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British Industrial History

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F. E. Waller

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FEW were motorcycles produced in 1920, and from 1926 to 1928, by F. E. Waller.

1920 Waller had already exploited the market with his patent valve-spring attachments which protected stems and springs from road dirt. Having marketed them under his own initials, he then ventured into motorcycle production and started with a 6hp sv JAP engine in a low, sporting frame, and Saxon spring forks. Drive from the engine was direct by belt to the wheel, but the design had a novel type of friction gear, the details of which were kept secret. In the September of that year a prototype was built and shown to the public and trade. It was hoped that it would be of interest to a manufacturing company that would take on its construction, but none was forthcoming and the idea was shelved.

1926 Waller again aroused interest with an unconventional machine of the car-on-two-wheels ilk, whereby the rider sat in a low bucket seat. The engine in this new FEW was either a 600cc sv single or 976cc sv V-twin JAP engine, three-speed Burman or Sturmey-Archer gearbox and all-chain transmission. Models available ranged from the 600cc Popular, 976cc Special and the 976cc Paramount Duo fitted out to carry two people, sitting in bucket seats that were fitted within the wheelbase. The multi-tube frame lay at wheel-spindle height or below, until, from a point there, a triangulated maze of tubes rose upwards to a normal steering-head and link-action girder forks of conventional outline. The panels over this elevated forward structure were carefully arranged to act as leg shields, whilst panelling over the rear wheel provided a clean area for carrying luggage. An instrument panel was formed behind the steering head and the rider was given further protection by a small screen in Triplex glass. Foot-boards kept dirt out and the engines were also fitted with the patent FEW valve attachments. Late that year they exhibited at the Olympia Show, but there was no sign of manufacture.

1927 In the Olympia Show of that October, there was confirmation that the models would be available the following year, together with a slightly lighter version fitted with a 499cc sv Blackburne engine.

1928 Selfridges of London then displayed three models and the marque was also listed in buyers' guides, but the make did not last beyond the end of the year.

Paramount-Duo were motorcycles produced between 1927 and 1928 by FEW.

This model was rather unusual as it had two bucket seats and partial enclosure, not dissimilar to the OEC Atlanta-Duo that would apper in the 1930s. The engines were either the 499cc Blackburne or 981cc JAP V-twin driving a Burman or Sturmey-Archer gearbox. The design was not well-received and, as there were few buyers, the make soon left the market.

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
  • The Encyclopedia of the Motorcycle by Peter Henshaw. Published 2007. ISBN 978 1 8401 3967 9