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The Scott Motorcycle Company was owned by Scott Motors (Saltaire)
Limited, Shipley, West Yorkshire and was a well known producer of motorcycles
and light engines for industry. The company was founded by Alfred
Angas Scott (1875 - 1923), born in Kirkcaldy, Scotland. He patented
an early form of caliper brakes in 1897, a fully triangulated frame, rotary
induction valves, unit construction, and more. He had started making engines
for boats in 1900; in 1908 he made his first motorcycle with a 450 cc two-stroke
twin cylinder engine and two speed gearbox mounted in a triangulated frame.
He is credited with the invention of the kick start.
Scott left the company in 1915 and after World War I formed the
Autocar Co in nearby Bradford, to make a civilian version of his proposed
military three-wheel motorcycle/car hybrid called the Sociable.
1901 Scott built his first engine. It was a twin-cyclinder two-stroke,
fitted to a Premier bicycle.
It was mounted in front of the headstock and the front wheel was belt driven.
1902 Scott revised his design so that the engine was behind the
headstock with a friction, belt driven countershaft to the rear wheel.
1904 Scott patented his design as a twin-cylinder two-stroke with
a central flywheel, overhung crankshafts and round crankcase doors.
1906 For one year, a basic 2½hp single was offered called the 'Scout'.
It was a typical primitive with rigid forks and belt drive. Although the
claim was made that they produced the engine themselves, it was probably
1908 By now, Scott had developed a complete machine with a 333cc,
3hp engine, air cooled cylinders and water cooled heads. This clever design
remained unchanged for many years. He arranged for the design to be manufactured
by the Jowett brothers, but they built only six machines before alternative
arrangements were made in Bradford to create the Scott
Engineering Co. During that year Scott raced successfully at
several hill climbs. Due to its style and the fact that it was easy to
start, the motorcycle attracted a lot of attention.
1909 Production started in earnest. The machines had kickstarts and an
1910 Cycle and Motorcycle Exhibition
Scott Engineering Co., Ltd. Mornington Works, Bradford. Stand No. 32. Few motor-cycles have drawn no much attention - and respect - on their introduction as the Scott.
The bore and stroke of the two-cycle two-cylinder engine are 70 mm and 64 mm respectively, and the rating is 3 1/2 horse power. The two-speed gear gives ratios of 4 to 1 and 7 to
1, and the transmission is by chain. The starting, by kick-down lever, is a specially good feature. Among other modifications introduced for 1911 are the entire water-jacketting
of the cylinder, the fitting of 21in. Palmer Cord or Kempshall tyres to both wheels, and the provision of automatic lubrication. It is a unique machine and should command
1911 There had been many improvements over the past couple of years. The engine became fully water-cooled and the capacity was enlarged to 486cc. A machine was entered in the TT
with high hopes, but the engine had a lot of problems.
1912 After a much modification Scott entered the TT again and scored success when Frank Applebee won the Senior and set the fastest lap.
1913 Success was repeated the following year, this time by Tim Wood who
won by just five seconds. It was one of the closest victories in the history
of the TT. The two-speed Scott was further improved that year, as
demand was greater.
1914 For the TT, the works machines had a revised engine, but the results
were disappointing. They finished well down - even after setting the fastest
lap. Production continued into the first couple of years of the Great War,
and for the services they built a sidecar model that carried a machine
gun. Scott's ideas continued to develop and he produced an array
of models. One was a three-wheeled gun car. There was also the ScottSociable,
which looked like a small car with the front left wheel missing. These
models were built on a triangular tubular chassis.
1918 By now Scott had little involvement with motorcycles, so he
sold out and formed a new company.
1923 In August that year, and aged only forty-eight, Alfred
Scott died of pneumonia. Without his vision and ability, the firm had
little to take it forward.
1922 The original motorcycles had returned after the war and the 498cc,
two-speed Squirrel was listed.
1925-1929 The Super Squirrel was produced with several sizes and
variations available. There was also the Flying Squirrel, which
was more conventional in style. For a short time, a dirt-track model was
1930 An air-cooled Scott single appeared. The machine was conventional
in style, and by making the engine themselves, it was intended to appeal
to the lower end of the market. However, due to lack of success, it was
soon dropped. By now the design appeared dated and cumbersome, but without
the talent and financial backing of Alfred
Scott the company fell on hard times. For much of the decade they continued
as best they could with a few modifications and replacements.
1934 The company announced a water-cooled in-line three-cylinder model,
which was exhibited at Olympia that year, but few were built and by the
end of 1937 it was no longer listed.
World War II. The Scott machines were expensive and highly specialised,
so output was low. Lack of sales forced them into voluntary liquidation
and so the firm was sold to Aerco
Jig and Tool Co of Birmingham, a company owned by Matt
Holder who was a Scott fan.
1956 After several years Matt
Holder managed to get the Scott back into production. A couple
of models were produced in small numbers. He produced the ScottSwift
using an engine with flat-top pistons.
1960s A racing Scott twin made an appearance, but with little impact,
and those motorcycles manufactured were built to order.
1970s-1980s Following on from the Swift, Holder
produced the Silk, but by this time production was down to even
1982 The production of Scott motorcycles came to an end.
Note: A dedicated Scott Owners' Club web site can be found
by clicking the following link. scottownersclub.org