Beardmore-Precision 1924 “Model D Sports” 348 cc side valve single frame # 967 engine # 610D
At one time Frank Baker’s Birmingham-based Precision company rivalled JAP as a supplier of engines to Britain’s motorcycle manufacturers. The first Precision engine went on sale in 1910 but it was not until after the First World War that the firm got around to building a complete motorcycle. It was launched as the “Beardmore Precision” because the Scottish Beardmore Engineering Group had gained control of Baker’s company. That first machine was a two stroke with leaf sprung suspension front and rear. Soon the range was expanded with side valve models, a Barr and Stroud sleeve valve model and OHV and OHC works racers. Production models were very successful in trials events of the day, but the firm had to close down in 1924. The Sports Model, derived from the standard 348 cc Model D, was introduced in late 1923 and was equipped with Baker’s own longstroke outside-flywheel engine with bore x stroke dimensions of 70×90 mm and Sturmey Archer gearbox. It has the unusual B-P construction with fuel tank integrated in the frame, leaf sprung front suspension, contracting band front brake and roller lever brake controls, similar to the type used on push bikes. The sales folder explains:
“This machine is a new introduction and is designed for sporting riders who wish to engage in sports contests with a utility machine which is capable of exceeding 60 miles per hour. The type of fork required provides the required angle and trail for high-speed duty while affording complete lateral rigidity. The rear portion of the back mudguard with carrier toolbox and the lower part of the front mudguard can be removed. The New Sports “D” type Beardmore-Precision” is submitted in response to numerous requests from customers and users. It retains all of the essential qualities which have made the standard pattern “D” type machine immediately popular: the modifications have been made with a view to meeting the requirements of riders who need a higher average speed and greater acceleration than is afforded by the standard model. The Sports Machine is fitted with a Tourist Trophy pattern handlebar with Bowden pattern controls, while the engine has a higher compression ratio and is fitted with a Ricardo aluminium piston. Each machine is capable of exceeding 60 miles an hour.”
In an article in Old Bike Magazine No.4 the history of B-P is related and also the restoration of this particular machine is described. This very rare survivor has been restored in the early 2000s and was kept in dry storage for a number of years. She comes with Lucas bulb horn, acetylene lighting system and rear view mirror.