THE VELOCETTE OWNERS CLUB
Keeping Velocettes Alive

News and Events


This "noticeboard" is available to any section of the Velocette Owners Club. Click HERE for guidance on how to submit items.

Velocette Owners’ Club Events Diary 
Click HERE to view or download the Club's latest diary of events

Velocette Owners Club Centres
Click HERE for a list of our UK Centres and their meeting venues

Centre websites - just click the name to visit your site

Thames Valley Centre (last updated 16/10/2014)
Wye Valley Centre (last updated 21/10/2014)

Chelmsford Centre website
vocessex.wix.com/chelmsford


Dorking Centre website
www.velocettedorkingcentre.btck.co.uk

East Midlands Centre website
www.eastmidsvelo.org 

Oxford Centre website
velocetteownerscluboxford.wordpress.com 


Woburn Centre website
www.woburn-velocette.org.uk

Also on the Web

The Velocette Owners Club of North America  - www.velocette.org 
The Velocette Owners Club of Australia - www.velocette.org.au 
The Velocette Owners Club of the Netherlands - www.velocetteclub.nl
The Velocette Owners Club of Germany - www.velocette.de  
The Velocette Owners Club of New Zealand - www.velocette.org.nz 

Huncote Spares Open Days: 
Our over-the-counter spares service will be available to members on the following days, but non-members are very welcome and may join on the day

Sunday 15 December 2013
Sunday 12 January 2014
- including a 'Bring & Buy' from 10am at The Pavilion 
Sunday 9 February
Saturday 15 March
Sunday 13 April
Sunday 11 May
Saturday 14 June
Sunday 13 July
Sunday 10 August
Sunday 14 September
Sunday 12 October
Saturday 8 November
Sunday 14 December
Sunday 11 January 2015
- including a 'Bring & Buy' from 10am at The Pavilion 
Opening time is 9:30 am to 3.00 pm with no break at lunchtime
(Click Here for Directions to The Old Chapel, Huncote)

Velocettes offered for sale 
The Velocette Owners Club has been made aware of the offer for sale of Velocettes that appear to be incorrectly described. A physical inspection is usually essential and where there is any doubt regarding the history of the machine it would be wise to have a specialist check not only the machine’s condition but also its documented history.
The Velocette Owners Club does not offer a formal inspection service except as part of the DVLA registration services provided by our Registrations Officer. These inspections do not address the mechanical condition of the machine.

News (most recent first)

2014 Rally at The Bowl
After nearly 40 years the Annual rally was relocated to the West Midlands. The reasons for this have been given at some length in various Fishtails.
With many other national and international events being held on the same day we knew that we would have some competition for our event, with regards to attendance.
An atrocious weather forecast in the preceding week that proved to be greatly inaccurate certainly didn’t help matters!
Several members took advantage of the on site camping from the Friday through to the following Monday morning.
The Rally itself was held in The Bowl, at the Burntwood Rugby Clubs grounds.
This new venue has given us a more inclusive area than at Husbands Bosworth, without being cramped.
The attendance was down from what we had hoped, but given the amount of other attractions being held that day, we are confident that when the word gets around from those that came, the numbers will match those of previous years.
Should any of you have any thoughts/ideas with regards to our new venue, I will be only too happy to listen to them.
If you want to come and have a look at this venue then you can, by attending the V.O.C. Annual AGM in April. Details will be announced in Fishtail shortly.
Alan Harper. alan25@lycos.com

RACING SUPPORT PROGRAMME: 2014 SEASON
The Velocette Owners' Club continues to encourage and support racing with Velocettes and we have increased the support offered. 
The Club will continue its long-established practice of contributing to the expenses of Velocette-mounted Club member participants in the Manx Grand Prix/Classic TT. In recognition of the very high costs of competing in the Isle of Man, the Executive Committee has decided to increase the level of contribution to £400 per race start. 
The Club will also make financial donations to those Velocette-mounted participants in the 2014 British Historic Racing (BHR) programme who were members of the Club at the relevant time, on the basis of race starts. In recognition of the high costs of participation, the Executive Committee has decided to increase this donation to £40 per race start. 
In accordance with established practice, the Dave Allcock Trophy will be awarded on a points basis, determined by the positions gained during the 2014 BHR season by Velocette-mounted participants, irrespective of Club membership status. The Arthur Lavington Trophy and the Renee Rhodes Trophy (the latter for 350cc machines) will be awarded on the basis of the most first places achieved during the 2014 BHR season by Velocette-mounted participants, again irrespective of Club membership status. The Harold Willis Trophy will again be awarded to the most successful rider of a girder-forked machine who is not the winner of another Club trophy. 
We admire the skill and courage of our racing fellow members and wish them every success and safe riding. 
Bill Greenwood 
Hon. Secretary 

World's Fastest Velocette
The Big Velo has run another year on the salt at the 2014 Lake Gairdner speed trials and ended the week with a new record run of 183.374 mph ...295.112 kph
It was not all plain sailing this year as dyno time was cut short by a last minute main bearing failure necessitating a new scratch built crankshaft. This lack of final tuning led to the first couple of runs being hampered by some massive nitro backfires almost stopping the back wheel around 150 mph. Luckily the engine is built like a tank and somehow withstood this brutal punishment. After 3 days of work searching for the correct set up and a salt surface that was very soft and rutted like a sandy motocross track and an engine that was starting to show metal in the oil ,a rear chain that was threatening to self destruct from the sledgehammer blows of the big supercharged single firing once every wheel revolution, the organizers opened a new track which gave us our one and only chance for a record run. The gearing was raised and the supercharger drive altered, ,fuel changed back to straight methanol and with a last minute start line ignition timing alteration and fingers crossed we were off.
With very little warm up the almost 100mph first gear launched us down the track with a light hand on the throttle because on an earlier run, almost uncontrollable wheelspin had started a tank slapper and almost ended the weeks fun..... I short shifted into second and again into third at less than 150mph and did not use full throttle until well tucked in behind the screen and the bike started to dodge and weave across the ruts caused by some of the Hyabusas and big cars that had run before me. The revs started to creep up past 6500 as the engine temps approached melting point and the Velo started to waltz a little on the soft surface as the final mile marker flashed by and I reluctantly closed the throttle on another year on the glorious white expanse of the Australian salt flats.
The question now is......Just how fast can a Velo go?
Click Here for photos, and visit the website www.worldsfastestvelocette.com 

STANDING ORDERS FOR MEMBERSHIP SUBS
Payment of renewal subscription by standing order has now been available for several years for members with a U.K. bank account. It complements the overseas members' electronic payment of subscription by PayPal and offers a reduced annual renewal fee of £20. Other advantages include the renewal of your membership without sending you a renewal reminder notice, which are often overlooked - and which may mean that your membership lapses 
DOWNLOAD A STANDING ORDER FORM to send to your Bank....and do remember to
LET ME KNOW when you've done it so that I know that you have renewed your membership! 

Those of you who use 'on-line banking' can usually set up a standing order on line but it is still essential to advise me of your action. As mentioned above I can only deal in Sterling and hence it is only available for individuals with a U.K. bank account. This can cater for overseas members with such an account, but they should ensure that they include the additional postal charge applicable within their payment. If you have any problems downloading the form please contact me.
Mike Spink   michael.spink@talktalk.net   Tel. 01902 605263

Velocette Events in New Zealand for 2014
1.) The Pukekohe Classic race meet has now been transferred to Hampton Downs, which is half way between Auckland and Hamilton, and the event will be held between 7th and 9th February 2014.
2.) The Velocette rally will be held on 15th February 2014 at Whangamata, South of Auckland.
3.) Street racing will take place on the next day at Paeroa, about 50km away from the Rally. (16th Feb).
John Bryant jbryvelo@gmail.com or 09 445 6483.

FACTORY DESPATCH BOOK SERVICE
The VOC now holds copies of all nine factory Despatch Books covering the period from 1921 until May 1951 except for the KTT, which continues until 1953. These books include Velocette models D, E, G, A, B, H, U, 32 and all their variations, also GTP, K, KSS, KTS, KTP and all their early variations and MOV, MAC, WD MAC, MSS and KTT. The information usually comprises Engine Number (in consecutive order), Frame Number, Tab Number, Invoice Number, Invoice Date and the name of the Agent to whom the machine was sold. On the right-hand pages are columns for the Customer's Name, the Date he made his purchase and the name of the Dealer through whom he bought it which was often different to the one the factory had sold the bike to. Obviously, all the right-hand page information was added after the bike had been sold by a dealer who supplied the details, usually, I imagine, in writing, but some of the entries suggest that they were occasionally transmitted verbally. Overseas agents did not normally return any customer details. Additionally, there are sometimes notes indicating a second-hand sale, a special finish, a show model, or something out of the ordinary and early books often give the make of magneto, tyres and carburettor. Please note that frame numbers are not recorded in numerical order so if your machine is a mixture it can be very difficult, and on rare occasions impossible, to find it. Also note that we do not have details for 1953-on RS-framed machines for which you should contact Mike Fotherby at Grove Classic Motorcycles or David Holder at The Velocette Motorcycle Co. Ltd.
Now that we have easy access to the despatch information the Club is able to provide a service to its Members whereby they may have a certified copy of the entry relating to their machine, the charge for which will be £10 inclusive. Foreign currency would naturally be something of a problem but Overseas Members can write to me (address in Fishtail) and can pay using a debit or credit card via PayPal. The Club's Paypal account is "velocettes@btinternet.com".
Click HERE to see a list of the models covered by the service.
Colin Goodwyn
Archivist

Velocette Owners Club Library and Archive Collections
The Library
consists of printed books relating to Velocettes and motorcycling matters. The collection also includes two record sets of the Club's magazine Fishtail. These are kept in a secure section of the Club's headquarters at Huncote. The book collection is listed in the link below (the magazine listing is ongoing). Members wishing to consult these publications must contact the Club Librarian, Dave Girdler, beforehand.
The Archive consists of original documents published by Veloce Ltd and component manufacturers. It also contains records of the Velocette Owners Club. The collection includes Handbooks, Spares Lists, Sales Brochures and photographs. A handlist of the archive collection is available at Huncote and will be more widely publicised when the listing is complete (this is still ongoing). Members wishing to consult any of the Club's archives must contact the Club Archivist, Colin Goodwyn, beforehand.
Contact information for the Archivist and the Librarian is in the inside back cover of Fishtail.
Click HERE to go to the Booklist section where the current list is available to download.  
Please note that Handbooks and Spares Lists covering the main Velocette models are available from the Club's spares service, Veloce Spares Ltd, at Huncote.

SPARES NEWS from VSL 
The twisted metal strip internal gear-change linkage, as used on late model swinging arm machines, cannot be considered to be one Veloce's finest engineering achievements. 
The multi-component linkage used on earlier models is aesthetically more pleasing, but, with extended use, it too can develop significant free play. 
We can now offer a kit of parts which enables either type of linkage to be replaced with one incorporating spherical rod-end joints (also known as 'rose joints'), thereby eliminating a major source of sloppiness in the gear-change lever. 
Click Here to see one shown fitted to a gearbox cover.
Members can order their 
VSL037  INTERNAL GEARBOX LINKAGE KIT  Spherical rod-end joint kit. Fits all swing arm models - no mods necessary 
from the Club's own spares company in the usual way. 
Veloce Spares Ltd

Topical News from the FBHVC
The Velocette Owners Club is a member of the Federation of British Historic Vehicle Clubs. Visit the FBHVC website at  www.fbhvc.co.uk for information about leaded petrol and changes to vehicle regulations etc, and in particular do read the Newsletters at http://www.fbhvc.co.uk/members-pages/newsletter-archive/ .  

Photos from Bruce Main-Smith 
Bruce was the leading tester for 'Motor Cycling' and reported on many Velocettes from the prototype Venom onwards. 
The Velocette Owners Club is delighted to have received from Bruce some photographs from his collection and a brief reminiscence of his Velocette experiences. 
Please click HERE to visit our Photo Gallery and view the BMS photographs.

How to get advice on your Velocette!
Use the Velo Technical Forum run by Dai Gibbison.
The Technical Forum is a better facility than the Q&A section of our site was, because it is "pro-active".
When you post a Q, it gets e-mailed to everyone else who has registered as a member of the Forum and opted to receive e-mails. 
Our Q&A page is still there, with all the many contributions from the two years that it ran, but it has relied on visitors to the site noticing your Q - unlike Dai's Forum which e-mails the Q to its subscribers.
Although you have to plod through a boring 'join the forum' process, after that it works very efficiently.
Please use the Forum rather than our Q&A page for any new Q's
Click HERE to find out how it works.

THE VELO TECH DATABASE YOU'VE BEEN WAITING FOR IS HERE AT LAST, COURTESY OF DAI GIBBISON
Dai has compiled a comprehensive database of Velocette technical data - most of the essential settings and clearances that can prove so elusive to hunt down in print are now on-line at http://homepage.ntlworld.com/david.gibbison/v-tec/ This is on Dai's own website, so just click its name to go there and use your 'Back' or 'History' buttons to come back here. While you are there, make sure you add it to your 'Favorites' because you'll certainly be visiting it again. You'll be amazed at how much information is already there! But there is room for more, so if you have information to offer or spot the odd typo, do let Dai know. 
(PS - Dai has recently added a table giving the number of Velos currently known to the UK vehicle licensing authorities, with their year of initial licensing. Some of these years are after the factory closed.....but that will surely be a tribute to some heroic, back-from-the-grave restorations, as well as re-imports, re-manufactures, and for certain admin reasons. Thanks again Dai) 
Members will be amused to know......
....that Dai's spell-checker converts "Thruxton" to "Thurston"

Owen De'Ath offers copies of 1500 original Velocette drawings 
These are from 35mm negatives made during the war of part specification drawings from 1919 to 1941. 
The drawing index is on Owen's website, www.owensvelos.co.uk  The index can be down loaded free. 
Info is also there regarding 5 speed gear clusters.

To help settle some club-night arguments...
While searching the dustier corners of the Old Chapel's "library" (in the hope of finding more original Velocette Catalogues), a copy of the factory's official Price List dated November 9th, 1956 turned up. Click HERE to see it, but allow a couple of minutes since it is an image of the original not just the text.
To see some photos taken for catalogues or adverts and which may help define the original features of some models, click HERE 

Ed Gilkison's website now available  
The main man for Velocette parts and services in North America, Ed Gilkison is now on the web with a site that offers many tips from his vast experience. Visit it now at  velogb.tripod.com (Please note that there is no "www." needed before the site name if you prefer to type it in later.)

KTT Enthusiasts Website
Rob Drury, (who is well known to many Velo Owners for keeping us supplied, until recently, with precious pressed steel and other vital parts) has a new mission in life - the KTT. Rob has launched a website devoted to the model, and it is already well worth a visit - just click on www.mkviiiktt.co.uk 

Wiring Diagrams Added to Our Website
Most are now in "Tech Info", in a format that should let you print them in a legible format.

Old News (but which may still be of interest)

VOC ANNUAL SPONSORED RACE MEETING - Photos
There was a good turn-out of Velos for the annual British Historic Racing meeting, sponsored by the VOC, on Sunday 22nd June 2008. The weather remained dry, but with a strong wind. Velocettes were well represented in the individual events but sadly the BSA / Velocette Challenge Race had to be ended after only two laps due the rider of a BSA falling and injuring himself.
Click HERE to see some racing photos from Tom Roche

AGM 2008 - A good time was had by all
Over 100 members turned up to the Royal Oak at Ockbrook on Sunday 13th April for the club's AGM. 
The meeting followed the traditional format with reports from the committee, followed by election of this year's committee members. 
Prizes were given out to deserving members. 
The weather proved kind and after a splendid buffet lunch and some Real Ale we moved on to Ivan Rhodes's house to inspect his collection of rare Velocettes. 
Click HERE to see some photos from Tom Roche

Unusual Velo Wins "Best Bike" in Stockholm show 
On 6 September 2008 Swedish Member Mats Hanslin won "Best Bike In Show, People's Choice" in the "Mods versus Rockers" show in Stockholm. 
Click Here to see his heavily customised MSS

50 Years Old - the Velocette Owners Club; and Venom 353BTB
The first meeting of the Velocette Owners Club was on 9th March 1957, at the Red House Hotel in London.
50th birthday events will be announced in Fishtail, and then here.
Meanwhile, my own 1957 Venom is also just 50 years old. 
It's had a hard life, so as a tribute to it and to Veloce Ltd I have recorded some of the events in the 50 year life of Venom 353BTB.
Click HERE to read it, but it is a longish article so if you prefer to read it off-line.... 
click HERE to download it as a Word document that you can save and dip into later.
Update - with the engine rebuilt 353BTB is ready for another 50 years of hard riding:
click HERE to see 353BTB at age 50 years and one month; or
click HERE for examples of some mods that make riding a Venom more pleasant.
If you've read the article.... did Bob fix it? We think he did! 
But there's another 1000 miles to do before we can be certain; watch this space.  
Yes - he fixed it! (And several other imperfections.) 
Click HERE for a summary. 
Tony Wright, website drudge, The Velocette Owners Club 

Report From The Velocette Owners’ Club of Australia's 2005 Centenary Rally 
Click HERE for a description of this impressive event and photos of Velocettes under the southern sun   
Contributed by David Royston 

The Dorset Centre's Bob Foster Run 2005
The Bob Foster Run is an annual event organised by the Dorset Centre of the V.O.C. It celebrates the career of Velo. Works Rider A. R. Foster, TT winner, World Champion and Dorset motor dealer.
The run takes place on the first Sunday of October and regularly attracts well over 120 participants. The starting point is the Village Hall at Crossways, Dorset and from there the route takes you through the lanes and villages of Thomas Hardy's Dorset, passing close to Dorset landmarks such as the Cerne Abbas Giant (or the aptly nicknamed 'Rude Man') and T.E. Lawrence's cottage at Clouds Hill, to mention just a couple. After a lunch stop on the coast the route takes you back to the Village Hall at Crossways for afternoon refreshments and prize giving.
Photos
1 Ex Chairman Roger Franklin with better half Jane.
2 West Mids. Centre Members and Chairman Jim Plant - L to R John Wright, Jim Plant (Chairman), Mike Spink (Membership Sec. No 146) and John Conolly (No. 138). No. 38 in background should be R. Underwood from Dorset.
3 Scott and Passenger
4 The Village Hall at Crossways and the queue for afternoon tea.
5 The autojumble - eager buyers viewing the lots whilst the unsuspecting owners are enjoying tea inside the Village Hall.
6 Start 'em up. Those with difficult to start machines were easily identified whilst other participants looked on.
7 They're off. Reading member Dennis Frost leaves the start at Crossways Village Hall on his 1965 L.E. Mk III followed by No. 31 (Ariel) W. Morrana of Dorset.
8 Mr. Jim Plant, Chairman
9 Mr. Bryan Clarke Editor of Fishtail
10 Milton Abbas - Bob Foster Run 2004
11 Milton Abbas - Bob Foster Run 2004 - Dennis Frost waves to the camera, aboard his 1963 Vogue
Contributed by Brian Coldicott

Report From The Australian Single Cylinder Tour 2005
Click HERE for an explanation and photos
Contributed by David Royston 

Good turnout at Stanford Hall Centenary Rally on Sunday, 3 July 2005
Click HERE to see a photo of some of the machines, taken by Tom Roche.

Velocette Owners Club Stand at the Classic Bike Show in 2005
Click HERE for a photo of our stand, taken by Tom Roche

Report From The Australian 2003 Cape-To-Cape Rally
Click HERE for one rider's experience of this year's Rally around a corner of what is clearly a rather large country......
Contributed by David Royston 

AGM 2003 Pictures of Some of the Award Winners
Chairman's award - Bob Higgs 
Rosebowl trophy - June Kingsbury 
Award to - Vic Blackman
Best Bike award - Bruce Boulton (& KSS MkII)
Photos by Tom Roche

An Impressive 100mph Australian MOV 
Click HERE for a picture of a remarkable MOV in the Museum at the Mt Panorama (Bathurst) circuit museum, then HERE to read its story
Contributed by David Royston

Racing Update from the 2002 New Zealand Programme 
Archived - click HERE to view

Update - Velocette WINS the 2001 Classic 500cc Clubmans Championship downunder
Archived - click HERE to view

Velocette Owners Club Stand at the Stafford Classic Bike Show in 2001
Click HERE for a couple of nice photos of our stand, taken by Tom Roche

Our Web Site
Launched on 1st September 1999, the design of the site aims to echo the Velocette engineering standard: nothing frivolous (well, almost nothing), and the use of colour is limited mainly to "black and gold". You don't get an image unless you ask for it, and even then it is sent as efficiently as its quality permits.

Our primary communication medium will continue to be the printed copy of Fishtail, mailed regularly to each and every member and, we hope, getting even thicker and more frequent. On this principle, the only commercial references or links on our website will be those which relate to current trade advertisers in Fishtail (see Trade Ads for the current Advertisments and Contacts for the address of the Trade Ads Secretary). To appear on this site, or to add a link to a commercial site, just put a trade advertisement in Fishtail.