Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

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Orbit Motors

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of Wolverhampton

Orbit were motorcycles produced from 1913 to 1924, by a firm founded by S. Dorsett of the Diamond Engineering Co, using old works in Vane Street, Wolverhampton.

1913 The first machine was an experimental motorcycle that appeared in June. It was of unit construction with enclosed rear-drive chain and an internal expanding rear brake. The engine was typical and the proposal was to use sv 2.75hp and 3.5hp, but with an unconventional crankcase. The primary drive was by gears to the camshaft and then by a second gear-pair to a clutch on the counter-shaft of the two-speed gearbox. All mechanical parts were fully enclosed and the exhaust pipe forked to connect to foot-boards that acted as silencers. It was priced at £50.

The outbreak of the Great War made it virtually impossible for the project to be taken any further.

1921 The first models appeared, powered by the company's own 261cc two-stroke engine, belt drive and either single-, two- or three-speed transmissions.

1922 ORBIT MOTORS, Ltd., Motor Cycle Manufacturers, Sedgley Street, Wolverhampton

1922 Toward the end of the year further models were shown. The engines were: 348cc Barr and Stroud sleeve-valve; 349cc oil-cooled ohv Bradshaw; and 348cc ohv Blackburne. A three-speed Burman gearbox was fitted as standard and the overall appearance was of a sporting machine.

1923 A 350cc, oil cooled machine was developed, which sold for £60.

1924 Expansion was short lived and only the Bradshaw engined model and their own two-stroke made it through to that year. The last model was the 'T.S.12', which sold for £45, after which production ceased.

1924 Premises for sale in Sedgley Street, formerly occupied by Orbit Motors.[2].

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. Portsmouth Evening News - Saturday 11 March 1922
  2. Staffordshire Advertiser - Saturday 21 June 1924
  • The British Motorcycle Directory - Over 1,100 Marques from 1888 - by Roy Bacon and Ken Hallworth. Pub: The Crowood Press 2004 ISBN 1 86126 674 X
  • [1] Wolverhampton Heritage and History Society
  • Powered Vehicles made in the Black Country by Jim Boulton and Harold Parsons. Published 1990. ISBN 0 904015 30 0