Sunday, 4 June 2017

After Kempton Park

After Kempton Park 2017

I met up with Fred, another of the volunteers, at the Southern Classic Bike Show and asked him for some pictures of his 250cc BSA Gold Star. A question you will ask is that BSA didn’t make a 250 Gold Star. In that you would be correct, but they do exist. What stirred my attention was a 250cc Velocette made from a 350cc KSS I saw in an article on racing Velocettes from the sixties.

250 KSS

Both use the 350cc barrels but with a short stroke bottom end. There was even a Norton ohc modified in the same way. Post World War Two there was nothing being produced by any of the manufacturers to go racing with in the lightweight category.

Jones Edward Special

It was not until the mid sixties that Greeves got the ball rolling with their Silverstone race bike using Villers engines. Greeves made a lot of parts to make these go better. This was at the time when two stroke engines were ruling the roost in the lightweights and massively out-performing the four strokes of that era. Honda had a 250cc four and Suzuki and Yamaha had equal numbers of cylinders on their two strokes with MZ joining in too!
In the fifties there were a number of British engineers that were doing some impressive things like REG who made a dohc 250cc twin that was based on the racing NSU of 1951. Sammy Miller has got that one on show. 

New Imperial won the best club stand with some excellent turned out bikes As always DOT has something interesting to talk about, as with this lightweight. 

A racing version now being restored at Brooklands has the barrel turned around and the exhaust ports facing rearward. More on that another time. 

 Around the show was a very rare Rover and some Italian masterpieces with this MV and the Pesaro Aermacchi. I think the Italians have some very stylish  bikes from the fifties and sixties that went extraordinarily quickly.