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WW1 DR motorcycles

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Interesting pix Ivor, it looks like some riders where ferrying carrier pigeons back to the front, as pigeons can only home to home as it were.


Tim, I think it may be Zundapp.


Interesting that some seem to have a belt wrapped around the fork tops/headstock, maybe some attempt at damping the spring action.

Edited by gritineye
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these all look like Triumph 3rd & 5th pic 3.5hp nic named trusty triumph , can see there's a direct drive to the rear wheel , there is then a three speed sturmey archer built into the rear hub ,, the others have the gearbox behind the engine and can make out by the shape of fuel tank that thes are triumph but not sure what they call these


I know an old garage stuck in a time warp , with some bikes like these , one has a wiker basket style side car ,, I've been after a bike like these , to fit a J.A.P 600cc side valve with mag in front of the wheel like the above bikes

Edited by phil munga
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By the looks of it, the mysterious "Zu" is yet another Triumph with a home made shield around the magneto. And yes, I would imagine that the leather strap is an attempt to keep the Bramptons from getting too out of shape - they are pretty grim on tarmac but must have been truly dreadful forks on the rough. The Druids that were around at the same time were far better at staying in one piece.

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In picture 10 it looks like he has a leather mud scraper wrapped around the mudguard stays to stop the build up jamming the front wheel, he knows caked grass and mud would have him off every time! Been there got the muddy T shirt.

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  • 3 months later...

Great stuff, currently saving up for a WW1 Douglas for some 'Don R-ing' later this year. Photo 6, with the motorcycle named 'Zu-' has a very elaborate mudguard! 8th photo down is interesting as the rider has an Officers Sam Browne pistol holster, looking at his cap it looks more Officer-like too which would account for the holster.


The coat and overtrousers were made of the same rubberised fabric as the groundsheet, the coat is fairly similar to the type used in WW2 - looking at getting reproductions of both made. Also interesting to see on a couple of them, on the front mudguard, the blue/white flash for signal service as a proper plate.

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The coat and overtrousers were made of the same rubberised fabric as the groundsheet, the coat is fairly similar to the type used in WW2 - looking at getting reproductions of both made. .



Have you ever worn one of these rubberised fabric coats? We've got a WW2 one which is incredibly heavy and very stiff, although I suppose the stiffness could be due to age.

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The rubber coats were mainly made by Pytchley. Yes, I've worn them! Ever tried running in one across short heather after a bolting race horse with several pounds of lead in the pockets? What isn't obvious from the picture is the rear vent is very wide and long, but has buttons down it so that it can be closed up when walking. This allows it to spread back over the saddle, so the rain dosen't blow in up your a**. The long ones also have inside straps to hold the coat closed against the legs. The pockets are also cut much higher than a standard coat, above the waist. Because if you sitting on a horse, the coat will splay out from the hips down the horse. a lot of Brtitsh army uniform at that time was modeled on 'sporting', ie 'Unting , shooting, fishing and Golf, clothing fashionable at the time.

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I rode one of those "sottocanna"(*) motorbikes once.

It was terrible, really difficult to manovrate, on the racing circuit of Imola, therefore with the smoothest and most regular tarmac I've ever found. d I can only say that there was a pretty high degree of stoicism in those soldiers, riding those motorbikes in deep mud, cold and wet and with someone shooting at them....





(*) In Italy we tend to put a theshold on the history of motorbikes according to the position of the fuel tank. Early motorbikes had the tank under the frame pipe (hence sottocanna =underpipe) then the fuel tank was "wrapped" up and around the frame pipe. Hipe this makes sense.

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You want to try a proper sporting flat tank like a two speed Scott / Sunbeam Mod. 9 / Triumph TT / Norton Mod 18 / o.h.v. Douglas, etc. They weigh next to nothing, corner like they're on rails, go like stink and even have half decent brakes. Magnificent things :)

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  • 2 years later...

Hi all,


Just to revive this thread, only just noticed it! Great Triumph pictures by the way!


Here's some pictures of RFC P&M's or Phelon and Moore, from Cleckheaton Yorkshire that supplied most bikes to the RFC and the later RAF upto about 1939.




Here the first P&M, or I should say P&R, Mr. Rainer was killed in the first motoring accident in Yorkshire in 1901! Then Mr Phelon, went on with Mr. Moore, hence the P&M.



During the second world war they did sterling service making Rolls Royce parts, and bomber undercarriages.


P&M, was called Panther after 1924, in their advertising slogans it was also called "The Perfected Motorcycle" in the early days when it was still called P&M, it was a most modern motorcycle, with all chain drive, 2 speeds, and a neutral! and it was by no means cheap! (and still isnt!)










As you can see, lots of women despatch riders!!




Far East?






Post cards










Various pictures


More in the next post,


Lex Schmidt



Edited by welbike
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Here a follow up,












Some P&M litarature of the time.




The original sign from the factory, was there on the door until the early 70's, when a good friend bought all the remaining stock, a lot went in the skip though!!




Wouldn't make much sense collecting all this stuff, and not having the bike, so here it is, an early 1910 model, that actually served with the RFC, when Officers went into the services at that time they were encouraged to bring their own vehicles, and it happened a lot!





Edited by welbike
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Post WW1, but surely no one will mind seeing Race Burrows' 1922 Triumph complete with leather strap on the forks, at this years Ardingly Show, great bike, great name..







With Shane Burrows' 1926 Ivy





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