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World's Fastest Velocette


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Stuart Hooper came over to Bonneville the in 2011 and ran well, but did not hit 150 mph, which was his goal. Stuart was kind enough to put up with lots of questions from me and he was the first person to force me to do the math of racing. He hoped to up his run at the World of Speed a week later and he did not although when I looked at his times through the individual segments I saw that he hit 160 mph before aborting the run. He was unable to make Bonneville last year, this year at Lake Gairdner it did not rain. Here is his email:

"Hi to all,
For the first time in many years Lake Gairdner Speed Trialswere unaffected by wet weather. The surface was initially a little rough andthe weather very hot requiring a careful eye on engine temperatures andexcessively rich mixtures to ensure the engine survived the meeting. After asteady sighting run to check out the new body and steering geometry the BigVelo ran 166 mph on its second outing!!!! This was good cause for celebrationas the Velo was now the World’s fastest British single surpassing the fantasticVincent Mighty Mouse of Bryan Chapman.
After a photo session day I decided a higher speed waspossible and lined up again with a bit higher gearing and a higher ratiosupercharger drive. The third run was only 152mph but this was against a 15 to20 mph headwind so it was back in line for another 8 hrs. for one final run.Friday morning was calm and cool, ideal conditions.......... but the morningticked inexorably by with one delay after another and a headwind starting toflutter the flags and things looking like the meeting could be cancelledwithout another run. Finally the track was clear and the Big Velo boomed awayfrom the line with its nearly 100mph first gear into a 7 to 10 mph gusting headand slight crosswind. By the time I changed up from third into top at 156mphthe bike was weaving and darting about somewhat in the ruts on the track andthe odd gusts of wind, but with the throttle hard against the stop one handhovering over the clutch lever and the revs climbing towards the 6500 mark thetrack markers started to slip by faster and faster until the final timing lightflashed past and it was time to slow down with the old MSS single leading shoebrake smelling as only red hot 50 year old asbestos can. Back to the pits tosee the crew flashing lights, cheering and jumping around!!!!......... 171.600mph!! ..... A fantastic end to a great week....... The Velocette name is againin the record books were it belongs!
World’s Fastest Velocette.
World’s Fastest British Single
World’s Fastest Single Cylinder Sit On Motorcycle.
A sincere thanks for the support to my crew and all of youover the years,
Stuart Hooper
Ps..... Just how fast can a Velo go ?"

Congratulations to Stuart and the intrepid crew who have done such a great job.




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A remarkable achievement for a Velocette, and praiseworthy indeed, but I fail to understand the comparison with Mighty Mouse.
The Velo is a faired machine geared for very high speeds, reached after several miles of relatively gentle acceleration. The quoted "nearly 100mph first gear" is hardly going to set the world alight from the start line. Mighty Mouse, on the other hand, reached similar speeds in 440 yards.
The two bikes were designed for different purposes, at which both succeeded, but they should not be compared. Both are brilliant.


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It is 700cc (not 735cc). Stuart is a Vincent fan, so I would be willing to say that he in not denigrating Mighty Mouse, but he has always been impressed by it. For top speed in a single cylinder of any size, Brian Chapman has certainly set the standard for many decades.

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Bill Thomas

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Because I have raced with Very fast Velos, I bought a Velo camshaft to see if it would fit in my twin, They are too BIG, Still have it !! Cheers Bill.
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