Greeves 250 Sportsman
I had a Greeves 250 in the mid sixties with a 2T engine and it went like a scalded cat, but you had to make sure the two sets of contact breakers were both set the same otherwise it would seize the barrels.
At the time the Greeves was my only means of transport. It was effortless up to a top indicated speed of 80 mph, on a good day with a following wind, and a comfortable cruising speed of 60. There were no motorways then, so it's performance was more than adequate. It was very smooth and often left a trail of smoke on the over run.
The front suspension had a very interesting action when the front brake was applied as the forks would rise up instead of dipping down. It would make light work of rough surfaces in the road. It was not very economical, but tremendous fun.
The performance was increased greatly when a Wal Philips fuel injector was fitted. This was not much more than a straight through piece of tube which appeared to work by increasing the airflow to the barrels with the petroil coming through the top of it. The down side to this was if it stalled it became difficult to start again.
It made many trips from Wales to Cirencester, while I was at college, and then to Tenby, a distance of about 180 miles round trip from my parents home.
Registration number was 371 ADF originally supplied by Pete Hammond motorcycles in Cirencester. I sold it in part exchange for a Honda for about £50, and have never seen it since.
I saw a nice one for sale last year in Cornwall and was tempted to go down memory lane and buy it, but they wanted £4250 for it so it didn't happen.
Also, while at the Shepton Mallet show a few years ago, there was a very nice Greeves roadster which had been fitted with a 350 Triumph twin engine by the owner who was a competent engineer; the bike looked superb.
They did make a 325cc version for a short while.
- Martin Taylor