Zenith JAP 350cc
1924, Clubhouse, On long term display
This bike was first owned by James Carter who regularly raced cars at Brooklands and worked at the nearby Lagonda factory.
Zenith was a local motorcycle manufacturer based at Weybridge and then at East Molesey. They had a lot of racing success at Brooklands, particularly through ‘Freddie’ Barnes, Zenith’s Chief Engineer and a regular Brooklands rider. Zenith also built the first British motorcycle to lap Brooklands at 100mph in 1922 ridden by Bert Le Vack.
Zenith developed the Gradua variable-ratio pulley drive. This early type of ‘gearbox’ was a great advantage when most other bikes were still only single speed. Zenith’s were actually banned from racing due to this unfair advantage.