1937 Rudge Ulster

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Vehicle: 1937 Rudge Ulster

Engine: 500cc

Transmission: Four-speed

Colour: Black, with gold detailing

Name: Rhys Wilson (owner), Michael Wilson (17, rider)

From: Southland

When and why did you acquire it? Rhys: The whole lot of them (Rudges) were built from parts. I started building this [1937 Rudge Ulster] about nine years ago

What is the vehicle’s history? Rhys: Started with the motor and gear box, and added to it from there. I got parts, the fuel tank and running gear from Auckland, the forks in New Zealand, and the frame from the United Kingdom. It was fully restored in 2014, but has a few battlescars… that’s just racing

Where’s your favourite stretch of road? Michael: The Classic Festival in Auckland and Burt Munro Challenge are both on the same par

What are you entering at this year’s Burt Munro Challenge? Michael: Bluff Hill climb; Teretonga circuit races and street races; Rhys: Speedway. We are taking two Rudges – one to race, and one as a spare

Top speed? Michael: This has no speedo, but I have been clocked on the other Rudge at 180kph at Pukekohe, Auckland

Best riding experience? Michael: At the last Burt Munro Challenge when I was racing against dad (Rhys) when we were side by side… it was the last race of the day at Teretonga. I beat dad on it by seven seconds, and the bike he was riding was the faster one of the two

Worst riding experience? Michael: Just when I was first starting out. I was riding a RG150 at the time. I had on a brand new suit. It was the first ride I had done and I crashed it… scuffed the paint and ripped my suit

What other motorcycles of note have you owned? Michael: Suzuki GSX 150

Best music to ride to? Michael: Sound of the Rudge

Describe your riding style: Michael: With the Rudge… the handling is terrible to a degree… 1937 handling is not 2017 handling, but basically both Rudges have both individual handling. You can’t fight the bikes going round a corner… you have to let it have its own way, and hold on for dear life… you can’t let your bum off the seat, otherwise you will be off the seat

Do you belong to any clubs? Southland Motorcycle Club, NZ Classic Racing Register (Auckland)

Event: Burt Munro Challenge, various venues throughout Bluff, Invercargill, Oreti Beach and Otatara, Thursday, February 8, to Sunday, February 11.

For more information, go to www.burtmunrochallenge.co.nz

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