2022 Shannons Autumn Timed Online Auction

1926 Zenith 680cc SV Jap V-Twin Motorcycle





Engine 680cc V-twin
Gearbox Three-speed manual
Colour Purple/black
Trim Black
Wheels Wire spoke
Brakes Drum/drum


This lot is no longer available

Zenith Motorcycles was a British motorcycle manufacturer established in London in 1903. The first Zenith motorcycle was the ‘Bi-Car’  which was based on the Tooley Bi-Car design, purchased by Zenith for its own production, Although a relatively small manufacturer , Zenith had significant success in speed contests in the Teens and Twenties, holding more ‘Gold Stars’ on the Brooklands (UK) banked track (for 100+mph laps in competition) than any other marque. Zenith used engines sourced from a variety of manufacturers but predominated, with engines of single and V-Twin configuration including the DOHC single cylinder JAP and the twin-cam JAP side-valve V-Twin. Zenith’s 6-80 was introduced in 1925 powered by a 680cc, side-valve V-Twin with bore and stroke of 70mm x 88mm, mated to a three speed Sturmey Archer gear box, with final drive by chain. Fine engineering and quality details included cast alloy primary cover and chain guard, nickel plated fittings and the two-into-one exhaust were hallmarks of the Zenith motorcycles. Drum brakes were fitted both front and rear while the girder fork and coil spring suspension was aided by an adjustable suspension damper. The Zenith 6-80 came equipped with luggage carrier, but lighting was optional. In WW1, the Zenith factory turned its attention to commercial sidecar outfits, before picking up its racing and endurance trial activities after the war, Precision, Villiers, Bradshaw, Martlett, British Anzani, Fafnir, Blackburne and JAP engines were all used in various Zenith models until, in 1931 Zenith declared bankruptcy due to the great depression. A principal Zenith Dealer, ‘Writers of Kensington’, bought the name and restarted motorcycle production at the Hampton Court factory in Surrey but World War II interrupted production again, and Zenith finally ceased manufacture in 1950.