Rudge Special 1938

£0.00 GBP

Year: 1938

Engine Size: 500CC

Registration: OSJ 195

Mileage: N/A


Rudge Sports Special 1938 500cc . Nut and bolt restoration in 2007 .

This example is in excellent / showroom condition and looks to be very original with twin clocks and twin toolboxes . Was part of a collection and well looked after . Starts easily with a strong and powerful engine . Runs and rides very well .

As a very late example has the enclosed valves .

It would be very difficult to find a better example and is a great investment .

See below for the Rudge history and comments from the last owner :-

Rudge motorcycles were produced from 1911 to 1946. The firm was known for its innovations in engine and transmission design, and its racing successes. Their sales motto was "Rudge it, do not trudge it."

The full potential of Rudge’s four-valves-per-cylinder design was slow to emerge, but in 1928 Graham Walker’s works 500 became the first motorcycle to win a road race - the Ulster Grand Prix - at an average speed in excess of 80mph, a feat which led to the introduction of the legendary ‘Ulster’ sports model. A variety of valve arrangements was tried across a range of 250, 350 and 500cc models, and by the mid-1930s had stabilised, the 500 Special employing a parallel layout and the Ulster a parallel/semi-radial combination. It should be noted that despite its name the Special was the touring 500, the Ulster being the sports version. Landmark developments included the enclosure of the valve-gear for 1937 and the switching of the gearchange lever from the left-hand to the right-hand side of the gearbox. A compact machine with a willing engine and powerful linked brakes, the 500 Special is a delight to ride and copes easily with present-day traffic conditions.


WM2x19 (f), WM2x19 (r). Rear, QD with taper roller bearings. Chrome rims. Rear sprocket integral with brake drum on LHS.


Inverted U section, front unvalanced as per Ulster, rear valanced for upswept exhaust pipes. Rear with detachable main section. Front & rear with flared ends.


‘Aero’ type petrol tank painted with lined panels with reserve tap. Single central CEE-ESS type filler with rear fitted petrol balance pipe. Two bolt damper arm fixing. . Large cut aways underneath both sides to clear rocker box.


4 valve 495cc with cast iron enclosed valve cylinder head, parallel inlet valves and parallel exhaust. 18mm side plug. BTH KD1 D4 magneto and DM3G dynamo. Oil feed to cylinder.


8” front and 7.5” rear, coupled with aluminium shoes.


Miller 8” headlamp with No 832 8-0-8 'Lighthouse' ammeter and 35E rear lamp. HF180 Clearhooter electric horn.


4 speed gearbox with foot change on RHS. Aluminium oil bath chaincase with ‘R’ on dome and no separate filler on shock absorber dome.


Amal type 76/113 with Binks twist grip control.

Exhaust system

Twin 1 3/4” high level pipes into barrel silencers and plain tailpipes. Pipes fitted with heat shields.

Standard Fittings

80MPH illuminated speedometer. Lycett 6B pillion pad. Mechanism shield, battery cover, licence holder, cast central stand with lifting handle. 7/8” handlebars with long front brake lever. Two toolboxes mounted either side on the rear mudguard valences. Steering damper and hand wheel operated fork shock absorber. Round tubed forks.

Extra Low level exhaust pipes. ISDT rear wheel. Blue or Maroon paint finish to mudguards & petrol tank only. Chromium plated panel tank.

Riding Experience

This is a seriously fast bike for its age. It will happily keep up with modern traffic, and unlike other bikes of this era that I have ridden this bike has very good brakes.

This bike is unusual in that it has a second dial that nobody is very sure what it does, but appears original ; a Revolator .

The condition is very good with a nut and bolt restoration in 2007, I have used and enjoyed the bike since.