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1938 Rudge Race Bike


greg brillus

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
So David, I spoke to my friend today about your wobble issue, and he laughed..........He explained that it is a very common problem with the early bikes, the modern tires definitely contribute to the problem.......The extra grip they have means much more flexing of the frame parts. He has another friend here in Australia who is the Rudge man in this country and has some very fast racing models, he is going to ask him for some advice. He did say that he use to go to a lot of trouble to ensure there was no play in any of the parts in the girder forks and the head bearings........... It appears to be a rigidity problem from what I can see.
 

Nulli Secundus

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
VOC Forum Moderator
If you go to this link https://leehollickphotography.zenfolio.com/f64673403 and look at the photos in the Race 2, Race 20 and Race 31 folders you will see a few pictures of me (No. 246). The best, apart from my wide missing the apex line, is probably in the Race 31 folder. At least I was giving the hurry up to the Yamaha.

Unfortunately there are none of me at Gerrards where I was crouched more over the petrol tank and had my elbows locked against my knees. The bike behaved itself more than me in the corners featured in Lee Hollick's photos.
 

Nulli Secundus

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
VOC Forum Moderator
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.
Hi Eddy,

I am sure I will not feel that you are intruding. It would be good to chat some more.

I am not planning on doing Darley Moor as I think it best to fix all the issues that happened at Mallory. I am undecided on Pembrey, but hope to do all the others. I will let people know on here when my next meeting will be.

Cheers

Dave
 

Nulli Secundus

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
VOC Forum Moderator
Good miss Darly moor too many loose screws to puncture and no bulbs in the bog
I cannot say the track has a lot going for it either. A tad on the boring side in my opinion. The Wilson's chicane is a nightmare for my Rudge with the 21" front wheel. The other chicane is OK because you can straight line it, but if you are three abreast, as I was when racing there in 2017, it could get very messy

I did like our stay in Alton though.
 

Nulli Secundus

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
VOC Forum Moderator
At Lydden Hill it was all down to me to fly the Rudge flag because Mervyn Stratford was unable to ride. He is also the main opposition.

With my bike failing to start for one race at Mallory I decided to enter two events at Lydden, to help ensure getting at least four rides. In the end I did all eight. The two classes were the Event 1 ACU Solo Girder Fork Motorcycle Championship and Event 31 Solo Motorcycles Unlimited to 1948.

Lydden Hill Event 31 Solo Motorcycles Unlimited to 1948 (10 laps)

In this new to me class there was a 1949 Vincent Rapide with girdraulics (Steve Higgins) and a Vincent Egli Comet (Tony Hazeldine) , plus a 350 Velocette MAC (Tony Green). I cannot quite fathom what the Vincents are doing in the class when you read the class title and the rules for that matter, but at least I had something to race against. So two solo Vincents which will hopefully interest Tim @vibrac .

The Rapide cleared off at the start, but retired after completing five laps. The Egli had a better grid position and started really well. I knew I must not let it get away from me and took a brave wide outside line around Chessons Drift passing several bikes including, importantly, the Egli. The newer bikes eventually got me back and I think I only got past them because they were initially more cautious on cold tyres. The Egli was nipping at my heels throughout the race and on a couple of occasions showed me his front wheel. All I could do was keep my head down and not make a mistake. It was a great ding dong battle which we both enjoyed. I thought I had finished second to the Rapide, so it was quite a surprise to see I had won because the Rapide did not finish.

With the Rapide now AWOL, more favourable grid positions and better starts, I kept the Egli, plus the Velo, behind me in the next two races. I was also having a ding dong with a 1978 XS500 Yamaha twin, passing him in corners only for him to out gun me again on the straights. Overall this was slowing me down and unbeknown to me allowing the Egli to close in.

Before the fourth race in this class Tony Hazeldine said to me he only had one more chance to beat me, so I was expecting him to be really going for it.

This fourth race was all basically going as the previous two except the Velo was now AWOL and the Egli eventually got past the pair of us (me and the Yam). The last thing I needed was the Yamaha between me and the Egli and I managed to ride around the outside of them both at Chessons Drift. The Yamaha got us both back on the Dover Straight and the Egli also repassed me. The Yamaha took a defensive line into Devil's Elbow. The Egli rider thought he could pass the Yamaha and I thought I could pass the pair of them, but the Egli rider was too late braking for this corner on his wide entry line and ended up in the gravel trap and toppled over. I was nearly drawn into it and failed my intended pass on the Yamaha. In the end I felt this was a hollow victory for me as in reality I finished first and last, being the only finisher in this class, but I guess I played a part in forcing Tony Hazeldine into making his mistake. I felt both a little guilty about his crash and felt sorry for him. I went to see him afterwards and his bike was absolutely fine, as was he. With his leathers full of gravel I joked that if he jumped around a bit it would clean off the rust. He is a Novice, in his first season, who for many years has been parading. He seems a very good rider and I admire his spirit.

Lydden Hill Event 1 ACU Solo Girder Fork Motorcycle Championship (10 laps)

My main opposition in this class would be from methanol burning 350 Velocette MACs and again Tony Green on his petrol burner. There was also a 1930 KSS, which most of us lapped. The person I most wanted to beat was Sam Page on the Velo. I beat him only once I think in our first season, might have been more, and is more if you include his DNFs, but he has had the beating of me ever since. I felt I had more chance though at Lydden because it was his first time there.

In the first race I got into the lead by passing Kevin Thurston on a 1950 MAC. He was obviously not happy and got me back at the very next corner, which impressed me and depressed me, in equal measures. I was impressed because that is exactly what you need to do to stamp your authority. However, over gunning his Velo to pass me may have led to its retirement after only four laps. So that was a relatively easy win. Sam was having a few issues with the bike, but getting faster all the time.

The next two races were again relatively easy wins with me blissfully unaware of Sam's progress in catching me.

It was all going to plan in the fourth race. I was keeping my head down and hoping to gap Sam, but now it was my turn to make a mistake. You would of thought I should of learnt something by witnessing Tony Hazeldine's crash. Throughout the weekend I had quite a few tyre slides, but thankfully stayed on, but at Chessons Drift, both wheels stepped out because I think they were momentarily airborne from a bump or ripple. At that point in time it was no great drama and should not of created a situation where I needed to tighten my line because there should of still been loads of track to work with. However, I could see my speed was too great for the line I was on and I was going to run off the track. All I could do was brake which now caused the rear to slide out and this was compounded by now being on the dusty part of the track that has the marbles. However, I think the rear end slide saved me, because I no longer needed to corner much once I was on the grass. It could have been a massive crash and took the wind from my sails. It took about half a lap to get back into my rhythm and Sam got past. I caught him back up after a lap and thought I had a chance to out brake him into the hairpin on the last lap, but a rider, who was lapping the pair of us totally stuffed up that chance. With the gap I was aiming for between Sam and the inside of the corner gone I had to lock up and narrowly missed a collision, which undoubtedly would of knocked off Sam as well. It was a shame because the crowd were probably enjoying the battle between Sam and me.

Summary

The minor issues with the bike were engine case screws working loose causing oil seepage. However, in one race I had wondered why my boot was slipping off the footrest. If it was not for the fact I was battling with that Yamaha, whilst trying to keep the Egli behind, I would of looked down. My right leg and boot were covered with oil from above the knee down. Had I of noticed this I would of retired and should have been black flagged. The belly pan did a good job and there was certainly no evidence of oil on the track. One of the two screws holding the tappet cover had fallen out, so the cover was dangling down on the other loose screw. Easily fixed with a spare screw, but the mopping up took a while.

The other issue was the rev counter packing up after only three races, so I had to ride by ear and feel.

It was certainly a busy weekend for me doing eight races instead of four and it was quite a workout on my arms. They still ached on Wednesday.

I had quite a few tyre slides, the worse at the hairpin on the first lap, so although it was very hot the tyres may have been cold. Both wheels let go together. The other slides were mainly on the rear.

I went to see Mervyn after a few of my races. He said I had to get the front end of the bike sorted out. His wife Caralynne, rightly so, was quite vocal and said it looked like I was riding a pogo stick (I think they were watching at Paddock Bend). I thought quietly to myself "You should see it between Pilgrim's Drop and Chessons Drift, it's like a pneumatic drill around there and it was blurring my vision".

Mervyn asked what tyre pressures I was using and he considered my answers far too high. He also asked how much damping I was using on the fork suspension and suggested I added some more friction damping.

Emboldened by Mervyn's advice and Caralynne’s accurate critique, I made these adjustments in stages. Each step was in the right direction. Mervyn still thinks I could go lower still with the pressures and I will at the next meeting. I think one, or two, more notches on the suspension friction damper might get the forks even better. Any way whilst these adjustments, did not significantly improve my lap times, they did improve my confidence and make the bike so much more rideable. It became a different bike, but I still wonder how it would do around Gerrards at Mallory Park. So I can only express my thanks and gratitude for their taking the time and help me head in the right direction.

Circumstances played into my hands giving me seven wins and a second place. So some real highs and one little downer for me, which was not being able to prevent Sam Page get maximum points in the last Girder Fork Race. I was the Rudge tail gunner trying to protect Mervyn’s Championship lead over Sam, who is his nearest rival. Next meeting will be Pembrey in South Wales on 27th and 28th July.

Lydden 1.jpg
 

greg brillus

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
Sounds like you did extremely well...........You are completely right about the confidence level, its the main thing that holds us all back on the race track, but having a really reliable bike is absolutely the most important thing I have found. Does not matter a hoot how fast the other riders are if their bikes fail and results in DNF's all the time..........Poor blokes in the pits with the primary and half the gearbox innards laying half in the dirt looks so demoralizing to me, or electrical problems with the guru's who claim their space age electronic ignition is the best ever, only they now cant work out which part to change because there is no spark at the plugs........... My next race is on the weekend of the 20/21 of July so really looking forward to it. I have been doing a few track days using an 2014 Ninja 300 which is so reliable and serves the purpose extremely well. Giving the ESO/ Norton its final race, and then it will be pulled down for an engine change, where it will become a Norvin, so looking forward to that ........ Good to see you having a great time, you and the bike look great. Cheers........ Greg.
 

Nulli Secundus

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
VOC Forum Moderator
Thanks Greg.

Have a great time on the ESO/Norton. I look forward to seeing it as a Norvin.

Cheers

Dave
 

vibrac

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
I saw the egli at the Mallory meeting I have no idea what the logic behind its placement in the Rudge/MAC race was I know the mixing of machines of vastly different capabilities can be very dangerous some of the events at the last Sept Cadwell were 'interesting' to say the least. I suppose its all down to cramming in something for everyone and merging classes and races. Regarding the Egli I thought there was an up to 1960 something 500 class but I have lost track and I guess I am not alone, I suppose with all the mirriad classes and the other rules imposed by the sponsors (eg 'Girders' and the ACU) the organisers seemed to have joined the BHR commentators in loosing the plot, even the big wheel sidecars and BEARS have separate classes within their overall class! A few years ago I went to the prize giving dinner, giving out 1st 2nd and 3rd cups for each class and the rest took forever, heaven knows what its like now. The simplicity of the OLD Vintage race classes can only be found now in part at the CRMC events.
 

Nulli Secundus

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
VOC Forum Moderator
I will be racing the 1938 Rudge at Pembrey in South Wales next weekend on the 27th and 28th July.

It would be good to meet any VOC'ers that might be there.

I broke the main shaft gear in the gearbox at Lydden and that is all fixed now.

Here are a few pictures from Lydden.

The last two pictures show how close it was between me and a 1978 XS500 Yamaha and the Egli Comet.

_MG_5351.JPG_MG_5352.JPG_MG_5389.JPG_MG_4730.JPG_MG_5120.JPG_MG_5796.JPG_MG_5757.JPG
 

vibrac

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
Its quite possible Ben will be at Cadwell in late September on my alphabet twin not in full race trim (just stripped out) but its an exploratory run before a possible winter build to a full out racer.
It will still have its Bramptons on but I guess he will change that for next season:confused: I will try and convince him about fitting the modifed concentic excentrics etc but I have to convince him :)
We cant go full out next year and wont bother doing all the meetings as we wont conform to the girder fork class specifications so no point in doing the remote events or keeping within cut off date specifications either.
I will do the friday track day on the Flash
 

Nulli Secundus

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
VOC Forum Moderator
Pembrey 27th and 28th July 2019 Race Report

It was highs and lows for me at Pembrey in hot and sunny Wales over the weekend just gone.

Practice did not go well because after just two laps the rear-set linkage fell apart and I was stuck in third gear. This was my mistake/fault. It meant I struggled to learn the circuit, which seemed a challenge to me anyway. The hairpin after the start/finish straight was a first gear job, so I had to declutch around the corner and slip it on the exit. This overall made riding the circuit difficult and afterwards I felt that I had not learnt the track at all. Not the conclusion to practice that I was hoping for.


Worse was to follow as we were to be noise tested on the way in from practice and I was near the back of the queue, so the clutch, clutch pushrod etc had a hard time, whilst working my way towards the people doing the noise test. If you are wondering I have never done a clutch less gear change and wasn't about to try with a recently rebuilt 81 year old box where parts are quite delicate and hard to come by.

Back in the paddock, after a successful noise test, the gear linkage was easily fixed I came second in a small field of bikes in my first race, the Girder Fork class, with Mervyn Stratford taking the win.

I won my second race, the Unlimited to 1948 class, in another small field, that included the improving Egli Comet I battled with at Lydden. I also beat my nemesis bike, the 1978 XS500 Yamaha four stroke twin that obviously was not in my class. Others not in my class that I beat were a 350 K4 Honda and a 1959 Triumph Tiger twin. This means more to me than my actual race result in my specific class when the field in it was so small.

I spoke with Tony Hazledine, the Egli rider, afterwards and he told me of some advice he was given, when he paraded, by an experienced Pembrey racer. It was that every corner there has a blind apex. That, strange as it seems, was not blindingly obvious whilst riding the circuit for the first time, but it explains the clutched buttock feeling I had on a few occasions when I was heading for the grass.

Afterwards Tony's advice helped me a lot and did not help his ever growing ambition to beat me. However, it was not only his help that helped but that of others, like Mervyn's advice. This makes BHR such a great event to race at when such camaraderie like this exists. However, this does not distract from the on track competition.

My third and fourth races were more, or less, repeats of the first two, plus I also beat a T500 Suzuki two stroke twin. I also knocked a couple of seconds off my lap time.

The first race on Sunday in the Girder Fork class was another second for me, with Mervyn again winning.

I was comfortably leading my second race on Sunday, the Unlimited to 1948 class and was having a tremendous scrap with the XS500 Yamaha and the T500 Suzuki two stroke twin, who both had upped their game. I rode around them on the corners, but they would either pass me on the straight, or into a corner, even though on some corners I sometimes actually out braked them. I guess it was swings and roundabouts on different parts of the track for the three of us. I was just lining them up for another pass when the engine cut out cleanly. Luckily I just had time to swerve into the pit lane and coast in.

Before explaining more on that there was one corner that looked like you needed to brake and change down for, but I discovered it was either flat out at high revs in third, or wide open in top. Unfortunately, the next corner, which was before the start/finish straight, I treated with far too much respect. I know I should have been braver because I never had a moment there. At the end of the start/finish straight was a killer of a stop for a hairpin with no landmarks to use as a braking point marker. My front brake worked well there and sometimes I felt like I was going to go over the handlebars.

Back at my pitch in the paddock I discovered that my magneto had packed up. We packed up and went home for an early bath. I still had almost six good rides though, so I am not too unhappy.

I will post some more pictures when I get them, but here are a few to be going on with.

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67427269_10214519289232533_306586976180502528_o.jpg

67361504_2271930319522210_5133284323075555328_n.jpg
 

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