Rudge 1937 “Ulster” 499cc four-valve single frame # 61224 engine # U 3010
The Rudge_Whitworth company was an established bicycle factory that entered motorcycle production in 1911. Their first machines were 499 cc IOE singles. They developed the famous Multi gear, with a possibility of up to 21 gear positions. In 1924 the factory introduced a new range of four valve singles. In 1928 Graham Walker managed to win the Ulster Grand Prix on a Rudge, after a heroic handlebar-to-handlebar battle with Charlie Dodson on a Model 90 Sunbeam. Since then the sporty Rudge models were designated “Ulster”. Rudge used several layouts for its 4 valve models and from the 1931 model range on they settled for the semi-radial arrangement of parallel inlets (in a flat head surface) for deep breathing and radial exhausts (in a part spherical surface) for cool running. At the same time plug size was reduced from 18 to 14 mm to allow more metal between the hole and the exhaust seats. This layout proved very successful and was retained till the end of Rudge production in 1940. From 1934 the Rudge Ulster was equipped with an aluminium bronze cylinder head. An important new feature from 1937 on was the enclosure of the valve gear by a neat aluminium cover; also a larger-capacity petrol tank was fitted with a content of some 3½ gallons (15 litres). This machine is also equipped with another distinctive Rudge feature: the much admired stand handle. By a long lever on the left side of the frame it can be placed on the centre stand very easily, using only one hand.
Owned by the former owner’s family since 1983, this unspoilt Ulster has been on display in a private museum and has not run for a considerable period so recommissioning is recommended. This well-built sports machine is an older restoration that comes with steering damper, bum pad and Smiths speedometer.