Rudge 'Multi' motorcycle, 1911.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
This is a single-cylinder belt-driven motorcycle, which incorporates features patented in 1910 and 1911 by Rudge-Whitworth Ltd, of Coventry. Its variable speed gear, consisting of variable pulleys on the engine-shaft and rear wheel, which allows for a gradual change of gear, is the principal of these patented features. The engine has a cylinder 85 mm in diameter by 88 mm stroke, which is rated at 3.5 hp but is capable of developing 7.5 hp at 2000 rpm. Rudge-Whitworth became famous in the 1920s and 1930s for their succesful racing motorcycles.