Lot 391

Hershey 2023

1928 CWS Federation 350 Lightweight

Offered from A Private Collection


$5,463 USD | Sold

United States Flag | Hershey, Pennsylvania



Engine No.
Bill of Sale Only
  • A fantastic and rarely seen specimen from an innovative British marque
  • Powered by a 350-cc single-cylinder, chain-driven engine with two-speed Burman gearbox
  • Desirably equipped with Lucas carbide headlamp, front mudguard, Powell & Hanmer “Revenge” carbide taillamp, and biflex forks
  • Accompanied by historic registration plates

The Federal and Federation motorcycle brands were produced in formidable volume by the Cooperative Wholesale Society Organization (CWS) at its sprawling factory in Tyseley, Birmingham, England. Not to be confused with the Polish motorcycle manufacture of the same initials, England’s CWS utilized an innovative cooperative retail framework, thereby enjoying a global presence throughout the British Empire thanks to a wide variety of member businesses.

From 1926 until the end of CWS’s motorcycle production efforts eleven years later, the Federation-series models could be had with a lineup of optional engine choices supplied by JAP and Villiers, which went from 172-cubic-centimeter single-cylinders all the way up to 670-cubic-centimeter V-twin racing units.

Though CWS never produced marketing materials that touted the superior racing capabilities of its products, in the great tradition of all self-powered means of conveyance, these CWS Federation Lightweights were almost immediately entered in road-racing events across Britain and Ireland, where they enjoyed considerable success.

Presented here is an attractive and rare specimen of the CWS Federation brand. Based on the serial number of its 350-cubic-centimeter, side-valve J.A. Prestwich engine, this Lightweight model is believed to have been produced for the 1928 model year. A correct-type two-speed Borman gearbox funnels power via a chain to the rear wire wheel. The motorcycle’s front and rear fenders are, rather interestingly, still fitted with a pair of UK registration plates of the correct and very early “dateless” style.

This Federation 350 is desirably equipped with front and rear carbide lamps, which offer superb visibility. The front of the bike is particularly well considered, as the rider is insulated from harsh vibrations by a set of biflex-style forks and protected from debris kicked up during a jaunt on a backroad by way of the front fender’s integrated mudguard.

Very few surviving examples from CWS Federation are to be found outside the United Kingdom, making this handsome 350 side-valve Lightweight a tremendous opportunity to acquire a rarely seen model from one of Britain’s earliest and most ubiquitous motorcycle manufacturers.