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The two-pronged branches of Silk. Too bad it went wrong

Silk
ER Classics Desktop 2022

There have been very cautious signals that the two-stroke engines could come back. That would do a lot of enthusiasts good. And there are memorable two-stroke enough in the past to anchor the future. Let's look at the Scotts according to Silk.

But before 'Silk' there were the Scott motorcycles

Scott: Scott Engineering Co. Ltd., Mornington Works, Bradford, later Shipley, Birmingham, Scott Motor Cycle Company and Aerco Jigs & Tools, Birmingham (1909-1966).


The factory founded by Alfred Angas Scott became known for the water-cooled 333-, 450-, 486-, 532- and 596 cc two-cylinder two-stroke. The brand was thus one of the pioneers in the two-stroke field. Scotts were quirky, but fantastic motorcycles. But the company went under under the law of the inhibitory lead. Scott did not keep up with the times.

The restart

In 1950 Scott was acquired by the Aero Jig and Tool Company in Birmingham, which was owned by Matt Holder. This one went to build from the old Scotts stocks. Still, in 1956 he released new 500 and 600 cc models, with duplex frames and a swingarm swingarm. Those who wanted this could also order a Scott with an unsprung frame. With minimal improvements, sales of Scott motorcycles continued in this way until 1965.

And then George Silk came

George Silk and Maurice Patey set up a company together. Silk had already occupied himself with two-stroke engines in the 1950s when he worked in a revision company. He was also in the world of classic motor racing and one of his first commercial moves was the installation of a Scott block in a Spondon racing frame. In parallel, he negotiated with Matt Holder, the man who had the rights to the - ever famous, but now heavily dated - Scott engines. Silk wanted to take over the trademark rights. He succeeded and Silk decided to make his own motorcycles with a strong focus on the Scott technology he had purchased.

Together with designer David Minglow, he devised ways to perfect all the advantages of the two-stroke principle and to avoid the disadvantages. When the design was ready, they sent it to the then world-famous two-stroke guru, Dr. Gordon Blair of Queen's University in Belfast (Ireland). That man was able to optimize port timing with his computer and he could do power measurements and calculations in the most up-to-date manner. Yes: again with such a twisted computer! We would hear more about it from computers!

The Silk Twins

The result was a water-cooled 656 cc two-cylinder with a top speed of more than 180 km / h. And that was very fast at the time. The first produced Silk, the 700S from 1976. It was launched together with the SPR production racer. The Silks were innovative, light, economical, reliable and fast. And they came on the market when the British motorcycle industry was completely in the pit. That misery dragged Silk into the canyon.

Silk and Patey had already sold their company in 1975 to Furmanite International. And the latest Silk was delivered in 1979.

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