SPORTS MOUNTS FOR 1928. By R. T. WALKERLEY.
yEAR after year the choice of a sports machine for the new season becomes more and more difficult, At one time half a dozen stands comprised the sports range, but now, nearly every exhibitor presents a tempting model for the clubman and sports rider.
The choice of a mount has become a bewildering business, for those firms, which up to a very few years ago offered nothing but touring machines, now display hyper-super-sports models, which compete successfully with the products of firms which have specialised in “hot stuff” machines for years. Of the former firms, Ariel must be classed in the forefro at of up to date manufacturers. Their 1928 range is very pleasing in design, appearance, and doubtless in
performance. There are thirty-two new features incorporated in the 1928 machines, including improvements to frame, forks, mudguards and a new patent regulator for the lubrication system. Prices run from £43 10s. (side valve) and from £48 10s. to £52 10s. (o.h.v.). There’ is probably no better value for money in the Show.
Raleigh is another firm which has seriously entered the sports field, and the fast rider will be attracted by the super-sports models 26 S.S. and 23. The 348 c.c. model has improved frame, twin petrol tanks, new forks and adjustable bars.
The 498 c.c. o.h.v. model 23, has a two port engine with enclosed push rods and valve gear. The James Cycle Company has always enjoyed a fine reputation, and this is enhanced by their 1928 programme. There are two new models, one a sports two
stroke, with 172 c.c. Villiers ” Super-sports ” engine, fitted with 25.3 in. Dunlop tyres. This machine will be priced at £35 10s.
The Popular small twin is again presented, with improved frame and saddle tank, and is priced at 54 guineas. £54 is the price of the 349 c.c. o.h.v. super-sports model, with high compression engine and capable of high speeds.
In the Triumph range the greatest interest will centre in the ” T.T.” model, which has done so well during the past season, particularly noteworthy being its performance in the Senior T.T. race, where this marque gained three replicas, one machine finishing 3rd, This model, with its two port 498 c.c. engine, and blue and black finish, is exceedingly attractive at £66 17s. 6d.
Coventry Eagle have made a plunge and produced some pressed steel frames, with a view to mass production. This frame is only to be employed in conjunction with two-strokes at the moment.
The 346 c.c. o.h.v. J.A.P. engined model is priced at £47 15s., which is very competitive ; and the two port engined model, with dampers and shock absorbers is priced at £52 15s. The two port J.A.P. engine is too well-known to need comment, and this model presents a really fast machine at a very reasonable price.
Sunbeam are offering a very complete range, which, if a little on the highly priced side, are worth every penny, as all Sunbeam owners know. Superlative finish, attention to detail, and cleverness of design are out standing. The o.h.v. models, 347 c.c. and 493 c.c. are particu
larly noteable, combining racing experience with roadworthiness. A report of the performance of the 493 c.c. (model 90) double port engined model appears elsewhere in this issue.
The most interesting exhibit on the N.U.T. stand was the 746 c.c. sports model. A special engine is fitted to this model only, with lightened reciprocating parts, and a Binks two-float carburetter. Twist grip control is standard.
This firm are also producing two-strokes of the super sports variety.
The A. J.S. stand was the centre of considerable interest. After their conspicuous successes in the T.T., and German, Belgium, Austrian and Swiss Grand Prix races, the overhead camshaft machines will be added to the range of models, while the push rod 350 c.c. and 500 c.c. racing models will be dropped. The camshafts will be chain driven, the cylinders are redesigned, the bridge-piece and turn-buckles securing the heads having been replaced by four studs and nuts. Dry sump lubrication is employed, and a lower saddle position
has been obtained by a special three point suspension. Altogether these sports models will have a great appeal to the fast men. The prices of camshaft models are—K.7 349 c.c., £63; K.10 498 c.c„ £70.
New Imperial offer attractive sports mounts in their 5 and 5a models. This follows past practice. 5a has double port engine and racing cams. There is a model 6a which is best described as a Brooklands model and can be supplied for track work.
George Brough again leads the field with ultra luxurious machines. Chief interest, almost one might say excitement, will be aroused by the new four cylinder model. This machine is not yet in production, much experimental work remaining to be done, but it is a model which indicates the trend of design in the super-motor cycle classes.
The S.S. 100 Pendalpine model is on show at £160, with a guarantee of 110 m.p.h., while a fully equipped touring machine on the same lines costs £170. The 680 o.h.v. introduced last year is priced at 96 guineas and remains practically unaltered—all o.h.v. engines, however, will have the valve gear enclosed for 1928.
There is a new model of 750 c.c. with side valves. which might be called the young brother of the S.S. 80, This very attractive machine will be 97 guineas complete with dynamo lighting and electric horn. Many riders made a bee-line for the Rex-Acme stand as soon as they passed the Olympian portals. These
machines, based almost entirely on racing experience, appeared with duplex frames to all sports models.
The famous T.T. model is entirely redesigned for 1928, being produced under the personal supervision of Mr. W. L. Handley. This model is supplied with a choice of three engines—Blackburne, M.A.G., and J.A.P., priced at 263, 270, and 263 respectively. The two latter are double ported engines.
There will also be two 500 c.c. Blackburne models, single and double ported whose prices are not ‘available as we go to press.
A firm which has won a fine reputation for up-to-date design is the Francis Barnett factory. Of chief interest to the sporting owner is the 172 c.c. Super Sports with Villiers engine. This engine has twinports with sweeping exhaust pipes ending in twin silencers. Expanding brakes, Terry saddle, and new
type forks with steering damper render the machine more controllable than ever. A neat handle has been fitted to the rear mudguard, and grease gun lubrication to cycle parts is standard. Dunlop wired on tyres of 25 x 3 in. size are fitted. Altogether the machine is very alluring at 236.
Douglas, as usual, show a very sporting range, and all eyes will be turned, again as usual, to that super machine, the T.T. model 494 c.c. A machine similar to this has lapped Brooklands at 103 m.p.h., which should satisfy most riders. The gear box and frame construction are now famous, and the brakes are still further improved for 1928. This particular model cost 288.
A totally new model is shown, known as “Model D.28.” This machine has a 348 c.c. o.h.v. engine, with enclosed valve gear, and push-rods covered in telescopic tubes. The gear lever mounting is interesting, being reminiscent of the earlier track machines, and is mounted forward of the engine, low down on the frame.
This model should prove an excellent fast mount, and costs but 248.
Models ” G.28 ” and “H.28 “, both with 596 c.c. o.h.v. engines, incorporate the T.T. frame, and cost 265 and 267 respectively. The latter is equipped with twist-grip control, which so many fast riders prefer.
Dunelts have made a name for themselves as sports machines, performing with great consistency on road and track. The 250 c.c. model holds several world’s records, which proves that this supercharged two-stroke is definitely in the sports class. Model K Sports de Luxe 249 c.c. is priced at 238 10s.
Another two-stroke in the sports category is the Levis “0,” which is capable of high speeds. This firm continues to show the interesting o.h.v. engine of 346 c.c. capacity, which appeared for the first time last year. This machine remains unchanged at 254.
Velocette is one of the most popular sports machines on the road, and is capable of running away from most machines, even of higher power. Of course, the overhead camshaft is retained. The large diameter brakes will be noted. The steering of this machine is famous, and needs no comment. Steering damper and shock absorbers are standard Model KSS. is listed at £75; KS. at 265. The P. & M. exhibits represented the acme of fast touring design. The performance of this marque is well known for reliability and speed. The range continues
very little changed from last year, the chief alterations being that the 3-speed gear is standard, although the 4-speed box may be fitted as an extra to all models. A new shaped tank is incorporated, giving the popular low saddle position, while a neatly enclosed dynamo drive is shown on all models. Among other improvements the Panthette exhaust system now resembles the Panther, two long exhaust pipes terminating in large expansion chambers and fish-tails.
The 3-speed Flying Squirrel as used in the 1926 T.T., is produced with minor improvements, although the experience gained in the 1927 T.T. has not yet passed the experimental stage, and the manufacturers do not feel justified in incorporating this in the 1928 range.
Perhaps the most popular sports model on the road, Nortons bid fair to retain their popularity. The greatest interest will be aroused in the overhead camshaft engine, which will probably be the most coveted machine in 1928. This model known as C.S.1. represents an embodiment of racing practice in road use.
New cradle frames with torque rods are fitted to the T.T. models—both push rod and camshaft—and should prove as stable in private hands as they have in racing, at the terrific speeds of which these engines are capable. 95-100 m.p.h. is mentioned in connection with the latter.
The Matchless exhibits present three models of great attraction. Chief among these is the 495 c.c. two-port
machine which has a guaranteed maximum speed of 85 m.p.h. The price of this machine is truly amazing at £55.
Other models are the two-port 350, priced at £46, and an extremely neat looking overhead camshaft engined 350 model, with singe port.
The whole range examples extraordinary value for money.
To mention of sporting mounts would be complete without a word about the Cotton and A. J.W. models.
The Cotton for 1928 is far in advance of last year’s machine. There are some very attractive speed models with J.A.P. or Blackburne o.h.v. engines, either single or double port. Handsome saddle tanks are fitted to the sports models, and the frame has been shortened and constructed of heavier tubing. The magneto mounting is particularly worthy of praise, being in a very accessible place high up behind the engine. Altogether the Cotton is a machine which will make an instant appeal to the sportsman, who knows the wonderful road holding qualities of the triangulated frame.
The A. J.W. range is very imposing, and is a real he-man’s mount. Machines are produced with J.A.P. or Summit engines. The latter are perhaps better known as the famous Anzani or Vulpine engine. The
£170 model with double-port twin Summit is perhaps the most majestic machine produced, and its performance is not belied by its appearance. At the Show this year, more than in any previous year, the sporting rider is confronted with an embarras de Max. But it is fairly obvious that, no matter which machine takes his fancy, he will obtain greater value and higher performance than ever before. For 1928
we are offered perhaps higher speed than in 1927, but with greatly increased reliability. The absence of novel or daring lay-outs has proved that the designers have concentrated on getting greater reliability in 1928 out of an engine which was quite fast enough in 1927.
This does not mean any stagnation or lack of progress, since increased reliability means, in the end, increased efficiency and speed. So that in 1928 we may expect higher speeds and greater progress than ever before.