Harrold Willis: A life well lived

Phil Irving, Edward Turner, Granville Bradshaw and a few, a very few, others are household names to motor cycle obsessives of a certain age. I’m ashamed to say that, while I’d heard of Harold Willis I didn’t know much about him, but I do now: inventor of the positive-stop foot gearchange, modern swinging-arm suspension and, would you believe, the dual seat. Oh, and he was runner-up in two Junior TTs and won the Hutchinson Hundred. And survived being torpedoed to fight at Jutland, and—if you’d care to turn to the Gallimaufry you can read all about him.

The Velocette’s Model O features three of Harold Willis’s contributions to modern motor cycles: a swing-arm frame, dual seat and foot gearchange.

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