Ascot-Pullin 500

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Ascot-Pullin 500
Ascot Pullin 500 cc 1928.JPG
Manufacturer Ascot-Pullin Motorcycles
Production 1928
Predecessor Pullin-Groom
Engine 496 cc (30.3 cu in) air-cooled OHV single
Top speed 70 mph (110 km/h)[1]
Power 17 bhp (13 kW)[1]
Transmission Three speed chain final drive
Suspension Pressed steel girder front, rigid rear
Brakes Drum front and rear
Weight 330 lb (150 kg)[citation needed] (dry)

The Ascot-Pullin 500 was a motorcycle made by Ascot-Pullin Motorcycles in Letchworth, Hertfordshire in 1928. As an unpdate version of the Pullin motor bicycle of 1919,[2] the Ascot-Pullin 500 overhead valve single was the first time hydraulic brakes were used on a motorcycle.[3]


In 1919, British inventor Cyril Pullin and Stanley L. Groom produced the Pullin motor bicycle,[2] a wheeled machine that included a novel two-stroke engine and extensive manufacture use of steel pressings that anticipated developments by British motorcycle manufacturer Ariel Motorcycles in the late 1950s and Japanese motorcycle manufacturers in 1960s.[2] The bicycle was patented in 1920.[2] Since 1920, Pullin had been working with Stanley Groom to develop and patent a two-stroke motorcycle with a unique design of pressed sheet metal frame and forks. After working on a range of other inventions including the Ascot car, Pullin teamed up with Groom again to further develop their ideas and patent the Ascot Pullin motorcycle, with a four-stroke rather than two-cycle engine.[4] At a time when manufacturers were taking a very traditional approach to motorcycle design with conventional frames and engine layout, Pullin and Grom were keen to create an enclosed feel by mounting the engine horizontally within a pressed-steel frame. As well as the hydraulic brakes, Pullin also designed a telescopic centre stand and an adjustable windshield, complete with a windscreen wiper and rear-view mirror, as well as a fully enclosed chain and interchangeable wheels.[1]

With estimated 17 bhp (13 kW), the Ascot-Pullin was capable of 70 mph (110 km/h), but less than 500 were produced so few survive to this day.[1]

Pullin's influence can be seen in the emergence of the Ariel Leader and the Vincent Black Prince thirty years later, which both developed the enclosed concept in an attempt to attract a wider range of customers. As with the Ascot-Pullin, however, the fully enclosed look has never really led to high volume sales but instead attracts a niche market.

At present, the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recognizes that the first hydraulic brakes on motorcycles occurred in 1952.[5]


  1. ^ a b c d Brown, Roland (1999). The History of British Bikes. Parragon. ISBN 0-7525-3153-0. 
  2. ^ a b c d "Pullin motor bicycle, 1919.". Science and Society Picture Library. Science Museum (London). 2004. Retrieved 6 December 2008. 
  3. ^ Chadwick, Ian. "Ascot-Pullin". Archived from the original on 11 December 2008. Retrieved 2008-12-01. 
  4. ^ Kephart, Douglas. "Researching the Douglas Patents". Retrieved 2008-12-03. 
  5. ^ United States National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (2000). National Agenda for Motorcycle Safety. U.S. Department of Transportation. p. 1983. Retrieved 6 December 2008. 

See also[edit]