Spagthorpe Motor Works is almost an anonymous name in the motorcycle history.

The story goes like this :

''Harry was born in a small village in south Swaziland, after national service in the Bengal Rifles he moved to Nottingham, where under an assumed name he worked as a tea boy for George Brough. His passion for motorcycles was developed by his long term companion Jeff, who once rode the Hajji railway that T.E. Lawrence blew up in the film. The 17 known Spagforth Lightning motorcycles were all built by Harry and a small band of his boys. Harry and the boys stole a component a day from the Brough factory until they had enough to build a bike. It is believed that the song "One piece at a time" by Johnny Cash was inspired by Harry's activities.

Not many people are aware that the famous British marque was revived in 1981 when Julian, Lord Spagthorpe, inherited his title at the age of 24. A keen motorcyclist himself, he saw an opportunity to inject some character into what was becoming a rather bland industry, and started a manufacturing operation in Peter Tavy, Devonshire. His bikes have certainly been distinctive, from the first model of the Greyhound sportbike up until the present day.

The concept was to build a long-distance cruiser, and the emphasis would be on low-end grunt and endurance rather than top speed. The obvious engine configuration was a V-twin, so it was decided to take he 347cc single from theBeagle, and join four of them on two meshed crakshafts to produce what would be known as the 1400 W-4, although the actual configuration was more like _|o|_, with the engine mounted longitudinally in the frame. The desmodromic valves only required adjustment every 3000 miles, but for all but the front cylinder even checking clearances involved removing the engine from the frame, along with the primary shaft which ran alongside the rear cylinder and drove the separate transmission. This complexity may have been what discouraged potential American dealers, but for the owners who persevered it was outweighed by the benefits of the machine. It had shaft drive, liquid cooling, disc brakes operated solely by the foot pedal with an ingenious "hydraulic computer" to handle balance, four-speed automatic overdrive transmission, and many luxuries not seen on bikes even today.''

Pics and quotes ''stolen'' from my brothers in arms over @ Grease n Gasoline

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