The way we were: December

By Richard Rosenthal, 8 November 2013

Apart from the Indian Hendee Special Model equipped with electric starter, lights and horn, other makers in 1913 are looking at equipping solo machines, sidecar outfits and cycle cars with electric lights...

At the recent Olympia Show, Motosacoche displayed an electrically equipped motorcycle. Of simpler design than Indian’s, the Motosacoche design comprises a saddle tube mounted dynamo driven by the rear wheel to charge a battery mounted within a box on a footboard. As the rear wheel turns, the tyre drives a small roller mounted to one end of the dynamo’s armature. Theoretically at 30mph the armature will rotate at circa 10,000rpm causing the dynamo to charge the battery at too high a rate, but the makers state at higher road speeds the roller slips to an extent, which increases with road speed, to self regulate the charge rate. An automatic magnet cut-out disconnects the dynamo from the battery at 7mph to prevent discharge through the dynamo.

On the battery box are an ammeter, light switches and a fuse. Head, side, rear and inspection lamps are available for the Motosacoche system. Other concepts available at the Olympia Show comprise heavy dynamos for charging equally heavy batteries, which although suitable for cycle cars and even motorcycle sidecar outfits, don’t suit solos. However, S Wolf & Co displayed a small dynamo, which has promise for solo motorcycle applications.

December 1938
Alan Jeffries (Triumph) and Dennis Mansell (Norton s/c) win the landmark British Experts Trial run by the Birmingham MCC. Recent torrential rain made a testing course the hardest ever experienced by the experts.

December 1963
New machines recently unveiled include the latest version of the IoM built Peel 50cc three-wheeled runabout priced at £199-19-6d and an updated five model range of competition machines, available in kit form or complete by Scorpion Motor Cycles of Silverstone Works, Northants.

December 1988
Norton announced the tobacco giant John Player is to back its Formula One World Championship attempt. Riders may be Trevor Nation and Steve Spray.

Buell has unveiled a 1200cc Harley-Davidson powered sports motorcycle. Production will be limited to 200 and priced at circa £8000.

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The Classic MotorCycle Issue 41-12 - Dec 2014

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