Wooler was a UK manufacturer of motorcycles
and other vehicles, founded by engineer John
Wooler in 1911 based in Alperton, Middlesex.
The company became known for its unconventional
designs which included several fore-and-aft
twins, a vertical camshaft single cylinder machine,
a transverse-four beam engine, and a transverse
flat four. Most machines possessed Wooler's
enduring design features of a petrol tank which
extended past the steering head.
John Wooler designed his first motorcycle in
1909 - a two-stroke horizontal single cylinder
machine with a double-ended piston. The first
production model was a 230cc two-stroke with
front and rear plunger spring suspension and
a patent "anti-vibratory" frame. The
motorbike was manufactured by Wilkinson from
1912 onwards with a 344cc engine and marketed
as the Wilkinson-Wooler. Production was halted
during WWI, and a Receiver was appointed for
the company in 1915, but the company's munitions
contracts with the Royal Air Force allowed it
to survive the war years.
Motorcycle production resumed in 1919 with
a new and advanced machine which was entered
in the 1921 Junior TT where it was nicknamed
the "Flying Banana" by Graham Walker.
The Wooler Mule cyclecar was announced in February
1919. It was powered by a 1022 cc air-cooled
twin with the cylinders protruding from the
sides of the bonnet, and a circular dummy radiator.
The engine used rotary valves. It had a double
rear wheel giving the impression of a three-wheeler.
No prices were published, but contemporary press
reports suggested a price of around £130
which had increased to £185 by December.
Only a few prototypes were ever built.
In 1920 the company was reformed as The Wooler
Motor Cycle Company (1919) Ltd. and the Mule
In 1930 the Great Depression caused the company's
Wooler returned in 1945 with a prototype 500cc
transverse four shaft drive, which was displayed
at the Earls Court show in 1948 and again in
1951 and 1954. Only a half dozen handbuilt prototypes
were ever constructed and the machine never
entered mass production.
- Years in production - 1919-23
- Engine - horizontally opposed (fore-and-aft)
- Bore and Stroke - 60 x 60mm
- Capacity - 348cc
- Transmission - initially by variable ration
belt, later by chain drive
- Weight - 162lb
- Top speed - 55mph