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CYCLECAR AND MOTOR CYCLE NOTES.

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CYCLECAR AND MOTOR CYCLE NOTES. [BY CELERITER.] 1914 PROSPECTS. A WORD ABOUT CUT-OUTS. Exit 1913, enter 1914. A happy and prosperous New Year to all my readers, may their motoring during 1914 be free from breakdowns, accidents, fines, plenty of fine weather, good roads and dry, and no tax on benzol or increase in price of petrol. 1913 will no doubt be looked back upon by many motorists as remarkable in many ways. The fine weather, which is always of such im- portance to the motorist and which gives rise to so much concern, extended much longer than usual, and I do not remember a year when there has been such a short period of muddy roads. Possibly those who only motor at the week-ends will not realise what long periods of dry roads we experiencd, as there were a good many wet week-ends though there were very few wet weekdays, with the result that as a whole the roads have been remarkably dry during the year. Whether 1914 will be as favourable as regards the weather remains to be seen, and fortunately we cannot foretell what is in «tore as regatds the weather, though we can perhaps forecast to some extent what the general trend of motoring is likely to be during the next 12 months. Personally I am inclined to think 1914 will be a boom year for lightweights-the lightweight car and the lightweight motor cycle. A year ago I predicted that the cyclecar would not be very greatly in favour for 12 months or so, as it was then untried and almost unknown, but by 1914 it would be "well known and would be fast coming into favour. I am now quite certain that these views are correct. The light car type of cyclecar-and this is the only type being manufactured in any quantity to-day with the exception of two or three makes more on motor cycle lines, which have been with us for a year or two already—has proved its merits, and there is no doubt that public interest in this class of vehicle is aroused to enthusiasm. Makers are turning out large numbers, and by the end of the year there is no doubt a very large number of cyclecars will be on the road. The lightweight motor cycle is not in quite the same position as the cyclecar as regards being something new that the public might hesitate to buy until it has proved its merits, for as a whole the lightweight machine is so simple that there is little to go wrong, and then again there is not the same financial risk in buying a lightweight machine at say C25 as there is in buying a cyclecar at £100 or over, therefore I think it may safely be said that the public will start to invest in the new lightweights aa soon as the fair weather comes round again, and they will be perfectly safe in doing so if they stick to the best makes-those machines made by firms who have already had experience with heavier motor cycles. There is one feature in our motoring which will gain in prominence in 1914 to the sorrow of those motorists who reside in or around large towns, and that is the extension of motor-bus services into the -country, or to link up adjoining towns. These heavy vehicles soon play havoc with ordinary macadam roads, and the resultant pot holes and ruts do not add to the enjoy- ment of motoring. As I have remarked previously, the only -consolation we can get out of this is the fact that in time our road surveyors will have to make better roads to withstand the increas- ing and heavier traffic, so that we may look upon the coming of the heavy vehicle into Tural districts as a blessing in disguise. Though the motor cycle has reached the stage of perfection which it is almost un- necessary to go, there are still many minor improvements that might he effected in the design of the motor cycle itself, whilst some of the accessories could be considerably improved upon. It is to be hoped that 1914 will bring forth all the desired improve- ments, and that the close of the year will see the well-nigh perfect mount. Tyres are perhaps the most necessary accessories, and there is still much room for improvement here. We are far from satisfied with the motor cycle tyre as a whole, and indeed there is reason for this, aeeing that, petrol excepted, this is the most important item in the up-keep bill. Punctures do not worry us as much as they used to, but there is always the risk of a puncture, and what is there more annoying than the feeling one experiences when bowl- ing along the highway at a good speed to keep an appointment with the ever-present risk of stoppage through a puncture. I have before me details of a new tyre, for which it is claimed one or two punctures more or less have no effect on the running, and I will describe this at, a later date. There is undoubtedly room for improvement in our tyres, and it is to be hoped that 1914 will see this improvement effected. Better mud-guarding—that old theme of mine-is a cry that is still with us. Would it be too much to predict that the year in front of us will heo the cry banished for <^ver. Iam afraid it ia, but there is no I doubt that makers are beginning to realise the importance of proper mud-guarding, and are trying to cope with the problem accordingly. The year will probably see a revival in the interest taken in motor cycle and light car trials, particularly trials W for lightweight motor cycles and cycle cars. The hill climb for medium and heavyweight trials is as dead as the dodo, but there may be a revival amongst lightweight enthusi- asts, and club secretaries should cater for them. Reliability trials, which showed a falling off last year, appear to be reviving again, and it is to be hoped for all con- concerned, the general body of motorists, particularly, that the reliability trial will never quite die out, for it teaches manufac- turers so much. L ABOUT CUT-OUTS. I I have received a letter from the Auto- mobile Association with regard to the ques- tion of the use of cut-outs on machines on public highways. The Assdciation state that complaints are being received from many quarters that the Order prohibiting cut-outs is not being observed, or that its provisions are being evaded. Questions have been asked in Parliament on the sub- ject, and the Association is aware that the Local Government Board are considering whether further or more drastic action may not be necessary on their part if the annoy- ance continues. The Association has on many occasions expressed its disapproval of the use of cut-outs, and it has now been decided that in future members of the A.A. and M. U. shall not be defended by the Association in any proceedings which may be instituted in respect of the use of cut- outs on public highways unless the Committee shall be of opinion that there is a possibility of substantial injustice being done. The Com- mittee of the Association has already appealed to motorists to refrain from the use of the cut-out on the ground that it is unnecessary, that is a source of legitimate grievance on the part of the inhabitants of the towns and villages on our main roads, and that it should be regarded by all right-thinking motorists as bad form. I am entirely in agreement with the A.A. so far as the use of the cut-out is concerned, and I am sure the majority of motorists will realise the annoy- ance caused by the noisy machine. There are very noisy machines on our roads to-day, but, as in all other things, the majority have to suffer for the sins of the minority. In time no doubt those motor cyclists who go about creating a disturbance will see the error of their ways, and possibly the warning published by the A.A. will serve to hasten the time. A TRIO QF MOTORING I PUBLICATIONS. I have received from Messrs Temple Press Ltd the following useful publications :— The Motorist's Workshop is a most useful book, suited to the amateur mechanic who undertakes his own motor repairs. The book is written in as nontechnical a manner M possible, yet it covers most of the jobs usually undertaken by the amateur engineer. The necessary tools and materials are dealt with, and such operations as forging, tem- pering, annealing and case hardening are dealt with. The book is published at Is. How to build a cyclecar is another of the publications. This unique little book should appeal to the amateur engineer who desires to build his own machine, and there are many engaged upon such a task. The sub- ject is treated with a copious detail, and scale plans and diagrams are given. The amateur is not called upon to undertake any operations beyond his ability, as the author definitely allows for the assistance of the assistance of the local repairer or garage when the most difficult work is carried out. The reader who studies the book will find that building a cyclecar is not a very diffi- cult business after all. This book is published at Is net. For the motorist who is contemplating the purchase of a cyclecar the Lightcar and Cyclecars of 1914 has been compiled and he should obtain a copy for making his choice of machine. The book describes and illus- trates most of the prominent makes now on the market, and also gives a useful guide to buyers arranged in order of price. The price is 6d or 7aL post free from the publisher-The Temple Press Ltd, Roaebery Avenue, London, E.C.

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