Home WORLD Zenith Gradua 6hp 770cc 1912 Two Cylinder Sv

Zenith Gradua 6hp 770cc 1912 Two Cylinder Sv


This early machine is well rideable with its “clutch” and comes with a pioneer certificate. A machine that is always welcome at every vintage motorcycle event.Zenith motorcycles were manufactured from 1904 until 1950, in a variety of factories in or around London. From the early days proprietary engines were used, such as Fafnir, Precision, JAP, Bradshaw and Villiers.

image: classic-motorcycle.com

The driving force behind Zenith was Chief Engineer, and company owner, Frederick Barnes, who was responsible for the famous ‘Gradua’ gear.In 1928 a Zenith-JAP ridden by Oliver Baldwin established a world motorcycle speed record of 124.62mph at Arpajon in France, while Joe Wright later raised the record to 150.736mph using his supercharged Zenith-JAP ‘reserve bike.

His favoured OEC having succumbed to mechanical problems. Significantly, when Wright’s record was set, in 1930, the company was temporarily out of business.


Despite adding a Villiers-powered economy model to the range, Zenith failed to weather the financial storms of the early ’30s. After a succession of closures and changes of ownership it re-emerged after WW2 with a solitary model: a 750cc JAP-powered sidevalve v-twin, which lasted only a few more years.