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 trials events in the hands, and feet, of Murray’s dad Graham (Walker) 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.
The 498 cc. Ulster entered in today’s sale was formerly raced by the well known Rudge exponent Willie Wilshire prior to it passing into its current Isle of Man owners hands, is from the beginning of The Rudge’s golden age, 1929. Slim and lithe in what appears to be it’s original race trim, and still displaying race plates front and side with an absence of road equipment, although road registered UV 7572, this very desirable machine offers an opportunity for a new owner to experience the unique blend of power and thoroughbred qualities for which Rudge machines have become respected by knowledgeable enthusiasts worldwide.