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1923 Rudge Multi 3.5hp Roadster

1923 Rudge Multi 3.5hp Roadster

Designed during 1911, the famous Multi gear was first fitted to a production model in 1912 and remained in use for over a decade, the last motorcycle being manufactured in 1923. The variable speed system was based on a split belt pulley mounted on the engine shaft during a similarly split pulley mounted on the rear wheel. Control was effected by moving the long, tank-mounted lever. Moving it forward caused the halves of the engine pulley to close up, forcing the belt to run on a larger diameter. Simultaneously, the lever also being connected to a bell-crank on the rear wheel spindle, the rear wheel pulley was opened up, thus maintaining constant belt tension. The Multi gear gave infinitely variable rations between 3.5 an 7.5 to 1.

Following racing success in the years before the Great War, the Multi figured strongly in the early post-war era, but the motorcycles were becoming out-classed by rivals with all-chain drive and mechanical gearboxes. The days of the Multi were coming to an end, their last TT appearance in 1922 was a disasterous year for Rudge. Of their ten entries, nine retired including all five Multis. The 1924 models all featured foour-speed gearboxes.

  • Engine - 85 x 88mm, 499cc four-stroke single cylinder with overhead inlet valve and side exhaust. Gear driven magneto, Senspray carburettor
  • li>Transmission - Belt drive via Rudge Multi variable speed gear. Ratios between 3.5 and 7.5 to 1
  • Weight - 241lbs
  • Price - 65.8s.0d. A four speed gearbox was an option at an extra 20.0s.0d.