Zenith Motorcycles

Zenith Motorcycles was a British motorcycle manufacturer in Finsbury Park, London from 1904 until 1950.


The motorcycle manufacturer presented initially produces a Bicar, which was driven by an engine of the company Fafnir. Other engines were used Blackburne, Green, Green- Precision, Villiers, JAP and Bradshaw.

The breakthrough for the brand came in 1908, when the chief engineer Fred Barnes designed a transmission gear with a variable pulley on the motor. The tension of the belt was maintained by a variable sliding rear axle. This system always allowed the engine to maximum power / torque to run and to adjust the translation of the topography.

The superiority of this infinitely variable ratio gearbox meant that Zenith has not been approved by most of the race organizers, in particular mountain race to start to give other brands also have the chance to win. This in turn was equally exploited by Zenith as a publicity stunt by under the brand name of a motorcycle behind bars you abbildete with the word "barred " - that is locked.

From about 1920 Zenith built conventional three -speed transmission in its very sporty motorcycles. During this time there were also records with JAP built-in motors. Until 1935 several records were set with Zenith motorcycles.

After the Second World War, they tried again to get into the business, which was not possible for several reasons. Firstly, Zenith has always been a smaller exclusive brand, the price could not keep up with the few major manufacturers in England, on the other hand, there was simply no suitable supplier that could provide built-in motors. So a few motorcycles were screwed together from existing parts and sold until 1950. The money for operating of own motor development was obviously not available.

Special features of the brand

The brand has always distinguished itself by a sporty beautiful body line up in the final details of the bikes from. So used Zenith for example, the mid-1920s calipers with leaf spring suspension. The inclusion of the leaf springs was provided directly to the frame. The chassis were always kept very low. A Zenith 28 "X3" tires, as in Zenith it was used until the mid-1920s is to drive without problems of rather diminutive man.

Zenith J.A.P. - team (1924 )

346 cc Zenith J.A.P. (1924 )

500 cc Zenith J.A.P. racing machine (1938 )

Zenith J.A.P. the Hamburg Stadtpark 2006 race

Automobile production

Between 1905 and 1906, the company introduced the model Popular also manufactures automobiles. A two-cylinder engine of Stevens with 6 hp drive via a belt to the drive axle.