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xBhp was born more than 16 years ago and since then we've had a chance to ride or drive hundreds of machines
running on two wheels or four wheels, and sometimes even three wheels. We are not done yet, and this list is
still growing. In these pages, we take a deep dive in the treasure trove of our ride experiences and bring
you all that we have ridden or driven.
Machines Done 294
Total Cubic Capacity 146746
History of automobile building is full of interesting stories and such stories come to life whenever a creation makes a memorable impact on the people and in the industry.
We have a similar story to tell this time around which was penned down and put out of a factory in 1955. It is about a Venom, a 500cc standard motorcycle built by a British bike maker Velocette.
Called Velocette Venom, this motorcycle was in production from 1955 till 1970. It came with a single cylinder 499cc 4-stroke air-cooled engine capable of producing around 34 BHP at 6,200 RPM. It was a performance motorcycle at that time and was developed to compete with other British twin-cylinder standard motorcycles. The fact that it was a performance motorcycle for its time is because its engine is constructed using two types of metal – Cast Iron and Aluminium alloy. However, the Cast Iron is employed only as a liner while the whole cylinder head is made of aluminium. Also, the piston is high compression for better high performance.
And this motorcycle did prove its performance worth by achieving a very special feat in 1961. Velocette prepared a full faired version of Venom purposefully and ran the motorcycle for 24 hours nonstop at its top speed of 100.05 miles per hour (161.01 km/h). This is nothing short of an unbelievable proof of a motorcycle’s reliability from 1961! And this record is said to be unmatched till 2008 at least (we aren’t sure if it stands even today). Nevertheless, it is absolutely impressive.
Where did we find it?
We have been going around the country to find motorcycles and scooters that are absolutely interesting irrespective of when they are made. We met Mr. Rahul Manthalkar in Pune who owns this beautiful piece of machinery from 1955. Maintained quite flawlessly, his Velocette Venom is a rare motorcycle and possibly one of the few that would be in such an impressive running condition.
Velocette Venom came with a healthy dose of chrome – on the fuel tank and the whole exhaust system – and rest of the body work in shining black. However, Mr Rahul tells us that his favourite piece on the motorcycle is the exhaust which is known as the “fish tale” exhaust. This is because of its fin-like design towards the end.
Looking at this motorcycle somehow makes us feel that this is how the Royal Enfield Bullet could have been built. Velocette Venom is a solid proof that even an old motorcycle like this could be made powerful with just a single cylinder engine. Anyways, that aside, it was nice to see a British motorcycle capable of such performance and reliability which is not Triumph!
And especially that 24-hour record did make us curious enough to see if it can still pull that off. Obviously, we didn’t try it and we would say it doesn’t really matter today. This motorcycle belonged in its time, proved its metal and still runs today thanks to people like Rahul Mathalkar. We thank him for his time.
Did we mention yet that you can try your luck on OLX and see if you can find this bike? Well, you’d be truly lucky if you did.
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Since '02 xBhp is different things to different people. From a close knit national
community of bikers to India's only motorcycling lifestyle magazine and a place to make
like minded biker friends. We have one common religion - Bikeism.