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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Henderson KJ

As early as 1929, the Henderson KJ was hitting 100mph. It came courtesy of a 1,301cc in-line four engine – outputting 40bhp. What made the top speed stat yet more impressive was that the KJ …

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Harley-Davidson WL 45

These days, the Harley-Davidson WL 45 is seriously old school. That is a good thing! ’45’ referenced its engine capacity – in cubic inches. The side-valve 45° V-twin slung the WL to a top speed …

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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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FN Four

It was not known at the time, but the FN Four was to signal a seismic shift in motorcycling. Technically, there cannot have been many two-wheeled breakthroughs to match the introduction of the inline-four engine! …

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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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Indian Four

The Indian story started in 1901 – in Springfield, Massachusetts, USA. It continued until ’42 – and the outbreak of the Second World War. Originally called Hendee, the Indian Motocycle Company came into being in …

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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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