GoogleCustom Search

Rudge Classic Motorcycles

Rudge Whitworth Cycles was a British bicycle and motorcycle manufacturer that resulted from the merger of two bicycle manufacturers in 1894, one of which descended from the original bicycle company founded by Daniel Rudge. Rudge motorcycles were produced from 1911 to 1946. The firm was known for its innovations in engine and transmission design, and its racing successes. Their sales motto was "Rudge it, do not trudge it." The company also produced the first detachable wire wheel in 1907, and was known for its knockoff wheels on sports cars well into the 1960s. Rudge motorcycle history.
Bike Image Description
1915 Rudge Multi TT, 500cc 1915 Rudge Multi TT, 500cc More Rudge Multi information.
1923 Rudge Twin, 998cc 1923 Rudge Twin, 998cc
1924 Rudge Whitworth 350 Rudge Whitworth  
1924 Rudge 4 valve 1924 Rudge 4 valve

It was called a Rudge Four, because of the four speeds and four valves, not four cylinders. This single cylinder 350 cc machine showed markedly superior performance to the competition on release, having more power than its 500 cc predecessor. Rudge engineer, George Hack, is said to have taken his design idea from the four valve head Ricardo-Triumph Special of 1921, a one off machine. He designed a four valve head for Rudge and in 1924 they produced their first four valve cylinder head on a 350 cc engine. The valves were arranged in parallel, and were not radial.

In 1925, a 500 cc version with linked front and rear brakes appeared, and the big end bearings were now fed oil through the crankshaft pin. The old 350 cc was dropped in 1926. For 1928 Rudge motorcycles were fitted with saddle tanks, and 8 inch internal expanding drum brakes. Stanley Glanfield designed a Rudge for dirt racing, marketed from 1928 as the Glanfield Rudge.

1924 Rudge 4 valve 4 speed, 500cc 1924 Rudge 4 valve 4 speed, 500cc
1931 Rudge 250 Radial 1931 Rudge 250 Radial
1931 Rudge Special 1931 Rudge Special 500cc.
1928 Rudge Whitworth 500 Special Rudge Whitworth 500 Special 1928
1934 Rudge Special Rudge Special
1937 Rudge Special 1937 Rudge Special  
1937 Rudge Ulster Rudge Ulster More Rudge Ulster information.
1938 Rudge Whitworth - Rudge Special Rudge Whitworth - 1938 Rudge Special
Rudge Whitworth 250cc Prototype Rudge Whitwort 250cc Prototype
Rudge Multi Roadster 1923 Rudge Multi Roadster

Selling re-badged Werners in 1909, the company went on to produce their first motorcycle in 1911, a single-cylinder F-head, or IOE (inlet over exhaust), 500 cc bike. In 1912 the belt drive 499 cc Rudge Multi was released, using variable groove-depth pulleys to gain 21 forward ratios, and a top gear as high as 2.75:1. (The Zenith Gradua and 1907 FN 244 cc single used a similar system) In 1913 a 750 cc Multi was released. In 1914, a Multi won the Isle of Man TT .

In 1915 a 1000 cc using a Jardine four speed gearbox was released, followed by a 1000 cc Multi. In 1923, they introduced an in-house manufactured 4 speed gear box to replace the Jardine gearbox, and Multi production ended.

Rudge Multi Rudge Multi
  • Engine - 499cc/750cc, single-cylinder inlet over exhaust four-stroke
  • Launched - 1912-1923
  • Bore and stroke - 85 x 132mm (5/6 hp)
  • Carburettor - Senspray
  • Top Speed - 83 mph (racing model)
  • 1936 Rudge Special
    Rudge Special

    Rudge entered the 1930's with two road going 499cc four valves models, the sporting Ulster and the Special, the latter with a slightly reduced compression ratio, over the following decade other 499cc models would both join and leave the range, but the Ulster and Special would remain at the core of the range. A feature of the range was the coupled brake system. 1932 witnessed the introduction of the lever operated centre stand with a foot operated gearbox becoming a universal feature of the range by 1934. Detail changes occurred over the next couple of seasons but the 1937 season machines saw a significant change with the valve gear finally becoming enclosed.

    Image provided by www.classic-auctions.com.

    1936 Rudge Rapid 1936 Rudge Rapid
    1939 Rudge Ulster
    1939 Rudge Ulster

    The first machine to bear the Ulster name emanating from the Rudge factory was announced during 1928 in celebration of their success in that years Ulster Grand Prix. The Ulster became a fixture at head of the company's catalogue until production ceased in 1940, early versions featuring a pent roof four valve head which was replaced for the 1932 season with a radial four valve head with the option of a foot operated gear change becoming available in the same year. The valve gear remained exposed to the elements until 1937 when a simple cast alloy cover was adopted although the bronze cylinder head remained finally being replaced with a light alloy example in 1939.

    Image provided by www.classic-auctions.com.

    1939 Rudge Special 1939 Rudge Special  
    Rudge Ulster - 1939 Rudge Ulster
  • Engine - 499cc, single-cylinder four-valve semi-radial overhead-valve four-stroke
  • Launched - 1929-1939
  • Bore and stroke - 85 x 88mm
  • Compression Ratio - 7.25:1
  • Power - 45bhp @ 5300rpm
  • Carburettor - 1 1/16in Amal
  • Top Speed - 83 mph
  • 1940 Rudge Autocycle 1941 Rudge Autocycle
    1941 Rudge Autocycle RUDGE AUTOCYCLE 1941
    1951 Cyclemaster 32cc on a period Rudge Ladies Cycle 1951 Cyclemaster 32cc on a period Rudge Ladies Cycle  
    Rudge Whitworth Prototype 1931 Rudge Whitworth

    Please e-mail the webmaster if you have a picture worth adding to our database, e-mail: webmaster@motorbike-search-engine.co.uk