Saturday, January 31, 2009

Major Motorcycle Rallies for 2009

In the off season, many riders like to plan rides to various motorcycle rallies. I have just updated my motorcycle rally article and schedule for 2009 to assist you.

Motorcycle rallies (biker rallies) are simply gatherings of riders and motorcycles at specified times and places usually with attendant vendors, food, games, and other activities.

Motorcycle rallies or biker rallies may last from a day to more than a week. Some major motorcycle or biker rallies are built around organized professional motorcycle races.

Motorcycle rally attendance varied widely from a low of a couple of dozen riders or less to huge organized rallies with hundreds of thousands of riders.

My updated article, Motorcycle Rallies (Biker Rallies) - Major Rallies for Motorcycles, gives basic information about motorcycle rallies. The second page of this article contains my list of the top motorcycle rallies.

The picture shows me raising my arm after I parked my bike on Main Street at the 1993 Sturgis Rally. That was the year of the great Midwest floods.

Piaggio Recalls Aprilia Scarabeo 200 for Carburetor Problem

Piaggio has issued a recall of certain 2008-2009 Aprilia Scarabeo 200 motorcycles.

The float level in the float bowl of the carburetor was not set correctly in production, dirt and the varnish residue of dried gasoline not allowing the float needle to seat correctly, and a blockage of the evaporative emission hoses that did not allow the float bowl to vent correctly. The carburetor was not able to maintain correct or constant pressure in the float bowl. Inconsistent pressure in the float bowl would either push too much or not enough fuel to and through the jets for any one throttle position which does not allow the carburetor to correctly meter fuel to the engine.

1260 units are affected.

Check out my Motorcycle Recalls feature for more details.

Piaggio Recalls Aprilia Scarabeo 100 for Emission and Fuel Problems

Piaggio has issued a recall of certain 2008-2009 Aprilia Scarabeo 100 motorcycles.

In the evaporative emission system there are hoses connecting the fuel tank to the charcoal canister through which the evaporative emission passes. It has shown that the emission hoses to the canister were pinched and/or crimped. In other cases the hoses in and out of the charcoal canister were installed backwards, the roll over valve for the fuel tank was installed incorrectly, and in other cases there was dirt in the carburetor and still others had faulty float valves in the carburetor.

740 units are affected.

Check out my Motorcycle Recalls feature for more details.

Friday, January 30, 2009


The word 'tire', or 'tyre' to the English-speakers, originated with the steel bands holding wooden wagon wheels together, which were forged by wheelwrights. These bands not only made for a hard-wearing surface for the wheel perimeter, but served to 'tie' the wheel and spokes together - they were literally the 'tie-r' of the wheel. The English like to think they spell things correctly but in fact the spelling 'tire' is older than 'tyre', which appeared in the 15th century. Subsequently, the word 'tire' became generic for any wearing surface on a wheel, whether a cart, bicycle, car, or a steam train, and whether the material was steel, rubber, or wooden balls bound by wire (a few of the more desperate examples can be seen in the photo below, from Munich's Technische Museum).

I'll skip ahead a few centuries to the birth of our subject, the Pneumatic tire, which supplanted the solid rubber item popular on early bicycles, cars, and motorcycles. The 'aha' moment came for John Boyd Dunlop (below) in 1887, while watching his son bump uncomfortably along a cobbled street on his tricycle.

Dunlop laid thin sheets of rubber, glued together, over the solid tires on the trike, adding an inflator valve from a football, and voila, the pneumatic tire was born. He patented the idea in 1888, and by 1889 had opened tire manufacturing plants in Dublin and Birmingham - clearly not a man to dawdle over a good idea! Another type of pneumatic tire was invented in 1845 by Robert William Thompson, but his system was too expensive for commercial production, and Dunlop gets the credit for the first practical pneumatic tire, and the first to be commercially produced. Mind you, his patent was for bicycle tires, which of course dovetails very nicely into our subject; motorcycle history (see the wonderful photo of J.B.D. enjoying the fruits of his labor, below).

Motorcycle tires of the Dunlop pattern used a very simple system to ensure positive location on the steel wheel rims of the day. High air pressure, at 40-60lbs/square inch, kept the rubber sidewalls firm against the wheel flange, which was a curved lip 0f folded steel, mated to a corresponding rubber 'bead' cast into the tire base itself (see illustration).

This method of attachment works quite well to keep the the wheel stable, at the expense of a rock-hard ride from the highly inflated tire. It has always been, since the earliest days of tire on rim, a temptation to lower the pressure within such tires, to increase the 'give' of the rubber and provide some form of cushioning against road shocks. This is fully understandable given the terrible road surfaces of the day - packed dirt or gravel were about the best one could hope for in the years 1890-1928, as the Macadam system of asphaltum-glued gravel laid in smooth beds and compressed flat were quite rare except in urban areas, which had the tax base capable of the high expenditure necessary for such infrastructure investment.

The terrific downside of under-inflation with these 'clincher' or 'beaded-edge' type tires is the possibility of rapid deflation as a consequence of a sharp blow. Of course, a 'blowout' or quick loss of air from a puncture or tear is a possibility on any inflated tire, but this early method of fastening tire to rim has the distinct charm of immediately tearing the tire from the rim if pressure is lost, as only air pressure holds the two firmly together. The consequence, Every Single Time, is a spill, as the tire magically transforms into a rubber snake hell-bent on tying itself in knots between the wheel proper and any frame or fork tubes nearby, thus locking up the wheel, which has already become an ultra-low-friction steel ski on the road surface.

Tire manufacturers developed a new type of wheel rim/tire combination around 1924 which became the standard for all automobile and motorcycle tires from then until the present day. The new system, called 'well-rim' or 'wired-edge' wheels, uses a much stiffer tire which, although far more difficult to install, does not rely on air pressure to maintain its place on the wheel rim. Thus, if deflation occurs, the tire simply goes 'flat', but stays on the rim, and the wheels continue to rotate on rubber, albeit in a wobbly/frightening manner. Still, this was a tremendous improvement in safety, and the number of crashes from deflation plummeted. Tires were made gradually thicker, heavier, and more substantial over the ensuing decades, and additions of nylon, then steel cording under the tread, and ultimately fully 'radial' tires (invented in 1946, by Michelin) for cars and, later, motorcycles were developed. New motorcycle tires are 'tubeless', yet rely on those basic principles developed in the 1920's to stay on the rim.

Falling off a motorcycle at speed really hurts, at best. I've been thrown from my motorcycle at 50 mph from a mechanical front wheel lockup, and suffered the effects for quite a while from the resultant 'high-side'; it was motorcycle jiu-jitsu, and I lost. I bring all this up after my friend James experienced a blow-out on his '24 Sunbeam, which used 'clinchers', as does my '25 Sunbeam. As fans of 'period correctness', we were quite happy that our machines retained their original equipment, and had no intention of changing over to more 'modern' well-type rims and tires, as the vast majority of 1920's machines have done. We had recently discussed proper inflation with our 'clinchers', and James stated that he was using 25lbs/sq" pressure front and rear on his Sunbeam, as the ride was almost unbearable at the 40lbs recommended pressure for the Dunlop 'Cord' tires he had installed, at great expense (they cost ~$300 each).
After James' fatal accident, a query from a distant acquantance led to a bit of mutual research into 'clincher' tire safety.

The result of this research was very sobering, and I'm posting it here in the fervent hope of obviating any additional risk when using these 80-years-obsolete tires. Using them at all is a risk per se, with their known defect of sudden detachment from the rim after deflation. But, with proper care, a greater measure of safety is possible.

According to Radco's book 'The Vintage Motorcyclists' Workshop' (Haynes, 1986), a 2.5" wide clincher tire of 24" diameter (the size of my and James' Sunbeam) at 24lbs inflation, has a load capacity per tire of 150lbs. Assuming a 250lb motorcycle, plus 175lb rider, give or take, that's 425lbs, or 212.5lbs load per tire. Thus, at 24lbs/sq" pressure, the tires are 62.5lbs OVERLOADED, just standing still.

Radco further states (see chart, above) that inflation of 36lbs equals a 320lb permissible load per tire, which gives over 100lbs of 'leeway' on the tire loading; ie, less likelihood that the tire will blow out under rapid compression, as from a large rock or sharp crease in the road. A little further investigation; in 'Dyke's Automobile and Gasoline Engine Encyclopedia' of 1927, a 'high pressure pneumatic tire' (ie clincher) should be inflated to 45lbs or more. Further still; a Society of Automotive Engineers (S.A.E.) chart of the same era lists 3" Cord-type tires (exactly the size and type of my Sunbeam) as requiring a minimum of 40lbs pressure. Vintage Tyre Supply is a primary source of the Dunlop Cord clinchers available today, as used on my Sunbeam (and James' too), but they don't list any tire pressure recommdations for these tires on their website, only for their automotive and 'well-rim' motorcycle tires. Another source of modern 'clinchers', Universal Tyre Co. lists pressures for all their tires on their website, and they recommend 60-65lbs pressure for such motorcycle tires. Longstone Classic Tires recommends a minimum of 60lbs pressure for their tires as well. This should be food for thought for anyone riding on clinchers, as I do. It is imperative that they are properly inflated, to at least 35-40lbs/sq". Under-inflation is dangerous, and could prove fatal; as risk-takers, we owe it to ourselves to be safe when it's within our power.

If you have a perverse interest in tire history, you can download a copy of the B.F Goodrich book from 1918, 'Best in the Long Run', which was used to train their sales representatives. It give a comprehensive history of tires from the earliest days through 1918. Googlebooks has made it possible to read/download the book, for free, here.

Friday's Flashback

Some more old stuff.

Inspiration. Ed Newton's Knucklehead art from the November 1968 Choppers magazine prompted me to do the drawing below.

1969. Not bad for a 13 year old kid. This was the first time I did a color drawing of a chopper. I purposely got wacky and exaggerated the engine, frame, and forks. As for the riders, that's another story.

Mind Blower! I haven't seen this for 40 years. All my old drawings have been kept in plastic sleeves in a binder since drawn. I had no idea this sketch was on the back until I pulled the art to scan.

Foot Peg Fetish Update

I stole this recently posted photo from Chopper Dave. He has been given Randy Smith's original patterns to use. Note Randy's original "Holy Pegs" pattern. Read the comments for the previous post below for more info. Don't confuse CCE (Custom Cycle Engineering), with CCI, (Custom Chrome Inc.).

Wednesday, January 28, 2009


By John de Kruif

James Lansdowne Norton designed the company’s first experimental overhead camshaft (OHC) engines in the mid-1920s. After his death, Walter Moore took over development of this engine, resulting in the birth of the CS1 (‘CamShaft 1’) in 1926, an engine best known for the ‘cricket bat’ timing case. Moore also designed a new cradle frame which was shorter and stronger than the previous flat-tank design; the new combination did very well, until Moore redesigned the cylinder heads in 1928. According to Stanley Woods in a 1990 interview, Moore ‘made a complete mess out of it’; the redesigned engines were troubled by overheating due to a poor design of the combustion chamber. The TT races for that year ended with very few Norton victories. The heated discussions which inevitably followed resulted in Moore quitting his job [and moving to NSU – there is speculation that Moore intentionally hexed his engine, after being denied a seat on Norton’s Board of Directors - pd'o], saddling Norton with an OHC engine with a lot of room for improvement. A new OHC engine was designed by Arthur Carroll and Joe Craig, leading to the launch in 1930 of one of the most successful and good-looking engines ever. In 1931, Edgar Franks updated the Norton range, and in 1932 the famous International Models 30/40 were introduced. These were the road-going replicas of Norton’s OHC racing machines which had won many races. The CS1 name continued, although now reserved for the touring version of the OHC models; prior to 1932, the CS1 was the sportiest Norton available from the catalogue.

I bought CS1 Norton a year ago, in a condition described by previous owner Paul d’Orleans [gulp] as ‘The King of Bitza’s'. This description is an overstatement as the numbers have been checked with the Norton factory records and the frame turns out to be a genuine CS1 item, shipped to Germany on 30th of May 1931. The engine was replaced at some point, but is the correct early type, once fitted to a 1932 International M30 model - the basis for a very decent restoration, but most other bits are a blend of replica parts, newer Norton parts, and even a rear wheel from an Indian! I started assembling whatever would fit to ‘look right’, without worries about originality for now. A problem with these early 1930’s Nortons is a lack of reliable literature and pictures, so determining what the CS1 looked like when new is difficult.

Into our story comes Sven Jerksjö from Sweden, and the CS1 his father Rikard Jerksjö bought new and is still in his son’s possession. Luckily, Rikard had a decent camera and made quite a few pictures of the bike when new. “My father’s CS1 was dispatched to Arthur Nyström, the Norton agent of Trollhättan, Sweden on the 29th of June 1931.” Extra fittings and modifications made at the factory included a Magdyno, conversion to foot change, a speedometer reading in kilometers and a headlamp with chrome rim. The original owner planned to race it in local competitions and to that purpose it was stripped by the Swedish agent of the lights and the silencer. The cylinder head internals were polished, a Lucas magneto and a straight-thru exhaust pipe were fitted. Once the work was finished however, the customer who had ordered the Norton found himself in financial difficulties, and not being able to pay for this expensive bike the order was cancelled. Then Rikard walked into the showroom and at the age of twenty bought the CS1 that would serve him for the rest of his life. Rikard did not bother to refit the electrics and kept the Norton in racing trim. For the next nine years he used the CS1 for daily transport, enjoying this fast machine on trips to work and for fun in the weekends. Then World War II started and being very fond of his Norton he stored it for the duration of the war.

After the war, Rikard continued to enjoy his Norton. Small modifications were made, like a tiny bicycle dynamo fitted to the rear wheel, powering the taillight. In 1953, a Norton four-speed gearbox replaced the original three-speed Sturmey-Archer 'box.

Somewhere in the mid 1950’s, Swedish law required that all vehicles should be fitted with proper lights and the Lucas magneto was replaced by a combined Bosch magneto/dynamo unit to power ignition and a Miller headlamp. In 1951, Sven was born and the earliest childhood memory he has of motorcycles is of his father’s CS1.

In the early sixties, disaster happened when Rikard lent the CS1 to a friend who was so overcome with the speed of the Norton that he crashed it into a stone wall. He flew over the handlebars and luckily also over the wall and walked away without serious injuries; the CS1 however suffered badly in the accident. Frame, forks and the front rim were bent and the tanks, both mudguards and other fittings were mangled. Not wishing to part with his beloved CS1, Rikard repaired the motorcycle, but many parts such as the front mudguard and the handlebars with fittings were replaced in the process.

The Norton was the primary family transport until Sven’s father bought his first car 1967. The pictures show him in 1969, still the proud owner of his first love. In that year, Sven got his driving license and he used the CS1 for two seasons before upgrading to a more modern Velocette. The CS1 continued to be used by Sven and his father though it was joined by a 1959 Norton Model 99 Dominator that Rikard, getting older, found easier to start and handle. He used his Dominator every summer until he passed away at the age of 69 in 1980.

The CS1 at that time was due for some major maintenance and for lack of time it was left in the basement of Sven’s mother until 1992, when Sven started to rebuild it to its former glory. As he intends to rebuild it to the exact condition in which his father bought it, progress is slow. The frame and front forks needed additional straightening after the unfortunate event in the early sixties. The rear mudguard was salvaged after the spill but a new replica had to be made to replace the front guard. Many nuts, bolts and other fasteners were refabricated to original specification. The engine has been rebuilt by now but the correct three speed Sturmey Archer gearbox that was recently sourced awaits his attention. Sven is still looking for parts that were lost over the years and he has yet to find a suitable original primary chain case and the handlebar fittings.

The story and the pictures provide us with a valuable insight into what the first Carroll-Craig Nortons looked like when new. And we may draw the conclusion that a motorcycle bought new at the age of 20, rebuilt after a complete write-off in the early sixties (when no one cared about bikes), and kept in the family ever since, must be very good!

Foot Peg Fetish

At one time chopper standard equipment included: Bates headlights and seats, Wassell tanks and ribbed fenders, Flanders risers and bars, and Anderson pegs.

In order of coolness, from left to right: Anderson, Posa Fuel, Holy Pegs, and H-D. Does anybody know anything about Anderson or it's history?

Note the markings. Holy Pegs (no name). Harley's are marked H-D on tip and Made in Taiwan (boo!) inside. The Anderson's are aluminum, not sure on the center two. H-D's are heavy pot metal.

The steel mount for the Anderson above is incorrect. The threads in the original aluminum mounts tended to strip. I have two sets and both have the mounts replaced with steel units. I have saved some original aluminum ones but they need repair.

The Posa peg and the Holy peg were mismatched in a box of parts I recently bought. I have since found another Holy Peg so, now I'll look for a Posa. Posa Fuel and Lake made those (injector) slider carburetors in the 70's. I don't know who made the Holy Pegs, Custom Chrome sold and may still sell them.

Harley still sells the ones on the far right with clamps (H-D #49144-86), as a multi-fit item for engine guards/crash bars.

Unknown NOS stamped steel pegs and mounts. I once had (sold), two of these sets. One set had a flat instead of rounded tip. They have very subtle round bumps on them.

This is just a small sample of the different styles and brands out there. I've seen some very similar to Anderson but marked ETB?


Arborists, lovers of wood, craftspeople, and aesthetes have always hankered for more Wood in their vehicles - witness the number of cars and motorcycles which have incorporated a bit of cellulose fiber into the structure or body of their products.
Morgan cars come to mind immediately, as they are yet producing hand-made voiturettes with oak chassis beams to this day, following a very long tradition within the company.In the 1920's it was not uncommon to incorporate a bit of hardwood into motorcycle frame spars, not for any conceivable necessity, as it would be hard to justify filling a highly-stressed application with a material prone to cracking, rot, attack by critters, mildew, and of course, catching fire, a not uncommon occurence with open carburettor bellmouths, tickled floats, and ignition kickback! The reasoning, well, more likely the passion for using wood thus sprang from a deep love for the look and feel of an aged beam, rubbed and polished to bring out the figuration and luster.

It's a passion I share, being a sometime restorer of wooden panelling and bannisters, and I frankly go weak in the knees when I see a tasteful bit of mahogany planking on the deck of a 'Launch' sidecar from the 1930's.

The builder of this wooden Vespa, Carlos Alberto of Portugal, obviously has an abiding love of and skill with the material as well - a few spots of home-layered ply are incorporated for strength, but much of the body is solid boarding, steamed, shaped, carved, sanded, and finessed into shape. Alberto purchased a rotted ca. 1948-53 125cc model, which used a headlamp mounted on the front mudguard, and set about remaking the machine in the materials of his trade.

'Color' has been added by the use of different woods; I would speculate mahogany, oak, and ash as primary ingredients; the effect is very Mod, reminiscent of Paul Smith's signature pinstripes. It's a master -work, and it runs - remarkable..

Long Beach MC Swap

BS'ing with friends and vendors... Zero $.
Misc. small parts... $1.00
Finding a set of leather saddlebags in trash... Priceless

God, I love Harley parts and Long Beach! Scored a great wheel. Everything to it's left, including the muffler was free. Saddlebags just need a couple of very minor repairs. One man's trash is indeed...

The LB Swap is one of the few things I like about LA.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009


In 1925 through 1927, the Rudge-Whitworth company introduced a line of touring accessories which have never been equaled by any other motorcycle manufacturer, even in these days of super-luxo three-wheel touring rigs with 1600cc flat-six engines, stereos, and GPS.

Specifically, Rudge introduced a full touring caravan, complete with dining table and beds, which could be towed behind one of their '4-valve, 4-speed' models. Added to this, one could order a sidecar chassis carrying a quick-detachable canoe! This was no 'miniature' boat, as some manufacturers produced in the 1950's for sidecar haulage; the Rudge canoe was fully 14 feet long. Yet, the company advertised that the "Canoe sidecar can be turned round in a circle of 20 feet diameter, which very few motor cars are capable of doing. To river lovers it gives great mobility and makes it possible to become acquainted with half the rivers in the country."

To demonstrate the soundness of the whole combination (with the canoe, at least), Rudge Managing Director John Pugh arranged for G.E. 'Ernie' Nott, factory tester and racer, to enter such an outfit in the Birmingham Motorcycle Club's 'Victory Trial' on March 7, 1925 (see photo below). Nott looked to be a tough character, with a nose like a prize fighter, and was certainly accustomed to the pounding of Brookland's pavement. And yet, Nott won a Bronze medal in the Trial, with a little help from other Rudge team members on the really tight bits. The three fellow teamsters rode solo Rudges, and won a Gold and two Silvers as well, but clearly had time to help "manhandle the outfit sufficiently for him [Nott] to negotiate the more difficult parts of the course" [The Story of Rudge, Hartley, 1985]. Not many trials course allow for a twenty foot turning radius!

Remarkably the Canoe was offered with either the 350cc ('10hp' - £58) or 500cc ('15hp' - £64.6) capacity machine, with Electric Lighting Set via an ML 'Maglita' an extra £5. The photo above is from Dave the Photo Pyrate, who marvels that 'an archive sent me pictures!'. Dave used to work for Salter Brothers of Folly Bridge, Oxford, who sent him this photo of Rudge and Canoe sidecar from their files. It is possibly the very same canoe used in the Trial, shown at the Works before delivery to Rudge-Whitworth. As far as I know, this photograph has never been published, and is the best shot ever of the canoe itself, from the archives of the manufacturer, Salter Bros. The construction of the boat is clear, with steam-bent ribs and mahogany planking, held together with brass nails, and varnished to a high gloss. According to Dave, the company is still manufacturing wooden 'Canadian' canoes such as this, along with its other products. Thus, if one is so inclined, a brand-new Rudge canoe might be arranged with the original manufacturer! Food for thought... I'm a huge fan of the things.

Dave also sent this delightful photo of the Canoe outfit; captain at the helm appears to be Ernie Nott, in far less arduous circumstances than the Victory trial, chauffering two Flappers to an open-water picnic. Love their cloche hats and the Chinese paper parasol, although I reckon they might be a bit chilled in their thin silk dresses. Ernie is taking no chances, and wearing a hearty Mackintosh! He looks well amused by the scenario, in any case. Note the thick canvas webbing which secures the canoe to the sidecar frame - the same system as on the Salter Bros. outfit. I think we can confidently assume that these canoes are one and the same, given the overall shape of the boat and construction details... this is perhaps the ONLY Rudge canoe built, as there is some doubt whether any were actually sold.

The Rudge Caravan was introduced for the 1927 model range, further exploring this uncharted territory for touring motorcycles. A complete outfit was offered, with Rudge 500cc ohv motorcycle and 'Semi-Sports' sidecar, plus the trailer, for £136.50. The Caravan itself was 7'3" (2.23m) long 4'10" (1.5m) wide, and 4'7" (1.4m) high. Inside were two small beds, a table, storage lockers, etc. Weight of the caravan was 285lbs, about the same as the solo motorcycle. It was recommended that cooking and washing occur outside of the trailer - cooking especially due to fire danger. A commercial version of the trailer was available, and were in use as late as 1944 delivering milk by the Coventry Co-op.

When parked, the owner's manual recommeded the outfit's tow-bar to be 'lashed to the nearest hedge, and the rear corners fitted with ropes and pegged down', with attention paid to the prevailing winds and likely course of the sun throughout the day.

The all-up weight with motorcycle, sidecar, Caravan, rider, and any gear included must have exceeded 1000lbs, on a motorcycle still relying on 'dummy rim' external-shoe brakes, front and rear. Rudge was a pioneer in linked braking systems,ie the front brake was activated along with the rear when the brake pedal was depressed, and with the Caravan, two further brakes on the trailer wheels were activated as well. Yet the 'dummy rim' brakes used during those years by Rudge are marginal in normal use, very dodgy when wet, and impossible under a half-ton of load.

Anent this, a humorous story is included in Reynolds' 'Don't Trudge It, Rudge It' (Haynes, '77); "Tyrell Smith was riding the [outfit with trailer] and together they were cruising at about 40mph when a constable stepped out from the side of the road to halt them. Tyrell hit the brakes hard but there was no chance of stopping the outfit in a hurry and it sailed on past the policemen and eventually stopped 100 yards further down the road. Seeing the problem, Ernie Nott [who was riding a spare racing bike behind Smith] pulled up beside the policeman to show that he interpreted the signal to apply to him. The policeman was not so readily convinced and he set off down the road, after the oufit, to accuse the rider of having no brakes. When the officer tried the time honoured method of testing the brakes, by pushing the oufit with the brakes applied, he couldn't move it an inch, which is not surprising considering the weight it was carrying. He therefore let the riders go with a warning about being a bit more observant in the future. It was a good thing that he knew nothing of the effect of inertia!"

In 1927, Rudge-Whitworth published the 'Rudge Book of the Road', which explains in detail their philosophy of touring, camping, and competing on your Rudge motorcycle. This book is a gem, and quite a few copies are still floating around. If you're a fan of 1920's vernacular writing, this little 150 page booklet tickles the reader with an optimistic yes-you-can! style, and is illustrated with adorable Art Deco end pages and illustrations, as well as photographs of Rudges in action, weather advice with cloud identification, maintenance tips, mileage charts, a spot of Latin tutoring, and a full 25-page atlas of Britain at the back. It is achingly good reading for a nostalgist; you'll want to find the nearest Rudge dealer - today! - and go explore the halcyon lanes of a world gone by.