Sunday 24 April 2016

Friday bike

Spotted an unusual bike on Ebay, so thought I’d try and find out more about it.

This is listed as 1964 Sprite 350cc Hogan RCA’. Sprite were a British company originally based in Birmingham, then later Halesowen, who built kit bikes for trials and scrambling (kit bikes weren’t liable to pay Purchase Tax), usually supplied without an engine. Their two main kits were designed for Triumph twin and Villiers 2 stroke engines, but some were fitted with Maico, Husqvarna, and Sachs units. The company operated from 1964 to 1974, before the collapse of its US importer (American Eagle, builders of a previous Friday bike), left them with debts that they couldn’t recover from.



This particular bike has a 350cc ‘RCA’ engine. As far as I can make out, this is a ‘Seagull’ brand boat engine, note how the exhaust ports face outwards rather than forwards that’s usual on a bike engine. It’s also fitted with an Enfield gearbox.
*** UPDATE*** Thanks to a comment below I now know that it is a 'Dolphin' boat engine.

Very neatly done, I particularly like how well the expansion chamber type exhausts fit into the frame. Ebay listing is here. If anyone knows any more about Sprite, RCA, Dolphin, etc, please let me know.


  1. Hi Uncle Norrie, is it a bird, or is it a ....mammal.
    The seagull engine was a small, 100ccish watercooled two stroke. The Dolphin however ...

  2. Thanks for that, I don't know anything about boat engines, so was sort of making it up as I went along!