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TECHNICALITIES OF THE 1962 "TT" FIFTIES
by Peter Arnold (of Motor Cycle News).  (Photographs added by Jeep Elton-Payne)
Greatest interest prior to the start of practice was centred around the Kreidler machines, following their successes in the Spanish and French G.P.'s, With their complicated and mysterious 12-speed drive, it was felt that they would be best served On the Mountain climb, which was acknowledged by the pundits as being the place where the race would be won or lost.
In their camp at the Derby Haven Hotel, the Kreidler team of mechanics and technicians went to great lengths to ensure that no photographs were taken of the racing engine units, or of any part stripped from the many machines in the outside workshop. Nor would they commit themselves, when asked to explainhow the gearbox worked. What goes on inside the box is still very much a guardedsecret. What is known- is how the thing works—in theory!
A four-speed gearbox has an overdrive assembly fitted in unison with it, through which three variations can be 'played'. Bottom gear in the gearbox can thus be improved three times before a change into second is affected. The normal foot-change mechanism is fitted on the left for all riders except Dan Shorey, whose machine has a right-hand conversion. The over-driving is done via a handlebar cable operated control, similar to the scooter and moped idea, with the clutch lever and selector revolving around the handlebar.
The two-stroke engine, is fed through two carburettors. the twist grip control having a separate cable to each. Like so many of the other 50's, 19 inch wheels are fitted back and front, with the minimum 2 inch section. interesting is the variable damping available on the front and rear suspension units, which have a protrusion stop which can be fitted into any one of six positions on the serrated spring cover.
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The method of 'hanging' the engine and gearbox unit in the full loop duplex frame is worthy of note, as is the 'smoked' Perspex screen. Each machine carries a spare plug fitted in the plug spanner and carried on the fairing mounting bracket above the steering head-stock.
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The Japanese Suzuki machine caused something of a surprise when they headed the practices leader board, the two-stroke engines obviously having improved output since the Ernst Degner regime, and it was he who lapped at 73.72 m.p.h. These machines are fitted with six-speed gearboxes. 
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The Kreidler 50cc 1962 engine with two Carburettors.
The Kreidler 50cc 1962 race machine used in the 1962 IoM TT
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The Hondas have been the object of many modifications since their defeats in the two Continental GP.s: in just over three weeks an 8-speed gearbox has been developed: the bore and stroke of-these four-valve, double-knocker four-stroke engines has been, 'varied ' to produce over 13,500 r.p.m.
One of the most interesting machines in the race is the R. H. Bacon's "Bits". The standard Itom engine/gearbox unit is fitted into, a 1931 B.S.A. Bantam duplex rigid frame with Webb pattern girder type front forks. The gearbox has been converted to 4-speed, and the three gallon tank is an ex-E.M.C. Puch. This unfaired machine cost its owner 1ess than £30 - and it "cleanedup" at a recent Snetterton 50 c.c. meeting!
A man with a sense of humour is Harry Crowder, who has named his Woolley/Kreidler Moped engined machine the "Shuttleworth Special" - shades of George Formby in "No Limit"! This home-brewed job has a huge, square-shaped tank fitted and looks rather ungainly.
The Suzuki RM62 50cc Road Race Machine of 1962
The Single Cylinder Honda RC110 of 1962
The Dot-produced, Victoria engined machine is one of the first British manufactures attempts to crash into the 50 c.c.range, and is neatly prepared. The engine breathes through an Amal G.P. carburettor, fitted with a 7/8 th inch choke.
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Two-strokedominate the class, the Hondas being four strokes. Most machines use either 18inch or 19inch wheels, and most, because they are Itom based, are three speeders, with the normal handlebar change. One that has six speeds is the Fruin-Dartela, which has a two-speed Albion box acting as a countershaft for the three-speed Demm engine-gearbox unit.
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The wasps are new to the island: so are most of the competitors. But if the race lives up to the practice promise, they'll be back, and the experience gained will produce even more interesting machines next year - racing does improve the breed.
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