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British Industrial History

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Hockley was a motorcycle produced from 1914 to 1916 by a firm in Barr Street, Birmingham.

1914 December: the company announced their new motorcycle, intended for colonial use. It was powered by a 269cc Liberty or Villiers two-stroke engine that either drove the rear wheel directly by belt, or by chain to a two-speed gearbox and then by belt. The engine had a Senspray carburettor and ML magneto, and the frame had twin downtubes.

The Hockley Two-Stroke

The Hockley two-stroke has been made for some months past, but practically the whole of the output had been for foreign and Colonial consumption.

It possesses a number of interesting and commendable features, the most obvious of which is the frame design. As will be seen from the illustration, an extra tube is provided from the head of the engine, which, it is claimed, resists the to-and-fro or "nodding" movement of the short arm of the fork column; and the fact that the engine vibrations are spread over a greater area minimises the possibility of metal crystallisation and subsequent breakage. The head is longer than in usual practice, and a good steering angle consequently obtainable.

The special feature of the engine lies in its lubrication. The oil and petrol are kept separately, the former being distributed via a drip-feed lubricator into a plated brass well clipped to the down-tube. In this well is placed a ball-valve, which automatically with the engine speed regulates the supply of oil, the engine sucking the ball down according to its speed, while it remains up when the engine is stationary, so completely stopping the flow of oil. From this well the oil is distributed to the engine by three pipes; one leading to the cylinder and the other two to either side of the crank-case, where they feed directly on to the main bearings.

The Hockley engine otherwise conforms to ordinary two-stroke practice. It is of 2.75 h.p., bore and stroke 70 x 70 mm., and the radiating fins continue to the bottom of the cylinder. Two exhaust pipes are provided, which emerge into a well-made cast aluminium silencer.

The specification includes BTH or ML magneto driven by adjustable Brampton chain enclosed in an aluminium case; Senspray carburettor, Saxon compound spring forks, Dunlop 26 x 2 studded tyres, Dunlop 0.75 in. belt, saddle of good quality, front, and back wheel stands, two pannier tool-bags, strong guards — the back guard has a steel liner on its inner side for strength — aluminium foot-boards, etc.

A personal trial revealed the comfort, absence of vibration, power and flexibility of the Hockley two-stroke, while the distinctive and tasty finish called forth much favourable comment.

The Hockley is made throughout by the Hockley Motor Manufacturing Co. at Barr Street, Hockley, Birmingham, and retails at 28 guineas plus 10 per cent. With a two-speed countershaft gear the price is £6 extra.

See Also


Sources of Information

  • Autocycle Illustrated. August 11, 1915.
  • 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