of the hill, the Ner-a-Car surmounts it merrily with only a suspicion of wheel spin in one or two places owing to our over-acceleration.
On stopping to observe how the competitors fared, we notice that all who followed our exact course made very shaky climbs or else failed altogether, so we feel very elated with the machine, and proceed to Taunton in high spirits.
Rough Stuff in North Devon.
Tuesday brings its quota of hills, many of which prove very discomforting to the Continental riders. The selection includes Porlock, Lynton, Liddiat Lane, Pool Farm, Beggars Roost and Pennycombe. This was my first experience of Beggars Roost, which proved very disappointing as an obstacle for the Ner-a-Car, so to make a better test I rode up on the inside of all the hairpins without worrying the engine in the least. Further down on the list is Fingle Bridge, an unknown hill spoken of in subdued whispers by many of the competitors and comparing in severity only with one or two of the worst Scottish hills. There are so many bends that one loses count of them; the boulders are so numerous that one finds difficulty in picking out the royal road for a good climb. We need bottom gear for the ascent and, apart from a side slip off a big stone, a perfect climb ensues.
With these remarks on its performance on the hills I will leave readers to form their own conclusions as to the performance of the O.H.V. Blackburne engined Ner-a-Car. With a maximum speed in the region of 60 m.p.h. and a stability that is unequalled, it should (in spite of its “sit up and beg” handlebars) appeal to every motor cycle sportsman as a mount for all occasions, except, perhaps, when abnormal ground clearance is needed. With its 3 in. tyres and excellent springing one can ride gullies, pot-holes and bumps at all speeds without discomfort. When the machine is bounced off the ground it can be relied upon to land firmly on both feet and then to take up its course again as steadily as ever.
I also had the opportunity of trying the all-weather qualities of the Ner-a-Car during a run of some 60 miles in the pouring rain and found that, thanks to the ample dimensions of the front mudguard, waders or leggings were quite unnecessary. As a matter of fact, I drove through the whole test in flannel slacks.
I tired of making attempts at skidding the Ner-a-Car, nor tramlines, nor grease would upset its stability, the only surface upon which one could engineer a skid was wet grass and then a very sharp turn had to be taken at speed before the back wheel went sideways.
The consumption throughout the trial worked out as follows :—Petrol : 110 miles per gallon; oil : 850 miles per gallon. The above figures would naturally be considerably improved in cases where ordinary conditions of road surfaces and conditions prevailed. In conclusion, I think we should tender our thanks to the Sheffield Simplex Company for having included in their range of machines a mount which any sportsman should be proud to own.
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