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At the Toronto SuperShow this January, I came across a Velocette Thruxton at a vintage bike booth. One of the most beautiful of the factory cafe racers, only 1108 of the quirky Thruxtons were ever made, and only during the last six years of Velocette production in Hall Green, England, between 1965 and 1971. The Velocette Owners Club has some amazing old photos and catalogues from the marque's heyday.
The Velocette Owners Club of North America brings together two of my favourite things every year, old motorcycles and road trips, for an annual 1000 mile ride—sometimes in Canada, sometimes in the USA. This past July, the 30th Annual Velocette Ride explored the high desert of Northern Arizona (another one of my favourite things. Maybe I should be looking for a Velocette next?)
The Club rides about 200 miles a day, the majority riding a Velocette, which were essentially built for racing (in 1961 a Velocette Venom roadster became the first and only 500cc motorcycle to average over 100 mph for 24 hours!) You gotta applaud that kind of dedication—to the machine and to the road, and to the many hours of on-the-fly tinkering and repair that is an inevitable part of this style of touring.
So in celebration of the 30,000 miles the Velocette Owner’s Group has ridden together over the years, let's all shake our heads in admiration over the epic Amal GP carb that was so big a notch had to be cut in the fuel tank to accommodate it.