1920, Clubhouse, On long term display
In 1908 Engineers Helmuth Paul Martin and George Handasyde formed a partnership after discovering a mutual interest in Aviation. They began building aircraft at Brooklands before expanding into a new factory in nearby Woking, retaining Brooklands as their flying ground. The Martinsyde Aircraft company became a major supplier of aircraft during the First World War to the Royal Flying Corps, later to become the Royal Air Force. A new company Martinsyde Ltd was formed and moved into the production of motorcycles following a slump in aircraft sales after the war.
This motorcycle is an example of Martinsyde’s first model. They decided to target the sidecar market, where they anticipated the demand for a good quality machine that might attract professionals. They collaborated with S. A. Newman Ltd of Ivy motorcycles who supplied the rights to engine designs by Howard Newman for £6,000. Newman was retained as a consultant, and the first motorcycles, such as this example were the only models to carry the Martinsyde-Newman name. Whilst Martinsyde motorcycle gained a reputation for reliability with success in trials events, including a team award at Brooklands in 1922 and the Scottish Six Days Trial, they never found commercial success. A fire at the works in 1922 added to financial problems and production ceased in 1923. The Martinsyde register estimates that just 30 original motorcycles now survive.
Loaned by the British Motorcycle Charitable Trust
680cc V Twin