The 1916 A.B.C. Motor Bicycle

Silent Gear Changes.

The novice at gear handling need never be afraid of the changing. Provided he declutches, he may change " up " from first to fourth with his engine doing 4,000 r.p.m. and the gears will go in silently; or he may change " down " from fourth to second at 30 m.p.h. with his throttle shut and again no noise will be heard. Car experts will pardonably regard these two statements as fictions, but they are none the less facts. I do not know why Mr. Bradshaw does not communicate the secrets of his gear change to car designers, or why car designers do not puzzle over the A.B.C. gear box, until their gears are as changeable as his; but the incredible facts are as stated. I have several times all but unsaddled myself with the jerk caused by experimental changes of this character, but I have yet to hear the gear teeth scrape, so that damage to gears through careless changing is likely to be nonexistent on the A.B.C.

In conclusion, I am well aware that the glowing claims which I now make for the A.B.C. will be taken with a grain of salt by my readers, but I think that as the machine becomes known riders will gradually be forced to admit that a machine of quite astounding intrinsic excellence has been added to our gallery of stars.


From "The MotorCycle" - August 10th, 1916


The MotorCycle AUGUST 10th, 1916 page 122


The MotorCycle AUGUST 10th, 1916 page 123




The A.B.C. Bicycle.

I have been overwhelmed with letters about my article on the A.B.C., and have one small correction to make. The article was written some months ago, and the actual weight of the jigger was considerably overstated, partly because I came to it fresh from a baby two-stroke, partly because Mr. Bradshaw's typist struck a " 3 " instead of a " 2 " in writing to me on the subject. The weight is not more than that of the ordinary vertical single-cylinder 500 c.c. In reply to various correspondents, the machine is not capable of remarkably slow speeds on the fourth ratio; though it will tick over absurdly slowly in neutral, more slowly (I fancy) than any other engine would in normal adjustment, its power is attained by high engine revolutions, and there is not sufficient power at very low revolutions to permit the machine to run dead slow on a very high gear; I always change down to third gear for traffic work. I am hardly in a position to state what the normal petrol consumption should be, as I keep two or three bicycles running, and use the A.B.C. for speed work on good roads, or for fast climbing on freak roads. Still, I can get 70 m.p.g. under these conditions, and opine that a higher economy should be possible in steady riding on ordinary undulating roads. A further point is that the maximum speed obtainable on fourth gear is only possible when conditions allow the machine to be " whacked up." You cannot work, engine revolutions up to an abnormal figure on an abnormal gear except where conditions approximate to track work. The machine is fast because it can attain unusual speeds on second and third gears, rather than because its phenomenal fourth gear maximum can often be resorted to, and because the combination of high r.p.m., a variety of gear ratios, ami a terrific carburetter allow of ferocious acceleration. The " jump " when the engine is put on second gear and full throttle at the corner footing a single figure gradient is truly remarkable.


From "The MotorCycle" - August 31st, 1916