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 133,805 pages of information and 211,901 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.

Perks and Birch

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1899. Exhibit at the National Motor Museum.

of Rockland Works, Eagle Street, Foleshill

Perks and Birch produced motorcycles between 1900 and 1901.

1899 Edwin Perks and Frank Birch were the originators of the idea to build the complete engine unit within the wheel it was to drive. It was called the 'Motor Wheel'. The single-cylinder engine was fitted between the spokes of an aluminium wheel, with eight to ten spokes on each side. A low-tension magneto provided the spark and the assembly could be fitted in place of the rear wheel of a bicycle or the front wheel of a tricycle.

The Singer Cycle Co took up the design in 1901 and Perks and Birch joined the company.

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
  • Coventry’s Motorcycle heritage by Damien Kimberley ISBN 978 0 7509 5125 9