Battson's first motorcycle
"It was a little Sun V.T.S. (not to be confused with the Vitesse engine, which was a bit different; the V.T.S. merely stood for Valveless Two Stroke) of about 1915 manufacture." (p.15)
|Sun VTS 1916|
Battson's second motorcycle
"The machine in question was a 31/2 h.p. (500 c.c.) racing Singer, once the property of the famous Stanley, slightly detuned for road use..." (p.18)
|31/2 h.p. (500 c.c.) racing Singer 1910|
Battson's third motorcycle
"This Norton was the Model 9, one of the last direct-drive models the firm ever made; and I regret to say, at this late stage, that Norton Motors were guilty of great duplicity in the matter. I knew, of course, that by 1923 the belt driver was on its way out, and, not wishing to be stuck with an obsolescent machine, I wrote to them asking if the Model 9 was likely to be discontinued in the foreseeable future. They replied promptly and courteously, that they had no intention whatever of dropping it, and would be happy if I would place my order.
On the strength of this assurance, I made them happy; and they dropped the model that same year. It was never catalogued again." (p.36)
|Norton Model 9|
Owing to the non-auto carburettor, the throttle and air levers have to be juggled with at the same time when riding! The brakes are of a rudimentary bicycle design. Even in 1920, this machine was well out of date and it was to remain available until 1922.
All this just goes to show how conservative a buyer Battson was.
Battson's fourth motorcycle
"There was little difficulty in making a choice. The Model 18 Norton of 1925, o.h.v. at that, was almost the spitting image of the machine on which Alec Bennett had won the Senior T.T. of 1924, and, unlike today, when T.T. machines are costly freaks, this year’s winner was next year’s standard sports model. So, not without the odd tear, I parted with my faithful old belt-driver and, bursting with pride, wheeled my new machine out of the showroom." (p.39)
|Norton Model 18 1925|
Battson's fifth motorcycle
“In 1928, I got married; and, in a paroxysm of generosity, the the bridegroom’s gift to the bride was a new Model 18 Norton; maybe not quite what she expected, but, as I hastened to point out, fur coats only gather moths and are quite unsuitable for motorcycling anyway.” (p. 44)
|Norton Model 18 1928 (virtually unchanged from the 1925 model)|
Battson's sixth motorcycle
"Feeling a bit fed up with Nortons - the last being a bitter disappointment - my next mount was a Model E Ariel, a five-hundred with, and quite new to me, dry-sump oiling and a saddle-tank. It was a handsome machine, with a neat instrument panel in the tank top, holding the speedometer and oil pressure gauge, and space, if you wanted it, for a clock." (p.47)
|1928 Ariel Model “E” 497 cc OHV single|
The most noticeable was the adoption of Brooklands-type fishtail silencers, the use of enclosed valve-operation gear on the ohv machines and redesigned frames on all models.
The models A and B were 557 cc side valves, C was an ohv Standard machine, D was the De Luxe version of the C and E was a Super Sports machine.
Battson's seventh motorcycle
“I had to go and buy her (his wife) an Ariel Colt. This was a very rorty little o.h.v. two-fifty, not to be confused with the post-war Colt, which was a feeble thing. It was a pretty little bike, with a surprising performance, almost the equal of my five-hundred except in sheer top speed, and I rode proudly home to make the introductions.” (pp.47-8)
|1930 Ariel Colt ohv single cylinder 250cc twin exhaust port|
Battson's eighth motorcycle
“Our next machine was another Ariel. I forget its model letter, but it was like the Model E, only more so, twin-port, much chrome, and, this time, electric lighting, with a separate dynamo. There was also, and new to me, twistgrip throttle control, which made the hand-change considerably easier;…” (p.54).
|Ariel Model G 497cc Twin Port|
It was Val Page who laid down the basics of Ariel's four-stroke singles range in 1926. Page moved the magneto behind the engine for '27 and thus established the form in which the engine would survive for the next 30 years. The model shown above is from 1930.