The Classic Motorcycle

250cc Moss Rudge (left)


This isn't the first time I've seen this unique Rudge, as The Rudge Associatio­n have had it on their stand previously. However, it is the first time I've managed to get it into the sketchbook. While most of the specials that I've sketched are built for racing, this machine has been modified for touring.

Its creator was John Moss from Manton, Wiltshire, who completed this special and christened it with a road trip to the Isle of Man for the 1955 TT. As a report in Motor

Cycling of July 14, 1955, explained it isn't uncommon for specials to be ridden to the TT, but this one was " a class of its own."

The basis of the special is a 1937 Rudge Rapid. The engine and front frame are from the original machine but pretty much everything else has been tampered with in the effort to make it a more capable touring machine. The most notable modificati­on is the rear swinging frame, which was done previously to Moss acquiring it. The

damping is done using McCandless units, with the front end suspension handled by a pair of MP forks which hold dual fiveinch brakes. The gearbox is an ‘Ariel-type’ Burman, while the engine was built up by Moss with a bespoke drive to the magneto, and Moss also made the oil tank and toolbox. As well as these more obvious changes, there were nice little touches such as the two spark plugs screwed into a specially-made plate down by the gearbox.

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