Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

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Swift Motor Co: Motorcycles

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Note: This is a sub-section of Swift Motor Co.

Swift motorcycles were produced from 1899 to 1915, in Coventry. The firm was closely associated with Ariel.

1898 Swift Cycle Co made its first motor cycle and a motor tricycle. The tricycle was very similar to the Ariel, with the engine fitted ahead of the rear axle, and the whole of the frame boxed-in to enclose the carburettor and the electrics. Under the saddle was a cylindrical tank that carried the petrol and oil.

1904 The firm began to build a model under licence from Starley, copying the transverse engine.

1910 Machines were now listed as the Swift-Ariel, fitting a 3.5 hp engine to a rigid frame with Druid forks and sprung saddle.

1911 The two listed models, the Touring and the TT, were fitted with White and Poppe engines.

1913 They offered a Cyclecar fitted with a water-cooled vertical-twin engine, while the 3.5hp solo continued with the option of an Armstrong three-speed rear hub.

1914-1915 The range ran on, with an extra model fitted with a V-twin engine.

From 1915 to 1931 the company concentrated on cars.

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