Gus Kuhn 1919
Page updated 16-Feb-2011

After leaving the RAF, Gus went to work for Butterfields of Birmingham, manufacturers of the Levis two-stroke motorcycles.

On Easter Monday (21st April) the Birmingham MCC's first Victory Trial was held over a circular route in Worcestershire and Gloucestershire. The starting point, from which 77 competitors were dispatched, was at Griffin's Hill, Selly Oak. Gus, riding his 2¼ hp Levis, won the Victory Cup for best performance and the Evans Cup for the most creditable showing by a member of HM Forces.

On May 17th he took part in the Week-end Touring Trial of the Birmingham MCC from Birmingham to Llangollen and back. Of the 41 competitors there were 34 survivors (of which Gus was top of the list). "After breakfast on Sunday morning several competitors tried their luck on Alty Bady, the local piece de resistance. There were more failures than successes, as may be imagined in view of its precipitous nature. G Kuhn on his Victory Levis, and AG Bostock on a 2¾ hp AJS made clean ascents, and Kershaw (2½ hp New Imperial) got up with foot assistance. These were the only successful soloists." [The Motor Cycle, May 22nd 1919]

Lands End Trial.  Gus Kuhn on his 2½hp Levis with Newey 3½hp Ariel sidecar. This photo was taken by George Dalby who competed on his 4hp Triumph model H and sidecar which he had converted to all chain drive. All three of them completed the trial.
In early June Gus took part in the Birmingham to Land's End and Back Trial on his lightweight 2½ hp Levis. "Fifty competitors started out in fine weather for this somewhat strenuous trial. The going was good as far as the Minehead check. Riders had to climb Porlock, then proceed along the coach road to Lynmouth, ascend the famous Lynton Hill, and continue through Loxhore to Barnstaple. The roads got very bad as the trial proceeded and proved too much for many of the lightweights. Gus made a 'good showing' on Porlock and Lynton hills. The return journey was started on Tuesday morning, but it did not present the difficulties that the outward journey did. Although the course was severe enough to weed out over 50 per cent of the competitors, if it had been wet it is doubtful if 10 percent would have run to time. The tired and dusty competitors reached the finish of their 605 mile run, where 26 checked in. The run was rather remarkable for the way the 2½ hp solos and 3½ hp with sidecars ran to time and climbed the hills." [Motor Cycling, June 18th 1919]

In September Gus was at the Wolverhampton MCC open Hill Climb at Style Cop. There was a large attendance despite a railway strike and petrol shortages. Gus was 2nd in Class 4A (on time) on his ever faithful Levis. A few weeks later he won the Palmer Cup Trial.

In November he took a 2¼ hp single-geared, belt-driven, two-stroke Levis Popular on an epic journey from Birmingham to John O'Groats, onto Lands End via Birmingham and ending at the Motorcycle Show in Olympia, London. The journey took eleven days in atrocious weather. It was a tough trial for both motorcycle and rider, battling through snow and ice. Click here for the full story.