Clyno - 5/6 HP
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Clyno D2-492-48-13
Photo ou archives : D. Ganneau

Capacity : 750
Model : 5/6 HP
Production : 1914 -
Category : (R) Street Bike


5-6 hp (750cc) V-twin - 1914

Motorized machine guns

When Clyno challenged market leader Morris for supremacy in the 1920s British automobile market, people claimed that "Clyno" stood for a "Car Like You've ever Owned”. It in fact dated back to the company's beginnings in the early 1900s, when cousins Frank and Allwyn Smith marketed a two-speed belt pulley that they called the "Clyno Pulley" because it operated on the inclined plane principle.

From Pulleys to Motorbikes

By 1909, the cousins were building motorcycles with 744cc V-twin engines, built by the Stevens brothers of Wolverhampton, who were about to launch their own AJS marque.

Churchill's Choice

Clyno soon took over the manufacturing rights of Stevens's engine. The belt drive was abandoned in 1910 in favor of a two-speed epicyclic transmission with foot-shift and chain drive. Clyno specialized in building sidecar machines, but when WWI began, they entered government trials intended to choose a heavy motorcycle combination capable of carrying a machine gun. The trials were supervised by up-and-coming politician Winston Churchill. Clyno emerged as the clear winner. The Clyno motor machine gun outfits operated in teams of three, two armored machines to carry a Vickers machine gun (one gun for the two, the unarmed machine acting as emergency back-up) and the ammunition carrier. The "Russian Eight" machine gun outfit appeared in 1917; it was powered by a 1000cc JAP V-twin and was destined for the Russian Front, though the Russian Revolution upset that scheme.


Engine: 744cc (76x82mm) air-cooled V-twin four-stroke

Power Rating: 5-6 hp

Valves: side

Fuel System: Amac carburetor

Transmission: 3-speed hand-shift, chain final drive

Suspension: Druid or Brampton girder forks (front); rigid (rear)

Brakes: rim (front); 6 inch drum (rear)

Wheels: 26x3.00 inch interchangeable (front & rear)

Weight: 256 lb

Maximum Speed: 53 mph

The success of its motorcycles led Clyno to enter the car market, but they set their sights too high, tried to beat Morris and went out of business in 1929.

Motorcycle encyclopedia Moto Passion, realised by François-Marie Dumas, include almost 2000 photos presented with an exhaustive history of the motorcycles exhibited.

This unique collection has been realised with the participation of many specialists. With many thanks in particular to Yves Campion, Michael Dregni, Didier Ganneau, Jean Goyard, Helmut Krackowizer, Michel Montange, Christian Rey, Bernard Salvat, Mick Woollett, etc

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