Triumph Speed Twin

On the face of it, the Triumph Speed Twin was the quintessence of Englishness. But, it had Germany to thank for its existence. In 1902, two Germans – Siegfried Bettman and Mauritz Schulte – grafted …

Continue reading

Triumph Speed Triple

In ’83, Triumph looked dead in the water. Finally, the once-famous firm went into receivership. If it was to survive, it needed a saviour – and fast! Up to the plate strode multi-millionaire building magnate, …

Continue reading

Norton Commando Fastback 750

Unlike some of its ‘Brit bike’ brethren, the Norton Commando Fastback 750 was a smooth and comfortable ride. Well, by 1960s standards, anyway. That was due, in no small part, to Norton’s proprietary engine-mounting set-up. …

Continue reading

Scott Squirrel

Scott may not be the most famous manufacturer in motorcycling history – but it certainly has its place. As, indeed, does Scott’s most celebrated bike, the Squirrel. The British marque won the Senior TT – …

Continue reading

Excelsior Manxman

Excelsior was the first British motorbike manufacturer. The company’s best-known machine, the Manxman, was named after the TT – Tourist Trophy. That being the ultimate devil-may-care road race – through the picturesque scenery of the …

Continue reading

Ariel Red Hunter

The Red Hunter was indigenous to the English Midlands. Ariel was based in Bournbrook, Birmingham. One of the original motorcycle manufacturers, it set up shop in 1902. By the ’30s, Ariel was doing brisk business …

Continue reading

Douglas Dragonfly

The Douglas Dragonfly broke the motorcycle mould. BMW is now almost synonymous with the flat-twin layout. Other marques, too, though, have used that venerable engine configuration. Not least, Douglas. The firm was based in Bristol, …

Continue reading