Sunday, February 24, 2013


Stuart Hooper aboard his supercharged Velocette, which just recorded 171.6mph at Lake Gairdner, Australia
From Stuart Hooper:

"Hi to all,

For the first time in many years Lake Gairdner Speed Trials were unaffected by wet weather.  The surface was initially a little rough and the weather very hot requiring a careful eye on engine temperatures and excessively rich mixtures to ensure the engine survived the meeting. After a steady sighting run to check out the new body and steering geometry the Big Velo ran 166 mph on its second outing !!!!  This was good cause for celebration as the Velo was now the Worlds fastest British single surpassing the fantastic Vincent Might Mouse of Bryan Chapman.
The Velocette unfaired; this photo gives an idea of the modifications required for stability at 170+mph
After a photo session day I decided a higher speed was possible and lined up again with a bit higher gearing and a higher ratio supercharger drive. The third run was only 152mph but this was against a 15 to 20 mph headwind so it was back in line for another 8 hrs for one final run. Friday morning was calm and cool, ideal conditions.......... but the morning ticked inexorably by with one delay after another and a headwind starting to flutter the flags and things looking like the meeting could be cancelled without another run. Finally the track was clear and the Big Velo boomed away from the line with its nearly 100mph first gear into a 7 to 10 mph gusting head and slight crosswind. By the time I changed up from third into top at 156mph the bike was weaving and darting about somewhat in the ruts on the track and the odd gusts of wind, but with the throttle hard aginst the stop one hand hovering over the clutch lever and the revs climbing towards the 6500 mark the track markers started to slip by faster and faster  until the final timing light flashed past and it was time to slow down with the old MSS single leading shoe brake smelling as only red hot 50 year old asbestos can. Back to the pits to see the crew flashing lights, cheering and jumping around !!!!......... 171.600 mph !!     .....  A fantastic end to a great week....... The Velocette name is again in the record books were it belongs !
A closer look reveals the efforts of Stuart Hooper to retain the 'Velocette' identity of the machine; from the front - standard wheel hubs, standard steel 3.5gal fuel tank, 'map of Africa' timing cover, standard gearbox, oil tank, arcuate-slot rear suspension adjustment, and standard rear wheel.  The crankcases look original, but are highly modified for strength.
Worlds Fastest Velocette.
Worlds Fastest British Single
Worlds Fastest Single Cylinder Sit On Motorcycle.
A sincere thanks for the support to my crew and all of you over the years,
Stuart Hooper
ps..... Just how fast can a Velo go ?"
From the rear, we can see the supercharger and enormous SU carb, as well as the monoshock rear suspension and massive front fork assembly.  A highly modified machine, but with definite Velocette DNA.  Note the cheeky Velo KSS oil tank lubricating the dyno...


Anonymous said...

171.6 mph !! out of a single of that vintage, it would be good to see under the skin to see the prep' and build to see why the motor & gearbox doesn't get blown to smithereens.

whatever, congratulations.


Squire Neil said...

Go to the man's website

Outstanding job!

Anonymous said...

A visit to the team's website is enlightening. There may not be much original Velo in the machine, but the evolution and development over time shows an amazing dedication to a goal. Chasing speed records just seems to capture the imagination and passion of some special people.

GuitarSlinger said...

I dunno personally . I mean ... worlds fastest Velo in comparison to what ? Faired ? Unfaired ? Same for the worlds fastest British single and single cylinder normal position M/C . Without a bit of context it all seems a bit meaningless and an exercise in hyperbole IMO . Sure its a nice number . Well worth the mention . But unless one places the bike into one particular class or another its just nice set of numbers with little or no meaning to anyone other than the owner/rider and those over awed by the Velocette moniker .

Just one mans opinion mind you ... but if we're going to go claiming this Velocette out ran a Vincent we're going to need a bit of context and definition to back that claim up

The Vintagent said...

This doesn't need any 'definition'...171.6mph on a Velocette-based machine is INSANELY FAST. As far as I can tell, it's the fastest single-cylinder Anything in the world, which isn't a 'cigar' streamliner.

Anonymous said...

Hey Paul,
Nice report on Stuart’s endeavours, I wish I had been able to make the trek to Lake Gairdener.
My wife and I have moved back to Oz, so will see you over here for the Velo rally some time.
I wanted to draw your attention to a book you may not have seen, “Unusual Motorcycles” by Francois-Marie Dumas.

Keep up the great work

John Stoddart

Squire Neil said...

I dunno personally . I mean ... worlds fastest Velo in comparison to what ? Faired ? Unfaired ?

Fastest... as in there is no other Velocette that has gone as fast

Same for the worlds fastest British single and single cylinder normal position M/C . Without a bit of context it all seems a bit meaningless and an exercise in hyperbole IMO

Fastest as in no other British single, or single cylinder normal position motorcycle has gone as fast

Can't really understand your point. If you had been arguing that the bike is not really a Velo because of all the work done on it, that would be a different argument