Hurley-Pugh Motorcycles

The Fettler

Issue No. 1

The Official Newsletter of the Hurley-Pugh Owners & Enthusiasts Club

Tales from 'The Shed'

From the workbench of "Brown Overall"

Mr. Arthrite-Day of Cheadle writes in: "I can't seem to find a way of adjusting the front brake on my 1935 Excalibur Clubman Superior and unfortunately my manual was destroyed by fire during my last attempt at winter starting. Can you help?"

Well, this is so easy a child of 5 could do this, you just have to slacken off the handlebar pawl retaining bolts (don't lose the rollers) then take up the slack by adjusting the nine rose joint pushrods in sequence starting of course with the ones nearest the wheel. Make sure the brake withdrawal assembly levers keep pointing at the seven o'clock notches on the outer brake assembly cover before, during and after you start and finish (or else you'll lose the bevelled drive pin down inside the hub and you don't want to do that) by swivelling the front torque stop pin retaining flange as you adjust the pushrods and Robert's yer proverbial. Sorted. So much easier than messing about with bloody modern foreign rubbish with sticky hydrawlics and seals going pop all over the place and cheap metal parts they need a second mortgage to maintain, I have to say my heart bleeds that the ventilated quadruple leading shoe designs for the 1942 Wildebeeste Manxman never made the light of day because that was real brake design, you won't see engineering genius like that on a bloody YamaGucci. Hurley-Pugh were always years ahead and never let it be forgotten that.

Manuals only £56.67p inc. VAT and we've always got a couple in stock. Most seasoned Pughsters tend to damp their manuals down a bit before using them in the garage.

Mr A. Hubblewit has encountered a knotty matter of authenticity. He writes: "An associate informs me that my offside girder friction damper on my 1938 Economy Wildebeeste should display a small oval plaque bearing the legend 'Product of Nyasaland'. Mine appears to have a medium-sized (1 7/16" square) stamped brass plaque with an embossed rising sun and the legend 'Fabricado en Mocambique'. Do I have an inferior pattern part, as my colleague suggests, or is this a permissible modification?".

Oh, yuss. Those. Of course you don't see many of those, because most of them went to the bottom of the Indian Ocean in 1943, an Italian steamer out of Java that wouldn't hove to for HMS Achilles. What you've got is plain forgery and theft and I for one would be only to happy to prise these off any Hurley-Pugh I saw with my trusty 12" cold chisel, because it's pure treachery and treason. Throughout the war, there were Axis Powers operating in secret, stealing superior British technology to use against us, and there can be no doubt that Hurley-Pugh plans and parts that made their way to Germany, Italy and Japan in these dark times helped the enemy rebuild their motorcycle industries after the war on the back of some of the finest British engineering designs ever. Those badges were almost certainly made in Japanese slave labour camps in the Far East, probably even by the grandparents of people you know. Permissible modification? Throw it away it's got blood on it.

If you can't track down an original we can sell you a proper pattern plaque made by Thrumbertons of Walsall, for £46.50 plus VAT.

Mr K. Haguelock writes from High Wycombe and asks "Why is it my Gentleman's Wildebeeste Brookman is fine on left-handed bends, but somewhat less than diligent at negotiating right-handers, with roundabouts an especial problem? I use my bike most days for work, and this recalcitrance adds nearly 18 miles to my 5 mile commute".

Well first, Mr Horlick, I'm glad to hear of any Hurley-Pugh in regular daily use, a tribute to the good design and splendid build quality of Britain's best machines. Now I'm not sure without seeing your particular model first hand, and it's a shame you didn't send any photographs, list the frame number or state the year of manufacture, but it is entirely possible that your Wildebeeste was one of the 1938-39 European Tourers. Now the beauty of the Tourer, apart from the obvious like the proofed corduroy WeatherShield and deeply upholstered "Lounge" seat - and you won't find one of those on some cheap modern plastic covered would-be foreign "touring" motorcycles - was the Reversible Anti-Camber Wheels. They might not be obvious if you don't know about this, but the wheel rims on the "Tourer" were specially fabricated so one side is 5/8" smaller than the other. With an ordinary road tyre, and with the wheels reversed, the negative camber of driving on the wrong side of the road whilst on the Continent is effectively counteracted, and the same, when re-reversed, for driving on the right side of the road on the left.

More than likely, you will find your wheels are reversed for foreign travel. And here's a tip : try riding on the wrong side of the carriageway. If you find the road manners improved, the solution is obvious. It always amazes me that simple ideas like Reversible Anti-Camber Wheels still don't make it onto some of these modern motorbikes. Triumph - take note.

-"The Brown Overall"

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