Erskine bike

Are Speedway bikes the new smart investment?


Classic cars and bikes are often investments, are old Speedway bikes about to become a hit?

Predicting the next big thing in classic vehicle appreciation is often doomed to fail – otherwise, we’d be rich doing just that and not just making films.

We’d still make the films, but we’d be going back to mansions with greasy garages attached, and not just the greasy garages.

One genre which seems to have begun simmering and potentially could blow, though, is the classic Speedway bike.

Nostalgia always commands a higher price. It’s not necessarily the quality of an item which forces higher desirability, or style/performance etc. but its provenance, and how it looks when viewed through sepia-tinted glasses.

We spoke to the team at Trevor Farrington Ltd about the classic 1954 Erskine Jardine JAP Speedway bike they have in stock, and they were rightly proud to have the item on sale. The bike was designed by race bike and car designer Mike Erskine, who began his working life manufacturing radiators for cars, and decided to start building frames for Speedway in the late ’40s. In 1950, Welsh rider Freddie Williams won the Speedway World Championship at Wembley riding an Erskine Staride  (Erskine himself actually appears in the results for that event, albeit on 0 points, as he had been added to replace Arthur Forrest). But it was his bike that took the plaudits, showing the Staride was a force to be reckoned with.

Erskine Staride logo

The Staride name was taken into 500cc F3 racing but achieved less success, leaving the sporting legacy of that name firmly on two wheels.

The bike currently up for sale at Trevor Farrington is priced under £5k and appears to have been owned by a rider called Neil Roberts. It’s listed as a 1954 example, so was produced when the frame had already secured a World Championship-winning pedigree.

With Speedway becoming more and more a focus for collectors combined with the nostalgia of seeing such bikes in their heyday, these kinds of items may be the next big thing.

If someone we know buys this bike, let us know – and invite us to your mansion to gloat about it in a few years’ time.

Erskine bike