Considering that Coventry was the birthplace of the British cycle industry, it is perhaps surprise that the city became heavily involved in the development of the British motor industry during the mid-1890s. From the first velocipedes built here in 1868, most of the later well-established cycle manufacturers quickly turned their attention to motorized vehicles, and many of the early motoring pioneers moved to Coventry to become part of this revolutionary work. Local companies such as Bayliss, Thomas & Co., Coventry Eagle, Humber, Riley, and Swift were just a few of the cycle firms quick to catch on, and steadily new companies were formed solely to manufacture motorcycles. Coventry's Motorcycle Heritage covers the history of all these companies and their products, focusing on the individuals who both founded and worked for such firms. From world-famous companies like Triumph, to the more obscure marques like Wartnaby and Draper, it provides a brief summary of each manufacturer, as well as an insight into the social history of Coventry at the peak of its involvement in motorcycle history. It is sure to appeal to anyone interested in motorcycle history and Coventry's industrial past.
Damien Kimberlyis motorcycle project officer & archive researcher at Coventry Transport Museum. He currently leads all historic research with the museum.