1921 Velocette 220cc D2
Registration no. BF 4412
Frame no. 741
Engine no. 723 21 BO
Velocette began in the early 20th century, initially using a Belgian proprietary engine, before fitting an F-head design of their own; the machines were marketed as Veloce. Their first 2-stroke was announced in 1913, and was immediately christened as a Velocette, as were all the 2-strokes that followed. The name proved so popular in fact that from 1925 onwards every new model was known as a Velocette, a brand that has made a major contribution to the 2-wheel history book. Indeed, in living memory, the Mk VIII KTT racer was acknowledged as a definitive mount for the 350 Class, whilst in 1961 a team of riders rode a 500cc Venom around the banked circuit at Montlhery for 24 hours, at a record average speed of 100mph! Given the figures provided in Osprey's informative book: Velocette; Technical Excellence Exemplified by Ivan Rhodes, it's on record that Veloce Ltd manufactured almost 15,000 2-stroke models, never larger than 249cc, but including several types of Ladies Model and a sports TT version. The D2 required a starting process which is best described thus: 'Having assumed a correct riding position, paddle the motorcycle in a forward direction, and release the clutch!' An intimidating instruction by the standards of today, perhaps, but par for the course during the early '20s. Further proof of the company's early 1920s commitment to 2-strokes is that a total of more than 1,200 'D' and 'E' models were produced between 1921 and 1926.
This un-restored 2-speed D2 was purchased by the vendor in 2007; since when it has resided, un-ridden, within his temperature-controlled collection, its patina a superb contrast to the gleaming row of post war Hall Green 'iron' alongside. Given the machine was first registered in May 1921 it is worth recording that the specification included valance mudguards front and rear, cast alloy foot-guards, a chain guard, and a rear parcel carrier. The appearance is further enhanced with the gold-lined, triangular-tapered, black fuel tank, and the offside 'pepper pot' engine casing, a typically stylish feature of most post-1919 Velocette 2-strokes. It is regrettable that there is virtually no available history of the machine's lifespan, aside from an RF60 log book, first issued in 1957. In addition to the correct magneto, supplied separately, the Velocette's file includes a V5C registration document, a selection of relevant photographs and illustrations, plus a constructive 2007 letter from marque expert Dave Masters. This rare, tiny Velo, warrants close inspection.