FOR ALMOST 25 YEARS American cops had been making good use of motor cycles. Now the Metropolitan Police Force mounted some of its traffic cops on 493cc BSA Slopers, backed up by  the newly arrived BSA three-wheel cars; outfits were soon in use to transport senior officers. The Birmingham and Manchester police also picked Beezas; in Coventry, almost inevitably, patrolmen were mounted on Triumphs. The Worcestershire force opted for Royal Enfields.

Beeza combos took to the streets of Manchester (left) and London (centre); toy companies wasted no time in getting in on the act.

“‘SPEED COPS’ ADVOCATED:. The Chief Constable of Newcastle has advocated motor cycle police to control traffic and reduce street accidents.”

ITALIAN TRAFFIC COPS were encouraged to nick errant motorists with a 10% share all the fines they dished out.

“CHARITY BALL RESULT. The Combined Motor Clubs’ Charity Ball at the Covent Garden Opera House has shown a profit of £62…which has been divided between two charities.” Later in the year London-based bike clubs teamed up to stage a Grand Fancy-Dress Ball at Olympia.

“IN MADAGASCAR. The development of the roads in Madagascar is resulting in a steady increase in the number of motor cycles; there are now 1,482 machines in use, as contrasted with 1,072 a year ago.”

TWO MOTOR CYCLES were running on Alaskan roads; 3,985 were registered in Hungary. And extremely few people know that.

BERT LE VACK LORD LLOYD joined Motosacoche in Geneva (he’d ridden a Motosacoche in the 1914 Senior TT, finishing 15th). Le Vack the 1921 Senior TT; runner up in the 1923 Lightweight TT) and designer (Duzmo, Indian and JAP) and joined the Swiss marque as works rider, chief designer and tuner.

A FORMER HIGH Commissioner for Egypt made a speech at Hitchin, Herts in which he mentioned a shortage of recruits for service overseas, suggesting: “Perhaps it is that our young men prefer motor cycles.”

“‘DID GYRE AND GIMBLE…A reader who has made several observations on the skidding properties of the wood setts on the Victoria Street side of the Parliament Square ‘merry go round’ strongly advises fellow-riders to use great caution.”

THE CLUB SCENE WAS FLOURISHING. The Easter week’s ‘Club News’ in the Blue ‘Un listed 82 events, including: “Croydon MC—Tour of Devon, starts 9pm; Egham &DMC&LCC—Run to seaside, start White Lion, Egham, 9.30am; Gipsy MCC—Speed judging contest, start, Epsom, 10.30am; Lodon Douglass MCC—Run to Minehead; Revellers MCC—Run to Clacton, start Crystal Palace Parade, 10am; Ace (Mitcham) MCC—Night run to Wye Valley, meet Tooting Broadway, 12 midnight; Bexleyheath &DMCC—Grass-track practice, Wembley &DMCC—Run to Cornwall; Belfast &DMC—Hill-climb, Red Brae, 12am; Crayford track, 3pm; Port Talbot &DMC—Restricted speed trial, Aberavon Sands, 1pm; Wellington &DMC&LCC—Hillclimb, Ercall Hill, 2.30pm; Edinburgh Southern MC—Run to Abbey St Bothans; Norbury MC—Picnic and hill-climb, start Lex Garage, 11am; Hurlingham MCC—Run to Bognor sand races, start, Green Man, Putney, 9.30am; Annsworthy MC—Club night.” There were also 18 sets of results from club events and reports of club meetings and 21 ACY Centre events ranging from a North Western Centre (Southport MC) sand race to South-Eastern Centre (Carshalton MCC) pillion trial.

IN THE SAME WEEK 26 SPEEDWAY meetings were previewed, from Edinburgh to Exeter, including a dozen in London. Speedway correspondent Talmage reported: “Last week I received a number of letters from Australia which had come over on the SS Comorin, which caught fire on the way. Result: Letters in various stages of disintegration and/or dilapidation, stamps washed off, ink blurred, and every one smelling strongly of sea water; I am thinking of sending some of the specimens to the British Museum. But at least one, thank goodness, had a fairly waterproof envelope and its contents were in a reasonable state of repair. The envelope contained, among other things, the pretty picture of Jack Chapman which appears on this page. Yes, folks, that’s the boy and the bike that won the Australian one-mile championship for three-lap tracks. My informant tells me that at the last meeting of the season at Adelaide, Chapman regained the flying-mile record with a speed of 59.2mph, knocking a fifth off Frank Arthur’s time of 61sec put up at the championship meeting. Chapman is on his way to this country to take up an engagement with Belle Vue.

L-R: “Jack Chapman, winner of the Australian One-mile Championship. His mechanic is standing behind the machine. Waltur Ryle and Kai Anderson, two Danish lads who are signed up with the Crystal Palace for the season; both are making rapid progress. Ron Johnson, the Australian star, is shortly to marry Miss Roma Holland. Here are Miss Holland, Ron Johnson and a Rudge.”

CRASH HELMETS WERE coming into use by road riders as well as sportsmen while the fast growing cadre of dirt track riders were setting a trend for black leather. One advertiser offered speedway riders “well padded jackets and breeches, face masks in tan leather with splinterproof sights, detachable reinforced elbow and knee pads, gauntlets and boots with detachable steel toecaps”. Completing the ensemble, though presumably not in black leather, were “best quality jockstraps”.

A SPEEDWAY MEETING was staged at an unlicensed track to the south of Manchester. Riders wore facemasks to avoid identification; thousands of fans broke down the fence to avoid paying the entrance fee; bookmakers plied their trade. Following an ACU inquiry a dozen riders lost their licences, 22 unlicensed riders were banned from applying for licences and the officials at the meeting were suspended.

AUSSIE STAR VIC Huxley won seven English speedway championships on his Rudge to become the most successful rider in the country. England took on Australia in a five-match series with the final at Wembley. It poured with rain causing a rash of crashes; England beat the inventors of the sport by 49 to 45. JAP introduced a new line of speedway motors.

THE ACU INTRODUCED a contract that was to be signed by all speedway riders and promoters “which contains absolutely no loopholes, leaks or undesirable exits through which a promoter – or rider – can wriggle”. At the same time the ACU took over the running of the league from the northern and southern promoters’ associations. It rejected a proposal to introduce a betting ‘tote’, fearing gambling would lead to corruption, and the new ruling body lost no time in banning women from the sport, possibly because they had shown themselves extremely good at it.

FRITZ VON OPEL strapped six solid-fuel rockets to an Opel MotoClub 500SS as part of a cunning plan to set a motor cycle world-speed record (Opel was building Neanders under licence with its own 500cc engine). The bike, dubbed ‘the Monster’, for obvious reasons, wasn’t fast enough so six more rockets were added before a demo run at the Hamborner Radrennbahn before a crowd of 7,000. The rider activated the rockets with a foot pedal after using the motor cycle’s engine to reach 75mph; Opel reckoned the rockets would boost it to over 130mph. The boost was unpredictable and the Neander frame clearly wasn’t designed for rocket propulsion. The German racing authorities wisely forbade the use of the Monster for a speed attempt; within a few weeks Ernst Henne did over 137mph on a blown 750cc Beemer. Opel went on to run a rocket car in front of an audience including Werner von Braun, who obviously paid close attention. There was even a rocket sled carrying, for no obvious reason, a cat in a box. Unlike Schroedinger’s cat, this one definitely died when the rig blew itself to pieces. Opel, who was a multi-millionaire ‘playboy/adventurer’, also attached rockets to racing cars, a railway train car and a plane.

When six rockets aren’t enough…the German authorities banned Opel’s world record attempt.

DUNELT WON THE MAUDES TROPHY for a mid-winter marathon on the Isle of Man powered by a 500cc ohv Sturmey Archer one-lunger. “It is a little difficult,” Ubique [the Blue ‘Un’s de facto technical editor] remarked, “to realise what a long way one has to go to cover 13,199 miles. 1,010 yards, which is the exact distance completed in the Dunelt ’50 TTs’ test. Fifty seven-lap TT races, or 350 laps of the course, may give some idea to those who know the Island, but perhaps the best way of visualising the event is by comparing the distance with your own annual mileage. Not many ordinary riders exceed 10,000 miles per year, and yet this 1.3,200 miles was crammed into under sixteen days’ riding—15 days 19 hours 4 minutes and 45 seconds, to be exact. Again, an average speed of 34.8mph may not sound amazingly impressive, but this figure included all stops, and was accomplished under most adverse weather conditions; except for Sundays the ride was continuous, day and night. If you pause to consider the effects of darkness upon your average, and not only of darkness, but of snow, fog, frozen ruts, rain and gales, all of which were encountered, you will realise how creditable was the performance of this perfectly standard machine, and how gallant were the riders. The TT course at its best involves the long mountain climb every lap, and when the mountain is covered with snow, with. occasional drifts up to three feet deep, and frozen ruts, there are bound to be a few tumbles to damage tanks and fittings, while such conditions must be particularly hard on tyres. If I have stressed the strenuous conditions and the appalling weather, it is to show that the list of replacements is by no means too long, except perhaps in one respect, and we may be sure that the makers have taken due cognisance of that one particular point. It is, in fact, one of the chief advantages of such a trial that it provides a designer with data which would never be obtainable by other means, and standard products can be improved in consequence. And please remember that the machine was a standard product; the parts were chosen, assembled and tested under ACU observation. No special precautions were permitted, other than a fully charged accumulator at the start of the trial. Replacements or repairs were made as follows: Engine: After 11,880 miles the inlet valve, the inner valve spring, spring collar and split cotters were replaced. Owing to the seizure of a cylinder holding-down bolt, the cylinder and head had to be removed in one piece and the offending bolt sawn through and replaced. Gear Box: At 8,674 miles the clutch was removed for the purpose of tightening the locking nut on the driving sprocket. At 10,182 miles the box was dismantled, washed out, a new clutch push-rod fitted, and the cone and balls of the high-speed gear wheel renewed. Wheels: A new cone and balls were fitted to the sprocket side of the rear wheel after 3,690 miles, and a complete new bearing to the brake side after 8,674 miles. At the same time new brake shoes were fitted owing to wear. A new rear wheel with brake and sprocket was fitted after 12,131 miles, owing to the breakage of a flange on the sprocket side. Tyres: The rear wheel cover was replaced at 3,130 miles, but was refitted at 9,202, and again replaced by a new cover at 11,880 miles. Punctures resulted the fitting of rear tubes at 1,810, 3,130, 4,563 and 11,800 miles. Tank: New fuel tanks were fitted at 339, 2,904 and 6,637 miles. One replacement was necessitated by a fall, the others by leakage. Magneto: At 11.455 miles the contact bleaker was removed for the cleaning and adjustment of the points.

“On the snowbound Mountain road.”

This was the only time that this instrument was touched. Lighting: The battery was topped up at 4,261 miles, and was inspected again at 6,631 miles. It was reported that one dim filament (headlight) had failed and on rear-light filament failed, but otherwise the lighting system was untouched. This is indeed a tribute to the standard Miller SUS set, which was often called upon to serve two fog lamps in addition to its normal duties. Miscellaneous Details: Owing to a fall the rear stand was fractured, and was removed at 7,731 miles. A new stand was fitted at 8,184 miles. The throttle and air cables were removed at 9,428 miles, and a new front chain guard was fitted at 6.637 miles. Accidents: Apart from several falls owing to frozen snow and ice-covered roads, a collision with a car occurred as 12,764 miles, and. although the rider was not seriously hurt, the machine was badly damaged forward. This crash necessitated the following replacements: A new tank, new fork unit, new bars, new wheel and tyre, new mudguard, and new left-hand silencer and exhaust pipe. In addition, the rear frame was slightly bent, and the rear chain guard was damaged and discarded. So much for the troubles which were experienced during a trial which was described to me by a case hardened official observer as the most strenuous event that he had ever witnessed. The team of riders took three-lap spells in daylight and two-lap turns after dark, but weather conditions were often so severe that the shifts had to be reduced in length…the [seven] riders hold my unbounded respect, for they carried on manfully under weather conditions which were often literally appalling…on its return to England I took the machine for a run and found int full of life and vim…everything appeared to be in good order except for a rattle from the front chain.”

“A sunnier scene at the Bungalow towards the end of the test. The rear tyre is being re-inflated after a puncture repair.”

“IT IS NOT VERY OFTEN that foreign motor cycles are offered on the British market, but the one which has just been introduced by Mr Heinrich Beck, a representative of the Austro-Daimlers Puch firm, is of particular interest. The machine, which is manufactured in the leading motor cycle works of Austria, is a 250cc two-stroke, with two 45x78mm vertical cylinders set across the frame, and possessing a common combustion chamber. There are two pistons with a one-piece forked connecting rod and a single roller-hearing big end. The crankshaft is slightly offset in relation to the cylinders, with the result that at the end of the explosion stroke the exhaust port, which is at the base of the left-hand cylinder, is uncovered before the intake port. This should assure good scavenging of the cylinder. On the up-stroke the exhaust port is covered, while the inlet port remains open for a brief period. The engine is said to he remarkably flexible, running at very low speeds without any suspicion of four-stroking. The head is detachable, and, the cylinder. casting is provided with deep cooling fins. Engine and gear box are a unit, and the crankshaft runs in line with the machine. The drive from the crankshaft to the primary shaft is by means of spiral bevel gears. A single chain transmits the power to the rear wheel. Lubrication is by means of a variable-stroke plunger pump mounted on the gear box and drawing oil from the rear portion of the main tank. The stroke of the pump os varied in proportion to throttle opening, the control being connected to the twist grip on the right-hand handlebar….A rather unusual feature is the position of the multiple-disc clutch, which is situated in the rear-whee; hub. It is controlled by means of a worm and wheel in the rear-wheel spindle, with a Bowden wire control on the handlebar.”

1930 PUCH 250
“The Puch is not unduly ‘foreign’ in appearance.” (Right) “Sectional views of the engine, showing the arrangement of the ports and the cycle of operation.”

“KNUTSFORD KNUTS KNULLIFIED? A readfer reports activity with regards to motor cycle silencing systems in the Knutsford, Cheshire, area.”

JAPANESE CORK MANUFACTURER Toyo Kogyo put a 250cc two-stroke motorcycle, into production and entered it in a race meeting at Chinkon-no Matsuri. To everyone’s surprise, it won. The company changed its name to Mazda.

JAC supplied 1,200cc flat twins as escorts for the Japanese emperor.

JAPAN’S FIRST electric traffic light was set up in Tokyo.

CAR AND MOTOR CYCLE races at a racecourse in Ashikaga attracted thousands of spectators, encouraged by cut-price train tickets.

“THE MAGIC MILLION. Automobile Association badges have now passed the million mark, the first badge in the new series being marked 1A.”

“‘THE EXPERIMENT HAS RESULTED apparently in this man’s death.’ This remark was made by the East Ham Coroner at an inquest last week…apparently the surface of the new by-pass road on which the accident occurred consists of sections of different material, one of which is of brick that has a natural polish. We had hoped that after the storm of protest evoked by the treacherous nature of the Colnbrook (near Slough) by-pass when it was first laid, experiments at the expense of life and limb of the general public would cease once and for all…we suggest that tests can, and must be, made with every new surface to see that it has non-skid properties before it is submitted to use by the public.”

“IN THE LIMELIGHT. The point duty constable in Queen’s Square, Wolverhampton, has been provided with a platform, upon which two spotlights are directed during the hours of darkness.”

“TO SOUTH POLE BY MOTOR CYCLE. Major Tryggve Gran, the Norwegian airman and explorer, is to attempt to reach the South Pole by motor cycle, starting from the West side of the Ross Sea.”

“Imagine a bleak, completely unprotected mountain top with a high gusty wind driving sheets of almost solid rain before it, and them you have some idea of the appalling conditions which welcomed both the rain-soaked competitors and apparently misguided spectators who had assembled at the start of the Brighton Scramble held over the South Downs near Portslade…T Fassett (497cc Ariel) chooses the right rut and passes a less fortunate competitor.”
“H Fearnside (349cc Norton) ‘puts out the props’ on a particularly sticky section.”

AS PART OF ITS CAMPAIGN to promote the ‘Everyman’ motorcycle “to appeal to the man in the street” The Motor Cycle organised a trial of utility machines with £500 in prizes (worth £41,000 today). Areas to be tested were reliability, braking, hillclimbing, weather protection, silencing, stability, ease of starting, ease of handling, simplicity of control, external cleanliness, luggage-carrying capacity, speed, comfort, flexibility, service intervals, ease of maintenance, tools, vulnerability, appearance, lighting and warning devices. There was to be a special award for “the novelty in design best calculated to popularise the motor cycle as a touring mount”. The judges were to include “Everyman officials” with no experience of motorcycling. Everyman contenders included Ariel, Francis-Barnett, New Hudson, New Imperial, Panther and Raleigh.

“IF I WERE LIMITED to two motor cycles,”Ixion remarked, “one of them would unquestionably be of the hot-stuff type—a minimum of 500cc with a close-ratio gear box, colossal acceleration, and a maximum speed of round about 80mph. It would be heavy; probably not too easy to start; a little rough maybe to sit and drive; and by no means the bus for local pottering on a cold, wet day, though sheer joy on the open road in fine weather. In other words, it could not rank as an all-purpose mount, even for a hard rider like myself. So I should like to flank it with a second mount, which would really be the two-wheeler substitute for a Utility car. This machine would weigh as little as might be consistent with a convenient specification and steadiness on baddish going. It would be as easy starting as engineering skill could make it. It would be as nearly puncture-proof as science can manage. It would be protected against the weather with legshields, big guards, and perhaps a practical handlebar windscreen. It would, preferably, have a sprung frame. The more cheaply it could be sold the better, because though I might manage to pay £75 for it, this figure would be on the high side for a machine employed mainly for pottering and utility work; and riders who need a bus for comfy transport purposes, and for no other purpose, are usually people who cannot afford even a fourth-hand Baby Seven, and desire to buy at a minimum mice. This is, broadly, the type of but which the Everyman Trial is planned to exploit. And it need not be really fast. I—and my type of rider—would keep it as a tender to a speed-iron, and we have no wish for great speed when we are pottering round cities, or penetrating bad weather. The exclusively utility type of rider merely wishes to hold his own in a modern traffic stream, which runs in the thirties, and he wouldn’t normally drive at sixty, even if his bus were capable of such speed.”

1930 SUN-JAP
“An interesting machine, and one of excellent appearance, has recently been produced by the Sun Cycle & Fittings Co of Aston Brook Street, Birmingham. It is a modification of the form’s de luxe 500cc ohv sports model…equipped with a JAP engine and Moss four-speed gear box. Other items in the specificaion are Brampton forks, large-diameter brakes, Lucas magdyno lighting and very efficient mudguarding. The tyres measure 26×3.25in.”

“I WAS RIDING SLOWLY UP a hill last week (I was really was—the view was too splendid for any man with a soul to go fast),” Ixion wrote, “and from low down on the slope I saw a motor cyclist higher up kicking his starter very furiously indeed, encouraged by a lady in his sidecar. As no burst of sound had arisen by the time I drew level I stopped and volunteered first aid. The machine was obviously brand new. When the owner got his breath he informed me that his starter had broken and wasn’t rotating the engine. Cursing my luck (since 1 knew what this symptom meant with this make of bike and what a job it was to put things right), I stood my Sprint Special on its legs, shed my overalls, and began to work my heart high enough for sweary, finger-abrading job. Judge of my glee when the owner demonstrated the non-resistance of his starter, and I spotted that he was holding up his clutch lever instead of his valve lifter!! [Ixion’s almost unheard-of use of two exclamation marks reflects the intensity of his emotion.—Ed] No. he wasn’t a novice, and be wasn’t a mutt—well, not a common or garden mutt, anyhow. As a matter of fact he turned out to be rather a learned individual, of some academic distinction. They are like that; you remember the world-shaking inventor who was caught by his house-keeper boiling a presentation gold watch in a saucepan with a vigilant eye fixed on an egg firmly grasped in his hand? But I had to get out of the incident without shaming a brother-man in the eyes of his wife—at least, I suppose she was his wife. Luckily, my tact was all there. Purring ‘Allow me, sir!’ I took the saddle, unobtrusively gripped the valve-lifter, and had his engine running in a trice. He said it was very odd that the ‘starter should suddenly have gripped after slipping a hundred times or so. I agreed, and left them to argue it out.”

“RIDING POSITIONS, AND MOTOR cyclists as Slaves of. Fashion. Womanhood, obeying its only lord and master, Fickle Fashion, is returning to the long skirt which it discarded (figuratively speaking) with such apparently genuine sighs of relief not so very many years ago. But can we motor cyclists afford to scoff? Are we not just as obedient slaves to the ever-varying styles of our pastime? Just at present we, too, are undergoing a reversion to a forgotten state; though ours most surely be a more practical one. We may not have realised the fact, but sue are getting more sensible as regards riding positions. Many have been the vicissitudes of the sports machine in this respect. In the real olden days high saddles and ‘sit-up-and-beg’ handlebars were the rule until the introduction of the almost straight TT bar just before the War. The period after the War found us with rather lower saddles, used in conjunction with the TT bar and footrests placed—considering the angle at which our backs were bent—too far forward. This fault was realised, and footrests were moved farther back; but handlebars were likewise bent forward, until we had arrived at something approaching the present-day Brooklands position. Then, of course, came the inevitable reaction; round about 1924 saddles became much lower, arm-reach shorter, and footrests more sensibly placed. This continued until the great frame metamorphosis of 1926-27, when a tendency towards a new, hunched-up ‘monkey-on-a-stick’ position became apparent. And now, led by the experienced trials riders, we are reverting—and sensibly—to what are almost sit-up-and-beg bars, and footrests set well forward. No, we cannot afford to laugh at slaves of fashion!”

This art deco beauty, built by one Orley Ray Courtney, sports a curved grille reminiscent of a Chrysler Airflow; the rear was inspired by the Auburn boat-tail speedster. Underneath that exquisite skin lies a 1,200cc four-pot Henderson.

“CAMPING-CUM-PILLION-PASSENGER with the aid of a motor cycle is indeed a very enjoyable way of spending either week-ends or holidays, but your equipment must give the minimum of trouble and inconvenience. A good maxim is, ‘Put it on the machine, and not on yourself.’ There are several ways of doing this, and the information given below is the outcome of several years’ experience in camping every week-end from March to October and annual holidays in practically every district from Land’s End to John a’ Groats. To start with the tent: go to any reputable firm and get a not-too-light affair about 6ft long by 6ft wide, and at least 5ft 6in high, including 1ft 6in walls. At the same time, make sure it will fold small enough to go in an Army pack. If the guy ropes appear un-necessarily stout cut them off and use cord; I use blind cord all round. Wrap the tent in a ground sheet, as petrol splashes spoil the waterproofing; put the bundle in a rucksack; and strap it on the tank with a broad shoulder-strap. Next come blankets. You need two genuine Army blankets, about 7ft long by 5ft wide, to cover you, and two smaller ones to be placed on top of the ground sheets. Three of these blankets. will be rolled up tightly in a ground sheet and put in an Army kit-bag. To complete the equipment (excepting utensils) we require two more Army packs with broad shoulder-straps. These are to make pannier bags for the machine. Make sure the straps go to a buckle (not a friction catch); wire a piece of three-ply wood to the back of each about half way up, and projecting about an inch below; this prevents the carrier wearing holes in the bags. Now a word or two about the actual parking. Put as much as possible in tins. An ideal tin is a Mackintosh’s ‘Carnival’ toffee tin 10in in diameter by 3in deep: use one for each sack. Sugar can go in cocoa tins, and jam and butter in jars with screwed lids. If you do not eat a lot of bread, three days’ fare and all the incidentals—mugs, fishing-tackle, Primus stove, etc—can be carried in the two panniers alone. Now, the most important part is to fix the equipment on the machine to ‘Stay put’. Pack your panniers indoors and fix them on the machine as illustrated, one on each side, finally strapping then to the carrier stays. Only the blankets now remain to be stowed. Obtain a piece of strong wood (I use oak), ½in thick, the width of the carrier and 3in or 4in longer, and screw small blocks of wood in each corner on the underside so that they will slip in at the corners of the carrier without play. In the extra length projecting over the back of the carrier cut four slots, which will take a looped strap as shown in the drawing. This strap will secure the blanket kit-bag. Place the tent poles on top of the blankets and crown it with the remaining blanket, folded fairly wide in a spare kitbag or in the ground sheet; this prevents the poles moving. Place two long straps under the blanket roll, but on top of the board, and strap this lot up tightly. The ‘dixie’ can be tied to this bundle. Finally, put a strap under the carrier and pannier straps, place the pillion in front of the blankets, and tighten up.”—by ‘Multum in Parvo’

“The Author setting off on a tour.” (Right) “How ‘Multum in Parvo’ accommodates his camping kit.” (Yes, Multum was using a rack, throw-overs and a tank bag in 1930. (Multum in Parvo translates as “much in a small space”—squeezing a quart into a pint pot. We’ve all done it.)
“This handlebar windscreen has been patented by Mr W Williams, 3, Lennox Gardens, Guildford, Surrey. The screen is of celluloid and has an aluminium screen. It is adjustable for height and is instantly detachable, leaving the brackets in place on the bars: an extension of the front flap forms a shield for the hands.”

“I[XION] MENTIONED FACE SCREENS rather casually the other day, but after an extended trial of the Jefco article I am inclined to risk the opinion that goggles might well be dead and obsolete, except for pukka racing, where 100mph winds, generated by sheer speed, are liable to make the strongest eyes behave like the jowl of a hungry terrier confronted by a gamy bone. This Jefco screen is secured by elastic round the back of the head, just like goggles ; and its elastic need not be any tighter than goggle elastic. A soft pad keeps the forehead comfortable, even on a long run. Adjustable spring pivots permit the screen to be worn to any of three selected positions. In the uppermost position it resembles the peak of a big cap. Half down, the celluloid screen guards the eyes from rain and wind. Full down, ditto, plus a strip of green celluloid which acts as a dazzle guard against car head lamps or a low sun. It cannot, of course, keep out midges; but, praise be, midges are not much of a nuisance in this country, though I hit a cubic mile of them near Axminster the other day; but it does prevent them flying direct into the eyes. Even the best celluloid is never as crystal-clear as good glass, and that is really the only little criticism I have to make of the gadget. I much prefer it to goggles, except at really high ; and it does not look too ungainly. Moreover, being set out a couple of inches from the face, and being open to the air, it does not steam, as goggles do.”

Ixion was clearly impressed by the Jefco and, as usual, was proved right: visors are now ubiquitous.
I’ve dropped this ad in here because when I started rallying in the early 1970s the pull-down straps used to secure new BMWs in their crates (available for 50p a time of you knew someone who worked in a Beemer agency) were in great demand as the best way to secure kit to a bike. I’m still using them, and they look remarkably similar to these Albion luggage straps. Taken together, the preceding four pics indicate that the touring kit we use today would not have surprised the lads and lasses of 1930.

“A BRITISH MACHINE IN the hands of an Austrian rider scored a notable success in the eighth Austrian TT, held over the usual circuit near Vienna. Thirty-three riders from Austria, Hungary, Yugoslavia, Switzerland and Germany took past, while Great Britain was represented by Davenport (AJS) and Simpson (Norton). TF Bullus was astride a German NSU, which caused a minor sensation, for it bore a considerable resemblance to a well-known British machine; and in actual fact it had been designed by a well-known British designer. In fine weather, and amid clouds of dust and smoke of racing lubricants, the 33 riders were started in pairs, with intervals of 20 seconds between each pair. Hardly twelve minutes had elapsed when round came the leaders again, Walla (493cc Sunbeam) leading, with Simpson (490cc Norton), Gayer (348cc AJS) and Davenport (348cc AJS) in close chase. For a lap or two Gayer led, then Steinfellner, a youthful Viennese student riding a 499cc Rudge, forced his way to the front, to prove an ultimate winner after a fine no-trouble run, beating all previous records; be covered the 192 miles in 3hr 29min (55mph). The great regularity of his run may best be judged from the fact that he actually made the fastest lap of the day at a speed of about 56½mph. Gayer (348cc AJS), who finished next on time round the 17 laps of the course, won the Junior class in fine style, beating the previous class record by no less than half an hour. The 250cc class was won by Elvetio Thricelli, the Swiss rider of a water-cooled. Püch two-stroke (a ”double-single'”) while the 175cc class, in which only 12 laps had to be covered, fell to Uroic, a Yugoslavian rider on a DKW. The British participants did not fare particularly well this time or put up such spectacular performances as was expected of them. Simpson fell out early with a broken oil pipe. Bullus crashed in the first lap, turning a double somersault and landing unhurt in a ditch. Only Davenport finished the race, running third in the 350cc class.”

“Steinfellner (Rudge), the 500cc winner, at the most difficult corner on the course.”
1930 RT AW

“SPEAKING GENERALLY, THE 250cc size in motor cycle engines may be said to mark the border-line between the two-stroke and the four-stroke. The vast majority of units below this size belong to the first category, while above it the converse holds true. It is, therefore, an interesting size, as it provides an opportunity for a rider to make a direct comparison between the two types, though, as a matter of fact, it can never be a fair comparison, owing to the wide divergence in shape of the power curves. In any case, it will usually be found that, while the four-stroke is slightly faster, the two-stroke has better pulling powers, and each has its own particular fascination. A particularly good example of a side-valve four-stroke of this size, the Baker, emanates from a firm well known for two-stroke machines, and forms the subject of this test. Of 249cc capacity, the engine possesses all those features peculiar to the four-stroke, yet poaches in some measure on the two-stroke preserve, for, while having almost unlimited powers of turning over, it has, at the same time, quite an unusual capacity for pulling at low engine speeds, provided that the ignition lever is used intelligently. It is smooth throughout its range, and compares very favourably with an ohv unit in all but sheer maximum speed; certainly it cruises at a speed not very far short of what would be expected of a high-efficiency unit of the same size. The throttle was held in a two-thirds open position for considerable periods of time without the engine showing the least sign of overheating. On the level, this corresponded to a speed in the region of 45mph, and as the maximum can be taken, for normal purposes, as being 52-55mph, this is a very creditable performance. A great deal of wide throttle work in an intermediate gear had, as might be expected, some slight effect. which showed itself as a pinking tendency when accelerating again after changing up. Mechanical noise was not pronounced, and the exhaust only so at fairly high speeds. The former came to the notice mainly as a sound that could be put down to the primary and dynamo chains, and which could probably have been toned down quite considerably with a little attention to the adjustment and lubrication of these moving parts. The tappets were almost entirely inaudible. Apart from the maximum speed already noted, the performance can be summarised by remarking that the machine Climbed Stoneleigh (1 in 9½) with ease in top gear, [and] Edge Hill (1 in 7) with a reserve of power in second. Perhaps the outstanding quality of the 249cc Baker is its ease of handling. No modern machine requires much skill or effort in the actual riding, from the cycling point of view, though many suffer from stiffness, and similar defects, in the controls. The Baker has a very light and reasonably smooth clutch, gears that never fail to engage whatever the engine speed, and which cannot possibly be ‘missed’, and a throttle range with no flat spots or other idiosyncrasies. It is very easy to start, as such a small engine should be, and the other controls are easy to reach and operate. The road-holding and steering are faultless. The brake size appears adequate for the machine’s peed, but, as far as the example tested was concerned, the braking could have be improved with advantage. The brake on the rear wheel was really powerful [but had] a tendency to lock with anything but careful application. The front brake, on the other hand, was not sufficiently powerful, and would not hold the machine on the steepest part of Sunrising Hill. With fast riding the petrol consumption fell between 90 and 100mpg which, is very satisfactory in the circumstances. A great deal too much is expected from a gallon of fuel by most riders. Incidentally, the filler cap is quickly detachable and the orifice is of such a size that a two-gallon can could be emptied straight in without spilling. Small filler apertures do not form a serious fault, but they can be very irritating—they go hand in hand with screw-on caps and other such primitive details. Finally, the lines are particularly good, everything appears to be solidly made, accessibility has been studied, and both rests and bars are adjustable to suit the rider’s dimensions. Altogether, with its dynamo lighting included at the very low, price, the 249cc Baker is a very worthy proposition, which will interest any whose inclinations turn towards a two-fifty, especially as the machine, with empty tanks, comes comfortably within the forthcoming 224lb [road-tax] limit.”

1930 BAKER 250 RT
“The 249cc Baker.”
1930 RT AW

“TO THE ARDENT COMPETITION rider or clubman an engine of 300cc appears to be ‘all wrong’. It puts the machine out of the 250cc class, and is not big enough to compete with the three-fifties. But to the ordinary utility motor cyclist there is very great justification for this between-size. Side-valve machines of 250cc are undoubtedly most attractive and useful to the type of rider who asks for no superlatives in the matter of speed and acceleration, but to whom low first cost, low taxation, reliability, and general ease of upkeep (both of time and pocket) are items of prime importance. Many riders have served their novitiate on machines of this class, and many erstwhile riders of heavy and powerful machines have reverted to 250cc models simply because the light weight and ease of hand ling make an appeal when the first flush of enthusiasm has departed and left a somewhat critical viewpoint as to the justification for manhandling 300lb of machinery on every occasion when a minor journey has to be undertaken. Some, on the other hand, use them as tenders to a bigger machine A side-valve two-fifty is, perhaps, more nearly the ‘Everyman’ model of existing motor cycle practice than any other type of machine. Its only deficiencies are a lack of snappy acceleration and a tendency to feel adversity of wind and gradient to a degree that sometimes becomes annoying. It is just in the elimination of these slight shortcomings of performance that the extra 50cc are valuable, and a notable case in point is the 298cc side-valve Raleigh, which has displaced the previous 248cc model. -Not only does the new engine enable the designer to incorporate larger tyres, bigger tanks, and full electrical equipment without detriment, but the performance is actually enhanced, for those qualities that were just lacking in the smaller engine are now obtained with the slight increase of capacity. There is considerable acceleration in reserve, and long gradients may be ascended at a satisfactory speed without the falling away of pace that awakens the desire for a machine with an engine of larger cubical capacity. The comfortable maximum cruising speed rises, too, from between 37-40mph to 40-45mph, and the actual maximum road speed under ordinary conditions rises from 46mph to a shade over 50mph. Higher speeds could be obtained by tuning, no doubt, but these are conservatively stated figures such as the average rider would obtain. There is no objectionable vibration at the speeds mentioned, and the engine hums along in a most effortless way. Thus it will be seen that the 298cc Raleigh is proof of a very good case for the 300cc engine size in general. The machine is, withal, a genuine lightweight, easy to ride and easy to handle. It avoids the excessive weight of the highly developed 350cc class, which has to withstand mile-a-minute stresses on the one hand, and sidecar loads on the other. These general conclusions were based on the use of the Raleigh over an extended test under singularly adverse conditions. The machine steered very well at any speed within its range; a damper was totally unnecessary. True, its lightness, and its rather short wheelbase, coupled. with a rather sudden action of the front forks combined to show a tendency to buck somewhat on striking potholes at speed, but the remarkable thing was the straightness with which the machine continued its forward progress. Braking was excellent, the front brake being exceptionally smooth and powerful, and having a specially commendable range of cable adjustment. The rear brake was a genuine arrester, but, with the adjustable footrests set rather high, the toe-pad of the pedal was found rather low; it was temporarily improved by the addition of a 1in block of wood to meet the personal fad of the rider. One of the most noticeable qualities of this machine is the high degree of silence that has been attained both mechanically and as to the exhaust. The tappet cover undoubtedly damps noise from this quarter, and the large silencer is most efficient; the general silence, however, results in the noise of the front chain, becoming distinctly prominent if the adjustment is allowed to become slack. Petrol consumption, even when the machine was driven as hard as possible, was better than 80mpg, and the oil consumption appeared to be in the region of at least 1,200mpg, if a suitable grade of fairly heavy body was used. The machine is thus economical from an upkeep point of view. Its accessibility, too, is quite good, and, with the addition of a set of small tube spanners to the standard kit, there is nothing about its maintenance that need deter the average mechanically-minded amateur when overhauling becomes due. The Raleigh was run sufficiently long and hard to establish the fact that it is not prone to lose tune rapidly, nor to need frequent decarbonisation, nor to call for repeated tappet adjustments. The rear brake is finger-adjusted, and the front brake adjustment, although it calls for a spanner, is simplicity itself. There is no suggestion of ‘skimpiness’ in the machine’s appearance; it looks—and is—every inch a well-finished motor cycle. Everything considered, the 298cc Raleigh is an excellent machine for all-round use, fast enough for “‘fast touring” and robust enough to withstand the day-in and day-out stress of hack usage.”

1930 RALEIGH 300 RT
“The 298cc Raleigh, mud-stained after its test.”

“T’OTHER DAY, WHEN I WAS scrapping about as much as a fat and timid old man ever dares to scrap,” Ixion wrote, “somebody about half my age passed me with a bellow from his 1930 five-hundred ohv. Thirst later attacked us both simultaneously, and I noticed that his parked machine, though full cf pep, vim, revs, and other hefty qualities, was a horrid sight from rust. It wouldn’t, I imagine, extract two tenners from the slaughterhouse type of dealer. My own bus, by contrast, was chromiumed. Delivered early this spring, it has been kept in a very damp garage, and has only once been cleaned. A month after delivery I noticed the moist air had deposited on the chromium the kind of bloom which comes when a maid breathes on her mirror; and I rubbed it gently to see how easily this bloom came away. But to-day you could literally put that machine in an agent’s window and it would pass for brand-new. So here’s hats off to chromium; it reduces our labour, preserves our self-respect, and should help an aged machine to fetch a good price from an amateur, a fat allowance from a dealer, or a useful loan from Uncle. Cadmium plating, incidentally, will be making a little bow at Olympia. May this new child follow in chromium’s dazzling footsteps!”

WAL HANDLEY SET A 500cc world record at Arpajon aboard a 500cc FN. “This was an overhead-camshaft job with a massive box-shaped crank case-cum-gear unit, hairpin valve springs, and an ingenious foot gear change with cam operation…Some real excitement occurred next, for de Latour, travelling at well over 80mph on the streamlined 175cc Rovin-JAP, got into a wobble as he crossed the first tape—a slight snaking at first which developed and looked as if it would become a 100% speed wobble and throw him off. Having, no doubt, no more throttle left to turn on, he tried the effect of cutting out; it acted, and the machine straightened up. In the reverse direction of the course the machine was perfectly steady.”

“WL Handley and the FN on which he raised the 500cc mile record to over 121mph. (Right) The fully streamlined 175cc Rovin-JAP which broke a record at 86.36mph.”

“SAFER SOUTHAMPTON CROSSINGS. All the blind corners in the main streets of Southampton are being eased off.”

“AA NIGHTINGALE, 1 MILE. The Automobile Association has issued a list of places in Surrey at which the nightigale may be heard. Even times of ‘performances’ are given.”

“AND NOT PINK ONES! An epidemic of snakes has broken out in the south-east corner of Essex. They have been seen wriggling across the arterial London to Southend road, and a garage hand has killed an adder over three feet long.”

“FOLLOW IN THEIR FINGERPRINTS. ‘Burglars came here for good motor bikes; why not you?’—Notice in a Portsmouth agent’s window.”

“HIS UNFORTUNATE STOP. The trials official who was recently fined £1 at Guildford for laying dye happened to deposit it immediately outside the house of the founder of the Surrey Anti-Litter League!”

“TROUBLE, AND HOW—Lewisham, writes a reader, is one of the wrong places at which to demonstrate the results of studying the publication Speed and How to Obtain It.”

“SPEEDING THE PLOUGH! A farmer in Hampshire is using a motor cycle to draw a plough. He tried it as an experiment, and found it much speedier than the horse.”

HIGH ABOVE THE TRAFFIC. A sight, ‘One-way traffic only’, has been fixed high above the traffic in Horsham (Sussex). It is suspended ion the air and illuminated at night.”

“PREVENTION IS BETTER…About 1,000 tons of rock overhanging the road between Tremadoc and Aberglaslyn Bridge in North Wales were recently removed as the mass was considered likely to become a dangerous ‘avalanche’ at embarrassingly short notice.”

“A club life is a merry one! Ilkley MC members ready for ‘musical chairs’ at a recent gymkhana.”

“‘NO LONGER IS THERE a fellowship of the road; the old spirit is dead.’ How often we find motor cyclists of long experience declaiming in this vein. Generally, on our asking why they hold this opinion, they quote chapter and verse: How they were held up at the roadside in trouble, and how, of the dozen or so motor cyclists who passed, not one slowed down to ask whether he could help. ‘How different it is from the good old days,’ they say; ‘then, motor cyclists were a band of brothers. . . .’ The man who talks in this fashion is both right and wrong. He forgets that in the days he mentions motor cycles were comparatively rare, troubles numerous, and garages infrequent. Now that there are, roughly, three-quarters of a million riders on the road, the position is changed—this is inevitable, for, were a man to stop ask every motor cyclist who is seated at the road whether he needs help, he would find the delay, in the aggregate, intolerable. So people do not stop unless they are sure their assistance is needed. But there is still the same spirit in the movement—every week The Motor Cycle receives a score or more letters from readers who have encountered a good Samaritan; and it is obvious that not all who do so go to the extent of writing a letter recording their experiences. The man in trouble has only to indicate to passing riders that he needs help, and he will get it. A few may pass him by, just as a small percentage did so in the old days, but the modern motor cyclist is quite as ready to lend a helping hand as was his predecessor. The chivalry of the road is not dead, one will it die.”

“ON SATURDAY, THE CLOSING date for entries for the Everyman Utility Motor Cycle Trial of the ACU: twenty-three entries had been received. This figure was but two short of the minimum which that body had decided upon. As a result, the Union issued on the same day a notice to the effect that the trial fixed for October will not be held. In the judgment of some sections of the trade, the ACU acted somewhat hastily. It is felt that with seventeen enterprising manufacturers entered and ready to compete, representing nearly 50% of all, motor cycle manufacturers in this country, a collaborative effort might have been made to obtain the two further entries if twenty-five competitors were absolutely essential in such a novel demonstration. It is a dire pity that the organising body should have necessarily to judge the merit, or otherwise, of the trial by the amount of £sd collected in entry fees; but the ACU is not exactly philanthropic institution.”

“IN THIS ISSUE AN ENTHUSIASTIC amateur speedman relates his experiences and impressions on first taking part in a Brooklands meeting. He tells how he rode an elderly machine, and how be obtained fourth place in a handicap. Readers who are not well acquainted with the famous Weybridge track may be surprised to learn that it is not in the least necessary for the amateur to own an expensive, highly tuned machine in order to race there; indeed, this year, one private owner has actually been riding a 1923 two-stroke, which, while it admittedly has a surprising turn of speed, cost its rider less than £20 to buy! It would not be surprising if our contributor’s article fires a number of other enthusiasts to try their hand at Brooklands. The BMCRC’s entry fees are not extortionate; the handicapping is very fairly done; and all that is required is a machine with a reasonable turn of speed, plus, of course, an adequate factor of safety, a keen interest in getting the best out of it, and the exercise of unselfishness and common sense on the part of the rider while he is racing.”

1930 TT SNR AW
“The famous TT course in the Isle of Man is 37 miles 1,300 yards round; seven laps are covered in each race, thus making the total distance of 264 miles 300 yards. The start is on the outskirts of Douglas, and the course then leads down Bray Hill (at the bottom of which some of the faster machines attain nearly 110mph) to Quarter Bridge, where there is a tricky right-hand bend, taken downhill, followed by a short straight. A fast S-bend at Braddon Bridge, then on past Union Mills, through Crosby, and thence to Ballacraine. At the humped Ballig Bridge, just past Ballacraine, the faster men make extraordinary leaps. Next is Laurel Bank, then comes a, winding section of the course that has been eased and made considerably faster; it brings us to the foot of Creg Willey’s Hill; then on through Kirkmichael to Ballaugh. The Sulby straight, which comes next, and from Sulby to Ramsey, are very fast stretches, the former consisting of a mile of dead straight road. The town of Ramsey is passed through, then comes the famous Ramsey hairpin, and the climb up Snaefell mountain begins; it includes a difficult turn known as the Gooseneck. From the mountain there is a steep drop down at the Bungalow to Craig-n-Baa. The walls are mattressed at Craig-n-Baa as a precaution against a rider misjudging it. or a failure of brakes; then a swoop down into Hillberry, a corner which is taken at over 60mph by the faster riders. Next is Signpost Corner, followed by the Nook, then Governor’s Bridge, the and most acute and therefore safest corner of the circuit. Three-quarters of a mile away, along a straight, tree-lined road, lies the starting point.”

“THERE IS NOTHING LIKE a spice of novelty to whet one’s interest. Not that anything of the sort is necessary in the TT—the blue riband of the motor cycle world is in itself far too enthralling to need any condiment—but there is no denying that…several strikingly novel designs…do add very considerably to the interest of the 1930 Races. So, too, does the large number of Overseas men taking part and the glorious uncertainty prevailing as to the ultimate destination of the three trophies. For years there have not been so many new engines, nor so much experimental work publicly carried out in that most searching and ruthless of tests—road racing. How these new engines and new designs will perform none can say; designers may hope…but even they cannot tell how their theories will turn out under TT conditions, and in more than one case they are taking their courage in both hands, placing their designs in the Races with little or no preliminary test. Such enterprise cannot be too highly commended, and every motor cyclist will survey their efforts with a kindly, sympathetic eye. This applies also to the many men from Overseas, one and all of whom are more than welcome. In most cases they have travelled thousands of miles to compete, fully aware that they are pitting their skill against men who know every inch of the course, and who, moreover, take part not merely in one or two road races a year, but in many, and have all the facilities of powerful factories behind them. One thing we all hope—whether the odds against them prove too much or not—is that they will enjoy their visit and take back with them happy memories of their stay among us.”

“Who wouldn’t envy SA Crabtree the Excelsior which he is riding in the Senior? It is fitted with the new JAP engine and four-speed Burman gearbox.” (Right) “The OEC to be ridden in the Junior Race by J Petrie, the Straits Settlement representative, is a most workmanlike job. It has a spring frame with duplex steering, and is, in fact, very much on standard OEC lines. The engine is a TT JAP, used in conjunction with a Burman gear box having a foot gear change.. The spring frame is both neat and simple.”

“THE MAJORITY OF MOTOR CYCLISTS have yet to see a TT race,” Ixion remarked. “This is a very sad thought. They do not know what glorious fun it is; nor yet how very cheaply one may see a single race—preferably the Senior. It is naturally a moderately expensive business to go for the week, and see all three races, though not more costly than the sort of annual holiday which most motor cyclists achieve; but one race can be seen for quite a small sum. I am a fairly blasé person, who has been to most places, and seen most of the great sporting events, at home and abroad; but I confess that each year I still feel the same old pulsating thrill when the riders line up on the tarmac gridiron for the Senior, and I get just as excited as ever during the last lap when the man in the lead is wondering whether his luck will last another 30 miles or not. In fact, the excitement is too tense for some of the oldsters. I know one normally placid trader of 50 summers who becomes stark, staring mad, and barks just like a terrier which has had no exercise for weeks, and has just been let out into the sun and chased a cat up a tree. If you can’t go, well, you can’t. In that case remember The Motor Cycle telegrams. Or, better still, have a violent bilious attack, and don’t go back to work after lunch. For, thanks to the telephone cable laid last year, the BBC are going to do a running commentary with a couple of microphones, one at the grandstand, and the other at a fierce corner—probably Craig-ny-Baa. The commentary is planned to last the best part of an hour, and to cover the final lap; and listening-in ought to be the next best thing to seeing the Senior.”

“The workmanlike AJS for the Senior Race.” (Right) “The distinctive Royal Enfield for the Junior Race.”

“EARLY ARRIVALS HAVE SEEN the Island at its best—and its best is very lovely…blue skies, blue sea, bluebells and golden gorse, and over all the swelling grandeur of the mountains to soothe the heart of the hill countryman. In fact, one would be hard put to it to find a better place for a holiday.”

“DOUGLAS STANDS WHERE IT DID, though it has been taken to pieces during the winter and is the process of being put together —’better than new’. The harbour is being dredged, the promenade widened, and there are rows of new shop fronts and a huge new cinema. The course is in fine order, though a trifle bumpy near Windy Corner and Bray Hill, and in need of sweeping; all the rest is good. There have been widenings at Kirkmichael, Ballaugh, and Glen Helen, but the last mentioned spot will need watching; the hotel corner is temptingly wide, as the stream has been covered and now forms part of an excellent read, but the last part of the bend is as tricky as ever—more so, perhaps, on account of the tempting approach.”

“THE GRANDSTANDS ARE TO be made more comfortable! In the more expensive seats spectators, instead of sitting on bare boards, will probably have cushions or something equally conducive to bodily comfort. Another new feature is that all riders will have to wear leather clothing. Most of them have done so in the past, but when all is said and done, a precautionary measure such as this new regulation is a wise one…How is it that we never see a woman in the TT? is a question many people ask. The rules, however, preclude women from riding, and, incidentally, no one under the age of 18 is allowed to compete…Each of the races will again be over seven laps of the course, making a distance of 264 miles, 300 yards…All told 60 JAP engines are being built for the TT, of which 40 to 50 will actually be used.”

“The novel valve gear of the four-valve 350cc Rudge. There are six rockers and two push rods. Note the heavy finning around the exhaust ports. (Right) Strictly speaking, the new 248cc OK engine is not of the ohc type, for the cams are mounted at the upper end of the vertical shaft, cross tappets operating the rockers. The rockers and the slotted tappet block are detachable in one piece.”

ALL RIDERS VISITING THE TT were required, within 24 hours of arrival on The Island, to register their mounts with the Isle of Man Highways Board in Douglas—a two-month ‘licence certificate’ cost ten bob and a Manx riding licence was also required for an extra shilling. To put this in perspective, it cost 5s 6d to take a solo to the Island or 8s 6d for an outfit. As a special race-week concession the return fare was reduced to 4s 6d/7s. There was also an ‘unloading charge ‘ of 1s or 2s for a solo and combo respectively. A day-trip for pedestrians cost 8s.

THE TT BROADCAST. During the Senior Race Mr BH Davies, of The Motor Cycle, will give a running commentary of the race as seen from the grandstand, and Major RVC Brook, of the ACU, will describe the race as well from Craig-ny-Baa corner. The two commentaries will be broadcast from both the National transmitters and all provincial stations of the BBC between 12.45pm and 1.45pm on Friday, June 20th.”

“COMPETITORS’ FUEL. The only fuels allowed to the competitors are either commercial petrol or commercial benzole, or any mixture of the two. The ACU supplies ten gallons of the fuel demanded free of charge. No lubricating oil is allowed to be added to the fuel.”

“RECORD LAPS IN THE RACES. Senior (500cc): CJP Dodson (Sunbeam), 30min, 47sec=73.65mph, 1929. Junior (350cc): FG Hicks (Velocette), 31min 55sec=70.95mph, 1929. Lightweight (250cc): P Ghersi (Guzzi), 33min 59sec=66.63mph, 1929. Ultra-Lightweight (175cc): WL Handley (Rex-Acme), 54.48mph, 1925. Sidecar: (600cc): FW Dixon (Douglas), 57.18mph, 1925.”

FOR THE FIRST TIME the Isle of Man authorities put £5,000 into the TT kitty, of which £3,500 was earmarked to subsidise the costs of overseas entrants. Entries were received from 19 countries, including the first Japanese rider to compete internationally. Tada Kenzo had been racing motor cycles since 1921, when there were only 20 racers in Japan, and was a leading organiser of motorsport events. He also imported Velocettes. Velocette management invited him to come and ride the KTT that took Alec Bennett to third place in the 1929 Junior TT. The journey from Tokyo the Douglas took 40 days; Kenzo, who was used to Japanese dirt tracks, arrived a month early to learn his way round the Mountain circuit. He acquitted himself well, gaining 15th place, and the nickname ‘the India Rubber Man’, as he took numerous minor spills during the course of the race, yet always remounted, and completed the Junior TT in fine time. Years later he recalled: “I went home via the Mediterranean Sea, through the Suez Canal to Singapore and then to Hong Kong before arriving home after a 41-day trip. Mine was the first overseas racing expedition to be completed, and it linked the racing community of Japan with the rest of the racing world.” The next Japanese TT riders, in 1959, brought Hondas with them.

“The power unit of the new Lightweight OK Supreme bristles with unusual features. Note the sight feed in the centre of the camshaft drive, the large engine sump, positive foot gear change, and peculiar disposition of the carburetter. (Right) The rocking-pedal gear control on the TT Raleighs. Foot operation is standard on almost all machines this year.”

“DOUGLAS, THURSDAY, JUNE 5TH. Four-thirty of A warm June morning; a primrose Vauxhall slides across the finishing line and RA Prescott, of the ACU, reports all clear and no mist. A minute later Major Dixon Spain gives the word and Jimmie Simpson on his Norton crackles away down the course. Practice has begun! There was a fine turn-out for the first morning. Fifty-three riders and sixty-one motor cycles took the course and completed eighty-three laps between them. Jimmie got away just before a warning of sheep on the road at the 13th milestone was received; he met the sheep while he was ‘trying out his steering’. However, he held the model as few but he could do; and thereafter stopped to think about it over a smoke. Result—a slow first-lap, retrieved by a 32min 27sec second lap (69.9mph). Graham Walker (Rudge) put in two quick ones—32min 17sec (70.01mph) and 32min 56sec (68.8mph), and a third not so good, but the best Senior time went to Stanley Woods (Norton) in 31min 21sec (72.3mph). There were six to Senior times under 33 minutes.”

RUDGE FOUR-VALVE SINGLES ridden by Tyrell-Smith, Ernie Nott and Graham Walker romped home 1st, 2nd and 3rd in the Junior (Nott set a lap record of 72.27mph) even though the radial-valve 350cc engine was so new that only one prototype had been run, on the bench, before the team headed for the Island. When scrutineers checked the engines following the race all three were found to have cracked pistons and two had broken valve springs. Rudge’s pent-roof 500s were better developed. Tyrell-Smith’s mount dropped out with ignition problems but his team-mates, Wal Handley (who had borrowed a Rudge from Jim Whalley after his FN failed to turn up) and Graham Walker, finished 1st and 2nd in the Senior; Handley raised the lap record to 76.28mph. It would be the final solo TT win for an ohv engine. Riding through torrential rain they saw off strong opposition from the Sunbeam team led by double TT winner Charlie Dodson and the formidable Norton trio of Stanley Woods, Jimmy Simpson and Tim Hunt. The Nortons were powered by a revamped cammy engine designed by Arthur Carroll that would become an icon for Norton’s racing prowess.

KTTs were selling globally, having finished 1st, 3rd, 5th, 6th, 7th 10th and 11th in the 1929 Junior. Of the dozen Velo fellows in the 1930 Junior, only half were English. L-R: T Oscarsson (Sweden, 13th), D Hall (South Africa, 4th), AG Mitchell (England, 7th), Harold Willis (England—and a Veloce director, DNF), Tada Kendo (Japan, 15th), S Williams (Australia, DNF), E Thomas (England, DNF), A Mitchell (England, DNF), V Naure (Spain, DNF), O Sebessy (Hungary, 18th), J Hanson (England, DNF) and Somerville Sikes (with that moniker obviously England, 22).

The Lightweight provided Jimmy Guthrie with his first TT win, aboard an AJS. Here a concise report on the action by Geoff Davison, a former TT winner and editor of the TT Special: “Sensation was provided at the beginning of practising by the announcement that Wal Handley, who had been entered on a Senior FN, would be riding a Rudge. He was not one of the official Rudge team, being entered by Jim Whalley, the Bristol agent, and he did not have a mount at all in the Junior race, much to everyone’s regret. What was so staggering about the Rudge 1-2- 3 success in the Junior was that it was the first time the firm had ever competed in the Junior event. Another eye-opener, too, was Tyrell Smith’s first practice Junior lap. His time on the very first day of practising was 31min 29sec. This was Junior record for the course and it stood throughout the full nine days of practising. It was not until the eighth practice day that Wal showed what he could do on his Senior Rudge—a lap in 30min 7sec, 40sec faster than the existing lap record. Then, on the last day of practice, Charlie Dodson put up a lap at exactly the same speed—and we settled down for a week’s fine racing. In the Junior Tyrell soon showed that his record practice lap was no flash-in-the-pan. He was three seconds behind Charlie Dodson (Sunbeam) on the first lap, but drew up to tie with him on the second. Charlie dropped back in the third lap, leaving Tyrell in the lead, hotly pursued by two AJSs and two Velocettes. The next Rudge (Ernie Nott’s) was sixth, but only 57sec separated the first six men. Then other Rudge came on to the leader-board. Tyrell Smith had less than half-a-minute’s lead over Jim Guthrie (AJS), Harold Willis (Velocette) was only 17sec behind Jim, and Freddy

Jimmy Guthrie scored his first TT victory in the Lightweight for AJS and is clearly tickled pink. (Right) Wal Handley was entered in the Senior on an FN but went on to score a famous victory on the all-conquering Rudge.

Hicks (AJS) ten seconds behind Harold. What a race it was! Jim held his place in the fifth lap, but Willis and Hicks had gone. Jim retired in the sixth lap and from then onwards the Rudge trio had no serious rivals. Only 58sec separated the first from the third, and, to make their victory more conclusive, these three were the members of the winning Rudge team. In the Lightweight race Jim Guthrie won the first of his series of six TTs. He was sixth only on the first lap and fourth on the second lap. He took the lead on the third lap and was never seriously challenged except by the OK Supremes in the hands of Paddy Johnston and CS Barrow. Wal Handley, on his Rudge, had a runaway win in the 1930 Senior, and, in spite of bad weather in the closing stages of the race, record speeds and record laps were established. Walter was never seriously challenged and he told me after the race that he had seldom used more than three-quarter throttle. I saw him at various points round the course and he was terrific—as usual. What he would have been like if he had turned the wick right up, I just can’t imagine! Graham Walker on another Rudge was second, three minutes behind him, and Jim Simpson, who had now changed over to the Norton camp, was third. Wal Handley’s record lap was done in 29min 41sec—the first time the circuit had been covered in under the half-hour—and to Jim Whalley goes the credit of being the only agent-entrant of a winning Senior machine.” RESULTS Senior: 1, Wal L Handley (Rudge), 74.24mph; 2, Graham W Walker (Rudge); 3, Jimmy H Simpson (Norton); 4, Charlie JP Dodson (Sunbeam); 5, Tom Frederick (Sunbeam); 6, HG Tyrell Smith (Rudge); 7, G Ernie Nott (Rudge); 8, Vic Brittain (Sunbeam); 9, JG Lind (AJS); 10, JG Duncan (Raleigh). Junior: 1, HG Tyrell Smith (Rudge), 71.08mph; 2, G Ernie Nott (Rudge); 3, Graham W Walker (Rudge); 4, D Hall (Velocette); 5, CJ Williams (Raleigh); 6, Stanley Woods (Norton); 7, AG Mitchell (Velocette); 8, G Himing (AJS); 9, Percy ‘Tim’ Hunt (Norton); 10, Leo H Davenport (AJS). Lightweight: 1, Jimmy Guthrie (AJS), 64.71mph; 2, CW ‘Paddy’ Johnston (OK-Supreme); 3, CS Barrow (OK Supreme); 4, Sid G Gleave (SGS); 5, JG Lind (AJS); 6, EA ‘Ted’ Mellors (New Imperial); 7, Edwin Twemlow (Cotton); 8, Chris Tattersall (SGS); 9, CE Needham (Rex-Acme); 10, Vic C Anstice (Excelsior).

Jimmie Simpson’s placed third in the Senior behind a pair of Rudges, but Norton’s star was rising. (Right) Tada Kenzo was the first Japanese rider to reach the Island: his performance helped boost international sales of KTT Velos.

“THE BAN PLACED ON road racing by the Transvaal Provincial Administration has been raised so far as the famous Durban-Johannesberg road race is concerned, the reason being force of public opinion.”

“ONCE AGAIN CJP DODSON (493cc Sunbeam) claimed victory at Southport, winning by a good margin after seemingly faster men finished a short and merry course and left things to him to complete in his own style. No rider appears to have struck that necessary balance between speed and reliability better than ‘CJP'” The 50-lap sand race took a heavy toll on the machines—there were 60 starters but only 10 riders completed the course..

EVE DARES—AND CONQUERS: That First Lesson on The-sidecar-that-won’t-go-straight. “There was the roar of a powerful engine in the drive and an even louder roar from my brother Bill’s powerful lungs. ‘Come on, Molly, you might as well get the hang of it.’ My new (and first) sidecar outfit had arrived! Bill wheeled it into the road, and there began the first lesson. ‘Now mind,’ said he, ‘it will pull to the left, and your job is to keep it straight. Of course,’ he added thoughtfully, ‘it wouldn’t pull so much on the crown of the road, but if we were to meet anything you wouldn’t be able to get out of the way quickly enough.’ I felt vaguely that he was right. The whole thing looked so big after my solo mount, and I am of the lean kind. Bill climbed into the sidecar, and we started. He was right about pulling to the left. It did! I felt there was a magnet drawing me to the hedge, inviting me to take a short cut across the fields. I felt I dare not take my hands from the bars for a single second. ‘Change up,’ from the sidecar. ‘Daren’t.’ (crescendo from the engine). ‘Change up.’ (crescendo from the sidecar). ‘CAN’T!'” (crescendo from me). But at last I managed to take my courage in both hands and the gear lever in one, and changed up. To my surprise I found myself still on the road. ‘Now, ‘thought I, ‘nothing to do but keep straight; that’s all—keep her straight. Pull to the left, would she? I’ll watch she doesn’t.’ And within a hundred yards I had steered a course right across the road, and fetched up with the front wheel touching a letter-box that was let into a wall. ‘We have nothing to post,’ said Bill, coldly. Knowing that, metaphorically, the eyes of all the lads of the village were on me, I made a fresh start, and by dint of much concentration, a little Couéism*, and a great holding of breath, I steered into the lane—and, wonder of wonders, presently found myself thinking what a simple business it all was. The lane led into a main road. ‘Stop!'” roared Bill. ‘Don’t go cutting across that main road.’ I stopped and asked him if he took me for an idiot. ‘No,’ he answered with a grin, ‘you’re not such an idiot as you look. It is always a ticklish job driving a sidecar for the first time, and you haven’t done so badly.’ I glowed. Brotherly praise is always niggardly, and I forgave him everything, even the sarcasm at the letter-box. I could drive a sidecar, and was at peace with the world.”—MC
*Couéism: A system of self-induced suggestion in which individuals attempt to guide their own thoughts, feelings, or behaviour. Developed by French psychotherapist Emile Coué who coined the slogan “Every day in every way I am getting better and better.”

“I ALWAYS PASS ON SIDECAR queries to ‘Friar John’, who has forgotten more about sidecars than I ever knew,” Ixion wrote, “and you’ll save a little time, brethren, if you write him direct. But I cannot help noticing that of late I have received an usual number of sidecar questions by post, and that nearly all of them emanate from novices, who find a chair just a little uncontrollable at their initial essays. In most cases they seem to have got into trouble through cornering to the left rather daringly, lost their heads, become confused as to whether the front wheel simply steers, or is intended to maintain balance as well, as it does on a two-wheeler. Then they get the wind up, and begin to wonder whether the chair is properly adjusted, or the frame is true, and so on. In these matters an ounce of practice is worth a ton of theory, and I personally consider that every sidecar novice ought to make a trip or two with an experienced rider at the helm. He will soon learn horn to manage this very simple layout on left-hand corners, and so forth. But I fully admit that a serious blunder in the first week starts a fellow imagining all sorts of things. Agents, please take notice, and keep a tender eye on your novice customers! I served my novitiate on sidecars in days when the chair was fitted indifferently on either side, and might be of the ‘flexible’, ‘rigid’ or ‘duplex steering’ variety. There was nobody to tell me anything, and I made some awful faux pas. Amongst others, I remember getting my leg most painfully nipped between the tank and a coachbuilt chair on a flexible chassis when I was speed-cornering. I also remember taking out a chair fitted on the left side of the bike, on which I always mounted from the push start (compulsory in that clutch-less era), and hopping along for miles with my leg waving in the air in a vain attempt to mount from the wrong side.”

“On Park Rash. Kettlewell, which is to be included in the London-Edinburgh Trial. Intending competitors studying this picture need not become unduly optimistic—the well-loaded Scott has sidecar wheel drive!”

“‘YOU LIFT THAT LEVER when you want to stop,” said the voice in my ear, “and pull this one towards you when you want to go faster. Remember, you must lift the exhaust and run with the machine to start her, and be sure and jump quickly as soon as the engine fires. I’ll push you off, and remember to give a pumpful of oil every eight miles.’ Somehow I was learning to ride my first machine over again. ‘Queer,’ I thought, as the engine went ‘pop-pop-pop’; ‘I’m sure I’ve done all this before.’ But I seemed to have forgotten all that I knew, and it was with heart in mouth that I negotiated the corners of the tricky Cornish lanes, and pulled various levers and gadgets to see what happened. The machine was an old single-cylinder belt driver, with no clutch or gears. She must have been a prehistoric model, yet the paintwork and enamel seemed strangely fresh and new. A straying horse in the middle of the road nearly brought me off the saddle, and when I came to a steep hill the engine conked out, and although I pedalled breathlessly, I had to push to the summit. I should have seen the Atlantic Ocean from the top of the rise, but instead the scene changed in some mysterious fashion, and I found myself on the Bath Road near Slough, learning to drive my first sidecar machine. This time there was a little handle on the left-hand side of the tank that had to be wound vigorously to get into gear. The machine shot forward in alarming fashion unless I was very careful, and the wheel of the wicker sidecar had an uncanny knack of trying to tickle my left ear on corners. I was just passing Skindle’s Hotel at Maidenhead when I saw the Marble Arch on the left-hand side, and found that my sidecar had changed into a coach-built model, while the machine had grown a countershaft gear box. I stopped near Notting Hill Gate, and a knot of people quickly gathered. I wondered what they were looking at, until I remembered that disc wheels were fitted to the outfit, and that these were a novelty on motor cycles. I moved off hurriedly, and taking the first turn to the right found myself on the front at Brighton. Suddenly the sea and the people on the front grew dim, and a great noise of rushing water came to my ears. ‘Spit to the left, please,’ said a voice that I seemed to know. I sat upright and opened my eyes to see the dentist proudly holding a huge molar in his forceps.”

“IT IS AN AXIOM THAT there is no finer sporting event in the whole motor cycle calendar than the Arbuthnot Trophy Trial—the sporting ” one-day ” for naval officers. But this year the trial excelled itself. As usual, there were no observers (every competitor reports his own stops, generally adding caustic comments about his riding ability!), and, of course, there were no protests, ‘requests for investigation’, or anything of that sort—there never are; it a day’s fun that for its cheeriness and true sport is a real tonic. to the organising officials and pressmen alike. This year’s trial, which was held last Saturday, was the best of the lot. First, the entry was easily a record. All told, thirty-three entered, of whom thirty-two actually took part, which says a lot for the keenness of the present-day generation of naval officers, for the number in home waters or at home stations is limited, and not all of these can get leave or afford the expense involved in reaching the venue and competing. Secondly, the course was on Camberley Heath, and consisted of a thoroughly sporting 15-mile circuit. And, thirdly, Lady-Arbuthnot—the wife of the late Rear-Admiral Sir Robert Keith Arbuthnot, Bart, a famous pre-War motor cyclist in whose memory the trial is held—was present and distributed the awards. Four laps of the course had to be covered; two in an anti-clockwise direction in the morning and two clockwise in the afternoon, so making a total distance of 60 miles. Special permission had been granted to the ACU, the organisers, for the use of the section of heath that lies between Bagshot and Wellington College, and from start to finish the competitors found themselves careering up and down the rutted, bumpy tracks and paths with which Camberley abounds. Although there was only one real stopper in the way of hills—The Devil, his Drop—every inch of the course was real hard riding, mostly on loose, sandy earth. Excitement, and much pushing, came early, for a bare half-mile from the start lay Devil’s Drop, which consists of a narrow, sandy rubble path that makes a bee-line up a 1-in-4 hillside. The first man, Cdr CAG Hutchison (248cc Ariel) left the straight and narrow path and ploughed through the undergrowth at the side, to complete a strenuous climb by the aid of many foot-pounds of energy. Lieut JH Illingworth, (172cc Zenith), after stopping momentarily owing to his engine coughing and spitting, also paddled up, but Lt-Cdr RC Hovenden (400cc Matchless) ‘came to rest very early on with wheelspin, and so did another Silver Arrow ridden by Lieut HC Simms. Lt-Cdr Farquhar (550cc Triumph) dug himself in with spin near the top, but Surgeon-Lieut AWY Price (495cc Matchless) charged up non-stop, waving a foot occasionally, while Lieut AJ Tyndale-Biscoe (172cc Dot) walked his model up, praising Allah that it was light. With his machine pulling a high and go getting wheelgrip, Sub-Lieut P Sargent (486cc AJS) made a stout show, only footing to avoid exploring the adjacent countryside. Then Sub-Lieut BR Faunthorpe (346cc Levis) arrived, and charged straight up with his feet on the rests—a brilliant exhibition of riding, and the first of the only two clean climbs. A Panthette, ridden by Lt-Cdr WS Jameson, and aided by strenuous, high-speed footwork, was also non-stop, but both Lt-Cdr CW May (493cc BSA) and Lieut B Bryant (492cc Sunbeam) found their bottom gears too high—and that was that. Then another wonderful feet-up effort, this time by Lieut RH Aldworth (348cc Triumph), to be followed by Lieut B O’Donnell o a 343cc duplex-steering spring-frame 0EC-Villiers, who suddenly measured his length in the sandy loam at the bottom of the hill. Next came an elderly Rudge-Multi in the hands of Sub-Lieut LC Smith,

“Lt-Cdr Farquhar (550cc Triumph) foots his way past Lieut Simms (400cc Matchless) on Devil’s Drop.”

which, with its ultra-high bottom gear, had naturally not the slightest chance. Sub-Lieut M Hare, on a ‘very Brooklands’ Blackburne-engined McEvoy, stopped, baulking Sub-Lieut Jameson (489cc P&M), who, in trying to pass, leapt into the air and collapsed on the bank. Bottom gear jumping out put paid to the chances of Sub-Lieut Ashburner (498cc Triumph), and wheelspin to those of Pay-Sub-Lieut Newcombe (349cc BSA), but Lieut CBV Pugh (499cc Rudge) kept going with a spot of footwork. Then Lt-Cdr. TH Hack (499cc Rudge) spread-eagled himself in the bracken, and Lieut G Simpson, also on an ‘Ulster’ Rudge and Lieut CE Webley (494cc Triumph) explored the neighbouring landscape. After Midshipman GN Beaumont (492cc Sunbeam) had woffled to a standstill on a very high bottom gear, two other midshipmen—BWC Leonard (346cc Excelsior-JAP) and MG Gaidner (494cc Douglas) made ‘feet, fastish, VG’ climbs. Next arrived a Pendine model Brough, ridden by Lieut CRA Grant, only to fail with spin; then Midshipman RS Hawkins (600cc P&M) shot up at speed with the taps turned right up and his feet as ‘model straighteners’; a pukka he-man show that deserved what it received—success. Coat-in-carburetter trouble brought Lieut JI Robertson (348cc AJS) to a stop, while the one remaining man, Lieut WG Pulvertaft (498cc Raleigh) tried tackling the hill at little more than a walking pace and kept exploring the banks. On the competitors went—up hill and down dale, over colonial tracks and a bridge with half its planks missing, and through deep sand, a patch of bog, and leafy glades with overhanging boughs. Here and there large boxes of tacks were bought by those who rode fey. Lieut HC Simms (400cc Matchless) was one of these; after trouble with a partially burnt-out clutch, he tried to make up time, and proceeded to charge over gullies and ruts at 35 and more in way that spoke volumes for the efficiency of the Silver Arrow’s spring frame, but finally down he went—wallop. Pay-Sub-Lieut Newcombe (349cc BSA) also made a purchase and hurt his arm as the result. The titbit of the afternoon was the reverse side of Devil’s Drop, and very little excitement occurred at ‘Ye Pimple’ and ‘Fearsome’ (these names will not be found on the map!) which were about the next in order of fierceness. However, Ye Pimple, which is a 20-yard 1-in-4 hummock, stopped Cmdr Hutchinson, whose 248cc Ariel suddenly conked…Devil’s Drop No 2, however, gave everyone plenty to think about—especially the officials, who removed their coats and organised themselves into towing squads…one after another competitors found themselves either charging down the hillside or stalled with wheelspin. Lt-Cdr Jameson (246cc P&M Panthette) caused the greatest pother by rolling over and over down the hillside accompanied by his machine. No damage was done, which also applied to Lt-Cdr Hovenden, who left his Silver Arrow and completed a neat series of downhill somersaults. The absolute star of the afternoon was Midshipman RS Hawkins (600cc P&M); once round the bend he opened the model just about flat and charged up non-stop with only slight footing…Straightaway the ACU officials worked out the results, whereupon Lady Arbuthnot presented the trophy to Midshipman RS Hawkins, who made the best performance.”

“Midshipman RS Hawkins (600cc P&M), the winner.”

“SPURRED ON BY MR GRAHAM WALKER’S impressions in great road races, I am making attempt to give an insight into the thoughts and thrills of a rider in his first race at Brooklands. The thrills may actually be imaginary, but they feel very real at the time. In fact, I can’t remember when I have had such a gamut of emotions, and they are all really firmly impressed on my mind. None of my friends appeared to believe that my machine was any use at all, and it was generally agreed that it was good for about 65 flat out, if that. In order to have a real laugh at them, and also to see what this Brooklands racing was like, I decided to have a try at the next meeting, in a three-lap handicap. In common with most others who have never tried it, I didn’t think there could be any real skill required or any real thrills in riding a machine at Brooklands, although I knew well enough that it was horribly bumpy in parts. I ought, perhaps, to say at this stage that the machine in question is an ohv two-fifty of 1924 or 925 vintage, and was built for the TT, so that at one time it was quite fast for its size; now, of course, it is considerably worn, and has become rather unreliable in many ways. I spent many weary nights working on the engine in the garage. trying to get the head and ports back to their original


condition, and trying also to get the valves and guides properly seated. This last was always a nasty proposition as the guides normally used to wear out in a hundred miles or so, and the valves then failed to seat properly or, rather, they cut themselves new seats as they wore. Nor did I trouble to strip it properly, or even pay much attention to the rest of the machine since, truth to tell, I hadn’t any real faith in her capabilities as a real, honest-to-goodness racing machine. The real snag was the piston. I had seized the existing one—a good one—a few weeks earlier, and all I could obtain was a very high-compression affair, which was bound to touch the valves, and which was so thin in the crown that the maker vowed it couldn’t possibly last at Brooklands. Anyway, I put it in, with two washers the barrel to prevent it hitting the valves and also to reduce the compression a bit and thus prevent it melting. I ran it in slightly on a grass track, and then it off a bit where it showed signs of seizing, noticing with grave suspicion that it had been infernally hot, even on a small throttle opening. Altogether, when I arrived on the Saturday afternoon to race, I didn’t feel particularly optimistic, especially as I never before been round the track solo at more than about 20mph. Still, as I have said, I didn’t expect that any real skill would have to be applied. It looks so devilish easy to cut round the edge of the banking when you watch the regulars at the game. To get the oiling right and also to warm her up generally, I took her up to the sheds and back, opening the oil pump right out. I imagined that even at full throttle this would fairly flood the engine with oil and so cool the piston a bit, even if it did make me a bit slower. Imagine my horror, on coming in and adjusting the tappets, to find that the inner exhaust valve spring was broken! And this with a piston that was bound to hit the valves if I over-revved! Anyhow, there wasn’t any time to change it, and I wasn’t going to go without my race after all this trouble, so I decided to carry on. On the line at last, and with chronic wind-up. How beastly funny one feels out on the concrete with

“…many weary nights working on the engine…how deaf and awkward one is in a crash helmet…The Members’ Bridge, and I’m fairly low down still…”

the crowd watching, and how deaf and awkward one is in a crash hat—it always seems to deaden all my senses and I can’t feel whether my engine is OK. Oil and petrol are-on, but I must wait till the last minute before I put my goggles down, otherwise I shall fog them before I start. At last, here is the flag. I have 1min 46sec to wait after the limit man, so I can easily get my goggles down then. Off goes the limit man, Hood, on his 172cc two-stroke SOS; a minute later, and I begin to think what an enormous start he’s got. I can hear him howling right away round on the Railway Straight; I can’t possibly hope to make all that up in three laps. Now, goggles down. Get ready, flood and stand by. Shove! Not a very good start. I choked her at first. That’s that dope; I ought to have remembered to have closed the air more when she was half cold like this. I am into second gear almost at once; I’ve got wide-ratio gears which, funnily enough, seem to be quite suitable for this job. And now, lots of revs in second—hang the piston it’s bound to get it, anyway. I mustn’t change up until I am at least well on the first part of the banking. Then top. I don’t want to keep too close in, as no one seems to do this now; about fifteen yards out ought to be enough…But I’d, no idea the old relic could travel like; I. can’t possibly bank over much further with that nearly smooth front tyre, so I shall have to go higher up the banking. The Members’ Bridge, and I’m fairly low down still. I mustn’t go any higher—it will look too ridiculous for a two-fifty…Phew! Skids! Ghastly at this speed, and with the bus banked ours like that. How frightfully bad it seems here; it’s all sandy. I wish I had kept a bit closer in coming off the banking, but still, hordes of ravening machine haven’t rushed past me yet, so I must be going reasonably well. It really feels as if I’m moving like blazes, but I suppose that’s due to the fact that I haven’t been doing any speed for ages. That piston most be getting. warmed up by now; I wonder if it will last much longer. There must be tons of oil at present, anyhow, as I was smoking well when I started. I wonder if that pump really delivers much too much; but I shan’t be able to tell until next lap, even if I can see then, at this speed. This Straight seems to be much smoother than the rest of the track; it’s obviously the place to look to the oiling on the next lap. Here’s the Byfleet banking, but I daren’t go right in after all. It looks too beastly slippery right at the edge where everyone’s tyres have worn it, and I’m banked over as far as I dare already. And now we are getting to the Fork. There ought to be those bumps soon, I suppose…No, they’re on the straight part. I must get well over to the tell here, away from the sheds. I can straighten up soon now—Gosh! A really violent wobble! I thought my heart would choke me then. I must be careful to see that I’m really straight next time before I hit that bump! I fairly seemed to soar, and landing crooked like that nearly finished me. That’s what comes of not hugging the edge closely enough. If I’d been right in I should have been straight before I got as far as the really big bump. I fancy, too, that it isn’t so big near the edge, but I bet it startled a few people in the Paddock. Must look really bad, right in front or the pits like that. Here’s the banking again. Nasty bumps coming up m it, 1 believe. I wonder if I can keep in a bit closer this time? But I must see that I get out far enough to miss that sand, which has evidently sprayed out from sandbanks put up at the end of the Finishing Straight for a car race. The old tub is certainly doing some revs now. I can’t remember ever hearing her sound like it, but this filthy crash hat makes everything sound dull. Here we are coming off the Members’ Banking, and—oh! confound it! The revs ore dropping! It must have been clutch slip, after all, then, accounting for these amazing revs. Put she only has to be eased slightly on the throttle to grip properly. Thank goodness, it doesn’t seem to no so bad now that it’s gipped again. I simply dare not let the revs get too high or that weak spring will do the piston in. There’s Dussek waving, stopped on the Straight. Something gone west, I suppose. And there’s Hood in front. I seem to be fairly eating him up…Heavens! he’s wobbling all over the track, just before the Byfleet Banking, too. I must give him plenty of room; I hope he doesn’t crash. It looks as it his damper had seined up solid. (It was actually a broken front fork spindle, I believe.) By Jove! I’m really leading a race at last! Confound it, though, there’s that clutch at it again. I shall have to ease down. Perhaps it’s just as well, as I’m going quite as fast as I dare close in like this…that back tyre is getting on for three years old! I really daren’t bank over another inch. Heavens!

“Those last two were going great guns…”

What wind up! I’m really sweating over it. My wrists feel it a bit, too, clinging on for dear life like this. If only 1 had a bit more experience I could ease my grip a bit where I knew there wasn’t any very bad going. Really close in for this last bit, to get as near in as possible and miss that colossal bump. Thank Heavens, that’s passed it OK. It certainly isn’t half as bad close in, although I seem to be going just as fast as before in spite of the clutch slip. I’ll swear the engine feels peppier than ever now; perhaps the oil is getting down a bit, and there’s less drag. Here’s the Paddock and the bumps to the banking again. I’m still leading, and if this keeps up I can’t possibly finish last. What a rag! That rotten clutch is slipping much worse up the hill now. Still, here’s the Bridge, and she’s bound to a few revs down the hill again. Now I am on the Straight I’d better look round and see if I can see any smoke from the exhaust…Not a sign. Still, I probably wouldn’t, anyway at this speed, but I’d better try and give her a pump from that foot oiler if I can reach it; it is really fairly smooth, just here…No! It can’t be done! Needs too much effort and gave me a nasty wobble trying. It’s no use to balance on one rest without kneegrips in this riding position. The piston will have to take its chance. Great Scott! Here’s the Byfleet banking for the last time, and nobody’s passed me yet! If this piece antediluvian sheet-iron will only hold together for a bit more I’m bound to be reasonably up…Oh, dash! here’s someone after all! But he’s not so very much faster, so he can’t be one of the very late starters. In spite of that clutch I seem to be going jolly fast still. I wonder how many more will pass me? I must get a bit closer to the grass if I can. I wonder if there’s anyone passing inside? Dash it, there is! Going like stink, too; and another on the outside. Those last two were going great guns, too. One was a Norton. That must have been the scratch man, I should think. No one else in sight now. I’ll get right in close for the last bit. It doesn’t seem so bad after all, but that back tyre must be having a life, and then some, with these bumps when we’re banked over like this. Nicely passed the big bump again. Here’s the finishing line. Well I’m hanged—fourth I must be after all that! How perfectly amazing! Wonder what piston will look like after all these revs. Shut off and cruise down to the Paddock. I must say that was the most marvellous bit of fun I’ve ever had!” RBB

OEC OF GOSPORT, HANTS dropped a blown 996cc Temple-JAP V-twin into its hub-centre-steering duplex frame and Brooklands star Joe Wright rode it into the record books with a 137.23mph two-way average at Arpajon near Paris. [This was the first run to break Glenn Curtiss’s unofficial 136.27mph record on his four-litre V8 at Ormond Beach, Florida in 1907.]

FOLLOWING WRIGHT’S FIRST RUN Torrens of The Motor Cycle went after what we would now call the human-interest story: “What does it feel like to ride a motor cycle at 140 miles an hour, the highest speed ever attained on two wheels? In the hope of being able to supply the answer to this question I sought JS Wright, who at Arpajon covered the flying kilometre, one way, at 142.3mph, and succeeded in raising the world’s maximum speed record to 137.32mph. Joe was reticent about his achievement; more so, I think, than any man I have interviewed. A casual hearer of his remarks would have gained the impression that riding at this colossal speed was, in fact, easy. I had watched him attempting the record at Arpajon. He passed me so fast that I was quite unable to pick out details on the machine. All I got was a blurred impression; it was rather like looking at a very fuzzy, out-of-focus photograph. That the duplex-steering OEC-Temple-JAP handled superbly was obvious, but that the job was easy…! ‘What about the wind pressure on your body?’ I asked. ‘Don’t you find it difficult to hang on to the machine?’ As I hoped, his reply gave an inkling as to what the task really feels like. ‘The pressure,’ he said, ‘is so much that when you look up your head is pushed backwards; you feel it in your neck. There must be quite a lot of speed lost, and after the attempt I decided that it would be well worth while having a streamlined crash helmet next time. If you sit up slightly instead of lying right down to it, or let yourself go loose, instantly you feel the machine go down in speed; the wind is so terrific. The arms must be kept close in and, if possible, the toes kept up instead of down. Why I tape up my clothes is simply to lessen this windage. With your clothes loose you can feel the wind plucking at you, and I suppose a loose or open shirt would be torn off. I take the precaution of taping up the neck of my overalls and fitting my crash helmet over them, no that there

L-R: Joe Wright at Brooklands, where he held the record for 100mph laps, with the OEC-Temple-JAP; in the backgrouind is Claude Temple, who built the bike. Wright, in his taped-up overalls, gets down to it at Arpajon. Henne, with his streamlined lid, gets down to it at Ingolstadt.

shall not be the slightest possibility of their ballooning. Some people ask why I wear overalls instead of the usual leather clothes, but the trouble is that leathers are too bulky to allow one to lie down to it properly. If anything were to happen and you were wearing leathers there would be more chance of your getting away with only bruises, but in an event like an attempt on the maximum speed record one has necessarily to take same risks. in this direction. I think if one were to ride in just bathing slips and. a pair of shoes there would be an appreciable increase in speed, but it would be rather uncomfortable, though; flies and bumblebees aren’t soft. The tendency is for the air to lift the rider off the saddle, because it tries to get between his body and the tank. Riding ‘on the footrests’ and, of course, the few bumps there are on the Arpajon road, also help this tendency. My practice is to get my body right down when I have opened up to about half-throttle in the flying start. It would be impossible to sit op on the machine at a much larger throttle opening, and I don’t think that if one gave the machine full throttle when sitting up one could ever manage to lie down to it, so strong is the wind.’ ‘What sort of impression of speed do you get?’ I asked. ‘You don’t get an impression of speed,’ he replied, ‘because it is impossible to look sideways; you have to concentrate on a line straight ahead. And the exhaust noise you don’t hear at all; it is all swept behind you. All I heard at Arpajon was the wind past my helmet—a shriek more like a violent wind through telegraph wires than anything else. What it would be if my ears were exposed and not protected by the crash helmet I have no idea. But I knew the job was shifting, because straight ahead for a hundred yards everything was blurred. The Arpajon road is narrow, and at that speed I felt as if I were riding on a tight-rope.’ Next we got on the subject of controlling a machine at such a pace. ‘Some people,’ he said, ‘think it must be terribly difficult to hold, but look at my wrists; I am not strong in the wrist. Actually I ride, or rather grip, with my knees and thighs. The thing is to get well into the saddle and to be able to exert a full pressure from the knees upward; then you feel really comfortable, and part and parcel of the machine. To enable me to do this I have a Sorbo cushion to lie upon and a pair of

L-R: Following his ton-and-a-half run Wright poses for the press. “Arrangement of the Powerplus supercharger, which is mounted in front of the engine and drives by chain from the crankshaft. The special Amal carburetter is fixed between the front engine plates.” “If one excepts the unconventional OEC duple-steering frame, the only part of the very promising looking tout ensemble which is at all out of the ordinary is the supercharger. The blower in use is of British make as is every other component except the tyres…The enormous power this unit is capable of developing—over 84bhp has been delivered on the brake—will be transmitted by a Sturmey-Archer gear box with ratios of approximately 3, 5 and 7 to 1…the highest part of the machine—the steering damper control—is 35 inches…the saddle top is 28 inches from the ground.”

Sorbo kneegrips that come right up to the thighs; but, even so, I get lifted out of the saddle at times. If you use the balls of your feet and just the inside of your knees you have no control at all at high speeds on a surface like Brooklands, or even at Montlhery as it is nowadays. What steering is necessary at Arpajon is due to a very bad bump on the right just before the kilometre. I kept well over to the left, but to regain the middle of the road I did no “steering” in the ordinary sense—just a little pressure with my knees. I found the machine going about two or three yards to the right—too far to the right! A little pressure the other way and the machine was in the middle of the road. Once there, and straight, I endeavoured to keep there, using just the pressure of my knees; she wandered a bit, due, I think, to the camber of the road.’ I asked Wright to tell me his feelings when, at the Arpajon meeting, his engine suddenly cut out with the machine doing about 140mph. ‘I didn’t know what on earth had happened,’ he answered. ‘I pulled the clutch out, and when the machine had slowed to about a hundred I put it into neutral. Later I looked down, but I couldn’t see anything because of the tank, although I had a good idea what had happened, since I had heard a bang in front of me. When I stopped the trouble was obvious—the supercharger pipe had come adrift. At Montlhery, when attempting the five-mile and five-kilometre records, I got a thrill. Part of the tread of the rear tyre came off, and I got a bang in the back. I could not tell whether the whole of the tread had left the tyre or not I had visions of it locking the wheel at any moment, and for a fraction of a second I thought of stepping off; then I decided, as the wheel was still revolving, that it would be better to carry on and finish the distance. This I did quite comfortably, coasting over the line at about fifty. “The tread went about a quarter of a mile before the line, and I lost about four seconds on that lap, but the record was broken all right. The speed was not affected a great deal, because five miles at Montlhery is three laps and a bit, and although one has to complete the fourth lap to cross the timing strips, the time taken in covering the necessary fraction of the lap is added to the time of the three previous laps; this is, of course, calculated from the time for the whole lap. My biggest thrill, though, was when I was going down the kilometre at Arpajon [on the day. of his successful attempt] and suddenly found myself in a “London” fog. I had no idea at all where I was; whether I was going into the timekeeper’s box or the trees or what. I was lying so far down to it, trying to reduce windage, that I didn’t see the mist until I hit it. That it was a little bit hazy I knew, but I had no idea that it was dense fog. I shut off, pulled up a lot and raised my goggles—the mist had clouded them. I then found I was in the gutter, right at the side of the road.’ My final question was what he would do if Henne broke his record. To this he replied that he would go out again: ‘On those last runs at Arpajon the conditions were also bad for carburation, and I think that with favourable conditions, and using the data we’ve obtained, we can put another ten miles an hour on the existing record.'”

WRIGHT SET HIS WORLD RECORD on 31 August; a couple of week’s later the Blue ‘Un reported: “If the world’s maximum speed record, set up by JS Wright a couple of weeks ago, is broken (it is reported that Henne, on the BMW, will make the attack this week-end) Wright will endeavour to regain it, probably on an Irish course that has been suggested in response to an enquiry by the Daily Mail. Considerable work is to be expected on the OEC-Temple-JAP in readiness for this eventuality, and it is learned on good authority that the machine, in addition to being altered in detail, will be partially streamlined.”On 21 September Ernst Henne did indeed ride down an autobahn at Ingolstadt on a supercharged 735cc BMW at 137.85mph to snatch the record by the narrowest of margins. And as predicted Wright went to the accurately named Carrigrohane-Cork ‘straight road’ and didn’t mess about, becoming the first rider in history to top 150mph with a two-way average of 150.74mph. His OEC-Temple-JAP duly took centre stage on OEC’s Olympia stage. It later emerged that the JAP engine in the OEC suffered a broken woodruff key and Joe had actually taken the world record on his spare bike, a supercharged Zenith-JAP on which he already held the record for the greatest number of ton-up Brooklands laps. In any case, the fastest bike in the world was British and that’s what counted—but as we’ll see over the next few years, Henne and his Beemer would be back with a vengeance. [You’ll find a Pathé newsreel of Wright’s 150.74mph run on youtube: v=iVNozc6qh3M]

1930 WRIGHT 150
Joe Wright, resplendent in streamline skidlid and taped up wooly, pictured on the mildly streamlined OEC-Temple-JAP on the Straight Road. In the background is the Zenith-JAP that actually broke the ton-and-a-half barrier.

“YOU CAN GUESS that tyres which have to stand up at two and a half miles per minute under JS Wright have to be real tyres. Here, to be serious for a change, is a detail which indicates the stress. The early Press reports stated that Wright did not use one of his machines because the back tyre fouled the saddle and injured the tread. The real fact was slightly different. Wright had to lie flat on the bus to reduce windage; so naturally they gave the lowest point of the saddle frame as little clearance over the back tyre as possible. Some clearance was inevitable—I mean more than mere day-light, as at these terrific speeds centrifugal force causes the tyre to hump itself upwards and outwards. They estimated this hump at a quarter of an inch, and gave his saddle frame half an inch clearance. But one tyre humped more than had been calculated, its tread hit the frame, and the tread was practically non est after one trip down the kilometre. Incidentally, both left- and right-hand sides of the machine have to be balanced in respect of streamlining and wind resistance, otherwise nobody could hold it straight; a still, windless day is desirable for these stunts.”—Ixion

“THE MAKERS OF THE BMW, I gather, have decided to drop out of the road-racing game, but this doesn’t mean any loss of interest in the world’s maximum speed record. They will be after Wright’s record, sure enough, but the Ingolstadt road is none too good for the purpose, as it is narrow and rather winding. A German Pressman discussing the question of the BMW’s last performance expressed the opinion that on a really suitable road the speed might have been some six or seven miles an hour higher, although nothing like high enough to equal. Wright’s latest. achievement. Perhaps some better road for the purpose can be found; at least, I hope so. Incidentally, both Ernst Henne, the BMW rider, and JS Wright have been awarded the gold medal of the FICM for their performances. Another interesting point is that in future records must be beaten by at least five-hundredths of a second instead of by one-hundredth, which has been the rule in the past. This is very sound, for at the present speed of 150.76mph one-hundredth of a second is equivalent to a distance of less than 2½ feet; since, in some cases, the breaking of a thread stretched across the road is the means adopted to start and stop the electric chronograph the reason for increasing the margin to five-hundredths of a second is obvious.”—Nitor

“ALTHOUGH I AM NATURALLY very pleased that England has regained the world’s maximum speed record for a two-wheeler, it seems to me that it has been done on the wrong principle. We have taken the record, by brute force, from a beautifully designed machine of much smaller capacity, which, to quote a passage from Speed and How to Obtain It, is ‘of such a tidy design that it might pardonably be mistaken at first glance, as the basis of a new, all-weather utility machine’. Wright’s machine, on the other hand, is so ‘hulking’ that it is not even very suitable for use on Brooklands. I do not, however, wish to decry in the least Wright’s personal effort, which I consider a very fine performance.
M de M, Ludlow.

“THREE HUNDRED AND SIX and a half miles in three hours! Such was the feat of CWG Lacey and WH Phillips (‘Wal’ of dirt-track fame), who, riding a 490cc Norton at Montlhéry, on Monday of last week, captured 12 records, the slowest of them at 102.8mph…The records hold for the b750cc and 1,000cc classes as well as the five-hundred.”

“IT IS REPORTED THAT scientists in Spain are experimenting with olive oil products with a view to using them in place of imported mineral lubricating oils.”

“A LEICESTER MOTORIST assisted a police constable to take a dog to a vet’s. At the end of the journey the constable asked him for his licence, which happened to be out of date. A summons followed, but the fine was a nominal one of 2s 6d.”

“IF A GIRL IS HOLDING the handlebars of a motor cyclist and a young man, sitting behind her, works the controls, etc, which of the two is really driving the machine? This problem proved too much for the Huddersfield magistrates, who, on payment of costs, dismissed the case, which was for driving without a licence.”

“UNDER THE HEADING, ‘The Bulldog Breed!’ in the London Evening News: ‘A young motor cyclist skids and is flung several yards. He gets to his feet, takes a comb from his pocket, and runs it through his hair. He then collects his battered machine.'”


“WHAT FUNNY MORTALS WE ARE! We most of us bemoan the relentless hand of Father Time that hurries along the months and years, and yet we help to hasten their passage by building our castles in the air, planning our future movements, and making certain landmarks like so many mile-stones on the way, fixing our attention on the next as soon as the last is past. So when winter is still upon us we are already making hazy little plots and plans for the coming summer holiday, and so swiftly do the weeks fly by that the looked-forward to event arrives with surprising rapidity. Of one thing we are sure : there is only one kind of holiday to be considered, and that is a motor cycle tour. No other gives such complete change and refreshment. and, as far as I am concerned, selfish though it may sound, I am content to conduct the journey toute seule, my, companion, the engine, purring beneath me. It is impossible to feel lonely when each day one is exploring fresh country, conversing at the various stages with the different people with whom one comes in contact ; meeting the interesting local dialect of the counties through which one travels; noting the particular traits of the natives; and for the time merging one’s life in theirs, gaining new impressions, and leaving the cobwebs of one’s dull, everyday occupation behind. Well I remember my first tour. I had only just bought my brand-new Baby Triumph and learnt to ride it, but my ignorance of its mechanism was such that I scarcely knew the cylinder from the battery, and words like ‘sparking plug’, ‘carburetter’, ‘compression’ and ‘ignition’ were Greek to me. To this day I confess that, although I ride alone over the wildest tracks of Great Britain, miles from civilisation, I become distinctly confused if questioned at all closely regarding such things as gear boxes and carburetters. However, I boldly set off on my new machine for Exmoor, where I had arranged to join friends at one of the many farms dotted in the folds of that delectable country. How I negotiated those steep winding lanes leading to my destination is beyond my comprehension, so scanty was my knowledge, and so short my experience as a rider, but it is undoubtedly true that providence watches over children and fools; and even if I must include myself in the second category the guardianship remained. I arrived safely, and, while there, all undaunted, descended Porlock Hill without catastrophe. Therefore, my non-motor cycling sisters, take heart; pluck up courage and, by hook or by crook, procure a reliable motor bike and enjoy as many holidays on it as I have done, and hope still to do. I have covered nearly the whole of Devon and Cornwall at various times on my motor bike, and yet I am contemplating another tour there, so tightly do these two counties fasten their tendrils round one’s heart. One of my favourite corners is the north-west coast of Devon, and the road from Bideford to Bude; on that route one should not forget to turn right at several points in order to revel in the beauties of Clovelly, Hartland, Little Welcombe, and Morwenstow, with its fine old church and whitewashed inn facing the wide bay. At Clovelly there’s a pretty apple-faced, blue-eyed woman with a slow, soft voice; at her cottage I have called for tea so frequently that she now knows me well. Such a wonderful repast does one obtain for one-and-six that one goes on one’s way like a giant refreshed. Ham and eggs, home-made bread, scones, jam, a large dish of Devonshire cream, delicious yellow butter; all these dainties are spread before one by this smiling country-dweller, who will provide a night’s lodging, supper and breakfast all for a modest 5s 6d. I can see the bedroom now, with its cosy pink curtains at the window, and a view over Bideford Bay, with Lundy in the distance. How much pleasanter is such a resting-place than luxurious hotels with their stuffy, cigary atmosphere. All over the country comfortable accommodation is to be found if one just knows the ropes a little; if any interested woman motor cyclist thinks of following my example—and I can strongly recommend it for an enjoyable holiday—she can write to me for some addresses, and I shall be only too happy to supply them, so eager am I for others to taste of the joy to be derived from a solo motor cycle tour. With a sound machine, good weather and a light heart, I guarantee a delightful holiday and a return to the everyday routine, refreshed in body and mind, full of fresh air, vigour, and with a brain full of fragrant memories to gladden the days ahead.

“THE REGULATIONS FOR THE Ilkley Club’s Steeplechase held last Saturday provided that machines could be ridden without silencers. That they could also be ridden without footrests, mudguards and many parts usually found on a modern motor cycle proved unofficially but equally true very soon after the start of the event. The club has secured, on private ground near Addingham, a half-mile circuit which included everything but level going. It was mostly grassland, with hills and hollows, and two watersplashes. Starting off with a stretch just good enough to space out the riders, the course led to a steep, grassy slope, down which the he-men rode and the others otherwise; then came the first splash, aptly named ‘Stopsem’. And stop ’em it did. At least, the exit did. The climb out was up a slippery bank with a sharp left turn. The greater the power the more the wheel-spin. It was here that in the 350cc final in the fifth lap TE Flintoff passed N Walker. On the next and last lap Flintoff had the pleasure of seeing Walker make the first getaway from the mess they were in jointly, and go on to win. The word ‘pleasure’ is used in respect of Flintoff on account of the grin which never seems to leave his cherubic countenance. About forty yards farther was an innocent-looking ledge which happened to be the top of the rise. A week previously TF Leake had watched Herr Kronfeld glide from a nearby hill, and he apparently wished to emulate the German [Robert Kronfeld was actually Austrian. Having made the first 100km glider flight he had just arrived in England to make demo flights. Kronfeld was Jewish; when the Nazis came to power he became a British citizen, joined the RAF and rose to the rank of Squadron Leader, winning the Air Force Cross for his work on military gliders]. His Velocette certainly rose into the air for about a yard, but, unlike the glider, didn’t stay up. Then followed a one-way traffic track to the titbit, ‘Wetsam’, a nasty boulder-bordered splash with a nice, juicy, muddy hairpin to follow. Among the notables to grovel in the mud was TE Flintoff. Some useful spadework had carved out a winding track up what would probably have been an unclimbable bank. People with smooth back tyres were forcibly reminded of their remissness. H Fearnside (348cc Norton) made a most spectacular outside-edge climb around the banking, with worried look and waving legs. Results: Under 350cc—1, N Walker (340cc Rudge); 2, TE Flintoff (348cc AJS); 3, DB Midgley (343cc Velocette). Over 350cc—1, TE Flintoff (493cc Sunbeam); 2, C Helm (493cc Sunbeam); 3, GE Milnes (596cc Scott). Unlimited—1, C Helm (493cc Sunbeam); 2, N Walker (340cc Rudge); 3, TE Flintoff (493cc Sunbeam). “

“Very anti-skid! Spikes in the front tyre as well as the rear are favoured by some grass-track riders. This exponent of the art is Sir James Croft (AJS), who is seen competing in a Herefordshire event.”

“A NEW SCOTTISH UNION of the Aberdeen and District, Dufftown, Elgin, Inverness, Kinl;ochleven and Lochaber clubs has been formed—and will be known as the North of SAcotland MC—for the purpose of encouraging and fostering reliability trials and speed events in the Highlands. The first event in the calendar of the new club is a one-day trial for solo machines.”

“THAT ENTERPRISING CLUB, the Carshalton MCC, is holding its motor sports at Carshalton on Bank Holiday…The clubs invited to participate are Streatham, Sutton, Leatherhead, Croydon, Oozelum and Woking, and Kingston. The events which have made this meeting such a success for the past three years are being retained, while a football match and a sidecar race should add an even greater interest.”

“HAS IT BEEN BEATEN? What is the motor cycle long-jump record?’ is a question that is being asked by gymkhana enthusiasts. In 1924 ‘Bonzo’ Heath jumped 41ft 6in on his Henderson at Camberley.”

“SPEED ON A LAKE-BED. A number of long-dtsnace American records were broken recently by Art Olsen and Leif Rosenberg (Super X) on the Muroc Dry Lakes course in California. They averaged 54.5mph for 24 hours.”

“JUST A FEW! According to the National Automobile Chamber for Commerce, New York, there were 34,876,837 motor vehicles in the world at the end of last year, 76% of this number being in use in the United States…One motor vehicle to every 4½ persons is the average in the USA. The world average is one to 54½.”

“A DANISH INCREASE. Danish imports increased from 2,110 motor cycles in 1928 to 3,245 in 1929, Great Britain contributing some 60%, with America and Germany as her nearest rivals.”

“MAKING THE WAY EASY. To help visitors to the International Exhibition at Liége, Belgium, the Liége Motor Union is posting competent mechanics on all roads leading to the Exhibition.”

“Journey’s end. Mr J Gill recently returned to England on his Vincent-HRD outfit, after riding to Australia and back, a distance of 23,000 miles. The picture shows him at Australia House, London, handing a letter to Mr Trumble, who deputised for the Australian High Commissioner.” [If you’ve arrived here via 1929 you’ll already know about Gill’s expedition, which was to have a significant effect on British motor cycling because he picked up an Aussie pillion passenger by the name of Phil Irving.]

“FOR MANY A LONG YEAR,” Ixion confided, “my favourite stretch of road has been the crossing of Dartmoor, going west from Moreton Hampstead to Tavistock. I know it at all hours of the day and night, and in all weathers—even snowbound in mid-winter, when it was only possible to get up or down the hill by riding in the gutters, and when drifts blocked the road on the higher ground. I crossed it again last week, and was saddened to find that in the interests of motor coaches the road is being widened, and the corners reft of their hedges and refitted with metal fencing. I suppose there are really far more interesting roads, and that my passion for it is based on the fact that in the early days a unique sense of pride was the result of struggling across it on a single gear with a fluffy engine. But how dull these ‘safe’ roads always are! The pessimists say that one of these days we shall see a concrete-walled motor coach speedway cut straight as a die through the Cheddar Gorge; but, though things must inevitably get a bit worse, Progress can’t really make us vandals to the core.”

“A party of Jewish motor cyclists who rode from Palestine to Antwerp to attend the World Olympiad of the Macibi organisation. At various points on the route they were feted by local Jewish organisations. Many rode British machines.”
1930 RT AW

“HOW DOES THE AVERAGE rider interpret the phrase ‘sports model’ or ‘sports engine’? And what does he expect from such a machine? Surely the answer is: a high maximum speed coupled with rapid acceleration. In other words, if a rider purchases a sports machine, as distinct from a touring model, he expects to be able to leave the tourist behind just when and where he likes, to have power still in band, and to have an engine which will withstand the sustained use of large throttle openings. In many cases, however, the touring machine has a number of advantages over the contrasting type, and the rider of a sports mount, though he may attain his primary object of speed and acceleration, often thereby sacrifices many desirable qualities which are to be found on most touring machines. For example, the sports mount may be lacking in silence when the throttle is opened to that extent. Again, high efficiency is often obtained at the expense of flexibility. Thus it sometimes happens that the sports rider can only comfortably make full use of his machine’s qualities on very open roads; his high-efficiency engine is a source of uneasiness of mind when he is traversing towns and villages. The 598cc four-speed P&M Redwing is a sports machine. In the same breath it may be said that it is also a touring machine. No ordinary touring model, whether side-valve or ohv, could be quieter or more genuinely flexible. On the other hand, very, very few-standard sports mounts could have better acceleration or a higher maximum speed. The Redwing will do a smooth and easy twenty in top gear. Its acceleration from 30 to 40mph (still in top gear) is as good as from 40 to 60; it is equally good from 60 to 75. In other words, the throttle can be opened steadily from 25-30mph in top gear, and the engine will go right through its speed range in an almost incredibly short space of time. There is no thump or snatch about it, and no vibration; simply sheer, smooth pulling (very Reminiscent of a 1,000cc twin), which has to be experienced to be believed. Maximum speed on the Redwing tested was found to be approximately 75mph. With favourable road and wind conditions, a little more speed was obtainable, but 75 constituted the useful, all-round maximum which could be attained without fuss under almost any conditions. One of the amazing things about the engine was that hills—quite steep hills—made very little difference to its maximum. During part of the test the rider tried the machine on a long main-road hill with a gradient varying from 1 in 10 to 1 in 13, and on this ascent it was found that the engine had a definite peaking point in third gear at exactly 60mph. This fact was duly registered about half-way up the climb. Then, as an experiment, a change was made into top gear; the rider’s amazement can well be imagined when the machine accelerated to very nearly 70. Truly, the latest Redwing engine delivers power in abundance; power, too, which is both smooth and quiet. For an overhead-valve engine with moderately high compression, the exhaust was abnormally quiet. During another part of the test the speedometer needle passed the 70 mark more than once, and yet a colleague who was riding behind for much of the time said he

1930 PANTHER M100 RT
“Of striking and graceful appearance—the P&M ‘Redwing’.”

could not hear the Redwing’s exhaust at any speed. Mechanically, the Redwing was silent except for a ‘tap-tap’ from the timing chest; there were no whirrs, clatter, or other mechanical noises whatever. Throughout the test the fuel used was a fifty-fifty mixture of Racing Shell and ordinary Shell petrol. The engine had a plate beneath the cylinder barrel, giving a compression ratio of 6.5 to 1. The oiling system functioned perfectly, and an inspection at the end of the test of over 800 miles showed that the rocker- and valve-gear had been receiving ample lubricant, and also that no tappet or other adjustments were necessary. Fuel consumption for the whole test—made mainly at fairly high speed—averaged approximately 77mpg. With so fine a top-gear performance available, the four-speed gear box was in the nature of a luxury, but it was a fine example of how excellent a motor cycle gear box can be. First, the box was absolutely silent on all its ratios. Some people look upon gear changing as a necessity; others regard it as a pleasure; in any case, it all depends upon the box. In this instance, in traffic at all events, the rider changed more often than was strictly necessary, just for the pleasure of meshing pinions without a sound. This could be done every time by double-declutching when changing up. When changing down with the machine decelerating and the engine ticking over at a given speed, it was possible literally to glide through the ratios provided the right moment was chosen for each as speed decreased. It is a box which immediately earns the full appreciation of an enthusiast. It has already been shown that the Redwing could attain high speeds in a very short space of time; its deceleration was equally good. There was not a trace of harshness anywhere in the braking system. Maximum braking efficiency on the rear wheel required just pleasantly firm pressure on the pedal. On the front wheel very fine degrees of retardation could be obtained; the lightest touch would bring the brake into action, and its efficiency would increase steadily as more pressure was exerted; yet maximum efficiency could be obtained with the use of only two fingers on the lever. Both brakes were absolutely silent in operation. Generally speaking, the Redwing’s steering was faultless, but, owing to the amount of weight on the front wheel, the machine was apt to become tail-light when encountering bumps at speed. Thus, although the front wheel, if left to its own devices, would continue in a straight line, it was not always allowed to do so if some of the rider’s weight was suddenly thrown on to one handle-bar by a bump when, say, a change was being made from third to top gear. Accordingly, the steering damper was called into action, and after a few miles with this in use its existence was forgotten, for it was found that the machine did not have a tendency to wander at low speeds with the damper in action; indeed, it could be steered quite straight with one hand at 3mph, while at the other end of the speed range the Redwing could now be ridden with confidence and put right over on corners. A word may be said in conclusion about the ease with which the Redwing can be cleaned. The chromium plating on the tank and other bright parts speak for themselves, of course; the frame, chain guards, and wheels are easy to get at (incidentally, the front wheel stand can be brought into action in about three seconds without any weight-lifting feats), and for the rest—a little petrol and a brush. The engine does not sling oil. In less than half an hour the Redwing Panther can be converted from a travel-mud-stained motor cycle into a show model.

“The 598cc P&M ‘Redwing’ Panther.”

“THE 250CC MACHINE HAS…been developed until, although still handy and reasonably light, now has a road performance quite as good as that of the 500cc motor cycle of ten years ago…there are more people with short purses than long ones…250s are cheaper to buy and…tax than a 500, but how much have the questions of weight, ease of starting and general handiness affected the matter? Would purchasers of these machines buy a larger model if they could afford it? In our opinion the majority would not do so, because in return for their sacrifice of doc and general ease of handling they would receive only speed. And on the road today speed, if it be in excess of 60mph—which many 250s can attain—is to all intents valueless. What does matter, however, is acceleration, and in this the question of weight is introduced. But lightness, while in these respects of the utmost importance, is not without its objections, since speaking generally, the less a machine weighs the worse is its road-holding. Sooner or later there will be—indeed, there must be—a reaction; motor cycles, instead of growing heavier year by year, will by scientific design and the use of light alloys actually become lighter (already there are signs of this in the coming TT), and the most pressing problem confronting the TT designer is not so much that of finding any additional horse-power as that of evolving a machine that will hold the road. In this lies the future of the high-speed racing machine and, what is quite as important, the future of the lightweight touring machine.”

1930 RT AW

UNDOUBTEDLY there is a potential market for a machine in which comfort and flexibility count far above sheer performance. Opinions differ as to whether it may or it may not be made into a very large market, but there can at least be no doubt that there are a great many people who will buy a really sound utility machine or something approaching it. This ‘ideal’ cannot be given a definite specification. Some people would be happy to pay a large sum for a smooth, flexible and fast machine with a spring frame, while others would set £40 as their absolute price limit. In this second category can be placed the 198cc Newmount two-stroke, a type which will not appeal to everyone, but which forms one distinct attempt to solve the utility machine problem. The Newmount is intended entirely as a utility or touring machine with a comfortable yet not extravagant performance, with a good standard of road comfort for its size, with an engine which starts easily and pulls well at low speeds, and with sturdy and well-made fittings. The machine is of German origin, and is the product of a firm renowned for its two-stroke models*, but it has been modified in detail for the British market. The result is a machine which, except for slight differences, such as the wider bars and in the riding position, conforms very largely to British ideals. The colour scheme—beige and blue—may appear unusual on first sight, but this again is the result of a different ‘bringing up’ which the machine has had. Perhaps the most outstanding feature of the Newmount is its pulling power at slow speeds. When the machine is first mounted its size and comparative weight tend to make the rider forget the small engine capacity, and he takes the performance as normal. As a matter of fact, the unit is over-geared in comparison with British practice, the top ratio being as high as 5¼ to 1, and this makes the machine a most comfortable one to ride. Top-gear flexibility is excellent, though the pick-up from very’ low speeds is naturally not very rapid, for a two-stroke’s mixture is never very certain at low revolutions. A good-sized outside flywheel assists very largely in this certain slow running, just as it slows to some extent the acceleration. There is no doubt, however, which of the two is the more useful trait in a machine of this type. The engine is capable, at the other end of the scale, of quite high revolutions, giving the Newmount a maximum speed of between 45 and 48mph, and it will hold a speed of about 38mph indefinitely without showing any signs of overheating or of drying-up. It was driven, in fact, very hard during the test, and, as the engine had been properly run in, treated as a much larger machine. A second noticeable feature was the size of the machine. At no time did it give the impression of being what used to be termed an ultra-lightweight, and it ‘stayed put’ on the road at all speeds. Nevertheless, in spite of the general solidarity, its weight is quite low, and certainly comes, when fully equipped—but with empty tanks—well within the 224lb taxation limit. Large tyres and a very comfortable saddle—a Dunlop—make it pleasant to ride over long distances, though the steering seems to be just a shade too light for the ordinary rider. This point, in conjunction with the width of the bars, at first caused the machine to wobble a little at speeds in excess of 35mph, a result purely of over-steering. Gear changing


is a delightfully easy and straightforward task, and the lever, except in low gear, is well out of the way of the knee. There is no possibility of ‘missing’ a gear, as there is a gate mounted on the box itself. All changes could he made silently and easily at any engine revolutions. The clutch, too, was light and smooth, though it was inclined to drag if held out for any length of time. The auxiliary foot-operated clutch control was a great help in quick gear changing, though at first it was inclined to be overlooked in favour of the normal lever.All the gears were silent, and there was no unpleasant hum from the primary chain. Petroil lubrication, which at one time was so popular for two-strokes, is used. on the Newmount, and the trouble of arranging for the purchase of half a pint of oil with every gallon of petrol is compensated for by the knowledge that the engine is being lubricated in an efficient manner. It is, in any case, a no-trouble method, and the two old bugbears of the system—blow-back and difficult starting—do not appear. An air cleaner does away with the possibility of any mess from the first-named cause, and, by the simple expedient of running the engine so that the carburetter is empty before garaging for the night, the second trouble can be forestalled. The tank holds two gallons of fuel, enough for more than 200 miles at the average consumption figures obtained. Oil consumption, of course, varies with that of the petrol, but should be about 1,600mpg. Both of the internal-expanding brakes were well up to their work, though they could have been improved with a little more power. Used together, they were safe and ample, but used separately were not quite capable of pulling the machine up quickly enough. That on the front wheel squealed rather badly when applied hard. A heel-operated pedal is used, and this should be a most convenient method of operation, but the lack of a stop caused it to be a long way from the rider’s heel and inconvenient for use in an emergency. Thanks in a large degree to the coil ignition, starting, with the engine either cold or hot, was ridiculously easy, but it was found advisable to use the air lever to some extent until the engine had properly warmed up. The exhaust was pleasantly silent—always a difficult attainment on a two-stroke machine. Altogether, the 198cc Newmount offers smooth and easy transit for the ‘utility’ rider.”
*The mystery German manufacturer was Zündapp, Newmounts were assembled in Coventry; the man behind the Newmount name was JK Starley Jnr, formerly of Rover—his dad invented the modern ‘safety’ bicycle and was, of course, a pioneer motor cycle manufacturer (the last Rover motor cycle had been built in 1925). The Newmount range also featured 248 and 298cc Zündapp two-strokes and 348/498cc ohv Python lumps made by Rudge.

This survivor, at the National Motorcycle Museum, shows off that beige-and-blue livery to advantage; it might have looked “unusual” in 1930; it seems to have been half-a-century ahead of its time.
This sign, which fetched £600 at auction a few years back, reminds us that the motor cycle industry knew all about effective marketing.

“IN YOUR CORRESPONDENCE columns there has recently been some correspondence with regard to ‘stop’ signals and direction indicators for motor cycles. Having ridden on the Continent for some time, my advice i: Don’t fit indicators and don’t ask for them. They are in general use here and are only of use when taking a side turning. On all other occasions, such as indicting that one is about to overtake or draw up, they are useless, confusing and misleading. For when following one always expects a signal from a car fitted with such indicators, and the driver in front is obliged to use them even when he merely intends to overtake. Intelligent given hand signals are much more readily understood, besides which, nobody can forget to take his hand down after a bend, but I have seen automatic indicators ‘standing’ for four or five hundred yards after the turn.”

“I WONDER IF I MAY encroach on your valuable space to air a grievance? Why should schoolboys who own motor cycles have to take out a licence either yearly or quarterly when they only get four month’s holiday in the year – a month at Christmas and Easter and two months in the summer? And as it is not a complete calendar month, they cannot get a refund on a complete month without great inconvenience. Compulsory insurance will be the last straw! Surely the authorities could arrange for licences and insurance forms to be issued for a complete holiday? It would be a much more satisfactory arrangement. “

“I WONDER IF ANY more of your readers have seen a machine which answers to the following description: The engine was a four-cylinder, probably of 1,000cc, apparently cast en bloc, in sets of two. The valve gear was operated by an overhead camshaft worked on the AJS principle with chain drive. The engine, together with a four-speed gear box. was housed in a duplex cradle frame of orthodox design. The machine had a chromium-plated saddle tank with grey panels. No name was visible anywhere. The machine looked quite British, and I wondered if it was a special job for the Everyman Trial. I might add it was the last word in starting and quiet running. As I did not have long to look at it I cannot vouch for this description, but 1 think it is fairly accurate.”

THE AGE OF ROAD burners is not extinct—those days of sprint ’Beams, big port Blackburnes, and quart tins slung behind, when the ‘white oil’ was hard to get. A select band of riders has, for a decade past, run an unofficial ‘TT’ race over deserted country by-roads during odd hours of the day and night. The course is a three mile triangle, and its whereabouts a secret. The roads are tarred and narrow, and of varying gradient. Our lap record stands at 3min 41sec for the three miles, standing start; lap record attempts are the chief sport. Should other roadburners ever ‘come down South’ or to London we extend our cordial hospitality.”

“THE SPORT OF IRISH ROAD RACING. In case any of the dirtrack boys are tempted to give up their profitable (?) occupation, I would like to remove the impression you give in your excellent report of the ‘Athy 75’ that road racing is a good business to-day. My expenses for the race were £11 0s 3½d exactly; for second place in the handicap I received £6 prize money and £5 elsewhere, so that you will see I lost, rather than made, a week’s money. By Jove, though, give me Ireland and its road races for sport! Why the manufacturers do not support these events, which arouse such enthusiasm and interest in the Irish public, I cannot imagine. It is quite impossible to do justice in writing to the enthusiasm, sportsmanship, and hospitality of the Irish people who run these fine sporting. events, and I would like space in the Blue ‘Un (which is, if anything, even more keenly looked forward to in Ireland than it is this side) to thank all those who were so kind to me, both in Ulster and the Free State event. Even the police are rare good fellows. Now that there are improved steamers on both the Belfast and Dublin routes I hope more English riders will face the journey with year and enjoy the best holiday ever and a real good blind, without the fear of being pestered with ‘manner dangerous’, ‘excessive noise’, ‘did cause an obstruction’, ad lib, as in the South of England.”

“ARE MOTOR CYCLES BETTER? Apropos the correspondence on the above subject, may I give my considered views on this matter as one bearing strongly on the prestige of the British manufacturer? The saddle-tank aspect of the discussion may be of more than passing interest. The honour, if such there be, for first popular use of this type of tank must certainly go to America, in common with gear-wheel primary drive, twist-grip quick-action control; ‘de luxe’ electric equipment, heavyweight front fork design, efficient lubrication systems, and many other points of merit which are only becoming familiar with our products after fifteen years’ indolence. But there is one thing in which we may glory. We may accept with blushes the compliment paid us by Germany, the present acknowledged leader in two-wheeled sheer speed. Germany is to manufacture our dazzlingly original design under licence. She realises that the factor of safety at all speeds with a motor cycle can be amazingly increased when duplex steering is incorporated. Are motor cycles better? Would an OEC-Duplex rider revert to a pedal cycle? All speed and luck to their forthcoming attempt to beat 134mph as a maximum! At last England may claim to achieve with no small insignificance on a real design of brilliant merit and originality.”

“Trials competitors—why get your magnetos full of water? Go to the South Rukuru River, North Nyasaland, and have your machines taken over splashes this easy way!”

“I CAME ACROSS THIS photo the other day and thought it might be of interest to you. It shows a 1929 348cc AJS which I had in India. The load consists of: 1 full-size uniform case (full), 1 valise with mattress, blankets, etc, 1 helmet case (full), 1 HMV gramophone (portable), 1 basin, 1 tarpaulin (12ft x 8ft), 1 bag golf clubs, 20 records, 1 pile of music (3in deep), 1 Sealyham (not visible, but expressing his feelings on the other side!), 2 gallons extra petrol, 1 gallon extra oil. I took this load from Ferozepur to Srinagar over the Banihal Pass (9,600ft), this time last year. From Ramban to the top, the machine was in second and bottom gears (mostly bottom) for four hours in an Indian sun. No trouble all the way. Pretty good chit, don’t you think?

On the move in India with an Ajay combo.

“SURELY I AM THE most ardent motor cyclist alive? Ever since those days when I left school I have taken the good old Blue ‘Un—and with this, a little leisure, and a horribly vivid imagination to help me, have become one of the brotherhood. My machine is a two-port Model 9 ‘Beam. You wouldn’t believe the care I take of it. I treat it as one gentleman would another, and we get along splendidly. I find it rather a handful to manhandle (I m not exactly a Carnera), but once I’m astride—OK! Its deep-throbbing, gleaming beauty is the envy of all my friends and the joy of my heart. And then I wake up!––––– blank. But my love for the stink-bus is not to be stifled. If I can’t gloat over my own, I can over those of other fellows. And I do. Each Sunday morning, weather permitting , I hie me to my favourite haunt (per push bike); this is situated some eight stiff hills out of Bromley going in the direction of Sevenoaks. At this point one may sit on top of a grassy hank, twenty feet back from the roadway, and get a clear view of nearly half a mile of slightly curving arterial road. Though usually teeming with coast bound traffic, it is, for the moment, deserted. I look with shielded eyes Londonwards. Ah! A little figure is coming gracefully, swiftly, round the bend. Nearer, nearer, and, as yet, in silence. With a slight vibrating sound he flashes by, a calm, happy fellow, lightly grasping the handlebar with one hand; he and his beautiful BSA as one. Forty—effortless—silent. And I, crouching like Denly, ‘lubricate’ my front brake with dripping perspiration at fifteen! Now the stream has started again. See, fleet Nortons, Velocettes (those mighty atoms); whining comets engined by Villiers; those black wonders—Sunbeams, AJS—and the splendid silver-tank brigade—BSA, Enfield, Montgomery, to name a few—and Cottons, Panthers, New Hudsons, Ariels, oh! all the whole lot; I love ’em all! Cars! Pooh! Handsome certainly, and fast on the straight, but watch them overtaking, or rounding a bend. Slow, clumsy, heavy, leaning the wrong way as the wheel is pulled over! Why, it’s not scientific. Compare them. The motorist is overtaking a bus. He puts his hand out, and the car swings grandly out over the road, creeps forward, runs beside the speeding ’bus for a long, long moment, and then gradually sweeps away. Now watch this laddie on the ‘Ivory’. A glance behind and ahead. All clear. He opens the throttle and swerves out. His motor responds joyfully. He leans gently to his left. It’s all over. What a difference—in effort, time, and safety! No wrenching at a heavy wheel. No great pressure on pedal, trying to make a big, woolly engine accelerate like a super sports Barnett. No, just an infinitesimal movement of the right hand and a swaying of the body. Gosh! a bike for me, every time. I sigh a little, pick up my Blue ‘Un and glance once again through it—through the Correspondence pages. Heavens! What a lot of moans! Unit construction—spring frames—more cylinders—why, a modern engine, single or twin, runs like a dynamo, and almost as quietly. Yet these people growl because once in months they have to dismantle chain cases to get at the gear box. Wheel-bounce—bosh ! At forty a hog-bus runs more sweetly than my pedal-bike at eight. Be thankful that you have a machine with a real saddle to bounce in, a real starter to jump on and a real throttle lever or grip to play with—instead of thin air, like mine.”
LBH, London, SE6.

1930 MAZDA 250
Japanese cork manufacturer Toyo Kogyo put a 250cc two-stroke motorcycle, into production and entered it in a race meeting at Chinkon-no Matsuri. To everyone’s surprise, it won. The company changed its name to Mazda.

“HAVE YOU EVER NOTICED what a quick-witted crowd motorcyclists are, especially those who ride in trials or other sporting events? Dullards and sluggards are never to be found among our ranks. Motorcycling is a wonderful training for the perception and senses. Practice in quick thinking on the road comes out in everyday life in a quick appreciation of a joke or an argument. With experience in riding comes a perfect co-ordination of eyes, brains and muscles. If you could watch a motorcyclist’s face as he rides along you would see that, as the railway passenger’s eyes range quickly from side to side, so do the rider’s eyes move up and down. He scans the road from far ahead to see if it is clear, down to just in front of his wheel to see what the surface is like. This process is continuous; from the general to the particular; having seen that he has 50 yards clear, he can examine the road to see what kind of going is immediately before him. When it is considered that this is carried out at comparatively high speed and that the results of the survey have to be communicated to the brain and the appropriate action taken, it will be seen what a degree of concentration is necessary. Other vehicles have to be noted; the contour of the road, the gradient, the distance from a corner, the running of the engine, when to change gear – all have to be borne in mind; and potholes, tramlines, dogs, children, wandering pedestrians, all have to be looked for. Yet so natural do all these tasks and the necessary precautions become that the rider has ample time to notice scenery and most objects on or around the road and to give signals and due concentration for other road users. The trials rider, in particular, is accustomed to making quick decisions as to how to handle the various types of surface he encounters. Practically every hill requires a different mode of attack, which may vary again according to the weather. A rider is confronted with a strange hill for the first time. He is in the non-stop section, and, quick as thought can act, he must decide what to do, and do it! It is almost incredible how many details of a test hill can be absorbed when climbing quite fast. To the onlooker it may appear a wild dash, but the rider has probably chosen a particular path and is endeavouring to stick to it, at the same time steering to avoid the larger rocks. A striking demonstration of this point is afforded by climbing a stony hill close behind another man. It is extremely difficult to make a feet-up climb because the stones come into sight too late to avoid them. The racing man, of course, has the quickest wit of all, for it is a matter of necessity with him. In fact, it may be said that the capacity for quick thought is half the battle in successful speed work.”

“Wood for the camp fire—a snap of the Scout Camp at Gilwell Park. (Right) Not TT machines at Douglas pier, but motor cycles owned and carried on their voyages by the crew of a London coasting barge. The photograph was taken in Poole Harbour.”

“MY 680CC OHV SPRING-FRAME Brough Superior is a late 1929 model, the engine, being substantially the same as the 1930 unit. The sidecar is a Brough heavyweight touring body (No 14) on a No 5 chassis. Protection is afforded the passenger by a screen of ample height, and fitted with side extensions. The pleasing rear sweep of the sidecar bendy provides a roomy locker, and the rear panel is hinged. Stabilisers fitted both at front and rear add to the efficiency of the already excellent springing. The special 680cc ohv engine is amply powerful for fast, serious touring with the heavy sidecar, delivers its power smoothly throughout its entire speed range, and is capable of 70mph under such conditions. Eight mph on top gear may be indulged in without a suspicion of snatch. With sidecar gearing, which need not be absurdly low, 45mph can he maintained all day long, the engine being reasonably, quiet at such speed and delightfully ‘silky’. Petrol consumption at speeds of 40-50mph, with laden sidecar, is 55mpg. Oil averages approximately 1,500mpg. Starting ie easy. Decarbonising, a business requiring cleanliness but no special skill, is best undertaken at intervals of 2,500-5,000 miles, the engine remaining in situ and tank undisturbed. Engine tune is maintained with a minimum of adjustment, and such adjustment, when necessary, is easily made. It has been my experience, so far, that the maintenance cost should be low. The spring framed is conducive to long tyre life, and the rest of the machine appears too sturdily constructed to need frequent renewals. In every respect I find the machine a reliable, rock-steady and delightful mount to ride, and not too heavy if required for solo work.

“Signor Mussolini, on horseback, watches a detachment of army motor cyclists during a recent review in Milan, held to celebrate Italy’s entry into the Great War 15 years before.”

“WHAT IF MUSSOLINI HEARS? A new record has been established by Signor Parmigiani, of Parma, for, in spite of the loss of a leg, he holds the record for the greatest number of fines for excessive speed on a motor cycle in the whole of this Italian province.”

“AUTOMATIC TRAFFIC CONTROL signals are to be tried out at the corner of St Vincent Place and George Square, Glasgow.”

“HE SHOULD KNOW HOW! A ‘wall’ rider was summoned at Leek recently for driving negligently by letting go of the handlebars. The case was dismissed when he said he took his hands off to light the acetylene lamp, which had gone out.”

“HORSES TO STAY. The London Traffic Advisory Committee, states Mr Morrision, the Minister of Transport, recently considered the elimination of horse traffic from some of the busy streets in London, but came to the conclusion that the time is not yet ripe to put such a suggestion into effect.”

“AS A NATURAL CONSEQUENCE of certain British manufacturers curtailing, or relinquishing, racing, a number of leading racing men are seeking fortunes abroad. Every motor cyclist who is keenly interested in racing will have viewed with concern the ever-increasing number of famous British riders who are transferring their allegiance to foreign manufacturers as a result of the change of policy. On several occasions during 1930 we have found foreign machines, ridden—and often designed and tuned—by British men, winning races and breaking important records. In other words, British skill, hired by our foreign rivals, is being directed towards wresting from us our supremacy in the motor cycle world. It is unfair to blame the riders for this state of affairs. Some there may be who have been attracted abroad by offers of high remuneration, but in most cases the reason is their inability to find lucrative posts over here. British manufacturers are taking less interest in the racing game; there are fewer firms in the industry; and some of those who have been supporting racing in 1930 have decided to disband their racing staffs. Riders, therefore, have in many instances no option; they must either forsake racing or seek their fortunes on the Continent.”

“Under the eiderdown, though you may not suspect it, there is an Ariel sidecar outfit. The owners took part in the Bromsgrove (Worcs) Carnival. (Right) A contrasting quartette, seen recently at Stockbridge, Northumberland. The ‘penny-farthing’ has been in use for 50 years.”

“THE OFFICIAL GERMAN export returns show that 83 German motor cycles were exported to England during last March.”

“EMBANKMENT BANK EMBARRASSMENT. There is the possibility of a definite strain being imposed on one’s bank balance, writes a reader, when proceeding along the Thames Embankment between Chelsea and Albert bridges. Two mechanically minded gentlemen persist in inspecting brakes and silencers.”

“OUR SPEED CRAZY BIRDS. A robin has built a nest and hatched five eggs in the pit telephone box at the Southampton dirt track! The nest is within a few inches of the bell of the telephone, which is used at every meeting.” [It still happens. My mate Art looks after the Wight Warriors track at Smallbrook Stadium on the Isle of Wight; a couple of years back a bird nested on the engine of the tractor he uses to look after the track, clearly unphased by the noise and heat of the big diesel. It successfully raised a brood of chicks.]

“KNOWN AS THE LANCHESTER AUTOBLAST, an ingenious accessory lately placed on the market automatically sounds the electric horn on a car when a sudden application of the brakes has to be made.”

Petrol theft is nothing new—Beta Manufacturing of Shipley, Yorks came up with a fuel tap incoporating a combination lock.

“EVER SINCE THE WORLD BEGAN, mankind has taken a peculiar interest in his own creative ability, and, no matter how crude and unorthodox the finished article may appear to alien eyes, the old pride of achievement is never really dispelled. Only a keen motor cyclist can tell how much his old bus means to him, and only a motor cyclist can tell how very much more a machine which he has actually built himself means to him. What other people say or think about the child of his brain and hands worries him little, for the artist recognises. only one competent judge of his work, and that is himself. When my brother and I first hit upon the idea of building a motor cycle we were at first inclined to regard the actual process of manufacture as being decidedly tedious. As time went on, however, we made the discovery that there was no more pleasant way of passing a gloomy winter’s evening than in the snug warmth of our workshop, busy thinking out and making various parts of the bus. And all the time a feeling of eager anticipation as to the final results gave added.zest to the work. Naturally, a fairly complete workshop is necessary for the amateur manufacturer, and a lathe, grinder, drilling machine, and powerful brazing hearth are essential. My brother and myself count ourselves lucky to have a useful collection of tools, and power machinery saves us a great deal of time and trouble in overcoming what might have otherwise proved hopeless tasks. In each case, so far, we have used an ordinary engine and gear box, employing an old frame cut about altered to suit our requirements. There are many parts which are scarcely worth making at home, such as forks, steering heads, and so forth, and in these instances we always used parts from ‘stock’. The amount of low cunning which one learns after a while, in order to make things fit, is amazing; and some really Heath Robinsonian ideas have occasionally had to be resorted to. Our first effort was to put an old 1912 7-9hp Indian engine in an ABC frame. The motor was fitted across the frame, and coupled through the faked-up remains of the ABC clutch to the four-speed gear box. The result was both startling and unorthodox. Spending odd evenings and week-ends on the job, it. took us about four months to complete—and about three weeks to wreck. In the first place, we had not allowed for the fact that the 1,000cc engine, though aged, was by no means weak, and had about twice as much power as any modem five-hundred. The result was that when the rider gave the old bus too much gas the spring frame used to bend round at something approaching right angles! A few struts and braces remedied that minor trouble, but one thing we never did cure was the enormous vibration. At anything over thirty the whole machine used to quiver like a metallic jelly, and the filler caps, number plates, and other more or less lightly fitted components were wont to drop off in the road. After about ten miles of that sort of thing we used to heave-to and do a spot of refitting. Meanwhile the rider would be so thoroughly shaken up that it took about ten minutes for him to get his circulation functioning again! Another point was the fact that, owing to the engine being set across the frame, the tremendous torque effect made it impossible for anyone but a circus strong man to pull the bike round a right-hand bend! Finally a slight misunderstanding with the oil pump, entailing a broken piston and badly scored ‘pot’, put paid to the ABC-Indian account. Our next, and probably most successful, venture was the ‘Zenith-Bradshaw Special’. An old 498cc flat-twin oil-cooled Bradshaw engine was taken from the frame of a 1922 Zenith, and, after various ‘hotting-up’ operations, such as the fitting of high-compression pistons, larger valves, and strengthened valve gear, we turned our attention to a suitable frame. This time, with the exception of the steering head and front forks, we built the whole thing from steel tube. It has a spring frame, which has never been known to work, and altogether looks something like a model of the Forth Bridge. With the exception of the head, there is no bracing anywhere, the whole thing being bolted with specially shouldered bolts. A Sturmey-Archer gear box is fitted, à la DT Douglas, under the saddle. This machine has a really high maximum speed, and, except for a slight tendency to break its con rods—it has broken three—gives no trouble whatever. Our third and last (so far, although we are contemplating a further outbreak in the near future) was the ABC-Blackburne. Once more we dragged the old ABC frame into the light of day and fitted a 1924 racing 348cc Blackburne engine, taken from a New Henley of that year. The motor was laid nearly flat in the frame, and, to get over the carburetter difficulty, a special adaptor was made, to carry the float chamber in the upright position. Contrary to everyone’s pessimism, it worked perfectly. We scrapped The old ABC spring frame and front forks, fitting the New Henley back forks, with alterations to give a somewhat shorter wheelbase, and utilised Webb racing front forks. A Burman close-ratio gear box was employed. With pukka dirt-track bars, saddle and footrest well to the rear, a small sprint tank and sweeping exhaust system, the model had quite a Brooklands appearance. The steering was excellent, although we were again troubled by vibration at high revs. A mass of bracing members cured this to some extent, but, owing to the method of engine slinging, we were never able to cure it entirely. This particular bus caused immense interest wherever she went, although not nearly so much as was aroused over the old ABC-Indian. The Blackburne was really fast and had tremendous acceleration. Unfortunately, the ABC frame appeared to he dogged by some sort of jinx, for alter two or three months the motor went dead. The crankpin insisted on coming out, and although we pinned it in place the same trouble would occur after a few miles. That frame has now burst three engines, for its own ABC engine only lasted a short while before it blew up. No matter what results we gained on the road, the trouble has always been worth while, for in experience we have gained far more in a year than we could ever have accumulated in five years of ordinary motor cycling. And incidentally, we can now heartily sympathise with those unfortunates, the real manufacturers who have to cater, not for the eccentric idiosyncrasies of two, but for the manifold fads of thousands!”—Philip C Goodman

“The ‘Zenith-Bradshaw Special’.”

“MAGISTRATE DENOUNCES TRAPPING. Last Friday, Mr, Snell, the Old Street magistrate, in dealing with motorists summoned for exceeding the speed limit, said he had never liked speed traps; the motorist was entirely at the mercy of the officers engaged. ‘How,’ he continued, ‘can a motorist when caught in a dishonest trap defend himself? He cannot do it.’ He dealt with three cases by ordering the defendants to pay only the cost of the summons.”

“EDGAR WALLACE BEATEN! An unusual method of recovering a motor cycle alleged to have been obtained by fraud was adopted recently by JL Love and Co, of Bromley, Kent. This concern sent a postcard giving details of the machine—a 1930 ohv Triumph—to every dealer advertising in The Motor Cycle of May 22nd. Shortly afterwards they received a telephone call from the Reading Motor Exchange, who stated that the machine was at that moment being offered to them. The result was that the machine was recovered and an arrest made.”

PRIZE MONEY AT THE German Grand Prix was a substantial £50, £30 and £15 for the first three home in each class—but if the 1,000cc boys were slower than the 500s their rewards were to be halved.

“OVERSEAS SUCCESSES. British manufacturers claim the following successes for their machines in competition overseas : OK.Supreme—first, and won outright, the Otago (New Zealand) Championship, and ‘Flying Nine’ Handicap. Raleigh—First three places in the 350cc class and Australian 1,000cc grass-track championships at Victoria. Rudge—Bandini was first on his 499cc Rudge in the 500cc class of the Grand Prix of Rome, breaking all records. Velocette—Obtained first place and fastest lap in the 350cc class of the Grand Prix of Rome.”

This spring-frame, unit-construction design was pantented in France by Mlle LJR Jacquemin. The Blue ‘Un reported: “A large casing is made in two halves to accommodate the engine, crank case, gears, clutch and transmission and to form the rear stays of the machine and house the rear hub and brake. Even the parts which form the mudguard and carrier are receptacles for oil, fuel and tools…the motive parts and their accessories form a shroud to the back wheel, the remainder of the machine being quite open. Another portion of the patent specification provides for rear springing by a complicated system of double semi-elliptic leaf springs. It would appear that road-holding, as regards the front wheel, would be a very problematical business.”

SUMMARY OF CORRESPONDENCE. ‘AJP’ (Hounslow) thanks the rider of a Sunbeam for assistance on the Staines toad near Ashford. A lady Velocette rider thanks the rider who gave assistance on the Redbridge-Millbrook road on August 12th. Two motor cyclists would like to hear of farm-type accommodation near Ambleside, and of similar accommodation in the Trossachs. ‘W McK’ (Liverpool) would like to communicate with another rider with a view to companionship; he rides a 1930 499cc Rudge. A Coventry-Eagle sidecar driver thanks the rider of a long-stroke Sunbeam (YR 7720) for assistance at Nutley, on the Eastbourne road. ‘DF’ (Beckenham) and his passenger would like to communicate with the two Rudge riders who assisted them with their Norton, at Chalock, near Charing, Kent. ‘RDD’ (Wandsworth Common) and his friend thank a Matchless driver and a Triumph rider for a ‘lift’ after a breakdown south of Dorking late at night. ‘NLH’ (Thornton Heath) wishes to hear from the rider of a 348cc Douglas whom he met at the Sydenham MC’s grass-track meeting at Layham’s Farm, West Wickham. A young couple wish to meet another couple, preferably living in south-west London, with a view to camping weekends or runs. They own a large tent and me a 1930 596cc Douglas and sidecar.

“LOST AND FOUND. Found, between Billesdon and Leicester, on the Uppingham road, an acetylene generator. Ref No 2310. Lost, between Elstree and Uxbridge, via Pinner and Ruislip, pair of Hutchinson waders. Ref No 2311. Lost, between Putney and Esher, a broken fork girder. Ref No 2312. Found, near Ash, Aldershot, a rubber knee boot. Ref No 2313. Lost, between St James Hospital, Balham, and Queen’s Road, Battersea, a rear chain. Ref No 2314. Lost, Zenith tool kit, between Aylesbury and London. Ref No 2315. Lost, between Oxted and Morden, Surrey, a lady’s purse. Ref No 2316. Lost, on the Sidcup-Farningham road, a pair of Waders. Ref No 2317. Lost, between Stoke Newington and Peckham, via City and Borough, pair of leggings. Ref No 2318.”

THE KEIGHLEY MC, AFTER being dormant for a year, has now been re-organised, and enthusiasm is high. But it received a surprise when it came to run a grass-track meeting near the town, over a very ‘interesting’ course. On a previous occasion, when the same venue was used, the course was carefully roped off and police engaged to control the crowds—which, as it turned out, consisted of the club officials and about a dozen people. On the second occasion—last week—the word went round that a meeting was to be held, and that admission was free; and the officials found themselves quite unprepared for the crowd of between 2,000 and 3,000 that arrived. A handful of marshals worked heroically to keep the mob off the course, but to no purpose. Consequently, when the racing started—and on slippery ground—there were several minor accidents involving spectators, and eventually, it was wisely decided to abandon the rest of the programme.”

“COVENTRY MCFC WINS AGAIN. The Coventry Motor Cycle Football is opening up new ground in the inauguration of visits by Continental motor cycle football teams. Two years ago they invited an Austrian side and beat them to the tune of 10-1, repeating the performance soon after at Vienna. On Saturday they had as visitors to the Coventry City football ground. a team of police motor cycle footballers from Nurnberg; this team are the champions of Germany, and they came to this country with an unbeaten record. Before a crowd of 12,000 enthusiasts Coventry won a great game by the margin of 5-1. The Germans were mounted on 350cc Triumphs made at the Nurnberg factory. Their mounts were of the ohv type and were very speedy, but were much heavier than the English team’s machines, and lacked their easy handling and acceleration.”

“The roaring game: An incident during a recent match a Oxford, when Coventry MCFC beat the Folsehill Club.”

EXTRA TIME—WITHIN A few weeks the Blue ‘Un reported: “A motor cycle football match played between the Grimsby and Coventry MCF clubs resulted in a win by the former team by three goals to two. This is the first time in the history of the club that the Coventry team has been beaten.”

IXION TRIES A MYSTERY FOUR. “For about a week I have been riding an experimental four-cylinder. It is a machine which is definitely intended to form the basis of a commercial model for next year. It is designed and produced in one of our foremost British factories. The best-laid schemes of mice and men gang aft agley; and even now I dare not definitely promise readers that they will see it at Olympia. But only one event can stop its figuring on a Show dais—namely, the receipt of such in-numerable orders for the firm’s conventional machines that no plant would be available for making fours; and in the present state of trade no factory is likely to book record orders this November. So I would gladly take on a substantial bet that this machine will be at Olympia; that it will be the chief sensation of the Show; that it will sell in great numbers; and that it will prove a great success on the road during 1931. I hate to be tantalising, but my lips are largely sealed by solemn promises to the designer, and if mysterious sentences annoy readers they will, at any rate, breed thrilling anticipations of Olympia, or of any earlier ‘release’ which the factory may permit. So here goes for a veiled description of the machine. I have been riding it over crowded roads and among keen motor cyclists for a week past; yet hardly a soul has spotted anything unusual about the bus. There is nothing of the dachshund about it—it is not eight feet long, or anything of that sort; its wheelbase, on the contrary, is approximately 53in, which would be quite a normal dimension for a single-cylinder. It does not look in the least like a four to a casual observer; and when I am sitting on it in road garb there is much excuse to be made for a pump attendant who mistakes it for some-thing entirely different. Being a hand-made experimental model, no weight-saving has been attempted, and it scales 376lb with tanks full. That figure would be slightly on the heavy side for a hot-stuff 500cc single, but when the production machine appears it will weigh rather less; and, anyhow, this figure is not out of the way for a full-sized touring bus. There is no vibration. I contrived to balance a tumbler of water on it with the engine ticking over and the gear in neutral, and a brimming tumbler did not spill, though there was a taint ripple on the surface of the water. If a hand is placed on the tank, frame or head lamp, with the engine running, it is barely possible to detect by the feel whether the engine is running or not. In other words, it has the smoothest motor cycle engine I have ever encountered. The silence is phenomenal. It is only possible to create any exhaust uproar by racing the engine on one of the lower gears; and thus raced the engine emits a smooth, subdued roar, entirely devoid of the staccato racket usually associated with motor cycle power units; it is a roar reminiscent of a Baby Austin. In normal, sensible use the engine would, of course, never be accelerated hard enough on first or second gear to emit any roar at all, as the gear would be changed up before the noise became insistent or aggressive; and such engines, handled with even moderate consideration, would eliminate all public prejudice against motor cycle exhausts. The power unit is extremely flexible. It will fire evenly and pull smoothly down to about 5mph on top gear, on which I rode it up a kerb, through a gate, and round a sharp corner into my garage. In heavy traffic it is almost too silent, as pedestrians are often unaware of its approach, and additional hooter.blowing is needed. Petrol consumption appears to be in the neighbourhood of 80mpg. The acceleration—well, that topic compels me to enlarge on the fact that this bus has.a Jekyll-Hyde personality. You can drive it, if you wish, as a chauffeur employed by a wealthy octogenarian lady might drive a Rolls—slowly, tamely, quietly, almost as if it were propelled by a tiny steam engine. But if you are a lad, and desire the gamut of sensations which a fighting scout aeroplane bestows, you can handle this bus violently. Crash open the twist-grip throttle on bottom or on second, and you get super-sports acceleration, of the sort that induces dry skids in the back wheel, and tends to leave you planted on your situpon in the road. Even on top, thanks to the reserve power and splendid torque of the magnificent engine, you can make the bus jump violently from 5mph on top to 40mph; the later stages of the acceleration, after the ‘forty’ mark is passed, are naturally less lurid. But the full sports performance is always on tap, if you want it. I imagine that if one dared to crash open a.cold engine—eg, in a TT start, this machine would reach the top. of Bray Hill from the Grandstand grid rather faster than most existing sports buses: I have to confess, with shame, that I never found a chance to open it right out on the flat. I was snowed under with work while it was in my possession. It was delivered to me in a locality which does not boast a safe speed stretch, and on all my tests I was smothered with traffic. I whacked it up to seventy on the only piece of safe road I encountered; and it wasn’t finished then. I imagine that the standard production model should be at least of the 75-an-hour type—possibly more. I need not enlarge on those aspects of the mount which are common to conventional types—brakes, steering, comfort and the like; they are beside my present point, and may be taken for granted. There chanced to be a certain amount of brake squeal and of clutch drag on this particular model; but as it has been on the road for six months, and the testers have naturally concentrated on the engine to the exclusion of routine matters, those defects will doubtless be eliminated when the time comes for large production. It is easily the finest motor cycle for general purposes that I have ever ridden; and its extreme pleasantness and novelty naturally react to make a rider super-critical. I plead guilty to being a little disappointed with the carburation. I always fancied that when at long last we got a really charming four-cylinder we should get single-lever carburation. This machine has two-lever control of the gas; and I did not ride it long enough to master this control. I am not implying that I struck any real difficulty, or that the carburation was troublesome; it was, as a fact, perfectly normal. But in two sets of circumstances I found myself asking for single-lever control of the carburetter, as on a car. To start up, one shuts the air lever and sets the twist-grip throttle at discretion. I never had to kick, and there is no valve-lifter. You just press the kick-starter very gently down against full compression without the least symptom of effort; but she did not always break into her purr first kick, either hot or cold. If I’d kept her longer, I might have found better settings, and averaged one gentle press per start. Secondly, in order to enjoy full flexibility at low speeds on top, and full acceleration on any gear, a little wangling of the air lever was required. No such wangling is ever needed on a four-cylinder car. This naturally leads on to a second point. With a four-cylinder air-cooled engine, some of the cylinders are inevitably screened from the full benefit of the cooling blast. ‘Overheating’, as we all know nowadays, is more a chatter of uneven heating than of absolute heat. In theory, an air-cooled engine of perfect design can function unimpeachably up to any temperature which does not ‘crack’ its lubricant. In practice, absolutely even heating is difficult to attain; and heat distortion is still possible, especially on low-gear work and when ticking over. Perhaps an automatic carburetter would complicate matters, and the retention of a two-lever carburetter may therefore be inevitable. If this machine could safely be given automatic carburation, my cup of joy would be full. I especially regretted the handicaps which my roads imposed during the test, as I much desired to see whether I could ‘cook’ the engine, or, rather, the screened cylinders. Since prolonged, high speed (by which I mean a sustained 50mph or over) was nowhere possible, I adopted the method of maltreating the engine on its lower gears, and keeping it running in neutral longer than a sensible owner would do. Once or twice I just succeeded in making her smell a trifle warm. But I never got her hot enough to pink, or to knock, or to pre-ignite. In other words, I could never provoke any perceptible distortion whatsoever. Finally, accessibility is perfectly normal and easy. Maintenance is not necessarily complicated by the addition of extra cylinders. Decoking is not twice the job with a vertical twin that it is with a single, nor twice the job with a four that it is with a twin. It all depends on design; and a detachable head makes a world of difference. Apart from this theoretical numerical progression, maintenance of this machine is just as easy as that of any other bus. You don’t have to get a crane, and handle a terrifically weighty and cumbrous unit. I know this is high praise; but when the machine appears at Olympia in production form I am sure you will all ejaculate reverently, ” Why has nobody ever done this before?” And when you ride it . . . !!!”—IXION.

Yes, of course Ixion had ridden the 500cc ohc Ariel Square Four. But two British fours burst onto the scene in 1930— Matchless followed up the Silver Arrow twin with the V4 Silver Hawk.
Mention ohc V4s with cantilever suspension to a pre-pensionable age motor cyclist and he’ll wax lyrical about the superb Honda VFR 750. Old gits will go dreamy eyed about the Silver Hawk.

“IN 1928 AND 1929 I WAS secretly a little afraid that a certain lethargy (not unmixed with timidity) was descending upon the motor cycle industry. Trade prospects were bad at both those Olympias. And, of course, no foreign nation had any pretensions to challenge our established supremacy. These twin factors struck me as exercising a mildly paralysing effect upon our factories. But what a mighty transformation was revealed last week! There is still no large amount of commercial optimism—that is for the nonce impossible ; we have slid down the long slope off the crest of a wave of prosperity; we are still wallowing in the trough; we try to wipe the spume from our eyes and strike out up towards another Crest; but the next crest has not yet been sighted. Nevertheless, practically every stand at Olympia displays energy, enterprise, and even that rarest of all features in an old and stabilised industry—genuine originality! On the Ariel stand we saw for the first time in history the logical application of four ‘pots’ to a motor cycle frame; and instead of being intoxicated with his own technical brilliance the designer goes a step farther, remembers that he is not in the business for his health, and contrives to utilise precisely the same machine, down to the ultimate split-pin, for his single-cylinder engine and for his square four, thereby cutting his costs and simplifying his production scheme to the envy of all the world. Not far away was the Matchless stand, with another vibrationless, silent, accessible 8-80mph bus. Back down the hall, and you bumped into the ’31 New Hudson, with a mightily improved engine, nether portions which can be wiped clean in a few seconds after the filthiest run, a saddle which does not get soaked if you dismount on a wet day, and a clever prop stand which adds precisely £0 0s 0d to the cost of manufacture. Step across the gangway and you encountered the Rudge radial four-valve engines: and perhaps you heard—as I did—its designer congratulated by an eminent breeder of racing cars on having evolved a better cylinder head than the said car factory had ever dreamt of and in the same breath up came the technical head of a famous Continental plant and remarked gutturally, ‘You have solved a problem that has beaten me for three years Past!’ Those were typical of similar complimentary remarks. These items are all to be classed among the spiky, bristly elements of ‘progress’ which hit the eye, and which even an

Top: “A ‘protected’ Triumph.” Left: “The vertical-engined Scott.” Right: “The four-cylinder Matchless ‘Silver Hawk’.”

intelligent child cannot miss. But none of them are the real, inward essence of progress. Did you visit the historical exhibit, and contrast its rusty, road-worn, time.battered machines with their glittering progeny on the stands around? A gap of perhaps twenty years yawns between an individual Oldster and an individual 1931 model; yet at each of the Olympias which separated them you would have said ‘No perceptible progress’. And you would have been right. Yet there was progress each year—some obscure metallurgical advance or something equally invisible. And last week Olympia was packed tight with this invisible progress. Take, as an example, the 1931 P&M Panther. Much the same as the ’30, you opine? Ye-e-es; but not the same. The P&M engineers felt that their 1930 engines, while technically quieter than most motor cycles, were not so metallically silent as a good car. They felt that though their ’30 engines wore well, yet now and again a customer demanded a new part to cure some audible play which fussed his fastidious soul. The staff resented these petty imperfections. So they evolved a new steering head, which enabled them to build the engine a little longer. They used the extra space to house a longer piston and a longer con-rod; that ensured the thumpiest part of the engine keeping quiet for several thousand miles extra. It permitted them to fit longer valve springs, with less risk of a coil being stressed by incessant compression to the fracture point. Even then they decided that you could hear too much of the valves; so they tried an easier cam contour, and toiled away at it till they got more horse-power out of a

According to a pal who used to own a Silver Hawk, the revolutionary V4 would have benefitted from more development work, but some examples are still on the road. This example resides in an OEC duplex-steered rolling chassis at the Sammy Miller museum.
Narrow-angle ohc V-4 lump, like a Yamaha V-Max, with coil ignition, in an OEC frame combining rear suspension with hub-centre steering…in 1930.

quieter engine. Glance at the new Ariels. A ‘sloper’ engine is not an awful big talking point till you look into it, sure enough; but if, on strict examination, you find that the centre of gravity is vertically a lot lower than it used to be, why, obviously, Ariel riders will skid less; and as the centre of gravity can be kept just where it was horizontally, the change does not make her tail-heavy or nose-heavy; and, like the P&M plot, it gives the engineers room to make the engine longer, with all the aforesaid merits of longer life, better-maintained silence, and improved accessibility. So here we identify one of those unobtrusive details which make for real progress. Perhaps you chatted awhile with a salesman at the shrine of the Silver Hawk. You noted with surprise that it is not two Silver Arrow twins compressed into a new four. (The Arrow is 54×86 mm and the Hawk 50.8x73mm.) You remarked in perplexity that surely production would have been cheapened if the Hawk had been built out of two Arrows? The salesman replied, instanter, that the Hawk does not need all the power which two Arrows would give. So why not cut down the power a little and make the engine durable—use the long Arrow con-rod, and fit an elongated piston with enormous bearings in the cylinder, and a huge thrust face, so that this engine de luxe won’t wear rattley, and can be run without dismantling till the cows come home? An immense amount of quiet work has been put into silence and durability during the last year. The British user always purrs if his machine is as quiet and full of pep at Christmas as when he first opened her taps in the spring; and the ‘exile’ customer, separated from the factory by leagues of ocean and a journey which takes a month or more each way, appreciates such forethought and conscientiousness even more than we homelanders. These considerations inspire me to underline certain price contrasts. We all know that if we want, say, a. 500cc two-port we can pay either £x or £x+y for it, though to the eye there may be nothing between the two machines, barring oddments of shape or colour. Talk to

1930 LEVIS A2
“Talk to someone on the Levis stand, and you found out why some people call the A2 the nicest three-fifty.”

someone on the Levis stand, and you found out why some people call the A2 the nicest three-fifty, and why the Levis works have been on overtime and behind deliveries all year. Why have not the Levis people enlarged their plant and their production? The A2 is what it is because it is a hand-made job, and the hand-fitting is done by picked men, whose name is not legion. So you can take an A2 off the erecting bench, and put it straight into a sprint competition without any running in. That is why a Sunbeam is a Sunbeam, and worth Sunbeam price. That is why a Norton is a Norton, and won’t disgrace you in the Manx Grand Prix or anything else for which you care to enter it. You must always pay for quality; and quality is always worth its price. There were always two large clumps of young men in the hall.. One encircled JS Wright’s 150mph OEC-JAP, and the other did poojah to Handley’s winning TT Rudge. Great idea, this staging of famous speed mounts; it ought to have been done years ago—I suppose the jealousy of also-rans interfered. Rudges have had a wonder year, and the 1931 models assure another to follow—that little 249cc is a charmer, and the decompressor will encourage an older client to sample the fiery delights of the 499cc. The Matchless people, with similar wisdom, have put decompressors on all their single-cylinders. Decompressor engines are rather particular about their starting mixture, but when once you know where to set the levers they start without any muscular effort at all. I have one fault to find with every machine in the Show. No designer has grappled with the inundation of water which saddle tanks direct against the fork in pouring rain. It is time this flaw was tackled. Deflector ridges won’t do it; they merely shoot the water off sideways for the wind to blow it against knees, thighs, or shins. The de luxe New Hudsons have a saddle cover which may be used as a fork apron; I think we need more drastic methods than that. Hats high, please, to everybody who offers us rear springing and coupled brakes. I think we might wisely lump foot gear change with these two desirabilities, as there are now several foot-change mechanisms which never go through a gear. We can only expect these luxuries in the costlier ranges, as some manufactures lie awake scheming how to carve pounds, shillings and pence off costs. The Calthorpe ‘Ivory III’ is handsomer than ever, and its designer has avoided a very

“I marked down the Royal Enfield 976cc twin as just about the best value in the Show.” According to the show report: “A duplex cradle frame, detachable cylinder heads, enclosed valve gear, and improved silencing arrangements are features of the new 976cc twin.”

common fault. Tank instrument panels are all very well for such items as ammeters and switches and clocks, and even oil gauges. But I respectfully submit that the speedo ought to be mounted as far forward as ever we can get it; I am sure a number of riders come purlers every year simply because they cannot resist the temptation to study the speedo when they are scrapping. They cannot study the speedo if it is located where a man’s tummy should be at seventy. The speedo should surely be where it is on the Calthorpe and the Matchless and the P&M and a few other machines—right toward. I believe Velocettes are one of a very few firms to have had a record output; can any firm in any other industry say as much for 1930? That proves their quality beyond all conceivable cavil. Sunbeams, like Rolls-Royce, haughtily disdain seasonal changes; they are as sound and brilliant as ever; and when I ride in summer, with a tennis shoe on my right foot, how I appreciate that heavy rubber pad on their kick-starter, as compared with the naked steel spindle of nearly all their rivals! A small point, but genius is only an infinite capacity for taking pains. I marked down. the Royal Enfield 976cc twin at £60 as just about the best value in the Show; and they have at long last come out with a four-valve 500cc. I

1930 NEW HUDSON 500 MOD4
“Back down the hall, and you bumped into the ’31 New Hudson, with a mightily improved engine, nether portions which can be wiped clean in a few seconds after the filthiest run”

am told that it does 80mph already, and that they’ve hardly begun to play with it yet; we may are it scaring Handley one fine day. Many nice buses on the James stand; their ultra-cheap Villiers (ride-it-in-white-trousers style) is a peach at less than £25. In this price class, too, the little Excelsior and the pressed-steel-frame models of the Coventry-Eagle are amazing value. I notice with warm approval that for 1931 all 0EC machines will have duplex steering and rear-springing; no motor cyclist’s education is complete until he has tried this very ‘different’ machine. The Scott people staged all their familiar range, plus the new 650cc vertical and the 300cc single; I, for one, shall take some weaning off the Flier, but then I have yet to try the new engine. George Brough cannot paint his lily much more, but his bumpers are a real brain-wave. They mean that you can lay the bus down sideways quite hard without bending anything. Most buses are laid down sideways at least once a season. The bumpers are cheap, and not at all unsightly. I should like to fit a pair to all my mounts at once. The dirt-track models were the cynosure on the Douglas stand, but I thought the A31 model perhaps the best beginner’s mount in the Show. Cheap to buy, cheap to run, an absurdly easy starter at all times, capable of sixty, and smoother than any other engine except a four, it is very hard to beat; and how the firm have improved the looks of all their models during the past year or two! Every agent fights to get the BSA on his list, first, because their quality is high; secondly, because their service is as near perfect as no matter; and, thirdly, because they cater for us from the cradle to the grave—a little ‘un when We leave school, an ohv 493cc for the care-free bachelor stage, a bigger ‘un still when the missus and the twins have to be considered, and a lordly three-wheeler when we are too gaga for two wheels. A fine show, theirs; and with all deference I prefer their standard olive-green saddle tank to all the chromium panels in the Show. I gave Raleigh full marks at sight, because they go all-out for the foot gear change, which is my latest fad ; and when I further spotted a nice thick rubber on their kick-starter, my heart went pit-a-pat. These machines are building up a regular cult. I don’t quite know what to make of this new fashion of giving fancy names to particular models; they don’t often catch-on except when customers bestow them (‘Riccy’, for example). But if we must’

“To be known as the Greyhound range, four new Montgomerys will make their appearance on the market almost immediately. In the main they follow the well-tried Montgomery lines, the sturdy frame being as usual, but they are distinguished outwardly by a smart grey enamel finish, and a tank with grey panels on a chromium background; most of the fittings are chromium plated. The wheels, however, remain black, and match up very well with the cylinder barrel and saddle. Every machine will be specially tuned, and will have a high-compression piston, and in each case a guaranteed speed is offered. The two largest models have 500cc and 350cc ohv JAP engines, and will be listed at £57 15s and £50 8s, and both will have the Sturmey-Archer ‘one shot’ foot-change gear. A Sturmey-Archer close-ratio gear box will also be fitted to the 250cc ohv JAP-engined model, and to the 172cc Super-sports Villiers. The following speeds are guaranteed for the various models : 500cc, 75mph; 350cc, 70mph; 250cc, 65mph; 172cc, 60mph” This is the 350.

have them, the Montgomery ‘Greyhound’ is a winner; and its plain elephant-grey is serviceable and satisfying. Triumphs had chartered a stand as long as Euston platform, and stuffed it full of good things; I especially liked an electric-blue three-fifty which is an extraordinarily pleasant mount for the man who wants m keep inside the 30s tax. But I suppose their bigger engines will continue to charm the bulk of the vast army of Triumph enthusiasts. There were innumerable. Villiers-engined machines in the Show; I liked none better than the two Francis-Barnetts; they am ideal mounts alike for the beginner, the elderly man, the woman who lives in the country, and any utility rider who does not care for weight and high speed. Somehow, whenever I approach an AJS stand I always spend most time at the ohc model; it is a job which satisfies me more every lime I see or ride it. I cannot help thinking that, sooner or later, it will pretty well sweep the racing board for a season. And in these days when so many makes are genuinely attractive, and so many of us ring the changes, I think the AJS has at least as many faithful season-after-season devotees as any bike in the world. And that surely speaks for itself! Not for many years have I come away from Olympia feeling so completely assured of the vigour and intelligence of the British motor cycle industry.” Ixion [as if you hadn’t already guessed—Ed].

“IN THE FUTURE,” Ixion revealed, “I do not myself anticipate a real boom in spring frames until somebody wins the TT or sets up sensational world’s records on one. Manufacturers take a lot of moving in this respect. A man who has been scheming all the year how to knock £1 off his factory cost is not going to spend more money on his frame till public demand forces him. A manufacturer who sells machines de-luxe cannot adopt a spring frame without scrapping a lot of jigs and enlarging his stores; he realises that the demand for rear-springing is still quite weak, and he does not wish to add another component which might conceivably break or wear. But if I were the ordinary private rider, buying a machine to keep for a term of years, it would unquestionably have a spring frame. There is a definite increase in comfort with almost all of them; you can choose between maintaining the same speed with more comfort, or a higher speed with the same comfort. Most of them make for better road-holding and steering. If they are well designed, with really liberal bearings, there is no reason why wear in the parts should raise our maintenance costs, though spring frames have certainly been marketed with miserably small bearings. I think the future lies with the motor cycling public. The more experience ordinary riders get with spring frames, the stronger should be the demand.”

WHARFDALE, THE MOTOR CYCLE’S Northern corespondent took ‘A Tour of Olympia to See what Makers Have Done to Help the Rider to ‘Service’ his Machine with the Minimum of Trouble’: “Sometimes we look at the best models of other countries and think that our own makers are lagging behind in design, whereas we should consider the machines of a country as a whole before malting such a comparison. If we do this we can realise, in true perspective, just where we stand. Such a survey of our own 1931 models leads very definitely to the conclusion that we are steadily progressing, and that the machines now available are more improved in detail than ever before. To-day we can take performance for granted, and reliability of the main components (at all events) as being very nearly perfect. It is in the small things to-day rather than in the big ones that machines must be compared and judged; the machine that is easy to look after and keep in good order is better than the one that requires considerable mechanical skill or painstaking and frequent care. The Show just passed has revealed—perhaps for the first time—a really serious effort to make machines easier to keep in good order by taking better care of the things that may prove troublesome. Such things as complete enclosure of crank case, primary drive and gear box under detachable covers, the use of oil-containing primary chain cases, and better guarding of the rear chain, not to mention the almost complete enclosure of valve mechanism, all tend to prolong the life of parts, and, by so doing, to make less and less call upon the rider for mechanical attention to his machine. Then there is the question of better provision for the lubrication of parts that will work (but must suffer) without oil. At last it has been realised that mechanical oil-feed to the valve guides is a desirable thing for the life of the guides and valve stems. Lubrication of the primary chain, too, is another important item; and by primary chain lubrication I mean a definite supplying of oil when the machine is running, as one very famous concern arranges, rather than the blowing of crank case release oil on to the chain—by no means a certain method. Better still, of course, are chain cases containing an oil well, for experience tells us that a chain protected from external grit and dirt and running in oil has an almost indefinite life, and makes very few demands for adjustment, whereas the ‘open’ unlubricated chain can be adjusted almost every week if one is at all sensitive to noise and harshness. Talking of adjusting primary chains, there is at last a welcome realisation on the part of most makers that a mechanical method of adjusting the gear box position is an essential; very few machines appear without it. But not all are perfect, by any means. When adjusting the primary chain it is as often necessary to push the box nearer to the engine as it is to draw it farther away, before the final tightening-up of the gear box bolts can an be done, yet there are examples of adjustments that push only and do not pull. To my mind,

L-R: “Accessible New Imperial details: extended gear box bolts and unobstructed clutch adjustment. The Ariel four has a really accessible filler for its primary chain oil-bath. An example of the detachable side-valve cylinder head on the larger Douglas models.”

the best form of gear box primary chain adjuster is an eccentric or cam-shaped stud in conjunction with a pivoted gear box, for it is so much easier to operate from the side of the machine than a draw-bolt hidden away in the gear box bracket or behind or beneath battery boxes, tool-bags, and oil tanks. One most famous racing machine has such a gear box adjuster that looked to me quite unreachable by any average clumsy person with ordinary spanners. Of course, my ideal in this respect is a fixed gear box with the engine sliding for the front chain adjustment and the rear wheel for the back chain, so that one chain adjustment does not necessitate altering the other. The position of gear box fixing studs is important in connection with chain adjustments, and here again the pivoted box marks an advance in ease of maintenance because its horizontal fixing bolts can generally be reached with a tube spanner much more easily than studs vertically above the box, which are generally in cramped quarters, or below the bracket, where they get abominably filthy. Usually, the rear wheel adjustments are easy, but here again a cam operation is quick, positive, and retains parallelism. But the type with a thrust screw is also very sound mechanically, and usually fairly easy to work. The draw-bolt type, reminiscent of bicycle practice, should, I think, be relegated to the scrap-heap. There is an important point in the design of rear fork-ends that has a great bearing on ease of handling the wheel, when it has to be removed for tyre repairs, and, so on. I refer to the lengthening of the lower jaw of the fork-end, on which to rest the spindle of the hub before slipping it into position. With modern heavy wheels this detail is so valuable that I can only conclude that the people who make and design machines without it (the majority, unfortunately) either never ride at all, or else never undertake their own repairs. For the same reason I cannot understand the use of fork-ends slotted at an inclination downwards towards the back, for they make the single-handed refitting of wheels very difficult. And I see no reason why front wheels should not be fitted in a horizontally slotted fork-end with, again, a projecting lower jaw to take the weight before the spindle is pushed home. In both cases an easily coupled brake anchor-plate is also desirable, and here again the extended lower fork-end jaw becomes usually as good as a third hand. Brake adjustments are now almost universally carried out without tools by spring-locking butterfly nuts. They usually present no snags, although sometimes the rod length is such that it has to be inserted in the brake cam lever as the hub spindle is inserted in the fork-end—another third-hand job, and another argument for that extended lower jaw! Running adjustments, as I have outlined, are being rendered more accessible; and, generally, fairly good provision is now made for filling oil sumps and lubricating gear boxes. There is room for improvement in this matter, for one or two engine sump fillers are not easily reachable, and one or two oil tanks have fillers too close under the saddle; very slight redesigning would remove criticism in this respect. But I am surprised to see, on a machine of racing fame, the clutch control passing across the face of the gear box filling plug! Clutch controls are usually easy to adjust, but I must say I have a leaning towards those with large finger-nut adjusters, and there is at least one machine on which the clutch cable is a real cable, and frictionally held in the handlebar lever so that a replacement can be made on the road. A practically unbreakable cable having been made, steps are taken to make its replacement easy! I suppose it is (to quote the salesman’s explanation of the starting handle on the Rolls-Royce) ‘just in case’. The only other running adjustment I have not touched is that of the wheel-bearings. We still have the old cup-and-cone, we have the adjustable taper roller, and we have the journal ball bearing. The cup-and-cone can be excellent, but it must be superlatively made, and I think it is definitely a thing of a past era. Excellent as the taper roller is, it is susceptible to over adjustment, whereas the journal bearing has no adjustment at all. I think more and more designers will adopt it for wheel hubs, and its non-adjustability appeals to me, for it helps the manufacturers to give us the machine that calls for little attention. A point in wheel detachability that is very welcome is the use on certain models of long spindle nuts, extended well clear of other details. And now to turn to those aspects of engine maintenance which the average rider may consider within his sphere, such as valve

“The removal of four nuts allows the carrier and rear mudguard of the big-twin Royal Enfield to be completely removed; the carrier can be removed or retained independently. The battery of the 298cc Raleigh can be easily withdrawn sideways. Both clutch and rear brake on the Sunbeam can be adjusted from the saddle.”

adjustments and regrinding, and decarbonising. I think that in the case of side-valve engines we have now reached a point of very great facility in this direction, for at last our designers have given its what Ford gave to the car world—the detachable one-piece head. Decarbonising the typical 1931 side-valve engine may now be called ‘a gift’, for there is no longer need to lift the cylinder, and no longer fear of breaking rings when replacing that same ‘pot’ again. The valves, too, become infinitely more accessible and easy to work on, while the enclosed valve springs and tappets will reduce guide leakage and tappet wear to a minimum; and they will be more easily handled, because no longer will valve springs and cups be covered with a filthy mess of hard-baked, burnt and congealed oil and grit. The sloping of engines gives more room in the frame for work on the head also, and this applies to overhead-valve models as well. In the overhead machines the tendency towards total enclosure of push-rods and rocker gear and lubrication of all parts and the valve guides from the main lubricating system, is now almost completely accepted, with the inevitable result of cutting down frequent adjustments and replacements. Most overhead-valve heads are fairly readily detachable, although in some cases the rocker box must be removed first. On the whole, however, the latest examples of ohv head show more appreciation of the desirability of ease of access than previously, and the sloping engine provides much improved facility. This applies also to sparking plug position, and there are now few machines left in which comic spanners and double-jointed asbestos fingers are needed to replace the hot-stuff plug of a hot-stuff engine. There is one point in which the modern duplex loop frame may present a difficulty not nearly so apparent as in the case of the single-tube non-loop type. Should it ever be necessary to remove the engine from the frame the task can be rather a problem, as the frame was originally ‘assembled round the engine’. In almost all cases removal of the engine calls also for the removal of the gear box (and sometimes, but not always, vice versa). Therefore, as between two machines of equal merit otherwise, I would choose one on which the saddle tube, or the combined gear box and rear engine plate assembly, or the bottom of the frame loop, was completely detachable. So far as accessory equipment is concerned, I think there is little more to do. The carburetter makers are getting nearer and nearer to standardisation (although I do wish they would adapt all their hexagons to that ubiquitous and invaluable little ‘double-double-ended’ spanner). Gear box makers could note the point too, for they generally put an odd stud somewhere that just misses one of the sizes. The electrical people have done well; the better protection of cables passing from steering head to lamp was much needed; while the making of the dynamo of lighting and ignition units separately detachable is a rather striking gesture of acknowledgment to our troubles; the making of it must have caused a deal of heartburning. Anyway, it all helps to help us to look after our machines the more easily. As to the other item of lighting equipment that demands our care and attention, the accumulator, we see signs of grace in the fitting of external terminals (a thoroughly good and helpful point), but I could wish that more makers would remember that the lid must be lifted fairly frequently for ‘topping up’; in many cases the location on the machine is not helpful to this end. Now, one maker on one model, puts the battery in a case into which it slides tightly sideways; I like it.”


“EVE VISITS OLYMPIA—Appreciates some 1931 Improvements, and Accuses the Opposite Sex of Harbouring Serious Delusions about the Requirements of Women Motor Cyclists. by ‘Diana‘. I have been asked, as a keen woman motor cyclist, to say what I thought of the Olympia Show, from a woman’s point of view. Well, I wonder if my view differs so much from that of the average motor cycling male. After all, in these enlightened days, when we’ve been impertinent enough to encroach on Adam’s preserves, both in work and play, we’ve come to regard these things more or less as he does. Surely, it would be strange if it were otherwise! Soon after the War, when both hair and skirts underwent surprising abbreviation, we discovered a new thrill—the motor cycle! Lots of us also found that, not only did bikes provide sport; they came in really useful for all sorts of odd jobs or (for those of us with the wanderlust) as a means of making long tours. I am writing as though I am a hardened veteran, though actually I was still at school when the War ended. My introduction the motor cycling came came just about the time—three or four years ago—when manufacturers were discovering that, thanks to the aforesaid short skirts, there was no demand for special ‘ladies’ models’. I know that, because at the behest of two slightly scandalised parents (who had been worried into letting me have a bike), I endeavoured to buy such a machine, and nearly bought one of the two remaining makes; it was only the timely intervention of an elder brother that assured for me a sporty little two-stroke of normal type. All this seems to have very little to do with Olympia, but I am simply trying to explain why I did not regard the exhibits from any particularly new or different viewpoint. Still, I will be feminine enough to admit that I am glad to see that many manufacturers are making various odd things easier to adjust and absolutely reliable (that ‘see’ isn’t the strict truth, because I’m no good at spotting the finer points of mechanical improvements; I should have said ‘heard and read’—from the wise words of salesmen and the expert opinions of The Motor Cycle contributors). While knowing next to nothing of the mysteries of compression ratios and combustion heads, I have learnt (again thanks to that brother) how to tackle little jobs like chain adjustment. There is an example of the type of improvement that I mean; on my present machine—a 350cc side-valve four-stroke of a well-known make—adjusting the chains is (if you will allow an unladylike expression) the devil’s own job. I saw the 1931 edition of the same model at Olympia, and the salesman demonstrated how, thanks to a new pivot mounting or something, you can move the gearbox in two shakes of a lamb’s tail. These new shielded-in engines, too, are an extremely nice idea. Though the average girl motor cyclist may not object to looking like a she-tramp on occasions, there are times when she wants to retain some sort of respectable appearance when using the bike—on shopping expeditions, for example; and silk stockings (or even woollen stockings for that matter) definitely do not look attractive when decorated with smudges of oily dirt. Starting, they tell me, is easier; well, that must be a good thing for lots of girls who are buying bikes. Personally, I’ve never had any real bother in this respect with any of my mild-mannered mounts, but my brother (sorry, but I can’t keep him out of this article) has a big ohv which defies all my attempts to get the starter down to the bottom of its stroke, let alone turn the engine fast enough for anything to start happening! I suppose I am expected to pronounce sentence on the comfort or otherwise of the sidecars I saw, but I’m afraid that I have all the he-man solo rider’s entire lack of interest in ‘chairs’. Still, they certainly looked comfortable (I really don’t believe you can tell much by just sitting in them at the Show; it’s the same when trying riding positions on solos), and the various colour schemes were most artistic—too artistic in one or two cases, I thought. One thing I did discover in my round of the Show was that the whole male population of motorcycledom still seems the cherish the almost Victorian idea that women motorcyclists are a race apart, and that they can be catered for as if they all had an identical taste in machines. The manufacturers, as I have remarked, apparently realised a long time ago that there is no great demand for ‘ladies’ open-framed models’, and yet they still hand tenaciously on to the weirdest ideas. For example, on every stand (with two exceptions) on which I asked any questions, the salesman at once escorted me over to the smallest, meekest, wuffliest little two-stroke in the range, and the well-memorised formula about ‘Now this is a very suitable machine for a lady,’ etc, etc, tripped off his lips. Well, let me tell you about two old school friends who are both motor cyclists. One is now a probationer nurse at a hospital ten miles away from her home. She gets, on an average, only two periods of freedom a week, and uses her bike each time. She doesn’t know the carburettor from the back wheel, and she never exceeds 25mph. The only breakdowns she ever has are through running out of petrol and then she has to wait for someone to come along and tell her what’s the matter. Now she does ride a wuffly little two-stroke and it’s just the bike for her. The other friend has no job of work, and uses her bike purely for fun. It’s a 680cc twin with a torpedo-shaped sidecar. She’s afraid of nothing in the way of speed, and carries out most of her own repairs. She is going to try riding in trials very shortly. With these two girls as extremes, you can take yours humble, with her side-valve 350cc, as the half-way type. There are a dozen types on either side of me. And yet, Mr Superior Male, you haven’t learnt to say anything to us but ‘Now this is a very suitable, etc, etc’!

“THE ATTRACTION. (I) At the Board Meeting. Managing Director: ‘We must make our display at the Show an absolute centre of attraction.’ The Designer: ‘Well, sir, I think we have embodied all we can in the new models. Every rider’s complaint or suggestion has been closely studied.’ Managing Director: ‘Yes, but do the machines look well?’ Works Director: ‘I don’t think the finish can be bettered. I have had the enamelling shop thoroughly overhauled, and we can show machines in six different colours.’ Managing Director (to Publicity Man): ‘That sounds good. Jones—the best-designed and best-finished machines we have ever turned out. What do you think?’ Publicity Merchant: ‘I thought you wanted the stand to be a centre of attraction, sir? If you’ll sanction an extra £20 I’ll make the best of things.’ (Sanctioned.) (II) Two Days Before the Show. Publicity Merchant (on ‘phone): ‘Is that the Chic Mannequin Agency? Well now, look here, I want four tall, attractive girls, who can talk pleasantly, for the Motor Cycle Show. What? They don’t know anything about motor cycles? Oh, that’s all right, they don’t need to…Yes, I can’t go above £20…Right! Send ’em along.'”—Wharfedale.

The Beeza stand clearly wasn’t short of glamour.

“OUT OF THE MOUTHS… Mother: ‘Look at this one, Daddy; isn’t it funny?’ Father: ‘My word, yes; all covered in, isn’t it?’… Child: ‘Daddy!’… Mother: ‘Don’t interrupt your father when he’s speaking.’ Father: I suppose it’s one of these ‘Everyman’ machines we hear about.’ Mother ‘What are they?’ Child: ‘Mummy!’… Mother: ‘Don’t interrupt when your Daddy is going to speak to me.’ Father: ‘Oh, well, you see, they’re machines that everybody can ride to business, and so on.’ Child: ‘But, Daddy, you’re quite wrong; it’s…’ Mother: ‘You mustn’t contradict your Father. Now, Daddy, tell Reggie just why it’s all covered up.’ Father: ‘Well, you see, all the dirt and the oil…’ Child (who cannot stand any more): ‘Oh. hang it all, Daddy, don’t you know Wright’s machine had to be streamlined?'”—Wharfedale

1930 248 ARIEL
“An inclined engine gives the 248cc two-port Ariel improved appearance and accessibility.”
“The big-twin AJS has undergone a number of modifications which make it equally well suited for solo or sidecar work.”
1930 ARDIE
“A pressed duralumin frame and forks and a Burman four-speed gear box are features of this ohv 490cc JAP-engined Ardie.”
1930 ARIEL 497
“This four-valve Ariel has a new tank, four-speed gear box, and duplex cradle frame.”
“An imposing big twin—the ‘Flying Eight’ Coventry-Eagle-JAP.”
1930 COVENTRY 196
“Electric lighting, undershield and legshields are included in the specification of this new 196cc pressed-steel frame Coventry-Eagle.”
1930 DUGGIE 350 L-BIKE
“Although fitted with dynamo lighting and full equipment, this attractive 348cc Douglas weighs under 224lb.”
1930 LEVIS 350 + BOX
“Foot-operated gear control has been standardised on the Burman box of the Levis A2 model.”
1930 JAMES
“The 498cc ohv James twin, known as the ‘Flying Ace’. shows a number of improvements in its latest form; electric lighting is standardised.”
The Sunbeam Lion was launched to attract riders with shallower pockets.
“The Swiss-built Motosacoche was a surprise exhibit…a new side-valve type has a detachable aluminium head and enclosed side-valve mechanism operated by a skew-driven camshaft…A duplex roller primary chain is entirely enclosed in a cast oil-bath case…Below the crank case is a large metal container into which the oil drains and which carries the main supply…The push-rod operated ohv 498cc Motosacoche features hairpin valve springs.”
1930 OK 248
“One of the novelties of the Show—the new 248cc high-efficiency, vertical-camshaft OK Supreme.”

“THERE MUST BE HUNDREDS, if not thousands, of keen motor cyclists who have coveted a Sunbeam motor cycle for years past, but have been forced to forgo their desire for financial reasons…with the backing of Imperial Chemical Industries [which owned the marque], and their own accumulated experience of production methods, they have succeeded in evolving, not a cheap motor cycle, but a model which is a true Sunbeam in respect of design, workmanship, and material at a substantially reduced price. The new model, to be known as the ‘Lion’…is propelled by the now famous long-stroke [77×105.5mm/ 492cc] side-valve Sunbeam engine…The new model is distinguished by a chromium-plated tank bearing a representation of a lion rampant, which has become associated with ICI activities.”

“New single-spring forks and foot operated gear change are embodied in the 1931 layout of the 493cc ‘Model 90’ Sunbeam.”
L-R: “A sports Swallow, with an imposing nose and neat little screen. (Right) A sidecar on the P&M stand has a striking green fabric-covered body, with hood and luggage grid.”
L-R: “An unusual but effective design in aluminium on the Triumph stand. Fit to fit a Sunbeam—this elegant black fabric sidecar, with recessed seat-back and rear locker, is to be seen on the Sunbeam stand. A very smart touring model, with dickey seat, is the Matchless.”
L-R: “Red beading and black upper panels enhance this sidecar on the BSA stand.” Having unwrapped his new launch sidecar, this pipe-smoking enthusiast prepares to fit it while the chair’s future occupant stands ready with helpful suggestions. “Generous proportions characterise the Rudge sports sidecar. The battery mounting is interesting.”

ARIEL, BSA, DOUGLAS, Triumph and JAP took stands at the New York show but of the surviving Americans only Indian made it to Olympia. Harley and Excelsior arranged displays at London dealers’ showrooms to coincide with the show, as did a number of cash-strapped British marques including Ascot-Pullin, Dot, NUT, Royal Ruby and SOS. Excelsior’s line-up included the Henderson four and inside Olympia the Indian stand featured the Indian-4 (based on the ACE design which in turn was based on the Henderson…the contracting US industry was as incestuous as the British industry would be a few decades later). Annual US motorcycle exports totalled 10,200, compared with 38,000 a decade earlier.

Grindlay-Peerless adopted the latest Brampton ‘bottom-link’ forks which were designed to reduce unsprung weight: “The main blades are of very sturdy construction and the floating blades, which are shorter than before, are anchored by links immediately above the front mudguard. These links incorporate four friction dampers controlled by a single wing-nut…At the top end a slot is provided to compensate for any adjustment that ay be made to the steering head bearings.”
1930 SHOW AW1
L-R: “The Matchless instrument panel. It would be difficult to tell at first glance that the Matchless ‘four’ is a four. A chromium-plated shield protects the Magdyno on the Montgomery ‘six-eighty’.”
1930 SHOW AW2
L-R: “The Levis hinged rear mudguard. Arrangements of the cylinder head on the Levis ohv models—the quickly detachable rocker cover and the oil lead to the inlet valve guide are interesting points. Upswept exhaust pipes with rubber pads to protect the rider’s calves are a feature of the Levis 350.”
1930 SHOW AW3
L-R: “Neat mounting of tool-bag and oil tank on the 247cc Excelsior two-stroke. Total enclosure of the pushrods, rocker and valve gear on the new 500cc and 600cc ohv Douglases. Combines legshields and undershield are fitted to the Excelsior ‘Empire’ model.”
1930 SHOW AW4
“The cylinder-head of the new four-valve 499cc James. The mixing chamber of the Amal carburetter on the 346cc Excelsior is set horizontally to avoid the tank rail. Tank-mounted instrument panel on the latest AJS models.”
1930 SHOW AW5
L-R: “The front brake of the 500cc and 680cc ohv Brough Superiors has a link anchorage to compensate for the action of the front forks. The Brough Superior bumpers protect the machine in the event of a fall. The cylinder head of the new 448cc four-valve Royal Enfield.”
1930 SHOW AW6
L-R: “Accessible gear box adjuster on the 550cc de luxe side-valve BSA. A close-up of the new BSA handlebar-mounted instrument panel. Enclosed valves and detachable heads are now found on the side-valve Royal Enfields.”
1930 SHOW AW 7
L-R: “Unusual gear box mounting on the Radco two-strokes. A detail sketch of the famous OEC duplex steering. How the vertical camshaft is arranged on the unconventional 248cc OK Supreme engine.”
1930 SHOW AW8
L-R: “The dipping switch and horn button on the ‘clean’ handlebar fitted to the 500cc ohv New Imperial. The springs of the Vincent-HRD spring frame are neatly enclosed. The central stand of the 147cc Wolf two-stroke.”
1930 SHOW AW9
L-R: “The neat combined knee-grip and gear gate on the New Hudson. How the OEC rear-wheel springing is carried out. The Norton instrument panel is so mounted that no visual gymnastics are necessary.”

“NO FEWER THAN 106,266 had the good fortune to visa the Olympia Motor Cycle Show last week. Although the Exhibition was open only six days this year, as against seven in 1929, the total number of paid attendances at the two Shows was approximately the same. Incidentally, we personally favour two Saturdays in the annual Exhibition. After all, motor cyclists are largely drawn from the weekly wage-earning classes, and have not the time or facilities to attend a Show in mid-week. It is significant in this regard that Saturday’s attendance was 37,829—a total almost double that of any other day. In view of the widespread trade depression this year the attendance, speaking generally, was excellent; but what is more notable is the wonderful enthusiasm displayed on every side. The great appreciation of the new designs that was evident everywhere must act inevitably as a spur and encourage manufacturers in their efforts towards providing better and more refined machines. Great strides have been made, but after last week’s Exhibition those few makers who had not heeded popular clamour will not, we imagine, be content to rest upon their laurels. What is now required, as we have already urged, is a trial to demonstrate the merits of the new designs, and we look forward in keen anticipation to the ACU Six Days Trial that is proposed for next April. This, it is hoped, will embody regulations specially framed to emphasise and bring out the advantages of the new-type machines.”


WHILE ENTHUSIASTS AT OLYMPIA were clustering round the square-four Ariel and V4 Matchless, their contemporaries at the Paris show were treated to no less than four fours, all featuring a conventional in-line configuration. Train, a well established of proprietary engines, launched a 496cc ohc four with unit construction and shaft drive. This lump also powered the short-lived Majestic, featuring car-like construction including duplex steering a la OEC and a car-like bonnet. Motobecane (which also marketed bikes under the Motoconfort banner) came up with a unit-construction cammy four, with a choice of 499 and 749cc. Cammy fours were clearly saveur du mois in France that season because Dollar, best known for two-stroke lightweights, joined the fray with an ohv 746cc contender. Other exhibitors included aircraft engine specialist Gnome-Rhone which, having produced 498cc flat twin ABCs under licence after the Great War, had graduated to home-brewed 495 and 795cc flat twins with pressed-steel frames; and Lady, with a conventional range powered by Villiers, MAG, Blackburne, JAP and Python (Rudge)—centrepiece of Lady’s stand at the Paris show were cantilever-sprung frames.

The Majestic was well named. With a monocoque body, duplex steering and elegant lines it deserved more success than it achieved. The Bernadet sidecar set it off perfectly. It was powered by a four-pot Train engine.
1930 TRAIN 500-4
As well a a range of proprietary engines, Train was more than capable of producing complete machines.
Motobecane owned Motoconfort and offered its in-line four under both banners
1930 GNOME RHONE 500
The formidable Gnome Rhone flat twin with its pressed-steel frame bore more than a passing similarity to the BMW; it was available as a 500 or 750. Noteworthy features included a tidy tank panel, hinged rear mudguard and a tidy rack/toolbag assembly.
The otherwise conventional Lady appeared with adjustable cantilever suspension.
Well known for its MAG range of proprietary engines, the Swiss firm Motosacoche was still producing complete machines; its Paris show stand showcased the sidevalve ‘Jubilee’ 500 which superseded an established IOE model.
Also launched at the Paris salon was the 495cc in-line side-valve twin Dresch. Designer Henri Dresch had been in business for a couple of years, producing 250 and 350 utility singles; he described his twin as “a useful, reliable means of transport, very different from these sporty toys… It isn’t a luxury item for the idle rich, but is essentially democratic.”
1930 READY
The Ready, (originally knownas the Ready-Courtrai) looked remarkably British. Some examples used MAG engines but most were powered by Villiers, JAP, Blackburne and (Rudge) Python.

AS THE POST-WALL-Street-Crash recession bit motorcycle British motor cycle production fell to 74,000, almost exactly half the 1928 level, and the number of bikes on British roads fell from a 1929 peak of 731,298 to 724,319. In response to falling sales some manufacturers, including Triumph, Ariel and Raleigh, branched out into light cars and commercial vehicles. Humber followed suit but ended motor cycle production, while AJS diversified into sidecars and even radios. Ferocious competition forced down prices. Cash-strapped customers were also tempted by the widespread adoption of credit deals, generally known as the ‘never-never’.

DESPITE THE SLUMP Britain could fairly claim to be at the forefront of the global motorcycling industry but at the start of the new decade there was no shortage of strong competition from France (Peugeot, Terrot, Rene-Gillet); Germany (BMW, DKW, D-Rad, NSU, Zundapp); Belgium (FN, Sarolea); Italy (Bianchi, Gilera, Moto Guzzi); Austria (Puch); and Switzerland (Motosacoche, which also sold engines under the MAG banner). As in Britain, there were also plenty of small concerns trying to survive the global recession.

ARIEL CLOSED ITS doors, but they opened again after Jack Sangster, son of company founder, Charles, snapped up the tooling for a song, rehired the experienced workforce and set up a new plant a quarter mile down the road, still in Selly Oak.

RUDGE, HAVING SPENT a great deal of money on developing its four-valve racers, ran into financial difficulties. To bring in more cash it went into the proprietary engine business, offering its four-valve engines under the Python banner to compete with JAP, Sturmey-Archer, Blackburne and MAG.

BRITISH BIKES DOMINATED Italian racing in the 500cc class, but Benelli, Guzzi and Bianchi were sweeping the board in the 175, 250 and 350cc classes respectively.

FRANCE HOSTED THE ISDT which was based in Grenoble and took competitors into the Italian Alps for a total of 1,160 miles, concluding with a speed test at the Circuit de Dauphine. There were 85 competitors including 44 Brits, seven of them women, taking on teams from Belgium, Germany, Italy and Switzerland. Following a series of crashes on French Alpine tracks Italy took the Trophy and France took the Vase. FP Dickson of the Brough Superior works team died of complications following a poorly treated smashed ankle. George Brough suffered a broken leg in a head-on crash with a car while riding to fetch help. There was some controversy within the British team when the ACU dropped Marjorie Cottle from the Vase team. This was clearly big news—The Cornishman, published in Penzance, pulled no punches. Under the heading “A STRANGE DECISION” it thundered: “The Auto-Cycle Union has apparently little faith in Brain supremacy in the motor-cycle world. It has dropped Miss Marjorie Cottle from the ladies international team because she has only entered on a 250cc machine. Miss Cottle is by far our greatest woman rider. Few men would care to compete against her. In most of her great events she has ridden a 1ow-powered machine, believing that by this she demonstrates the value of the light motor bicycle for women. The ACU. has chosen Miss Betty. Lermitte (an excellent rider, but not of Miss Cottle’s character) because she has entered on a 500cc machine. When thee International Six-Days Trial comes along at the end of the month the name of Marjorie Cottle will be absent and our foreign rivals will gloat. For they fear her more than anyone. But our selection body considers that a 250cc machine is too small for the route selected, ignoring the fact that Miss Cottle probably knows far more about that than all the committee put together. The motor-cycling community is staggered at the decision.” Betty Lermitte won a gold on her 500cc Rudge, but so did Marjorie Cottle. Only 26 of the 44 Brits finished the course, winning 16 golds. Six of the seven women finished, winning three golds. The International Trophy was won by the Italian Team of Rosolino Grana, Luigi Gilera, Miro Maffeis (15 penalty points). Great Britain was runner up (400); France came third (420). But the French Silver Vase team of messrs Sourdot, Debaisieux and Coulon won a famous victory on their home ground (14 penalty points) ahead of Italy (38), Netherlands (349), Great Britain (415), Great Britain (500), Netherlands (634), Czechoslovakia (745) and France (1000).

1930 ISDT
“Mrs Shillabeer (Matchless sc) has her time card stamped by the official time clock at Le Mure control on the fifth day.” (Right) A crowd of British competitors at the Chambeery check on the second day. From the left: LH Davenport (AJS), M Greenwood (New Imperial), Miss Foley (AJS) and JJ Boyd Harvey (Matchless ‘Silver Arrow’).”

‘SOMETHING LIKE A SCOTT TRIAL!’ will probably be the general opinion of those who survive the 1930 course, and perhaps of many who do not. On a map the course appears very similar to that of last year, but on a saddle—far from it! From the same starting-point at Grysedale House, near Threshfield, Grassington, the route climbs on to Malliam Moor, and after a short detour plunges through a wet and rocky tunnel, which, however, will not be observed. A thoroughly machine-smashing section then follows, over most interesting lime-stone outcrops, to rejoin the old route across Threshfield Moor. A short cut, missing Threshfield, leads to Linton Splash, which caused a lot of bother last year; and after Thorpe comes a tiring section through streams and over the tumbled debris of bygone walls, to Burn-sail. The 2½-mile main-road section through Burnsall will constitute the ‘control’, for which riders are allowed 30 minutes, and in it they may obtain replenishments for man and machine. The re-start is from private land in Appletreewick, and Doantby Rash must be climbed before the Railway Line section again affords ample opportunity for the study of fork movement. After sundry aquatic sports in the Washburn Valley, a new horror is reached in the form of a paved path across Hanging Moor. Further new moorland leads to Cockbur Wood, Mogington’s big brother, and probably the deepest splash on the course. Then comes the original Mogington—quite easy now—Cat Crags, and last, but not least, Denton Moor. As before, a loop will be made to include a portion of this twice, and everyone should be thoroughly thankful to scramble down into the finish at Nesfield, near Ilkley. The 92 riders (down from 119 the previous year) left in threes at one- minute intervals—and 38 (41%) finished, compared with 97 (80%). The winner was Len Heath (Ariel); fastest rider was Allan Jeffries(AJS) in 2hr 19min 54sec.

Allan Jeffries takes his Ajay for a paddle at the Hulme Ghyll and still set the fastest time round the brutal Scott Trial course.
Some water splashes were rideable, others clearly weren’t. Bill Strutt hangs onto a remarkably thin life-line; his 493cc Sunbeam must be in there somewhere.

IT WAS RUDGE’S YEAR. As well as a stunning 1-2 in the Senior TT and a win in the Junior, Rudges came first and second in the first Man Grand Prix and in the Dutch, German and Ulster Grands Prix. Messrs Smith and Nott won the 500 and 350cc European championships.However, Norton 500s won the French and Ulster GPs, covered 300 miles in three hours at Montlhery and covered a record 108.60 miles in an hour. A 350 Norton set a record at 104.52 miles. Elsewhere on the Continent Norton, AJS, Sunbeam, Velocette and OK continued to do their stuff, against stiff competition from the likes of Motosacoche, Guzzi and Bianchi (for the record one race winning Guzzi rider was named Truzzi).

IXION OFFERED SOME WORDS of advice that some riders today would do well to heed: “I am writing this paragraph at the request of a number of our steadier readers, who perceive that the innocent and light-hearted conduct of some of the younger riders tends to create a bad impression. It most be obvious to us all that we have to struggle against a certain amount of public prejudice, frequently reflected in the columns of daily papers, both national and local, and voiced by magistrates, coroners, mayors and other elderly folk who have mostly forgotten their own youth, and which perhaps represent our joyous escapades in an unfair light. Juvenile sportsmen are often stung by the sort of people whom they regard as ‘stuffy’ into the only kind of reprisal which lies in their power, namely, that of attempting to shock or annoy such ‘stuffy’ persons. But these reprisals injure the main body of motor cyclists; they are boomerangs, which rebound and hit us. For example, any riotous behaviour on the part of motor cyclists makes fathers much less willing to let their younger sons own machines; stiffens up watch committees to issue stringent instructions to the police; tends to antagonise the middle-aged and rather surly constable, as well as to give nerves to a young and anxious police officer; and builds up prejudice m the minds of all elderly people, especially those in authority. Young riders can be of real assistance in creating a more favourable atmosphere for motor cycling in general if they will do their best to observe the following self-denying ordinances: 1. I will never create any avoidable noise, except when I am alone on the earth. 2. I will use my speed with discretion, driving always on safety-first principles, and, furthermore, avoiding speed where it may alarm nervous people, even though it does not actually endanger them. 3. Since a great many people see evil where no evil is, I will not knowingly create the illusion that the principal use of a motor cycle is to pick up girls and subsequently endanger the necks of the said girls. 4. I will be especially careful to reduce the noise of my machine during those hours when older people are in bed.”

1930 RT AW

“ONE OF THE VERY FIRST to sponsor what was known the ultra-lightweight, the firm of Francis and Barnett has, for seven years, been the staunchest upholder of the type. The names of Villiers and Francis-Barnett are linked together in the mind of the motor cycling public as pioneers in the smallest class of machines; and the second name is linked with another aspect of design—the introduction of true pin-joint and triangulated frame construction. A non-motor-cycle engineer would probably give it prior place from the point of view of sheer ‘rightness’ in construction. What is more, it is simple, strong, and in inexpensive, and its worthiness from the motor cyclist’s point of view can be gauged from the fact that the firm has not yet seen fit to market a model with any other type of frame. This year The Motor Cycle. has had the largest of the Francis-Barnett range on the road under varying circumstances for a matter of three hundred miles or so. It vas fitted with the 342cc Villiers engine, and so belonged to a class which is not so very common, and was accordingly all the more interesting and instructive to handle—particularly as the buyer of such a machine is provided with a 350cc machine at a price only a few pounds higher than that usually paid fora ‘172’. Two expectations were more than realised by the engine. The slow pulling power proved to be extraordinary, and the engine was beautifully smooth almost throughout its range, and particularly so at high road speeds. A really high maximum was not expected, but the Francis-Barnett reached 55mph on more than one occasion. Actually, this speed is usually bettered slightly by most production engines, and might even reach the mile-a-minute figure with careful nursing during the unit’s teething stages. A speed of 50mph was very easily held, and for sheer high cruising speed the machine would hold its own with any but the most efficient four-strokes of its size. Actually the rider found himself constantly driving near the 50mph mark, and the engine stood up to a hundred non-stop miles of this kind without showing the slightest ill-effect. In the interests of safety, plenty of oil was given, but a more intimate acquaintance with the machine would have enabled the amount to be cut down very considerably. Once warm, and with a little attention to driving, the machine would two-stroke evenly right down to very low speeds, and even the occasional and inevitable four-stroking was not objectionably noisy. The lowest comfortable speed in top gear was 15mph, though it would pull away evenly from 12mph. However, the engine turns over so very sweetly that there is no excuse for hanging on to top. Some, piston slap was noticed when the engine was cold, but otherwise the only sound was a form of ‘two-stroke rattle’ which

1930 FB350 RT BIKE
“The 342cc Francis-Barnett-Villiers

occurred when the load was eased after a great deal of hard work. Some idea of the engine’s pulling power may be gathered from the fact that both Edge Hill (1 in 7) and Sunrising Hill (1 in 6½) were climbed in top gear, the former with considerable ease. This is an unusual performance for anything but really big and comparatively woolly engines. Edge Hill was attacked at 40mph, and the machine went over the summit at 30mph, while the speed was 10mph slower in the case of the second hill. On neither was there any sudden falling off of power below a certain number of revolutions. The gear change was delightful, and it was possible to flick the lever between second and top with one finger. The lever is long, delicate, and most conveniently placed, and the gears are absolutely foolproof, with a definite stop between each. Declutching is the most effortless procedure, and the clutch itself was very smooth. As might be expected, the steering and road-holding were faultless. The Francis-Barnett could be ridden hands-off in almost any circumstances, and the bumpiest corners could be taken fast without incipient wobble. Comfort, also, was quite satisfactory, though the saddle sings might have been a little softer with advantage. The footrests were perhaps a little far forward, but with the type of bars and the general riding position they, were quite comfortably placed. Both the brakes were smooth and immensely powerful and it would be be hard to see where they could be improved. That on the front wheel was, perhaps, the better of the two, though it might have been so because less power could be given to it. The hand lever is long, and it is possible to get the maximum stopping power without any wheel-locking tendencies. The rider has to turn in his toe to apply the brake pedal, but, like many other things on motor cycles, its very operation is very largely a matter of habit and usage. Both brakes can be adjusted very simply by hand, but the shoes are of such ample dimensions that little wear should take place. Petrol consumption at fairly high touring speeds lay between 83 and 85mpg, but no check was taken of the oil consumption, which was made fairly high owing to the fact that the engine was new. Although it is impossible to view the oil sight feed while riding, the adjustment can be turned, and by watching the exhaust at regular intervals it would be possible to get a very accurate and economical setting. The engine is easy to start, quite silent, and does not tend to ‘fry’ plugs however hard it is driven. The position of the ignition control beside the engine might be considered very inaccessible—and so it is; but it is seldom, if ever, used. Its position, therefore, is of little importance. The machine is treated as one with fixed ignition, but if the rider simply must tinker with the control it is always possible to alter the setting with a little manual contortion. For a 350cc machine the Francis-Barnett is both very compact and very light in weight, and its lines are most pleasing in a symmetrical way. In a word, it looks right, and a mechanical thing that looks right usually is right. Both wheels have knock-out spindles, and the pannier-tool-bags are really roomy. The 342cc Francis-Barnett has three outstanding qualities: pulling power at low speeds, smooth and progressive braking, and good road manners. Its maximum speed is not high as speeds are spoken of nowadays, but it will cruise only a knot or two less fast than its maximum over give-and-take roads, and will hold it comfortably and smoothly. High averages are possible and really pleasant, and this often forms the crux of a machine’s road performance .”

“The controls of the Francis-Barnett. (Right) The Francis-Barnet under wet-weather conditions.”

THE ROAD TRAFFIC ACT did away with the 20mph national speed limit but increased the minimum riding age from 14 to 16. The first Highway Code was published. UK traffic fatalities topped 7,300.

“DURING MARCH this year 11,727 motor cycles and 18,848 cars were registered, compared with 16,649 and 21,112 respectively for the same month last year.”

ACCORDING TO THE MOTOR CYCLE Buyers’ Guide British motor cycle manufacturers produced an average five model apiece, priced from £20-160 (when deflation was running at 2.81%). That equates to £1,670-13,220 today.

“A READER WARNS ALL visitors to avoid breaking the law in any shape or form when driving through the narrow streets of Matlock.”

THREE YEARS AFTER the revival of the veteran car run the Sunbeam MCC staged the first Pioneer Run from London to Brighton.

KILLEN TIRE WAS granted a British patent for tubeless tires.

“This model 18-cylinder radial aero engine, composed of over 3,000 parts, developed 15bhp at 4,000rpm. It occupied six years of spare-time work on the part of Mr Gerald Smith of Nuneaton, who exhibited it at the model engineering exhibition at the Horticultural Hall, Westminster. Mr Percival Marshall (right) is sen presenting the model-making championship cup to Mr Smith.”

“ROAD-USERS RETURNING from the West Country to London via the Andover-Basingstoke road should use great caution when passing through the little village of Overton; the entire inhabitants turn out to watch the ‘fun, says a reader.”

THE INVENTION OF Nylon paved the way to waterproof (but sweaty) wet-weather gear.

“WHEN A NORTH COUNTRY motor cyclist was convicted at a West Riding police-court for riding without a rear light he was fined 15s and had his licence suspended for three months. There were only two previous convictions.”

“ON THE OCCASION OF the recent opening of the International Exhibition in Liege by the King of the Belgians a procession of no fewer than 1,800 motor cyclists was held to demonstrate the prosperity of the motor cycle industry in the Liege district.”

“””FROM A LOCAL PAPER report of a council meeting: ‘…the amenities of the village of Welham Green are sadly marred by motor cycle “paperchases” on Sundays. Instead of paper however, the cyclists blow out a lot of yellow ochre or blue powder…’.”

“Tink Bryant (aged 6), the world’s youngest grasstrack rider, who is to give an exhibition at the Barnet Grass Speedway on Saturday afternoon. This young speedman is the mascot of the Ringwood MC&LCC, which is sending a team of riders to compete against the Barnet riders. Tink is seen with his ‘mechanic’.”

“AN AMERICAN PROFESSOR has developed a chemical device to replace the silencer; it is said that it will eliminate the dangerous carbon monoxide contained in exhaust gases.”

RELIABILITY TRIALS, IN WHICH the main thing was to finish, were the earliest of all motorcycle competitions. But trials had evolved into specialist events and the sport had grown so much that the Manufacturers and Traders Union decided to restrict its support to a dozen events a year, not least to put a financial cap on spiralling riders’ bonus payments.

A PETROL PUMP was put on display in the Science Museum at South Kensington.

FOLLOWING THE INSTALLATION of automatic traffic lights at Ludgate Circus Lodoners were promised more lights at the junctions of Cannon and Queen Victoria Streets and Moorgate and London Wall.

NEGOTIATIONS WERE UNDER way to remove Lancashire’s one remaining tollbridge, at Warburton.

OLEAGINOUS SPANISH BOFFINS (‘hatto numero octo’ in local parlance) were experimenting with olive oil as an alternative to imported mineral oil.

RELIEVED LEGISLATORS in the state of Pensylvannia reported no increase in traffic accidents despite raising the speed limit to a heady 40mph.

“That greyhounds may see motor cycles at places other than cinder-and-dog tracks is proved by this picture from kennels at New Barnet, where an elderly Triumph provides motive-power for a dummy hare.”

“ONE SEPTEMBER EVENING Aloysius (the bike) being somewhat out of sorts, I took him out for a gentle spin in order to locate a certain mysterious roughness he had developed: So it happened that, without any particular object in view, we.found ourselves, near sunset, upon Ashdown Forest in Sussex; not ‘in the forest’, but ‘on the forest’, for here the land lies close to the sky, and the forest is a great stretch of heather, bracken and furze, broken only in its rolling contours by an occasional ring of pines. A pipe was clearly indicated, and Aloysius was duly parked by the roadside. Miles. away the South Downs marched along the horizon until, with Chanctonbury Ring just visible, they disappeared in the sunset. How quickly the light was fading! The pale mauve of the heather slopes grew steadily a darker purple, and the pine-boles Stood out blackly on the ridges. A little wind sprang up out of nowhere, bringing a faint scent of autumn. It sang plaintively in the telegraph wires along the high road, and just stirred the leaves upon the thorn bushes. And it was cold. In the folds of the weald below tiny sparks of light sprang out and twinkled; while far away the midget head lamps of a car breasted a toy hill and vanished. Darker and colder still, till the moon climbed like a paper lantern among the pine branches, and bewitched the world. A solitary car swooped along the road towards Forest Row, and, having passed, left the stillness more intense. A big bird, late home doubtless, went to rest clumsily in the bracken, and made me jump…Somehow the thorn bushes looked different…what was that? After all, it was getting late and cold. Perhaps I had better be going. No, it wasn’t really creepy! Back at home once more, I realised that the mysterious ailments of Aloysius had been completely forgotten.” ALT


WITHOUT DOUBT, OF ALL THE ‘Edinburghs’ that have ever been run—they number twenty-three—that of last week-end was the most glorious. From beginning to end it was one long, wonderful ride; there was not a cloud in the sky for a minute of the time; there was the moon at night and the sun during the day, shining without interruption. With the exception of one hill the going was easier than ever. The start, in the picturesque grounds of the Earl of Strafford at Wrotham Park, near Barnet, saw many competitors greet one-another for the first time since lest year. Seemingly the Edinburgh is still a reunion trial for the old school, for, besides the irrepressible George Brought on a 1931 model, there was Harold Karslake not, as many thought, on a new Brough four, but on his 1,500cc Brough Special; it has a giant ohv vee-twin engine and Castle-type forks. J McBirnie was on his fifteen-year-old Indian, which has now seen eleven Edinburghs. From 7 o’clock onwards the procession started off on its trek up the Great North Road. At Stamford an excellent cup of piping hot coffee awaited the riders, as guests of the Stamford Club. Twenty miles farther on was Grantham and The George Hotel, with breakfast number one. From Grantham onwards lay what was perhaps the only monotonous part of the run; there was not even any fog between Newark and Retford to liven things up, but a certain amount of trouble was caused by those ships that pass in the night—the long-distance coaches, with their blinding head lights; one unfortunate scraped the entire length of one bus with his offside handlebar through being dazzled—but didn’t come off! By 3.30am the Doncaster control was reached, and welcome refreshments were obtainable, while two and a half hours later the first men were at Ilkley for breakfast No 2 at Listers Arms. After breakfast, all were set for the first, and the worst, hill, Park Rash, reached by one of the prettiest routes in Yorkshire—via Bolton Abbey and Kettlewell. Park Rash is not so difficult as it was in pre-War days, for the three gullies have been filled in. Nevertheless, the lower section of 1 in 5 is thickly covered with loose stones and the acute left-hand bend which marks the completion of the stiffest part is thick with loose earth. The leaders were rather late, giving a chance for the thousands of spectators to take up vantage points on the.hillsides, their motor cycles and cars forming a long line almost the whole way to Kettlewell. At 8.15am Harold Karslake led the way on his 1,500cc Brough Superior. He approached slowly, footed, and, after anxious moments, finally stopped. JR Watkins (346cc LGC}, who followed, made a splendid climb with feet on rests. A 172cc Francis-Barnett, ridden by LC Christensen, stopped in the middle of the steep section, but restarted with assistance. Then FW Stevenson earned the plaudits of the onlookers by making a clean ascent on his 980cc Brough Superior. JF Fowler Dixon (499cc Rudge) dry-skidded at the first attempt, descended the hill, and made a splendid climb. Whereas A. Edwards (490cc Norton) failed, George Brough came up ever so gingerly on his Superior Brough with much plating gleaming in the sunlight, but the spectators applauded him for a cool, neat climb. CM Needham, similarly mounted, was much faster. Quite low down PR Collins (248cc Ariel) met his Waterloo, but EN Adlington (980cc Brough Superior) went up well with feet aloft. One of the most meritorious climbs on the ‘dried-up river-bed’ surface was by AG Briginshaw (488cc Royal Enfield), who rode feet up, and was clapped heartily. GD Riley (497cc Ariel) stopped low down, E Cross (596cc Douglas) was particularly good, and two others in close order stopped—AV Lowe (596cc James) and RH Mintle (347cc Sunbeam). FT Hallett (498cc Scott) roared over the hill at speed, rounded the bend, and then stopped. He returned later, but was not nearly so good. LC Ottley’s 748cc FN dry-skidded, and, to every-one’s amusement, he sounded a blast on his electric horn as he lay prostrate. Only once did ATK Debenham (499cc Rudge) touch with one foot, but really the crowd of spectators hardly gave the solo men a chance. A nice, cool climb was registered by LW Turner (340cc Rudge), but CF Armstrong (400cc Matchless) stopped among the stones, and FB Turpin (493cc BSA) followed suit. JA Leyland’s P&M Panther scored an easy ascent, quiet withal, and A Fox (493cc Sunbeam) was fast till the apex of the bend, and then dry-skidded as the crowd forced him off the best course. There were angry appeals to clear the roadway after that incident. Though AH Saunders (490cc Norton) footed he had ample power, while HW Littleton (348cc Rex-Acme) skidded at the hill foot, restarted, but stopped again on the crest.of the 1-in-5 section. When CF Johns (1,301cc Henderson) skidded he raised a huge cloud of dust. WA Ashton (497cc Ariel) made a sure climb with trailing feet, but RG Soward (348cc Velocette) footed all the way. J McBirnie on his old red Indian made a sporting effort, but found Park

“Georgew Brough (986cc Brough Superior) makes a cautious climb of Park Rash.”

Rash too much for him, and JM Barnicot (498cc Scott) climbed splendidly to the very crest of the hill and suddenly skidded. GN Gamble (499cc P&M) pushed, but JJ Boyd-Harvey (400cc Matchless) made no mistake. RB Chick (498cc Gillet) was also excellent. Then came the sidecars, and soon it was evident that as a class they were to outshine the solo men. VL Freeman (495cc Matchless sc) simply streaked up the hill, and TJ Ross (990cc Matchless sc) was only a trifle slower. AV Hudson (493cc BSA sc) halted half-way up, but the 976cc Brough Superior of WC Smith was quiet, if slow. W Allan (980cc Brough Superior) was fast until near the summit, when his gear seized temporarily. Another Brough Superior sidecarist, CM King, bumped on the saddle and succeeded, but JF Kelleher (495cc Matchless sc) and CD Marrows (990cc Matchless sc) were notably good. A magnificent climb was achieved by HJ Finden (498cc James sc); JW. Hurst (990cc Matchless sc) had rather a struggle. Two Rudge outfits, WJ Cullington and FV Garrett up, got up well, the palm going to Cullington… In the tricky section between Askrigg and West Stonesdale—the next hill—RB Clark managed to find a puncture in the front wheel of his Gillet, while AH Saunders (490cc Norton) had such a large gash—some nine inches—in his rear tyre that he was compelled to use a his leather route-card holder as a gaiter—and it took him 27 miles of really hard going to Brough! At West Stonesdale, an easy hill with two rather sharp bends, there was scarcely any fun. AC Brigginahaw (488cc Royal Enfield) ran into the ditch on the second bend, while J McBirnie (988cc Indian) footed unnecessarily on the first bend; JJ Boyd-Harvey (400cc Matchless) took the hill, including the Motor Cycle man, in his stride. HJ Finden (498cc James sc) and CD Marrows (990cc Matchless sc) both took the last bend on the inside and roared up, while FV Garrett (499cc Rudge sc) appeared bouncing hard, for absolutely no apparent reason. GH Goodall (1,096cc Morgan) cleverly passed FC Disher (493cc BSA sc), who was suffering from some disability in the gear box. DF Welch (1,096cc Morgan) gained such velocity in between the bends that he slid badly on the last one and just got round. KFA Walker, BC Cannon and FH Moss made a perfect trio of excellent ‘Morganic’ climbs. Some more moorland going to Tan Hill, where an easy stop and restart test was conducted, and eventually, after a very dusty trip, the main Carlisle road was reached at Brough. After lunch at Carlisle the competitors set out on the last and perhaps most beautiful lap of the trial. From Moffat via St Mary’s Loch the country was glorious, the road passing as it does through a pass similar to the Pass of Glencoe, and coming to a wonderful climax in the shape of a superb view of Edinburgh, twenty miles away. Then on through the control of Eskbank and so to the finish of a marvellous run in the Waverley Market House at Edinburgh, where JR Watkins (346cc LGC) and VL Freeman (495cc Matchless sc) were congratulated on being the only solo and sidecar men able to lay claim to ‘triple awards—Exeter, Land’s End, and Edinburgh trials.

“VL Freeman (495cc Matchless) blazes a smoke trail up Park Rash.”

THE FIRST JUNIOR MANX GRAND PRIX will go down in history as one of the most gruelling races that have ever been run. Worse weather conditions than those that prevailed could hardly be imagined, and those competitors whose rides were not absolutely trouble-free must have been sorely tempted to retire. However, such was their pluck that until there was definitely no hope of carrying on they stuck manfully to their self-imposed tasks. That the winner–DJ Pirie (348cc Velocette)—averaged 61.63mph over the six laps speaks volumes for his ability as a rider, an observation which applies almost equally to W Harding, on a similar machine, who was only 28 seconds behind Pirie. These figures indicate the tremendous battle that these two men fought, and their progress was watched with ever-growing excitement as they raced almost neck-and-neck round the Isle of Man course. Rain set in on the previous night, but no one could have guessed that the morning would bring such awful conditions. The whole of the Island was enveloped in a thick mist, which dripped moisture that saturated everything within a few minutes. Billow after billow of murky mist rolled over Manxland’s fields, blanking out everything, so that visibility rarely extended more than a hundred yards at any. point; generally it was limited to half, or even less than half, that distance. And all the time the pelting rain lashed the faces of the riders, soaked their clothing and rendered their grip on the controls treacherous in the extreme. The roads, too, were running rivers of water, looking like black mirrors polished into a wicked slipperiness, and holding a snare in almost every yard. Cruel, evil conditions; the Island in its most ferocious mood…As the hour approached, the riders came in massed parade out of the mist along the road to the pits, the note of their exhausts muffled, but vibrant with power. People who had braved the elements took up their positions on the stands; the sodden flags flapped dismally at the tops of their poles; marshals, police, and firemen busied themselves with their several duties. The riders went to their places on the painted grid, a dispassionate figure stood beside the man who was out in front of his fellows, waiting patiently as the minutes ticked slowly by. Then, with a slight gesture, the starter bade the man be gone; there came the crash of the maroon as the straining, black-clad man heaved his machine forward. He vaulted into the saddle as his engine came to life; and so began the wild procession, vanishing quickly to drop into the gloom of Bray Hill. The first man away was FL Frith (348cc Velocette), and he was to prove a hare that the hounds were going to have difficulty in catching. One after another, the riders went away, most of the engines responding readily, though JA Fleet’s 346cc AJS was a little sluggish and JH Carr (348cc Velocette) had to make an adjustment before he could get his engine to fire. The clocks moved regularly on the score-board, and it was soon evident that Frith was setting a hot pace and was gaining on those immediately in his rear F Nichols and JW Potts, both on AJS machines, passed GH Lennie (348cc Velocette) and B Parrish on a similar mount before Kirkmichael. As Number 10 got to Kirkmichael Frith reached Ramsey, but he was being hotly chased by Potts. In a little while it could be seen that JM Muir was riding, his Velocette like a master; his pointer clicked steadily round and he must have had quite a busy time overtaking other and slower men. W Harding (348cc Velocette), too, was wasting no time. He is a Manxman and his knowledge of the course was helping him. Meanwhile, Nichol’s pointer stuck at Kirkmichael while everyone else went by. Later it was announced that he had retired at Sulky with some form of mechanical trouble. Carrying the number 13, RD Armytage (348cc Velocette) rode splendidly, passing several riders out at the back of the Island. Just as the spectators began to settle down to make the best of a bad job, their spirits were roused by the hanging out of Frith’s disc; he got a rousing cheer as he emerged from the mist and flashed by the stands. Nobody had caught him, and he was well ahead of the next man round, W Whitehead (346cc Sunbeam). Soon there came a surprise, for Muir was signalled tom arrive. He shot past, having passed no fewer than 13 others. Harding, too, passed, riding a great race on his 1928 Velocette, and the crowd began to look for Pirie, who was a hot favourite. He, apparently, was content to take it steadily, much like Alec Bennett, and he pulled up at the pits as he came in. Practice form was repeating itself, just those people who were expected being in the lead, though Frith had sprung a surprise by taking first position. Here was a close race—and what a speed for such a day! The

1930 MGP JNR
“DJ Pirie (Velocette), the winner.” (Right) “Another picture that gives some idea of the wretched conditions. JH Cave (Velocette) is seen leading E Forman (Velocette) round Signpost Corner.”

rain now was coming down in sheets and a tale of trouble began. A crash put poor WJ Hewstone (348cc Velocette) in Ramsey Hospital with a broken leg; later reports stated that he was going on well…Visibility was worse than ever, and at Signpost Corner was limited to less than 20 yards. GA Kilburn (348cc Rex-Ame) was reported to have passed Craig-ny-Baa with a flat front tyre, and Potts’ pointer had stock at Kirkmichael, and remained there for the rest of the race. The strain on men and machines was beginning to tell, and no fewer than ten retired before the second lap had been completed. It seemed amazing that Muir could achieve such a speed under the prevailing conditions, yet be was absolutely sure of himself, and those who saw him at various parts of the course gasped at his unerring skill. Pirie seemed a little disappointing, but he was obviously warming up a little and increasing his speed. Muir and Harding were now riding almost neck-and-neck, with only a few yards separating them. Then Muir struck a patch of trouble and was delayed, but he went after Harding for all he was worth, and at the end of the third.lap both discs were hung out almost together; the crowd craned forward to see Harding flat on his tank, going like one possessed, with Muir right on his heels. The latter stopped, however, at his pit; and got a great cheer as he set off again to pursue his rival. Meanwhile, there were a number of riders all doing splendidly though not appearing in the picture. Indeed, anyone who rode at all in weather like that was deserving of the highest praise. By this time they were soaked, and their plight must have been miserable in the extreme. Frith was beginning to feel the strain; he was slowing, and passed through to begin his fourth lap riding with one hand and shielding his eyes with the other. Wonderful Muir! Nothing could hay been finer than this rider’s display. He toyed with the course and laughed at the weather and rode on, supreme, dominating. And Forbes, too, had come up on to the leader board—a fine effort by a man who had been badly shaken by a crash during practice. Had he had an other week in which to regain his composure, who knows whether Muir would have had it so much all his on way? Then, observe Pirie. Isn’t he behaving just like Alec Bennett? Just a slight increase, but a gradual creeping towards first place. Harding was showing wonderful consistency, his lap times varying only slightly. Came news of spills, though fortunately nothing very serious. W Hill (Levis) hit the kerb at Quarter Bridge and came down, and LR Reynolds (346cc OK Supreme-JAP) hit the same place, but by superb riding regained control and carried on without stopping. There were seven more retirements in the third lap, mostly due to minor tumbles and mechanical failures. Then came black, disappointing news. Muir had tried his machine further than it would go, and engine trouble at the 13th milestone had put an end to a gallant effort. This let Harding up into first place and Pirie into second, and

Here’s Foreman, passing through a wet Parliament Square; he went on to finish 7th.

Harding began to carry on the fight with another opponent. There were a number like Bookless who were battling along in the fifty-sevens, which was quite a good show considering the difficulties. There was now no possible hope of a change in the weather—except one for the worse—and people began to drift from the stands to the refreshment tent in order to get damp inside as well as out. W Cornes (348cc Rex-Acme) was reported touring through Ramsey. G Smith (350cc Montgomery) came in to his pit, said he had lost count of the number of times he had fallen off, and went on to pile up the total still further. The lead that Harding had over Pirie was just 30 seconds at the end of the fifth lap, and Pirie didn’t know it. Harding seemed absolutely invincible, and his riding was like clockwork. He was reported to be controlling his machine wonderfully on all parts of the course. Frith was putting up a fine show, making no fuss, but keeping on steadily pegging away. There were four more retirements in the fourth lap, but this toll was nothing like what might have been expected. Thus the final lap began. Could Pirie gain half a minute on anyone so consistently good as Harding? Would Harding make some mistake that would rob him of victory? Could Frith pull out a little extra—enough to challenge the two leaders? The clocks clicked round, and when Pirie was at Ramsey, Harding was at Craig-ny-Baa. Only a few minutes, and, barring accidents, he would be home. The boy in charge of the leader’s clock listened tensely at the telephones; the crowd glued its eyes on to him; saw his hand reach out and swing over the disc signalling Harding’s finish. Down the road came the rider, cheered to the echo. And then they waited for Pirie; he passed the mountain and the more imaginative pictured him dropping down to the Craig. Meanwhile, Frith had come in almost unnoticed in the general excitement. Pirie’s pointer moved; in the mind’s eye you could see him swooping down the straight, past Brandish Corner, swinging round Hillberry, and up to Signpost; then through the twisting curves to Governor’s Bridge, and his disc went up. He came hurtling down the Glencrutchery Road for the last time; the crowd rose to welcome him. Then, in a few minutes, the announcer thrilled everybody by saying that Pirie had completed the course in 28 fewer seconds than Harding took. Others came in; eight out the first eight were Velocettes—indeed a wonderful performance.” Results: 1, DJ Pirie (348cc Velocette); 2, W Harding (348cc Velocette); 3, FL Frith (348cc Velocette); 4, H Levings (348cc Velocette); 5, JW Forbes (348cc Velocette); 6, TL Forbes (348cc Velocette); 7, E Forman (348cc Velocette); 8, RD Armytage (348cc Velocette); 9, RA Macdermid (348cc Cotton-Blackburne); 10, WN Jordan (346cc AJS); 11, W Cornes (348cc Rex-Acme-Blackburne); 12, RS Moorhouse (348cc Norton); 13, JH Carr (348cc Velocette); 14, W Riley (346cc Sunbeam); 15, W Whitehead (346cc Sunbeam); 16, ‘A Macintosh’ (348cc Velocette); 17, JA Fleet (346cc AJS); 18, N Robson (346cc New Hudson).

“AT THE END OF HIS great ride DJ Pirie was remarkably fresh and exceedingly happy. He had a no-trouble run and nursed his machine carefully, easing up on the Mountain. He rides at 14 stone, which is a good load for a small machine. He said that the chief difficulty was that of seeing ahead through the fog, which was unbelievably thick…The roads, he said, were shocking, and very treacherous…Pirie, who is twenty-three years of age, is a Londoner, and an architect and surveyor. He rode last year in the Amateur Road Race, taking fifth and seventh places in the Senior and Junior respectively. W Harding stated that he had thoroughly enjoyed himself, except when he oiled a plug on the second lap…He had no complaints to make at being beaten by so small a margin, and laughingly handed the credit to Pirie for keeping him down to second place.”

“FORTY-SIX COMPETITORS RODE up to the start of the Senior Manx grand Prix, some with full knowledge that, given luck, success would be theirs; others hopeful that the ‘stars’ would not set too hot a pace for them, and some who must have realised that their chances were but slender ones. But every man was determined to do his best, and, as the race progressed, it was impossible not to admire the pluck of those who played a losing game with adversity. Ten o’clock approached, and a hush fell over the stands. No 1, J Swan (490cc Norton), gently rocked his machine to and fro; a whispered word from the time-keeper; the thunder of the maroon; a push, a run, a vault, and Swan was in the saddle, and, with a crashing acceleration, his machine shot away—only to cut right out before Bray Hill. FL Frith (348cc Velocette), was cheered lustily; MN Mavrogordato pushed his Scott a long way before it woke the echoes with its scream; BW Swabey (499cc Rudge) waved cheerily to friends; GW Wood (499cc Rudge) rode hands-off at a great speed while adjusting his goggles; and WN Jordan pushed his New Hudson all the way to Bray Hill…Obviously out for blood, Frith passed five men on his first lap, and was followed by Mavrogordato, riding beautifully. V Jackson (496cc Cotton), stuck at Kirkmichael long enough to allow fifteen others to each the Mountain; he retired eventually at Ramsey with a broken rocker. Broken rockers were far too prevalent, the same trouble putting out N Croft (Norton) and Jordan (New Hudson), who went to form a group of 11 riders who completed no more than one lap. Pirie and Harding were fighting out their own little battle, the latter gaining 11sec on his rival. Neither, however, could catch Frith or Muir, but all these Velocette riders, except Hale, got themselves on the leader board at the end of the first lap. Meanwhile, HL Daniell (490cc Norton), who had made the fastest practice lap, retired at the Bungalow with a burst tank, and RA Macdermid, on his Junior Cotton, with a lighting-up time-table glued to the tank, also went out after doing a lap in 1hr 43min 18sec—that time-table did not seem so unnecessary after all! Broken chains transformed Hilbert and JA Fletcher (493cc Sunbeam) from riders into spectators, and R Rogerson (499cc Rudge) struck engine trouble, which brought him to rest at Quarter Bridge…Should the luck of the leaders fail there were several who were battling along just behind that were ready to spring forward. Jack Williams (499cc Rudge), for instance, riding an International Six Days machine complete with kick-starter, was touring along at about 67mph, and D Kenyon (493cc Sunbeam), A Ashley and A Brewin on Rudges, members of the Crewe club team, were showing that motor cycles could run just as regularly as the locomotives of their home town. Engine trouble at Hillberry eliminated BW Swabey (499cc Rudge), and a fall at Governor’s Bridge was suffered by SC Vince (490cc Norton). On this lap Merrill seemed to be settling down well and was obviously intent on making his position secure…The fifth lap was one of disappointment, for Frith…was compelled to retire, thus putting an end to a superb effort on a junior machine that had already been sorely tried. Then Merrill caused consternation by allowing the gap between him and Wood to disappear almost to vanishing point. Was anything the matter with him? Was he getting too tired? Was his machine cracking up? But he finished the lap seemingly going as well as ever, and nobody guessed that he had only third gear left in his four-speed box, that his engine was screaming its heart out on the straights, and that he had to paddle up the mountain both on this and on the last lap. Yet another bit of anxiety was felt

“Big crowds were everywhere round the course. This is a scene at Ballacraine, and the rider is A Ashley (499cc Rudge).”

when Price was seen to have passed Harding at Kirkmichael. Poor Harding was in trouble, but doggedly stuck to his task, though his disappointment must have been intense at being compelled to lap in the miserable time of 55 minutes. Such is Fate, however, and similar disaster may overtake anyone , who takes up the racing game…At the beginning of the sixth, and final, lap the excitement was intense. Wood was out ahead of Merrill, going as well as ever with a good chance of beating him on time. With only one gear to use Merrill must have had a very anxious ride; every falter that his machine made must have magnified itself in his mind. Then there was the mountain in front of him, a joy to conquer in the ordinary way but now an ominous, mocking thing. But old Snaefell was not to claim this man as a victim, for on he went, assisting hie crippled machine with tired limbs. He and Gledhill were now racing almost together, and the loud speaker traced their course, each announcement bringing a thrill to the waiting spectators. Suddenly Wood was signalled past the Bungalow; his clock clicked over to Craig-ny-baa, and in the smallest possible time, it seemed, he came screaming down to the stands amid tremendous applause. In the meantime Harding had really got going again, and flashed by on his last lap defeated hut undismayed. Then came Merrill, cheered to the echo. He had led the field throughout the last five laps; he had dared to encircle the Island course for owe hectic lap at over 71mph, thus placing himself in an unassailable position. His victory had been right nobly won, his foes had been most worthy of his steel. So ended the first Manx Grand Prix, with a promise of a future as bright as that of anything in the racing firmament. At the end of the Senior Manx Grand Prix 19 seconds separated the winner from the second man. ER Merrill (499cc Rudge) rode a wonderful race, during the course of which he broke the lap record with a circuit that occupied 31min 50sec, giving a speed of 71.13mph. This record…was previously held by P Hunt on a Norton. Merrill was chased every inch of the way by GW Wood, also, on a Rudge, and came near to losing the race. After the race ER Merrill was naturally the most satisfied man in Manxland. He had begun to despair after having paddled once up the Mountain, and said that he never expected to reach the top without getting off the saddle. However, the engine worked willingly on the rest of the lap, and stood up to the terrific strain imposed upon it. Naturally, Merrill was rather tired at the end, and very glad it was all over, especially as his efforts had been greeted with success. He knew he had to press his mount for all it was worth in order to shake off Wood. Merrill is 23 years of age, a native of Didsbury, Manchester, and is a wine and spirit merchant by trade.”

“JM Muir (348cc Velocette) watched by an interested crowd as he straightens up after Bradon Bridge.” He finished fourth, one place behind DJ Pirie on another KTT Velo.

“THE MANX GRAND PRIX, the first of what is to be hoped will be a long series of annual races, was a great success…Its predecessor, the Amateur Road Race, was always an outstanding event, for it had an atmosphere of healthy rivalry and good spirits that is necessarily rather lacking in trade events; but the Manx Grand Prix bids fair to be even more enjoyable, for with the elimination of the ‘amateur’ definition there is no longer any bickering regarding the status of competitors, nor any undercurrent of ill-feeling.”

1930 RT AW

WHEN the 3O0cc air-cooled single-cylinder Scott motor cycle was introduced over a year ago…it naturally created a good deal of interest. because up to that time the name Scott had been exclusively associated with water-cooled twin-cylinder engines It would be an exaggeration to say that when the Squirrel, as the new model was called, was being planned the question of weight was not considered; it was, of course, taken into account, but as there was practically no chance of getting below the then 200lb limit (for the 30s tax) no attempt at weight paring was made. The weight of the original Squirrel came out at about 228lb, so that when the tax limit of 200lb was pushed up to 224lb (rebates on existing 2OO-224lb machines are now being made) it became imperative that something should be done to bring the new model down a few pounds in weight. Instead of merely paring down the weight here and there the makers decided to carry out at the same time several alterations with a view to increasing the efficiency of the machine and adding to its general appearance. No further modifications are to be made for 1931, so the machine under review is in every way a 1931 model…the engine can be conveniently termed ‘a half’ of the present 596cc Scott. It is housed in a modified Scott frame incorporating a saddle tank. The alterations that have been made principally to reduce weight are as follows: shortened wheelbase and replacement of the Scott forks by those of the Webb type, incorporating shock absorbers; wide-section plain mudguards instead of the valanced pattern; new exhaust system and chain guards; and a low-lift stand. The improvements relate particularly to the engine, the balance of which has been very distinctly improved. An additional oil feed from the pump now affords direct cylinder lubrication, while the cylinder head is larger, more dearly finned, and is secured by six bolts. Tyre sizes have been increased from 23x3in. to 26×3.25in, while for reasons of weight the brake drum dimensions have been decreased to 6in at the rear and 5in at the front. The weight of the machine is now 220lb, including M-L four-volt lighting. The shortened wheelbase has given the Squirrel a more compact appearance, while the new exhaust system, which does away with the transverse cylindrical silencer—better known as the ‘pepper-box’ type—is a great improvement. It is rather a pity that the valanced mudguards had to be replaced by plain guards, but in this it was simply a question of saving weight. On the road the first thing noticed about the improved machine was that the engine was more lively. There was probably slightly more exhaust noise due to the new silencing system, but it was not in any way objectionable. In action the Webb forks seemed to be as good as the Scott type originally fitted. They nicely damped out the shocks caused by rough roads, without any sharp rebound or vibration. However, owing to the larger tyres a true comparison between the old forks and the new was hardly possible. The riding position was extremely comfortable, and a word of praise must be accorded to the layout of the gear control, which is mounted on the right-hand-side duplex front down-tube, some inches below the level of the bottom of the tank. At first this position seemed rather low, but after a few miles the convenience of the arrangement was obvious; a change could be made

“The latest 300cc Scott.” (Right) “The controls of the 300cc Scott.”

quietly and easily without the slightest alteration of balance, the right hand dropping from the handlebar to the gear lever with great facility. When the machine was taken over it had already been run in, so an early opportunity was taken to try it out over some stiff gradients. A long, winding hill of 1 in 12 called for second gear, but nevertheless the climb was fast and sure, with plenty of power in hand. Like the original model, the new Squirrel would take corners at extraordinary angles, so the rider soon Possessed a feeling of complete ‘unity’ with the machine. A gradient of approximately 1 in 5 with several bad hairpins was successfully tackled, and then an exhilarating sprint along a moor-top brought what might be termed the ‘preliminary trials’ to an end. A speed of between 55 and 60mph was attained during the sprint, and the rider had the impression that the engine was capable of a little more. For several days the machine was used for general ‘about town’ work, a circumstance which demonstrated its extreme handiness in traffic, where good acceleration in second gear is desirable. The Squirrel was exceptionally good on grease, and when handled with the ordinary care necessary on roads that are coated with slime, the machine never gave a moment’s anxiety. The decrease in the size of the brake drums did not appear to have affected the braking efficiency, for a touch on the sensible-sized toe pedal which operates the back brake produced a steady retarding action which was equal to all the calls made upon it. The front brake was quite good, and smooth in its action. For ease of starting the Squirrel must take full marks; it was always a first-kick job, whether the engine was hot or cold. Indeed, the only criticism that can be made against the engine is that it did not idle very well, there being a certain amount of spitting and four-stroking. No real test of petrol consumption over a long run was made, but in the course of a week’s driving over give-and-take roads a consumption of slightly over 80mpg was recorded. The original Scott Squirrel was a worthy product of the Scott works, but the new one represents an improvement in number of ways. Its starting, ease of handling—especially its cornering—and general all-round performance, are such as to make the machine of very real interest to those on the look-out for a powerful, well-made two-stroke lightweight.

“Novelties from Saltaire: (Top) The ‘Power-Plus TT Replica’ for 1931. With a 498cc engine it is priced at £84, and at £86 with a 596cc engine. (Above left) A neat pillion seat is standardised on the Scott Flyer. The pressed-steel carrier is quickly detachable. (Above right) The general layout of the new Scott Flyer. The tank and gear box mountings have been redesigned.”

“THE new models of the 750cc BMW are just being introduced in Germany. They are now being provided with a new pressed-steel frame, which, the makers claim, has been thoroughly well tried in numerous experimental machines over the worst roads of Europe, and been found exceedingly rigid. Also, the front forks have pressed-steel blades. The frame is built up of two halves, which are welded together at the steering head, all other connections being riveted, as in car frames. The frame is of U-section in all parts, with broad flanges. Gusset plates are fitted to the top and bottom flanges at the steering head, thus reinforcing the welded joints. The short cross-members consist of pressed-steel struts of U-section with flat ends, to give a firm seating for the rivets. There are two models offered in this size, one a sports and the other a touring model; while the transmission is identical, the engines differ considerably. The unit of the sports model, which, of course, has overhead valves, has a bore of 83mm and a very short stroke of 68mm, giving a capacity of 735cc. This short stroke is necessary, since with a longer stroke the cylinder heads would have projected too far on either side, thus rendering them liable to receive damage should tho machine fall on its side. The short stroke, though undoubtedly meaning a loss in thermal efficiency, is compensated by the higher compression ratio, which is fixed at 6.2 to 1. At 5,000rpm the engine develops 28hp. The engine of the touring model has side valves and a bore and stroke of 78mm, the piston displacement, therefore, being 745cc. The transmission remains as before; that is to say, the crank case, clutch housing and gear box form one casting of aluminium alloy, of which also the cylinder heads of the engines are formed. Both models have three-speed gears, the ratios of which, however, differ in the two models. The final drive by shaft and spiral bevels also remains the same. To admit of the quick removal of the rear wheel the mudguard has a hinged flap. The wheelbase of both machines is 55.11in [1399.794mm; no doubt the Beemer had a wheelbase of 1.4m—Ed], and the weight of the touring model is 341lb, while the sports mount weighs 335lb. New tanks, which lie inside the frame, help to give the 1931 models their altered appearance.”

“The side-valve touring model.”
“Distinctive and sturdy in appearance—the 1931 ohv 750cc BMW.”

“THE 200 MILES SOLO RACES, the most important Brooklands motor cycle event of the year, rained out! That was the sad tale last Saturday. The clerk of the weather had evidently decided that last year he had been much too kind to the BMCRC, and had, therefore, resolved to extort repayment on this day of all days. He miscalculated to the extent of allowing the morning races, though be made them miserable enough for the riders. At lunch-time Mr Secretary Reynolds rang up the Air Ministry, and they spoke gloomily of a very deep and very wide depression; so there was nothing for it but to postpone the 500cc and 1,000cc races—until 3 p.m. next Wednesday, as it was later announced. It was a great pity, for the 500cc entry, though small, promised one of the finest fights ever seen in a ‘200’! There were, too, a trio of 500cc twins ready to make a ferocious spring at The Motor Cycle Cup for the first 500cc twin to make a century in the hour.” The 175s, 250s and 350s raced during the morning, “though the mechanical mortality was appalling, thanks in large degree to the vile weather conditions…though there was some good pit-work—notably by the Rudge personnel with its long road-racing experience—the majority was, as always, not too good. There was too much fumbling, too much forgetfulness, too much splashing of oil and fuel, too much more-haste-less-speed. This is is one respect in which we could take a leaf from the book of the car people, who, before a big race, spend hours actually practising pit-work alone.”

1930 BLANDS 200
“JA Baker (AJS) and HG Tyrell-Smith (Rudge) make simultaneous pit-stops in the course of their duel.” (Right) “The gentle art of ‘grass-cutting’ as exemplified by a fast 250cc quartette consisting of FA Longman (OK Supreme-JAP), LJ Archer (New Imperial), CS Staniland (Rex-Acme-Blackburne) and CT Atkins (Excelsior-JAP).”
This striking image, of an AJS outfit passing an excelsior,
This striking image, of an AJS combo overtaking an Excelsior, was taken during a Brookland 200-mile sidecar handicap race.

“THERE ARE A NUMBER of firms who are only too pleased to receive visits from parties of clubmen and to conduct them round their works; among them are AJ Stevens and Co (1914), Ariel Works, BSA Cycles, Douglas Motors, Rudge-Whitworth, and the Triumph Cycle Co…The BSA concern can accept parties in any numbers up to five-hundred.”

“A RALLY, PROMOTED BY the Watsonian Sidecar Co, and open to all owners of sidecar outfits, is to be held next Sunday at the Killarney Tea Gardens, Box Hill, Surrey. Cups will be given for the smartest Watsonian outfit, the smartest outfit of any other make, and the most ancient sidecar.”

“‘IF I AM NOT ALLOWED to contradict the policeman I cannot say anything,’ said a woman motorist summoned at Woburn, Bedfordshire.”

“A SUNBURY MAN is to be given the privilege of riding his motor cycle through some Council land at the end of his garden, subject to payment of 1s a year.”

“A SPECIAL SUB-COMMITTEE has been formed by Mr Morrison, the Minister of Transport, to consider the use of rubber for road paving.”

‘ON JANUARY 1ST 1931, that part of the Road Traffic Act relating to compulsory third-party insurance will come into force, and all motor cyclists wishing to licence their machines for the next quarter will have to produce evidence that they are insured.”

“NB! Before trying to qualify for new ‘averages’ with which to embellish these Correspondence columns, readers should look long and earnestly at this photograph from Crawley, Sussex. The machine is a Model 90 Sunbeam, and the word ‘Police’ appears on a sign fore and aft.”
“Competitions through an artist’s eyes. No 3—The reliability Trial. Trials riding, a sport that appeals equally to the amateur and the professional, may form a comparatively slight or very stringent test of riding skill, according to the difficulty of the course. Though not all trials hill are so ferocious as that depicted above, it is a good specimen of the type of going encountered in a big one-day trial in a mountainous district.”
“Competitions through an artist’s eyes. No 4—American hill climbs. The ‘American’ hill climb, now becoming popular with clubs in this country that are lucky enough to obtain a suitable venue, is held on an ‘impossible’ hill, and is run on the principle that the ‘highest-up wins’. The Americans, with their powerful, heavy machines, make it a very lurid business.”

To conclude this review of 1930, some assorted contemporary snapshots:

1930 AVUS
This pic, from the extensive archive of my esteemed ami Francois, came with a press-agency caption: “Wonderful new motor cycle seen at Berlin Motor Races. The ‘Avus’, a new type of racing motor cycle. The power is derived from the prtools [sic] electric system. Note the streamline idea of the rider.”
This is one Don McPherson, pictured at Townville, Queensland aboard a Harley ‘Peashooter’.
1930 NV 250
NV was a small Swedish manufacturer that was taken over by Monark. This example is an ohv unit-construction 250 that was said to be fast for its size.
These chaps are members of the Cairns MCC pictured at the Woree Speedway in Queensland which was administered by the club.
1930 STANDARD BT1000
The German-made Standard used MAG engines from 347-998cc; this BT1000 big twin was aimed at the luxury end of the market.

…and, as usual, let’s conclude with a review of contemporary ads.

1930 3 SCARS ADS
1930 AMO AD
1930 DUNELT 350 AD
1930 SKF AD
1930 ZIP AD