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2012 Pioneer run from London to Brighton

March 22, 2012

Last weekend was the 74th annual Pioneer Run, hosted by the Sunbeam Club.  As usual, there were hundreds of veteran (pre 1915) motorbikes on the run, enjoying a bit of sunshine on the somewhat quiet backroads of Southern England.  Keith Marshall was there again this year, and sent these photos from the finish at Madeira Drive on the beachfront.  Thank you Keith!


This Peugot is pretty early.  The tall tank and Traffault forks give away it’s age of 1906, while the later magneto is a slight distraction.  That beautiful nickel plating on the tank is very distinctive.  Like many of the bikes on the run, it has no clutch.  Run and jump to get going.  The P.F. cast into the crankcase doesn’t stand for “Peugot France”, but instead for “Peugot Freres” or Brothers Peugot.102_5208


This Alldays Matchless looks great in green.  There were actually two of these on the run.  This one sports a nice leather holster for the starting handle, a drum rear brake and a hub clutch.  The carb is a Senspray, a product of the Rudge factory.   The footboards have springs to cushion the ride.



This little Moto-Reve looks like a fun one.  Vtwin dating to around 1908-1910 I’d guess.102_5058


The Lloyd Thomas is pretty rare, but is made of many typical components of the era.  I especially like the Davison sight glass tube gages for the petrol and oil.  I’m looking to buy or build a set for my Veloce project, please contact me if you have any bits in your shed!



The motor on the Lloyd Thomas.  coil ignition, and interesting footrests.



An FN single cylinder with the motor mounted sideways in the frame to facilitate the shaft drive to the rear wheel.



And the big brother, a FN 4 cylinder, again with shaft drive.



This is an interesting beast.  A Williamson.  Fore and aft flat twin, with water-cooled heads.  The nickeled radiator can be seen in front of the motor.  Take a close look at the footstarter.  It features a gear with internal teeth that is mated to the kicker arm, and swings around the pinion gear on the crankcase.  A very handsome machine, but the front mudguard seems a bit too enveloping.



Brown sold a fair number of bikes in the old days, yet they are not seen very often now.  This simple lightweight has no front suspension, no clutch and no footpegs by the motor.  But there are a set of bolt-on footpegs on the front forks, like the ones used by early bicyclists.



White and Poppe were known for the motors that they supplied to Ariel and others, with the wide spacing between the valves.  This bike was one of their complete cycles that they sold before WWI.  It’s for sale, send a comment if you want the phone number.102_5087 


There is a lot going on here…



An early NSU, before they featured rear suspension.  Gear drive to the magneto.



Yeah an Excelsior single, belt drive102_5116

3 Comments leave one →
  1. Geert permalink
    March 23, 2012 12:13 pm

    The Alldays Matchless is fitted with a ROC 2 speed hub, it works with contracting band brakes that act as clutches on the gear that’s in the hub, the second gear is direct drive, the brake is also a band brake.
    I did a test run on a bike fitted with a ROC hub and this system is great, altough the first gear is pretty low, so once rolling everything is done in top gear.

    • March 23, 2012 12:35 pm

      Thanks Geert. I had seen other ROC hubs (later ones?) with their levers on the right side of the hub, but hadn’t noticed one like this before.

  2. March 23, 2012 8:58 pm

    Great photos of a sunny day. I would love to hear them purring some time. Thanks again, Paul

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