Photo ou archives : H. Krackowizer
500 Works Racer/ Wal Handley - 1930
Wtnning against the odds
Wal Handley's win for Rudge in the 1930 Senior Tourist Trophy Â– the marque's only 500cc victory in the Isle of Man Â– was against all the odds because when practice began, he had no bike to ride!
Without a Mount
Following his victories for Motosacoche in the 350 and 500cc classes in 1928, Wal had joined the Belgian FN marque as works rider. But his new overhead-cam FN, with its distinctive "pistol-grip" tank, was not ready in time for the 1930 Senior TT.
An Unofficial Works Rider
Handley was offered a ride on a privately-entered Rudge and was backed by the Rudge team, led by Graham Walker. Development engineer George Hack worked on Handley's mount overnight, and, even after some initial problems Â– a seized gearbox (which meant that Handley actually rode Walker's reserve machine in the race), and a disagreement with a sponsor over the change of mount from FN to Rudge Â– Wal started the race as the favorite, aided by Rudge's first-, second- and third-place victories in the Junior. Lapping in record time despite torrential rain, Handley Â– the unofficial "works" rider Â– finished first, over five minutes ahead of Walker, at an average of over 76 mph. The other Rudge riders finished sixth and seventh, and Rudge was awarded the team prize. Soon after, Wal Handley officially joined the Rudge team, and took third place in the 1932 Lightweight TT and second in the Junior. His 1930 Senior win was the last for an overhead-valve engine.
Engine: 499cc (85x88mm) air-cooled singlecylinder four-stroke
Power Rating: 29.5 hp @ 5600 rpm
Valves: four overhead; radial
Fuel System: Amal carburetor
Transmission: 4-speed, chain final drive
Suspension: Rudge girder forks (front); rigid (rear)
Brakes: drum (front & rear)
Wheels: 3.00x21 inch (front); 3.25x21 inch (rear)
Weight: 300 lb
Maximum Speed: 100 mph
Wal Handley on his 500 Rudge was the first man to lap the Isle of Man TT course in under 30 minutes, despite the fact that be was riding a borrowed bike!