Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

Grace's Guide is the leading source of historical information on industry and manufacturing in Britain. This web publication contains 138,150 pages of information and 223,038 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.


From Graces Guide

Jump to: navigation, search

Wilkinson was a motorcycle produced from 1939 to 1962, by Frank Wilkinson, of Nottingham.

This machine was a special, designed and constructed just before the onset of World War II. What singled it out from the rest were the mechanics, as the engine was a 592cc V4 with overhead camshaft mounted transversely. This engine drove a home-made three-speed gearbox bolted to it, with a bevel box to turn the drive to suit the rear chain.

The first layout was not as successful as expected, so, in the 1940s, the machine was modified to mount the engine along a military Ariel W/NG frame to drive an Albion four-speed gearbox by chain. The camshafts were still driven by vertical shafts, with bevel gears at the bottom and skew at the top, with hairpin valve springs later changed to coils. Ignition was by a BTH magneto from an aircraft, adapted to suit the V4, and there was a carburettor on each side of the vee.

The machine was continually revised and modified until the designer died in 1962. It then lay untouched for many years before being discovered and returned to working condition, with the addition of twin open-megaphone exhausts.

See Also


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