A 4,000 MILE CERTIFIED TRIAL.
nESPITE a crash which came near not only to
ending the Trial, but also the lives of both driver and passenger, a most arduous and searching test of reliability of a motor cycle and sidecar, was concluded on Saturday the 4th inst. A standard ” Big Four” Norton motor cycle and sidecar, built up from component parts selected by an A.C.U. observer, was driven by Mr. P. Pike four times over the ” End-to-End ‘” (Land’s End—John o’ Crofts) route, after which it was taken twenty times up and down Porlock, finally being driven into Exeter, where it was stripped and examined for condition. The total distance covered in the course of the Trial was 4,088 miles, an average of approximately 220 miles a day. The weather throughout the Trial was consistently bad, storms of rain and gales of wind prevailing. Of the three involuntary stops, one was directly attributable to the weather conditions, a plug cutting out momentarily on Shap Fell. The other two were occasioned by a broken spring link in the driving chain, and the slipping of the magneto timing the latter owing to the magneto platform coming adrift after a hasty reassembly following the above-mentioned crash. The petrol consumption for the entire distance averaged 68.4 m.p.g., and the oil 1,304 m.p.g., which must be considered remarkably good, especially when it is stated that the total weight of the outfit with passengers and luggage amounted to 8 cwt. 4 lbs. Avon tyres were used and gave no trouble. Certain adjustments had to be made at various points during the journey, and these consisted of
Chains adjusted twice ; tappets adjusted ; contact breaker cleaned ; plug changed ; sidecar chassis fractured and repaired ; small nut from saddle pillar lost and replaced ; exhaust valve refaced ; bearings oiled and greased.
The crash, which took place after 3,910 miles had been covered, was due to a Ford char-a-bane running into the Norton outfit. As a result the frame, front forks and wheel, front brake, sidecar stub axle, one sidecar connection, two sidecar front springs, and one bearer bar clip had to be replaced before the Trial could be resumed. The twenty ascents of Porlock which concluded the Trial were made without preliminary adjustment and were absolutely ” clean,” the twentieth being accomplished at an average speed of 2r.2 in.1).1t. The front and back brakes were adjusted during this part of the test, but it is probable that as they were operating effectively before the crash occurred, this adjustment was necessitated by the new frame, forks, etc., which were fitted.
Not only was every component part selected from stock by the A.C.U. engineer, but in addition he watched the assembly of the machine and acted as observer throughout the course of the Trial, being responsible for measuring the petrol and oil, noting all repairs and adjustments, and keeping a log of distances covered. A certificate is in’course of preparation and will be issued in due course.