Val Page

Last updated

Val Page
Val Page.jpg
Born1891
Hackney England
Died1978
Cheltenham England
NationalityBritish
OccupationMotorcycle designer

Valentine Page (1891–1978) [1] [2] was a British motorcycle designer, who worked for several of the UK's leading marques, including Ariel, Triumph, and BSA. [3] Page was an innovator whose radical designs include the Triumph 6/1, BSA Gold Star, BSA A7 and BSA M20, the J.A.Prestwich engine of the Brough Superior SS100, and the Ariel Leader.

Contents

J.A Prestwich

Brough Superior SS 100 Brough Superior SS 1000 1925.jpg
Brough Superior SS 100

Val Page served his apprenticeship as a motorcycle engineer and designer with J.A. Prestwich. Page designed the engines used in the Brough Superior SS100 and SS80 luxury motorcycles, [4] and developed the racing motorcycles which made riders such as Bert le Vack famous.

Ariel Motorcycles

Ariel Red Hunter 1938 Ariel 350 cc Red Hunter 1938.jpg
Ariel Red Hunter 1938

Page spent most of his career with Ariel Motorcycles, which he joined in 1925. [4] Eventually, he became chief designer and developed a new range of motorcycles for the 1926 season. Starting with an advanced engine, Page had to wait until 1927 before a suitable frame and cycle parts were designed. These formed the basis for what was to be the Ariel Red Hunter, which continued successfully until Ariel ceased production of four strokes in 1959. [5]

Triumph

Page left Ariel in 1932 to become chief designer at the rival Triumph Motorcycles where, with Edward Turner, he developed Triumph's first parallel twin, the model 6/1, [6] and a range of singles, including a 150cc two-stroke and 250, 350 and 500cc four-strokes.

BSA

Moving to BSA in 1936, Page designed all new models (except the V-twins) including the Empire Star, which was developed into the high performance production BSA Gold Star, named in celebration of Wal Handley's 100 mph lap time at the Brooklands circuit.[ citation needed ] The innovative Gold Star had a single cylinder 500 cc engine with twin pushrods operating double-coil springs and overhead valves. The pushrod tunnel was an integral casting in the cylinder block. [7] Page also designed the dependable BSA M20 motorcycle, of which 125,000 saw wartime use. [8]

Return to Ariel

After the war he returned to Ariel [9] where he designed the monocoque Ariel Leader in 1958. [10]

Related Research Articles

Norton Motorcycle Company British Motorcycle Manufacturer

The Norton Motorcycle Company is a brand of motorcycles, originally based in Birmingham, England. This company is owned by Indian multinational giant TVS Motor Company. For some years around 1990, the rights to use the name on motorcycles was owned by North American financiers. From 2008 to 2020, a line of motorcycles was produced under owner and chief executive Stuart Garner. Due to financial failure with large debts, in April 2020 administrators BDO agreed to sell certain aspects of Garner's business to Project 303 Bidco Limited, a new business established for the purpose with links to Indian motorcycle producer TVS Motor Company.

Motorcycle engine Engine that powers a motorcycle

A motorcycle engine is an engine that powers a motorcycle. Motorcycle engines are typically two-stroke or four-stroke internal combustion engines, but other engine types, such as Wankels and electric motors, have been used.

BSA Rocket 3/Triumph Trident 1960s/1970s British motorcycle made by Triumph Engineering, Meriden

The Triumph Trident and BSA Rocket 3 was a technically advanced, high-performance roadster motorcycle made by Triumph Engineering and BSA from 1968 to 1975, and sold under both the Triumph and BSA marques. Alongside the Honda CB750, and later the Kawasaki triples, it brought a new level of sophistication to street motorcycles, marking the beginning of the superbike era. The Honda CB750 overshadowed the Trident to be remembered as the 'first superbike', in spite of the Triumph Trident actually debuting before the Honda by a few weeks.

Triumph Tigress/BSA Sunbeam British scooter

The Triumph Tigress, also sold as the BSA Sunbeam, was a scooter designed to have good performance and handling for the motorcycle enthusiast. The entry of the BSA group into the scooter field was announced by Edward Turner in October 1958. The 250 cc model would have a cruising speed of 55 to 60 mph and petrol consumption of 120 miles per imperial gallon. A prototype 250 cc BSA Sunbeam was displayed at the 1958 Earl's Court Cycle and Motor Cycle Show. Manufacture started in late 1959, but delivery difficulties were acknowledged due to problems with recruiting labour, although it was claimed that the group had a manufacturing capacity of 50,000 machines a year.

Unit construction

Unit construction is the design of larger motorcycles where the engine and gearbox components share a single casing. This sometimes includes the design of automobile engines and was often loosely applied to motorcycles with rather different internal layouts such as the flat twin BMW models.

Ariel Motorcycles

Ariel Motorcycles was a British maker of bicycles and then motorcycles in Bournbrook, Birmingham. It was an innovator in British motorcycling, part of the Ariel marque. The company was sold to BSA in 1951 but the brand survived until 1967. Influential Ariel designers included Val Page and Edward Turner. The last motorcycle-type vehicle to carry the Ariel name was a short-lived three-wheel tilting moped in 1970.

Edward Turner (motorcycle designer)

Edward Turner was an English motorcycle designer. He was born in Camberwell in the London Borough of Southwark, on the day King Edward VII was proclaimed King. In 1915, Turner had his first ride on a motorcycle, a Light Tourist New Imperial.

BSA Golden Flash

The BSA Golden Flash, commonly referred to as the Gold Flash, was a 646 cc (39.4 cu in) air-cooled parallel twin motorcycle designed by Bert Hopwood and produced by Birmingham Small Arms Company (BSA) at Small Heath, Birmingham. The Golden Flash was the first model in the BSA A10 series. It was available in black and chrome; but it was the distinctive golden paint scheme that gave The Golden Flash its name. Production continued until 1963, when it was superseded by the BSA A65 Star.

Ariel Leader British motorcycle

The Ariel Leader was a British motorcycle produced by Ariel Motorcycles between 1958 and 1965. A radical design, the Leader was fully enclosed with an integral windscreen and was the first British motorcycle to have optional flashing indicators. Ariel could not compete against Japanese imports and the last Ariel Leader was produced when the company closed in 1965.

Featherbed frame Motorcycle frame

The featherbed frame was a motorcycle frame invented by the McCandless brothers and offered to the British Norton motorcycle company to improve the performance of their racing motorcycles in 1950. It was considered revolutionary at the time, and the best handling frame that a racer could have. Later adopted for Norton production motorcycles, it was also widely used by builders of custom hybrids such as the Triton, becoming legendary and remaining influential to this day.

BSA A7

The BSA A7 was a 500cc motorcycle model range made by Birmingham Small Arms Company (BSA) at their factory in Armoury Road, Small Heath, Birmingham. The range was launched in 1946 using a 495 cc (30.2 cu in) long stroke engine. An improved 497 cc (30.3 cu in) version based on the BSA A10 engine was launched in 1950. The various A7 models continued in production with minor modifications until 1961/2 when they were superseded by the unit-construction A50 model.

BSA C15 British, 250 cc single cylinder motorcycle, produced by BSA in the 1960s

The BSA C15 was a 250 cc single-cylinder ohv motorcycle manufactured by the British company BSA from September 1958 until 1967, and was BSA's first four-stroke unit-construction bike. For most of that period, after the introduction of 'Learner Laws' in 1961, a 250 cc was the largest capacity solo machine that a learner could ride unaccompanied when displaying L-plates in the United Kingdom. A road-going Sports derivative was added in 1961, and off-road versions, for Trials and Scrambles, were also available in the range.

The BSA B50 was a single-cylinder 499 cc (30.5 cu in) ohv motorcycle, produced by BSA at their factory in Small Heath, Birmingham. The last of the big capacity unit-construction singles from the Birmingham Small Arms company, it had an alloy engine with a bore of 84 mm (3.3 in) and a stroke of 90 mm (3.5 in). As well as the road version, special models were produced for off-road competition use.

BSA Empire Star British single cylinder 4-stroke motorcycle

The Empire Star was a standard motorcycle made by BSA at their factory in Small Heath, Birmingham. Named to commemorate the Silver Jubilee of King George V of the United Kingdom and advertised as The Masterpiece of the Industry, the Empire Star range was produced between 1936 and 1939, when it was developed into the BSA Gold Star and World War II stopped production.

BSA motorcycles Former British motorcycle marque

BSA motorcycles were made by the Birmingham Small Arms Company Limited (BSA), which was a major British industrial combine, a group of businesses manufacturing military and sporting firearms; bicycles; motorcycles; cars; buses and bodies; steel; iron castings; hand, power, and machine tools; coal cleaning and handling plants; sintered metals; and hard chrome process.

BSA unit twins

The BSA unit twins were a range of unit construction twin-cylinder motorcycles made by the Birmingham Small Arms Company (BSA) and aimed at the US market. A range of 500 cc (31 cu in), 650 cc (40 cu in) and 750 cc (46 cu in) twins were produced between 1962 and 1972, but they were really developments of the older pre-unit A7/A10 model range with less weight. The engines had a reputation for vibration, but acceleration was good for the time, to a top speed of 100 miles per hour (160 km/h).

BSA A10 series Motorcycle

The BSA A10 series was a range of 646 cc (39.4 cu in) air-cooled parallel twin motorcycles designed by Bert Hopwood and produced by Birmingham Small Arms Company at Small Heath, Birmingham from 1950 to 1963. The series was succeeded by the A65 unit construction models.

BSA B25 Series of motorcycles made by the Birmingham Small Arms Company

The BSA B25 was a series of 250 cc (15 cu in) unit construction single-cylinder OHV four-stroke motorcycles made by the Birmingham Small Arms Company. Developed from the BSA C15, the machines were produced between 1967 and 1971. The B25 was the fastest British production 250.

References

  1. England and Wales births Retrieved 2015-01-12
  2. England and Wales deaths Retrieved 2015-01-12
  3. Melling, Frank (3 September 2003). "The Good..." The Telegraph. Retrieved 27 November 2008.
  4. 1 2 "Triumph Motorcycles timeline" . Retrieved 27 November 2008.
  5. unstated, name. "Ariel Owners Club, about the bikes - History" . Retrieved 12 January 2015.
  6. Davis, Simon (May–June 2013). "Triumph's First Twin: Triumph 6/1". Motorcycle Classics. Retrieved 9 May 2013.
  7. Michaud, Joe Michaud. "1938 BSA GoldStar". Archived from the original on 6 February 2007. Retrieved 27 November 2008.
  8. "Triumph Motorcycle History" . Retrieved 27 November 2008.
  9. Currie, Bob (1993). Classic British Motorcycles. Chancellor Press. ISBN   1 85152 250 6.
  10. "1963 Ariel Leader" . Retrieved 24 November 2008.