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1952 Bown Pictures

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Thanks to Alex James for this picture of his bike. This is the first Bown I have seen. Alex uses this bike for rallies – last year he entered a 140 mile rally but he did not get back in time for the presentation but was the smallest bike to complete the rally!

The Bown is a 1952 98cc bike. The engine is a Villiers 1F with a duplex frame. The brake drum is at the opposite side of the sprocket. The tank is inverted and the two halves join underneath – it has two filler caps; one is to let the air out when filling. There are 2 gears with a hand change with a lawnmower type lever on the bars . The throttle is the same type so you need three hands to change gear etc. Once in second gear you can sit there with your arms folded and drive forever. They were made in Llwynpia South Wales. Production of this model started in 1951 and stopped in 1953 then the factory went bust. Two of them were made to race in the Isle of man with a 125cc Villiers engine, telescopic forks and a rigid rear end. A 98cc moped was also made and these survive in large numbers. When production stopped all the tooling and spares were buried on the site under the factory that is now there

It would be interesting to know how many of these bikes have survived. Have you got one? If so, please send me a picture.

  • Manufacturer:
  • Model:
  • Engine:
  • Year: 1952
  • Decade: 1950s
  • Machine Type:

11 Responses to “1952 Bown”

  1. Just unearthed one of these, will take some pics and post them.
    I may attempt a restoration as most of it is there.

  2. Hey, these ‘Bown’ bikes were invented by my great grandfather, im just wondering how many are left in the UK?
    And if you know that any of them are in the Wirral?
    Emma Bown

    • Hi Emma I have a very rare bown bicycle the frame is a very up market Reynolds 531 tubed track frame with chater Leigh lugs it was built in 1936 /38 . I have the catalogue. I’ve just finished a complete rebuild & it is now back on the track I will be taking it to cycle events cheers Steve c

  3. I have one of these bikes, my only regret is not buying both of them when offered to me in the late ninties. Mine is complete but unrestored and has the Reg No. NLK 564. First registered on 23 Feb 1953 it reaches the grand old age of 60 this year!

    It was first registered to George Grose Ltd. of Ludgate Circus in London and then subsequently sold on March 19th that year (presumably to its first “real” owner. It was transferred to another company name on 24th May 1958 and then to the previous owner to me but not sure what date this was.

    Potentially the bikes has only had three owners including me!

    I am determined to get the bike going again in this it’s 60th year. Currently trying to colate as much onformation and technical detail as possible before rushing in. I probably will only lightly restore which means keeping as much of the original as it is. Only worn or non functioning parts will be attended to. I will post photos when I start and finish…

  4. alan thomas on January 5, 2014 @ 2:49 am

    My Bown is also on vintage bike! (the other one)! interested, I’ll watch the progress! naturally I would like this bike to make a pair!

  5. Brian stives on May 31, 2014 @ 12:11 pm

    I have a 1946 Bown moped, i didnt see an email address but will send a pic if i get it.

  6. David vine on May 23, 2015 @ 8:55 pm

    The Bown 125cc fitted with the 10d engine, was my first motorcycle. Having looked the pictures posted I have noticed that they have a type of girder fork, while mine had undamped tele forks. It was a fun little first bike, must have been about 1958.

  7. John Simmons on June 17, 2015 @ 12:16 am

    I have a 1953 Bown with a 4f Engine ..owned since 1960..Last week did a 80 mile ” Buzzing” ride in about 3.5 hours.
    Would like to start and establish a Bown Register …please email me on jaspa.s@jaspasimmons.plus .com or text 07721 032775.
    Replies to all guaranteed..

    • ena.tansley on March 16, 2016 @ 2:43 pm

      Hi my 18 year old son bought a 1952 bown yesterday it came from Essex it is in really good order he’s really pleased as it it his first bike no paperwork yet at it is posted after bike has been delivered so can’t tell you any more Ena

  8. Having seen one of these at a car show but, owing to circumstances beyond my personal control, not being able to photograph it, would the owner of the photograph mind if I use this in my personal collection? I would like to put the photo on my Flickr account, but obviously I don’t intend to unless I have permission.

    I know it’s sad, but I’d never heard of Bown before and I can’t bear the thought of not having anything to say I’ve seen one.

  9. alan thomas on January 8, 2018 @ 1:00 am

    Yes Zack you can use the picture of my Bown!
    Mine is the complete one with the rare leg shields!

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