A universal experience


I think it is a great pity that Mr. J. D. Sinclair of Dunlop Rubber Company should attempt to blame the failure of the Dunlop “Universal” of about 1950 as being due to its use on four wheeled vehicles, for which he claims it was quite unsuitable. To what, then, does Mr. Sinclair attribute the failure of the tyre on motor cycles when, in my opinion, the potential danger was far greater?

About that time I was riding a 350 c.c. Velocette which was not the fastest or the heaviest solo motor cycle available, but when the rear inner tube burst due to a 4 in. split in an almost new “Universal” cover, the resulting few moments were time I have no desire to live again! I exploited the Velo’s really fine steering qualities to the full—and took all the road to do it in, too. You do right to tell us that we “really should fit the proper tyre for the job,” Mr. Sinclair—I found the proper tyre in the Avon range.

Incidentally, I seem to remember that Nortons were at the top of the motor cycle road racing game at that time, and for some reason they dropped Dunlops in favour of Avons. Did Norton make a four wheeler in 1950, Mr. Sinclair ? When my “Universal” failed I called it many things, but I never accused it of being a motor-cyclist’s tyre.

Harvey Smith.