OK-Supreme

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OK-Supreme
Industry Manufacturing and engineering
Fate Wound up
Founded 1882
Defunct 1939
Headquarters Birmingham, UK
Key people Ernie Humphries and Charles Dawes
Products Motorcycles

OK-Supreme was a British motorcycle manufacturer from 1899 to 1939 located in Birmingham. Grass-track racing versions of the machines continued to be available until 1946.

History[edit]

In 1882 Ernie Humphries and Charles Dawes founded "OK" as bicycle manufacturers. They experimented with powered bicycles in 1899 and 1906, before manufacturing a two-stroke motorcycle using a Precision engine in 1911. Before the First World War they had produced motorcycles with Precision, De Dion, Minerva, and Green engines. Their first entry in the Isle of Man TT, in 1912, led to a ninth place and mainly modest results came during the following years when OK-Supreme machines finished in every place from 1st, in the 1928 Lightweight TT, to 10th.[1] In the 1922 TT the fastest lap was set by Wal Handley at 51 mph (82 km/h) on an OK-Supreme, but he failed to finish the race.[2]

After the war OK produced a 292 cc two-stroke motor of its own, but also produced models using Blackburne (250 cc and 350 cc, sv and ohv), Bradshaw (348 cc oil cooled), and JAP (246 cc to 496 cc) engines.

OK-Supreme 500 cc from 1930

The racing JAP versions did well in the 1920s, and the company increasingly turned to JAP to power bikes not using an OK engine. There was even a 348 cc OHC model.

Charles Dawes left to start Dawes Cycles in 1926, and in 1927 the name of the company was changed to OK-Supreme.

In 1928 Humphries bought a failing HRD for the factory and tools, selling the rest, including the name, to Philip Vincent. OK-Supreme also won the Lightweight class in a JAP model that year.

In the 1930s a Lighthouse 250 cc - 348 cc model, so named because of the little inspection window in the cam tower, was OK-Supreme’s final model. Although production ceased in 1939, 350 cc JAP-engined OK-Supreme grass-track racing machines were still available through John Humphries, son of founder Ernie Humphries, until his death in 1946.

References[edit]

  1. ^ [1] Isle of Man TT database (retrieved 9 October 2006)
  2. ^ [2] 1922 250 cc Lightweight Isle of Man TT results (retrieved 9 October 2006)

External links[edit]