Coventry engineering firms have been attaching engines to bicycle frames since the 1890s.
The likes of Allard, Bayliss-Thomas, Coronet, Coventry Eagle, Humber, Riley, and many others had developed and sold motor-bicycles well before the turn of the century.
Experimental machines such as these were quickly improved upon, and by the outbreak of the First World War, Coventry had become a major motor manufacturing centre, with no less than 32 different makes of motorcycle on offer.
Following the War, production resumed at a rapid pace, and the 1920s and 1930s became a period when some of the very best motorcycles would be made in Coventry. Today, many consider them some of Coventry’s finest.
Famous makes including Coventry Eagle, Coventry Victor, Francis-Barnett, Humber, Lea-Francis, Rex-Acme, and Rover, all made great strides. Rudge became the machine to beat on the racing circuit during the 1930s, whilst Triumph led the field in the domestic market, releasing models such as the revolutionary ‘Speed Twin’ in 1937.
Based upon such a proud tradition, Coventry Transport Museum once again presented the Classic Zone at the Motorcycle Live.
Of our current extensive motorcycle collection which spans over eight decades, we exhibited a specially selected range of Coventry-built machines of the 1920s and 1930s.
From the weird and wonderful, to the fast and furious, this was a true showcase of the city’s greatest period of motorcycle production, and a must see for any motorcycle fan.
Click thumbnails below to open gallery.