Scott Flying Squirrel




There are those who declare that the Scott company's long-standing affection for the Squirrel model name was a reflection of the machine's" habit of scattering nuts around. Not true, of course, but nevertheless, the Shipley menagerie of Squirrels, Touring Squirrels, Flying Squirrels and Super Squirrels can certainly be confusing to the uninitiated.

Essentially, the Flying Squirrel was the sports-roadster member of the range, new at London's Olympia Show of September 1925, and destined to have a production life of 25 years. It was, said Scott, a road-going version of the factory's TT racing model, and although the familiar open frame, with oval fuel tank clamped to the seat tube, was retained, the big TT-type tank, filling the space between saddle and steering head, could be supplied at extra cost.

To customer's choice, a 498 or 596cc engine could be supplied. Compared with the TT engine, both capacities featured bigger, polished exhaust ports, a redesigned cylinder head which provided more efficient cooling in the region of the sparking plugs, and mechanical oiling by way of a Best and Lloyd pump, mounted on the crankcase door and driven by a peg from the overhung crank.

Listed at £86 in the 498cc size (or at £3 more for the 596cc version) the first Flying Squirrel weighed
only 240 lb, but a year later there came a change to a heavier triangulated duplex frame and to a close-ratio, three-speed gearbox and multi-plate clutch, all of which helped to send the weight up to 3151b.

Basically, the specification was to remain unaltered right through to the end of production at Shipley in 1950 but, of course, a whole host of minor refinements crept in over the years. Indeed, for a time there was an entire family of Flying Squirrels varying in the degree of tune or trim, and listed as the Flying Squirrel de Luxe.

For all that, the Scott was one of these machines that a rider either loved or hated; it was an acquired taste and, in consequence, production was never very high and there were occasions when the manufacturers were in very deep waters financially. Naturally, two-stroke development at the time of the Flying Squirrel's heyday was nothing like the exact science it became in very much later years. The bike could manage a top speed between 75 mph and 80 mph, as turned out from the works, but that was a compromise, bearing in mind the need for a reasonably economical fuel consumption figure. Certainly the Flying Squirrel would respond to amateur tuning —if its owner had no objection to the higher fuel bills that would inevitably result.

Scotts were road-raced, indeed, but usually the models chosen were the TT Replica or Sprint Special, listed from 1929 onward, rather than the Flying Squirrel. Two years before then, however, J. Shuckburgh Wright succeeded in equipping a Flying Squirrel with a supercharger, with the object of competing at Brooklands. Alas, it was wasted effort, because it was Brooklands' misfortune to be situated in a heavily-built-up area (which is why the authorities insisted that all machines competing at Brooklands events should wear a huge, lozenge-shape silencer).

Even with these 'Brooklands cans' in place, such was the noise from Shuckburgh Wright's device that after only one lap the race officials barred him from further practice.
After a World War II close-down, the Flying Squirrel returned in late 1948, at first with girder forks but soon with Dowty telescopic air forks. Only the 596cc model was offered, and after two years the-Shipley works had closed. Limited production restarted in Birmingham a few years later—but only of the Clubman Special, which was basically the 1939 model. The Squirrel had flown its last flight.


(1926 model) engine
Water-cooled, two stroke, twin-cylinder. 74-6 mm (2-93in) bore X 68-25 mm (2-68in) stroke = 596cc (36-37cu in). Maximum power 28 bhp at 5000 rpm. Compression ratio not known. Single carburettor transmission
Three-speed gearbox. Chain drive to rear wheel frame
Open triangulated tubular
Front - Telescopic fork
Rear - Solid unsprung
Front - 7in Drum Rear - 8in Drum
327lb (148kg)
Maximum speed 75 mph
Fuel consumption 45mpg approx

Source Super by Bikes Loure Caddell