Classic bikes keep owners young at heart

By Gary Hamilton-Irvine

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A convoy of old-style British motorcycles will roar into town for the first meeting of its kind in Rotorua.

About 30 Velocette motorcycles, and their owners, will gather in Rotorua from tomorrow for the Velocette Owners Club of New Zealand's annual rally.

This is the first year the club has held their annual rally in Rotorua and they will put their bikes on display outside Mitre 10 Mega on Saturday from 3pm.

The club gathering will go for five days and includes convoy rides across the region.

Rotorua's Graeme Cartwright said Velocettes were wonderful machines and had an interesting history.

"It is funny how we look at some old thing like that and go 'that is beautiful'.

"We think they are pretty switched on," Mr Cartwright said.

The Velocette Motorcycle Company was a small family-owned business that built their motorcycles by hand in England from 1913 to 1971. During that time the company collected great success in a number of world races and established records.

Mr Cartwright said that, to his knowledge, his three Velocette bikes were the only ones of their kind in Rotorua.

"It was basically what I had when I was a teenager and I didn't want to grow old, so I held on to them."

He said one of his Velocettes still has the original gear box from his first bike he owned when he was 16.

Mr Cartwright said there was a lot to like about the machines but one thing stood out.

"The distinguishing characteristic with a Velocette is the timing chest cover which looks like the shape of South Africa.

"No other British bike has that configuration on there."

- Rotorua Daily Post

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