Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

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Wallis

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Wallis were motorcycles produced from 1925 to 1929, to designs by George Wallis.

1925 A revolutionary design appeared, with hub-centre steering. For this he used a chassis with a pivoted-fork at the front to carry the hub assembly, with leaf springs for suspension. The Blackburne ohv engine was inclined around 45 degrees in the prototype. This was in order to achieve a low riding position and centre of gravity. It had all-chain transmission, the machine sat low and handled well.

1926 The ease of handling prompted George Wallis to enter the Junior and Senior TT races, with machines that had JAP engines and drum brakes front and rear. The machine finished sixteenth in the Junior, but was a non-starter in the Senior. The Wallis was shown at Olympia that year.

1927 The machine was listed with a variety of engines, from a 249cc sv to a twin-port of 490cc, but the project then collapsed.

Wallis then became involved with the early days of speedway and started to build machines on the lines of the Harley-Davidson Peashooter model.

1929 These machines made their debut. One was the Wallis-Blackburne, with that make of engine, and the other, more successful, with a 344cc JAP.

1930 The latter adopted the new JAP speedway engine and they were taken up by Comerfords, the big dealers of Thames Ditton in Surrey, and George Wallis moved on to other things.

Years later these included the banking three-wheeler that BSA revised wrongly into the Ariel 3 and, later still, became the Honda Stream, which worked better although it lacked some of the design's salient points.


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
  • [1] Ian Chadwick's motorcycle web site