Velocette Motorcycles

Today in Motorcycle History

Velocette 1927

Reports on sports machines of 1927

The last motor-cycle tested in 1927 was a 348-c.c. o.h.c. Velocette, this being the actual machine on which H. J. Willis finished second, at 64 m.p.h., in the Junior T.T., behind Freddie Dixon. Uncanny mechanical silence and docility at low speeds were, nevertheless, highlights of this thoroughbred roadster. The T.T. job was very similar to the 1928 K.S.S. model, save for the footrest position and lack of a kickstarter. The K.S.S. was guaranteed to do 80 m.p.h., while the T.T. machine could do about 85 m.p.h., so obviously Veloce Ltd. had put much of their racing knowledge into their production sports model.

Over the bumpy I.O.M. course the Velocette steering and roadholding were superlative, even to a rider who had broken a collarbone only a fortnight previous and who couldn't raise one arm above handlebar level. No trace of dither or wobble intruded at speed and rearwheel bounce was all but absent. With the steering damper hors de combat, Bray Hill could be descended flat-out! Well-placed footrests encouraged fast cornering and the rear brake could be operated without moving the left foot from the rest, the action being good if the toe prodded hard enough. The front brake, operated by a very long inverted lever on the right bar, was even better, and the Velocette water-drain on the brake anchor plate was, of course, fitted. In first and second gear about 45 and 65 m.p.h. were possible and the climb from Ramsey to the Bungalow was accomplished in second at between 50 and 60 m.p.h. The clutch was well-nigh perfect, one finger being sufficient to withdraw it, while it re-engaged so smoothly, progressively, yet positively, that the rather high bottom gear went unnoticed and it was even possible to start in top gear without snatch or "pinking." The gear-change was equally delightful, by a conventional lever in a very compact quadrant on the tank top.

Altogether a very desirable machine, this K.S.S. Velocette, priced in 1927 at £75. And a good year's testing, withal."

Article published in 1949 by Motor Sport Magazine