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--I CYCLECAR AND MOTOR CYCLE…

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CYCLECAR AND MOTOR CYCLE NOTES. [By CELERITER.] MODERN RELIABILITY TRIALS. A CURIOUS MISHAP AND A WARNING. Is the reliability trial played out or does it still survive a useful purpose to the manufacturer or to the buyer or to both ? The modern motor cycle is so efficient, so reliable, and with suitable gears so easily kbl6 to climb the steepest hills that the club officios who promote these reliability trials are often at their wits end to find a course and include tests which will prevent all or nearly all competitors from gaining gold medals, and when it comes to finding a winner for a premier award in the shape of a cup or trophy then their difficulties are increased. The average one day reliability trial has no terrors for the modern motor oycle with its three-speed gear. As an instance the Coventry and Warwickshire Motor Cycle Club's trial last week end showed how reliable the motor cycle of to- day is, for nearly 50 per cent. of the riders got through with elean sheets, notwith- standing the fact that such hills as Portway, Rodborough Lane, the Nailswortb, W," and the famous Birdlip were included in the course, not to mention Sudeley and Willersey. On Birdlip, which only a year or two ago was a terror to all motor cyclists, there was not a single failure either amongst the solo motor cycles or those with sidecars; in fact all machines appeared to get up the hill without the least difficulty. On the other bills there were only a few failures. Stoppages on the level, too, were few and lar between, and in most cases due to trivial defects, but which, however, put the com- petitors out, as non-stop conditions had to be observed throughout. In view of the results in this and other big reliability trials, it may safely be said that taken from «*-purelv touring standpoint, all or nearly all the machines would be eligible for gold medals, but in order to keep down the cumber of gold medals and to find a winner for the premier award, some system of mark- ing has to be adopted which, however, does not really affect the value of the machine as a reliable touring mount for the ordinary rider. One favourite plan nowadays is to include an accelleration test either up hill or on the level, marks being awarded for the beat performance made. This, however, tfoes not signify that the machine which can accelerate most quickly is the most reliable touring mount. Then again, some clubs ^iopt a stopping and restarting test on a steep hill. Any machine which fails to re- start within a certain time is penalised. This may be useful, but again it does not prove that the winner in this test is the best I touring machine or the most reliable. A flexibility hill climb, where the machine making the biggest difference between a "> #Iow climb up part of the hill and a fast tclimb up the remainder is awarded most marks, is fairly useful, as it is certainly an advantage to have a flexible machine. A slow climb up hill with the engine firing I regularly and steadily would be a useful test, and would be of use on an ordinary touring machine, but when all is said and done all these little side tests ase away from the main issue, which is to and the most reliable touring machine— jt machine which will stand hard wear day in and day out for say a 12 month without wanting any attention except an "occaøional oiling and tuning up. It seems to me the ordinary reliability trial over 150 and 200 mile course is not enough no matter how many hills are included, for as pointed out no ordinary hill presents any difficulty I to the average trial machines or to the average three speed gear machine of modern construction. What is wanted if the reli- ability trial is to survive is a series of long distance rides at speeds in excess of 20 m.p.h., for it must be borne in mind that no ciub can at present organise a trial with a, -whedule worked out at anything more than 20 m.p.h., yet so many motor cyclists are content with this low average when touring even. If a long distance trial over, say 1.000 miles could be arranged at an average speed of 25 m.p.h then the day of the absolutely perfect "no-attention" machine would be hastened forward. The nearest approach to such a trial is the Six Days trial Organised by the A.C.U. and following this in importance come the M.C.C.'s annual trial to Lands End and to Edinburgh or the Bir- mingham M.C.C.'s Annual Lands End and Edinburgh Trial. These trials each over a course nearly 500 miles long, has to be traversed in ordinary touring conditions, and there is not time for any lengthy repair or adjustment to be undertaken which might be necessary when a machine is suffering from the fatigue of say an 800 mile run which it might not suffer from in a 150 mile run. Hence, the long distance trial has much to be said in its favour from the point of view of being more instructive and of greater value to the touring rider than a short one day trial, even though the latter might be under non-stop conditions, and the former go-as-you-please except as regards the time checks at certain known places. The hill climb is practically a thing of the past, for manufacturers and public alike realise that there is little to be learnt from a hill climb, whilst from a spectatoral point of view there is nothing more wearisome. From a sporting point of view, perhaps, there is a little to be said in its favour though even this aspect is dying out. The reliability trial if run on long distance lines can still serve a useful purpose, and at the same time can be looked upon by the riders as an organised tour with the pleasure of meeting other motoring men at the end of the day's run, and in addition there is the possibility of winning a prize. A CURIOUS MISHAP. I A few weeks, whilst driving my Enfield Autolette, I had a curious mishap which though fortunately was not very serious may serve as a warning as the possibilities might be far more serious. Whilst driving along a main road with tramlines down the centre, the car suddenly swerved from the left-hand side of the road right across to the right- hand side, steering wheel was locked hard over to try and correct the skid and brake applied hard. The car did not stop, until the off froat wheel had collided with tha £ of a coal cart going in an opposite direction, buckled up the car wheel, ruined the mud- guard, bent the axle, and one of the steering tie rods. The cause of the accident was not far to see. The speedometer driving the mechanism in the form of two spur gear wheels, one bolted to the spokes of the road wheel, the other suspended from the stub axle steering arm, bad fouled the wheel, and locked in. The attachment which held the small spur wheel to the stub axle arm had somehow worked loose and caused all this trouble. Had a tram been coming along instead of a coal cart, there might have been a bad smash, though fortunately I was slowing down to take a corner, and was not doing more than 10 m. p.h. Curiously enough, I always had trouble with this particular speedometer drive, from the very first, and now it finally smashed the car up two days before I was to take delivery of a new one. Having had this trouble with the gearing before, though it had never come loose and got into the wheel before, I had ordered a similar speedometer-a Watford- but with a drive from the propeller shaft of the car by belt. I have since done over 2,000 miles with this drive, and found it much more satisfactory than the gear drive, being quieter, out of sight, and it is quite impossible to cause an accident as above, no matter what happens to it. Those about to fit' speedometers to their cars, I should most certainly advise them to have the type which is driven off the cardan (propeller) shaft, and to those who have the gear type driven off the road wheels, I should advise a periodical inspection to ascertain that nothing is loose or coming loose. THE TOURIST TROPHY RACES. I Possiblv there may be many motor cyclists who are thinking of going over to the Isle of Man to see the races for the first time, and taking their machines with them, but if they ask the advice of those who have been over and taken their machines with them in previous years, they will speedily find that their advice is don't," and I can heartily endorse this. In the first place, the landing facilities either at Liverpool or Fleetwood are very bad, though I believe they are a little better at Heysham, bnt the unloading at Douglas is the very limit; if the tide is down it is necessary to have the machine carried up about 30 slimy stone steps at the risk of machine and porters slipping, and causing considerable damage. The same process has to be repeated on leaving the Isle, then the melee of machine on board the boat is enough to break the heart of any owner who takes the least pride in his for it is sure to be minus something before he gets it to shore, also plus something in the way of scratched. Sidecars have to be removed from the machines as a rule, though I did once see one machine with sidecar attached hoisted out of the hold, but the owner had to wait nearly an hour for it. The Isle of Man Authorities do not seem to want motor cyclists and their machines in the Island, for they have some very stringent regulations, and far too many formalities to be gone through on landing, and no riding is allowed on the Sunday prior to the race, and no carrier riding is allowed at any time. No, to those about to take their machines over to the Island for the races, I can only say don't."

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