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2013 Irish Rally, Brough Superiors, Ariels and others

February 19, 2014

There is always a good assortment of interesting bikes on the Irish National Rally.  We’ve already covered my favorite early machines, so this last article will show some of the later machines.  shoesIf you live in America, it is likely that you have never seen a Brough Superior ridden on the road. But there are several BS riders in England and Ireland that use their bikes as George Brough intended.  The guys were a lot of fun, and didn’t balk at rain puddles or gravel roads.


London and IrelandDave’s Trump has a big JAP motor and direct drive via the V belt.  His bike was the only single geared machine to climb Camp Hill without a tow rope.


black Brough

This black Brough looks good and came from the island of Malta I believe.


Phillip Tooth at work

Phillip spent some time with the ‘13 Veloce and me along the edge of a golf course.


Brough tank 

wednesday map  

summit of Priests Leap

After reaching the top of Priest’s Leap, we all stopped for a breather and to enjoy the view.  Here is James and his Rex Acme.


Chinese red

That fishtail tip on the Brooklands can looks and sounds great.


Gap of DunloeThis is the Gap of Dunloe, visible in some photos in the previous article.  I don’t recall any cars along the length of the road, but there were some riders on horses and a few horse carts too.  A few of us took this route the day before the rally started, after a run for tea up to Moll’s Gap.


name that motor Looking good after several days of riding.


Black Lake

A stop at the Black Lake to get these two photos.  The place seems very special, and very different than any other place that I have been to.  I’m not sure why, but with the misty fog, the winding road and the lakes and waterfalls up near the top of the hills it has a mysterious feel.  Again, no traffic, just a few isolated old motorcycles and a hiker or two on the one lane road.

K at the bridge  

BSA v twin Bryan’s Vtwin BSA


Ariel pair

A twin pair of Ariel Red Hunters.

   another Ariel pair And a pair of Black Ariels too.


Brough speedo gear

The speedometer on this Brough is driven by the bolt-on gears at the rear hub.  Also note the flip-out pillion footrests.


Brough  timing

OHV motor for this Brough, and a neat cover on the magneto/dynamo.  Hand shifter to the Sturmey Archer gearbox, and you can almost make out the lettering on the brake pedal says BS GB.


Brough sidevalve

A sidevalve motor for this big Brough

 view below Healy Pass

This is one of the views from the north side of Healy Pass.

 Brough vs Hayabusa Superbikes of their day.  Brough and Hayabusa. 


with a rush and push and the land that we stand on is ours

With a rush and push

5 Comments leave one →
  1. John Duss permalink
    February 19, 2014 2:25 pm

    Pete , lovely photos. Thank you for sharing your experience on such a great event. How many particpants? What is the duration? John Duss

    • February 19, 2014 4:57 pm

      Hi John. There are about 165 participants each year, riding for 4 days, plus some unofficial riding the day before and after by friendly groups of riders. This was the 47th Annual, or maybe 48th? It is oversubscribed each year, so the club doesn’t advertise the event. But I love to share the pics of the beautiful scenery and nice bikes and great people.

  2. Allan Johnson permalink
    February 24, 2014 6:42 am

    I would agree that there seem to be few “American-resident” Brough Superiors ridden on public roads, although I understand that some do show up each autumn at the Pewter Run. In Canada, I have had the ’38 SS80 licensed each year and on the road since 1971. When last at the Rhinebeck meet in 2010 there were 7 or 8 Brough Superiors present and only mine was wearing a current licence plate. People who own these bikes and do not ride them don’t know what they are missing!

    • February 24, 2014 9:35 am

      Agreed Allan. They are wonderful bikes. You’ll know from riding that SS80! Keep up the good work, and hopefully the other owners will follow your lead. My local friend Charlie T is finishing up his BS restoration and promises to ride it like his Matchless X. Maybe I’ll do a feature on him? We could come up with a catchy title to get people’s attention: The Lone US BS. 🙂

  3. Tim O'Day permalink
    September 10, 2014 7:37 am

    Ran the same route in early July. Great roads!

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