LAST Olympia motor cycle exhibition marked the return of the New Hudson as a big single and sidecar, and the new models has been most successful in recent trials.
Not only did the firm produce an article up to its own high standards, but made a point of placing it on the market at a competitive price; the very complete and up-to-date specification of the 595 c.c. New Hudson, with its comfortable and luxurious sidecar, is a very marked feature for so moderately priced a machine. Included in this specification are such features as a decompressor to ensure easy starting, an excellent cush drive on the engine shaft, and sensibly proportioned internal expanding brakes in both wheels. In addition, such details as chain cases have not been scamped , and although these, of very neat aluminium castings, take the form of guards rather than full covers, the foremost protects the whole of the outer side of the primary chain. Aluminium footboards of sensible length and width, useful leg-shields, licence holder, and, in fact, every essential detail, are included. Further, the wide flat-section mudguards are thoroughly practical in every way.
Well Run-in Engine.
Bearing these many excellent qualities in mind, we took over a standard New Hudson outfit on a recent occasion for a test of its road capabilities. The machine was by no means a new one and had seen much hard service, particularly the engine, which had acquired that comfortable rather: than sloppy feeling that is only obtainable in a well-worn engine of first-rate manufacture.
Throughout our test the New Hudson behaved admirably; it started with great ease, showed wonderful "slogging" capabilities; proved to have maximum speed of well over 40 miles an hour; and was able to maintain a speed of 30 to 35 miles an hour with full load, apparently indefinitely.
In covering our usual Midlands test route we were particularly impressed with the sound pulling capabilities of the engine with-a passenger in the sidecar. Usually a second-gear climb for a single-cylinder sidecar. Frizz Hill, between Wellesbourne and Kineton, was ascended on top gear. Edge Hill, a little further on, called for middle gear on the first bend, but the summit of the hill was passed at a speed of 20 miles an hour on the Bonniksen indicator, the performance approximating to that of the average twin outfit.
Down Sunrising the brakes were thoroughly tested, and it was found that there was no need for such precautions as engaging a low gear, for either brake separately kept the machine under full control, and application of both together caused an instant stop on the steepest down-grade.
Owing to the S-bend near the steepest part of Tysoe Hill, the maximum speed over the summit was a little over 15 miles on middle gear, but there were no signs of labouring under these circumstances. On the return journey Sunrising was ascended comfortably on middle gear, and even after hard driving the engine showed no signs of distress through overheating. Mechanically the unit was somewhat noisy, owing, chiefly, to the fact previously mentioned that it had much hard work before passing into our hands. As regards exhaust noise, the very large silencer now fitted below the footboard is quite efficient, and even under full throttle the engine is not unduly noisy. Tested through a normal watersplash, the mudguards, leg-shields and footboards protected the rider very well, and no special leggings were required under these circumstances. On the other hand, as is often the case, the leg-shields render the heat of the engine noticeable on the right leg, and also accentuate mechanical noises.
Gear-changing is particularly simple, for, combined with the well-known Sturmey-Archer box, is a lever projecting through a slot in the tank, and so placed that it comes very conveniently to the driver's hand. The Druid-type forks worked smoothly and satisfactorily, and, in combination with the 700 X 80 mm. Dunlop Magnum tyres, provided extreme comfort for the rider.
The sidecar is well sprung, well upholstered, and roomy, and possessed of a sensible locker in its bulbous back. Sidecar attachments are not always too satisfactory, but we have no grumbles with regard to those on the New Hudson outfit; they appear to be rigid and satisfactory in every way, and though the steering was slightly heavy, owing probably to the very large section tyres, this was only noticeable at very low speeds.
Detail work throughout is excellent, and, in addition to a positive adjustment of the gear box placed at the rear of the bottom bracket, there is a similar adjustment for the magneto chain placed alongside the gear box adjuster, the magneto being carried well clear of mud directly behind the cylinder. The standard B. and B. pilot jet carburetter functioned admirably throughout.
The New Hudson engine is well designed, having large valves and excellent cooling arrangements. It differs from many modern engines in employing plain bearings throughout the crank assembly. These, however, have proved fully satisfactory, and our impression of the 1922 New Hudson outfit is that it is a thoroughly satisfactory machine.