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Ron

Velo's

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The motorcycle section has gone quiet again so just to open it up for the new year, a little info on WD Velocette’s.

 

The first model was the MAC (WD) The frame and engine numbers were stamped with the prefix MDD. (I’ve never known exactly why?) The bike was basically a pre-war model MAC in green paint and dull chrome and just around 1400 were supplied before the War Office called for a more dedicated military model designated as the MAF which was to have its engine de-tuned a bit and have the facility to carry a pillion passenger and be equipped with panniers. Velocette produced a special frame for these with a built in sump protection lug. Another feature that was requested to be changed was the one down, three up gear change of the MAC, to comply with most of the other makes, one up, three down. This just about left Triumph as the odd one out! Less than 1000 model MAF were supplied before the WO cancelled any further contracts with Veloce and set them onto other war work. I guess the slow almost hand built nature at the Velo works coupled with some of their quirky features, meant that they were not well suited to military use, especially front line or REME workshops. The French government had ordered some, but as Paris had fallen before the bikes were dispatched, they were re-allocated to British units. My own MDD is one of 9 bikes that were sent to an Anti-Aircraft command in Oswestry and I know of another 8 that were given to the 12th Lancers at Tidworth……All in 1941. I also assume some must have been sent to Russia as I've seen handbooks printed in Russian.

 

Velocette’s were equipped with Miller electrics, which again stands them apart from the usual Lucas equipped bikes. The MAF model had blackout lamps which included the very seldom seen these days, ‘Miller’ equivalent ‘fag end’ tail lamp. These lamps were only ever fitted to MAF’s Flying Fleas and the few Miller equipped Matchless G3L’s.

 

Just for interest and willing to discuss and/or learn more. Hoping to see and ride with a few of you again in 2017. Ron

Collection 055.jpg

MAF 046.jpg

Edited by Ron

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Hi Ron,

Many years ago I was given a handbook for a military Velo, it had the Chilwell contract stamp across the cover if memory serves me, but am not sure if it was for a MDD or MAF, I think possibly the latter. One thing I do recall, and your mention of the WD request to change the gear shift operation was that the handbook referred to the gear sector mechanism as being a Scott type. So was this the MAF? Now wondering if Scott helped out Veloce with this modification. There was a lot of collaboration between manufacturers involved in war work at the time.

 

regards, Richard

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Hi Richard, I haven't heard of the Scott involvement. Maybe that was something to do with the original design of the gearbox? The change from one down to one up was a simple operation where they eliminated the overhead linkage of the long MAC pedal and introduced a new pivot point on the rear engine plate to connect a shorter pedal directly to the shift lever at the front of the box. Ron

MAF 189.jpg

MAF 193.jpg

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Interesting Richard! I've read that through about three times and it sounds like the gearbox internals were designed and built by Veloce and supplied to the Scott works in Yorkshire back in the 30's. After which, Scott took over the manufacture under the proviso that they supplied any needed parts for Velocetts.......Is that your take? Ron

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Interesting Richard! I've read that through about three times and it sounds like the gearbox internals were designed and built by Veloce and supplied to the Scott works in Yorkshire back in the 30's. After which, Scott took over the manufacture under the proviso that they supplied any needed parts for Velocetts.......Is that your take? Ron

 

 

Hi Ron,

That is what I made of it, funny how a casual remark unveils something like this. I thought it odd on seeing the manual mentioning Scott. I will find the link that this came from, as there was a lot more about it, think it might have been from Scott enthusiasts in Australia! Will add it to this post, when I find it.

http://www.scotttechnicalities.com.au/technicalities/Chapter%207/7.3%20Three-Speed%20box.pdf

 

regards, Richard

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Ah right Richard. I've had a quick scan though that article and deduced that Velo designed a linkage type foot change to convert from a hand change box, which was able to be converted back to hand change. This must be what is fitted to the pre war MAC/MDD. (hence the long gorky pedal) It looks to me as though Norton must have done a similar thing.

 

For the MAF (and subsequent models) they had redesigned the outer cover to do away with the linkage altogether and make the bike's foot change only.

 

Velocette's are well known for some of their weird and wonderful designs. (The clutch is another work up!!) Ron

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After taking over the Sturmey-Archer box, Norton tidied up the positive stop that Sturmey had developed when they began to offer foot change (although hand change remained an option up to 1939).

 

In a similar way, Nortons apparently had to agree to continue supplying boxes to Brough under the licence conditions. (The boxes were actually made for them by Burman)

 

Aren't Scott boxes odd things with chains inside or was that just the early ones ?

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I've never owned a Scott Rik but have definitely heard of chain and sprocket gearboxes. It must be like derailleur gears in a box?

 

Ron

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After taking over the Sturmey-Archer box, Norton tidied up the positive stop that Sturmey had developed when they began to offer foot change (although hand change remained an option up to 1939).

 

In a similar way, Nortons apparently had to agree to continue supplying boxes to Brough under the licence conditions. (The boxes were actually made for them by Burman)

 

Aren't Scott boxes odd things with chains inside or was that just the early ones ?

 

 

 

I have a 1947 Scott Squirrel and the primary and mag chain is inboard, the final drive has an outrigger for extra support, I think this design remained throughout the production and may have even been used on the Silks from the seventies. In operation it is a very good clutch and as its dry it doesn't get stuck after standing for a while.

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I've never owned a Scott Rik but have definitely heard of chain and sprocket gearboxes. It must be like derailleur gears in a box?

 

Ron

 

Hi Ron...hope you had good Xmas and New Year? Things must be quiet in the workshop if your talking about Velo gear changes ..LOL!

 

Based on my understanding...Velocette invented and patented the positive stop gear change in the 1920's but the original version was external to the gear box. You can see this on late 1920s cammy singles ( like my 1929 KSS) . They then in the mid 1930s internalised the positive stop mechanism on bikes like pre war MAC which became MDD and MAF models during the war. Having improved the system on their own bikes they licenced the old external deign to Scott to make some cash from the patent.

velocette gear change.png

 

You can see above the mechanism is the round bit behind the gearlever attached to the top outside of the gearbox.If you look at pictures of Scotts you will see a similar arrangement.

 

With regard to chain and sprocket gear boxes I have seen articles in the classic bike mags with bikes that have these and they are usually one chain and a pair of sprockets per gear, the required gear sprockets engaged by dogs rather than a single chain and derailluer system.

 

Hope this helps.

Edited by andy1960

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Hi Andy. I wondered if you'd pitch in. Thanks for the up date. I've always got something to do in the workshop! Currently restoring a 1940 BSA WD C10. Although I must admit when it's freezing cold, the central heating can entice me to stay indoors in front of the telly or computer.

 

Ron

 

PS. Perhaps I should start another thread about this

SS853393.jpg

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Yes Ron, you should. There is a Dane restoring one as an MP bike at the moment that probably wouldn't mine seeing your work.

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Ha Ha Niels! An MP on a C10? How would he ever catch anyone?

But I'll start a thread anyway. Ron

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Ha Ha Niels! An MP on a C10? How would he ever catch anyone?

But I'll start a thread anyway. Ron

 

Good man Ron .Its always interesting to see how a restoration is proceeding. Based on your usual rate of work I look forward to seeing it completed when we come to Poole and see you in May this year! ;)

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Always pleased to see you and your lovely wife Andy. Restoring a bike to me is like reading a good book. Once I start I can't put it down! Ron

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