Sporting Motor Cycles of Today By "Rough Rider"
No.1. The Brough Superior
Since its introduction some three years ago, the Brough Superior has won for itself a high esteem amongst sporting motor cyclists. Mr. George Brough, its designer, set himself a high ideal when he decided upon its production. He has always contended that amongst the ranks of motor cyclists there are enough fastidious connoisseurs to justify the marketing of something very special in the way of sporting mounts.
Such a machine as he conceived three years ago must, he realised, be expensive, and the prices quoted in the 1924 Brough catalogue are certainly above the pockets of many riders. But Mr. Brough was absolutely right in thinking that there will always be a comparatively large number of .enthusiasts who are able and willing to pay a high price for a mount produced on exceptionally luxurious and costly lines. These are the people for whom he particularly caters, and the popularity of the Brough Superior to-day must assure him that he did understand the psychology of the species motorist, when he set out upon his ambitious project.
One can get along and enjoy the roads on many motor cycles not possessing the luxuries of the Brough Superior, but if one is able to pay for these delightful extras, they certainly represent good value in increased comfort and pleasure.
There are several models of the Brough Superior. The one which probably makes the strongest appeal to the. sporting and competition rider is the model S.S.80. This machine, as many readers well know, attained remarkable success on Brooklands Track and in road competitions last year. It captured seven world’s records, and won both the 200 mile solo race and the 200 mile sidecar race on the Track. The S.S.80 also holds Spanish and Portuguese speed records.
For the 1924 season, the design of the S.S.80 has been considerably improved. The frame is of an entirely new design, and various details have been modified in the light of experience gained in very gruelling tests.
One of the most outstanding features of the Brough Superior is that extreme care has been bestowed upon it to make it not only a fast machine, but a comfortable machine. Every experienced sporting rider can name motor cycles which are fast, but seemingly have, few other virtues. Mr. Brough set out to produce a machine which should be docile in control, well insulated from vibration, and comparable with ally as to appearance and finish. He offers the Brough Superior model S.S.80 as fulfilling these ideals, with the additional attraction of very high speed.
We are putting a new model S.S.80 to a personal trial with a view to ascertaining for ourselves all its road qualities and determining the improvements lately effected. Until this test is completed, we shall not say anything about its road performance. The success and popularity it has already attained are sufficient criterion for those who desire, meanwhile, to investigate this machine for themselves.
At the moment a few technical details of the Brough model S.S. 80 may be of interest.
The engine is a V-twin J.A.P., specially manufactured for the Brough Superior. Its capacity is 988 c.c., which, on the A.C.U. rating, is nearly 10 h.p. The pistons are of aluminium alloy, and the main shaft and big ends run on roller bearings. The valves are of a special chrome-vanadium, and two return springs are fitted to each. Large aluminium heat dissipators are fitted in place of the usual heavy metal valve caps.
The sparking plugs are fitted at an angle across the inlet valve, and it is claimed to be practically impossible to oil up a plug. The timing gear is of an entirely new type, embodying two cams instead of the single cam usual in J.A.P. practice. This new gear has been evolved after a great deal of experimental work, and is particularly efficient and noiseless. Also forming part of the timing gear lay-out is a mechanical oil pump.
It will be seen from the foregoing that the engine alone has a. number of special features, and in his confidence as to its efficiency, Mr. Brough guarantees each machine of the model S.S.80 series, to attain a speed of 80 m.p.h.
Second only in importance to the engine for such a speedy machine as the “S.S.80” is the frame. It is claimed that owing to its excellent balance and steering the “S.S.80” can be ridden “hands off” at 60 m.p.h.
A glance at the accompanying illustration will show that the frame is very neat, and houses its appurtenances in a compact manner. The design is a protected form of loop construction, and the complete power unit is secured in the loop by means of three bolts, thus allowing the unit to be dismantled from frame with the minimum of trouble. Special attention has been paid to triangulation of the rear portion of the frame.
It is interesting to note that the design of the frame allows not only for the cylinders being removed with engine in situ, but gives a 4.25″ ground clearance, and saddle height of 26.625″. The frame is amply strong enough to stand up to hard sidecar work if required.
As well as neatness of outline and ample strength, the riding position has been very closely studied. In the design of the frame two pairs of footrests are provided, one pair in the most normal riding position, and the second pair fitted on the rear chain stays. These rests are exceedingly useful when machine is used in speed events; also, they should be greatly appreciated by a passenger seated on the carrier.
The other parts of the Brough Superior also reveal the experience and care with which the machine has been produced, and in the aggregate constitute a sporting motor cycle worthy of the attention of the most fastidious rider.
We propose to refer to our road experiences with the latest model Brough Superior in an early number.