Martinsyde & Rick Parkington…

Posted: June 11, 2014 in Just Me
Tags: , , ,

I bumped into Rick Parkington at Banbury along with his wonderful Martinsyde motorcycle, this was the first time I have met Rick, but what a nice guy, and very approachable too.  I hope I get the chance to have a longer chat with him sometime.

Rick Parkington and Martinsyde

Rick Parkington and Martinsyde

Rick with his Motorcycle

Rick with his Motorcycle

Martinside the company was first formed in 1908 as a partnership between H.P. Martin and George Handasyde and known as Martin & Handasyde. Their No.1 monoplane was built in 1908–1909 and succeeded in lifting off the ground before being wrecked in gale force winds. They went on to build a succession of  mostly monoplane design aircraft, although it was to be a biplane, the S1 of 1914, that turned Martin-Handasyde into a successful aircraft manufacturer.

In 1915 they renamed the company Martinsyde Ltd and became Britain’s third largest aircraft manufacturer during World War One, with flight sheds at the famous Brooklands and a large factory close by in Woking.

Rick's Martinsyde

Rick’s Martinsyde

The Martinsyde

The Martinsyde

Martinsyde Motor

Martinsyde Motor

Martinsyde began manufacturing motorcycles from 1919 after buying the rights to engine designs by Howard Newman which included a 350 cc single and a 677 cc V-Twin motorwith an unusual exhaust-over-inlet layout.

The 680 engine was fitted into a diamond-type frame with Brampton forks. Martinsyde had to overcome problems with components before their new range could be launched, initially under the trade name of Martinsyde-Newman until the third partner Newman left the company. Newman was also involved in manufacturing and designing the Ivy brand of motorcycle. The motorcycle twin had a hand gear change and a three-speed gearbox built under licence from AJS.  The Martinsyde’s motor was very flexible and became popular with off-road trials competition riders, where the singles quickly gained a reputation for reliability,  over at Brooklands, where Martinsyde won the team award in 1922, and the Scottish Six day trial.

The Martinsyde 680 was followed by a 500 cc model in 1920, with a sports version in 1921. In 1922 Martinsyde produced a 738 cc sports V-Twin, named the Quick Six which produced 22 horsepower, and was capable of 80 miles per hour . The engine featured their normal overhead exhaust and side-valve inlet, but Ricardo pistons, accurately balanced flywheels, all reciprocating parts lightened, nickel steel con-rods machined all over, and close ratio three speed gearbox. Martinsyde were experimenting with new designs, including valve gear controlled by leaf springs, when their Woking factory was destroyed by a fire in 1922, forcing them into liquidation having produced over 2,000 motorcycles. The company’s motorcycle manufacturing rights were purchased by BAT Manufacturing Ltd, who produced a number of twin-cylinder motorcycles in 1924 and 1925 before ending production

1920 A 498cc model with similar engine layout followed.

1921 Trading difficulties caused large-scale lay-offs at the works.

1922 A sports version of the 498cc appeared along with a 738cc sports model (developed by H. H. Bowen) named the Quick Six.

1923 Various experiments were conducted with valve gear controlled by leaf springs and a vertical single model of 347cc was tried.

Towards the end of the year the business failed.

(information all found on the web).

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