The way we were: October


The annual Olympia, London, motor cycle show cancellation was confirmed. To assist riders and the traders, The Motor Cycle proposed to publish a ‘Buyer’s Guide Number’ in November detailing specifications, prices and images of all 1915 season models and accessories from details supplied by makers and agents, including the new Jardine four-speed gearbox.

The first Jardine GH gearbox had two ratios, then in 1913 a three-speed model was offered and in 1914 John Jardine of Nottingham launched a four-speed gearbox, shown above. Experience confirmed the two-speed gearbox system was streets ahead of the single-speed concept, three-speed gearing was superior to the two-speed option and now the belief was a four-speed gearbox would be better still.

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Jardine had included all gears, shafts and kick-start mechanism within the main shell. In operation all gear wheels were always in mesh, with changes effected by a single dog clutch. As the kick-starter was part of the internal design it was always lubricated. Two neutrals were available, between first/second and third/fourth pinions. Final drive is by a robust 8in gearbox pulley and belt.

The Motor Cycle tried the gearbox fitted to an 8hp sidecar outfit and was taken by the smoothness of clutch operation in its take up of drive. Of single plate design, with a double row of corks, the clutch showed no ill effects after a number of starts involving slipping the clutch. Price and availability were yet to be confirmed.

The Ministry of Home Security announced a new type of headlamp mask for night driving and riding. The design had a transmission factor of 70% and the use of headlamp bulbs not exceeding 36W was permissible. Until generally available, screen headlamps as detailed by Nitor in The Motor Cycle of September 21 can be used.

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All change at MZ. Factory rider Alan Shepherd received a telegram from Honda to test its racers at Suzuka alongside team leader Jim Redman. Derek Woodman was the proposed MZ factory rider for all classic meetings, but had no contract yet. MZ signed with Castrol and as Derek Minter was contracted to them, the speculation was would the Mint be on MZs next year?

The threat of a 400cc limit for road-going motorcycles was on the table again and the British motorcycle industry conceded ‘Brussels’ has a legitimate voice on the grounds of safety despite conflicting evidence gathered by the BMF and other groups.

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