+ Publish Ad FREE !
Ads stats: last 24h - 26, actual - 1091, total - 104625

Cycleweird: Austin Mini-Powered Austel Motorcycles

12 August 2020 - RideApart

Cycleweird: Austin Mini-Powered Austel Motorcycles

British Steel!

There's nothing an Englishman can't do with a shed and a proper set of tools. Take, for example, our BFF Alan Millyard who performs regular feats of mechanical sorcery with little more than his shed, a ruler, and a handful of wrenches. British shed-based ingenuity isn't limited to Millyard, however. At this very moment, there are thousands of Ians and Nigels toiling away at workbenches tuning engines, fabricating brackets, and generally reinventing the wheel. I recently learned about one of the weirdest bike-making, shed-dwelling Brits and his creations so, of course, I had to immediately sit down and tell you about him. Friends, meet the Austel.

Austel Motorcycles was the brainchild of British engineer, toolmaker, and designer Chris Castell. Founded in Maidenhead, Berkshire, U.K., his original plan seems to have been to create a big touring bike with a simple, easy to maintain engine. I say "seems to have been" since, like most of these articles, I have very little info to go on here, so I can only guess at Castell's intent.

Anyway, Castell settled on the BMC A-Series mill out of an Austin Mini for the powerplant of his first bike. Introduced in 1951, the long-lived A-Series engine was a water-cooled, iron block, overhead-valve inline-four that saw service in Minis all the way until 2000. In 1981, Castell took an A-Series engine with its four-speed automatic transmission and, using it as a stressed member, built a motorcycle around it. This first bike, the MK1, featured side-mounted radiators, a chain final drive, bespoke leading-link forks designed by Castell, and bodywork best described as "blocky". He called it the "Lotec", a nod to its low-tech, shed-born origins.

The MK1 was the only Austel—a portmanteau of Austin and Castell—until 1985 when a gentleman named John Kemp saw Castell's MK1 parked out in front of Castell's house and knew he had to have one. Castell happily obliged, and built the MK2 Lotec—a near carbon copy of his personal MK1 machine save for the Yamaha cast-aluminum wheels (I have the same wheels on my XS650 and XS850) in place of the MK1's laced units. From there, Castell decided that the next step in the Austel's evolution should be a sidecar rig. Hey, why not?

After much tinkering and measuring and bodging, the first Austel prototype sidecar rig, called the Pullman, appeared in 1987. Powered by an 850cc Mini engine, the Pullman prototype featured a shaft final drive, a solenoid-operated, push-button shifter, drum brakes, a revamped front end, and Castell-designed eight-spoke steel wheels shod in car tires. For production—for various metrics of "production", we'll get to that in a minute—the Pullman sported a 1300cc Mini mill, discs all around, a new frame, a new box-section swingarm, and a hand-shifted transmission. Sidecars were sourced from various British manufacturers and were often equipped with trunk-mounted fuel tanks for extended range.

Austel produced around 11 motorcycles between 1985 and 1991, not counting the prototypes. Each one was unique, a hand-built machine made to each customer's exacting specifications. Sadly, Chris Castell died in 1991, ending Austel's short run as a maker of boutique sidecar rigs.

Seeing as how these things are rare as hens' teeth, you're not likely to see one here in the Colonies. John Kemp's MK2 Lotec, which spent the last 20 years on display at the London Motorcycle Museum, is currently up for auction at Bonhams 2020 Bicester Heritage event, though. Bonahms reckons the MK2 will go for between £5,000-7,000 ($6,500-9,200 in Yankee dollars), not bad for a weird, rare piece of British motorcycling history.

 

News By Tags

2011 models2012 models3D printing458 italia6-series coupeA1A2ABC Automobileabc motorsabu dhabiaccidentaccidentsaccordACIMacuraadidasADSUadvertisingafricaagalegaAIair pollutionairbagairbagsairbusairportAlan GanooAlbionalcotestalfaalfa romeoalgeriaalibabaAllemangeAllied MotorsAlmaalpineAmauryamazonamendesamphibiousandroidAnil BachooAnse-la-Raieappappleappointmentsappsapriliaarabiaargentinaarielarnold schwarzeneggerarsenalArtashok leylandasiaastonaston martinAston Martin ZagatoauctionaudiAudi E-TronAudi Q3Audi Q8Audi RS7audit reportaustraliaAustralian Grand Prixaustriaautoauto industryauto shanghaiauto showauto-écoleautonomous carautonomus carAutopilotautopont de Decaenautopont Decaenautoroute M1aventadorawardsAxessBABagatellebahrain grand prixBAIBaie-du-TombeaubajabajajBalaclavaBambousBangkok International Motor ShowBangkok Motor ShowBangladeshBarklybatmobilebatterybattlebeachbeachesBeau-BassinBeau-ChampBeau-VallonBeaux SongesBeaux-SongesbeetleBeijing Auto ShowBeijing Motor ShowBel-AirBel-Air-Rivière-SècheBel-EtangBel-Ombrebelgian grand prixBelgiumBell VillageBell-VillageBelle-MareBelle-RoseBenellibentleyBentley BentaygaBentley Continentalbernie ecclestonebetamaxbetamax casebicyclebicyclesbikebikesbiodieselBlackBerryBlue-BaybmwBMW 3 SeriesBMW 4 SeriesBMW 8 seriesBMW i8BMW ix3BMW M2BMW M3BMW M4bmw m5BMW X2bmw x3BMW X5BMW x6BMW x7BMW z4boatboatsboeingBogota Auto ShowBois-MarchandBois-Marchand accidentBois-PignoletBois-RougeBologna Motor ShowBon-Accueilbondboschboston dynamicsBPObrabusbrakesBramsthanbrazilbrexitbribebribesbridgebridgestonebrioBrisée-VerdièreBritish Grand PrixbudgetbugattiBugatti ChironBugatti La Voiture Noirebugatti veyronbuggybuickburnoutbusbusesbuyingbydcadillaccalebassescamaroCamp ChapelonCamp-ChapelonCamp-de-MasqueCamp-DiableCamp-LevieuxCanadacanadian grand prixCandosCanotCap-Malheureuxcaporal Chooluncarcar buying tipscar dealercar dealerscar firecar importcar industrycar loancar marketCar Of The Yearcar rentcar rentalcar salecar salescar servicecar sharingcar showcar theftcar washcarbon fibercarburantsCarlos GhosnCarPlaycarscartingcascavelleCaudanCCIDCCTVCEBcelebretiescelebritiescentre de fitnessCentres De Fitnesscertificat de fitnesscertificats de fitnessCESChamarelChamp de MarsChamp-de-MarsChebelChemin-GrenierChengdu Motor ShowcherychevroletChevrolet CamaroChevrolet ColoradoChevrolet CorvetteChicago Auto ShowchinaCHINESE GRAND PRIXChris EvanschryslerCité Vallijeecitroencivicclassicclassic carclassic carsclassicsClémenciacode de la routecollectioncommercialcomparisonconceptconceptsConfinementConstanceconsumer reportsContract buscontraventionsconvertiblecoromandelCoronaviruscorruptioncorvetteCottagecour suprêmeCourtCourtscouvre-feuCOVID-19CPBcr-vcrashcrash testcrash testsCristiano Ronaldocrossovercrowdfundingcruise shipCubaCupraCurepipecurfewcustom bikecustom carcustomsCUVCWACybertruckcyclonedaciadaihatsudaimlerdakardakar rallydartzdash camdashcamdatsunde tomasodealersdéconfinementdecongestion routiereDelhi Auto ExpodeloreandesignDetroitDetroit Auto Showdéviationdéviationsdéviations routièresdieseldiesel scandaldieselgateDIVADIYDLCdodgedodge demonDonald TrumpDPPdragdrag battledrag racedrag racingdriftdriftingdriver licensedriverless cardrivers licensedrivingdriving licensedriving schooldriving schoolsdriving testdriving tipsdronedronesdrug racedrugsdrunk drivingdsDubaiDubai Motor ShowducatiDysonD’EpinayearthquakeEbayebeneEbène Car ParkecoecologyeconomyEducationEICMAelecticelectionselectricelon muskemissionsEmmanuel Macronengen motor showengineenginesEOCescroquerieethanoletios livaEUEuropeeveventsexamens de conduiteexcès de vitesseexpofacebookfailfakefake policeFast And Furiousfaux coupons de parkingfaux permisfaux permis de conduireFCAfeeder busfeeder busesfermetureFernando Alonsoferrariferrari 812ferrari f40Ferrari Portofinoferrari romaferryFHTAFIAfiatfiestafilmsfinancesfinefinesfinlandFireFirefightersfishersfishingfiskerfitness centerFlacqFlic-en-FlacfloodFloodsFlorealflying carflying taxiFond-du-SacFootballForbachForbach accidentforce indiafordFord BroncoFord F-150ford fiestaford focusFord GTFord mustangFord Mustang Mach-EFord Rangerforest-sideformula Eformula1forza motorsportFrancefrankfurtfrankfurt motor showfraudFSCfuelfuel economy scandalfuel pricefuel stationfuel stationsfunnyfutureGaikindo Indonesia International Auto ShowGaikindo Indonesia International Motor Showgamesgare de Rose-HillGare du Nordgare VictoriagasgeargeelygenesisGeneva Auto Showgeneva motor showgerman grand prixGermanygirlsgmgodzillagolfgolf carGoodlandsgoodwoodGoodwood Festival of Speedgooglegoogle glassgoogle mapsGoProgovernmentgpsgran turismogrand tourgrand-baieGrand-BassinGrand-BoisGrand-GaubeGrande-RivièreGrande-Rivière-Nord-Ouestgreat wallgreecegreengreen energygrnoGros-BoisGros-CaillouxGRSE accidentGTAGymkhanahackershakershamannharley davidsonharley-davidsonHatchbackhealthcarehellcatHennesseyHenriettaHermitageherohertzhighlandshistoryhit and runhitachiholdenHollandHollywoodhondaHonda AccordHonda BrioHonda Cityhonda civicHonda Civic type rhonda cr-vHonda Ehonda fitHonda HR-Vhonda jazzhonda monkeyHonda s2000Honda s660Honda VezelHong Konghorse racinghorsepower falsifyingHospitalhospitalshot rodhot wheelshotelhotelshoverbikehoverboardhow toHuayrahummerHummer H1Hummer H2humorhungarian grand prixhurricaneHusqvarnahybridhydrogenhypercarhypercarshyundaiHyundai CretaHyundai ElantraHyundai i20hyundai ioniqHyundai KonaHyundai Santa Cruzhyundai Santa Fehyundai sonataHyundai TucsonHyundai VelosterHyundai Venuei3i40ICACiframacIIHSillegal racesillegal racingillegal rallyillegal taxiillegal transportIMCimportindiaIndia Auto ExpoIndian Motorcycleindian motorcyclesIndian OilindicaIndonesiaIndonesia International Motor Showindonesia motor showinfinitiInfinityinfotainmentinfrastructureinsuranceintelinteriorinteriorsiPadiphoneiranirelandIRPisraelisuzuIsuzu D-maxIsuzu MU-Xitaliaitalian grand prixItalyjaguarJaguar Land Roverjamesjames bondJames MayJan Palach stationjapanjapaneese carsjapanese carjapanese carsJapanese Grand PrixJawajazzJDMjeepJeep CherokeeJeep GladiatorJeep Grand CherokeeJeep Renegadejeep wranglerJeremy ClarksonjettaJin FeijobjobsJohn DeerekartkawasakiKawasaki Ninjakei carken blockKenyakhankiaKia CeedKia ForteKia NiroKia OptimaKia SorentoKia SportageKia Stingerkia TellurideKoenigseggkoreaKoshik ReesaulKTMKTM DukeLALA Auto ShowLa Brasseriela butteLa ChaumièreLa FloraLa GauletteLa MarieLa PrairieLa Tour KoenigLa VigieladaLallmatielamborghiniLamborghini Aventadorlamborghini diablolamborghini gallardolamborghini huracanLamborghini SiánLamborghini UruslanciaLancia Stratoslandland cruiserland roverLand Rover DefenderLand Rover DiscoveryLarsen & ToubroLaventurelawlawslazarethLe HochetLe MornelealLebanonLeevy Frivetlegolewis hamiltonlexuslicenselicense platelight metrolimousinelincolnlink roadLionel MessiLockdownlondonLos Angeles Auto Showlotuslow cost carLRTluxuryluxury carluxury carsL’AventureL’EscalierM1m2m3macondemad maxMadagascarmaha shivaratreeMahebourgmahindramaintenancemalaysiamanmansorymanual transmissionmanufacturingMapoumapsMare d’AlbertMare-aux-VacoasMare-d’Albertmarketmarketingmartinmarutimaruti suzukiMaruti SwiftMaruti Wagon RmaseratiMatt LeBlancMauricioMauritiansmauritiusmaybachmazdamazda 3Mazda 6Mazda MiataMazda Mx-30Mazda Mx-5Mazda RX-7mazda3McLarenMcLaren 720smecedesMELmercedesMercedes AMGMercedes E63Mercedes G-ClassMercedes G63Mercedes GLEMercedes S-ClassMercedes X-classMercedes-MaybachMESmetroMetro Expressmexican grand prixmexicoMGmichael schumachermichelinMicrosoftMidlandsminimini cooperminivanMITDmitsubishiMitsubishi DelicaMitsubishi EclipseMitsubishi L200mitsubishi lancerMitsubishi MirageMitsubishi OutlanderMitsubishi PajeroMitsubishi TritonMitsubishi XpandermitsubushimitsuokaMMMMokamonacomonaco grand prixMont-ChoisyMont-RochesMontagne-BlancheMontagne-LongueMontagne-OrymontebelloMontebello accidentMontée Smontereymoose testmoparMorcellement St AndrémorganMorneMoroccomotoMoto Guzzimoto-écoleMotoClub Racing TeammotorMotor Racing Clubmotor showMotor Vehicle LicenceMotor vehicle test centremotorcyclemotorcyclesmotorsportmotorsportsmotosportmoviemoviesMPAmpvMRAMRCmugenmuscle carMusicmustangmv agustamv augustaMVDAMVLNADA Auto ShowNandanee SoornackNando BodhananonascarNational Coast Guardnavigationnavigation systemnavigation systemsNavin RamgoolamNCGNDUNepalnetherlandsnew carnew york auto shownew zealandnfsNHTSANigerianikolanissanissanNissan 370ZNissan 400Znissan altimaNissan AriyaNissan FrontierNissan GT-RNissan GT-R50Nissan JukeNissan KicksNissan LeafNissan Leaf NismoNissan MaximaNissan MicraNissan navaraNissan NoteNissan PatrolNissan QashqaiNissan RogueNissan SentraNissan SkylineNissan TerraNissan TitanNissan X-trailNissan ZNissan Z ProtonorwayNouvelle-FranceNTANTCNTLANürburgringoff-roadoffroadoil spillOlympic GamesOnline Renewal of Motor Vehicle LicenceopelOpel Corsapaganipagani huayraPagani ZondaPaillesPakistanPalmarPamplemoussespanasonicpapamobileParisparis motor showparkingparliamentPebble Beachpenaltiespenalty pointsPereyberepermis de conduireperoduapetit raffrayPetit-RaffrayPetite-RivièrepetrolPetrol Retailers AssociationpeugeotPeugeot 2008Peugeot 208Peugeot 3008peugeot 508PhilippinesPhoenixPhœnixpickuppickupspininfarinapirelliPitonPlace de l’ImmigrationPlace D’ArmesPlaine MagnienPlaine VertePlaine-des-PapayesPlaine-des-RochesPlaine-LauzunPlaine-MagnienPlaine-VerteplayboyPNQPointe d’EsnyPointe-aux-PimentsPointe-aux-SablespolandpolarispolestarpolicepoliticspollutionpompiersPomponettepontPont ColvillePont-BlancPont-FerpontiacpopemobilePor Louisporscheporsche 911Porsche BoxsterPorsche CayennePorsche MacanPorsche TaycanporsheportPort LouisPort-LouisPoste-de-FlacqPoste-LafayettePoudre-d’Or-HamletPPCPPPprankPravind JugnauthpricepricespriusproguardprotestsprotonPSApublic transportpublict transportQ3qorosQuartier-MilitaireQuatre Bornesquatre-bornesr8RaceracingrainrallyrallyeRallye Eiffelrallye illégalrallye motoramrangerange roverratingsRDArecallrecallsrecordrecordsred bullred bull car park driftRed CrossreduitrenaultRenault ClioRenault Kwidrenault meganeRenault TwingorenderingRenewal of Motor Vehicle Licencerent a carrepairreplicaretroReunionRezvaniRHTRiambelRichard DuvalRichard HammondRiche TerreRiche-TerreRichelieurickshawrimacRimac C_TwoRing RoadrioRipaillesRiviere-des-AnguillesRivière-du-PosteRiviere-du-RempartRiviere-Noireroadroad accidentroad accidentsroad closedroad closureroad rules & regualtionsroad rules & regulationsroad safetyRoad TaxRoad Traffic (Amendment) BillRoad Traffic ActRoad Traffic Amendment ActRoad Traffic Amendment BillRoad Traffic Billroadsroads safetyrobberyrobotrobotsroche-boisRoche-TerreRodrigo DuterteRodriguesrolls-roycerolls-royce cullinanromeorond-point de Beau-BassinRose BelleRose Hillrose-belleRose-HillroverRoyal EinfieldRoyal EnfieldRoyal Enfield Continental GTRRSRSURuben RacingRue Jemmapesrue VandermeerschrumoursRussiaRussian Grand PrixrvsaabSafe Citysafetysafety ratingsafety ratingssafety testsafety testsSaint-PierreSainte-Croixsalesamsungsamusao paulo auto showSao Paulo Motor Showsaudisaudi arabiascamscandalscaniaschool busschool vanscooterscootersseatsebastian vettelSebastopolsecond hand carsecond hand carssecond hand cars importsécurité routièreself driving carself-drivingself-driving carself-driving carsSEMASEMA showSeoul Motor Showservice stationservice stationsShanghaishanghai motor showShehzad SooraballyshelbyShellshowsingaporeSingapore Grand Prixsir GaëtanskodaSlovakiasmartSMFsnakeSobrinho caseSodnacsoftwareSohail Sesungkursolar energySolidarity GrantSolitudesonysorezesoreze accidentSouillacsoulsound systemssouthsouth africasouth koreaspaceXspainSpanish Grand Prixspare partsspeed cameraspeed camerasspeed limitspeedboatspeedingsportSportscarspy shotsssang yongSsangYongssuSt-JeanSt-Jean roadSt-JulienSt-LouisSt-Paulst-pierrestar warsstartupstation-servicestations-servicestatisticsSTCste croixSte-Croixstreet racingstrikestudysubaruSubaru BRZSubaru ImprezaSudhir SesungkursudySunshine AutosupecarssupercarssuperyachtsuprcarssurfboardsurveySUVsuzukiSuzuki BurgmanSuzuki ErtigaSuzuki HayabusaSuzuki IgnisSuzuki IntruderSuzuki JimnySuzuki S-CrossSuzuki SwiftSuzuki Swift Sportsuzuki vitaraSuzuki Wagon RSuzuki XbeeSwedenswiftSwitzerlandTATaiwantakatatamarintankTanzaniaTarisa Resorttatatata motorstaxtax fraudtaxestaxiTBStechnlogytechnolgytechnologytenderTerre-RougeTerre-Rouge–Verdunteslatesla model 3tesla model stest drivetestsThai Motor ExpoThai Motor ShowthailandThailand International Motor ExpoThe Grand TourThe ValetheftThierry Henryticket pricetipstiresTMRSUtokyoTokyo Auto Salontokyo motor showtoptop geartotaltourismtourism authoritytoyotaToyota 86Toyota AlphardToyota AvalonToyota Aygotoyota C-HRtoyota camryToyota CenturyToyota CH-Rtoyota corollaToyota FortunerToyota GR YarisToyota HiaceToyota HighlanderToyota HiluxToyota Land CruiserToyota PriusToyota RAV4Toyota RushToyota Siennatoyota supraToyota TacomaToyota TJ CruiserToyota TundraToyota Venzatoyota yaristoystoytatractortrafficTraffic BranchtrailerTranquebartransformersTransinvesttransporttransport policeTravaux routierstrendsTrianontricksTriolettriumphTrois-BoutiquesTrou d’Eau DouceTrou-aux-BichesTrou-d'Eau-DouceTrou-d’Eau-DouceTrou-Fanfarontrucktruckstsunamitug of wartuningtuniningTurfTurkeytvsTyacktyresUAEuberUBIWUBSukukraineunionsUnited StatesuomuralUrban TerminalUSUSAused carused car importused carsVacoasVacoas-PhoenixvalettaVallée-des-PrêtresVallee-PitotValtonvanvarma caseVeer Luchoomunvehicle inspectionVehiclesvelostervenezuelaVerdunVictoria Bus StationVictoria stationVictoria Urban TerminalvideoVienna Auto ShowvietnamVintagevintage carvintage carsVipervivo energyvoitures reconditionnéesvolvolkswagenVolkswagen BeetleVolkswagen GolfVolkswagen ID.4volvovwvw beetleVW Buggyvw golfVW ID.3VW JettaVW passatvw polovw t-crossWakashiowaymoWeatherwheelsWolmarWootonWork Access PermitWorldyachtyachtsyamahayariszagato
Sell Your Car