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1938 Rudge Race Bike


vibrac

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VOC Member
Yes the Comet is eligible but now how does it go? one door opens another closes
Ben will have fun with the new regs with his K100 BMW it has 4 pot calipers and fairing complications so even in the 1300 specials its a bit marginal the CRMC arnt allowing it nor early stocks I have never known a road bike based bike get such a pasting in the regs.
Rules Rules
 

Nulli Secundus

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VOC Member
VOC Forum Moderator
That is pants. Have they scrapped the up to 1948 class now? A lot of girder bikes run in that for a second ride and I was considering doing the same next year.
 

vibrac

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VOC Member
Yep all in it together and the commentators without a clue will just carry on
 

vibrac

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VOC Member
The really sad part is for bikes made before 1950 the date cut off in the CRMC and the laughingly called FIM 'Vintage' class is 1972! There really is only BHR for a period 'standard' racer.
 

Nulli Secundus

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VOC Member
VOC Forum Moderator
Next weekend I hope to be racing my Rudge Special. In the end the original cylinder head has been repaired with valve seat rings. The local guy who did it served his apprenticeship at Jordan F1. So fingers crossed he did a good job and that the repair holds up.

With the bike back together it was difficult to start on the starting rollers. The rear wheel just locked up on the rollers despite pulling back on compression, de-clutching and wheeling the bike back onto the rollers as I always do. So I have fitted a long reach manual 14mm de-compressor which is made by Venhills and is actually for two strokes. @vibrac might be interested in this. I cannot see why it will not work on the Rudge. To fit it I needed a 14mm to 18mm adaptor which also converts a short reach head to long reach. There was no hint of tyre slippage when I did a test start. So fingers crossed again that it works at Mallory.

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As it appears that hydraulic suspension damping is no longer ineligible
in the class I have fitted this Betor unit.

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A month, or so, back I found out we have to fit belly pans, so that was something else to sort out.

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Please come and say hello if you go to Mallory, but be prepared that I might be preoccupied with problems on the day.
 
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Bill Thomas

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VOC Member
Hello Dave, We have just got Ron's Comet going, With the Decompressor 14 mm long reach that I showed on the Forum, Sometime ago, He had trouble doing it, But now we have fitted a coil ign', He can start it on the kickstart, We thought it might. need electric start, Like H.D.s in USA.
I also have one to put on my 560cc Comet, So wanted to know if it would work.
Cheers Bill.
 

vibrac

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
I like the look of that decompressor better design than the RE one and bottom threads keep cleaner.
As for that catch tray I have the make one for the Grey Flash it looks so out of place and anyone knows on a pre 1960 racer the oil sprays everywhere except directly under the crankcase:)
 

timetraveller

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VOC Member
Gravity probably has an effect but I think the problem is when the conrod and bits of piston make an escape bid through the crank case.
 

Nulli Secundus

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VOC Forum Moderator
Last weekend was a lot of fun and at times very exciting for me, but not a great bag of results.

I had loads of issues with the bike, which having since partially strippied it down explains it was never at its best

At the meeting I was chasing problems between races and only fixing those I found. I nursed an engine rattle for most of meeting.

I had 3 finishes and one DNS (did not start ). The finishes were a 3rd and two 5ths, but there were not many behind me.

Gerrards, my nemesis corner, was good in my first race, but the bike wobbled badly in the following two. However, not on every lap.

My times were slower except for my last race when I tagged onto some much newer Japanese bikes that were lapping me.

However, keeping with them and showing my front wheel to a 500cc Yamaha two, or three times a lap, showed that I was faster in places where I shouldn't of been. Namely Gerrards, the approach to the Esses, the Esses and the approach to the hairpin. I have shaved 0.3 of a second from my PB.

On the last lap the contact breaker housing made a bid for freedom from the magneto and I slowed dramatically, but managed to tour in to make the flag.

I can add that the de-compressor worked well and so did the belly pan.......20190414_084259.jpg20190414_101250.jpg
 

greg brillus

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VOC Member
The speed wobble seems to be an ongoing issue for you........I would be exploring why that is, perhaps it is the wheel/tire combination that is upsetting the bike, it does look high at the front of the bike, although I would have thought that would make the steering more stable........... I have learnt that the best way to improve a Featherbed type framed bike, from some of their bad handling characteristics is to lower the front of the frame, that is jack the rear higher and lower the front. This makes the steering much sharper, and stops much of the common "Patter" that occurs on hard cornering on these bikes to the front wheel. One of our boys here that I have raced against runs a pre war 500 BSA....... I know when I have followed him at a descent pace into a certain left hander at one of our tracks, I have seen his bike start to wobble quite badly, enough to slow him and I was able to quickly overtake him on the inside. I do remember on this same BSA that he too is running a large diameter front wheel/tire, perhaps a 21" I cant help but feel this is part of the problem........ Do you have other members of your race club that can give some useful advice, ones that have had similar issues on similar bikes............ Good luck........ Cheers......... Greg.
 

Nulli Secundus

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VOC Member
VOC Forum Moderator
Thanks Greg for your valued input on this. Yes the dreaded speed wobble is indeed an ongoing issue for me whilst racing this bike. I completely agree that the 21 inch front wheel does not look right and makes the front end high. I do not know why the previous owner and builder of this bike went for a 21" front, which to me looks like a bicycle tyre, when 1938 Rudge Specials and Sports Specials had 19" wheels all round.

The 1938 Ulster, which this is not, had a 21" front and 20" rear. So why did he almost copy that when a rear 20" precluded racing? Maybe the Ulster had fine steering?

I have a 19" front wheel with an alloy rim. This is illegal, but that does not seem to stop others fitting them in the Girder Fork class. The problem is it is a replica hub made of alloy, with shrunk in brake drum and I think metric bearings. My wheel spindle will not fit it and I do not have the means to make one.

I have been chatting with davidd and his advice is great. From this I am thinking that I am partly responsible for the wobbles. In my first race, I followed the advice of the previous owner and sat further back and lent over the tank. I also followed advice from BigEd and did what his brother Peter did when racing a Sunbeam, which was locking my knees on the tank and my elbows against my knees. The bike behaved admirably, but even though I was convinced I was faster, the lap times proved otherwise. I think in other races I must of failed to nail this riding technique. Perhaps because of on track distractions, or physical capabilities.

At the end of the day though it would be preferable if the bike handled better.

Whist I consider Gerrards as my nemesis corner, in previous years I have had worse wobbles at the Esses, when the bike seemed to be leaping sideways towards the kerb and bucked me off the saddle. My inside left leg kept me hooked on in a sort of Randy Mamola esque style. So the good news is, my changed riding position suited not only the Esses, but also it was better coming out of the Bus Stop chicane and heading for the start/finish straight, where it had wobbled before.

Please keep the advice, suggestions and theories coming.

Cheers

David
 
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Bill Thomas

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VOC Member
Hello Nulli, I don't like these modern tyres, Any chance of getting a Ribbed front tyre.
Have you checked to see what the Trail is ?.
What tyre pressure do you use, For such a light machine, I would only go 22 or 24 on the front.
I see you have an Hydraulic Steering Damper now, I would have thought that would help a lot.
Cheers Bill.
 

greg brillus

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It probably "Is" helping a lot, but using one won't necessarily stop a speed wobble....... I have a good friend here who runs a very quick pre war Es 2 Norton, I will ask his thoughts on this issue, as he has been racing for a very long time.........Cheers.......... Greg.
 

Nulli Secundus

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VOC Member
VOC Forum Moderator
Hello Nulli, I don't like these modern tyres, Any chance of getting a Ribbed front tyre.
Have you checked to see what the Trail is ?.
What tyre pressure do you use, For such a light machine, I would only go 22 or 24 on the front.
I see you have an Hydraulic Steering Damper now, I would have thought that would help a lot.
Cheers Bill.
I probably could try a ribbed tyre, but I am not a fan and actually prefer the modern tyres. I ran a tad under 24psi at Mallory and 26 rear. I have not checked the trail.

I also upped the friction damper to assist the hydraulic one.

Cheers

Dave
 

Nulli Secundus

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VOC Member
VOC Forum Moderator
It probably "Is" helping a lot, but using one won't necessarily stop a speed wobble....... I have a good friend here who runs a very quick pre war Es 2 Norton, I will ask his thoughts on this issue, as he has been racing for a very long time.........Cheers.......... Greg.
Thanks Greg, I hope he can throw some light.

Cheers

Dave
 

vibrac

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
I have gone crosseyed on the venhill web site looking for that long reach decompressor a curse on all web sites that start "make year model" do you have a link or perhaps a seller at next week's Stafford?
 

BigEd

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VOC Forum Moderator
Dear Dave,
It sounds as if you made some progress at Mallory. It helps to look for the positives while you sort out the negatives.
You need to be comfortable on your Rudge and find a riding style that works for you. There is never enough time at a race meeting to sort out everything on a bike so try to concentrate on one area at a time. It is tempting to use a shotgun approach and change lots of things at once. It is then difficult to know which change improved things or made them worse.
It is good to talk to other riders and listen to any advice that may help but bear in mind that very few of the riders at current Vintage meeting are riding or have experienced riding girder fork rigid rear end machines. Listen and maybe try suggestions but you decide what works for you.
There is seldom a magic wand that will suddenly turn a machine rider combination into a race winner.
When my brother started racing my Sunbeam it was the 1970's. We had a good grid of pre-'34 bikes, all girder forks and no rear suspension. It was easier to gauge where we were against the opposition. (Somewhere near the back at the beginning.:rolleyes:)
Priority number one was reliability. More speed is good but not if you keep breaking down. You then miss out on track time and get less racing for your entry fee. (Most depressing.)
We were tight budget racing, not very technical but we did have "The Book" where we kept a record of results at each meeting, track conditions, wet/dry, changes to jetting, gearing etc. Finishing positions were noted but more important was logging lap times. Lap times are the best gauge of progress.
I don't know what meetings you are hoping to do this season but I hope to get to a few more Vintage race meeting this year so I'll try to find you in the paddock if I'm not intruding.
Next meeting is Darley Moor, not too far for me but unfortunately, I am away that weekend on a motorcycling weekend with 20 or so friends. I'll also miss out on the Bill Hancock Rider's Rally too where the venue is the Triumph factory, quite literally 5 minutes from my home.
 

Nulli Secundus

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VOC Member
VOC Forum Moderator
I have gone crosseyed on the venhill web site looking for that long reach decompressor a curse on all web sites that start "make year model" do you have a link or perhaps a seller at next week's Stafford?

Or possibly this might be better


Unfortunately you have to buy a lever you might not want.
 

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