Wolves and motorcycles share a lot of qualities; sleekness, speed and precision being just a few. So, it’s no surprise that the 1868-founded Wolf Motorcycles from Wolverhampton, UK decided to make their brand synonymous with this incredible creature. In researching this amazing company, we actually found that there was no sign of Wolf Motorcycles on the Wikipedia list of pre-war motorcycles, so we decided to add it to Wikipedia ourselves! Let’s jump into the history of this awesome company.
Despite the company opening its doors in 1868, Wolf Motorcycles didn’t start selling bicycles with motors until the early 1900s, or the veteran era (up to 1914).
Check out this timeline of the incredible company here!
As you can see in the history above, Wolverhampton-based Wolf Motorcycles when through many iterations and ideas of what a motorcycle could be. Pictured below in the 1915 (at the top of the vintage era, that ran all the way up to 1930) Wolf catalogue; the “model A”. It was powered by a 2.5 to 3 hp., 2-stroke, turbo-diesel Cross & Sons engine with an A.M.A.C carburettor and was available in 2 versions; single gear and double gear. The single gear would run you 22 guineas, whereas the double would be 28, which in 2020 roughly equates to $3078.64 (£2421.43) and $3919.61 (£3082.87) respectively. Powered by a 2.25hp., 2 stroke Peco engine and the same carburettor. The 2-speed model sat at 30 guineas, and you could add a kick starter and engine clutch for an extra 2, or $4205.95 (£3308.08) and an extra $279.98 (£220.21). C and D were more similar, both with JAP engines, AMAC carburettors and belt drives; but D had a 4hp engine over Cs 2.5. The two speed models also had the possibility of attaching a sidecar!
The images below are taken from the 1932 (at the top of the post vintage era, which ran up to 1945) catalogue after the Waine Brothers took over the company, and feature The Wolf Cub, The Wolf Minor, The Super Sports, The Wolf Utility and the Wolf Vixen. When these brothers took over the company, Mr. H.V Waine (a keen motorcyclist) was responsible for the design of both the motorcycles and the bicycles, and Mr. T.A Waine was responsible for the sales. Can you see any similarities between these beautiful machines and the stunning creature they’re named after?
The Cub was powered by a 98cc 2-stroke Villiers engine, a 2-speed gearbox and a chain drive, and even came with a toolkit. You could’ve picked one up for £15.5s (roughly $1340.05/£1053.98) and for an extra £1.5s ($133.99/£105.39) you could’ve had some extra lighting! The Minor (£17.15 or $1563.27/£1229.55) and the Super Sports (£29.10 or £2044.57) had slightly beefier set-ups, with 147cc and 196cc engines respectively. The Minor had a 2-speed gearbox and the Super Sports 3-speed. Here we can see the evolution from bicycle with an engine to conventional motorcycle almost complete; a powerful, smart, sleek machine, just like the wolf.
These images are taken from the 1937 catalogue, featuring The Wolf Minor, The Super Sports, The Wolf Unit and The Wolf Vixen. Sadly, these were to be the last motorcycles that the company produced, as they closed their doors in 1939 at the beginning of World War 2 and, following the war, they focused their production solely on bicycles.
In these images you can see that the Waine brothers evolved the motorcycles even more. The Super Sport at this point had a 250cc engine, a 3-speed gearbox and a 2-level carburettor. With Villiers electric lighting, this machine would run you £35.10s (£2135.60/$2715.23). The Vixen (pictured below) with the awesome Wolf branding had a 148cc super sports Villiers engine, a 3-speed gearbox and electric lighting would run you £25.10s (£1527.08/$1941.55). In this colour picture you can see the incredible detailing and brand, the early electric lighting and the air horn; zoom in the fuel tank and check out that original Wolf Motorcyles logo!
Following World War 2, Wolf Motorcycles continued production of pedal cycles under the name Wearwell Cycle Company and, come the 1950s, 75% of the company’s production was being exported to over 30 different countries. In 1972 the company moved to Bridgnorth, near Birmingham, and in doing so bought their century long term in Wolverhampton to a close.
All images and details taken from this incredible website!Click here to read more about the incredible iterations of these early machines, or here to check out some more of our posts!
Interested in learning more about British veteran, vintage and class motorcycles for sale? Check outVerralls! (We used their classification system to age Wolf Motorcycle catalogues, thanks guys!)
We wanna hear from you; would you pick up one of these bikes for the 2020 price? Or do you already own one of these incredible pre-war machines? We’d love to see your pictures below!
Need to upgrade your riding bandana? Why not rock the fierce snarl of the wolf! Check out this incredible wolf face mask and ride with the strength, precision and power that Wolf Motorcycles connected with over a century ago!
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