Nearly a century ago, my great grand uncle was busy building, racing and breaking world records with the motorcycles that bear our name.
Michael McEvoy gradutated from Eton College, to become an engineer at the Rolls Royce factory in Derby. He started manufacturing his own motorcycles in 1924. The first bike that he produced used a flat twin British Anzani 1100cc, and this was in 1925. By the next year, the McEvoy Motorcycles business was successful enough for Michael to establish his own workshop in Derby, thus leaving his job at Rolls Royce.
The McEvoy range was developed to include a JAP8/45HP engined V-twin, in an advanced « super sports » frame that was capable of 100 miles per hour (160 km/h), and advertised by Michael McEvoy as « the fastest all-British big twin that holds all high speed British records worth holding in its class ».
He began producing a motorcycles with a rang of engines, including one with a small 172cc Villiers engine. All was going well until the company’s financial backer; Archie Birkin, died practising for the 1928 Isle of Man TT; the company was wound up in 1929.
George William Patchett was a British motorcycle racer and engineer who moved from Brough Superior to work with McEvoy as Competition Manager in 1926. In the same year Patchett recorded a time of 5:32 on the demanding Mountain Course of the Isle of man TT race. Patchett also rode Anzani and JAP-powered V-Twin to successes at the banked Brooklands Circuit at Weybridge. In his time with McEvoy Patchett set nine world records and won the Championship of Southport in 1926 at more than 116 miles per hour (187 km/h).
In July 2009 a 1928 McEvoy motorcycle with a JAP 8/45 hp 980 cc V-twin engine sold at auction in Henley-on-Thames, for £108,200
These extremely rare, and highly collectible motorcycles are scarce, so if you happen to see one « in the bolts », please snap a picture and send it to us!
Revival of the make
Nearly one hundred years later, Geoffrey McEvoy has naturally followed into these steps after his father, John McEvoy, induced the passion for all things that drink petrol and can be raced. This very company is born out of the need to be in and around the classic vehicle scene.
Geoffrey has revived the lineage of McEvoy motorcycles by creating a very unique cafe racer, based on a Honda CB 350 from the late sixties. After purchasing a frame that came with an engine and a box of parts, he set off to rebuild the bike in its simplest form, scouring classic bike fairs to find the right parts.
A Honda CB 500 fork was sourced, along with Dunstall clip-ons, Beston grips and Triumph levers. The frame of the bike has been extensively modified and reinforced to receive the rear seat and foot pegs. A lot of weight has been shaved off by deleting not only the useless body components, but also the electric starter. The electric circuit has been redesigned in its simplest form, drawing power directly from the alternator, and passing through a voltage rectifier-regulator to power the coils and lights.
Countless days (and sometimes nights) have been invested into this first, new generation McEvoy motorcycle. It bares the name « McEvoy 001″. Since it has received such acclaim, it is the first of many more to come. The next project is currently on the drawing board, so stay tuned for updates!
This first project has found a new home, among a private collection of rare motorcycles.
If you would like to commission a personalised build, do get in touch, and we will be glad to hear about your project.
The legend lives on!
Here is an interesting read about Michael McEvoy’s mechanical ventures. Enjoy!