Rudge Motorcycles

Today in Motorcycle History

7-9 h.p. Rudge 1920

7-9 h.p. twin Rudge with three-speed countershaft gear and all-chain drive. Its features were described in detail in our last issue.

Olympia Show 1920

RUDGE. (Stand 113)

  • 3½ h.p.; 85x88 mm. (499 c.c); single-cylinder four-stroke; inlet over exhaust valves; pump lubrication; Senspray carburetter; gear-driven magneto; variable speed gear; belt drive: 650x65 mm. tyres. Price £110 5s.

Rudge-Whitworth, LTD., Coventry.

It is interesting that the makers of the Rudge, as one of the few remaining exponents of the all-belt drive, have fitted an all-metal chain-belt to some of their latest Multi models. This belt is in effect a wide chain, to the links of which are attached sprung V shaped gun-metal plates, shaped to fit the belt pulley. The weight is roughly twice as great as that of the normal belt, but against this increase must be set the fact that the drive is slip-proof, being unaffected by water. Otherwise both this and the 5-6 h.p. long stroke model remain unaltered. The technical details of the 5-6 h.p. model are exactly similar to those of the 3½ h.p. with the exception of the engine stroke, which is 132 mm.; and the price, which is £120 15s.

There is also the 8 h.p. "Mul-twin," the engine of which is similar to the model described below, while the transmission, etc, is of the well-known Multi variable pulley type. In this, movement of a lever on the tank side opens or closes the variable belt pulley, at the same time actuating a connecting rod, which keeps the belt tension constant by closing or opening the rear wheel belt rim. To adjust the belt tension, the rear belt rim alone is altered, by a small hand lever set on the spindle end. On an extension of the engine-shaft beyond the pulley is placed a multi-plate clutch, operated by a Bowden wire and handlebar lever.

  • 7-9 h.p.; 85x88 mm. (998 c.c); V-twin four-stroke; inlet over exhaust valves; hand pump lubrication; Senspray carburetter; gear-driven magneto; three-speed Rudge sliding gear; all chain drive; Dunlop 650x50 mm. tyres. Price £167.

In this new model Messrs. Rudge-Whitworth, Ltd., have broken away from their old tradition, and have incorporated a three-speed gear box of very neat design. It includes a kick-starter, but no clutch, as the makers have preferred to retain their well-known engine-shaft clutch, with which they have incorporated a cushion drive, consisting of two serrated discs or face cams, held together by a spring. As the drive has to pass from one disc to the other, any "snatch" is taken up by one disc tending to climb the teeth of the other, against the spring pressure.

Olympia Show, 1920
The Motor Cycle, December 2nd, 1920.

Rudge 1922 7-9hp

There is an impressive air of solidity and power about the three-speed 7-9 h.p. Rudge

Forecast and Guide to Olympia (1921)


After just one year's existence on the market it has not been found advisable to alter greatly the counter-shaft three-speed all-chain drive Rudge singles and twins. Since last Show, however, a much less cumbersome form of clutch has been evolved, but this innovation is not new to the public, for it has been fitted to the production machines for some time now. It is of the usual Ferodo insert type, but is carried on the engine-shaft instead of on the gear box; it embodies an efficient transmission shock absorber. A black enamelled aluminium chain case and guard now protect the primary and rear chains respectively, and the footboards are also of the same metal but in its natural finish. Large capacity tanks, very strong wheels, and a most efficient front fork are features that have long been common Rudge practice. The two multi gear (belt drive with expanding and contracting pulleys) models remain in the form which enjoyed so much popularity in the past.

The Motor Cycle November 24th, 1921. p655

Rudge Motorcycles