2015 Decade of the Burt, winning cammy trio line-up

This section of the site is all about the bikes. We’re proud that we compete and earn prestigious class wins in Classic Bike racing events with our stable of Racing Velocettes. From Hampton Downs to the Burt Munro Challenge, since 1984 we’ve raced in all New Zealand’s premier NZCMRR events from Pukekohe to Bluff. Lined up in the pits at the 2015 Burt Munro Challenge in Invercargill, November 2015, L to R are: Chris Swallow (1st), Phil Price (5th), Cloud Craig-Smith (2nd), Nick Thomson and Bill Biber (3rd). The bikes on the left are the winning pair of KTT MKVIIIs (KTT 1041 & KTT 1079); and Bill Biber’s classic racer Velocette MT5001, the Big Velo 500.

To experience these classic racers in action watch Theo McDonald’s thrilling short film Velocette Racing at the 2015 Burt Munro Challenge (Duration 8:40), read Phil Price’s excellent chronicle of the Invercargill Street Races or view the slideshows of the Pre ‘63 Class at all the Burt events. To learn more about the individual bikes, click on the thumbnail images or links below to drill down to the full noise about each bike.

Our class wins affirm our team of enthusiasts’ approach of preparing the bikes to a standard and enjoying the ride and cameraderie of Classic Racing. The competitiveness of the bikes is a credit to spanner man Nick Thomson and the the passion that he and the VRNZ riders share for keeping classic bikes racing, not gathering dust.

Velocette MKVIII KTT 1041

Factory records from 1949 show KTT 1041 going to English dealer, privateer, and factory rider Arthur Wheeler (5 August 1916–16 June 2001). I never met Arthur although he had been to New Zealand at least once… Read more >>

Bill Swallow aboard Velocette KTT. Pukekohe 2012.

Velo KTT MKVIII model

BILL SWALLOW races the Velocette KTT Mk VIII (No. 1041) at the Pukekohe NZCMRR Classic Bike Festival, February 2012. His son Chris races the same bike at Hampton Downs February 2015. Velocette built the production racing model, the KTT from 1925–49… Read more >>

Chris Swallow aboard the Mk VIII, Burt Munro Classic 2015.

The Classic ‘Pre 63 machines at the 2015 Decade of the Burt

The racing for the Classic Pre ‘63 racing machines at the tenth anniversary Burt Munro Challenge covered 3 of the Burt’s 6 events, kicking off on Thursday 26th November with the NZ National Hillclimb championships on Bluff Hill… Read more >>

Velocette MKVIII KTT 1079

Factory records only note this machine, quite late in the production of post war MKVIII KTT’s was a new export direct to Melbourne, Australia. Not much has surfaced about its history between then and my acquiring it at a Bonhams auction on the eve of the Rugby world cup final, hosted in NZ 2011. Eldee 2 has taken most of our enthusiasm since then but this year the dust was blown off 1079 with the intention we always had for this bike which was to develop it a little more than the famous and well documented 1041 from Arthur Wheeler… Read more >>


Hampton Downs Summer Classic, 7–8 February 2015

This page is a set of slideshows that chronicles all the Classic and Post-Classic classes racing in the 2015 Hampton Downs Summer Classic… Read more >>

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

Big Velo an ongoing history

As I had only heard about ‘Big Velo’ in revered and almost mythical tones, when friend and new owner Phil Price of Christchurch telephoned to say he would be honoured if I’d race this piece of New Zealand history at the 2014 Burt Munro Challenge, the honour was most definitely mine. In 1924 Veloce Ltd produced a single cylinder 350cc bevel driven single OHC engine: elegant, reliable and powerful, the model ‘K’ was… Read more >>

Velocette, Big Velo, Peter Butterworth, Pete Butterworth, Phil Harrington, Muriwai Beach Races, 1965

Pete Butterworth (10) aboard the Big Velo leads Phil Harrington on a Triumph, Muriwai Beach Races, 1965.

The full U.K. and N.Z. history of the Big Velo

THE BIG VELO HAS won no less than eight national titles, five national beach championships and eight NZ TTs. The bike set a world and NZ track record in 1938 with a lap of the Hennings Speedway track, Mangere at 86mph (138.4kmh)… Read more >>

‘Big Velo 500’ slideshow >>

Isle of Man Classic T.T. Junior Race. Bill Swallow rounds The Bungalow aboard Eldee 2 during practice. A2 Landscape Poster. Photo Credit: Russell Lee/Sport-pics

Eldee-2, 250cc, DOHC, lightweight special

Isle of Man Classic T.T. Junior Race 2014. Bill Swallow rounds The Bungalow aboard Eldee 2 during practice. The Eldee Velocette or Eldee Special ‘Eldee 2’ is one of only two hand built racers made by Australian Les Diener… Read more >>

1-2-3 Eldee: The legend continues

Chris Swallow’s BRNZ article about the preparation for the IOM 2014 event. Read more >>

Nick Thomson’s 2014 Eldee-2 at the I.O.M. Classic T.T. Journal

Nick Thomson’s story of the Eldee-2 at the 2014 I.O.M. Classic T.T. … Read more >>

1934 Velocette KTT MKIV

So on balance a small and interesting range of machine specs and riders at varying stages of career and familiarity, but on track the three were a tight bunch with the youth on MKVIIIs swopping places and paint here and there to take a win a piece, Bill consistent and classy as ever underpinning the 1, 2, 3. I was on the ex Ivan Rhodes MKIV well down on power behind Neville Mickleson looking most familiar on the ex Pete Butterworth’s MKIV… Read more >>

Velocette Venom, Pukekohe Classic Bike Festival

1956 Velocette Venom the ‘world’s fastest Velocette’

ANDREW DRAKE SWEEPS around the hairpin at the Pukekohe Classic Motorcycle Festival February 2012 aboard Nick Thomson’s Venom. ”Venom models were produced 1955–70. In ‘61 a production Velocette Venom set the 24-hour world record at a speed of 100.05 mph (161.01 km/h). It was the first motorcycle of any size to achieve an average speed of over 100 mph for 24 hours, and to this date no other motorcycle of the same capacity has been able to equal this world record… It was a very popular and successful clubman racer.”—Wikipedia. >> Velocette Venom slideshow >>

1933 Joyce brothers’ MOV 250cc with ‘dustbin’ fairing

PHIL PRICE SWEEPS through the hairpin racing his MOV in the  Hampton Downs Summer Classic, Feb 2015. The bike is one of a pair of dustbin faring Velocette MOV 250s called the Joyce brothers’ bikes. The pair were successfully raced in NZ through the 1950s and were really only troubled by NSU Sportmax machines at the time. The pair have actively raced since joining the VRNZ collection and have been ridden in recent years by both Chris and Bill Swallow in NZCMRR events. They have been maintained and race-readied by Nick Thomson. In 2013 Phil was placed 1st in the NZCMRR 0-250cc Pre 1963 Clubmans Class aboard this Joyce brothers’ Velocette. >> Joyce brothers‘ MOV slideshow >>

Andrew Drake, Velocette Mac, Pukekohe Classic Bike Festival, 2012

1954 Velocette Mac 350cc

ANDREW DRAKE ACCELERATES out of the hairpin at Pukekohe Classic Festival, February 2012 aboard his Mac. “Post WWII the market for sporting motorbikes remained strong, and Velocette continued to produce the 349 cc MAC for racing. At the 1947 TT, the Velocette MAC won the first four places in the Junior race, and in 1950 they were the 350cc World Champions.”—Wikipedia.

Pete Butterworth, Velocette KTT, Pukekohe Classic Bike Festival, 2012

1935 Velocette KTT MK V 350cc

PETER BUTTERWORTH ASTRIDE his 1935 Velocette KTT MK V  at the 2012 Classic Festival, Pukekohe Park Raceway, New Zealand. The KTT is doubtless one of the great British sporting motorcycles. Introduced In the early 20s when Veloce realised they needed a new machine of advanced specification. They developed an overhead camshaft (OHC) 350 cc engine, which became known as the ‘K’ series, introduced in 1925…Read more  >>

Velocette Clubman, NZCMRR, Hampton Downs, Classic Bike Festival

Velocette Clubman 350cc

ROBBIE THOMPSON‘S 350cc Velocette Clubman racing at NZCMRR Hampton Downs Classic Bike Festival, February 2012.