Star-Crossed Scrambler: BSA-Velocette "VeloStar"

Meet the VeloStar: a Velocette 500 single in a BSA Gold Star frame with suspension from a Husky. Yes, we’re serious.


| September/October 2016


Velostar Street Scrambler
Engine:
Velocette 499cc air-cooled OHV single, 86mm x 86mm bore and stroke, 10:1 compression ratio (8.75:1 stock), 40hp-plus (39hp @ 6,200rpm stock)
Top speed:
100mph (est.)
Carburetion:
Single 32mm Amal Concentric
Transmission:
4-speed, chain final drive
Electrics:
12v, solid state BT-H magneto (BT-H racing magneto stock)
Frame/wheelbase:
BSA Gold Star dual downtube steel cradle/57.25in (1,454mm)
Suspension:
Husqvarna telescopic forks front (BSA telescopic forks stock), dual Öhlins shocks w/adjustable preload rear (dual Girlings stock)
Brakes:
6in (152mm) SLS drum front, 8in (203mm) SLS drum rear
Tires:
90/90 x 21in front, 120/90 x 18in rear
Weight (dry):
320lb (145.5kg)
Seat height:
33in (838mm)
Fuel capacity:
3.5gal (13.25ltr)

Ever since an enterprising mechanic first fastened a stationary engine to a bicycle, motorcycle builders have been mixing and matching engines and chassis. In the early years, it was usually motivated by expediency. Many motorcycle makers — especially in Britain — were small companies that had started out building bicycles. Most could turn out a motorcycle chassis and running gear, but the expertise, equipment and machine tools to produce a motorcycle engine required a significantly larger investment.

As a result, it was not uncommon to find that your Sun, Cotton, Rex, OK-Supreme or even Vincent-HRD was powered by a proprietary engine from Villiers, Blackburne, Rudge or JAP. In fact, the most prestigious bike maker of his day, George Brough, never built an engine of his own, relying on JAP and Matchless to power his Superior motorcycles.

But by the 1950s, the British motorcycle industry had consolidated, and proprietary engine makers all but disappeared — save for the ubiquitous Villiers 2-stroke. Engine swapping now focused on matching the superior handling of, say, the Norton Featherbed frame and the tuning potential of, for example, a Triumph 650cc engine. It’s said the Triton came about as a result of the popularity of Formula 3 auto racing in the early 1950s. Formula 3 limited capacity to 500cc, and the engine of choice was the double overhead cam Norton Manx. Norton refused to sell its engines separately, so engine-less Manx chassis started appearing in the classifieds. The custom building era is older than you might think.

The Velocette engine





Ride 'Em, Don't Hide 'Em Getaway

Classic Motorcycle Touring and Events.


The latest classic motorcycle events and tours.

LEARN MORE



The sound and the fury: celebrate the machines that changed the world!

Motorcycle Classics JulAug 16Motorcycle Classics is America's premier magazine for collectors and enthusiasts, dreamers and restorers, newcomers and life long motorheads who love the sound and the beauty of classic bikes. Every issue  delivers exciting and evocative articles and photographs of the most brilliant, unusual and popular motorcycles ever made!

Save Even More Money with our RALLY-RATE plan!

Pay now with a credit card and take advantage of our RALLY-RATE automatic renewal savings plan. You save an additional $4.95 and get 6 issues of Motorcycle Classics for only $24.95 (USA only).

Or, Bill Me Later and I'll pay just $29.95 for a one year subscription!




Facebook Pinterest Instagram YouTube Twitter


Copyright 2018, All Rights Reserved
Ogden Publications, Inc., 1503 SW 42nd St., Topeka, Kansas 66609-1265