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British Motorcycles

Shaw Motorcycles

Shaw were motorcycles produced from 1898 to 1905, in Chorlton-cum-Hardy, near Manchester, and again from 1920 to 1922.

The first machine was built by Sidney Shaw, son of Ambrose who had been building bicycles in Crawley, West Sussex, since the 1880s.

  • This was a novel design that fitted the engine behind the bottom bracket and in front of the rear wheel where it was clamped to the chain-stays. A counter-shaft, mounted above and behind the crankcase, was driven by chain to drive the rear wheel by friction roller. In other forms the drive from the counter-shaft was by chain. Footrests were fitted in preference to pedals and the engines used were either Minerva or Kelecom.
  • 1905 They showed a tricycle that differed in that the two rear wheels had the passenger seat between them, but facing the rear.
  • The name then disappeared but resurfaced much later when the firm imported an attachment engine from Shaw of Galesburg, Kansas, until 1922.


Sources Grace's Guide



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