I meant to reply earlier but got distracted – had to let my poor dog go on Thursday (pet owners will know what that feels like).
I am sure that John Hawkin led me to believe that it was the frame that was the problem, but it was a long time ago. I rode in many of the BMF speedway demos, on my 1929 Rudge or
1931 Rudge-JAP, when they were organised by John Stallworthy for the Vintage Club. I cant remember two Scotts but, as the modern racers say, I would have been “tightly focussed”on
my own performance!
From 1928 to 1931 there was a lot of experiment in the specification for dirt bikes, and a number of tyre firms got involved. I have a beaded edge front wheel (of the “C” section ) with a
Dunlop tyre. I have seen other beaded edge front tyre on Rudge, Douglas and Martin type front wheels.
Thirty years ago I went to a bike display at Dunstable for some event, and a chap there had a 1928 AJS which had been supplied, unregistered, equipped for “dirt-track” to the son of a
wealthy businessman. He had given it a couple of goes, decided that it was not for him, and the bike had been stored. As always, I hadn’t got a camera that day, but I am sure the bike had
28 by 3 beaded edge front and back. The guy who owned it had bought her from a neighbour, the widow of the original owner, he was more a car man than bikes.
I have never heard a thing about that machine since. It would have been such a valuable “time capsule” and reference point. I hope that it didn’t end up as a restored road bike.
When speedway bike production settled down and the market was dominated by Victor Martin, who bought manufacturing rights to the Rudge and Comerford designs, there was a choice of tyres
between Avon, Dunlop and Hutchinson. The catalogue copies I have dont’ specify the type, but they look like wired edge. By 1939 beaded edge “dirt track” tyres were advertised by Marble Arch
Motor Supplies ( the discount merchants of their day ).
Beaded edge tyres were eventually banned by ACU and later Speedway Control Board regs. This was probably in the 1950s at the time when the “big back wheel” ( 22 inch ) was banned.
Beaded edge tyres continued to be used in demo races. My beaded edge front was retired at Coventry about 15 years ago when a certain other rider took a couple of my spokes out with his
steel shoe! Amazingly we both stayed on, and I have a video of that race to remind me!
I know that he wont read this, but I bet Glyn Chambers remembers the “restored” 1905 Bercley road bike in a St Albans dealer (Clarkes? ) which in the 1960s had Dunlop dirt-track tyres and
rims front and back. That would have given Ken Cobbing something to moan about!
Finally, where does the famous Frank Varey bike live now? I know it was demonstrated at several meetings in the 1968 “50th Anniversary” celebrations. I had an idea that I saw it at that
marvellous museum that used to be in the old plating works in the centre of Birmingham ( now replaced by a “interactive, more meaningful etc etc ” disaster called Thinktank ) but I might
just have imagined it.