As regular readers will know, Velos are close to my heart, although admittedly I came late to the marque, so I hope you’ll get as much fun from reading the features as we have from compiling them.
Much of Velocette’s reputation stemmed from the machines made by the men at Hall Green’s successes on the race tracks of Europe and elsewhere. From the 1920s to the 50s, Velocette was at the forefront of racing success; more often than not ridden by British riders. And I don’t know if anyone else has noticed, but in the world of ‘modern’ racing British riders are actually giving their strongest showing for years. As I write, local-to-our-Lincolnshire base Sam Lowes has been crowned Supersport World Champion, Yorkshire’s Tom Sykes should claim the World Superbike crown soon (ahead of a host of fellow Brits), Scott Redding is leading the Moto2 championship and although Cal Crutchlow isn’t near to winning MotoGP, he’s a consistent front runner, while his team-mate Bradley Smith has established himself too. It is a long time since the British riders have been so well represented – and these Isles even have their first Speedway world champion since 2000, in the shape of Scunthorpe-born Tai Woffinden. To borrow a phrase, it’s years since we’ve had it so good!
Perhaps the British industry is going to make a similar renaissance? Not likely, I know, but we can but dream and at least Triumph is still flying the flag (and there’s talk of a new ‘Tiger Cub’ – just what Roy’s calling for? See on page86 of the new issue). Among the machines I’ve been lucky enough to ride this month, during the lunch stop on a club run, were the two shown, both machines I’d not ridden. Owned by generous enthusiasts, they (a 1926 TT Triumph and a 1929 Douglas B29) were chalk and cheese, the Triumph barking, raucous and eager, the engine feeling strong and willing, with the Douglas sweet and gentle in manner, its electric motor-esque power plant smoothness ‘mechanified.’ Both were fabulous, so thanks to Neil Diver and Frank Dolman for the opportunities.
And on a Douglas theme; at Banbury a chap left his details and wants to talk about SW/DT5 type Douglases. His son also emailed me later, but I can’t remember names or find the details and it’s bothered me ever since. If you recognise yourself, please get in touch again!
James Robinson, Editor
Where legends come to life
James Robinson, Editor
James Robinson has been the editor of The Classic MotorCycle since 2002. Aged 34, he has possessed a motorcycle licence for 16 years and during that time has owned and ridden all manner of motorcycles, spanning over 100 years from oldest to newest.
Presently the custodian of a varied shed full of motorcycles, his overriding enthusiasm is for pre-World War Two sporting machines, with a couple of cammy Velos, a Rex-Acme and a Model 9 Sunbeam among those competing for attention.