At the risk of overexposing my Clubman, let's get the ball rolling. (Thanks Morgan).
I rescued this bike from a suss little Danish feller in London in 1974, (I think he might have been running drugs with it between Copenhagen and London). The bike was well shagged, but complete, 99% original, and a genuine Clubman. I was happy to chuck him 80 quid for it. I had just passed up on a perfect DBD34 Goldie for 400 quid, -it seemed excessive at the time (Hah!!!) It then emigrated to Oz and got the treatment. Don't ask me to choose between it and one of my kids!
What's different between a Velo like this, and a bike like a Triumph 650 or A65 BSA or BSA B50, in terms of living with it and maintaining it?
I've had enough experience with BSAs that I feel like if I bought a pre-unit Gold Star, I'd be pretty familiar with how it all worked, with some exceptions for setting cylinder head spacing, but the clutch and tranny and gear train and such would be pretty standard.
Where does a bike like this catch you out ... ?
I'm like super lazy today. It's like normal lazy, but I'm wearing a cape.
A couple more... This is the little pre-war iron 350 MAC racer I built about 20 years ago. Velo lads will see plenty of mods and upgrades. (Not quite finished when the shot was taken). Nice quick little thing, sharp as a tack, -I should never have sold it, (what's new). Underneath is a KSS/Viper special, (the pre-war cammy motor in a later post-war swing arm frame) by an anonymous Tasmanian feller, - no pretence to originality, but a nice little cafe racer. (Thanks to Stephen Thewliss for the pic).
Just arrived back from the "Broadford Bike Bonanza" (Victoria Australia) -As always, a brilliant occasion. Could spend hours eulogising the bikes seen and heard, but this'n stood out for me. KTT Velocette racer, don't know much about it re: year, model etc, (maybe MK7 -8?), but what I loved about it is that it has been left just as raced, back in the day, -no restoration, no polishing, ... oily and rough 'n ready as it would have been back then. It's a family heirloom I gather, from Lara near Geelong.
Yes John, looked pretty orig apart from front end which was RS Tele forks and full-width front hub, (VR, VM type). If you were racing these in the nineteen fifties, you'd def' upgrade to that front end though eh? Nice? Mk7 or 8? Just not sure... the Mk8s seemed to have bigger cylinder finning, do you think? Actually, who cares, it's just great to see fellers still running these things 'in anger' after all these years!
I think its a Mk 8. But Im a long way from home at the moment from people who could tell in a second.
As I have said before several friends of mine race OHC Velos in NZ including 2 Mk 8s. At a recent meeting at Levels Chris Swallow riding a Mk 8 with original girder forks actually passed in the in field and beat a 500 Manx and a pre 76? Suzuki Titan 500 with expansion chambers in a Seely frame. Chris is a seriously good rider with seconds in the Manx GP in recent years but the guys on Manx and Suzuki are not too bad either. I have seen the Suzuki rider beat NZ Castrol 6 hour winners back in the day.
So you can really punt a Mk 8 if it's set up well and you are a good rider. You can see these bikes racing at the Burt Munro street races on the NZ racing Velos site.
I'm posting these pics on behalf of Dave Arthur, who I reckon is pretty close to the luckiest guy on the planet! He's recently scored this BEAUTIFUL original low mileage Venom. We're debating exactly what is is, (see his topic), but my theory is that it's a Mk1 Clubman built for the US market (hence high bars instead of clipons). I'm so envious (even though I've got one pretty similar), -what's great about Dave's is how original it seems to be... look at those finishes, not chromed where it should be zinc or nickel. superb but minimal patina Spent it's life in an air conditioned museum. Mmmmm what a find!
Hard to tell from here, whether the crankcases are from the 'iron' MSS or the later post war Alloy MSS. Engine number should tell us.That timing cover went on the earlier 'iron' motor. The later 'smooth' timing cover incorporated a slightly different lubrication system, I'm trying to remember, maybe something to do with an oil jet onto the cams. (Is there a reason the toolbox is sticking out or is it just my eyes?) I've seen them inadvertently mounted wrongly because mounting bracket holes are in the wrong place. Not nit-picking, just curious honest! Nice bike, how does it go? Yes, agree... just ride it!
Jools, I got the dating certificate from Grove along with a copy of the actual factory records. This bike left the factory headed for Rhode Island in the US on January 28th 1966 and was listed as a VELOCETTE MK1 VENOM CLUBMAN with ENGINE NUMBER 6172 and FRAME# 18690 on invoice #75017. It seems like seven Velocettes were shipped to VEHICLES RHODE ISLAND within a two week period at that time and then eight more the following month. The copy that I have of the factory records only shows the first three months of 1966 and after the 15 bikes that I previously mentioned I see no more going to VEHICLES RHODE ISLAND. In any case I now know that this bike is a genuine MK1 Venom Clubman.
As I suspected a Mk1 Clubman Dave, great! Fabulous bike. Interestingly my Mk1 Clubman came with a TT carb whereas yours has a Monobloc. Mine is a '64 and yours a '66. Quite likely that AMAL were 'running down' the TT at that time, or maybe they fitted Monoblocs to US market bikes.
Jools, I got the bike started the other day and rode it around the block. I only got it into second gear. The idle was very high and I could not get it to idle slow. I believe it had an air leak at the head. The o ring in the carb had lost its elasticity and was not touching the hard phenolic spacer. I got a new o ring but the fuel lines have become hard and the petcocks both leaked. I have repaired the petcocks by replacing the corks with VITON o rings. Now I am working on making new fuel lines. I may also replace the oil lines while I'm at it. Hopefully once I put the carb back on it will idle correctly. It was not hard to start and the motor sounded great. Bye the way since this bike left the factory in January of 88 it was actually built in 65. The year on the paperwork is 1967 as here in the states they go by what year the bike was first sold. This one evidently was first sold in 67 so its registered as a 67 but in reality its a 65. I notice in the paperwork there is a "C" after my engine number and I see that on many. I think it might mean CLUBMAN. There is no actual letter "C" stamped into the engine case, have you ever seen a "C" actually stamped into an engine case?
I'm pretty sure that C in the engine number denotes coil ignition. I'm pretty sure they didn't use a C suffix for the Clubman. (But those ol' blokes filling out the paperwork could have written anything, particularly if it was a friday arvo!) Yours has a K1FC magneto so it's not coil ign obviously. Obviously you'll have to go through a re-commissioning process, but if she started easily and sounded ok you're way ahead already. Yes, high idle could well be air leak around the inlet. I'd definitely flush the lubrication system, but it'll need to be well warmed up. The oil filter is a felt filter, and after all that time 'in storage' I'd feel happier with a fresh new filter. Did you have good oil flow back into the oil tank? When it's running, just ease off the banjo bolt that delivers oil to the rockers up top, -you want to see a seep of oil there so you know it's pumping up there. Clubmans have one-piece pushrods so you have to take off the zorst then the timing cover to adjust the tappets. Other models you can adjust via the cover at the top of the pushrod tube.
Jools, From what I read it seem the coil ignitions came later than 65 or even 66. There were many "C" letters on the factory paperwork after the engine numbers, I would say 85% and then there were 15% that said "E" after the engine number and I saw three bikes that did not say either "C" or "E" and they said nothing! I am planning on flushing the lubrication system. The oil was returning intermittently, not a steady stream but almost a steady stream. What is a ZORST? I will loosen the banjo and check to see if it is flowing. I bought a new oil filter from Grove but it is not felt, it is screen! I haven't taken mine out yet so I don't know what it is. Dave
Dave and Jools, I have a '67 Venom Endurance. My bet is that Dave is correct that the "C" on the paperwork means Clubman. I will also bet that the "E" designation Dave refers to means Endurance. My recollection is that the coil ignition didn't start till '68 or '69.