Monday, March 25, 2013
The great chain drive debate of 1912
It is worthwhile remembering that the 1911 Royal Enfield was one of the first motorcycles ever to feature a chain drive. At the time there seems to have been quite a bit of skepticism about chain drives. In particular the notorious commentator from The Motor Cycle that went by the pesudonym of "Ixion" was quite skeptical. He wrote "But I think it is sound judgment, founded on the simplicity of belt adjustments, the stupidity of the average amateur, who cannot trust himself to attend to chains, and the cleanliness of a (rubber) belt a opposed to the grease which haunts a well lubricated and well-used chain". Enfield riders immediately shot back, as these letters to the editor in The Motor Cycle attest, and of course with the 20/20 hindsight of history, we know who was right!