CHAIN CHATTER, November 1950

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CHAIN CHATTER

“CARROZZINO”

VITH the read-racing smitten over and weather conditions rapidly making high-speed motor-cycling impossible a final fling by Canis at Montlhery produced some remarkable record-breaking, the results of which are now almost history. Before passing, however, it is interesting to note one record in particular, that taken by Fergus Anderson riding the 250-c.c. Guzzi. In two hours he covered 198.44 miles, putting in 99.6 miles in the first hour. There is no doubt that he Would have Succeeded in doing 200 miles in two hours had rain not reduced his vision. Now, in the early ‘thirties a nudge created a minor sensation by being the first machine to do 200 miles in two hours and this was a, 500-c.c. bicycle. Assuming that Anderson achieved the same feat recently we have an interesting comparison, for his machine was exactly half the capacity of the Budge and we have a clear yardstick of development for the statistically-minded enthusiasts.

Another worthy achievement, in an entirely different type of motor-cyelizig, was that of W. II. Peacock with his son_ as pAssenger, in gaining a ” Cold” in the recent International Six Days Trial, riding a 350-e.c. Matchless with sidecar. To many people the thought of attaching a sidecar to a 350-e.e. machine seems like asking too much from such a small engine, but Peacock s efforts, in getting through the six days of really tough going without losing a mark must surely be proof that the modern ” 350 ” is quite capable of hauling a sidecar. Yet another example of the progress being made in the motor-cycling world. It is interesting also that, of the 81 entries in the sidecar class in the trial, only three retained clean sheets and qualified for Gold Medals and each was in a different ‘capacity class, 4 350-c.c., a 500-c.c., and a 650-e.c. After such a hard event it was clearly obvious that given the riding ability the size of the machine was not necessarily an advantage or a handicap. * * * The absence of a Motor Csatie Show this year is surely a very bad sign, for it can only mean that the motor-cycle industry is running out of new ideas. It is net until an occasion such as this that one tends to consider the design of motor-cycles collectively, and when that is done it is soon realised that the modern motor. cycle has got into a very definite groove. This can be viewed in two ways,_ first, that designers are content to envy someone else’s layout, thereby arriving at a very standardised layout for the motor-cycle, or secondly, that metercycle design is nearing its peak and the Ultimate In two-Wheeled transport is rapidly approaching, With the designers, with a few exceptions Of omrse, all arriving at the same example for a modern motor-cycle. Judging by the complaints one is always hearing about the various makes; it would appear that the first .assumption is nearer the answer than the second. When the number of vertical twin 500c.e. machines or 650-c.c. for that matter, are viewed collectively, we certainly seem to be very near to a standard motor-cycle with individualism Showing only in the minor details of design. or layout. With the 35’0-c.c. machine the groove seems as clearly defined with the push-rod single-Cylinder unit, while on both maehines the gearbox is invariably an untidy ” box-ef-gears ” hung on to the frame as an afterthought. Such individualist designs as Sunbeam, Douglas, Vincent and Velocette are the only barrier between the motor-cyclist and standardisation, and yet. for some reason or other the motor-cyclist seems quite content with his standard motor-cycle, for none of the firms mentioned can be considered to be in big production. If the standard layouts are superior to the individualist machines, then it means the ultimate in design is approaching ; If this state is not at hand, then the conclusion is that the present-day motorcyclist, in general, is a very conservative character who will not touch anything that does not look like the chap’s next

door. * * The trials season is now well under way and before long the matter of Oversubscribed entries will become rather serious, for last winter the Open Trials, or National events, received enormous entries and in those days petrol was rationed and entries were only received if supported by the manufacturer: Now with petrol freed it would appear that the Nationals are going to be flooded out and similarly the Open-to-Centre events’ eswcially in the South Eastern and South Midlands, will have to limit entries again as they had to do in the ration days. With more and More people desiring to join in this relatively cheap and most enjoyable formof sport it will mean that more and more are going to be disappointed by having their entries returned. Just how this problem can be solved is not known, but a sound suggestion is that some form of qualification should be made for entry into events. If clubs would run more Closed-to-Club trials that were real trials and not easy events in which touring machines can compete, a man could then graduate into Group trials, for the Group system is rapidly spreading in the various centres, and from these events he could earn his qualifica

tiori for entry in Open-to-Centre even ts. finally reaching the ultimate in Open or National events. At the Moment it is far too easy for a rider with virtually no ability to enter a National event, and these riders, who should be in Club events, are boiled to held up the progress of it big trial. Naturally a rider would not enter for an event below his category. Another trouble with present-day trials is I lie sameness of the ,events, especially when run in one particular area. The Sunbeam Club struck a welcome note with their two-stroke trial lted to machines up to 250-c.c., which ‘was runat the end of October. Variations such as this are indeed heartening in these days of repetition and might well be followed by other clubs. The Sidcup and Birutiradtinn 30 clubs hold their sidecars-only trials, but other ideas are one-make trials and more pillion-trials, .while ladies’ trials do not enjoy as much popularity as they would appear to deserve. A trial for Nortons only, or for B.S.A.s, or Matchless only, would surely receive • sufficient support ; and the manufacturer concerned could hardly avoid donating the awards I Another version could be a trial for twin-cylinder machines

only— anything for a break from the present-day monotony. It is entirely up to the clubs -to tackle this business, and any club Sufficiently keen to get out of the rut deserves full marks and full support.