Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance: 1949 Velocette Mk. VIII

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The preferred ride in 350cc racing after World War II, the 1949 Velocette Mk. VIII wasn’t the fastest bike on the grid, making only “average” power, but made up this deficincy by utilizing its superior steering and suspension.

While the majority of bikes had adopted telescoping forks, Velocette remained convince that the girder fork design was still superior, and allowed for a more precise feel for turns. Velocette also employed a unique oleo design for its rear-suspension, which featured oil and air damping. These technologies allowed Velocette to go on and win the World Championships in both 1949 and 1950.

This particular model also features a mesh windscreen that kept the bugs out of the riders face and goggles. It also has a padded fuel-tank, which would soften the blows of the road when the rider was tucked in to the bike.