610 BRM - 1960 Velocette Viper 349 cc Motorcycle
The Velocette company was formed in Spring Hill, Birmingham, in 1905 by Messrs John Taylor and William Gue as 'Taylor, Gue Ltd'. The Company name was soon changed to Veloce Ltd, matching the name of the Company's first model. In 1913, the first two-stroke machine was launched as the 'Velocette' and again the Company adopted this name, retaining it for all future models. Production moved to a new site in Aston, Birmingham in 1920 and again to Hall Green, Birmingham, in 1926. The Company's 150 cc 'LE' model, in production from 1948 to 1970 is well known as the 'Noddy Bike' as used by many UK police forces. The Company ceased trading in 1971.
The single cylinder, 349 cc 'Viper', designed by Charles Udall, was introduced in 1955, as a successor to the Velocette MAC which had been launched in 1933. The engine features a bi-metal cylinder with a cast iron liner, high compression piston and light alloy cylinder head. The bottom end is the same as that used on the contemporary 500 cc 'Venom' model.
Velocette's 'fish tail' exhaust is a feature, and the Viper features much chrome plating. Initially, the model was offered in black or 'willow green' and red examples are comparitively rare. The glass fibre panels enclosing the engine were an innovative feature at the time of introduction, although they later became an option. The model continued in production until 1968.
This motorcycle was bequeathed to the Society in 2003 as a 'kit of parts' by a long standing Society member, and after some years in storage, it went away from the Museum for restoration by Society members Phil and Chris in 2011, returning in running order in summer 2012.
|under construction - the Velocette in January 2012|
April 2013 - After much work and tuning / setup by Roy and Mick this now runs and starts much easier, it has now had a few oil leaks fixed and is now back on display.
Velocette Owners' Club
Page updated 27.4.13