Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

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Britax

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1950.
October 1957.
October 1958.
November 1960. Twisdip.
1962.
April 1962.
October 1973.
1983.

Britax were motorcycles produced from 1949 to 1956 and from 1979 to 1985.

This company started out as an accessory firm and were based in London.

1949 They added motorcycles to their catalogue by importing the 48cc Italian Ducati Cucciolo bicycle attachment engine unit. This very different engine was a four-stroke, with ohv opened by pull-rods and built-in unit with a two-speed gearbox with clutch and preselector control. To begin with it was sold in the UK as a unit.

1952 Late that year Britax began to import the German Lohmann clip-on engine. This also differed from the others. It was an 18cc compression-ignition two-stroke, with variable compression ratio. It was designed to clamp under the bicycle bottom-bracket, had a horizontal cylinder and very narrow crankcase. A counter-shaft drove the rear wheel by friction roller. Although it had first appeared in 1949, it was only on the British market for little over a year.

1953 Britax moved to a complete machine using Royal Enfield parts, a heavy-duty bicycle frame and blade girder forks.

1955 Two more models joined the list. These were a scooter and a racing model, known as the Hurricaine, fitted with a full fairing. Neither of these enjoyed much success, as the scooter world had moved on and the Italian Itom out-classed the racer.

1956 After that year, Britax returned to the accessory business but took over the Cyclemaster line for a while.

1963 Motor Show exhibitor. Seat belts

1979-1985 The name made a come-back on an Italian 50cc fold-up moped known as the Kari-Bike.

See Also

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Sources of Information

  • The British Motorcycle Directory - Over 1,100 Marques from 1888 - by Roy Bacon and Ken Hallworth. Pub: The Crowood Press 2004 ISBN 1 86126 674 X
  • 1963 Motor Show
  • The Encyclopedia of the Motorcycle by Peter Henshaw. Published 2007. ISBN 978 1 8401 3967 9