Tagged: Clubman

Old World Craftsmanship: 1964 Velocette Venom Clubman Veeline

1964 Velocette Venom R Front Full

1964 Velocette Venom Clubman Veeline. Now that’s a real mouthful of a name, but it just sounds so British. And it is, designed around a classic single-cylinder engine and built by hand by a family-owned company based in Birmingham, UK.

1964 Velocette Venom L Rear

These days, singles are most often associated with offroad and enduro-styled machines, or with practical, budget-minded learner bikes and commuters. But for many years, single-cylinder machines were a mainstay of the motorcycle industry. They played to the basic strengths of the configuration: fewer moving parts meant simplicity, which in turn led to reliability, light weight, and a practical spread of power. And Velocettes were anything but cheap and cheerful: they were famous for their quality construction and innovative designs characterized by gradual, thoughtful evolution and craftsmanship, as opposed to mass-produced revolution as favored by the Japanese manufacturers.

1964 Velocette Venom R Front Detail

Displacing 499cc’s, the Venom’s aluminum overhead-valve engine featured a cam set high in the block to keep pushrods short. It put about 35hp through a four-speed box that included one of Velocette’s innovative features: the first use of the “positive-stop” shift.

1964 Velocette Venom R Rear Detail

From the original eBay listing: 1964 Velocette Venom Clubman Veeline

For sale is my 1964 Velocette Venom Clubman Veeline frame# RS17215 engine #VM5634. It has the Lucas manual racing magneto, Thruxton seat, Thruxton twin leading shoe front brake, 10TT9 carb. 

I bought the bike earlier this year out of the Mike Doyle collection at auction. I don’t have much previous info on the bike, overall it is in great shape. The fairing has some nicks and scratches, and a crack underneath but presents well. To get it going, I changed the fluids, adjusted the clutch, brakes and installed a new 6V battery. After learning “the drill” the bike runs magnificently. I’ve put about 100 miles on it. The clutch works properly and it shifts fine. The TT carb is a challenge to tune and be civil around town so I’m in process of bolting on a new monobloc. The TT comes in a box. It does weep some oil out of the clutch while running so it comes with a new o-ring seal and felt gasket along with a few other bits and bobs like new rubber grommets for the cables and shock bushings.  

This is a very complete and highly original bike showing 6229 miles. I have a California title and it’s currently registered in my name. No reserve, happy bidding.

Update 10/7 – Finished installing the Amal monobloc and the bike runs and idles great, was able to take it for a putt. It doesn’t need a choke so I left it off, but comes with the choke parts and a new cable. I’ll post a video of the bike running on Saturday. One other item to note is that the decompression lever and cable are missing. 

1964 Velocette Venom L Side

The “Clubman” designation indicated higher-performance specifications, including higher compression and a bigger carburetor, along with a sportier riding position and a closer-ratio gearbox. The “Veeline” featured the optional fairing, making this particular example relatively rare.

Velocettes make ideal collectable British singles, owing to their high-quality construction and relative reliability. With several days, bidding is up to $7,800 with the reserve not yet met. I’m relatively unfamiliar with the current value of these, but this appears to be in very nice condition, and that fairing, will not especially sleek, is very distinctive!


1964 Velocette Venom R Front

1962 Velocette Clubman

The same seller who is offering the 1959 Velocette Viper has up for offer the bigger, badder brother. This 1962 Velocette Venom Clubman is the 500cc companion to the Viper, but with “Clubman” in the title, you get even a little more.


From the seller

Very nice bike in excellent condition. Running and roadworthy. Meticulous Owner, just serviced and ready to ride.


The Venom was offered from 1955 until 1970. Its 499cc OHV single in original form would give the rider 34bhp at 6200 rpm and top out at 100mph. The Clubman was offered in both the Viper and this Venom from 1960. Before it left the factory, the Clubman would get a bigger Amal TT carb, exchanged the Lucas magneto with an adjustable BTH racing mag. These combined with a higher compression piston raising the final compression to 9.3 to 1, created a bike that you could Club race, therefore a Clubman racer.

$_57 (1)

Along with the engine work, the bike came with rear-set foot controls, a close ratio gear box, and lower handle bars. A large front brake was available as well as a Megaphone exhaust to replace the more restrictive Fishtail that was Velocette.


As I had written about the Viper, Velocettes are a little less known by those who don’t covet them. The seller again is giving up 17 words and 3 pictures (of just two sides of the bike). This tells me that the seller knows his audience, and being someone who covets the Velocette Venom Clubman will keep an eye on this auction. BB


1955 BSA Gold Star

In the world of Classic Motorcycles it can sometimes feel like and exclusive club.  Those in the club can have the bike that is coveted, but often times they have the knowledge of the make or its history. This lack of knowledge may keep some from joining the Classic Motorcycle circle by intimidation. Reading the description of this 1955 BSA Gold Star offered for sale here on ebay is a case in point.

From the seller

Originally dispatched to the USA in scrambles trim and now repatriated and rebuilt in Clubmans trim. Original DB crank cases, flywheels and rod. Original barrel, bore +40 (I think, may be + 20, can’t remember) Clubmans cams, 2442, 2446. DBD head fitted with Thruxton inlet valve, even bigger than Goldie inlet

Most people who have worked on a motorcycle would understand that they seller is telling us something about the motor. But there are also some secret clues as to what else you are getting. What I can decipher is that this motorcycle was originally sent to the US as an off-road bike, but when it returned to the UK, someone took off the knobbies and high handle bars and put clip-ons and rear sets. One of the more famous Scramblers offered to the US Market was the Catalina, which commemorated the Grand Prix of Catalina which has just has a revival.

The seller throws in some suffixes, and these can tell you which year and state of development you are getting. In the case of Gold Star’s the DBD head was the from the final development of the Gold Star line, and would be considered the hot sh!%. The Clubman was the factory race ready bike, so the Clubman cams added to an original Scrambler would wake up your day.

From the beginning in 1938 until the final incarnation the suffexes are YB, ZB, BB, CB, DB, and finally DBD. See a pattern?  Each suffix received a new modification, sometimes insignificant, other time a game changer. An interesting accessory that came with each Gold Star when new, was a print out of the Dyno sheet, which allowed you to show what you had when you got it.

More from the seller

Gearbox RRT2 main case, lay shaft fitted with needle roller bearings, reverse cam plate, std ratios. Wheels rebuilt using Dunlop original chrome rims and new tyres. New reproduction petrol tank. Speedo and Rev Counter both restored original items.

The seller of this bike is targeting knowing BSA owners and in therefore forgetting about the masses. I am a firm believer that doing a little research and following that up with lots of questions is the best way to gain knowledge. And if this new knowledge leads you to become the new owner of this Classic Classic, all the better. BB

Which BSA A65 is for you?

Birmingham Small Arms (a great name for a motorcycle company) has a 650cc parallel twin that was offered from 1962-1972 designated the A65. I once looked to buy a BSA and knew the twin cylinder was a relative of the famous Gold Star. The only problem is that they gave it many different names, all representing different levels of tune and performance. Some names even changed from bikes offered in Britain and those same bikes offered in the US. And ebay offers one stop shopping for most models offered over those 10 years.

It appears that the  was one of the A65 twins offered. The 654cc engine with its single carburetor gave the Thunderbolt 46bhp and the and a top speed over 100mph.

The and Lightning Clubman (designating factory Café racer) upped the ante to 48bhp and 51bhp respectively. These two bikes were the first of the line to give each cylinder its own Amal carburetors’. A close ratio gearbox was an option to give it lively acceleration.

The top of the line was the  first offered in 1963. With its twin Amal GP carburetors with Velocity stacks, and 54bhp at 7250rpm pushed this bike to 120mph. At the top of the line improvements with the addition of a twin leading shoe brake and new frame design over the lesser bikes were included. It did trade rideability for the improvement in performance, the curse of owning any vintage racer.

Lets not forget about all those Americans who wanted to take there bikes off road, the  was for them. The addition of high, straight though exhaust pipes, and lack of lights allowed people to take there bikes into the woods, along the fire lanes, and into the desert. 

Changes made for the US were smaller tanks and high bars, something that might make a British bike look more like bikes offered by a certain

Check them all out and see what the seller’s offer.  BB