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British Industrial History

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J. H. Motor Engineering Works

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JH were the initials of James Howarth who produced motorcycles from 1914 to 1916 of the J. H. Motor Engineering Works in Castle Mill Street, Mumps, Oldham.

1913-1917 For a list of the models and prices of motorcycles see the 1917 Red Book

1914 'A New Firm with a Vast Experience. A new make of machine which is certain to be heard much of in the near future is the J.H. motor cycle, or rather, motor cycles, for there are several models. This make emanates from Oldham, the J. H. Engineering Works (James Howarth, proprietor), of Castle Mill Street, Mumps, Oldham, being the makers. Though the J. H. machines are new, one can hardly consider them so, owing to the vast experience and knowledge of motor cycles possessed by those responsible for their design and manufacture, for Mr. James Howarth is the late general manager of Messrs. Bradbury and Co., Ltd., of Oldham, who make the Bradbury, and has resigned, after 31 years' service, to commence on his own account. As works manager he has also secured the valuable services of Mr. James Eastwood, lately motor cycle foreman for Messrs. Bradbury, and resigned after 22 years' service with the firm. He will examine every engine and part, and, as the winner of a large number of medals and a cup in Reliability trials and hill climbs, he knows motor cycle requirements in every sense. In short, Messrs. Howarth and Eastwood have been notable personalities in the motor cycle manufacturing world ever since such machines were known, and so they come before riders with a ready-made reputation which will spread to their machines. The 1915 J. H. Models. The works at Oldham are commodious and very replete in up-to-date machinery and appliances. The models are as follows: First, a 2.5 h.p. two-stroke lightweight at 28 guineas, or with two-speed counter-shaft gear 34 guineas. This is one of the neatest and handsomest lightweights I have seen, very up-to-date in all details, with Villiers engine and capable of 35 to 40 miles an hour, and of being throttled down to walking pace. It can also be had at 35 guineas, with Sturmey-Archer three-speed hub gear. Second is a 21 h.p., with the Villiers power unit, which comprises two-speed gear, free engine, clutch, etc., all in one. A fine machine at 44 guineas, complete. Third is a new 3 twin cylinder, with Mag engine or Jap, '[1]

1914 In the October of that year, James Howarth, who had once worked for Bradbury and Co, offered his new range. At the bottom was a model fitted with a 269cc Villiers two-stroke engine and direct-belt transmission. There was also a machine fitted with a 2.75hp, 349cc four-stroke Villiers engine, two-speed gear and chain-cum-belt drive. Larger models were also listed using 6hp or 8hp JAP, or 6hp MAG engines, the MAG with a three-speed gearbox. A racing model was added in the November, fitted with a 3.5hp MAG engine.

1915 JH offered the two Villiers-powered machines, plus models using 3.5hp and 6hp MAG V-twin engines, the latter with a three-speed or four-speed gearbox.

1916 The engines used for that year were the 269cc Villiers, a 3.5hp JAP and V-twins of 3.5hp, 6hp or 8hp from MAG, or 6hp or 8hp from JAP

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. Clarion - Friday 25 December 1914
  • The British Motorcycle Directory - Over 1,100 Marques from 1888 - by Roy Bacon and Ken Hallworth. Pub: The Crowood Press