1912 Rudge 'Brooklands Special'
This is a special machine indeed, 35 years ago the long time owner Dave McMahon rode to Brighton on his Rudge. Whilst having a rest a passer by started looking at his bike. Realising that it was a Rudge he told Dave that his son kept telling him about a Rudge that was rotting away in a hotel basement. Dave took his details and traveled back to see the bike. On seeing it Dave knew it was an early machine but it was in a bad state, it had been in a bad crash and it was rotting badly. He offered to buy it from the owners of the hotel who were, according to Dave, the biggest gangsters you ever saw. They turned up in a very fancy car, negotiated a price and split the £130 between them. Dave had to fix boards to the bike to get it out of the basement in one piece. Once on the trailer the journey managed to shake the machine down to half it's original height!
Dave researched into the bike and found that the frame and engine numbers indicated that this was the first bike to break 60mph at Brooklands. Dave assumes that it was raced after this event and ended it's career with the crash and left in the Hotel Basement.
1931 Triumph 250cc Sprint Bike
My very first sketch of 2015 was a Scott Hill Climb Outfit built by Ossie Neal and still campaigned by his daughter Sheelagh. Whilst sketching the Rudge Sheelagh turned up with this fantastic Triumph. It was another of Ossies bikes which started was originally a road racer in the early 1950's. It was turned into a sprint machine in the late 1950's, with further modifications using BRM H16 parts in the 1960's.
The bike is still campaigned by Sheelagh where it's allowed as the exhaust emits 126 decibels which is too high for some events. It runs 14.5 second quarter miles on straight petrol, apparently it didn't like methanol. The compression is 7 1/2 - 8 to 1, and the bike doesn't have a power band it just provides straight torque all the way.
Sheelagh told me that her father always put coins on his machines as part of an Irish tradition.
Once she was asked to confirm whither a bike was built by her father. On seeing the bike she found a coin mounted on it and that answered the owners question.
Another distinguishing element of Ossie's machines is the colours, this particular colour came from left over paint from Cambridgshire County Council. It was the colour they used to paint their doors.
The other side of the Triumph.
Look closely and you will see some unusual things going on with this machine. Norbert Riedel worked on designing a starter engine for the Messersmitz 262 jet fighter. After the war he started to play around with ideas for a small production motorcycle. Steel was hard to get hold of and so he had to think of ways round this. He was told that he could have 3 meters of 40mm tubing per bike, and so he decided to make the frame, front fork and rear swinging arm / exhaust all out of this tube. This explains not only the minimal frame but the fact that the front fork only has one side and so does the rear swinging arm / exhaust.
The Exhaust also doubles up as the swinging arm!
The engine name also translates as 'Power Egg'!
The Taverners Section who run Founders day have a strong trials connection
It was great to see some great trials Bantams, as it always inspires to get mine finished!
There is always a jumbler at founders day who has some fantastic cycle motors.
A very smart van conversion of a Morgan 3 wheeler.
The theme for the day was Mods and Rockers, there seemed to be more Rockers than Mods though.
My pick of the Rockers bikes was this TriBSA with Dustbin fairing.
Last spot of the day was Rob with his newly completed Levis cycle motor.
The engine is New Old Stock.
The frame is a cycle master making it heavier duty than a standard frame.
The fuel tank is two fire extinguishers welled together, with a lawnmower fuel cap.
A very smart job and I look forward to see this a bit further down the road once he's run it in a bit!