RUDGE WHITWORTH MULTI – year 1914
Manufacturer: Rudge Whitworth Ltd., Coventry, Anglia
The English company Rudge Whitworth produced motorcycles in the years 1911-1940. The very first Rudge models already had a trapezoidal front suspension, with central spring (widely used from the 1920s). A modern element in the construction of the Rudge was also the so-called. kickstarter, mechanism, which by means of a lever connected to the gear section and the one-way clutch allowed to start the engine (this solution is still used today). The biggest technical peculiarity, however, was the "Multi” - transmission, allows you to choose one of twenty gear ratios ranging from 3,5 : 1 do 7 : 1. The transmission of the drive to the rear wheel was carried out in a traditional way, with a V-belt, and the innovative element was a pulley with a variable diameter, mounted on the motor shaft. Combined with the rear wheel pulley, operating on a similar principle, it formed an efficient team, for quick and near-smooth shifting. As the diameter of the drive pulley increases, the diameter of the driven wheel decreased yes, that the belt was kept under constant tension. It required, Although, a very long stroke of the long control lever of this gearbox, but it was not inconvenient to use. „Multi” — system, initially intended for bicycles, was used on Rudge motorcycles until the 1923 year, in which it was eventually replaced with three- and four-speed gearboxes.
Model z 1914 the year had a single-cylinder engine with displacement 499 cm3 with mixed (upper-lower) valve arrangement. He was gaining power 2,6 kW (2,5 KM). Engine, equipped with a Sunspray carburetor and CAV magneto, it was suspended in a single tubular frame, with two top bars: over- and sub-reservoir. Flat fuel tank – typical for vehicles from this period – walked between the two beams, and for ease of assembly, it was attached only to the upper one. Rudge motorcycles competing in races were equipped with larger fuel tanks, with aerodynamic shapes.
Despite many innovative design ideas, the company stubbornly used outdated block brakes in its vehicles, rim-operated and straight, but archaic engine lubrication with an open oil circuit, which made it difficult for her to achieve more serious successes in sports competitions. Finally, the use of effective drum brakes, a dry sump lubrication system and foot-operated gearbox broke the company's losing streak and brought the long-awaited victory in the Tourist Trophy in 1930 year.