Bennett & Barkell Motorcycles

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Bennett & Barkell or B & B motorcycles were manufactured in Australia from about 1910 to at least 1932[1] by Bennett & Barkell Ltd. of 234 Pitt Street, later 124-132 Castlereagh Street,[2][3] and then the corner of Meagher and Chippen Streets, Sydney.[1]

As was the case with most early Australian motorcycle companies, their machines were manufactured primarily from British parts. The B&B machines used JAP engines and Chater-Lea frames. They included 2.5 hp.,[4] 3.5 hp.[5] 4 hp. (500cc), 6 hp. (770cc) and 8 hp. (1000cc)[6] machines. Two piece tubular frame with engine as a stressed member. Used Druid forks and had large diameter (26 inch) wheels. Notable for a unique suspension system coupling the seat to the footboards (from ~1916).

In 1911 they asserted that the machine was built for Australian conditions with a key differentiating feature that they were "lighter in weight than the usual type of heavy-duty machine, but much heavier than the usual light-weight 90 or 100 lb. motor cycle". They further asserted that "the frame is scientifically constructed, too, and though lighter in weight than many higher-powered machines, will stand a greater road strain". This machine had a JAP engine of just 2.5 hp however "owing to the light construction of the frame it accomplishes as much as, if not more, than the cycles which are encumbered with a superfluous amount of metal".[4]

From ~1916, B&B offered, as an option on the larger models, a patented suspension mechanism involving a sprung seat pillar; the "B. & B. Spring Frame Attachment".[2][7]

In 1917, advertising promoted the combination of Australian Workmanship and English Material, together with success in the NSW Motor Cycle Club's Reliability Trial on 9 June 1917.[7]


  1. ^ a b johnj (25 October 2009). "Sydney bicycle manufacturers and importers, 1885-1932 A-B". Bicycles Network Australia. Retrieved 11 October 2017. 
  2. ^ a b "A-Z of Australian-Made Motorcycles 1893-1942" by Robert Saward, Turton & Armstrong Pty Ltd, ISBN 0-908031-64-5
  3. ^ "Advertising". The Sydney Morning Herald. NSW: National Library of Australia. 21 September 1912. p. 22. Retrieved 25 April 2011. 
  4. ^ a b "Advertising". The Sydney Morning Herald. National Library of Australia. 27 May 1911. p. 8. Retrieved 25 April 2011. 
  5. ^ "Advertising". The Sydney Morning Herald. National Library of Australia. 19 May 1923. p. 5. Retrieved 25 April 2011. 
  6. ^ Federal Publishing special edition "Classic Motorcycles"
  7. ^ a b Motor Cycling, 2 July 1917, Page 18

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