British motorcycle manufacturers - P

Last update June 6, 2003

Pacer 1914 (-15?)
Packman and Poppe
Founded by Erling Poppe and Gilmour Packman, Poppe was also a partner in a Coventry-based engine manufacturer, White & Poppe.  Made first motorcycle in 1922 using a 250cc White and Poppe two-stroke engine and a duplex loop frame and a rear axle with a double row of ball bearings mounded in the fork ends. Built a 976cc side-valve machine with a JAP V-twin engine in 1923 and the Silent Three using a 350cc Barr and Stroud sleeve-valve engine. Entered three machines into 1925 TT. Stopping off at the office on his way, Packman was killed by in an argument with a salesman. Later that year the company's factory burned down. In 1926, the company was sold to John Wooler, who kept up production until the Depression, in 1930.
Pallion 1905-14. Scooters.

Originally called Phelon and Moore (P&M) Limited, the company was started  in Cleckheaton, Yorkshire, by Joah Phelon and Harry Rayner in 1900. Unable to produce the machine himself, his first design was sold to Humber for royalty payments. After Rayner died in a car accident, Phelon was joined by Richard Moore in 1904 to form P&M. They built big, angled singles called "slopers," initially 500cc. They also built Villiers-engined two strokes until the 1930s. In 1906 they offered a bike with a two-speed transmission and clutch. They experimented with V-twins before WW1 and in 1923 made a side-valve four-speed 555cc bike. This was followed by an OHV 500cc which was called the Panther. A 250cc V-twin Panthette was made in 1927. Some of their earliest bikes offered chain drive.

Panther manufactured big 600cc bikes (646cc by 1964) that were among their most famous. Promoted as the "Perfected Motorcycle," they were known for innovative designs. Despite this, they were fairly simple and robust machines. Their low torque made them ideal for pulling sidecars along. But when sidecars lost popularity in the 1960s, so did Panthers. P&M also made several other bikes of various sizes, reverting to smaller engines in the 1930s when sales slumped and not returning to bigger engines until the latter part of the decade.

A 250cc Red Panther won the Maudes Trophy in 1934. A 250 and 350cc single were produced from the late 1940s. A series of small, lightweight Villiers-powered bikes was introduced in 1956. The company lasted long enough to build motorcycles in 1967, its final Panther the 645cc Model 120. The company had a short-lived concession to sell French Terrot scooters in 1968.

Paragon 1919-23. Also known as New Paragon.
Paramount-DVO 1920-27. Two wheel car, also known as FEW-Paramount.
Parkyn 1902-04.
PAX 1920-22
PDC 1920-22 (1903-06?)
Pearson 1903-04
Pearson & Cox 1912-14. Steam-powered machine. Some were labelled Dawn.
Pearson & Sopwith 1919-21
Pebok 1903-09
Peco 1913-15. Engines, some complete bikes.
Peerless 1902-08 and 1913-14. Later company used telescopic fork and shaft drive.
Pennington 1897. American E.J. Pennington sold rights to design to H. J. Lawson who built two prototypes at his Humber plant.
Perks & Birch 1899-1901. Rights sold to Singer, 1900.
Peters 1921-25.
Phasar Early 1980s. Motorcycle with roof, based on the Quasar, but using motorcycle engines instead of car engines.
Phillips 1954-64. Mopeds.
Phoenix 1900-08, and later another company 1955-64 making scooters.
Piatti 1954-58. Scooters
Pick 1908
Pilot 1903-15 (1910-16?)
Planet 1919-20
PMC 1908-15. Premier Motor Company. Built three-wheel motorette.
Portland 1910-11. Also made in 1920.
Pouncy 1930-38 (1930-36?)
Powell 1921-26
Powerful 1903-06
P&P 1922-30. See Packman and Poppe.
Precision Two companies. First 1902-1906. Second founded by Frank Baker in 1906 to build bicycle fittings under the Precision name> baker had worked for Eadie (Royal Enfield) and Premier Cycles. Started building 499cc sv single engines in 1910 and quickly developed a following. By 1911, 96 machines at the Olympia Show in London used Precision engines 293, 499 and 599 singles, or 760cc V-twins. By 1918 the company employed 800. Engineer Tom Biggs joined as chief designer in 1913. After WW1 they released a complete motorcycle, designed by Biggs, using their own 350cc two-stroke engine, in 1919. At this time they were calling themselves Beardmore-Precision after Scottish industrial giant William Beardmore & Co. injected new capital into the company. Their engines were featured in numerous trials and race winners in the 1920s. But sales were sliding and an attempt to introduce a new 250cc engine failed when the leaf-spring valves caused excess guide wear. Beardmore withdrew its capital in 1924 and Baker pulled out, to make two-strokes under his own name (as F. E. Baker Ltd.) . The company closed.
Premier Founded as bicycle manufacturer Hillman, Herbert and Cooper , the name changed to Premier Cycle Co. in 1891. Announced its first motorcycle in late 1908 using a White & Poppe sv engine and Chater-Lea front fork. Adopted the kangaroo logo in recognition of its early bicycle of the same name.

Made its first engine, a V-twin, in 1909 and a 499cc single in 1910. The company made several models, up to a massive 998cc V-twin until WW1 started, when they were known as Coventry-Premier Ltd. Innovative, they were also plagued by poor management. They decided not to return to motorcycles after the war, but in 1921 the company was acquired by Singer. A branch in Czechoslovakia got its independence then and continued making machines into the 1930s under the British name.

Premo 1908-15 (1909?)
Prim 1906-07
Pride & Clarke 1938-40
Princeps 1903-07. Built by J. Hutton.
Prior 1936. Rebadged German Hercules bikes, reintroduced 1957-60.
Priory 1919-26
Progress 1902-08
P&S 1919-21. Rebadged Pearson.
Started by TT race winner Oscar (Cyril?) Pullin after WW1. Made the Ascot-Pullin model in 1928, but despite its advanced design, it didn't sell and the company went into liquidation. Offered 496cc ohv horizontal engine, interconnected hydraulic brakes (the first hydraulic brakes ever made), leg shields, mirror, windscreen with windshield wiper. Sadly the bike was sold off in job-lots by the liquidator in 1930. The name was revived in 1951 by Tube Investments to make a Powerwheel clip-on engine and in 1955 a small scooter, but it didn't attract interest, so the name vanished.
Pullin-Groom 1920-25. Designed by Cyril Pullin.
PV 1910-25
Click here to reload this site. Click here for my Sources
Compiled by Ian Chadwick. Send comments and corrections to me at: