Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

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Small Engines Co

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Small Engines Co of Coventry Road, Birmingham.

Zephyr was a motorcycle announced in 1917 and produced after the end of World War I, until 1922. This motorised pedal cycle reached the market after the end of the war. It was also sold under the name of Aerolite. In its completed form it weighed just 70lb/32 kg, and was therefore ideal for those who could not handle a heavy machine. It was also intended for ladies' use as an open-frame version was also available. The engine was a 131 cc unit.

Aerolite were motorcycles built from 1922 to 1924. They were also listed under the Zephyr name. The machine was very lightweight at 70lb/32kg. It was built in Birmingham by the Small Engines Co of Coventry Road. It had a special safety frame with the 104cc Simplex two-stroke engine replacing the frame front-downtube. With braced forks, it had the fuel tank hung from the frame crossbar. It was an extremely basic machine capable of reaching a mere 15-20mph/24-32kmh. A conventionally-framed machine was also built as a second version.

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
  • [1] Ian Chadwick's motorcycle web site