Wow! fabulous thing. And you're right, that frame colour is a bit 'in-yer-face'! Tell us how it goes. Lots of the fittings are the same as on my now departed '72 Ducati 450R/T, -Forks, triples, controls, switches, lights etc. The last gasp, it was.
I'm getting a little... err... uneasy about these 'letters'. We need to distinguish between what may be written on the paperwork and what is stamped on the engine cases. It was all too easy to scrawl something on the paperwork back in the day, so that's not a reliable indication of what Velocette classed the bike as. And that's the important thing... it's the actual engine number stamped on the LH crankcase that is the identifier.
Of course over the years some crankcases have been replaced, (usually as a result of the driveside bearing punching through the crankcase), so we're dealing with the imperfect anyway. I just would like to urge caution against assuming that certain letters mean certain things even though the letter on the papers seems convenient. So...
'C' did NOT mean Clubman, and 'E' did not mean Endurance. (On paperwork the boys could write anything)... It's the crankcase stampings that are the REAL I.D.
MAC, MSS, VR, VM, VMT. They were the postwar prefixes. When the coil ignition was fitted, there would be a 'C' suffix AFTER the engine number. - C means COIL, not Clubman.
I'll try to unearth my info on engine numbers soon, lets try not to jump to convenient conclusions. It's all too easy for misinformation (fake news Donald?!) to become fact once it gets splattered all over the net.
The Indian Velo is a restoration of a 1970 year bike, but based on the Leo Tartarini (Italjet) prototype (instead of the stock color ugly bike) commissioned by Floyd Clymer back in the day, 1968/1969. The original prototype is in the possession of Tom Brim, and has the blue painted frame, but the blue is somewhat darker in color and faded compared to this restoration. I sold this bike (in the photos) a while back, to a gent in North Carolina. He seems happy with it but said the clutch was slipping... I never did master the art of the Velo clutch but presumably he got it sorted. By the way, even though the original Tartarini prototype of 1969 had the frame painted blue, I caught a lot of flak for doing that. Many folks who were interested in the bike were put off by the color. It's a shame because the bike as I received it was in worse than terrible shape, and deserved special treatment. And as a tribute to Tartarini I still believe it was the right thing to do.
Such a shame we've 'lost' many of the pics because of the greed of Photobucket. It's happened all over the forums. Mine still appear because they are hosted by Imageshack at a cost of about $35 a year, -similar to what Photobucket are charging for a month from what I've heard. I shall be researching what other companies are associated with Photobucket, and will boycott them where possible.
Joolstacho, I am awaiting a new forum release this fall. With that new release members could upload hi resolution images to BritBike's server for storage. The photos will be compressed to a much smaller size however this service will be offered to premium members which either pay a life premium membership of US$105.00 5 years membership of US$55.00 one year membership of $12.95
photos uploade needs to be related to our BritBike hobby just as the posts needs to be. The above service will drive costs for the website as we need to increase storage space / Bandwidth and so on.
Photos will be secured on the server as long as the threads/posts stays up meaning if you delete a post the attached photo will also be deleted.
We are not quit there yet but hopefully later this year.
Thanks for the info Morgan, sounds like a useful upgrade, though the issue for me personally would be that I need my hosted images to be available on at least a dozen different forums -(not only bikes).
Here's my late 60s Venom Clubman. It's registered as a 1969, but that was year of sale, frame and engine are older by a few years. Just recently brought back to life after sitting in my parents garage for about 9 years. Eric
Last edited by Eric Eccleston; 07/29/174:12 am.
'69 Velocette Venom Clubman '57 Norton 19S '56 BMW R69
That's super Eric, well done for rescuing it. Good score, how does it go? It has the smaller, rounded 'Scrambler' tank, (the Clubman tank was the 41/4 gallon more rectangular shape). But has the equipment you'd expect for a late 60's jobbie. Is it a TLS or SLS front brake?
Who knows what variants/equipment combinations Velo were shipping to the US around '69, I think there was some mix 'n matching going on using up stock just before the fall. (Eeek! Those bars hurt my eyes though!!!! :-)
Oh, c'mon... Those are "American" bars! It's all totally original. It has the TLS brake, Thruxton forks and fenders, tachometer, and K1FC magneto per Clubman spec. There was an east coast importer who thought his batch of Velos would sell better with the high bars, scrambler tank, non swept back exhaust, and a little more chrome on the generator belt cover and chain guard. I've thought about getting some low English bars. My dad thinks we need to upgrade to 12v and an Alton starter!
'69 Velocette Venom Clubman '57 Norton 19S '56 BMW R69
Yes the US importers often dictated to the english factories what would be put together.
There's the story about a major US BSA/Triumph importer who sent over a sample of a silver paint off a Ducati that he wanted for the frames of the upcoming models. Well, the bloke who ran the pommie paintshop looked at the sample and looked at his stores, and picked out something he thought was similar enough, and so they went with that. And thats how those BSA and Triumph twins ended up with that AWFUL light grey frame colour that looks like primer!
Jools, another question about the letters on the factory paperwork. I have a Venom MK 1 Clubman according to the factory paper work. They put the letter "C" on the paperwork but there never was a VENOM CLUBMAN with the letter C on the engine cases. All Venoms just said VM even if they were a Clubman. Do you agree? By the way I got mine running and it runs like brand new. It starts on one or two kicks and idles great. I adjusted the clutch with the little tool thru the sprocket and it has a little play in the cable and goes into gear without grinding. It does not slip and the trans shifts like butter. The lights and horn and brake light all work and the original Miller Dynamo is charging and the ammeter gauge is working but it is not the original one anymore. I am having the original one rebuilt.. I had the speedo rebuilt so it is now steady at any speed, then I lubed the cable. I put a dummy battery case on it with a 6 volt battery hidden inside. I put two new tires on it and the original brakes looked like new. I also put new clear oil lines on it and changed the stock check valve on the bottom of the oil tank to an "ON/OFF" one. I have a red flag hooked to it to remind me to turn on the oil before I start the bike. Its to hot here in Las Vegas to ride the bike for any distance but in another month that will change. Dave
Yes Dave, dead right. BUT... Never a MK1 CLUBMAN with 'C' on the crankcases. But Mk2 Clubman might have 'C' stamped, because the 'C' stood for Coil ignition which the twos could have.
I should have clarified my previous comments re: numbers. Postwar, Velocette only used the MAC, MSS VR, VM, VMT stamps on the crankcases, but towards the end they added a 'C' suffix for the coil ignition models. The later Mk2 Clubman would have had the 'C' suffix but only if it was fitted with coil ignition instead of magneto. But no Mk1s had coil, so no 'C' on their stamps. Clubmans had no special stamping on the crankcases.
BUT! - the paperwork from the factory to the distributor could include extra letters that indicated the model spec. C - clubman, E - endurance, S - scrambler (special?) etc. I think the REAL key to it is knowing exactly what equipment etc the bike had. For example, there are a lot of Clubmans around that were never actually Clubmans from the factory. But if you know the clues to look for it helps ID the bike.
For example (and here's a little known secret) English market Clubmans always had clip-on handlebars, so the top yoke was different, without the handlebar clamp 'extensions' in the casting because it didn't need the handlebar clamps on top. And those rear brake levers are a giveaway for Mk1 Clubmans too... Hmmm... Not many of the fake Clubmans have the correct rear bake lever.
But the trouble is with all this is that really, Velocette were a 'cottage industry', and there was a lot of give and take in terms of specs and equipment. I don't think they were so hard and fast, - if a parts shelf had run out, a substitute part would be fitted.
Eric's beautiful bike up there bears little resemblance to a UK market Clubman, but Lou Branch obviously had enough 'pull' with the factory to get batches of bikes made for him, to HIS spec. But that extra chrome plating... where that got done who could know. I'm not doubting Eric's bike at all, just saying that 'factory' specs could be quite 'variable'.
Dave your machine sounds just excellent, congrats mate, dead pleased for you especially as its an easy starter. (Just obey that red flag, - there are a few very sad stories of blokes who have 'forgotten' to turn on the manual oil feed taps!!!)
For what it's worth, my Clubman has no C stamp on the crankcase, which is consistent with it having the K1FC magneto.
My bike originally came from an East Coast importer, rather than Lou Branch out of Los Angeles. It would be easy to jump to that conclusion since I live in Pasadena, CA, but I bought the bike from the original owner who I believe purchased it in Virginia. This spec of Clubman is briefly alluded to in "Our Own Velocette Service manual", which is a great little booklet put out by the Reliable Cycle Shop. Quoting from Page 9, the section on Gas and Oil Tanks:
"Scramblers and the Endurance machine use the MAS63/2 teardrop-shaped tank, chromed with painted panels. A few Clubman models were exported to the USA in the late '60s with this tank as the importer thought it would increase sales appeal;"
Eric, I originally posted the pics of Daves bike on his behalf, so it's in my post (which is confusing I know), -see about 2/3 down page 1 of this topic - the post is from me but it is several pics of Dave's fabulous bike.