Sitting in the sunshine a sweet little Velocette Valiant 200cc flat twin. The Valiants were often criticised for being rather delicate, but to be fair this was the same criticism as for all four stroke Brit bikes of the era in the sub 250cc learner category. As the market's demand for performance had gone up driven by the teenage boom and rocker culture cutsomers' demands for a little more zip from their first bikes combined with youthful abandon, a lack of mechanical sympathy and unfamiliarity with maintenance routines resulted in many of the likes of Crusader Sports, G2 CSRs, Valiants and BSA SS80s going pop.
Unburstable machines were available - mostly Italian or German, but the truth is they were significantly more expensive and as always, you got what you paid for...
For me the mystery is why Velocette stuck with the 200cc class for the Valiant and didn't design it up to 250cc or even bigger. Nowadays, like so many less popular machines of the time people can see a different merit in a bike and Valiants are high quality, quirky and charming little machines idea for events and Sunday runs.
|Velocette Valiant back in the day.|