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1955/6/7 EMC Participants in Lightweight TT

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#1 artyparty

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Posted 01 May 2020 - 21:26

Hello there, I am posting this enquiry as I am at a bit of a loss regarding the presence of "EMC" motorcycles in the 1955/6/7 Lightweight TTs. I say this, as I have only ever seen the Puch-based 125RR EMCs that were run in the Ultra-Lightweight TTs of this same period. I have found a couple of picture of these Lighweight bikes at the TT; Frank Burman and Dudley Edlin, and they appear to have the same underslung twin megas, similar to the Puch-engined 125s, but from the offside shot of Burman I have found in '55, where he ran without fairing, the engine appears to be altogether larger and seems to lack the chain drive back to the rear mounted mag seen on the Puch-based 125. I also have a sales leaflet from EMC at the time and only the "125RR" is listed alongside the road bikes.


  Does anyone have any information on these motorcycles?


  I am not really interested in the usual comments running down Dr. Ehrlich as a fraud, chancer, etc. Yes, he was a character in the paddock and could be rather aloof as he didn't suffer fools gladly, hence why he put a few people's noses out of joint as he wasn't "one of the lads", but he always gave freely of his time if he could see that you took an interest in engineering and particularly in two strokes. It always seems as though some people have an axe to grind with what he achieved!


  Many thanks in advance and best wishes under the current conditions!


#2 Michael Ferner

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Posted 02 May 2020 - 16:27

I suspect you know this already, but I have Burman entered in 1955 as #25 on a Puch, and Edlin in 1956/'57 as #8 and #24, respectively, on an EMC. In a 1956 "who's who", Edlin was said to have finished "second in both 150cc (sic) and 250cc races" at the Easter Oulton Park meeting, and "had two other second places a little later at Snetterton and Brands Hatch", indicating that he was always riding for Doc Ehrlich in those races. No pictures, and only ever described as two-stroke twins.


Burman was a regular of Ultra-Lightweight competition on EMC-Puchs, but Edlin is quite interesting in that he competed prior to 1955 with the Melem Special, which was described as having an engine designed by Ron Mead, using a Norton crankcase, Excelsior flywheels, Velocette conrod and big-end assembly, and a Maurice Cann double-knocke cam box - I believe that is the engine as used by Mead and Fron Purslow in the early fifties. The Melem had a custom made frame to Edlin's specifications, made by Charles Lucas, with front forks and wheel from a Norton, and the rear hub from an EMC (!), and all of this was put together by Bernard Marley. The name "Melem", then, apparently stood for Marley, Edlin, Lucas, Earles (as in Earles forks, which were originally used), and Mead. It was said to have held the track record at Brands Hatch in 1953.

#3 Michael Ferner

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Posted 02 May 2020 - 16:40

There is, in the Motor Cycle News of June 5, 1957, an interesting article about the Puch 250 scrambler, with a couple pf photographs - if interested, I can send you a medium quality PDF reproduction of the article; just PM me your email address.

#4 billbomann

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Posted 04 May 2020 - 20:44

Greetings. We have quite a number of pics of the 1952-1956 EMC racers, including a rare one of John Surtees, plus the later Rotax-powered machines on www.ttracepics.com This is a small selection of what we have, just about a 26,000 from a collection of quarter of a million images!

#5 StanN

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Posted 12 May 2020 - 15:26

I assume you have seen the article in the Jan/Feb 2020 issue of Classic Racer about the 350 EMC that now resides in Sammy Miller’s museum. This was based on a 250 version that Les Archer rode to victory at the 1947 Hutchinson 100. The 350 was not raced as it fell foul of the post war FIM supercharging ban, like the 250 having a charging cylinder like the pre-war DKWs.


I always thought that all the Dr Joe designed bikes were split singles, even their range of street bikes, until the era of the De Havilland sponsored bikes in the early 60s. The article has a sidebar about Ehrlich’s history up to the Rotax powered bikes and his withdrawal from racing.


Although EMC stopped production of street bikes in 1953 I remember their last ‘factory’ in Southall, just around the corner from where I was born and brought up.