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British Industrial History

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Silk

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Silk were motorcycles produced from 1975 to 1979 at Darley Abbey in Derby.

1970 Small company started by racer/builder George Silk and Maurice Patey

George Silk was a Scott racing enthusiast who went on to build the Scott Silk Special for road use in 1972. This machine was greatly modified and fitted together a Scott engine, Velocette gearbox and Spondon frame in a combination that worked well.

Following on came the Derby-built Silk 700S, an updated version of the Scott that was light and easy to handle, and fitted with the 653cc Silk engine, a water-cooled twin-cylinder two-stroke with the block inclined forward. Inside it was all new, with a full crankshaft supported on bearings either side of each pair of flywheels, with a horizontally split crankcase. The Velocette-type gearbox bolted to the back of the crankcase and the whole was fitted into a Spondon frame to give a smooth, light and economical machine.

A production racing version was also listed for a couple of yeas. This was fitted with a racing fairing and had a tuned engine.

Improvements were made as necessary and a Mk II was produced, with cooling fins on the cylinder block. A compact 326cc air-cooled trials model was also built. It had a four-speed gearbox with a choice of output ratios with the mechanics suspended from a monocoque spine frame and made from aluminium sheet.

A new two stroke engine was developed by David Midgelow (from Rolls Royce engineering) and George Silk, and they had assistance from two-stroke expert Gordon Blair of Queen University, Belfast

1976 Thirty machines built.

Production stopped in 1979. Less than 150 of the 700S had ever been produced, but as a special, it had always appealed to Scott enthusiasts.


See Also

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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
  • Silk Motorcycles