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I just found a photo...

fonusbak

Forum Website User
Non-VOC Member
Hiya

...and hello everyone. I wondered if you might be able to sort out a mystery for me.

The attached photo is of my Great Grandfather and, as far as I can tell, was taken sometime in the 1940's in Sunderland.

I've had a look around on the net and I think his bike could be a Vincent but a few details don't look right - tank badge? lever attached to the tank?

So, if I may prevail on your kindness to have a look I'd appreciate any info you might have.

Cheers
Phil
 

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Alan J

Well Known and Active Forum Website User
VOC Member
Photo

Phil-it doesn't look like a n H.R.D. to me- an early 30's overhead valve twin port single-possible an Ariel?? Somebody will recognise it!! I had a'pully' like that in about 1948!! :D:D
 

Tom Gaynor

Well Known and Active Forum Website User
VOC Member
Name that bike

It isn't a Rudge. The tank is the wrong shape. Front brake is a bit small too - Rudge were fitting 8" brakes very early. Looks as though it is twin port, but pre-war Ariel Red Hunters were twin port. A pedant writes: Rudge didn't sell Rudge engines to other makers. They sold Python engines...
It looks like a late twenties or very early thirties Rudge to me. As Rudges had 4 valve cylinder heads twin exhaust ports were not just for fashion. If is a Rudge I think John Crispin will confirm it. The Vincent in my avitar has a Rudge engine.
 

Tom Gaynor

Well Known and Active Forum Website User
VOC Member
Name that bike, part 2

I took another look. If it was a pre-1936 Rudge, it would have "D forks" - the front struts are straight, the rear struts are curved so that sideways on it looks like a D. Nor are the forks post 36 unless they've been cut about a lot. Post 36 Rudge forks are similar to Bramptons, but better, having forged one piece links like Girdraulics do. Any chance of getting grandad to move his knee so I can see the cylinder head?

It isn't a Rudge. The tank is the wrong shape. Front brake is a bit small too - Rudge were fitting 8" brakes very early. Looks as though it is twin port, but pre-war Ariel Red Hunters were twin port. A pedant writes: Rudge didn't sell Rudge engines to other makers. They sold Python engines...
 

fonusbak

Forum Website User
Non-VOC Member
Wow! Thanks guys, this is great stuff...can't thank you enough.

I'll be on the net all day today following up your leads!

Cheers!
 

Graham Smith

Forum Website Webmaster
VOC Member
VOC Forum Website Administrator
From George Spence, our rarity expert...

Certainly not an HRD, a bit too late its '29 - 30 ish, its a pity his knee's in the way of the engine and the gearbox is out of shot.I don't think it is a Rudge but it has a number of similaritys to a Rudge.
 

Graham Smith

Forum Website Webmaster
VOC Member
VOC Forum Website Administrator
From Jacqueline Bickerstaff - another Vincent expert...

It is definitely not an HRD, being too late with its saddle tank, big
brakes, electric lighting. Nor is it a Vincent-HRD, as there is no rear
springing. No doubt at all, not HRD or Vincent-HRD.

Unfortunately the details are too indistinct, and I cannot identify what
it is. I would guess its date as early to mid thirties from the features
mentioned, plus the twin ports, but still with inverted handlebar
levers, and probably 250-350cc ohv engine. The girder fork links are
inside the blades - that might be a clue as it is unusual (they are
usually outside, like Bramptons, not inside like Girdraulics). From
memory I have seen that feature on Rudges (whose fork probably inspired
the Girdraulic, but the bike is not a Rudge), and on Matchless, but
there are probably a few others.
 

fonusbak

Forum Website User
Non-VOC Member
It's a mystery indeed! I love the comment about getting him to move his knee out of the way too Tom!

As you've all said there are slight differences from the stock photo's. Perhaps - the bike being 10/15 years old by the time the photo was taken - it had been modified with whatever parts were available?

I've asked my Mum to dig through the boxes of photo's see if there are any more...hopefully with a swivelling knee eh?

Thanks again for all the help - please pass on my thanks to George and Jacqueline too. You guys know your bikes!
 

Tom Gaynor

Well Known and Active Forum Website User
VOC Member
Grandpa's bike

It has the look of a lightweight utility model. The tank is quite small, which might mean a 350 or 250. The thumbnail doesn't have high enough reolution to say much more. Good hunting, anyway.
 

johncrispin

Well Known and Active Forum Website User
VOC Member
I am not so sure about the bike not being Rudge as Tom. I agree about the forks but think maybe this could be round section but retro fit, which for the reason Tom mentions might be a good reason to do it. They were not so squeamish about originality, functionality ruled then.
The mudguards have a Rudge look about them as do the rear guard stays of models from the early thirties. 350 & 250 Rudges of that time I believe had a 7" front brake. My suspicion is that it could well be a Rudge, the cylinder is not tall enough for a 500 but the round cases look right. Can we assume the photo is post war as the curved corrugated iron shed looks like Anderson bomb shelter stuff surplus to requirements ?? Anyone checked out to see if the reg no still exists ?
 
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