British Welbike Military Motorcycle

  • World War II
  • 1 min

By Crusader1307

While we have seen, the use of Bicycles in War was somewhat common in World War I (and the eventual adoption of early Motorcycles), a common issue was the development of a light-weight form of cycle which could be used by Special Operational Forces (Commando and Airborne) – of The British Army. The result of such developments was the short lived ''Welbike'' created by The British Special Executive Office. Small, The Welbike weighed just over 70-pounds. It was a Villiers twin-stroke, single cylinder cycle which held only (roughly), 7-gallons of gasoline. The Welbike could achieve close to 30-mph and had a range of 90-miles. Envisioned for use by Airborne Forces, The cycle could be quickly assembled with just several movements and deployed almost immediately. It featured a ''push start'' feature and was touted as being ''combat ready'' in only ''11 seconds''.


Seen in use by both Airborne and Commando Forces of The British Army during the later years of World War II, the common problem with The Welbike was it's total lack of suspension. This made it's operations over rough countrysides almost impossible. Many of the almost 4,000 units produced between 1942 and 1945 ended up abandoned on the battlefield. While many Armies attempted such cycles for their Airborne Services, no real prototypes ever matched up to the actual rigors of combat operations. Although a slight ''failure'', the design of The Welbike would serve as the design pattern for many civilian Scooters – still in wide use throughout the World.