The Stanley Clyde Show, 1909, (Our London Correspondent.)
The Agricultural, Hall, Islington, is the venue of eycledom when the Stanley Show is on, and this year has drawn crowds as big and critical as ever. In many ways a
change has come over the show, and visitors could not fail to notice the extraordinary amount of interest taken in the motor cycles. That sounds the keynote, the motor- cycle is in the ascendant and the "push" bike merely marking time. Of course many small improvements are noticeable in these latter, 3-speed hubis are move popular, the "All Black" cycle is utilitarian to a degree, being covered in Xylonite sheathing all over the usually plated parts ; but here the novelties cease, and we must join the little knots that crowd round the motor cycle stands. And this is a healthy sign, for it is brought about by a variety of reasons, which, briefly put, would include: "Standard" design, variable gears and free engines, fewer freaks, and altogether very few bad conceptions of design. A novice, let loose with a few £10 notes in the show, could hardly have made a mistake. But the real point that struck me was the almost universal cult of the variable speed gear, or pulley. Taking a steam engine as the model of flexibility, its petrol brother is the essence of the reverse, and I will be dogmatic to the extent of stating that only within a very small range of revolutions is the petrol motor at all efficient. It is therefore logical and necessary to provide some means of changing the ratio of engine speed to road Avheel speed and so increasing the torque when occasion demands. And why is this not recognised more fully? It is recognised, but there are two reasons why it is not fulfilled; first, because the mechanical difficulties in the way of making a suitable change-speed gear on a belt-driven machine are very great, and secondly because till quite lately the supine manufacturer has merely catered for the acrobatic "running start" and "jump off and push" youth, while he neglected the staid and stable class which is now taking up the sport of motor cycling. That the mechanical difficulties of providing a machine with (1) a free engine, (2) change gear, (3) all operatable from the handle bar, are great is witnessed by the fact that hardly two makers use the same system, and, moreover, they are divided into three distinct schools: (a) Those who favour the handle-bar controlled pulley (a precious small sect unfortunately) ; (b) the epicycle, two-speed clan, and (c) the car-type of sliding-gear and cone clutch, such as the F.N. and T.A.C. My conversations with exhibitors led me to the conclusion that the handle-bar controlled pulley is what is wanted, but the difficulties of providing such, an article with all the necessary characteristics are astonishingly great. , s
Also I can assure you that the lightweight is rapidly gaining favour and the Motosacoehe has set a fashion in design which has many followers; and here the conviction of Progress in favour of the light weight is borne out; but it must not be forgotten that a successful variable pulley and free engine will considerably strengthen the "heavy weight's" case. The new Motosacoehe and Motor-rim are beautiful machines, and are deservedly popular. On both stands T noticed they favour the Vee belt. The Motosacoehe for 1910 has a more powerful engine, and is all round a vast improvement in minor details on the old model.