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Coventry Eagle 250


1934 Coventry Eagle motorcycle, 250cc.

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[thumb:img_4.jpg] Coventry-Eagle originated from Hotchkiss, Mayo & Meek, a Victorian bicycle company. Hotchkiss, Mayo and Meek started on the 1st June 1890. The partners were Richard Hotchkiss, a grocer from Warwick, John Meek, a mechanical engineer, and Edmund Mayo from the local watch making industry. In 1897, when Hotchkiss died and John Meek left the company, it came under the control of Edmund Mayo and Bernard Rotherham and was named as Coventry-Eagle Cycle and Motor Co. In these days the factory was based at Lincoln Street, Coventry.

As a company's head, Edmund Mayo continued producing bicycles and tricycles (which were sold mostly under Royal Eagle name) and he started to work on building a motorized bike. In 1898 first Coventry Eagle motorcycles were ready.

[thumb:img_2.jpg] "The earliest motorcycle range had included a model with an MMC engine hung from the down-tube and by this time it had increased to a range of singles in loop frames, with sprung forks and belt final-drive. In an attempt to add a passenger, the solo could tow a trailer. There was also a forecar and later a sidecar." (from

In 1901 Edmund Mayo's son, Arthur, started to work with his father and the company was renamed as the New Coventry Eagle Co. Two years later Bernard Rotherham emigrated to USA and the other Edmund's son, Percy, joined the business.

Coventry-Eagle motorcycles were built mostly from proprietary components (except of the power unit) and finished carefully. The company used various engines available at given time. Before WW1 mostly Villiers and JAP, after war also Sturmey-Archer, Blackburne and Matchless.

[thumb:img_3.jpg] In 1921 they were producing 500cc singles and a JAP-powered 680cc V-twin, and in 1923 introduced the famous 976cc Flying Eight which competed in both speed and quality with Brough. They continued to grow until the effects of the Depression were felt in 1929. Then the production was limited to two-strokes.

In the 1930s Coventry-Eagle had launched a range of sporting bikes under the "Falcon" brand. The motorcycle production continued until 1939. After the war, and not of a scale to continue competitive motorcycle manufacture, the company concentrated on their racing bicycles. It was under this marque that the company relaunched itself as Falcon Cycles, now a division of Tandem Group.