NEW DEVICE TO MINIMISE ROAD SHOCKS.
By A. KINGHAM,
AN interesting device has been invented and patented which renders motor-cars and motorcycles considerably less subject to vibration or road shocks.
The idea is an air-cushion fitted into the road wheel of the vehicle. This air-cushion renders the whole of the vehicle ” Sprung Weight,” thus, jar or shock is prevented from being transmitted to the car. The whole drive being taken by the air-cushion transmission, shocks are also counter-balanced.
The device consists of a stout tube, fitted between two drums in the centre of the wheel, making a cushion between the hub and the wheel itself. Flanges are arranged to keep the whole in position, whilst buffalo hide and canvas washers give protection against any friction. The valve of the tube projects through the outer drum. The air-pressure used is 30 lb. in the case of motor-cycles and 35 lbs. per square inch on motor cars. The tubes cannot be punctured. The riding qualities of cars and motor-cycles are certainly open to improvement and no doubt here is an improvement.
An ordinary 11-9 h.p. car of popular make has had the patent wheels fitted for 12 months, during which time II,000 miles have been covered. The tyres fitted were ordinary high pressure type and on completion of the above mileage it was found that the front tyres were not one-third worn and the rear about half-worn. The wheel grip is good and skidding tendencies are practically eliminated. The device has proved greater riding comfort, economy in tyres, springs and transmission.
In the case of motor-cycles, the patent wheel is only fitted to the rear wheel. Recently I had an opportunity of testing a similar motor-cycle to my own fitted with the new wheel. My first impression was the decidedly smooth running, there being no road shocks transmitted to the body. On a particular bad stretch of road, I found it possible to maintain a good speed without any discomfort or bounce. On trying the machine on a Colonial bike track, deep ruts, boulders and patches of deep sand forming the surface, with a gradient of 1 in 6 and 1 in 4. The machine climbed this with ease, the rear wheel never giving any signs of leaving the ground, nor was the body thrown out of the saddle. To the sporting rider I am convinced the new wheel has definite advantages.
The fitting of the device does not in any way detract from the appearance of the machine, looking only as though an extra large brake drum had been fitted. The extra weight was tmnoticeable. From a rider’s point of view, I could not find any disadvantages during the trial. Some of the foremost British motor-cycle riders, both professional and amateur, have ridden machines fitted with the patent wheel and express every satisfaction at the performance and bear out the inventor’s
claims. I am informed that several manufacturers are interested in the idea. The inventor, Mr. Oswald Handel, of Skyreholme-Skipton, who has been working on the device for many years, claims that its incorporation would only slightly increase the cost of the wheels, provided they were produced in quantity. Another noticeable point is that if the engine is racing, when the clutch is let in violently, or the brakes applied sharply, no shock reaches the transmission, the
‘give ” of the hub taking up any vibration. The tube acting on the same principle as the ordinary inner tube of the road wheel is not put to any undue strain.
The wheel can be incorporated in the case of heavy vehicles. Here, no doubt, are great possibilities, giving pneumatic tyre comfort with heavy solid tyres. An outstanding case where the additional comfort of the new wheel would be appreciated is in ambulances, expecially in the case of Army work on rough ground.
A special trial recently arranged to prove the durability of the new hub tube took the form of a r8o miles run with the tube deflated. On examination, on completion of the above run, the tube was found to be in no way affected. It is therefore not possible to be stranded by any accident to the new hub tube.
The inventor informs me that he is prepared to offer any trial to interested parties by arrangement.
Book Reviews, December 1955, December 1955
'"The Motor' Road Test of 1955 Cars." 123 pp., 11½ in. by 8 in. (Temple Press Ltd.. Bowling Green Lane, London, E.C.1. 6s.) "'The Autocar' Road Tests 1955." 127 pp.,…
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