2012 Pioneer run from London to Brighton
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.
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.
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.
There is a lot going on here…
An early NSU, before they featured rear suspension. Gear drive to the magneto.