SPORTING MACHINES ON TEST. The T.T. Panther. By “PAUL SADLER.”
THE firm of Phelon & Moore have been famous for the outstanding reliability of their motor-cycles since the year 1902, when first they opened business.
It is only of recent years that they have given serious attention to the production of a really sporting machine, and it is remarkable how quickly they have been successful in placing on the market a motor-cycle like the T.T. Panther. The first Panther, produced in 1923, showed that Messrs. Phelon & Moore meant to tackle the difficult task before them in their usual thoroughness. 1924 saw the first O.H.V. Panther on the market, and in 1925 we have T. F. Bullus coming in fourth in the Senior T.T.
It is probable that even in 1924 a P. & M. would have been placed in the T.T. had it not been for the unfortunate collision of the two machines entered.
The list of successes gained by P. & M.’s during the last few years is certainly one few motor-cycle manufacturers can equal : commencing with the 1,000 miles non-stop record, made between London and Brighton in 1923, and ending with C. T. Ashby securing third place in the Belgian Grand Prix, covering the 240 miles at an average speed of 641 m.p.h.
We must also not forget the exceptional performance put up in the International Six Days’ Trial by F. A. Longman and T. F. Bullus, both gaining gold medals and losing no marks.
Perhaps the most outstanding of all P. & M. successes was the winning of the German T.T. by C. T. Ashby, who made the fastest time on record.
Even in the days when there were no Panthers we remember Cunningham on his P. & M. racing at Brooklands against great odds. He actually won a race, however, at the Ealing and District Brooklands meeting in 1921.
Up -to -Date Specification.
The 499 c.c. engine fitted has a bore of 84 mm. and a stroke of 90 mm.. It is certainly well designed for the high speed that is expected of a modern super-sporting mount. Large overhead valves, very light aluminium piston, roller bearing big end, floating gudgeon pin, generous radiating fins, completely automatic sump lubrication are features of the engine, the whole unit being
assembled in a clean, business-like manner, all parts being easily accessible.
The magneto is situated to the rear of the cylinder a good height from the ground.
A P. & M. four-speed gear box is fitted giving the following gear ratios : 4.5, 5.4, 7 and 8.4, the gear lever being in a handy position on the right side of the machine.
We did not have the opportunity of testing the petrol and oil consumption, but are informed that these are go m.p.g. and 800 m.p.g. respectively.
The frame is constructed on the usual P. & M. principle, the engine taking the place of the front down tube, thereby adding considerably to the strength and stability of the machine, also allowing for a particularly low riding position.
The new saddle tank fitted has very graceful lines and holds 21 gallons. The oil sump is capable of holding 31 pints. Webb forks and shock absorbers give the machine remarkable road holding capabilities and render it perfectly stable even at really high speeds.
Behaviour on the Road.
Our road test consisted of a run of about one hundred miles on which all classes of thoroughfare were encountered. We found the steering excellent and the machine particularly easy to corner with at high speeds. As no speedometer was fitted we are unable to give an exact figure in regard to the maximum speed, but we