WILKINSON 1909 MOTORCYCLE

By Ian Glasspool

one of Ian Glasspool’s great vintage motorcycle models, is this model of the Wilkinson Sword Company’s luxurious and sophisticated four-cylinder touring motorcycle with front and rear suspension and a motor car-type upholstered seat. It was engineered to the highest quality and the design was years ahead of its time.

Powered by a 676cc four-cylinder air-cooled engine it featured a car-type clutch and three-speed gearbox shaft drive. There was a new fork design by Tacchi which used quarter-elliptic leaf springs at the rear. Steering was either by long, swept-back handlebars, or a car-type steering wheel. After an enthusiastic reception, production began at Wilkinson's works in Acton, West London. A couple of years later there was a change to the design with the launch of the Touring Motor Cycle.

During World War I the demand for arms meant that Wilkinson suspended production. Rights to the TMC and a light car that Wilkinson had also been working on were taken over by Ogston, another West London firm. When peace returned, Ogston concentrated its efforts on the car, and Wilkinson turned the factory over to making garden tools and swords of course.

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