Motorcycle Classics Blogs > From the Owner

From the Owner

The ups and downs of owning a classic motorcycle


Of BMWs and Velocettes

Velocette 

Thanks for the comprehensive explanation for the replacement of BMW pushrod seals (January/February 2013), an operation I have performed many times. One point that will help DIY owners to align seals correctly: each one has a raised line at its base. If set perfectly vertical on the tube when offered to the crankcase, this ensures the seal is in the correct position for insertion. If it twists either way, a poor seal could occur.

The article on the two Velocettes brought back fond memories of a 1962 350 Viper I owned while living in England, one that allegedly belonged to a Velocette employee when new. Timed at Thruxton during a Crazy Day, it pulled a genuine 90mph, the one and only time I ever rode it that fast. It would show many 500s a clean pair of heels and hold the road as if glued to it. It proved smoother and mechanically quieter than most of its contemporaries and would acquit itself well against a 350 Gold Star, and in some cases the 500.

I wonder what happened to 771 AJW, which I sold for a mere 400 pounds? A genuine, unmolested Velocette Viper, reliable to a fault, that showed sheer quality even after some years of use. Here it is in its original red/black livery as delivered from the factory. MC - R. James/Florida