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Cotton Telstar or Conquest Pictures

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Not quite sure what this bike is.  It has a 1964/65 Starmaker engine and from the kickstart on the gearbox it may be a Conquest, as ridden by Derek Minter (and won!) at the Thruxton 500 miler.  Seen at the Cotton’s 90th Birthday party in Gloucester 2008.

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12 Responses to “Cotton Telstar or Conquest”

  1. peter leigh on April 6, 2011 @ 2:16 pm

    I had a cotton conquest in 1965 and it looked just like that.
    5 1/2 gallon fiberglass tank with a fly-screen, clip-ons, rear-sets and 12volt electrics as optional extras.

    • jon howard on June 24, 2016 @ 5:00 pm

      HI,
      Peter i remember your bike well!,your brother Barrie and i were best friends at the time
      sadly lost touch over the years,
      Now live in poole dorset you should visit the quay on tuesday night,sometimes
      over one thousand bikes veterans to present day.
      what a blast from the past both you and bike.

  2. Gordon Bushell on April 21, 2011 @ 9:06 pm

    I too had a Cotton Conquest, I bought it from a dealer of racing bikes in about 1970, paid £100 for it. The bike was the ex H &L Motors sponsored machine ridden by Roger Corbett. Roger was sadly later killed whilst riding in the TT. I loved this little bike, it went like stink and it handled very well if you kept its head up in bumpy corners. I kept it for years racing it and using it in sprints, it did quite well against more modern machines. I raced it at Staverton, Gaydon, Olivers Mount, Brands and Snetters. It took me to the TT in 1978 where it did many laps of the mountain circuit. My particular bike had a 1 1/2 inch concentric carb on it, at low revs it would reject more fuel than it burnt but when it chimed in on the box it howled like a mad thing. I eventually had to sell it when the kids came along. GHT 425 D where are you now?

    • Hi,I was the original owner of GHT 425D Purchased new from Westbury Motorcycles as standard ie scrambles motor 1&3/16 carb but with 12V electrics. I soon found s/h full race engine at Westburys which I took home in a rucksac on the cotton ( my only transport ) and built a strange motor – close finned cylinder 1& 1/2 3GP2 carb off a Gold star, close ratio needle roller gearbox but retained kickstart and 12V lights running 16:1 Castrol R mix. In this form it would do 75 in second, 95 in third and 105 in top. At these stress levels it was unreliable and siezed its big end on the eve of the trip to the 1968 TT ( I went by car! ) On my return I re built with an Alpha big end and sold it to H&L Motorcycles at Stroud ( well, I swapped it for an ex police A65 ) The guy from H&L eventually got the hang of the power band, cleared it`s throat,and shot off down the road towards Stonehouse. On his return he said “Bloody hell, how do you ride this thing on the road? we`ll take it, but don`t know wether to sell it or race it ” Last I heard, they entered it in the Manx GP
      I hope this is of some assistance, I also miss GHT 425 D

      • Hi Paul,
        As a member of the Cotton Owners & Enthusiasts Club I am trying to put together a bit of a history on the Conquest, without much luck. Do you by any chance recall frame no or have any photo’s you could share. So far I have found 3 roadsters, 4 production racers & 2 that are now Telstars. If you can help please reply here or at the club site.
        Regards,
        Mick.

        • Hi Mick
          Sorry,I don`t have photo or numbers for GHT 425D. However, more trivia from memory. Delivery from the factory was delayed due to lack of headlamp shells because these had been upgraded to include a main beam warning light.
          Yes it would run ( and drive ) backwards, nearly stalled, bounced off of compression and fired up the wrong way, in traffic, on my bike test, with examiner alongside. Still passed!
          Rear wheel spindle broke at change of section at speed! Chain adjusters kept what was left in near location aided by chain and brake torque arm but wheel could now float sideways. Needed full steering lock several times before stopping
          Cotton factory was run by Pat Onions and “Fluff” Brown appeared to do everything else. I put bike in to have ignition timed and they took 1/8 inch off the piston skirt to improve induction timing. so Works Tuned then!
          As you can appreciate, all this was a VERY long time ago, if none of the above is usefull for your research, I hope it will encourage your enthusiasm
          Regards
          Paul

  3. I had a secondhand Conquest that was the love of my life it was purchased in 1968 from Brian Lee Motorcycles in Scunthorpe it was my first bike and was delivered to our house two weeks before I got my licence and couldn’t wait to ride it. This was the road version which was aestheically different. It had a great party trick, when it had been raining or the atmosphere was damp it would start up backwards. Because there was no keys just a switch somebody stole it one night from outside a youth club so if you have one and the reg is HBE 89 D THATS MY BIKE.

  4. John Biggers on April 8, 2014 @ 7:43 pm

    I had a Conquest, bought it new from Robinsons in Rochdale. It had the number JDK 437E. I rebuilt the bike with MP front forks, a close finned barrel, a 13-1 head, 1-1/2 amal GP carb, matchbox float & a factory expansion box. I raced it at Cadwell. Eventually I traded it in for a new Norton Interstate at Shutts of Haslingden. Does anyone know what happened to it later?

    • Hi John,
      As a member of the Cotton Owners & enthusiasts Club I am trying to put together a bit of history on the Conquest, without much luck. If you any other info or photo’s you could share they would be much appreciated. So far I know of 3 roadsters, 4 production racers & 2 that are now Telstars. If you can help at all please reply here or via the club site.
      Regards,
      Mick.

      • John Biggers on January 7, 2016 @ 3:32 pm

        Hi Mick,
        I`m sure I`ve a picture of the bike, taken when I was road testing it. If I come across it it I`ll send you a copy.
        Best wishes John.

  5. Lawrence palmer on December 10, 2016 @ 6:13 pm

    Hi Paul, i have just come across your thread about the cotton conquest.
    I own one, LOW 4F whch i bought in 1972 when i was 15, ready to put on the road when i was 16.
    I bought it from a local chap up here in Leicestershire but i believe it originally came from Sid Lawtons shop in Southampton.
    Mine also came with a wide finned barrel with monobloc carb and it would also run backwards ocasionally.
    I then bought a brand new close finned complete engine from a chap in Stroud in the mid seventies so a bit of a Stroud connection there.
    This engine went like stink but was difficult to ride due to the narrow powerband.
    Mike Nicks recently wrote an article in Classic Bike about his exploits on a Conquest so i sent him some photos of it and he wrote a small piece about it in the November 2016 issue.
    I still have the bike, last ridden in 1991.
    Regards, Lawrence Palmer.

    • Hi Lawrence,
      Thanks for coming forward with this news of another Conquest. You have what would appear to be the last Conquest made, our club lists an E reg from ’67 as the previous newest. You have probably noted from above I am the idiot that keeps the list of all the Conquests the club knows of & would be more than happy to visit you to acquire some photo’s & frame no etc. if at all possible. We have found another Conquest since my replies above, so we now know of 3 roadsters, 5 production racers & 2 converted to Telstars & much to my surprise they still seem to pop up. If you or anyone else with any info or pictures of Conquests could get in touch with me on conquest1307@gmail.com it would be much appreciated.
      Many Thanks.
      Mick.

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