Clyno was founded in 1909 by cousins A. P. Smith and F. W. A Smith in in Thrapston, Northants. They exhibited their first machines – an AJS-powered 3hp single and 744cc v-twin at the 1909 Stanley Show, both with belt drive and a single fixed gear. In October 1910 the business was transferred from Thrapston to Wolverhampton, and it was from there that the first enclosed primary-drive chaincase two-speed machines emerged soon afterwards. By 1911 they were producing a chain-driven combination which did very well in motorcycle hillclimb trials thanks to its robust sidecar chassis and four-lug attachment method. As a result, the machine was chosen as a machine-gun carrier during the Great War. In 1912, orders exceeded factory capacity. A unit-construction 250cc two-stroke was released in 1913 and was well received, probably in part because it came complete with lights, horn and number-plates –items which cost extra on most rival machines.
1914 brought war, and the company’s future looked bleak. However, a War Office contract to build machines in conjunction with Vickers, aka Vickers-Clyno, by 1915 the situation had much improved. After WWI the company produced 269cc two-strokes and 996cc v-twins. Motorcycle production ceased in 1924 in favour of cars.In its heyday Clyno was the third largest car manufacturer in the UK after Austin and Morris, but it’s price-cutting policy led to financial problems and the company went into liquidation in early 1929. During its lifetime Clyno sold over 15,000 motorcycles and 40,000 motor vehicles.
This motorcycle has a genuine v-twin Clyno motor, probably the 6hp version, but experts at the National Motorcycle Museum “do not think it’s a model Clyno made, rather it’s been built from parts (from other vintage machines).”
Fully restored in 2015 and in sporting/competition spec with a low handlebar and a leather Brooks saddle, this fine machine is beautifully detailed and looks resplendent in its blue and white paint scheme.