15th Nov, 2023 13:00

National Motorcycle Museum | Solihull, West Midlands

Lot 234

1979 Silk 700S
One of only c.138 manufactured in the late '70s

Sold for £11,500

(including buyers premium)

Lot details

Registration No: FNU 946V
Frame No: 700/S/136
Engine No: 700/S/138
MOT: Exempt

  • George Silk's 1970s update of the 2-stroke water-cooled Scott
  • Good original condition and in recent use by the vendor
  • A rare model supplied with manuals and a current V5C

Silk was a manufacturer initially based in Derbyshire that produced a water-cooled two-stroke twin between 1975 and 1979. The company was founded by George Silk, an engineer who was famed for his work on earlier Scott motorcycles, specializing in reproducing spare parts and performance modifications. The original Scott motorcycles were the design inspiration of Angus Scott, a Yorkshire based engineer who began developing his own unique two stroke designs in the early 1900s. Very much ahead of his time, by 1908 he was producing a complete motorcycle featuring a two stroke twin cylinder engine with 2 speed foot change and chain drive, an advanced design in its day. Development continued with competition success adding to the company's reputation, in fact after victory at the 1908 Wass Bank Hillclimb the Auto-Cycle Union handicapped Scott by multiplying their cubic capacity by 1.32, such was the bike’s advantage over the four stroke opposition, resulting in good publicity for the brand. After WW2 Scott went through various ownership including a move to Birmingham, eventually halting production in the late 1960s. George Silk produced a run of 21 Silk-Scotts in the early 1970s but legal problems over the use of the trademark meant he used his own name when he launched the Silk 700, a modern take on the classic design in 1975. The water-cooled twin-cylinder two-stroke engine, now bored out to 653cc, was housed in a frame and suspension made by Spondon Engineering with mainly British made ancillaries. In 1976 the Silk Engineering company was taken over by the Kendal based Furmanite International Group who continued production and in 1977 the 700S Mk2 was launched featuring finned barrels, a redesigned seat, instruments, and rear light nacelle. In 1978 the 100th Silk motorcycle was made and production continued until 1979 when Silk realised they were losing £200 with every motorcycle sold and ceased production. In all, it is thought that only about 138 models were sold.

This 700S is frame number 136 and engine number 138 so is possibly one of the last ones made in 1979 before production ceased. A good-looking bike in Silver, this Mark 2 model was supplied from new with the optional alloy wheels and twin disc front brake setup. The bike spent some of its life in Cyprus before it was briefly owned by Paul Ralph, the well known marque expert who runs the website http://silk-motorcycles.221.s1.nabble.com, whilst he was working for Classic Superbikes who then restored it for a doctor in Beaminster before it was sold to the current owner in July 2018. The bike's performance and handling matched and exceeded contemporary Japanese bikes in the late seventies but a hefty price tag of nearly £1400 restricted sales making it a very rare but important and well documented part of British motorcycling history. The bike comes supplied with some history, an owner's manual, an original sales catalogue and a current V5C. Run recently, see video, this bike presents a rare opportunity to acquire the ultimate expression of Angus Scott’s groundbreaking motorcycle.

For more information, please contact:
Ian Cunningham


All successful bids must be paid in full by midday the day after the auction at the latest.

You can collect your new pride and joy from our venue until 1pm the day following the sale or our partners are on hand to help arrange safe transportation:


Auction: National Motorcycle Museum | Solihull, West Midlands, 15th Nov, 2023

Established in 1993, H&H has sold some of the world's most significant motorcars and motorcycles over the past 30 years. Trusted by over 75,000 clients worldwide, we are the longest established auction house of our kind in Europe and the only one owned and managed by its employees.

An auction of classic motorcycles & vintage scooters taking place at the National Motorcycle Museum, Solihull, West Midlands.


Parking and entry into the auction is free for auction attendees with a catalogue.



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