Community Classic and Custom Motorcycles Essential Buyer’s Guide: Velocette 350 & 500 Singles Review | Rider's Library

Essential Buyer’s Guide: Velocette 350 & 500 Singles Review | Rider’s Library

The Essential Buyer’s Guide: Velocette 350 & 500 Singles

Essential Buyer’s Guide: Velocette 350 & 500 Singles Review | Rider's LibraryAccording to author and marque expert, Peter Henshaw, owners of Velocette single-cylinder bikes are members of “one of the smallest, yet most committed owner groups of all. When they were new, Velocettes inspired great loyalty amongst a small band of riders who loved their idiosyncratic ways, and exactly the same is true today.”

Conversely, Henshaw goes on to explain, “On the other hand, those less enamored of the Velocette legend would counter that they leak oil like the proverbial sieve, that they are overpriced, overrated and need more than a certain knack to kickstart.

“Clutch adjustment is seen as a black art, while the electrics belong to a different (and extremely dim) era. To own a Velocette, these people say, you need to be a professional engineer with a well-equipped workshop.”

Clearly, becoming a Velocette owner is not a step to be taken lightly. That’s where Henshaw’s new book, “The Essential Buyer’s Guide Velocette 350 & 500 Singles” comes in. Buying any vintage motorcycle has its hazards; buying one where prices can be high and hidden problems can be expensive to remedy can be down-right disastrous. In this buyer’s guide, Henshaw provides some sage brand-specific guidance on how to avoid some of the problems that can take the fun out of ownership and take cash out of your wallet.

Henshaw has the technical chops to write such a book, having already written 50 books, including other Buyer’s Guides for Veloce, and is a year-round motorcyclist.

The Veloce Essential Buyer’s Guide series follows a common format: pocket-sized for easy use when afield checking out a potential buy, and organized with chapters developed to quickly get to the heart of the matter. Chapters include information on: how to decide if this is the right type of bike for you, costs, living with the bike (sort of how good are the good points and how bad are the bad for this type of bike), relative values across the range of models, how and what to inspect prior to purchase, buying at auction, paper work and legal considerations, tips on value and how to get the right price, restoration considerations, potential paint and disuse problems, the support community around the brand and essential statistical data across representative models.

Henshaw provides enough information on the “idiosyncrasies” of Velocette singles to make it apparent that while these are great old bikes, they are not for everyone, but when it comes to considering a purchase, his book really is.

For a look at the other Veloce Essential Buyer’s Guides we’ve reviewed, see:

 Book Data:

  • Title: The Essential Buyer’s Guide Velocette 350 & 500 Singles
  • Author: Peter Henshaw
  • Published: 2016 Paperback. 64 pages. Measures 5.5” x 7.75.” 100 images
  • Publisher: Veloce Publishing, Parkway Farm Business Park, Middle Farm Way, Poundbury, Dorchester, DT1 3AR, England
  •  Distributed in North America by Quarto Publishing Group, USA. Contact Quarto via e-mail at:, by phone: 1-612-344-8100 and online at:
  • ISBN: 978-1-845849-41-2
  • MSRP: U.S. $25 U.K. £12.99 CAN $34

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