it has veteran status. Erik Berglund had money to invest in for him interesting projects.

 

The production for this mc was placed in in Charlottenberg as there was also interest in Norway and Sweden for a new military machine. This was the cause that the name became Union.

The works was the Norwegian tobacco production Tiedermann in Charlotteberg. The Norway connection was that some parts should be casted there.

300 cycles were planned to be produced and all of them were sold in advance. Time looked bright for the Union company. Some smaller reverse which not affected was that Norway chose to be included in NATO and a military machine was out of the question and Sweden could not decide in time. The great disaster was that Erik Berglund, the financier, died 1950 and his son Stig followed his advisers, the successor followed this not to put more money in Union.

This was the point when production just had started and delivers started to the buyers. A bankruptcy became a necessity 1951. This in spite of Union was only indebt with 225000 Skr. A small sum today but may be not at this time. Only 42 cycles were produced and from these 4 Sport models.

Now when the leading person in OHS concern was dead, the factories were sold 1960 including all surrounding companies were laid down 1978. Today the power station and some of the left buildings from the factory what is still to be find in the forest.

If the Union leaders had have a long term agreement from their financier about the money, maybe the selling had been started and the cash flow became good, the production could have went on for 10 years. The future for smaller producer of motorcycles were not good in the 1960 and 1970th.

Birger Berggren who had been the main dedicated person for this project was very much in bad mood for this forced situation. He moved to Arvika where he opened a machine firm for delivery to the industry. His interest for engines and motorcycles continued. In this activities he was an important person in Arvika and he often took part in veteran competitions.

In such a competition in Hedemora he was killed because of heart stroke while driving. 


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Swedish version

BSA

Links

About Gold Star

BSA Gold Star Owners Club

BSA Wikipedia

BSA models

Private BSA

Close up of engine. Ref. 1
Close up of engine. Ref. 1
Close up of front brake. Ref. 1
Close up of front brake. Ref. 1
BSA 1927 at  Eds museum. Ref 1
BSA 1927 at Eds museum. Ref 1
BSA. Ref. 1
 BSA. Ref. 1

BSA Gold Star 350/500 cc 1968. Ref. 1
BSA Gold Star 350/500 cc 1968. Ref. 1
BSA 1903-1990

Birmingham Small Arms produced  10000 rifles a week and 145000 machine guns before WWII.

This was the latest result what William III in the end of 1600 century understood that he needed a war industry independent of foreign countries. Already 1903 the first bike was built, although it had an Belgian Minerva engines.

These bikes were green which became the BSA color. Till WWII several different models were sold with increasing volumes. Names as Sloper, Blue Star and the M-Range. The last well known for it's use by AAA as support bike on the English roads.

During WWII they delivered lots of model M20 for the defense.

BSA took as war booty over the MC designs from Adler, but didn't use the information. Instead Ariel got it in their hands.

After the war BSA started with a cheap machine and sold ca 500000 till 1963. This was a copy of the DKW 2-stroke bike converted to inch and mirrored. Well known are all A-models like A10, A65, Gold Star, Rocket, Spitfire and so on. The declining production from BSA forced action together with Triumph and Norton. This turned out to be a failure when the employers wanted to decide themselves.

Four years later all were fired and a national company NVT started to produce spare parts for these English bikes.

Some new production were aimed but with foreign engines in the end of 1990.


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Swedish version

MV Augusta

Links

MV Augusta

MV Augusta Turismo 175 cc 1952. Ref. 1
MV Augusta Turismo 175 cc 1952. Ref. 1
MV Augusta F4 CRO 2000 at MC Collection. Ref 1
MV Augusta F4 CRO 2000 at MC Collection. Ref 1MV Augusta 1976 at MC Collection. Ref. 1
MV Augusta 1976 at MC Collection. Ref. 1

 

 

 

 

 

MV Augusta Disco Volante 1954. Ref. 1
MV Augusta Disco Volante 1954. Ref. 1
MV Augusta

Italy has always had a high industrial technology. In the beginning the industry didn't produce so much things for the public, but was forced after the WWII to make a change in this thinking.

Because of stop with military productions and in order to keep their labor, things for the people like motorcycles had to be produced. This was the situation for Augusta factory.

It was started by Count Giovanni Augusta 1923. The production at that time was for the air force. Sorry to say Giovanni died already 1927 and the factory was handed over to his sons and wife.

At the end of WWII in order to keep labor, the sons that always had been interested in motorcycles, cycles were on the production line. Already 1945 they had a prototype ready named Vespa 98. The name Vespa was already registered by Piaggio and they kept only the name 98.

During the 50 th they manufactured mostly 125 to 150 cc engines in so called cafe racers.

In the 60 th when small cycles no longer could be sold they went over to 350cc and 4 cyl 600 cc engines.

When first man Domenico Augusta died 1971 the leading group lost interest and the company soon stopped the production. The name was  in the hands of the family up to 1991 when it was bought by Cagiva.

This brand had earlier bought other mc names like Huskvarna. Cagiva put work on high qualified sport cycles and took part in advanced competitions. The image should be like Ferrari in the way that Augusta/Cagive produced both cycles and engines.

The colors of MV Augusta were red and silver. Cagiva now put money on Augusta and Huskvarna. Sorry to say the economy was not good and MV Augusta was sold to Malaysian car maker Proton.

The brand didn't come in good hands and it was bought back by an Italian consortium GEVI Spa. 2007 they had a racing cycle ready for the superbike series. This is the situation for the moment for MV August 2008.


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Swedish version

Huskvarna

Links

More motorcycles

Huskvarna MC Story

Huskvarna museum

Parilla Scooter

Producer gas mc engine. See info. Ref. 1
Producer gas mc engine. See info. Ref. 1 Info about producer gas cycle. Ref. 1
Info about producer gas cycle. Ref. 1 Parilla. Ref. 1
Parilla. Ref. 1 Info Parilla. Ref. 1
Info Parilla. Ref. 1
Huskvarna 1000 cc at MC museum Surahammar. Ref. 1
Huskvarna 1000 cc at MC museum Surahammar. Ref. 1

Huskvarna 112 SV. Rev. 1.
Huskvarna 112 SV. Rev. 1.
Huskvarna 1903 -

Husqvarna 1000 cc almost identical to a Indian or HD, technically from the 30th. The company started to sell bicycles and later they put in a small engine.

Already 1920 they had their own 550 motor and later a 1000cc. With this they went into competitions. It was a success mostly due to the brilliant designer Folke Mannerstedt.

Huskvarna won several World Championships. During the 30th they brought in line with what people wanted. Cheap 2- stroke bikes were sold.

With successful models of these types Huskvarna managed till end of 50th. With the help of world known drivers like Bill Nilsson, Håkan Carlqvist and Torsten Hallman .

Huskvarna became a Cross machine with a high reputation. The bad luck for Huskvarna was that they had an extremely wide production program and among these product they had freezers.

Eletrolux was also a freezer producer and had to invest overflow money.

Huskvarna was bought and all products that didn't suit Electrolux were sold. The motorcycle part was bought by Cagiva in Italy 1986.

Sorry to say all these kind of fusions are leading to that the mark disappears from market some time later.

In this case Huskvarna, as a company, ended all production and lots of good engineers and workers went out of job. The end result of the fusion with Electrolux, became only a short time higher book-keeping finances for Electrolux.

For some time Huskvarna only produced freezers and alike. The best ad at that time was "Do as Electrolux buy Huskvarna".

Several of the designers and drivers started their own production. Husaberg! They had difficulties with money and had big problems to economically fight the Japanese dragoons.

 Today in the honorable workshops of Huskvarna city it is only a very nice museum. Pity, Sweden might have had a mc producer with a high standard.


Parilla

Huskvarna Parilla is very much a copy of Lambretta. Specially over design and engine.  It was appreciated for the several things  and posses for some bad qualities like placement of handles.

Good things were brakes and road ability.

Wheel suspension was god for passenger. Front suspension could not bottom. 

The scooter had double silencer and this gave a good low sound. Complaint was for gaswire and signal horn button placement. It was equipped with the Huskvarna engine with 118 cc and 4.3 ps.


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Swedish version

Velocette

 

Links

Velocette Club

Velocette pictures

Velocette wikipedia

Verlocette KSS 348 cc 1937 at mc museum Surahammar. Ref. 1
Verlocette KSS 348 cc 1937 at mc museum Surahammar. Ref. 1
Velocette KSS close up engine at mc museum Surahmmar. Ref. 1
Velocette KSS close up engine at mc museum Surahmmar. Ref. 1

 

Veloctte Valiant 200 cc 1957. Ref. 1
Velocette Valiant 200 cc 1957. Ref. 1  
Velocette

Velocette motorcycles was established 1905, at that time the producer was Taylor & Gue.

Velocette was an English company between the years 1904-1968. The produced Veloce MC:s in Hall Green, Birmingham. The successes was mainly in road racing during the 50t.h

The founder was John Goodman, born with the name Johannes Gütgerman. Changed later name to John Taylor before he formally changed to Goodman. His co worker was Willian Gue. The company name was up to 1905 Taylor & Gue. His sons Percy and Eugene were also member.

Their first mc was named Veloce. Later the same year it was changed to Veloce Limited. They had in mind to produce motorcycles, close up parts and give service. The first engine was a four stroke. The first two stroke came 1913 and got the name Velocette. The following models inherit this name.

1933 they decides to introduce a new mc with overhead four stroke engine. The main task was to cut cost in order offer mc:s which had big demand.

This series was called the K-series. It was though more expensive to produce as the cylinder head had to be more manually because of it's camshaft drive.

It was now decided to change to a simpler cylinder head construction and this called for less work.

The first of these was MOW and they used a 250 cc engine. It had square cylinder, 68x69. This mc became a immediate success. 1934 the MAC 350 cc was introduced and this became even more popular and the company earned much money.

Now they got funds to develop the earlier more expensive engine, Velocette. This mc was offered on the market 1935, and named Velocette MSS 500 cc.

This last mc got also a more firm frame and could easy be completed with a side wagon.

The name Velocette became now the name on all mc:s that were produced. John Taylor change also name 1935 to Goodman.

Velocette ceased the production 1971.


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Swedish version

Moto Guzzi

Links

MotoGuzzi history

Moto Guzzi GTV 500 cc 1947. Ref. 1
Moto Guzzi GTV 500 cc 1947. Ref. 1
Moto Guzzi Lusso at mc museum Surahammar. Ref. 1
Moto Guzzi Lusso at mc museum Surahammar. Ref. 1Moto Guzzi. Ref. 1
Moto Guzzi. Ref. 1
Moto Guzzi Galetto 160 cc Scooter at mc museum Surahammar.Ref. 1
Moto Guzzi Galetto 160 cc Scooter at mc museum Surahammar.Ref. 1

Moto Guzzi Galetta 160 c. Ref. 1
Moto Guzzi Galetta 160 c. Ref. 1
Moto Guzzi 1921 -

The name was born 1920 when the Italian designer constructed a 2 cylinders 500 cc machine with overhead camshafts.

Company Moto Guzzi was officially stated 1921. This was the result of the meeting between Giorgio Parodi, Giovanni Ravelli and Carlo Guzzi.

In Italy success for bikes are the same as winning in competitions. This was something that became a sign for Moto Guzzi. The first appearance was not a good one but was forgotten some months later.

Between 1921-1957 Moto Guzzi won 11 Tourist Trophies and 14 world championships and for this Moto Guzzi became well known all over the world.

Guzzi produced not only lots of fantastical competition bikes, but even bikes to earn money on, as scooters, mopeds and ordinary bikes for the people.

The original owners died 1955 and 1964. At once the company went into financially problems and was bought by DeTomaso 1973. Guzzi got new money and a 4 cyl. motor was designed.

Today, 2013, Moto Guzzi is owned by Piaggio but continues to be a free manufacturer. The picture shows a scooter from 1952 with 160 cc.  

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Swedish version

Ducati

Ducati 250 cc 1960 at mc museum Surahammar. Ref.1
Ducati 250 cc 1960 at mc museum Surahammar. Ref.1

Links

Swedish Ducati club

Ducati history

Ducati Mk III 350 cc 1968. Ref. 1
Ducati Mk III 350 cc 1968. Ref. 1
Ducati 1923 -

1926 the Ducati family founded a company together with some other investors. Their goal was to manufacture radio components.

During WWII their factory premises were destroyed both by the allied bombings and the German retreat completely.

But already 1946 they presented a motorcycle with the name Ducati at the Milano exhibition. This cycle was constructed by Cucciolo.

1952 a future model was sold with electric starter and automatic gearbox, the same years when Fabio Taglioni started his work at Ducati.

This man hade his own opinions how a good motorcycle should be constructed. During this time several different types with the special Ducati look were sold.

Many leading competition drivers made the name known. For ex Mike Hailwood. During the 70 and 80 th Ducati started to put money on super bikes, and even later.

In the 80 th they almost went bankruptcy but was saved bay the Cagiva group. The same that bought Husqvarna. Cagiva was also on the way to leave the market but was saved by an American group, Texas Pacific Group, in the middle of 1990.

After this Ducati has made several bike successes with different designers.  The bike on stand is from 1968, 250 cc, with desmodromic valves.


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Swedish version

Sunbeam

Links

Sunbeam S7, S8

Sunbeam story

Erling Poppe

Sunbeam S8 at Falköping mc museum. Ref. 1

Sunbeam S8 at Falköping mc museum. Ref. 1

Sunbeam S 9 500 cc 1936. Ref. 1
Sunbeam S 9 500 cc 1936. Ref. 1
Sunbeam S8

In the English city of Wolverhampton 1851 did a 15 year old boy arrive to a shop where Japan influenced stuff were produced. It was John Marston. After 8 years he quit and opened his own production and shop.

His premier employer Edward Perry was so impressed by John so he transferred his firm to Edward at his dead 1871.

It was at this time the cycle made it's triumphal progress over the world and John Marston started to produce such things. He was a perfectionist and his cycles got a very god reputation. He was of the opinion that the chain was exposed for large wear and made a cover which fully enclosed the chain. In this the chain could work with oil. His cycles were produced up to 1936. The factory building was called Sunbeamland.

Marston made certain trials 1903 with engines mounted  in cycles. But when an employee died in an accident he decided that all these trials had to be terminated. Nevertheless he started a company named Sunbeam Motor Car Co 1905.

At the age of 76 he started production of motorcycles 1912. There was great demand for such vehicles and he saw of course that he could generate money.

Several types of one cylinder machines were developed from his company. Any engine of their own was not developed than far after his dead.

His firm was sold after WWI to Nobel Industries and they let the company go to ICI. Probably this last giant company had a director interested for MC:s and had Sunbeam as his own little left hand activity.

The mark Sunbeam later was sold to Associated Motor Cycles, AMC, and this worked up to 1939. AMC owned most of English mc:s marks like Matchless and AJS and later even Norton, James and Francis Barnett.

1943 BSA took over Sunbeam and started to produce a model with a new engine influenced by BMW. In order not to make a direct copy the cylinders was laid in line like an ordinary car engine.

This last well known model got the designation S7/S8 DeLuxe. When the crises for mc production was in it's most worst time for BSA the production of Sunbeam ceased. What was left became scooter production up to 1964.

BSA sold their whole storage of running parts to Stewart Engineering. This firm became main deliverer for spare parts.


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Swedish version

(S)OK

OK left sida. Ref. 1
OK left sida. Ref. 1

Links

OK Supreme

British Classic OK Supreme

OK History by David Oborn

 



 

 

 

SOK. Ref. 1
SOK. Ref. 1
OK Supreme

This motorcycle firm started 1882 by Ernie Humphries and Charles Dawes. They started to work as a sub supplier to other producers.

They had their first mc construction ready 1899, with an unknown engine construction. 
A new model came 1906 and it had an engine supplied from an outer firm, but it was produced by OK.

From this time they used engines from other deliverers. 

The OK factory was situated in Birmingham and was working up to 1939 when WWII started. At this moment the production ceased and the firm was sold.

After the war it was possible to buy OK 350 cc with JAP engine. It was the son of John Humpries who sold them. John died 1946.


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Swedish version

Indian

Indian. Ref. 1
Indian. Ref. 1Indian. Ref. 1
Indian. Ref. 1

Links

Indian history

Indian. Ref. 1
Indian. Ref. 1
Indian 1901-1953

There were three mates that came together. Hendee, Hedström and Henshaw. This was the necessary mix of persons to start with engine driven cycles.

They wanted to see what such a thing was good for. They got together. Hendee wanted to build, Hedström designing and Henshaw was a helper.

These three was happy with the design and started to take orders before it was on wheels. This happened in Springfield 1901. The selling went on good. Perhaps in America in those days everything were able to sell and specially motor vehicles.

For a long time they ordered engines from Thor factory, but soon they realized that there were more money in manufacturing if they had their own engine.

This happened 1907 when the V-twin was announced. The development went on and soon the front wheel had a plate spring.

The competition team pushed everything forward. Electric starter and also electric light came before WWII. Indian should become the only bike mark that could give Harley Davidsson a match as far as up to 1953.

Despite many attempts, with joining of Royale Enfield, Vincent and Matchless, to start again there were not any continued existence.

The Indian mark is so loved by people that production of parts has been started for all models.

Buying an old Indian is no spare part problem.


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Swedish version

Harley Davidsson

Info Harley Davidsson 1000 cc 1928. Ref. 1
Info Harley Davidsson 1000 cc 1928. Ref. 1Harley Davidsson Dl 1931 at Eds mc museum. Ref. 1
Harley Davidsson Dl 1931 at Eds mc museum. Ref. 1

Links

Harley history

 

Harley Davidsson 1000 cc 1928. Ref. 1
Harley Davidsson 1000 cc 1928. Ref. 1
Harley Davidsson 1903 -

1953 it was on the way to be a catastrophe for HD when Norton was the name on all lips at Daytona Show.

HD could not accept this so the gave their test driver, Paul Goldsmith, order to bring back record from Norton, to drive again with a 37 hp bike and raised the record for highest speed with 42 km/h. HD was though created long before by the 2 mates William Harley and Artur Davidsson. They started to produce motorcycles in Milwaukee.

The two men were a good combination and already after some years they had developed a V-twin, a layout that should remain till today. They understood that in order to sell they must have several resellers and they created that. Already 1912 they had over 200 in America. T

he models replace each other but engine type and layout were the same. To get the name known they joined all types of competitions in America. Like dirt track and hill Climb.

At these types of tracks the English bikes could not compete. There only fighter was Indian, but this mark was ceased 1953.

The main engine was designed 1926 and was still in production till 1972. American Machinery Foundry bought the company 1969 and it came into finance difficulties because of the US Tariff Commission. The company went down on number of employees and become in conflict with the labors.

The quality fell drastically and the cycle got the nickname "Hardly able some". AMF sold 1981 and HD got its good reputation back. New models were developed and with background of nostalgia HD can sell cycles with a much higher price than the Japanese bikes and yet they have full time job.


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Swedish version

AJS 7R 350

AJS på former museum Teknik at grandfather´s time. Ref. 1
AJS på former museum Teknik at grandfather´s time. Ref. 1

 

Links

AJS history

A.J. Stevens

AJS Motorcycles

AJS Vintage

AJS 350 cc 7R 1951. Ref. 1
AJS 350 cc 7R 1951. Ref. 1
AJS 350 7R

The motorcycle which is shown here is made at the end of the original owner's production. It was the family Stevens

1931 A.J Stevens Motorcycle Ltd. Wolverhampton was in economical difficulties and had to sell their company to Colliers & Co in London. This form stood behind the mark Matchless cycles.

But much had happened before this. Already 1874 Joseph Stevens had registered his firm Joseph Stevens & Co. This company was working with screws and other small details made of steel or brass. The qualifications were perfect for this company to take care of the petrol engine in order to produce some sort of vehicle.

The Stevens family had 9 children and also in the former generation there were several heirs. One should also know that at this time a producer of screws had to know much of all sorts of special threads as the Whitworth thread standard not official until 1841 and in common use about 1860. Different threads were very important in spinning mills during this time.

The senior son Harry was the boy that should bring the firm working in the direction for vehicles. He bought an engine from America 1894. It was a Michel one cylinder petrol engine. It was not a good construction as it didn't run well.

This was not accepted by the severe engineer Harry Stevens. The result was that they had to make it better. This work was put in action and 1897 they were ready. The engine gave 1.75 hp.

They understood with the help of such engines power could be transferred to working machines in a garage. Harry saw also the potential to mount them on bicycles and in this was earn money. The high wheels were on the way out and normal cycles were popular. 

Now the brothers started Stevens Motor Manufacturing Co. In their old working place there were an old BSA cycle and in this they mounted the Mitchell engine in order to test their ideas. During the time the delivered the rebuilt engine to Wearwell Cycle Co. Before for this cycle producer they had delivered parts like spokes screws and nuts and other details for their production.

This firm was owned by William Clark and he understood on a more expensive product like a cycle with engine than simple cycles. Stevens Motor got the contract to deliver engines after they he had seen the BSA cycle.

This new motor bike was called Wearwell-Stevens motor bicycle. It had a mechanical exhaust valve and an automatic inlet valve. From 1902 the engine was improved yearly and Steven wanted of course make one themselves. They also tried to produce a three wheeler 1903.

During the down period in business about 1905 Stevens had to divide the motor company from the screw part just to save it from the up and downs in production. Anyway it went well with both till their largest custom had to be suspended because of improprieties with money.

This was the reason for that Stevens created a new company A.J. Stevens Co Ltd. This became AJS. The production was now running good together with success on the racing tracks. In the end 1930 AJS held 114 world records with AJS cycles.

The Stevens brothers decided to during the second part of 1920th to start with cars and motor coaches. This continued up to 1931 when depression forced them to sell AJS and the motor company to Collier & Sons. Now AJS became a mark within Matchless Motor Cycles. Cars and bus production went to Crossley Motors. Stevens Screw Co was still in the hands of Stevens bothers.

At Colliers AJS became the second mark and was only used when racing cycles were merchandised. For this reason the AJS mark disappeared and became only a special cycle.

Collier change it's name to AMC and later in the 70 th it became Norton Villiers. The production changed to  Cross/Scrambler machines and the enthusiast Fluff Brown was their prime driver. His son has then re-created the name AJS in order to sell both touring and cross machines.

How did the screw company manage in these hard times? The still living family members Jim and Joan decides 1991 to continue with their Screw Co in small scale and this will continue as far as they decide.


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Swedish version

Ariel

Ariel HS Cross 1955 at MC Collection. Ref. 1
Ariel HS Cross 1955 at MC Collection. Ref. 1Ariel 500 cc DeLuxe 1930 at Torsongs museum. Ref. 1
Ariel 500 cc DeLuxe 1930 at Torsongs museum. Ref. 1Ariel 1000G Square 4,  at Arvika museum. Ref. 1
Ariel 1000G Square 4, at Arvika museum. Ref. 1

Links

Private Ariel site

Ariel history

Ariel Owner Club

Ariel 250 cc 1930. Ref. 1
Ariel 250 cc 1930. Ref. 1
Ariel 1902-1970

One of the most successful marks in England. In the beginning of mc history the development went ahead like stepping in stairs.

For Ariel it started with bicycles 1870. At that time James Starley invented the wire spoke wheel. This was a necessary invention for motorcycle progress.

Benz used it on his first 3 wheeler 1886. Next step was the invention of rubber tire which hadn't go applicability until 1898.

The wire spoke wheel was produce by Starley's company, which later became Ariel. Their first motor bicycle came 1901 as a three wheeler with DeDion engine.

Ariel went of course bankruptcy as all other firms, but was saved by Charles Sangster. He got Ariel on feet again with a 2 stroke motor, 3 geared box and kick start.

Charles son Jack took over and continued with Jap engines until a famous designer named Val Page was employed. He brought with him a concept for a four cylinder engine which was called Square four.

This type was kept together with twins as far as to the end of 1970 when discontinuing was inevitable in spite of a possibly contract for the English defense.

Ariel got constructions from BSA who had taken it as war booty. With these Ariel made their models Arrow and Leader.


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Swedish version

NSU

NSU SUper Lux at Eds Museum. Ref. 1
NSU SUper Lux at Eds Museum. Ref. 1NSU 1904 at Torsongs museum. Ref. 1
NSU 1904 at Torsongs museum. Ref. 1

Links

NSU history

NSU Bison

NSU OSL 350 cc 1937. Ref. 1
NSU OSL 350 cc 1937. Ref. 1  
In the 1930th NSU was the largest manufacturer of motor bikes in Europe. On the other hand this firm started 1900 in the city of Neckarsulm to produce knitting machines and their name was Neckarsulm Strickmachinen.

The name of the bike became first Neckarsulm Fahrradwerke, but it was supposed to be a difficult name for a bike. Instead it was called NSU. 

Compare with Yamaha which from the beginning was a company making music instruments and Suzuki which was a textile company.

During the period between the wars they designed a motorcycle like a band wagon equipped with Opel engine. This small "motor bike band car" helped the farmers after the war to save the growth of the year, when all tractors had been taken as war booty by the Russians. See Sinsheim military.

In the beginning NSU started to use Zedel v-twins, but thought they could make a better one themselves. In the 50th NSU was much involved in competitions and record driving. They built special models for this.

They also produce a scooter of their own and had licenses for Vespa and Lambretta. In the 60th NSU bought a license to build Wankel engine, developed and produced mc:s and cars for this concept.

This was very expensive and was the direct cause for NSU to run into economical problems. VW-Porsche bought the NSU company.

Today the big factory locals, which was not so much damaged during the war, are rebuilt to a nice museum, locals from other companies and living apartments.


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Swedish version

Star mc

Rex

Cz

Sarolea

 

 

Links




 



 

 

Other types of mc
 
STAR MC. Ref. 1
STAR MC. Ref. 1
MC with star engine. Ref. 1
MC with star engine. Ref. 1
Rex 147 cc Villers 1926. Ref. 1
Rex 147 cc Villers 1926. Ref. 1
Rex Villers engine. Ref. 1
Rex Villers engine. Ref. 1
CZ/JAWA. Ref. 1
CZ/JAWA. Ref. 1
Cz/JAWA engine. Ref. 1
Cz/JAWA engine. Ref. 1
Parilla, JAWA CZ Scooters. Ref. 1
Parilla, JAWA CZ Scooters. Ref. 1
Sarolea 350 cc 1927. Ref. 1
Sarolea 350 cc 1927. Ref. 1

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