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CYCLECAR AND MOTOR CYCLE NOTES.

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CYCLECAR AND MOTOR CYCLE NOTES. [BY CELERITER.] THE SIX DAYS' TRIALS: AFTERMATH. PETROL-CUT. The Autocycle Union have once again come in for a good deal of criticism in regard to the conduct of one of its trials. The 1914 Six Days' Trials will probably be long remembered by those who took part in them as the worst on record. The Trials held in 1913 were considered bad enough, so bad in fact that many leading manufac- turers decided to boycott this year's trials on account of the very rough course selected last- year yet the Union officials thought fit to choose even worse roads for this year's event. Those who are familiar with the hills that abound round Sheffield on all sides, even on the second-class roads, can appreciate the tremendous obstacles that were put in the way of the Six Days' com- petitors, when third and even fourth-class roads were selected for the route, let alone when wild moorland tracks were included in the day's run. Those who are not familiar with the stone wall country need only scan the photos in the motoring papers to realise what a road or, rather, a track can be like even in this civilised country of ours. Grindon Hill, on which nearly every com- petitor failed, appears to have been the bete fttlir of the trial, and perhaps it is well that it came on the first day of the six. The question arises as to whether such a hill should be used in any trial. In the first place it shows that the modern motor cycle has got to such a state of perfection that nothing short of such a hill, and many similar ones, will serve to give it anything like a certain test. Secondly, is it wise in the interests of motor cycling to expect machines and rtders to negotiate such hills? The probability is that manufacturers will refuse to support the Six Days in future, and when they cease to do this they will soon cease to support trials altogether, which will be a pity, for the motor cycle is not yet, good as it is, in such a state of perfection that it cannot be further improved by the reliability trials carried out in proper man- ner and over reasonable courses. The net result of the Six Days' Trials is that only some 50 per cent. of those who emtered managed to gain any award the .emainder of the competitors had to retire on account of broken frames, broken forks, damaged crank cases, ruined tyres, broken gears and other accidents. Over ordinary roads such as the ordinary rider would ride such accidents hardly ever happen to the modern machine, and it is doubtful whether constant use over colonial roads would lead to such breakages with the exception of the frames, so that really these breakages teach ue nothing, or at least they do not prove that because one machine got through the trial without any of the above breakages, it is less liable to give trouble on the road in the ordinary way than another make which was not lucky enough to get through-in fact, the list of tho3e who retired contained the names of more machines of one make that did not get through than does the list of these that got through in several in- stances. Probably the greatest lesson of the trial is that the 41 b.p. single cylinder motor cycle And sidecar managed to gain a gold medal and finish with three marks less than the highest marks obtained by any other sidecar machine, none of which were less than 6 b.p. or bad less than three cylinders. It is only fair to say this performance was put up by a James machine. The next lesson—and it points to the same moral-is that the team prize (awarded to the team with the highest aggregate marks) went to the Douglas team, whose machines of 2! h.p. were amongst the smallest in the trial, there being only six smaller machines ert?red. The results, too, seemed to point to another victory for chain drive, for of the 45 machines to gain gold medals, 28 had all chain drive, three bad combined chain and belt and only 14 had all belt drive. Of the remainder which gained awards four bad chain drive, and the rpst with one exception had belt drive. Of the remainder that failed to finish were about equally divided between belt and chain drive. The 2!, h.p. Clyno was the only two- stroke lightweight to gain a gold medal, though the only other two-stroke make repre- sented, the Levis and the Connaught," both obtained awards, the former a bronze and the latter a silver medal. The two Ii h.p. two-strnke Bayton" machines, the Amallest in the trials, managed to hold out until Thursday—the day which caused most retirements—and it is wonderful that they managed to get through the trials with their tiny engines. The P. & M." machines and the Match- less" team, which came in second and third respectively, are both chain driven types, and when one remembers that the Matchless all three had sidecars attached, their per- formance becomes all the more noteworthy. Another lesson which the Trial taught, is that the sidecar outfits which had brakes on the sidecar wheels made a better descent on the hills than those which were not so well equipped. In view of the large number of sidecar outfits of high power now on the road sidecar brakes could be made standard, for besides saving the back tyre of the motor cycle, which is bound to wear out more rapidly if it had to carry all the braking, a sidecar brake would give greater safety and greater comfort and also be of assistance when cornering. According to the official inspection of the machines at the end of the Trials, kick starters appear to have undergone considerable improvement since last year's trials, for nearly all of them appeared to be in proper working order. The cyclecars in point of numbers did just as well as the motor cycles, for 50 per cent of them gained some award. This is really a splendid result and must go a long to con- vince hesitating lightcarists as to the wonder- ful efficiency and hill climbing power of the lightcar of to-day. Those lightcars which completed the course climbed hills and travelled over roads such as the very maddest sidecar driver would never attempt to cover in the ordinary course of events. The 10 h.p. Calthorpe gained the highest number of marks, and succeeded in beating the Morgan," which generally has a walk over in events such as these where hill climbing and rough roads are the prime consideration. The Morgan, however, put up a fine performance by making the fastest time of the day in the speed test on the Doncaster track, beating even the fastest motor cycle. Another Morgan gained a gold medal and the remaining two of the quartette entered were placed hors de combat as the result of accidents which cast no reflection on the machines themselves—one overturned on a corner and the other ran into a wall and damaged the front axle. Taken as a whole the trial should prove to the most sceptical would-be purchaser of either motor cycle or light car that there are many makes to be bad which will take one anywhere without the least fear of failure or breakdown. I THE FALL OF PETROL. A penny a gallon off the price of petrol is not such a mighty sum that the ranks of motorists will be increased by leaps and bounds, but it is a welcome sign that the petrol magnates are at last finding out that it will not do to sqeeze the motorist too hard. Barely 12 months ago when the price of petrol seemed to be ever on the increase, the excuse put forward was that there was a shortage at the oil wells, and a shortage of tank steamers to bring over the scanty supply of petrol that was available, sol sup- pose we shall now hear that a lot of new tank steamers have been put into service and a lot more oil discovered—hence the reduction. I should rather doubt, however, if this is the real reason for the reduction, rather, I should imagine, that the petrol people are beginning to feel the pinch from the competition of benzole and other home- produced spirits that have been and are still being put on to the market. It is only a short time since benzole became known, and a still shorter time since the producers succeeded in getting proper distribution systems to work so that the motorist could always or nearly always depend upon getting a supply, and now that motorists are begin- ning to realise that benzole does not harm their engines or their tanks they are buying this cheaper and more effective spirit in place of petrol. The petrol people have reduced their prices, not because they want the public to pay less for their spirit, but because they want them to come back to them and forget the benzole people. Now this is the time when the motorist must do more than ever to help the benzole man. If he goes back to petrol the price will come no lower, and may in fact go higher again, but if he stands by the benzole people and helps them to build up a strong wall they will probably be able to lower their prices very considerably and ultimately make the petrol man do the same, and in the end the benzole man will probably come out on top, if in the meantime some even cheaper spirit is not found. Anyway, whatever happens, if you are using benzole now, even if it costs you as much as second grade petrol, don't go back to petrol, for if you do you will only be helping the petrol people to fight the benzole people, who have at least helped to bring down the price of petrol and probably prevent it from going up as it might have done if they bad not been with us. Motor cyclists and light car drivers on tour will find a, very useful list of places where benzole may be obtained in every issue of The Motor." The idea that benzole has some chemical action on the petrol tank and on the engine itself is a bogie, but as I am still continually being asked if this is so I am taking this opportunity to state that such an idea is just as far from the facts as it can be.

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