Mark 2 Welbike

Accession Number REL35862
Collection type Technology
Object type Vehicle
Physical description Rubber, Steel
Maker Excelsior
Place made United Kingdom
Date made 1942-1945
Conflict Second World War, 1939-1945

Collapsible motorcycle powered by a Villers 98cc 2 stroke engine designed for use by paratroops. There are post-war welded joints in the frame forward of the seat post plates where the frame was cut for transit to Australia. The handlebars have been welded in the upright position and no longer fold. The bike has a replacement Australian made seat. Markings -

Registration on tank – 2223
Frame – MK (broad arrow) 148?? (could be 149) – very roughly stamped
Engine – Villers Deluxe Junior B 5784
Transmission housing – XXEL687
Seat – Bell Gents 30 30 Made in Australia

History / Summary

Originally designed by the British Special Operations Executive (SOE) for use in covert operations, the Welbike came to be used by British Airborne and Parachute Regiments. The bikes folded down into a parachute container and were dropped with the airborne units for rapid deployment on landing.

It is understood that this vehicle was retrieved from the island of Morotai where it had been used by a Light Aid Detachment to fetch the mail.