Brough Superior SS100

When it came to his best-known brand of motorcycle, George Brough did not beat about the bush. ‘Superior’ pretty much said it all! And, to be fair to him, it was – as compared with …

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Panther M100

A swift glance at the Panther M100 showed up its most striking asset. Compared with your average engine design, the M100’s looked distinctly skewed. Enter the 598cc Sloper motor. It was tilted forward 45°. If …

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Sunbeam S8

Even in England’s ‘Black Country’, the sun does still shine. Aptly, then, Sunbeam’s factory was located there – in Wolverhampton, West Midlands. From the outset – in 1912 – the company gained a name for …

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Rudge Ulster

The Rudge Ulster was based on the Rudge Multi. The latter – launched in 1911 – came with 21 ‘infinitely variable’ gears. ‘Multi’, indeed, then! In theory, there was not a slope in the UK …

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Norton CS1

When it comes to ‘Brit bikes’, classic Nortons are as iconic as they come. That certainly included the CS1. Norton was based in Bracebridge Street, Birmingham. In 1913, the fledgling firm went bust. In true …

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Ariel Square Four

The Ariel Square Four was designed by Edward Turner. His finest hour was yet to come. He would go on to oversee Triumph – in its Sixties glory days. The first version of the Square …

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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 …

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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 – …

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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 …

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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 …

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