Tanaka powered Rudge

Here are pictures of my 1955 Rudge, powered by a 23cc tanaka 2stroke engine. The power is directed via a friction drive roller which rubs on the front tire. This assist motor was marketed under a few different names. The human power is routed through a three speed hub with a triple drive sprocket thus offering nine different gear combinations. The front hub has a integral 6volt low speed alternator, for lighting purposes, known by the trade name of Dynohub. The rider is supported by a leather Brooks saddle.


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  • IMG_0176front_drive.jpg
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  • IMG_0174submuffler.jpg
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  • IMG_0188tankside.jpg
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  • IMG_0186headbadge.jpg
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  • IMG_0173chainwheel.jpg
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  • IMG_0181saddle.jpg
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This engine wasn't running when I purchased it. The fuel pump was disassembled. Special thanks to forum member Unclepunk for sending me a copy of the service manual for this unit. I repaired the fuel pump, replaced the fuel lines, fabricated an extention for the submuffler, modified the engine mount design and removed a few parts I considered non-essentials. I will soon need a new drive roller. Some people have used a modified urethane rubber skateboard wheel for this purpose.
The logo hand on the chainwheel...Sweet. Nice patina on the whole rig.

I read Rudge and thought "Don't trudge it, Rudge it." Then thoughts of The TT and 4 valve bronze heads entered my mind. *sigh* T'is a very nice vintage powered bicycle however. I have seen several BSA bicycles in the past.