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2014 VOCNA Spring Opener

May 23, 2014

VOCNA? What’s a VOCNA? That’s the Velocette Owner’s Club of North America, a few hundred Velo Fellows and gals in the US and Canada. We meet a few times a year to ride the bikes as the makers intended. K & I were lucky to find the group and join back in the mid 1990s, and have enjoyed each and every event to date. Last weekend was maybe the 25th annual(?) Spring Opener to welcome the riding season in Napa, CA.


We rode all day in the pouring sun. P1010412

John at the breakfast stop in Napa.

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Eric is the youngest rider in the club, aged 20. He helped his father to build himself this red bike from a pile of parts two or three years ago. Nobody said that Velos have to be black and gold.

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Dad rides this green Metisse Venom.


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Kim on her 1930 KSS. A little tuning to the carb and years of practice have almost made the bike an easy starter for her. We’ll work on that a bit more this year..

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Jim brought two bikes; his fine MSS and his extra-fine KTS.


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Olav adjusts the clutch on the red bike during the coffee stop in beautiful downtown Pope Valley, CA. Population 1 I think.


Paul’s MSS had a terminal problem. Although it looks bad, it was OK.  The oil tank split along a seam during the morning ride, so he loaded it on the truck after coffee. The bike is worthy of an entire article. He’s bored and stroked the motor from 500 up to 710cc. Stripped off some excess weight, added a belt drive primary, plus that neat outrigger bearing from the swingarm to the gearbox mainshaft. I think that the only faster Velo that is road-ready must be his 710cc Thruxton.


Gil and Dana.  Dana has brought his daughter riding pillion for a dozen years.  She’s in her early 20’s now, and during the coffee stop she was seen trying on the MACs and KSS’s for size…  Smile


Eric leads Jim through the twisties on the new pavement south of Lake Berryessa. This was a lot fun until the CHP arrived. These two were fine, but your author wasn’t so lucky.


John’s Clubman.

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K’s KSS.

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Gil’s green MAC. And there’s a blue Thruxtonized Venom behind.  Velo color.



Jeff brought his bike hauler, a 1964 Dodge to carry the 56 Venom. It has a slant 6 between the seats, and a surprising amount of room in the cabin and in the bed. The teak wood bumpers are a nice touch.  The factory added a big lead bar under the rear of the bed, a few hundred pounds to offset the motor weight in the front.2014-05-18 08.06.21

All the artistic looking pics are by @velocettegirl on instagram.


Paul A.’s shiny bike won him another trophy made of a tube of Semichrome polish.

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Some of the bikes at the breakfast stop.



Jim R., Cory and Gil. Each has been in the VOCNA for a dog’s age or two. Cory and Vivian came all the way from British Columbia. Jim A. from Arizona and several riders from Southern California.


Thinking of joining the VOCNA? Click here. Each year we have the spring ride, the 5 day summer rally (unlike any other club, we do 1000 miles), the Rigid Ride, and the New Year’s ride, plus bi-monthly newsletters. A UK friend shared the opinion that younger riders in England are attracted to Velos more than any other marque. That might be true, and we’d love to see more young members on a Velo or any other bike. [pro tip: if you are looking to buy a bike, the club newsletter is THE place to find one].

6 Comments leave one →
  1. carl permalink
    May 23, 2014 9:22 am

    who’s is the blue one last pic pete,love the colour.

    • May 23, 2014 9:30 am

      That is this year’s President, John Stanley’s bike. I didn’t get any more photos of it though. I suspect it will be on the rally in Idaho in July. I’ll try to get some pics for you Carl.

  2. carl permalink
    May 23, 2014 9:23 am

    last but one pic sorry,and have you got a better shot

  3. May 23, 2014 9:31 am

    The bi-monthly newsletter comes only to paid club members so join today! Nice wooden Indian pic of Jeff.
    Well done Pete and Siri. Great photos.

  4. Jim Abbott, Tucson, AZ permalink
    May 23, 2014 2:16 pm

    And a d-mned fine ride it was! The snap of Eric and myself winding through the trees also included Eric’s dad, Olaf in front. It seems the three of us got a little separated from the rest and ended up racing over the last third of the ride. We took turns leading so no one got left behind. What a rare treat with people of a shared interest. Jim A.

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