Morse out to make history on two wheels

DAVID Morse always knew he’d own a Velocette motorcycle. It just took him a lot longer than he thought.

“When I was 16 I went out to buy this BSA bike the other side of Allansford,” he said.

“I looked at a paddock full of motorbikes with trees on the outside, there would’ve been 150 bikes.

“But in the shed on the side there was a Velocette and he wanted $100 for it.

“And I had $50, so I had to buy the BSA. I’ve always had that in mind.”

Fate struck more than three decades on, in the early 2000s, when Morse turned to vintage motorbikes as his speedway career came to an end.

He tracked down the same owner and got his hands on a 1935 Velocette MSS 500, a model which helped define the iconic Birmingham-based company.

The restored machine took him to an Australian title last month, after 32 years of trying in various motorsport disciplines. And he hopes it can lead him to South Australian state title glory this weekend.

Morse is one of three Warrnambool motorcyclists who will head to Mount Gambier’s McNamara Park for the South Australian Historic Road Race Championships.

The 56-year-old will contest the period two class, for bikes made between 1920 and 1945, with the Velocette 500.

He holds the track record for the class — one minute, 32.453 seconds for 2.4 kilometres — but competes as a hobby. “It’s just about modifying things and making them perform better than they would’ve done before,” he said. 

“It’s half mechanical as well as the fun of riding it.”

Morse will also ride in a period three class, with a 1955 Velocette 350.

Rob Kenna and Wayne Fary will race Yamaha 250LCs in period five company. 

Kenna will also start up a JAP 350 in period three, while Fary’s second ride is a Tiger Triumph 500 in period three.

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