IXION WAS ON GOOD FORM: “As our old readers know, I am an unrepentant heretic on the subject of silent machines, and as such am boycotted by the rest of our editorial staff. My chief excuse is that I am a country mouse, and whenever possible reside away from roads which are designed with a straight-edge and infested by trams. On my way home recently, for example, I negotiated no fewer than eleven absolutely blind corners. On roads of such a character noise is the only valid insurance. It is good for me to make as much noise as I can, and if I meet another fellow near any of these corners, I prefer his machine to be as noisy as possible…I have not the least wish to ride a noisy machine where noise is useless. My own ideal is three- fold. I should wish my buses to be: 1. Genuinely noisy when noise is, in my discretion, a safeguard. 2. Absolutely noisy when noise is, in my discretion, a safeguard. 3. Free from mechanical noise at all times. My present mount makes a moderate noise at all times; and 50% of its noise is mechanical noise. Wherefore from my standpoint it is just about as bad as a machine can be. One of my neighbours has an Indian which on small throttle openings creates no sound beyond the mild swish of well-lubricated chains. I often wish the fellow’s silencer would fall off. He is a daring cornerist, and has little use for a hooter. If he does not die or move presently, I shall. Anyhow, if and when the powers that be compel us all to ride machines which are dead silent I shall emigrate.”
“THOSE WHO HAVE ONLY JOINED the motor cyclists’ fraternity during the past few years find it difficult to realise that about fifteen years ago the motor cycle was threatened with extinction. It had been tried by a comparatively large number of makers, but in its early state of development it was found wanting, and was dropped out of their programmes. A small ‘handful’ of makers and The Motor Cycle, however, had sufficient confidence to ‘carry on’ against obstacles and prejudice. Among these firms the Rex Motor Manufacturing Co was one of the best known, and, although it made both singles and twins, it is for the latter type that the company is better known by latter day motor cyclists. Following the introduction of the Rex sidecar ‘single’, the old-established Coventry firm has now produced a twin on similar lines…The new model is a distinct departure from the pre-war twin Rex. It is larger all round, is fitted with 28x3in quickly detachable and inter-changeable wheels, and carries a ‘spare’ at the rear of the sidecar boot…The silencer pipes are of flexible tubing, bending in clean sweeps to a flat metal expansion chamber of large size, which is carried under the magneto carrier. From the engine to the Sturmey-Archer three-speed gear box the drive is by chain enclosed in a cast aluminium case, thence the drive is by belt to a separately built pulley wheel supported on its own ball bearing, which remains in position when the rear wheel is removed for tyre repairs…All wheels are well mudguarded, and as an ‘extra’ a pair of patented detachable winter guards is supplied for affixing to the valances of the front wheel guard. These increase the width of the guard by 400%…Plated parts are conspicuous by their absence, the handle-bar being finished black, as are most of the fittings. The Rex cantilever spring saddle-pillar is fitted as on the single-cylinder model, which it also follows as regards colour scheme, the tank being black with purple panels. Most of the constructural features of the ‘single’ are retained in this new model, which, incidentally, will be known as the Model 66.”
“THOSE WHO HAVE FOLLOWED THE PATENT Files during the past two or three years will recall that quite a number of inventions relating to motor cycles have been protected by the Coventry Acme Motor Co, Ltd. These patents may have led many to expect the ultimate introduction of an Acme motor cycle, embodying unconventional and novel features. That such a machine has not fructified may be due to manufacturing difficulties preventing experiments. Be this as it may, the Acme machine now introduced follows more or less conventional lines, and appears to conform to most of the ideals of the big twin sidecar owner…The engine fitted is the 8hp JAP, adapted to the special requirements of the Acme Co. Here lies the chief novelty, for the magneto is driven from the main drive side of the engine, and not from the timing gear, as is usual with JAP engines…At every point the framework is of a most substantial character, and accessibility has not been overlooked…Both the large tank and the sidecar body are finished in light grey, trimmed with a dark shade of the same colour, and at the rear of the sidecar there is a large locker, in the form of a ‘boot’, to which is fixed the carrier for the spare wheel.”
The Rex and Acme debutantes are clearly all but identical. This is no coincidence; the following year the two firms would merge to form Rex-Acme.
GEORGE D ABRAHAM, (“AUTHOR OF MOTOR WAYS in Lakeland”) reported: “When Mary Riley, the noted Enfield enthusiast, smilingly suggested a half-day on the hills, the absence of spring frame on her handsome new Enfield mount was no excuse for refusing the invitation. Moreover, pleasant memories of former excursions, notably the first lady’s drive over Wrynose and Hardknott Passes, added force to the suggestion. The idea was to explore some new hills, and, with this purpose in view, we set out from Keswick on a perfect afternoon with sunny Skiddaw all draped in full splendour of heather and golden bracken. Whinlatter Pass is familiar to North Country motorists and other touring parties, but the old packhorse road which ascends directly from near Thornthwaite is practically unknown, and this was the object of our search. There was just time on the levels to appreciate the pleasant running of the new model 8hp machine, which, despite the heavy load of three human beings and a camera, was to carry us up hill and down dale on the standard two-speed gear of 1 in 5 and 1 in 8.7. Too soon there came a quick turn lo the left from the main road, and we were bumping up the narrow old-world lane past a pretty Cumbrian farmhouse, where chickens with suicidal tendencies curbed the upward dash. The actual hill came with startling suddenness round the grey corner of a weathered barn, and there was just time to change to the lower gear before the first ‘hairpin’ was encountered. A ‘mere man’ had driven thus far, so it was no surprise to find the machine making a thrilling swerve on the grassy bend and finally floundering painfully to a halt on the steepest section. Then the lady driver showed us ‘how to do it’, and, after a new start from the bottom of the hill with two aboard, it was a pleasure to watch from terra firma the non-stop ascent. Ladies know all about ‘hairpins’ and the treacherous sample now engaging attention was negotiated most skilfully. Up and up the sturdy machine came, bumping and swerving as the driver keenly felt for firm grip on the steep, rugged gradient. At one point an unusual obstacle, in the shape of a drooping branch from an oak tree, had to be dodged cleverly below the toughest struggle, but this was passed, and ere long the writer was left to walk upwards with only the song of a pretty mountain stream stirring the soft silences of the gorge. Soon the others were rejoined, and with the three aboard the upper part was tackled speedily. The writer was unable to hear of any motor previously making the climb, and doubtless this was the first ascent of a sidecar outfit. The hill will be a useful discovery for some of the forthcoming trials.”
“ALTHOUGH the weather conditions on the morning of the fifth winter club run from London to Exeter and back, organised by the Motor Cycling Club, inspired great hopes of a pleasant run amongst the 148 riders competing in the trial, the gods favoured none. A slow sweeping drizzle set in at about 2.30pm to remain throughout the night of the 26-27th December, and create what was probably one of the most severe tests of both machine and rider yet experienced by the club…Regardless of the miserable conditions under which the plucky riders carried out the final preparations in readiness for their self-imposed task, the noise of the many machines was drowned in peal after peal of hoarse laughter from the throats of the dripping riders as each newcomer who joined the happy throng revealed an even more grotesque, yet amusing, figure by his method of defying. the wind and storm. Amusing variations in riding kit were also to be witnessed at the Bridge Hotel. One giant who, equipped in complete flying kit, entered with his passenger to partake of a final meal, commenced to perform numerous Houdini stunts in the endeavour to remove his six seamless coverings, and, after tying himself in a complete knot, had to be assisted by his passenger, who, to the intense surprise of the spectators of this curious cult, removed an oilskin helmet, from which coils of hair fell around two feminine shoulders. The number of lady passengers, however, who braved the ordeal emphasised the wonderful enthusiasm displayed by the fair sex…Quite a large crowd had assembled along the line of machines now drawn up in readiness for the start from the Bridge Hotel to give the plucky riders a final cheer as they sped on their 154 mile journey through the blinding storm to Exeter…Of the 126 starters, 95 tired and mud-bespattered heroes returned, some less mudguards and other equipment, petrol tanks bleached by the foaming acetylene of the previous night’s struggle; others so exhausted that many willing hands pushed the mud-clogged machine away…” Of the 31 solos that started the Exeter 26 finished the course. Nine riders won gold medals, eight won silver; six were disqualified. Of 62 combos 46 finished; 27 won gold, 15 won silver; four were disqualified.
“ALTHOUGH DESIGNED TO MEET ANTICIPATED demand for motor scooters the Marseel scooter is to all intents and purposes a miniature motor cycle, as the capacity of the engine is 232cc and a saddle is provided. The makers have aimed to produce a light runabout machine, comparatively cheap to buy and run, and extremely simple in operation. Bearing in mind that the potential buyers of such machines are not mechanical, the designers have endeavoured to make the mechanical elements as inconspicuous as possible. Thus when seen from the eye level of an adult the machine has the appearance of being a seat type scooter minus an engine. This is due to the fact that the power unit is located below the platform, and the tank takes the form of a shallow box acting as a front shield.”
THERE WAS MUCH TALK of incorporating ‘aero practice’ into motor cycle engines, but few designers took it as seriously as aircraft engine designer Charles Redrup. He produced a 3hp radial triple featuring detachable aluminium cylinder heads, slipper pistons, fan cooling, valves enclosed in the cylinder casting and a carb attached to the base of the crankcase. Monty Beaumont produced a motor cycle powered by the Redrup engine. According to the Blue ‘Un: “During our inspection the engine was several times started by swinging the fan-flywheel, and the maximum revolutions were quite extra- ordinarily high. Vibration was noticeably absent…The whole machine will undoubtedly attract great attention on account of its decided renunciation of standard motor cycle practice. In the near future we hope to subject one of these machines to a severe road test.” Beaumont did in due course start series production, but the power, alas, came from conventional 269cc Wall two-strokes and 348cc Blackburne sidevalves.
REDRUP’S RADIAL ENGINE powered three marques (the third being the British-Radial, designed by JE Manes using a Chater-Lea frame). The 688cc 5-7hp Coventry Victor flat-twin proprietary engine was adopted by no less than seven manufacturers, who were also supplied with an engine cradle designed to be bolted into their rolling chassis. At the other end of the weight range was the 100lb 2¾ 269cc two-stroke Moonbeam, marketed by the MRP Trading Co of Pall Mall, London SW1. It was designed to be ‘paddle started’; there were plans for a two-speed model.
LIKE THE ROMPER, THE MACKLUM SCOOTER was powered by a 2¾hp Union engine and designed by F MacCallum of Guildhall Buildings, Birmingham. The Blue ‘Un noted: “Following the reintroduction of the motor scooter during the past twelve months we are more convinced now perhaps than before that sooner or later the lightweight open frame machine will come… It will open up a vast field of potential buyers of handy little mounts, with which the use of special clothing will not be necessary.” The relatively large engine was said “to provide a very large preserve of power to enable the machine to climb any ordinary hill on a single gear”. Rear suspension and 16x2in wheels were designed to suit the Macklum for the colonial market: “A demonstration of the machine on the road gave ample evidence of the efficiency of the frame design, which is patented in most countries, and we await with interest further developments in the form of a machine which will have the same extended scope as a motor cycle.”
“PETROL CONSUMPTION: THERE APPEARS to be an impression among present-day motor cyclists that their petrol consumption is greater than it should be. Frequently we have heard the remark that post-war spirit does not give the same mileage as that used in 1914. For this reason the results given in the judge’s report of the Liverpool MC Trial held last autumn are of interest. Six riders of 3½hp Sunbeam machines showed an average consumption of 101mpg. The best performance in any class was that of Captain AW Brittain, 123.7mpg. The consumption of lightweights and sidecar machines was disappointing. Twelve riders failed at the easy limits imposed in this test. A modern 8hp sidecar machine should be capable of travelling 45 miles on a gallon of petrol, and efforts should be made by manufacturers to attain this result. Best performances in the various classes: 350cc, A Moses (2¾hp AJS), 108.2mpg; 500cc, Capt AW Brittain (3½hp Sunbeam), 123.7mpg; 750cc, W Cottle (4¼hp BSA), 118mpg; 1,000cc, RR Coes (7-9hp Indian), 87.6mpg; 750cc sidecar, V Horsman (4hp Norton sc), 83.6mpg; 1,000cc sidecar, WR Haggas (8hp New Imperial sc), 53.4mpg.
“WHY FIT AN ENGINE? BRITISH LIGHTWEIGHT manufacturers must look to their laurels if they are to keep pace with Continental developments! A French invention intended to be fitted to any form pedal cycle consists of a flywheel interposed in the pedal chain drive, its functions being controlled by a clutch. The inventor claims that his device eliminates fatigue, as an occasional stroke of the pedals is all that is necessary to keep the machine in motion, and that the gyroscopic action of the flywheel stabilises the machine. Also, of course, it is pointed out that energy is stored in the flywheel for use when needed. For the benefit of unmechanical readers, it may be stated that from the very best design of flywheel it is impossible to obtain quite as much energy as is originally put in, so that unless the roads are specially designed with a long downhill section before each slight rise, one will still have to pedal one’s cycle, with the additional weight of the’ flywheel, clutch, and gear.”
“AN OIL TURBINE TO BE ADOPTED as an auxiliary power unit for a bicycle: The inventor of the bump bicycle, as it is called, has adopted a different system from our French friend…The Bump is in no sense a motor bicycle as we understand it, but is intended to be a motor-assisted bicycle…There is a cylinder attached to the saddle tube of the bicycle, provided with an’ ordinary tyre valve at the top. Air is pumped into this by means of an ordinary bicycle pump to a pressure of about 15lb to the square inch. The lower portion of the cylinder contains oil, on which a float rests, thus separating the oil from the air chambers. The pump is attached to the back of the saddle, and is operated by the saddle moving up and down, owing to ordinary undulations in in the road. It serves to pump the oil from the small reservoir over the rear wheel—the exhaust chamber, as it were—to the large reservoir, which in turn delvers it to a small Pelton wheel. This is situated on the top of the oil tank. The power is conveyed to the rear wheel by means of a chain, and the flow of oil is controlled by a lever on the handle-bars. Similar pumps can be attached to the front wheels when they are sprung…It is handled by Central Traction Ltd, 125, Wool Exchange, London, EC.”
“SIR,—IN VIEW OF THE LARGE number of motor cyclists who will be visiting the lOM for the TT Races, there is a very vexatious and unnecessary regulation which all motor cyclists and car owners have to comply with and, I am sure, would like to see abolished, viz, all motor cyclists and car owners must register themselves and motor cycle within twenty-four hours of landing, and if they reside on the island over one month they have to go to the expense and trouble of taking a Manx registration out. As this unnecessary regulation is not in force in any other part of the United Kingdom, I should like to see this letter published in The Motor Cycle, and brought to the notice of the RAC, AA, and ACU with a view to the above vexatious and unnecessary regulation being abolished.
MOTOR CYCLE EXPORTERS WERE RISING, but they had not regained pre-war levels. In 1913 16,850 motor cycles were exported; 1914, 20,877; 1915, 10,979; 1916, 12,851; 1917, 14,159; 1918, 5,652; 1919, 8,330. One pundit warned: “There will be an ever-increasing demand at homes for machines: a demand that is likely to lull to sleep the faculty for a full realisation of the gigantic possibilities of ‘foreign’ demand, for not only is there the white population of such places as Lidia and China to consider, but also the coloured races. Let it be remembered that the enlightened population of India and China is a large one, and, judging from correspondents’ letters, it is interested in the cheap and simple type of motor cycle. The world’s demands for motor cycles is huge, and the makers who have imagination, mettle, and push, will reap a big reward: there is no question whatever on that point.”
“IF EVER ARGUMENT WAS WANTED to emphasise the desirability of encouraging in every possible way the production of home-produced fuel, either power alcohol or benzole, the constant threats of increased petrol prices, once more before the motoring public, provide it. For some time carefully prepared propaganda has been appearing in the daily press preparing consumers of imported fuels for impending rises in prices for which the increased cost of freightage is largely blamed. So long as imported petrol is the fuel used by the majority, the chances of an unexpected rise in price will always threaten motor cyclists and motorists of this country. This journal has ofttimes pointed out the absurdity of an important key industry, such as the automobile industry of this country represents, being nominally ‘controlled’’by the petrol ring. The British Government has constantly been urged to take action to develop a home-produced fuel and to control our own oilfields abroad.”
IXION ON HELMETS: “…if by helmets he means those pseudo-airman, hun-crash, leather skullcap brain-warmers, I have no use for them. If the sun is shining, you get dazzle-blindness. If it hails, your eyes get mashed to a pulp. If it rains, there is a river down your back. Dismounted, you feel—and look—an idiot, unless you carry a Saxe-blue velours flapper-dazzler crushed up in your side pocket, and at the present price of velours I cannot afford to do that. When the war was on, things were different. You could walk down Bond Street in one of those helmets, and some dear old patriot probably, mistook you for Warneford or McCudden, and invited you to refresh at his expense. Nowadays one just feels silly in them. Next, please.”
“AT THE SIGN OF THE TIN HAT: An association, called the Ex-Service Professional and Commercial Association, has recently been formed, with the idea of providing means of distinguishing the fact that members served in the war. A badge, called ‘The Sign of the Tin Hat’, will be issued to members, which can be displayed in office or garage, as the case may be. The head office is at 38, Piccadilly, London, W.”
“EVERY MORNING THE MOTOR CYCLE letter-bag reveals the extent of its world wide circulation…This last week letters were received from Belgium, France, Austria, Australia, Canada, India, Japan, West Africa, Egypt, Peru, and the Straits Settlements.”
“A SIGN THAT WE HAVE FINISHED with the war, and that more or less peaceful conditions now prevail, is that representatives of the world’s motor cycle organisations met last week in London. The conference of delegates of the Federation Internationale des Clubs Motocyclistes was notable for the undoubted good spirit which animated the whole proceedings…It was affirmed that in New Zealand there are more motor cyclists in proportion to population than any other part of the world…In France, Belgium, Holland, Switzerland, and America, demand and outputs continue to grow, placing the world’s motor cycle industries in an important position in the commerce of the nations…The position of Germany and Austria as members of the FICM is now defined. Our late enemies are to be permitted to join when they are admitted to the League of Nations…In America the body governing competitions is a Trade organisation…It may be said that the motor cycle movement across the Atlantic has been built up more by trade propaganda than by riders themselves. The system has been highly successful, and since the ‘trade’ took over the duties for which in this country the ACU is responsible, there have been better organised competitions than at any time during the life of the Federation of American Motor Cyclists, which has now ceased to exist. The Motor Cycle and Allied Trades Association of America, therefore, is accepted, subject to endorsement by the Automobile Club of America, as a suitable body to represent United States motor cyclists at the FICM…Speaking at a dinner at which all the foreign delegates of the FICM were present, Mr WH Wells, of Indian fame, said that the motor cycle was the surest antidote against Bolshevism.”
“ARTIST’S LICENCE? MR JB DUNLOP, the inventor of the first practicable pneumatic tyre, is bringing an action against the Dunlop Rubber Co, Ltd, to restrain them from publishing in their advertisements the figure now so well known, and which represents Mr Dunlop in ‘absurd costumes’. For some time, Mr Dunlop complains, the Dunlop Co have used, without permission, pictures obviously intended to represent him, but the features adapted from a portrait were placed on the body of a very tall man, dressed in an exaggeratedly foppish manner, wearing a tall white hat, white waistcoat, and carrying a cane and an eye-glass, none of which it was his custom to wear. Below we give a portrait of the veteran inventor, who is now seventy-nine years of age, together with the figure used in the Dunlop Co’s advertisements.”
“PETROL SHORTAGE IN ITALY: It is difficult to obtain petrol in Italy. All motorists are on strict and low rations. Tyres, too, it is stated, are difficult to obtain.” The RAC advised members to delay taking vehicles to France where petrol was also is short supply, particularly in the South.
A 36-HOUR WINTER TRIAL in the Netherlands attracted 63 entrants; 55 completed the 94-mile course. Triumph, Matchless, Scott, and Douglas were strongly represented; a Douglas rider won.
“MORE MOTOR CYCLISTS THAN CAR OWNERS: There were only 116,600 motor cycles registered in Great Britain and Ireland up to March, 1919—a figure less than the weekly circulation of The Motor Cycle. In 1915-16 158,000 motor cycles were licensed, and it is expected that when the figures for March 1920 are available, it will be found that the 1915-16 figure will be at least equalled. In 1915-16 there were 9,200 fewer cars registered than motor cycles, while the 1919 figure shows 3,600 motor cycles in excess of cars.
JUST BEFORE THE WAR Willoughby Cotton was inspired by judges’ criticism of frame design in the open trials to design a triangulated frame. “The result is light, strong, and rigid construction, eliminating the chances of breakage through fatigue of metal to a minimum. Such construction should also prevent misalignment of wheels and provide extraordinary stability. The spec included a Villiers two-stroke engine, Albion two-speed box, chain/belt transmission and Saxon forks.
IF WE WERE TOLD that we could sow a few petrol seeds in our gardens in the spring and reap a crop of petrol in the autumn, our first impression would be that our informant was either joking or mad. Yet, although the statement would not be true of petrol, we have only to substitute the word ‘alcohol’ to make it very near to the truth… One of the greatest evils in the history of motoring is the ‘cornering’ by the oil syndicates of practically all the large natural oil deposits in the world. This has led to the inflation of prices paid for petrol, and, as long as petrol continues to be the recognised motor fuel, so long will the motoring public suffer from this trouble. It is on account of the limitations imposed on the supply of petrol at a reasonable price that other fuels have of late years been sought after. Benzole, made from coal tar or coal gas, has, to a large extent, replaced petrol, and has the advantage that it is a home-produced product. Here, however, the same difficulty of a limited supply presents itself with all the attendant evils of monopolisation by a comparatively small body of men. On this point alcohol scores. It has been proved that the manufacture of alcohol from potatoes and other vegetables is a commercial success. No amalgamation of firms would seriously attempt to ‘corner’ potatoes, for the simple reason that a rival syndicate has only to plant one potato in order to produce, in a few years, as many more as it requires. Unfortunately, however, alcohol is liable to a heavy duty in this country, and the payment of this duty makes its price very high. Steps are being taken by various organisations to try to persuade the Government to see the folly of its ways, and it is hoped that, in the near future, alcohol will be obtainable at price much below that of petrol…Our Continental neighbours, notably France and Germany, and later, Russia, have successfully used alcohol as a fuel for many years past…the ordinary fitments for petrol engines are not well adapted for alcohol. It is found, however, that a mixture of two parts alcohol and one part benzole can be used in most of the existing makes of carburetter as readily as petrol—in fact, with marked advantage, as, for some reason not yet fully investigated, the presence of a little water, which always exists in alcohol, gives smoother running. (Incidentally, the fact that water mixes freely with alcohol renders it possible quickly to put out an alcohol fire with water—a thing which cannot be done with petrol or benzole.)
LETTER FROM AMERICA: “THE Crotona Motor Cycle Club, of New York City, started the 1920 competition season off well with a 150 miles reliability run that left New York at midnight. The course was VIA Albany Post Road to Poughkeepsie and return on a 20mph schedule. About 58 miles of the run was through ice-rutted roads, with snow averaging seven inches in depth. Thirty-six riders faced the starter, and were sent off at one-minute intervals, twenty-seven sidecar outfits and nine solo machines comprising the field. The Indian sidecar won highest score with 1,000 points, which took a gold medal and the Hendee trophy. The Indian solo rider with 988 points won a gold medal in his division. The Indian Scout scored 949 points. A lady driver, with a passenger of the same sex, scored 915 points. The Crotona MC will award three gold, twenty-six silver, and nineteen bronze medals, passengers sharing equal awards with the drivers. The run brought out much winter equipment, handle-bar muffs, splash- boards, and rain clothes being in evidence. Most riders using electrically equipped machines added Kay Bee Spot-lights to their handle-bars, or for the sidecar passenger to operate. These Kay Bee lamps are fitted with 21cp nitrogen lamps and are swivelling, so that all parts of the highway may be illuminated. Three and four lamps were used by some contestants, which gave a good imitation of sunlight, and permitted of high speeds.”
“IN A REPORT FROM the Bureau of Mines in the USA it is stated that probably all existing underground reserves of oil in that country will be exhausted by 1928.”
“THE OLDEST MOTOR CYCLING CLUB in Belgium, the Moto Club Liegeois, has recently been authorised by his Majesty King Albert to take the title of Royal Moto Club Liegois. Sixty-five members of the club joined the Army at the outbreak of was, and they distinguished themselves as despatch riders, in the air, and technical services, and in fighting corps.”
“PRINCE ALBERT AND PRINCE HENRY were seen last week with their Douglas motor cycles at Robinson’s Garage, where they called in the ordinary way for some minor adjustments. Their Royal Highnesses are using their machines in a similar manner to other members of the University for the purposes of keeping engagements or reaching the gold links or river.”
“A PARTICULARLY INGENIOUS SCOOTER has lately been constructed by Mr F Hudlass, engineer to the Royal Automobile Club, in his private workshop. From the constructional point of view it is a most excellent job, practically every part, even the hub, having been built by its designer. An Auto-wheel engine is fitted though Mr Hudlass considers that a more powerful unit would be desirable.” The frame was sprung by leaf and coil springs adjustable to suit the rider’s weight. “The design of the front forks is most interesting, and Mr Hudlass hopes that they may serve equally well on motor bicycles as on scooters. With them side play is quite impossible, while of the four springs the two inner ones are in tension, while the two outer are in compression, and serve to take the rebound. The lower portions of the fork tubes slide into long outer tubes filled with oil…Not the least ingenious part of the vehicle is the luggage box. When the lid of this is raised a small cushioned seat is disclosed, which is first placed in position and then laterally extended; consequently the Hudlass scooter will suit equally well the rider who wishes to stand and the rider who prefers to sit.”
“OWING TO THE RAILWAY STRIKE in Italy, the supply of petrol to all motorists, even the holders of ration cards, is completely suspended.”
THE AA LAUNCHED A PETITION demanding action to control fuel prices, proclaiming: “The exorbitant price exacted from the British public by the petrol interests is directly increasing your cost of living, and bids fair to strangle road transport and the motor industry. To live, it is essential that you should be fed, clothed, and housed, all of which are bound up with the road transport question. It is also necessary for you to travel by road by some form of motor traction or another. Do you realise that the oil magnates are practically deciding how much yo shall pay for the privilege of living in your own country and travelling over its roads? This is the direct result of being dependent upon imported motor spirit, shipped here by combines, over whom our Government can exercise no control. Every year many millions of money pass from the pockets of the British public into those of the oil kings. All this can be prevented, and those millions can be kept in our own country. Our common interests in this vital matter can only be attained by bringing home forcibly to the Government that immediate action is necessary.”
“SUGGESTIONS ARISE FROM TIME TO TIME that driving licences should not be issued without regard to the applicants’ qualifications, and the most recent suggestion is that the eyesight of all prospective drivers should be tested under various conditions.”
OF THE 69 STARTERS IN THE PARIS-NICE TRIAL no less than 60 were riding British bikes. The Motor Cycle described the Paris-Nice trial as “largely a competition for British prover owners of motor cycles and manufacturers of British machines.” That was no exaggeration: 60 of the 69 entrants rode British bikes; 10 were on US mounted with six French bikes and three Italians. “It is a matter of sore disappointment to the organiser, Mr Gaston Sweerts, editor of Motorcyclisme, that French manufacturers have taken such a lukewarm interest in the event.” This was understandable: “France has suffered more—much more—than any other country in the war. That fact is plainly evident from the moment one touches French soil. Road neglect, dilapidated cars and lorries due to inevitable overwork without periodic attention, and dwellings crumbling and rotting are evident on all sides.” No wonder the roads were found to be “execrable”: Messrs Petty and Horsman reacted by removing their sidecars to tackle the event on solos. French customs insisted on searching riders and bikes for contraband and while the organisers were extremely hospitable, seeing the trial as “a continuation of the splendid alliance which existed between the two great nations”, there were lapses in the entente cordiale. “Geoffrey Hill, who is riding the same Triumph on which he won the Scott Trial, was refused petrol at a garage simply because they did not cater for motor cyclists…Several of the competitors took part in the two previous Paris-Nice Trials. Of these, Douglas Hawkes, the driver of the AJS, was one, and Oblin (6hp Enfield sc) was another. The last
time we saw the latter was at Evreux on August 3rd, 1914, the day after the French Army mobilised. He was then a DR mounted on a Clement and wearing a Zouave’s uniform.” resumed…sidecar passengers were in two cases observed carrying the mudguards of their sidecars…the buzzing Scotts greatly attracted the attentions of the Lyonnais, who are great admirers of the English. The Moto Club de Lyon is an active body of enthusiasts, who gave the riders a very hearty welcome during the evening…The riders were soon, too, enveloped in frost, the whole countryside being covered with a white mantle of hoar frost. But the roads! Words can hardly describe the ruts and pot-holes. These excerpts from the Blue ‘Un’s report give an taste of the event: “…several French riders actually continued without lights—a remarkably dangerous procedure for themselves and other road users, but the sides of the road in France are notoriously loose…Naas (ABC) was towed into Dijon by a Douglas rider early on Saturday morning, and on the tramlines executed a hair-raising skid at the end of the rope affixed to his machine…The risks the French riders run are amazing! Brunell’s two-stroke Triumph and Greenwood’s two-stroke Connaught are the surprise of the trial, for they run most regularly and have climbed all hills with ease. The Scott rider’s team is complete, also the Sunbeam, and Harley-Davidson men are running like clockwork…Rex Mundy’s 3½hp Rover is going extremely well; but, curiously enough, his French passenger speaks not a
word of English, and Mundy admits that his French vocabulary is extremely meagre! Their signs, signals, and grimaces are, consequently, distinctly amusing…At Premeaux we caught up Major Empson, at first imagining that he had suffered a horrible accident, for we saw in the distance his AV monocar on its side. Closer investigation, however, showed that he had turned it over intentionally in order to fit a new spring, the original one having broken…Pletsier (Harley-Davidson sc) overturned while trying to avoid a wall, and managed to throw his passenger clean over it. Both got up again undamaged and It is no exaggeration to say that many were a foot deep. Passing competitors was next to impossible, and yet the sidecars scurried along marvellously well…Brunell preferred to ride between the tramlines as most others did, but when the track suddenly veered off to the right and a questionable macadam surface appeared he elected (in the dark of course) to continue along the lines and as a result, his front wheel dropped into a deep square gap between the rails and buckled the wheel Brunell was precipitated over the handlebars but, providentially, he was unhurt, though his front wheel was crumpled up beyond repair…The manner in which the French riders of the Harley-Davidsons, Indian, and Excelsiors blaze along, stopping every now and then to touch up any necessary parts, is an indication of the keen competition existing between them. On one occasion we were travelling at 40mph when a Harley sidecar easily passed us in a huge cloud of dust. A French rider whose consistent running has evoked general praise is EG Fery (4hp Douglas sc). Fery speaks English fluently, having spent a long time in this country. He has a cork leg, the result of an accident at Brooklands fourteen years ago, but as a private owner he manages his machine with remarkable dexterity. Columbel on a 2¾hp Douglas is riding equally consistently…One of the 1920 French models, the Benoit-Gonin—the driver of which was kissed on both cheeks on arrival at Lyons, where the Benoit-Gonin works are situated—is going splendidly. The Moto-Solo two-strokes are also splendid little lightweights, judging by the way they keep up to time…Psalty (Rover) had made a splendid roadside repair to his sidecar spring with a shackle and yards of insulation tape…Outside Le Luc, Milner (Diamond-JAP) broke a valve spring, was some time tracing the trouble, and then could not remove the spring. He lost much time, yet stuck on
gamely, but in endeavouring to make up time on the descent of the Esterels, he fouled a corner and he and his machine turned three somersaults, so he told us. The forks were bent and rubbing the tyre, the mudguard crumpled so badly that he had to remove it, but, not to be beaten, he carried on to the end, only to miss an arrow at the top of La Turbie…A goodly crowd had assembled on the promenade to greet the hungry riders who had survived 6½ hours’ riding on coffee and a roll. Machines and riders were promptly decorated with beautiful mimosa. Can it be wondered that lunch was welcome?…After lunch the road ran along the sea front to Nice, past glorious and sweet smelling flower beds. Orange trees were abundant…But the end was not yet, for an ascent of the sinuous La Turbie and on to Mont-Agel was arranged with a slow and fast hill-climb. It was extraordinary and only typical of French rules of the road that the riders were allowed to race up while cars descended. Capt Wood (Scott) encountered a car during his timed ascent, and was forced into soft gravel and fell—but neither machine nor rider was hurt…” At the end of four days’s hard riding 45 survivors rolled into Nice. “British Six Days Trials competitors agree in the opinion that the Paris-Nice event was—this year, at any rate—more severe than any six days event organised so far in Great Britain, which opinion will please the ACU, and interest ‘Six Days’ competitors. It may be argued that 750 miles in four days is surely no searching test for a modern motor cycle, but the fact remains that long stretches of notoriously pot-holey roads—the Rhone Valley in particular—comparable with nothing we know in the British Isles (the pave, the dangerous railway and tramway setts), accounted for many troubles, and a large percentage of those machines which survived the ordeal bore unmistakable traces of the severe strain that they had received…The competitors, headed by Kaye Don (Zenith), arrived in a bunch…The Atlas Garage, Nice, where the machines were stored at the end of the trial, was ideal for the purpose. The scene witnessed after the descent from Mont-Agel was of a kind never witnessed in England. The competitors drove in under their own power and in any order. They had all been riding in a bunch, so after three minutes’ exhibition of trick riding the place was full. The effect was curious in the extreme: first, dead silence, the clatter of the exhaust of the first man, then a terrific din, a mass of
laughing motor cyclists twisting, turning, and manoeuvring for a place, and then all was quiet once more…Of course, it was a race in French people’s eyes, and even the manager of the Hotel Atlantique, where we stayed, was more interested to know who had won than in the rooms for which we sighed, having had a total of ten hours sleep in four days. Truly, the competitors’ lot was severe, but pity the journalists, whose lot is not easy, and who obtain no gold medals! But the run was worth it all.” The trial concluded with a day of special tests and machine inspection. Up to 200 points were awarded for reliability (maximum 60), silence (20), non-stop (20) flexibility (30), brakes on level (20), brakes on hill (20), starting from cold (10), and spare parts (10). Best performances were: 250cc, E Dubost (Motosolo) 127.2 marks; 350cc, WM Greenwood (Connaught) 141.9; 500cc, Barthelemy (Rover) 150.8; 750cc, Kaye Don (Zenith) 154.9; 500cc sidecars, Guignet (GL) 125.5; 750cc sidecars, WD Hawkes (AJS) 135.5; 1,000cc sidecars, Verpault (Harley-Davidson) 146.1. Trade team prize: 1, Scott; 2, Harley-Davidson; 3, Triumph; 4, Sunbeam; 5, Harley Davidson team 2; 6, New Imperial; 7, Rover. Club team prize: 1, Moto Club de France; 2, Touring Club de France; 3, Ilkley &DMCC; 4, Moto Club Parisian.
PS: “QUITE A SENSATION HAS BEEN CAUSED in French motor cycle circles by the decision of the Union Motocycliste de France to refuse to accept the results of the Paris-Nice Trials. As a consequence the event must be considered as non-existent…[it is] very unfortunate for the British competitors who went to France at considerable expense and trouble, and who appeared to have won a victory. It naturally throws discredit on the whole motor cycle movement, for the hard fact has to be admitted to the general public that a sporting event to which great importance has been attached must be looked upon as a farce…In a conversation with one of the officials of the Union Motocycliste it was ascertained that the men responsible for this event were totally unable to furnish proof that the results claimed had been obtained. The lack of organisation extended throughout the event. No proof could be furnished that the individual riders had checked in and been checked out of the various controls between Paris and Nice.
“BELGIUM SEEMS TO BE PREPARING for great motor cycle developments, to judge from the exhibition just held at Brussels…So little is known in England as to what happened in industrial Belgium during the four years of German occupation, that the importance of this exhibition, coming only a little more than a year after the Armistice, will not be fully appreciated. Although in the greater portion of Belgium there are few external signs of the destructiveness of war, the factories were, without a single exception, stripped absolutely bare of both machinery and supplies, Thus, before it was possible to produce, new tools and machinery had to be sought and brought in from the outside, and the engineering shops had to wait until the steel plants were in production before they could do any real work. On this account, it is not surprising that the Brussels motor cycle show should be dominated by English makers, with a sprinkling of Americans and Italians…Although the FN did not exhibit at this show, it is understood that the firm is almost ready to make deliveries, and expects to produce 15,000 machines during the present year. These will be the well-known single and the four-cylinder types, with a number of detail improvements. The next most important Belgian firm is Sarolea, which exhibited a 3½hp single with chain-cum-belt drive, and a sporting type sidecar. There were two new firms, Gillet and Brevets Spring. The former exhibited two types of machines a single cylinder two-stroke and a twin-cylinder four-stroke.” Both featured unit construction and (as adoption) electric lights.
“ALTHOUGH AMERICA WAS THE HOME of the two-stroke boat motor, bicycle power units working on the same principle have not been nearly so popular there as in this country. The two-stroke lightweight is indeed particularly our own, only two examples having hitherto appeared in America, and both of these have been largely based on British design. A new machine, however, is now being manufactured in Chicago, which embodies several features not usually found in conventional two-stroke practice. Known as the Yankee, this new model is being made by the Illinois Motor Co. Its dimensions are 63.5×76.2mm. (241cc), and its power will therefore be in the region of 2½hp. Conventional three-port practice is not followed, since the induction pipe enters the transfer passage and is closed by an automatic valve, while there are two rows of ports in the piston, in addition to the transfer and exhaust ports in the cylinder walls. A separate casting forms the transfer passage, and this is bolted on to the cylinder, while an atmospheric inlet valve and cage is screwed into the former casting.” It was claimed to do 140mpg.
“IN RECONSTRUCTING THE FRENCH MOTOR CYCLE industry, the manufacturers of that country appear to have abandoned most of their pre-war designs. A large number of entirely new types have appeared. The 7hp Lutece is one of these new designs.” It’s spec, for 1920, was startling: 998cc in-line vertical twin unit-construction engine; a compressed air starter built into the three-speed gearbox that also served as a tyre inflator; shaft drive; leaf-sprung cantilever rear suspension; one front and two rear drum brakes—one rear brake and the front brake were linked and controlled by a handlebar lever that could be locked on as a parking brake, with a pedal controlling t’other rear brake; mag ignition with a dynamo for the lights; and forced-feed mechanical lubrication via a camshaft driven oil pump. All-up weight was about 400lb with a top speed of 55mph.
“WITH AN ‘OVERSIZE’ ENGINE”, ie, 1,114cc, the Harley-Davidson racing experts established new records last month on Daytona Beach, Florida, which extends for fifteen miles, and is said to be one of the finest stretches of open ground in the world. For the kilometre and mile distances the new solo records are well over 103mph with a 1,000cc engine, while 111.98mph is the figure with one of the new type ‘oversize’ engines. The rider’s name was Leslie ‘Red’ Parkhurst; during a week of record breaking he and his team-mate Fred Ludow also a sidecar record of 87.52mph over five miles—and Red’s other records included 107.86mph over five miles.
“IN THE ISSUE OF APRIL 22ND we published particulars of many new speed records set up last February on Daytona Beach by Harley-Davidson machines. News of still greater speeds has been recently received from over the water. On April 15th, and 16th the Indian racing experts made a successful attack on the above-mentioned records, covering the mile, with an eight-valve (998cc) Indian, in 31.1sec at the remarkable speed of 115.7mph. The same distance was made in 34sec by the Powerplus model, equal to 105.7mph, while a speed of 87.8mph was attained by a four-valve (500cc) Indian. The British record for this distance with a 500cc engine is 78.95 mph.” Gene Walker was the man in the Indian’s saddle. The previous year he had claimed six nation wins for Indian against Bill Ottoway’s Harley Davidson ‘wrecking crew’. Inevitably Indian was going to challenge Harley’s speed records so they followed Harley to Daytona and snatched 24 national and international speed records including the first FICM world record (the actual record was set at 104.12mph). To record his success India dubbed its Powerplus engine the Daytona, just as Triumph would do many years later.
THE BLUE ‘UN HAD AN ACTIVE US correspondent named EB Holton whose prose were as American as Ixion’s were English: “That venerable old gentleman, name o’ Father Time, he of the flowing robe, chin adornment and the grass cutter, has of late been treated in a rough and unseemly manner by motor cyclists here. These more-or-less-United States may be dry, but the fact does not keep an internal combustion engine from functioning. Every event this season on track or road has resulted in a battering of the former record.” Having detailed the Harley and Indian record blitzes at Daytona Beach, he pointed out: “…the electric timer has been certified for accuracy by the US Naval Observatory. All rules regarding the running of record trials as laid down by the FICM and the ACU were complied with, and on confirmation by the former body the marks will stand as world’s records.” And so, of course, they did. There was also news of the latest models: “The newcomer to American motor cycle ranks, the Ace, is now being road tested by its designer, WG Henderson. One passed through Newark last week on a long test that was successful, and the designer will go ahead with production, fifty new motor cycles being the planned output for the month of May…After much delay the 1920 Excelsior has reached the delivery stage. The new machine is a good looking outfit with sober Royal blue enamel, wonderfully wide mudguards and a sturdy front fork that is an adaptation of the old Henderson fork…Harley-Davidson are about to announce electrical equipment for their Sports model. It is understood that a generator of their own manufacture will be used…A successful four-cylinder Vee motor cycle engine has been designed and tested out by its inventors in Hartford, Conn.
“AN AMALGAMATION FORESHADOWED: We hear a rumour that an amalgamation is about to take place between several firms in the motor cycle trade for the purpose of producing a cheap utility type motor cycle at a price which will enable American competition Overseas to be met. It will be an all-British production.”
“A SHORT, SPORTING COURSE, a fine day, an early start, and good organisation. All these helped to make a success of the Sutton Coldfield and North Birmingham AC’s Colmore Cup Trial…The entry comprised almost every well-known make of machine, and amongst the most interesting we noticed that Albert Milner’s Diamond special overhead valve cylinder fitted to JAP crank case, the rockers being carried in an aluminium bracket bolted to the cast iron head—an adapted job very neatly carried out. Greenwood’s single-cylinder Sunbeam and sidecar had the experimental M-L lighting set incorporated with the magneto…F Porter made a marvellous show, riding a single-geared Levis, which he persuaded up the hills in a manner which would not have disgraced a machine of double
the engine capacity. FA Applebee (ABC) probably gave the star performance in the flexibility test from a spectacular point of view. He covered the slow portion at a speed little more than the limit for balancing purposes, and when he accelerated he skidded first to one side of the road and then the other, saving himself from falling by vigorous digs at the banks, and finally getting away with a terrific burst. Colliver, on a similar machine, gave a spectacular display in climbing the hill at speed…G Kuhn’s Levis literally sang with a very musical note up the hill, and its accelerative powers were probably equalled only by the ABC machines…Taking the performances as a whole, perhaps the most noticeable points were the sporting climbs of the single geared Nortons, the fine performances of the Levis and ABC machines, the wonderfully steady climbs of the light two-strokes, such as the Ivy, Verus, Allon, James, etc, and the steady pulling of the James, Enfield, and Excelsior sidecar outfits…the piece de resistance was the ascent of Gamble’s Lane…the smaller machines seemed to hold the road in the grease infinitely better than the heavy brigade…Charlesworth slid into the ditch repeatedly, but finally got away after receiving assistance…RM Brown’s passenger leaned over the Norton carrier to help obtain wheel grip…Riley (8hp Enfield sc) failed owing to repeated front wheel skids, JN Roberts (Verus) turned right round on the grease, and Busby (Verus) actually went through the Sudeley Park hair-pin bend test twice—he merely followed the arrows. He was successful both times, but the slip lost him twenty minutes. It was Busby’s first competition, and he rode very well throughout the trial. He is only a little over sixteen years of age…HFS Morgan emulated his performance of 1913 in the hairpin. He rode up the bank with his left front wheel and saved his machine from turning over by forcing it back to the normal with his hand on the ground. He did not stop…Fancy head wear is
again fashionable. One of the Ariel riders had a neat stocking cap of white, his passenger the same thing in scarlet.” Colmore Cup results: Colmore Cup, WB Gibb (3½hp NUT); 2nd, L Newey (6-7hp Ariel); 3rd, G Dance (3½hp Sunbeam). Team prize: Ariel L Newey, JL Stocks and FJ Watson, all on 6-7hp Ariel twins. Best performance by an amateur: JA Watson-Bourne (4hp Blackburne); 2nd, H Boynton (5-6hp James sc). Best solo performances: 250cc, WB Gibb (2¼hp Levis); 350cc, B Kershaw (2½hp Verus); 500cc, Eric Williams (3½hp NUT); 750cc, L Sealey (4¼hp BSA); 1,000cc, HJ Willis (10hp Reading Standard). Best sidecar performances: 500cc, G Dance (3½hp Sunbeam sc); 750cc, H Boynton (5-6hp James sc); 1,000cc, L Newey (6-7hp Ariel). Levis Cup, F Porter (2¼hp Levis single gear). Twelve riders won gold medals for non-stop and full marks; 32 won 1st-class certificates (lost up to 10 points); 16 won 2nd-class certificates (lost up to 25 points); nine won 3rd-class certificates (lost up to 35 points). Acceleration hill-climb test: FA Applebee (3hp ABC) and EA Colliver (3hp ABC), tied.
“MY NEW MACHINE,” IXION REMARKED, “was accompanied by an extremely exhaustive and praiseworthy ‘book of the words’. Delight at this novelty was tempered with wonder when I perused an audacious suggestion that, if I suspected air leaks in the induction system, I should run the engine inside a closed shed and hold a lighted taper near the joints. I hold my life cheap enough, goodness knows, but an air leak does not drive me so far towards despair that I leave it to the Fates whether I should die by fire or by asphyxiation.”
“WE CULL THE FOLLOWING from Court, Society, and Personal in Saturday’s Daily Mail: ‘”Sir Philip Sassoon, the Premier’s private secretary, returned to his duties yesterday after a week’s absence owing to a motor scooter accident. While ‘scooting’ in Hampshire he wanted to stop urgently, but through not having learned the mechanism sufficiently he pulled the accelerator instead of what he thought was a ‘stop’ lever. The result was a bad spill into a gravel bank. Sir Philip has now given up the scooter, and also an aeroplane which he bought last summer.’ Whilst sympathising with Sir Philip in his unfortunate accident, we can safely predict that he will give up all his mechanical toys if he persists in ‘pulling the accelerator’ when he desires to stop!”
“DETAILS OF A MOTOR CYCLE of original design has been sent to us from Italy. The engine has a bore and stroke of 88x82mm, (498cc), its single cylinder is horizontal, and it has overhead valves operated by overhead camshaft. Its ignition is by two plugs and a double-spark magneto. The gear, which is an extension of the crank case, contains three speeds, multiple-disc clutch, and a kick-starter. From this the drive is taken by a chain to a shock absorber in the rear hub. Both wheels are controlled by band brakes. A speed of 64mph is claimed for this machine, together with an entire absence of vibration. It is manufactured by Carlo Guzzi.” During the war three enthusiasts serving in the Servizio Aeronautico became friends and dreamed of building motor cycles. Carlo Guzzi serviced the aircraft flown by Giovanni Ravelli and Giorgio Parodi, who was heir to a shipping and armaments business. It was agreed that after the war Georgio would provide the finance, Carlo would design a world-beater, and Giovani, who had won races before the war on his Triumph, would ride in competitions to publicise the new bike. Soon after war’s end Giovani died in a flying accident; in his memory the Servizio Aeronautico eagle emblem was incorporated into the firm’s logo. The 1920 prototype, built by Carlo with help from his brother Giuseppe, bore the name GP, for Guzzi-Parodi. But when it went into series production the name under the eagle was Moto Guzzi.
“PERSONAL TASTE EXPRESSES ITSELF in some peculiar ways, but perhaps the strangest example of this connected with things motoring was a sidecar we recently saw, the panels of which were thickly enamelled a bright yellow as a background for intricate Chinese designs in black, gold, and red lacquer work. This highly ornate vehicle was attached to a New Imperial twin, and was apparently a private turnout, and not an advertising stunt. It this sort of thing goes on we shall be having sidecar bodies panelled with valuable oil paintings, or decorated with cameo carvings, or perhaps the newly ultra-rich will indulge in repousse panels of gold.”
“WITH MODERN MOTOR CYCLES, tools are not often required on the road, and careless riders are apt to leave them in their garages. Motor cyclists should remember that when a tool is required it is generally wanted badly.”
“A CORRESPONDENT WRITES to say that he recently received over 800 replies to one small advertisement in The Motor Cycle.”
“WHILE IT IS DOUBTFUL WHETHER the supply of sidecar machines will meet the demand this year, it would seem that there will be no dearth of lightweight motor cycles, for new ‘makes’ appear on the market every week. It is noticeable that most of these new motor cycles are fitted with either the JAP 2¾hp or the Villiers two-stroke engines, therefore the production of such machines is only limited by the productive abilities of the firms concerned, and also of those firms who supply gear boxes and frames.” The Birmingham-made Gough used the Villiers lump, with a Burman box and Brampton forks. The Ready put Weston-super-Mare on the motor cycle manufacturing map; it also used Brampton forks but with a JAP/Albion driveline.
“IT IS WITH REGRET that we notice a growing tendency to criticise the rules governing a competition after the event has taken place. Lately there has been far too much complaint concerning results; and, whilst we admit that in certain cases criticism has been warranted, yet it is much better to accept results in a sportsmanlike way, provided the condition of the trial have been observed. After all, the majority of club officials are honorary workers, and willingly give their time for the benefit of the pastime. If their commendable efforts receive such scant appreciation result will be declining interest…in many quarters the feeling is growing that a certain section of competition riders show no conciliatory attitude, their one object being to win or know the reason why. A little more of the true British sportsmanship would be welcome in the motor cycling competition world just now, and we sincerely hope that we may not find it necessary to revert to this subject again.”
“THE FIRST POST-WAR INTER-VARSITY motor cycle event resulted in a dead heat, each University gaining 32 marks…The event created a great deal of interest, and, considering the fact that the delivery of new machines is slow, the number of competitors was quite remarkable. Of the two universities, Cambridge produced by far the most entrants, and it is a curious fact that motor cycling has always flourished to a greater extent on the Cam than on the Isis. Among the numerous machines to be seen at the start, we noticed two of the new NUTs, a Beardmore-Precision, and one of the new flat-twin Harley-Davidsons. Among the competitors, the best known rider produced by Oxford was Openshaw, who is now a professor of engineering at the University, and is riding an overhead valve Zenith, the only machine of its type in the competition, which, as usual, was wonderfully fast, and well ridden. On the side of Cambridge, we noticed TV Prestwich, son of Mr JA Prestwich, of JAP engine fame, who was riding a Diamond…The event concluded with a slow hillclimb over a distance of 100 yards. Slipping of clutches or touching the ground with the feet was forbidden. The first three classes (250cc, 300cc and 350cc) were not counted, as Oxford could provide no entrants, so that Cambridge had a walk over in these events.”
READ AND ABSORB THESE WISE WORDS from Ixion: “Some fools go about the world proclaiming that motor cycling is an expensive hobby. Now, nobody has owned more thoroughly bad motor cycles than I have; I entered the hobby twenty years ago, and I am cursed with a simple and trustful nature, which puts me at the mercy of any glib sales manager. Nevertheless, even when one motor cycles under such a heavy handicap, the sport is a positive economy compared with other hobbies I could name. Take photography, for example. We generally fall under its spell during our first serious love affair…After a while we find that the camera does not produce pictures which are worthy of her…We discover that a £40 reflex camera with a £20 lens is desirable fr this purpose. We get it. So it goes on. Gardening is just as bad. Tulip bulbs are 3d each, but £6 per 1,000: it is obviously an economy to buy 1,000; we do so. We discover that standard apples are back numbers. We burn them during the coal shortage, and order cordons. It turns out that you require about 3,000 cordons to replace about three dozen standards: also that whereas cordons are listed at 1s each in the pre-war catalogue which inspired us to burn our acre of standard trees, they have now risen to 5s apiece. I make no charge for all this information, which is simply invaluable to all married motor cyclists. Now Mrs Ixion often grumbles about my bicycles—the number of them, the noise they make, their dirtiness, the company they get me into, the money I spend on them, etc. But she has also lurid memories of my camera days, and eke of a brief spell of gardening fever which once possessed me. So when I want a new motor cycle, I do not say, ‘My dear, Billy Wells writes to say he can do me a new 7-9hp Indian next week.’ Oh no. I remark casually that motoring in winter is a mug’s game, and that I think I shall make lantern slides or that it is absurd to pay 9d per lb for sour cooking apples, and that I shall rent a bit of ground and grow my own next year. There comes into her eyes that half-timid, half cunning look which wives wear when they think they are managing you. She says nothing at the time. At breakfast next morning she murmurs, ‘Darling, you do not seem to have had a new motor bicycle lately. Are you hard up? If so, I have still a few pounds left of Uncle Joe’s little legacy, and you have been rather a dear lately.’ Then I write to Billy Wells. Do not overdo it brethren. It is only necessary to coquet with photography or gardening just long enough to show them a husband may have worse faults than motor cycling. As detailed tips, I specially recommend a whole-plate reflex for photography on this system, and orchids as the best phase of the gardening stunt; they cost pounds, and they do not come into flower for ten years, if at all.”
“Sir,—The time is approaching when motorists must become desperadoes of the most savage type. On a recent Sunday, feeling energetic, I arose from the depths of an armchair and sought my motor cycle—a 7-9 hp Indian sidecar. I departed to where the only girl in the world lives (Don’t get excited, this is not a love story), and together we lobbed out into the country. The roads were good, the weather was bon, the ‘bus was going well, and she is a pretty girl. Yet I did not enjoy the drive. Why not? Now I will tell you. I first met them when I hit the Reigate Road at Sutton. I modestly sounded my Klaxon. Did they move? Not much: they remained four abreast. With extreme difficulty, I passed them. I did not hinder them. I realised they were cads, but I thought they were exceptions. Why did not I go home then? They were on Banstead Downs in their thousands; they were all over Reigate; they went round corners without looking round, without putting their hands out, without hands on handle-bars, and as far as I could see, without brains. Who were they ? I will leave it to your readers to arrive at the solution of this very difficult problem. Can nothing be done to remove this danger to motorists from the English roads anyway?
“AN UP-TO-DATE MOTOR SPIRIT bulk storage station has been installed by the AA at Aldermaston, on the Bath Road. This is the first of its kind, following American lines, which has been erected in Great Britain, and is the first of a series to be erected by the AA throughout the country. The AA does not make any profit on the spirit sold, but allows their local agent to use the installation for selling his own spirit. The installation also includes a telephone, a delivery pump, and the New Pelapone engine and electric generating set, delivering ‘free air’ through an air compressor, so that members’ tyres may be blown up while the tank is being filled. Water is also laid on for filling radiators. At the present it is only proposed to run a day service with an AA road patrol in charge, but if the service proves successful, as is anticipated, day and night service will be run. At the moment only benzole conforming to the AA standard is supplied. The service, of course, is available to members only.”
“A RECORD NUMBER OF MEMBERS sat down on the evening of Saturday last [March 13th] at the Old Ship Hotel, Brighton, Brighton, whither it has long been the custom of the MCC to hold its opening run, no fewer than 155 being present…The dinner was followed by a short speech by Lt-Col Charles Jarrott, OBE, who proposed the health of the club, and referred to its sporting members. He was glad to see such a fine attendance, and said that he thought if all this year’s competitions were supported so well as the opening run, 1920 would be a bumper year. He congratulated Mr WH Wells on the arrangements for the organisation of the dinner. Mr R Head (chairman), in reply…especially congratulated those who had turned up on motor bicycles. The Jarrott cup this year would be something to be earned, the entries were already a record, and it was anticipated there would be about 200. Other events this year would be the Edinburgh run, the team trials for The Motor Cycle challenge cup, and a race meeting at Brooklands. The President then presented the medals won in the Exeter run, and thereafter followed an excellent musical entertainment…Mr RDF Paul proposed the health of the President, who, in reply, contrasted the number of those present with the attendance in 1902–the occasion of the club’s first opening run, when, as Mr Candler, the only member present who took part in it had told him, only eight or nine members had arrived, and even then only after a continual struggle against adverse circumstances. Mr Jarrott said a few words about petrol prices and taxation. The authorities, he remarked, were anxious enough to ask motorists to come and help them when the country was in difficulties, but now they seemed to infer that motorists were jolly lucky to be allowed to use the roads at all. Mr Wells…hoped the MCC would get back The Motor Cycle challenge cup this year in the team prize. The journey back to town was made independently in breezy and cold weather.”
“THE MOTTO OF A CERTAIN American motor cycle club is ‘Neat Riders’. British clubs also would help the movement by encouraging their members to wear neat riding attire.”
“WITH THE OBJECT OF COMPELLING the South Metropolitan Gas Co to produce ‘the largest possible amount of benzole or other motor spirit by the gasification of coal’, a petition has been presented to the House of Lords against the Bill which the company is promoting for the purpose of altering the existing method of charges to consumers. The petitioners comprise the Automobile Association and Motor Union, the Auto Cycle Union, the Commercial Motor Users’ Association, the Cycle and Motor Cycle Manufacturers and Traders Union, the Royal Automobile Club, and the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders. It is submitted that gas undertakings can produce much larger quantities of benzole and other by-products, and that in the national interests of the conservation of coal and the maintenance of key industries they should be required by law to do so. It is estimated that over 30,000,000 gallons of motor fuel could be produced from the existing gasworks of the country if ‘scrubbing’ were universally adopted in the manufacture of gas. This home supply would be of material assistance.”
“PEARSON’S WEEKLY IS OFFERING a 3½hp Rudge-Multi as a prize in a new competition. PW readers are invited to make a sentence, the words commencing with the letters J-O-Y-R-I-D-E.”
“PUBLIC SCHOOLS MCC: AT THE recent annual general meeting, it was decided to allow schoolboys to join the club at a subscription of 10s 6d, without entrance fee, and to add to the list of public schools Blundells, Eastbourne, Cooper’s Hill, Oundle, and Cranleigh.”
CYRIL PULLIN, WHO WON THE 1914 Senior TT on a Rudge, came up with a state-of-the-art utility bike “which, whilst possessing a pleasing and compact appearance, is at the same time simple to manage, comfortable to handle, and clean to ride on all kinds of roads by riders of either sex”. Its 216c 3hp two-stroke engine drove via a two speed box to a fully enclosed rear chain. The Pullin also featured a pressed-steel frame and forks, swinging-arm rear suspension, combined magneto and lighting generator in the flywheel, auto-lube, and QD interchangeable wheels.
THE MOTOR CYCLE’S BUYER’S GUIDE listed every marque on the British market. Since the previous Buyer’s Guide in 1915 the number of firms producing motor cycles had risen from 85 to 108, between them they offered 203 models: “ABC, Abingdon, King Dick, Acme, AJS, Akkens, Alecto, Alldays-Allon, Ariel, Armis, Bat, Beardmore Precision, Blackburne, Bown-Villiers, Bradbury, British Standard, Brough, BSA, Calthorpe, Campion, Carfield, Cedos, Chater-Lea, Cleveland, Clyno, CMM, Connaught, Corona, Cotton, Coulson B, Coventry Eagle, Diamond, Dot, Douglas, Dreadnought, Dunelt, Duzmo, Edmund, Endurance, Enfield, Excelsior British, Excelsior American, FN, Francis-Barnett, Gaby, Harley-Davidson, Hazlewood, HB, Henderson, Hobart, Hoskison, Humber, Indian, Invicta, Ivy, Ixion, James, JES, Kingsbury, Lea-Francis, Levis, Lincoln-Elk, LMC, Martinsyde-Newman, Matchless, Metro-Tyler, Militor, Monopole, Mountaineer, New Comet, New Hudson, New Imperial, New Scale, Norton, NUT, OK Union, Olympic, Omega, Overseas, Paragon, P&M, P&S, Pullin, Quadrant, Radco, Raleigh, Ray, Reading Standard, Regent, Revere, Rex, Romper, Rover, Royal Ruby, Rudge, Saltley, Scott, Sheffield-Henderson, Sparkbrook, Sunbeam, Sun-Vitesse, Triumph, Velocette, Verus, Victoria, Vindec, Viper, Wolf, Wooler, Wilkin, Williamson and Zenith.
NEW BIKES WERE COMING onto the market all the time, many of them lightweights and scooters using proprietary parts.
IT SEEMS THAT THE FIRST British one-make club was dedicated to an American motor cycle. “Harley-Davidson MCC: A club for Harley-Davidson riders is about to be formed, which will cater generally for riders of these machines. The idea is to commemorate the services rendered by HD riders to wounded soldiers and sailors during the war. Club runs, competitions, and social functions will be organised.”
“WD OPEN LORRIES, PACKED with war-worn motor cycles, are to be seen daily on the Dover Road. Some are packed flat on each other; others are dumped in, front wheel foremost, or with the wheels upwards. It is said the machines are arriving via Richborough from the French dumps near Calais.”
“THE AUTO CYCLE UNION TO AWARD a special prize in future Tourist Trophy contests to the competitor displaying the greatest pluck and endurance in the race. This prize will be known as the Nisbet award, and will commemorate the late Mr JR Nisbet, chairman of the Auto Cycle Union from 1914 to the time of his death last summer. The classic motor cycle road race, held annually in the Isle of Man, certainly provides scope for the exercise of the finest sporting instincts, and it is well that these should be recognised by a special prize given in memory of one who was an example of the best type of British sportsman. At the same time the ACU has been wise to rule that any competitor who continues in the race while suffering from injuries will not qualify for the new award.”
“SIR,—MAY I, THROUGH YOUR COLUMNS, warn those readers of The Motor Cycle who anticipate using the main roads to the North-west during the coming [Easter] holiday carefully to avoid the Edgware Road between Cricklewood and Edgware. Between these two points the road is composed of muddy gravel, with a wood block centre upon which, after rain, the tramlines float as on a raft. It is practically impossible for a solo machine to negotiate this stretch of road after dark, unless its rider is thoroughly acquainted with the few places where the lines may be crossed with a minimum of danger. I should mention that in places, particularly in the region of the ‘Welsh Harp’, the road has sunk so considerably that the trams enjoy (yes, they do!) a permanent (?) way quite six inches higher than the road. To finish, I walked from Cricklewood to Hendon a few days ago, and in the space of one mile picked up the following articles from the road: One car crank case inspection plate, one leather drive for car lighting dynamo, and one bent Douglas footrest, from which you may draw your own conclusions. Perhaps had I continued further I could have obtained sufficient parts to assemble a complete ‘bus.”
Stanley J Band
“A BOOM AMONGST ARTISANS: As I [Ixion] anticipated when the wages of a scavenger began to surpass those of a head draughtsman, the agencies are experiencing a very keen demand from artisan buyers. I rejoice that it is so. Motor cycles for the million are an integral part of an England fit for heroes to live in, and will make for more happiness than taking over a small holding with a small capital and a sublime ignorance of agriculture. It is interesting to note that the artisan novice is concentrating on one type of machine, and with comparatively few exceptions on half a dozen makes of that type. He will have next to nothing to do with anything but the three-speeded single-cylinder tourist machine of 500-600cc, and he is a shrewd judge of the best values in that line.”
“THE WEATHER WAS KINDLY DISPOSED towards the 160-odd starters for the Motor Cycling Club’s classic Easter event. Starting from Hounslow at one minute after midnight, the first competitor travelled in darkness through Maidenhead, Reading, Marlborough, and Devizes, the grey dawn breaking before Bridgwater (130 miles) was reached. Breakfast at the White Hart came as a welcome relief to the eye-weary riders, while the Bridgwater Motor Co attended to the wants of the machines. The road to Minehead was so wet as to raise the gloomiest forebodings. Of course, the tit-bit of the run commenced at Porlock village, and extended for 15 miles over the noted hill of that name, across Exmoor, and up Lynton Hill. The schedule speed for this difficult stretch was reduced to 15mph, and a non-stop run was demanded. For once in a way, Lynton Hill proved more difficult than Porlock, for the surface of the latter has wintered well, and is in better condition than we have known it. There was a crop of failures, of course, many due to rank bad driving. A number of sidecarists ascended minus passengers, but, generally, the solo riders performed well. If Porlock is long and severe, Lynton is steeper, and a great
number of spectators gathered to see the competitors. Hugh Gibson (No 1), astride a two-stroke Clyno, led the way, and, hugging the dry patch beside the wall, made a splendid ascent. AJ Sproston (Lea-Francis) followed in equally good form. Garford (5hp Zenith) just got up by vigorous bumping on the saddle. Staunton (Triumph) did well, Gibson (4-5hp Zenith) doing better still. Chidley (Brough) got into a rut, kept going well round the corner, but stopped higher up. That veteran, WE Brough, charged the 1-in-3 section on the inside of the corner, and got to the steepest section when he had to assist his engine by footing. ‘W Cooper and Son’, on Lea-Francis and Douglas machines respectively, reached the difficult corner together; pater was too solicitous for his son, and failed on
the corner. The son was unlucky in running out of petrol near the top. Applebee and Colliver, on Indian Scouts, toyed with the 1-in-5 gradient, but Jones (Ariel) stopped with a broken chain…Quite the most impressive passenger ascent was made by H Dale’s 8hp Royal Ruby, whch climbed easily and surely and yet was silent…Dan Bradbury got quite excited as he yelled to his passenger to jump out, while he bumped vigorously on the saddle of his Norton sidecar outfit; he got up splendidly…A terrific crackle heralded the approach of Masters on a Harley-Davidson. He charged the inside of the bend at great speed, but stopped higher up only because his back wheel was spinning so fast it had no time to grip the the greasy surface!…Fell Smith (Harley) ran on the stones to avoid Sanford (Rover) and stopped…Boxer’s Matchless was so fast on the bend that the sidecar lifted.. For one brief moment the sidecar reared in the air, the bicycle still going, then the outfit righted itself and went on well. Allen’s Matchless did the same thing, but the driver had to turn into the bank to right the machine, and thereby bent the forks, so that he retired…Charlie Collier (Matchless) was good at first, though he had difficulty in keeping his front wheel straight. Near the top he came to a standstill…With really difficult hills left behind, competitors scurried on to Barnstaple, Holsworthy, and to the luncheon stop at Launceston. Clutch trouble, due to their severe gruelling on the Devonshire hills, was
not infrequent, and others were short of petrol. Beyond Bideford the road surface as far as Holsworthy was so villainous as to call down much invective on the heads of the organisers, but the lunch stop at Launceston put fresh heart into the tired competitors…the perfect surfaces of the Bodmin Moor roads were a delight to the heart and a source of much time saving. Good roads continued to Truro, where the old Land’s End route was joined. With the exception of the final ten miles and the rough going through the mining district, the final stretch to the extreme west of Cornwall was covered without untoward incident. As usual there was a hearty welcome for the survivors at the Land’s End Hotel, which was the scene of many a reunion of old friends. As might be expected, an inspection of competing machines revealed many interesting ‘gadgets’, both in the way of lighting and personal equipment. One rider even went so far as to attach a tin of cigarettes and an electric lighter to the top tube of his machine.” The Jarrott Cup for solos went to TS Sharratt (4hp Triumph); FA Applebee (4hp Indian Scout) was runner up; F Mighell (4hp Triumph) was 3rd. Gold medals were awarded to 42 solo riders; 13 won silver. WH Elce )10hp Morgan Grand Prix) won the Pettyt Cup for sidecars and cycle cars; C Chapman (10hp Morgan) was runner up; G Nott (8hp Matchless) was 3rd. Gold medals were awarded to 24 passenger vehicles; two won silver.
“FROM TIME IMMEMORIAL (SO FAR AS motor cycle history is concerned) the Market Place in the old town of Richmond in Swaledale, North Yorkshire, has been filled on Good Friday by the clubmen of the North-Eastern counties…The record is one showing the enthusiasm and keenness of the North Country riders, who, since 1907 in the days of fixed gears, belt-drive and accumulators have travelled for the most part with great regularity from all parts of Yorkshire and Durham. The event was undoubtedly the precursor of events which in more recent times have been organised on similar lines…The attendance, considering the mileages covered, was indeed evidence of the keeness of these northern riders, who apparently are not to be deterred by bleak moorland mists, raw and piercing winds, and a drizzle intermittently…The skies were dull, mists hung low on the hills, and only the castle stood out boldly, black and grim against the prevailing greyness…The York, Hull and Darlington clubs came in well
together. A buzzing of Scotts marked the arrival of the Ilkley club, and a contingent of NUTs dashed up from Newcastle. By mid-day the curiously paved square of river-washed stomes were alive with motor cyclist, who circulated amongst the orderly rows of machines, discussing the points of each, and noting with interest the many new machines and the ‘kinks’ and ‘gadgets’ to be seen…A meeting was held during the afternoon in the Market Hall, and the Mayor of Richmond (Mr FJ Hodgson) officially welcomed the motor cyclists to the town.” A silver cup and medals presented by the ACU to the club with the greatest percentage of members present multiplied by mileage were won by the Ilkley MC&LCC; bronze medals went to the Hull MCC as runners up; followed by Newcastle, Durham, Sunderland, Darlington, Wakefield, Northern, Hartlepool, Barnsley, York, Scarborough, Leeds, Rippon and Harrogate. The Motor Cycle presented a silver wrist watch to “the lady with the besy kept machine”, Miss E Dent (2¾hp 1915 Douglas); The Cycle ad Motor Cycle Manufacturers and Traders Untion presented a ladies’ long distance award to Miss SF Wilson (2¼hp Levis, 59 miles); £2 prize “for the owner of the best kept machine” (or as later rallyists called it, the Concours d’Elegance), CH Zissler of Darlington (1917 BSA); “Silver mounted brushes (presented by The Motor Cycle) for the most novel idea, WH Dodds, Newcastle (3½hp Sunbeam).
“A NEW CONSUL’S BADGE has recently been issued by the Auto Cycle Union. In future all consuls of the ACU will display this badge on their machines, and will thus be readily recognised by members. Motorists displaying it are especially qualified and equipped to assist ACU members, and have under- taken to do so within their respective districts. The duties of an ACU consul are many snd varied. He is, for instance, at all times ready to assist members regarding the selection, purchase or sale of a machine. He will advise them in any technical difficulties they may experience in the running or care of their motor cycles; or will, if circumstances require, make an expert examination and report upon any machine. The local consul will also assist members in legal, insurance, touring, and other matters. The consuls are each responsible for a radius of about twenty-five miles from their respective local headquarters, additional ones being appointed in especially populous districts.”
BROOKLANDS WAS BACK IN BUSINESS. The inaugural post-war meeting was scheduled for Easter but torrential rain delayed the action for a week. “The first glimpse of the recently repaired track, glistening in the strong sunlight, and the decent roar of the competing machines, revived fascinating thrills of the track after many years of anticipation. That the popularity of the classic sport continues could be observed by the many thousands of racing enthusiasts and the long lines of cars and motor cycles on the course. The first race, for solo machines of any class, arranged to start at the Fork at 2 o’clock, was the Victory Handicap, in which a distance of 8 miles 842 yards was to be covered. The competitors passed the Fork twice, and then entered the straight to finish at
the grand stand. Of the 27 entrants, 20 starters got away well. Although not entered in. the official programme, a very creditable start was made by Mrs Longden, astride a 2¾hp Douglas. Rapid acceleration brought this lady well to the fore, but possibly the wind resistance offered by her skirt spoilt her promising performance. J Woodhouse on his Matchless, although handicapped to the extent of 12 secs, rode well, whilst J Emerson, astride a racing ABC, literally swallowed up the yards amidst a crackle from his twin exhaust pipes. 0M Baldwin on a Matchless had bad luck and dropped out on the second lap, as also did E Kickham (Douglas), whilst momentary excitement was caused by the premature appearance on the straight of SF Garrett (Indian), who informed a representative of The Motor Cycle that the plug of his front cylinder had failed. From the start Emerson maintained a fast speed, and roared in first at the finish well ahead of the runner up, WA Jacobs on a Singer, the former rider having lapped at 66-7mph. Closely pursuing, GJ Mcintosh (Singer) took third place, whilst running at a short distance from each other the following finished in the order named: H.R. Harveyson (Indian), VE Horsman (VEH), H Martin (Matchless), and T Eve (Matchless). At the finish, Mrs Longden, who came in well, stated that the track was in places bumpy, otherwise it was a delightful
race…The next race was a sprint of three miles 76 yards for motor cycles of a capacity not exceeding 350cc…HE Wells (2¾hp Douglas) got away at speed, and held his pace, finishing little in rear of the winner, T Eve, on a Matchless, who lapped at 54.2mph. Closely following came WA Jacobs, on the Singer, securing third place, whilst E Longden (Douglas) and AF Houlberg, on a new and shining Wooler, finished well. The most enthralling race of the day then followed. J Emerson (ABC) and DR O’Donovan (Norton), two previous record holders on fast machines, were well in the running, and there was much controversy as to the likely winner…Eager faces strained to watch the two likely winners, visible as two tiny specks in the distance. Slowly they crept towards the stand, O’Donovan leading, Emerson pursuing closely. It was but within 100 yards of the finish that the ABC slowly crept up, the eager spectators gripped the railings, and in a most exciting finish J Emerson proved the winner. Well in the rear followed VE Horsman (VEH), who was then considerably ahead of the runners up. Emerson’s average speed was 64.3mph. The 1,000cc sprint race was of an equal distance to the foregoing…J Woodhouse on his eight-valve Matchless proved an easy winner, he attained a speed of 75.9mph over the lap. 0M Baldwin, another Matchless rider, followed, whilst third place was secured by E Remington oh a JAP-engined twin, HR Harveyson, on an Indian, following.”
“SIR,—FOR THE PAST YEAR it has been my ambition to ride in the London-Edinburgh run at Whitsun. I received my first shock at the Motor Cycle Show when the new machine I had ordered did a £20 jump. I never realised how much 1 had wanted it until I thought I had lost it. It was my ideal motor bicycle and none of the others would do as a substitute. After twenty-four hours of anxious thought I decided not to cancel the order. As the machine had electric light (and what an asset that would be in the London-Edinburgh!) Then came the day when I took delivery, and found that it more than fulfilled all my expectations. Comparing it with others (that have been rising in price steadily since the Show), it did not seem so terribly expensive. In a state of great enthusiasm I wrote for particulars of entry for the London- Edinburgh. Then the second blow fell. Only members of the Motor Cycle Club can ride in it, and ladies are not eligible. I wrote to ask why, and the secretary answered that the subject had been discussed recently and turned down, but that an alteration of the rule might be made another year. I know nothing about motor cycle clubs, but, I presume, the housing problem is responsible for this. I suppose the MCC has premises in London, and the inclusion of ladies among the members would mean extra rooms at the club. Probably, at present, the number of ladies who would join would not justify this outlay. I wonder, though, if, for a reduced subscription, they could not become merely riding members. It does seem hard that a boy of fourteen and a half years may ride in the Jarrott cup trial, while we, just on account of our sex, are ruled out of everything. It is very disappointing. Are there others who share my feelings on this subject? I enclose a photograph of the aforesaid ‘ideal machine’.
(Mrs) E Manvell.”
A STATEMENT WAS MADE RECENTLY by Sir Marcus Samuel at the Commercial Motor Users’ Association which is of particular interest to users of motor fuel. He said, during a discussion on the scarcity of petrol and the possibility of substitutes: “The Shell Co would take part in the distribution of any substitute for petrol which could be found on any terms the Government thought fair.” He and his brother would never sell out to the United States. The Government had had many chances of buying a controlling interest in the Shell Co, and had refused every one.
“PROBABLY NO OTHER FIELD attracts so many designers and makers of accessories as that of the motor cycle. Every week sees new ideas and new goods submitted for judgment and review, and we are able to deal with only a portion of them…This week’s selection includes a useful little accessory known as the First Aid Mechanic or FAM. It is a combination of nuts, bolts, and bars which can be used in a variety of ways for temporary repairs. The first day we carried it we found a use for it in holding together the broken ends of a mudguard stay. Its uses are too numerous to mention, and we recommend motor cyclists to send to the makers, B Young & Co, Leek Street, Birmingham, for particulars…Amateur mechanics will be interested in tool stands and work benches. The St Giles, made by St Giles Engineering Works, Northampton, is of wood and is collapsible, folding into a compact form for storage. It has no fewer than thirty tools, including grinder and vice. The dimensions are 3ft 6inx1ft 9inx2ft 8in high with four tubular steel legs and undershelf. Another bench is of metal and is on small wheels, the idea being that the bench may be taken to the job instead of conveying heavy parts to the bench. The size is 24inx24inx30in high, weight 2cwt 2qrs 14lb. It is made by the Progressive Engineering Co of Leicester, Denton…ER Wintle, the Midland competition rider, is marketing a bucket seat for the pillion. It is sprung on volute springs carried on sliding spindles, and small coil springs are also fitted to prevent undue movement when the seat is not occupied. It is made in two sizes (for adults and children respectively), is well upholstered, and is enamelled to match the machine. Another pillion seat which has a backrest is the latest model of the Ideal seat, made by the Coventry Ideal Pillion Co. The illustration is self-explanatory, it only being necessary to point out that the back rest is secured to the sprung part of the attachment. Still another pillion attachment is the CL, a speciality, of C Lamb, 32, Edmund Road, Saltley, Birmingham. It has adjustable springing, and it is claimed that side sway is eliminated. J Collyer and Co, of 133, Hockley Hill, Birmingham, send particulars of their legshields, which are made on the Venetian blind principle. Aluminium slats are mounted in a light steel frame and are capable of being fixed at will either in the open or closed position, providing protection in wet weather and in the summer, permitting air to be reflected on to the engine.
“THOSE OF OUR READERS who have often to leave their machines exposed to all weathers will find the motor cycle cover brought out by the Howard Car and Cycle Cover Co, 41, Fetter Lane, London, EC4, to be an exceedingly useful accessory. The cover is made of water and rot-proof canvas, shaped to fit over a motor cycle or motor cycle and sidecar. Its top is designed to present a sloping surface to the weather, so that a water-shed is formed, which effectually protects the machine against the most violent downpour. It is also designed that that it may be rolled up and carried and strapped on to the carrier. The device should be a great boon to those who have to leave their motor cycles temporarily out of doors when garage accommodation is not available, and should be extremely useful to those happy motorists who possess week-end cottages which have not any motor house accommodation.”
“MANY MONTHS AGO THE AUTOCAR urged that the Government should control fuel supplies. The object in mind was the protection of a key industry of growing importance, which is, to all intents and purposes, in the hands of the petrol ring, the existence of which is denied. As we go to press rumours are afloat that the Government is now negotiating for a controlling interest in the Shell Transport and Trading Co. If this should prove to be correct, it may form an important step towards Government fuel supply. The war has shown us the vital necessity of ample oil fuel supplies, and it is to be hoped that some satisfactory agreement will be reached. Despite the importance of the move, it must not be looked upon as the solution of the fuel problem, for there is a threatened shortage of oil fuel throughout the world, and, unless further supplies become available in the near future, this shortage is likely to become acute. In the development of the British oilfields lie possibilities which must, however, not be overestimated. Shale oil and the encouragement of benzole production can, undoubtedly, help to ease the situation, but power alcohol would appear to be the ultimate solution, since the supply is to all intents and purposes inexhaustible.”
“A DIFFICULT trial, splendidly organised, sums up the second Victory Cup trial of the Birmingham MCC. It was one of the twenty open ACU events of the year, and 177 entries resulted. Of these, twelve riders failed to start, and 156 survived. Hills there were in abundance included, in six non-stop sections, but the outstanding event was the flexibility test up Birdlip Hill. Once the terror of motor cyclists, this Gloucestershire gradient is now an easy climb. So much so, indeed, that the competitors restarted with ease on a steep part of the hill, and accelerated as if the road were flat. Spectators gathered at all the points of vantage, and must have outnumbered previous crowds…The roads were wet, and in many places covered with slimy clay. Beacon Hill leaves the main Birmingham-Worcester road a little way beyond Rubery with a sharp turn and steep
gradient, which soon eases, but the surface becomes very bad especially for sidecar machines, owing to the deep clay ruts at the sides of the road; that on the left took the sidecar wheels up to their axles and caused them to bounce horribly and drag the machine out of its course…FJ Price (2¾hp Diamond) was baulked by M Hartland on a similar machine at the worst bit of the road. He swung to the right through clay ruts six or eight inches deep, on to the grass and back into the road without any apparent effort and continued his way—a skilful piece of riding!…In pre-war trials it was usual for trials organisers using the Wyche to requisition a gang of ‘navvies’ with ropes to take charge of the machines that failed on the hill, but so greatly improved are present-day motor cycles that the only ropes in use were those utilised to keep back the interested public…Leaving Cheltenham, the course lay along Gambles Lane, rejoining the main road at the top of the
famous Rising Sun’ Hill. As usual, many spectators had gathered to witness the climb, and though the road surface was dry and distinctly better than on the occasion of the Colmore Trial, there were several quite exciting moments, especially when competitors floundered about in the loose stones, or had to get past others who were in difficulties. The majority of the riders made light of the hill, some roaring up seemingly in a great hurry, others taking it easy on low gears. Quite the fastest ascent was made by SE Longmore (8hp Harley- Davidson sc). He fairly ‘zoomed’ up, bouncing in his saddle all the way. JN Roberts (3¾hp Scott), FA Applebee (3hp ABC), WB Gibb (2¾hp Douglas), and G Dance (3½hp Sunbeam) also made fast climbs. W Ford (2¾hp Coulson B) came up well but fell near the top. Both TF Watson (4hp Norton sc) and E Porter (3hp ABC) were baulked by the spectators and slower machines, but managed by magnificent driving to get past without mishap. JS Bacon (6hp Regent sc) failed on the corner, and, running backwards, was narrowly missed by T. Stephens (4¼hp James sc). Altogether a dozen competitors failed, all these being low-powered sidecars or lightweights. There were several quite spectacular performances, which evoked much enthusiasm and comment on the part of the crowd. Gus Kuhn (2¼hp Levis) roared up with one hand on the bars, showing that familiarity with the hill breeds contempt. L Paynter (3½hp Norton) waved furiously to the crowd and very nearly fell in consequence. The luckiest competitor at this point was, however, GW. Walker (3½hp Norton). He came up swerving in an alarming manner, and very nearly ran into the spectators in his attempt to recover. Everyone gave him up for lost, but he found himself safe at the top…Rev J M Philpott, the
ACU consul and chaplain of the Coventry and Warwickshire MC, climbed all hills successfully on a brand-new 2¾hp Wilkin-Blackburne, which was only handed to the owner on the previous afternoon…The scene at the finish was a very animated one, for, in addition to the 250 competitors and passengers, and the multitudinous officials, there were several hundred spectators to welcome, the riders back. Only nine competitors failed to check in at the finish.” Results: Victory Cup and gold medal (best solo performance), A Milner, (2½hp Diamond); Midland Cup and gold medal (best sidecar performance), JE Greenwood (3½hp Sunbeam sc); Duke Cup and gold medal (highest scoring solo over 275cc), FA Applebee (3hp ABC); Alec Ross Prize (highest scoring solo under 275cc), A Milner (2½hp Diamond); special gold medal for best performance by private owner, JH Walker (4hp Triumph); class winners’ gold medals (excluding winners of premier awards), FJ Lidstone (2¼hp James); GE Stobbart, (5-6hp James sc); JH Walker (4hp Triumph); HB Denley (8hp Morgan); E Porter (3hp ABC); team prize, Sunbeam (JE Greenwood, G Dance and Tommy de la Haye); runner up, BSA (LL Sealey, HF Edwards and MC Breeze; third place, Norton (H Hassall, L Paynter and GW Walker.
“IF A MOTOR SCOOTER IS NOT A MOTOR CYCLE, as some affirm, it is indeed difficult to find the line of demarcation, for it is certain that neither frame design nor engine size determines the respective types, hence one can only assume that wheel size decides the point. Nevertheless, however small a machine may be, it is still a cycle. Most of the so-called scooters bear not the slightest resemblance to the child’s toy, the name of which was first used by The Motor Cycle in connection with a machine that had some of the scooter’s characteristics.”
“THE COMMISSIONER OF POLICE for the Metropolis has issued a warning to motorists who permit their number plates to be obscured by mud or dust.”
“ELECTRIC TRANSMMISION is coming to the fore in cars. Shall we have petrol-electric motor cycles?”
“MY WEEK-END WAS ENJOYED with the aid of a TT Norton, Ixion wrote. “This ‘bus can safely be driven over wet roads at an average figure which the correspondents of the daily papers ‘Paterfamilias’, ‘Conimonsense’, and other gentlemen of that kidney, would consider formidable on Brooklands. If there is a fiercer 3½hp than the Norton speed model, I should like to meet it; and yet it can amble along without pinking, like a medieval abbot’s palfrey.”
REALLY HIGH-CLASS SINGLE-CYLINDER machines are few and far between among the newcomers to the market, market, and for this reason the Wilkin 4hp machine will attract its full share of attention. It is the product of Mr GW Wilkin, of Sheffield, who for several years has been selling motor cycles besides riding them both privately and in competitions…The engine is the well-known Blackburne ‘4’, and the gearbox a Sturmey- Archer with all-chain transmission totally enclosed in well-proportioned cases. Having n sloping top tube, the frame has distinctive lines, and is rather longer than would have been necessary on a machine intended for solo work. The Lucas Magdyno combined lighting and ignition set forms part of the equipment and the black finish is relieved by neat gold lining on the tank and a plated handle-bar. The mudguards are of good width, and in the case of the front wheel guards extend outside the fork members, while the valances on both are deep. At every point the design and construction appear to be sound, and we should not be surprised to see the Wilkin become very popular, not only in the districts adjacent to its birthplace, but among motor cyclists generally. We congratulate Mr Wilkin on a splendid machine, which comes as a welcome addition to a type of which there are not too many representatives.”
“THREE ATTRACTIVE MODELS OF THE BRITISH EXCELSIOR: A Blackburne-engined lightweight, a two-stroke with flywheel magneto, and a new big single for sidecar work are to be added to the range of models manufactured by Messrs Bayliss, Thomas and Co. Commencing with the simplest form of two-stroke, and ending with an 8hp de luxe sidecar outfit, British Excelsiors will soon be made in three distinct types, instead of two as at present. Two of the new machines coming into the existing lightweight group, and the third is an entirely new model to meet the demand for a medium-powered utilitarian type of sidecar machine for those who do not feel justified in investing in a de luxe motor cycle such as the present-day big twin. This medium powered machine will have a specification similar to that of the pre-war outfit modified to suit present-day conditions, but sans such items as interchangeable and quickly detachable wheels, spare wheel, dynamo lighting, enclosed all-chain drive, hood and screen. The engine is a moderate compression single of 650cc, and is of the same design as the engine fitted in the 4½hp single before the war. For the benefit of those who are comparatively new to motor cycle matters, we remind readers that those responsible for the Excelsior have had considerable experience of ‘big singles’; one of the 1914 models which was sold in large numbers had a single cylinder of no less than 800cc capacity.”
SIR,—AS A READER OF YOUR valuable columns, I should like to raise the question of foot controlled gear change appliances. The only examples I know of on the market at present are the Sturmey-Archer gear boxes up to the 1919 model. The gear change lever on these can be adjusted to be worked by either hand or foot. Unfortunately the latest type of this make is designed to work by hand only. I can safely say that 90% of the DRs who rode Triumphs during the war used the foot for changing gear. The result is always a much quieter change, and consequently less shock to both engine and transmission. For example, when changing up, the clutch can be disengaged with one hand, the throttle slightly closed with the other, and at the same time the gear change lever can be moved with the foot. Another point in favour is that the hands can be kept on the bars the whole time, which is a considerable advantage when riding solo, or with pillion passenger, over ‘greasy’ roads.
“LAST WEEK END THERE began a campaign for the examination of driving licences all over the country. Motorists were held up, sometimes in queues, for this purpose, and it behoves every driver to remember his licence before starting on a run.”
“I HAVE PERFORMED FEW FEATS in my life which were worthy of being filmed,” Ixion admitted, “but no Los Angeles stunt merchant has ever excelled a quite involuntary show of mine last week. I was trying out a brand new machine which is rather hot stuff, and the road was new to me. After an hour or so I was still thirsting for a chance to get the throttle wide open when I arrived at a long straight piece of going, which fell gently down into a valley and climbed gently out the other side. There wasn’t a soul or an animal in sight, and, after one gleeful glance through my dusty goggles, I flattened down on the tank, and let the machine rip. I was doing rather more than a mile a minute as the bottom of the dip rushed up to meet me, and only at the fifty-ninth second of the fifty- ninth minute of the eleventh hour did I realise that the somewhat odd look of the road surface in the dip was a watersplash. It was too late to stop. The depth of the water was problematical ; also the kind of surface which lay beneath the water. All I could do was to hang on like grim death and trust to luck. The water came up and hit me like a solid wall. I emerged, stunned and dripping, but erect, a wiser and more prayerful man.”
“A FEW DAYS AGO a young couple attempted to elope to Scotland on a sidecar.”
“INTERNATIONAL TOURING ALLIANCE: A conference of touring organisations was recently held in Paris, and an inter- national alliance has been founded which will facilitate the way of motor cyclists touring in foreign countries. The head- quarter will be at Brussels, the secretary being M. Seavt, president of the Touring Club of Belgium. The organisations associated with the movement include the Automobile Association and Motor Union; American Automobile Association; Touring Club of France; Touring Club of Belgium; L’Union Velocipedique de France; Cyclists Touring Club; and Touring Club Italy.”
“ALCOHOL FROM THE SEA: It is said that there is practically an unlimited supply of power alcohol in seaweed.”
“THE LATEST IN MASCOTS: A mechanical mascot in the form of a figure which bows and raises its hat is the latest thing in ornaments for the radiators of cars.”
“A GREAT DIFFICULTY HAS BEEN experienced in obtaining regulation helmets for TT entrants. The ACU will be glad if competitors in past Tourist Trophy races, who have approved helmets for disposal, will immediately communicate with the secretary of the Auto Cycle Union, 83, Pall Mall, London.”
“A BROMLEY (KENT) MOTOR CYCLIST’S Douglas was stolen by a novel ruse. A stranger offered him £1 if he would examine a second-hand Douglas for sale at a local hotel, saying he had an appointment with the owner. Whilst the Bromley motor cyclist was trying the second-hand on the road, the stranger said he would try his friend’s new machine. He rode off and has not been seen since.”
“THE 2¾HP DE DION RIDDEN by B Fellowes in the London-Edinburgh run bore the date 1899, and is some years older than the rider. Incidentally, it had on the tank a Latin inscription to the effect that it is unwise to trust in appearances.”