1930 Royal Ruby

Royal Ruby

One of only 15 Royal Ruby motorcycles known to have survived worldwide, this rare 350cc competition model was registered in Exeter on the 31st of March, 1930. Selling for £40 when new, it features a three-speed gearbox and conventional motorcycle components. The engine is a Villiers unit, the same as used in the Francis Barnett, which is also on display beneath this model.

The Royal Ruby Motorcycle Company operated from 1909 to 1932 in various locations across North West England, with this particular model being produced at the Bolton site. This Royal Ruby exemplifies an early use of the then-new 'chrome' plating. Prior to 1928, most manufacturers utilised nickel plating for parts like radiator surrounds, levers, and handlebars. Before that, brass was common, although it required frequent polishing to maintain its finish.

To achieve the correct chrome finish, the process involves several meticulous steps. Initially, the part is repaired and polished. An electroplated layer of copper is then applied and polished. This is followed by two layers of nickel plating, with each layer being polished. Finally, an extremely thin layer of chromium is applied, with scrupulous cleaning between each process.

Key Facts
Date of manufacture1930 - 1932
ManufacturerThe Ruby Cycle Co Ltd
RegistrationWF 4076


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