1938 TYPE 438

Classic Bike (UK) - - GOING NATIVE -

There was a new four-cylin­der en­gine for the 1936 model year, but it was a flop. Called the ‘up­side-down’ en­gine be­cause the ex­haust valves were now on the top, it looked ugly and the high ex­haust pipe needed a steel guard to stop it burn­ing the rider’s leg, so for 1938 the Model 438 re­verted to the orig­i­nal over­head inlet/side ex­haust con­fig­u­ra­tion. The cylin­ders were now cast in pairs – test­ing proved that elim­i­nat­ing some of the air gaps be­tween cylin­ders al­lowed the heat to be pulled into the airstream more quickly. The alu­minium cylin­der heads were de­tach­able with the valve mech­a­nism fully en­closed and au­to­mat­i­cally lu­bri­cated. There was a stream­lined muf­fler to keep things qui­eter on this 95mph mo­tor­cy­cle. Al­though a left-hand throt­tle and right-hand gearshift was stan­dard, a right twist­grip and left gearshift was a fac­tory op­tion.

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