Rudge-Whitworth found their move into motorcycle production a natural development, like many other long standing bicycle manufacturers. In 1911 the first production models appeared and some technically advanced features were quickly introduced, such as variable ratio gears etc., which belied the staid conservative impression some may have formed about the company, somewhat justified by certain anachronistic features still employed, such as belt drives, well into the twenties. The 498cc. ‘Ulster’ racing machine was first listed in 1929, along with 248 and 348cc. sv and ohv JAP powered models. Supplied ready to race ex-works and comparatively inexpensive the Ulster went on to win countless honours in TT, GP and many other international events in later years. This fine sporting marque was very competitive in speedway and also in trials events in the hands of Motor Racing commentator Murray Walker’s father, Graham Walker who was also Rudge’s sales manager at the time. Works supported racing and the supply of race machinery stopped around the mid thirties after the death of Rudge- Whitworth principal and driving force J.V. PUGH and subsequent sorties into autocycle production and other badly managed ventures foresaw the demise of the once proud Rudge concern in 1940.
This 500cc. Ulster was formerly raced by the well known Rudge exponent Willie Wilshire prior to it passing to a collection on the Isle of Man. From the beginning of Rudge’s golden age it appears to be in original race trim still displaying race plates front and side with an absence of road equipment. It is however road registered as ‘UV 7572’ and with the current MoT exemption could be ridden on the road.
This desirable machine is in generally good order and looks very much looks the part of an old race bike, mechanically it is in fine running condition and has a glorious engine note from the twin straight through exhaust system. Eligible for historic motorcycle racing, plus a whole host of rallies, tours and parades it offers an opportunity to experience the unique blend of power and thoroughbred qualities for which Rudge machines have become known for by respected by enthusiasts worldwide.