Veteran Motorcycle Saddles

Brooks were and still are the pre-eminent maker of the finest quality saddles for cycles. Brooks started making cycle saddles in in the early 1880's as the new fangled bicycle started to become popular.

As the first motorcycles were just cycles with primitive engines attached, they naturally used cycle saddles and Brooks lead the field.

In the Veteran motorcycle era (pre 1915), motorcyles were fitted with a variety of saddles made by numerous manufacturers.

My Grandfather - Thomas - had a motor and cycle business from c 1900 in East Sussex and sold and used Brooks saddles - he was a great advocate.

The saddle is important for two main reasons. Firstly the "feel" you get from riding your cycle or motorcycle can only come from the part of the machine that you are touching - which in the main is the saddle and handlebars. If the saddle is horrible then that is how you will perceive the whole machine. The second factor is naturally comfort and the perfect saddle must combine feel and comfort - for both just sitting upon and for peddling - no easy feat and one mastered by Brooks for over 120 years.

I am lucky to own the 1911 Triumph motorcycle that he fitted with a Brooks motorcycle saddle more than a century ago. Brooks kindly refurbished the saddle in the 1950's and it is still in fine useable condition - seems as if my Grandfathers advodacy was well founded with over 105 years of use and still going strong.

As my knowledge of the makers and models of saddles develops, I have been lucky to be helped by Tony Colegrave.

I started this page to share my knowledge of early cycle and motorcycle saddles in the era of 1890 to 1939.

Whilst many manufactures existed - Brooks rises head and shoulders above all of the others. I say this as period accounts and reviews always rank it at the top and in a class of its own. In addition later accounts of Brooks saddles giving perfect service for decades abound and numerous Brooks saddles remain in use after over a century of use. Factor in that all of Brooks competitors have fallen away and Brooks still remains as THE maker of very fine saddles. Accordingly I have concluded that Brooks are certainly the finest maker of cycle and motorcycle saddles of the era and if you want the finest saddle for a your ancient (or modern) cycle then do not bother with anyone else - just buy a Brooks saddle. It is likley that your great grandchildren might be still using it in the years 2100's.

I have gathered up much information during my research about Brooks saddles and I am happy to share it - I do not charge - Just email me with the year (ish) and if you know the model and I will send you what I have on it.

A great many people email me just asking for a period picture as they are so finely made and the period adverts and wording are splendid and from comments many are then printed and pinned up. A fine tribute to an excellent traditional British company.  As I receive quite a few emails - it may take me a few days to respond - but I do reply to all emails.

I do not work for Brooks and they do not pay me for this page or for helping people out.
My view of Brooks being the finest maker of saddles is purely that of my experiences of research and ownership and of family ownership of Brooks saddles for over 105 years.

If you want to see the wonders of Brooks production from the Golden era before World War 1, then below is the Brooks catalogue for 1912.

I have electronic PDF versions of the Brooks catalogues including for the following years. 1905, 1906, 1907, 1908, 1910, 1912, 1914, 1916, 1919, 1920, 1923, 1925, 1926 and 1927.

if you would like a copy of one of these, then please email me and I will email it to you. My email is

Below are three pictures from the 1911 Triumph catalogues.



Below are a few pictures of the saddle today.

Other makers included:

Leatheries were certainly making Motor Saddles in the Veteran Era - Their saddles were designated 'Empire De-Luxe', or just 'De-Luxe'.

Middlemore & Lamplugh were also active saddle-makers in the Veteran Era, and their 'Rideasy' models were offered as 'standard' on Triumph m/cycles for a brief period from 1905-1908. The Company was formed (1896) by a merger of the long-established Middlemore leather business with one of the partners from the first major cycle saddle makers in this country (Lamplugh & Brown - partnership dissolved in 1891).

Goughs are shown in an illustration accompanying what I'm pretty sure is the 1912 Show Report, and appear to be well-established by then, although I think that they came more to prominence in the 'twenties. The Company seems to have had little or no involvement with pedal cycle saddles.

The 1909 Show Report mentions A.E.Wilby's 'new saddle of registered design', which suggests that they also might have been involved with Motor Saddles for some time before then. The firm was involved in a relatively minor way with the pedal cycle saddle market for quite a number of years, but probably had other interests in the leather 'industry' as well.

Hobday's catalogue of 1911 lists a Motor Saddle from Brampton, although I'm pretty sure that Brampton's saddlemaking business had been acquired by Lycett some years before - perhaps they maintained it as a separate business for a few years after, maybe until WW1 ? Certainly, the 'Brampton' saddle illustrated bears no detailed similarity to the Lycett ones illustrated alongside.

Hobday's 1911 also illustrates an 'all bells and whistles' thing, called XL'all, of which I've never seen an example although I'd seen illustrations before. These were made by a company that seems to have been exclusively involved with just one product (previously spring forks - their saddle was the 'new thing' in 1911, it would seem) and who were also unsuccessfully involved in a Court case initiated by Brooks, this time in 1913 - something to do with the suspension system introduced by Brooks with their B.400 model in 1912, I suspect. The XL'all was almost certainly the most expensive saddle on the market at that time, the top-of-the-range model (with aluminium frame and padded pigskin top) being about twice as expensive as Brooks' cheapest offering and about 25% dearer than the pigskin-padded B.104. These saddles were advertised extensively in 'Motor Cycle' for four or five years, but seem to have faded fairly quickly after that.

You can read my ramblings about it on the 1914 Triumph pages.

veteran motorcycle saddle

veteran motorcycle saddle


The saddle on my Triumph appears to be the correct shape and look for the year. In the 1914 Triumph literature it shows (below) a similar Brooks saddle as the default.
Mine looks similar.

1914 Triumph saddle

1914 Triumph Brooks Saddle

The Brooks saddle below sold on ebay UK in April 2012 for £475. I have included pictures of it below for reference.

Brooks Saddle


Brooks Saddle

Brooks Veteran Motorcycle Saddle

Brooks Veteran Motorcycle Saddle

Brooks Veteran Motorcycle Saddle

Brooks Saddles 1911

Brooks Saddle B250 1911

Brooks 1913 Advert

Below a small editorial from The Motor Cycle 1914

Brooks motorcycle saddle

Other makes of motorcycle saddle from the Veteran era apart from Brooks were:

Lycett. I think this company was founded in the early 1900's and operated from Birmingham, England. They seem to have been taken over by Brooks in the 1920's. I am not sure from what era the picture below is from but it may be Veteran era?

lycett motorcycle saddle

The replica badge below is available from vendors such as

lycett saddle logo

Leatheries. No pictures yet - do you have one to give to this web page?

Middlemore & Lamplugh. Have no information yet.

Gough. Goughs are shown in an illustration accompanying what I'm pretty sure is the 1912 Show Report, and appear to be well-established by then, although I think that they came more to prominence in the 'twenties. The Company seems to have had little or no involvement with pedal cycle saddles.

In the USA the saddle makers were Persons, Mesinger and Troxel.

Most motorcycle manufacturers outside the UK/USA seem to have either used local makers or often sported the well established British-made saddles.

XL ALL Saddle

Thanks for your interest.

If you are looking for a new Brooks saddle then go to -