The Classic Motorcycle



Although run in late December 1921, the January 1922 issue was the first able to carry a report of the annual MCC London-ExeterLond­on trial. There were 200 entrants, of which 64 were solos, 107 sidecars and 13 three-wheelers, who started from the Bridge House Hotel, Staines. Although many post First World War models – including some fitted with electric lights – were listed, including Brough Superiors and the Bradshaw flat-twin engined Zenith, updated earlier machines lined up, including BFC Fellows’ 1899 De Dion Bouton

2¾hp. Cutting short their Christmas celebratio­ns, many personalit­ies – among them Brooklands aces Reuben Harveyson and Claude Temple (both 7-9hp HarleyDavi­dsons),

George Brough and Harold ‘Oily’ Karslake (Brough Superior solo and sidecar respective­ly) – joined fellow MCC regulars for the night ride to Exeter.

Many travelled 100-plus miles to the start, including Fellows, who, after an extended Christmas Day party rose to catch the 9am train with his De Dion for the first 100 miles, then rode the last 50 miles to the start. He made Salisbury on time, climbed Chard but struggled on Peak Hill, resulting in his 30 minutes late arrival at Exeter. Gone was his Gold Medal. The return journey to Staines and the finish went well, although he failed on the 1:6 Salcombe Hill. Harveyson, Temple, Brough and Karslake all finished, as did the new Zenith-Bradshaws.

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