SPORTING MACHINES ON TEST. The 996 c.c. McEvoy-Anzani.
By J. X. CRESCENCE.
organisation of a small reliability trial ; on this occasion we dispatched the competitors at minute intervals over a 40 mile course and then set off in pursuit.
Behaviour on Rough Going.
We had grave qualms as to the suitability of the big McEvoy for hurrying round loose winding lanes and negotiating deep unrolled gravel, however, the first colonial section, composed of the latter material, showed us that the machine was even easier to handle than the average medium weight ; in spite of a baulk caused by one of the latter brigade measuring his length in front of us we accomplished a completely “feet-up ” crossing of about half mile of this stuff. A few miles later we had serious doubts as to the direction taken by a group of competitors, so hastening on we discovered that they had indeed left the route ; swinging round we rushed after the wanderers, plunging into a cloud of dust down. the narrowest and “windiest” lane ever seen. Some particularly hectic sliding and skidding, together with some rather dangerous speed, enabled us to overtake the competitors one by one, and drive them back with oaths and gesticulation on to the “straight and narrow way” once more. Then off we went again and without at any time blinding, and including two feet-up climbs of the worst test hill on the route and five minutes conversation with the observers at this point, we arrived at the finish 15 minutes before the arrival of the first competitor,
whom we duly checked in. The test hill in question was the notorious Tunnel-Slide of Inter-Varsity fame and in spite of immense boulders near the top a slow 2nd gear climb was easily made on throttle. This morning’s performance showed the remarkable easy manner in which the McEvoy could be handled in narrow and rough lanes and provided an excellent test for brakes, stability and comfort. Both front and rear wheels are fitted with 8″ Enfield internal expanding brakes, hand and foot operated respectively, and both proved to be smooth and powerful, as indeed they should be on such a fast machine. The rear brake pedal is connected to the brake by a very light cranked rod, this we think would be found inadequate before long and suggest a straight, or alternatively, a much heavier operating rod, in order to eliminate the flexibility of the present
system. Having mentioned this one criticism we will take this opportunity of disposing of the only other fault noted, to wit the silencer. As will be seen from the photographs this has all the ugliness of the official ” Brooklands Receiver,” without the virtue of conforming to the track regulations in detail, thus being useless for racing purposes. Again, apart from its ugliness, it is decidedly noisy, its sheet steel sides reverberating in an awe-inspiring manner. Lastly, on lefthand corners, it is liable to come into violent contact with the ground, as in fact we have proved, with the result that the fish tail split, and eventually dropped off bit by bit. We would suggest either a smaller and neater cast aluminium expansion chamber, or a pair of cylindical silencers of which there are several excellent proprietary makes on the market. To return to the more pleasant task of describing the machine’s merits, a ‘very neat steering damper is fitted below the head and operated by a large milled wheel on the top of the steering column. The steering of the machine both with and without the use of the damper is well above the average, on reasonable roads it is perfectly steady at the maximum speed so far attained, and the damper is really only a sort of Cone device to inspire the nervous rider with greater confidence. On bumpy roads the 3-inch tyres caused considerable bouncing and pitching, under which conditions the damper is more than a mere ornament and effectually checked any unsteadiness of the steering caused by the rider being hurled off the saddle and/or footrests. Speaking of saddles, we were pleased to find the Terry installed, and as it happened, handlebars, footrests and seat were
arranged to provide a very comfortable riding position, while the immense round-tube Druid forks, with friction dampers, functioned admirably at the forward end of the machine. The engine, as will have been gathered, is decidedly “fruity ” and seems to be reliable, since the only adjustments carried out were to the valve clearances, which if neglected created rather a clatter ; when adjusted, the valve gear, which is partially enclosed, is remarkably quiet. One rather clever but wellknown feature of the design is that the o.b. rockers operate beneath the valve springs, thus enabling the latter to be well away from the heat of the cylinder head, to the great benefit of their temper ! The Stunney-Archer gear-box is too well known to need description apart from the observation that the ley er was arranged for foot operation and that the whole
apparatus functioned perfectly. As regards details, the finish is good, and apart from the silencer nothing rattled or came loose, mechanical lubrication by a Pilgrim pump worked unfailingly and on eN,ery single occasion, hot or cold, flood or no flood, the machine started on the first depression of the kick-starter, a trait no doubt mainly attributable to the Binks 2-jet carburettor. Other commendable features include cast aluminium chain guards, quick opening filler caps and John Bull knee grips.
Centre of Attraction.
Naturally by reason of its imposing lines and pleasing finish the McEvoy always attracted a little knot of
interested people if left in a public place for more than a few moments, and all who tried it were immediately impressed with the immense feeling of power developed by the big twin motor, the surprising ease of control and the quite unusual comfort of the machine. In fact the main impression left on the rider is of condensed strength, the power being equal to the best, while the whole machine handles like a medium weight, doubtless due to its low centre of gravity and scientifically designed frame. In conclusion, let us remind readers once again of G. W. Patchett’s and M. A. McEvoy’s very convincing demonstrations of the machine’s speed and. stability at Brooklands and elsewhere, which should be sufficient assurance that the McEvoy is indeed worth serious consideration by the prospective big twin rider.