From Eldee Velocette

Big Velo 500, Bill Biber, Bluff Hill, Bluff HIll Climb, Burt Munro Challenge, Flagstaff Road, Motupohue, New Zealand, NZ Hill Climb Champs, Rider 4, Velocette

The Burt 2015

Initial enthusiasm for a five pronged cam attack on the South Island were reduced by a small chunk when guest Cam had unavoidable wrist surgery in the diary that weekend. So it was with these four overhead cams that Team Velo departed for battle at the Burt Munro Challenge 2015: KTT MKVIII No. 1041 ex Arthur Wheeler, KTT MKVIII No. 1079 ex Leo Andrews, 1934 MT5001 ex Bill White The Big Velo, KTT MKIV. Cocking talented and somewhat battle scarred legs over such splendid machinery was Squadron Leader Price, Brigadier Biber, returning to active service, Captain Craig-Smith and Squaddie Swallow. Tank Commander Thomson of the Royal Engineers had our backs and over the top we went, showing no fear in front of the Southern enemy and not selecting top gear until seeing the whites of their eyes. Etc. Right, enough of that. Keep on reading!

Velocettes at the Burt Munro Challenge 2015

The racing for the Classic Pre ‘63 class (with and without girder forks), including Phil Price’s superb collection of original Velocette racing machines, covered 3 of the Burt’s 6 events at the tenth anniversary Burt Munro Challenge. Kicking off proceedings on Thursday 26th November with the Bluff Hill NZ National Hill Climb championships, the Teretonga Circuit Races & Practice Day spanning Friday–Saturday and culminating in the hugely successful new Honda Invercargill Street Races on Sunday 29th.

The VRNZ Classic Velos competed in the Pre ‘63 (with girder forks) Class along with Neville Mickleson’s KTT, Rudges, a Triumph and an Indian and other famous marques pictured in the galleries below. Several riders from the VRNZ camp also raced machines in the Classic Pre ‘63 class, and the Post Classic Pre ‘72 class, galleries of those classes at the event are included below. The trio of cammy 350cc KTTs and the Velocette “Big Velo” 500 are featured in the Classic Pre ‘63 with girder forks slideshows at each event, the galleries of all the other bikes in the Classic Pre ‘63 and the Post Classic Pre ‘72 classes, including the Eldee Velocette, are in labelled galleries. There are also galleries of scenes below from the  Classic Pre ‘63 motorcycle pits and Dummy grids. Completing the photographic project documenting the event another page of photo galleries of all the other classes will be published soon over at MagentaDot Brands. This will chronicle all of the Classes of motorcycles that raced at the 2015 Burt in the events listed below. There is also a selection of shots of motorcycle pit culture, the support teams, machines and the crowds in and around the four day festival of events. I’d like to extend a vote of thanks to all the riders who put it all on the line, their support crews, the event marshalls, organisers, admin and sponsors that made the 10th Burt the festive, thrilling spectacle that it is. Finally kudos to Wellington Velo man Nic Thomson for the outstanding achievement of developing, race prepping and fettling the four Classic Girder Velos that achieved so many historic wins at the Burt and finally acknowledge the remarkable fact also that all bar-one both started and finished every event entered over the four thunderous days in November.
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Megaphones at the Isle: Racing IOM Classic TT 2014

Republished from New Zealand Bike Rider Magazine, November 2014. Words: Chris Swallow | Photos: wpfotos, Dave Kneen (, Russell Lee, (Sports-pics), and Fent

New Zealand Bike Rider Magazine’s classic scribe, Chris Swallow, shares the trials, tribulations and unscheduled beer breaks that are all part of the ultimate classic race…

You’re in the middle of a hot practice lap, scratching away as best you can around, say, Hampton Downs and you miss your apex into turn 1 by a foot, you’ve got to roll off with the right hand and momentarily wait. Just over a minute later, on the next lap, subconsciously aware of your previous error, you get it did right, the bend unfolds sweetly before you and you open the throttle in the knowledge you’re online, the exit is yours in that bend’s in the memory bank for the next lap, and the next. Picture the circuit where you can’t see your apex as you approach it, travelling at a speed that is faster than your race bike has ever been before, you miss you apex by a foot and then have to wait 37.73 miles to have another go at it. When you arrive there again around 22 minutes later… Bollocks! You make the same error, have to roll off the throttle, and then it’s back to the pits as the practice session is over for the night. The allure of trying to ride the Isle of Man TT circuit well entices hundreds of racers each year to a small rock in the Irish Sea.
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New Zealand Classic Motorcycle Racing slideshows

R11-250_Club-12This is an introduction and guide to New Zealand Classic and Post Classic Motorcycle bike classes (categories) and regalia. There is an overview of Classic and Post Classic race structures  amply illustrated by a comprehensive portfolio of Classic racing slideshows from the 2015 Summer Classic. The purpose is a meta view, to describe the complexities of organising Classic + Post Classic Racing downunder and to provide insights into the pure spectacle of the VRNZ Classic racing slideshow portfolios.
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Hampton Downs Summer Classic 7th & 8th February 2015

You would have to say the main focus of the Hampton Downs weekend for VRNZ was the Eldee and the opportunity, with Bill Swallow being out here from the U.K., for him to ride the Eldee for the first time post the Junior Manx Classic race at the IOM TT last August. Some significant engine modifications have been done since then including the new cams (which Nick Thompson described in his saga of the event). They were given a careful going over and we were keen to relate back Bill’s new engine lap times this year to Chris Swallow’s lap timesheets last year with the old engine running on methanol which had been such a great success. Hampton Downs is a fast circuit so Chris’ quick times last year were the basis for encouraging us to consider competing in last year’s 250cc ‘Phil Read’ Classic TT trophy. The new Nick Thompson Eldee-2 engine of course is running on petrol which is altogether a more challenging prospect to tune as a small engine.
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21 August, 2014. Chris Swallow, Nick Thompson, Bill Swallow and the Eldee TT 250cc Velocette Special on hold in Pit Lane, Isle of Man.

Eldee 2, ‘Phil Read’ Classic TT trophy race report


Tuesday 26 August, 2014. The Eldee 2 was competing for the 250cc ‘Phil Read’ Classic TT trophy in a shortened 3 lap race that combined the 250s race with the Okells 350cc Race on the Isle of Man. The team congratulates Tom Jackson, on the T20 Suzuki, who was awarded the ‘Phil Read’ Classic TT Trophy as the first 250cc machine, and also acknowledge his achievement finishing in 20th position out of 45 finishers (and 62 starters)  in a mixed 250 &  350cc field. The Eldee Velocette developed two unexpected problems in the race;

  • The rear wheel became tight for some as yet unexplained reason and
  • the magneto gear stripped a few teeth clean off.

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Engine man Nick Thompson selects a carburettor jet for the Eldee Velocette

Our rider, multiple Manx Grand Prix race winner Bill Swallow, will be competing for the new 250cc class Phil Read Trophy today

Bill Swallow, Eldee Velocette, Eldee-2, portraitOur rider, multiple Manx Grand Prix race winner Bill Swallow, will be competing for the new 250cc class Phil Read Trophy (the new Phil Read Trophy, will go to the first 250cc machine in the Monday’s Okells 350cc Classic TT Race). Bill Swallow is to ride the Eldee Special in the Junior Classic, today, 25th August.

Good people, good company, long days

Engine man Nick Thomson replaces the cap on the Eldee TTs magnetoSaturday morning, 23 August Isle of Man time: The Eldee had two practice laps around the 37.5 mile (60km) Isle of Man circuit last night, the chief goal of the practices was to try and sort out the carburettion as the Eldee is down on power, she is developing about 10% less power than we think can be reasonably expected. The cause prior to practice was uncertain, and the last avenue for unlocking that potential engine power, it was hoped, was going to be in tuning the carburettion in practice. Specifically finding the right fuel/air mix for the humidity and altitude conditions the bike is working in on the Island on the day. The best lap time is averaging about 82mph, so the Eldee is just not on the pace to be a contender in today’s race against machines with fastest lap times in the order of 94–95 mph. On the positive side of the ledger, the findings from the I.O.M. Mountain Course practice laps is it seems that the source of the problem lies deep in the DNA of the engine design, it appears that the cam timing is probably the root cause of the under-performance of the engine. On reflection the engineering experts agree that running the Eldee on methanol in all race conditions previously in New Zealand, because methanol is a more forgiving fuel than petrol, this has effectively masked the extreme cam-timing problem with the engine design from all the stakeholders, from the rider to the the Automotive Engineers.
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Eldee Velocette, front three-quarter, poster, A2, portrait, Craftsmanship, mock-up

Unveiling the new Eldee 2—The launch announcement

Bill Swallow, Eldee Velocette, Eldee-2, portraitJULY 31, 2014, CHRISTCHURCH, NEW ZEALAND. The V.R.N.Z team is proud to announce the launch of the new Nick Thomson DOHC [1], Dual Ignition Eldee 2, the 250cc lightweight special is equipped and ready for the Isle of Man Classic T.T., August 2014. Our rider, multiple Manx Grand Prix race winner Bill Swallow, will be competing for the new 250cc class Phil Read Trophy (the new Phil Read Trophy, will go to the first 250cc machine in the Monday’s Okells 350cc Classic TT Race). Bill Swallow is to ride the Eldee Special in the Junior Classic, 25th August. Bill still holds the record for fastest ever average laps around the Isle of Man circuit on single cylinder machines: 1998, 250cc Aermacchi, 98mph (157.72 km/hr). 1996 350cc Aermacchi, 102.23 mph (164.5 km/hr). 1999, 500cc Manx Norton, 108.03mph (173.86 km/hr). At this proud milestone in the campaign we’d also like to express our gratitude to our sponsors and supporters, listed at the foot of the page.
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Classic Racer Magazine, Eldee Velocette letter, Kiwi Invaders look for good results,


This excellent letter from Eldee Isle of Man 2014 sponsor Tim Matt expresses excitement at the prospect of our rider, multiple Manx Grand Prix race winner Bill Swallow, competing on the 250 Eldee 2 Velocette for the new 250cc class Phil Read Trophy (the new Phil Read Trophy, will go to the first 250cc machine in the Monday’s Okells 350cc Classic TT Race). The letter has been published in Classic Racer Magazine’s current July 2014 issue. (Classic Racer Mag is another of the Eldee Isle of Man 2014 campaign’s sponsors.)
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Eldee Velocette, tshirt, Velocette Racing New Zealand

Jeepers! Our new community page has gone Facebonkers!!

Representing the VRNZ team today… are our brand new Fb page Admin, Ms Olive Price and a certain Editor, Shaun Waugh. It is two days since the launch of our new VRNZ Fb page. Page Admin and Ed just wanted to let you all know that we are really excited by the results of the ‘kick-start’ launch promo.

Thanks sooo much everyone! Frankly we’ve been blown away by the enthusiasm of your response, you guys are awesome!

Waking up this morning, Olive in Dunedin, and me in South Brighton, it was quite hard for us to believe the sheer numbers of your Likes and the speed with which they climbed overnight !! >>> Likes = 825 >>> Page likes = 807.
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