Pulp Vehicle: HRD HD90

Motorcycle racer Howard Raymond Davies ended the First World War as a POW. He spent his time in the German POW camps dreaming of building the perfect motocycle. It took him several years - and several times losing the Isle of Man TT race because of mechanical failure - to realise his dream. But in September 1924, with 3,000 capital, he founded HRD Motors Ltd in Wolverhampton, England. His plan was to build a small, exclusive series of high-performance motorcycles to retail for a 'reasonable' price. And he wanted them ready for November when there would be a motorcycle show at Olympia, London.

He conceived four models, all using engines built by JA Prestwich Co: the HD70 used a 350cc overhead-valve JAP engine and had a top speed of 70mph; the HD70S, available with or without sidecar (retailing at 66 guineas without, or 83 guineas with), used a 500cc side-valve JAP engine and would also reach 70mph. The HD80 used a special 350cc overhead valve, side-port JAP engine and would reach 80mph, and retailed for 80 guineas The top of the range was the HD90. It used a 500cc overhead valve JAP engine, and was guaranteed to have a top speed of 90mph. It retailed for 90 guineas (90, 90s).

Around 60 production machines were ready by May 1925. Many were bought for competitive racing, and the press reviews were extremely favourable. In June 1925, riding an HD90, Howard Davies won the Isle of Man TT Senior Race, finishing in 3 hours, 25 minutes and 35 secs, with an average speed of 66.13mph. Over the next few years, new models appeared - the HD Super 90, the HD75 and others - but despite their race successes and healthy sales, HRD Motors was never a profitable business, and they went into liquidation in January 1928. The company was bought by a young motorcycle enthusiast, Phillip Vincent, who renamed it Vincent HRD Motors - but that's another story...

Val Char Base Points Total Roll Notes
1 SIZE 0 5 1 Length 2.52m, Width 1.26m, Height 1.26m, Volume 4m^3 Mass 200 kg, OCV +0, KB -1
20 STR 15 5 20 13- HTH Damage 4d6 END [2]
15 DEX 10 10 15 12-
3 SPD 2.0 10 3 Phases: 4, 8, 12
15 BODY 11 4 15
12m Ground Movement 12 0 30m
0m Water Movement 4 -2 0m
0m Leaping 4 -2 0m 30 Total Characteristics Points
Cost Powers END
8 Motorised two-wheeled vehicle: Ground Movement +18m (30m total), x4 Noncombat (23 Active Points); OAF Bulky (Standard tyres; -1 1/2), Only On Appropriate Terrain (-1/4), 1 Continuing Fuel Charge lasting 6 Hours (-0)
0 Ground vehicle: Swimming 0m (0m total)
Total Powers & Skills Cost: 8
Total Cost: 38
175+ Complications
10 Distinctive Features: Valuable motorcycle (Concealable; Noticed and Recognizable; Detectable By Commonly-Used Senses)
10 Physical Complication: Two-wheeled (Infrequently; Slightly Impairing)
Total Complications Points: 20