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Greeves were motorcycles produced from 1954
to 1978, in Thundersley, Essex. They have been produced again since 1999.
Bert Greeves began his involvement with motorcycles after developing the Invacar - an invalid carriage developed to cope with the post-war needs
1954 The first machines appeared, all using the Villiers 8E
engine. The design of the frame and suspension made Greeves unique.
The tubular frame had a cast-alloy beam and the suspension had rubber bushes
in torsion with in-built dampers - the front being leading-link. These
were tried out both in scrambles and on the road and there were four models
in total. Of the two road machines, one had three speeds and the other
had four. There was a scrambles model and one for trials. Later in the
year these were joined by the roadster Fleetwing, powered by the
Anzani twin two-stroke engine.
1956 Models using conventional tubular frames appeared, along with a twin
using the 322cc British
Anzani. Simultaneously, the original system of rear suspension was
replaced by conventional rear units and the 8E engine was replaced
by the 9E.
1957 Hydraulic dampers went into the front forks and the twins began to
change to the 249cc Villiers 2T
1958 The designs of competition and road models were growing farther apart,
and previous suspension problems had been fixed. The trials bike was called
and the scrambler Hawkstone, in recognition of the places they had
1959 The 197cc machines were joined by 246cc versions for road or competition
use with the A-series Villiers
1960 Those models continued. A road twin was added, with a 324cc Villiers3T
engine. These would run on for the rest of the decade.
1961 The scrambler had the option of a Greeves top half for its
engine. By this time the Greeves trial model had become a firm favourite
and sales were excellent. Over the preceding few years, the machines had
performed well in the European series.
1963 A new era arrived for the company when it branched into road racing,
following the success of a modified scrambler. Known as the Silverstone,
it was a racer with a 246cc engine, that was built up to 1968 and performed
1966 Only trials and scrambler motorcycles were built, as all the road
models were dropped. Villiers was in trouble but Greeves was able
to continue. Telescopic forks became an option.
1967-1971 Production continued but there was little success.
1972 Output became minimal.
1978 The company closed when Bert Greeves retired and a fire brought
1999 The name was revived with an Anglian replica trials bike built
in Essex, close to the original home - aimed at enthusiasts of the marque
- by producing a classic look using modern materials and techniques. This
was the 24TJSB with a traditional Villiers bottom half and Challenger
head and barrel for the 246cc engine. The frame had a cast-alloy front
beam, twin rear shocks, MP
telescopic forks and conical hubs.