Velocette Racing New Zealand 2018 Projects

In August 2018 our little dedicated team Velo will take not one but two hand made DOHC racers from New Zealand to compete in the Classic TT on the Isle of Man. We have the Eldee Velocette and excitedly a new addition being a replica of the works racer from 1936, housed in the rolling chassis used by the factory in the early 1950’s with a girder front end. The other very special part of this project is the father son rider team of Bill and Chris Swallow. Bill’s father Ken was the Velocette agent for Yorkshire and Bill spent much of his early racing career punting a modified Thruxton, a machine he still has and that Chris won his first classic race aboard. We could say the Swallows have a long history and soft spot for the little Velocettes and over the last few years racing them here in New Zealand. Nick Thomson of Ngaio is the engineer extraordinaire behind the building and tuning of these two bikes with this being our most ambitious project to date.

Building a works 350

Words by Phil Price

With the exception of a few gems from the BBC, free to air television is pretty much rubbish everywhere. Certainly this is true in Australia and New Zealand where I spend the bulk of time. I sadly admit to catching a few episodes of Australian Ninja Warrior, a kind of sports game show where pumped individuals test themselves against a kind of confidence course carefully designed to have them falling unceremoniously into the drink. The contestants get to have support from a friend or family member who runs along beside them offering advice on strategy, motivation, and often condolences should they fail. The failures are of course the best part, the crowd with hands over mouths, tears, the compères offering insincere condolences. It’s a fairly pathetic formula that apparently makes good tele. What becomes quickly apparent is the undeniable truth that there is a certain body type that is capable of scaling the obstacles and arriving in good time at the big red button. Its all proportional power to weight. The cute little one no matter how determined is not going to cut it with those short arms, neither is the over proteined upper body builder. Unsurprisingly it’s the wirey around 70kg — 1.7 metre types who without too much fuss and motivational pumping just get on with the business and get to the end quickly and efficiently…
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