Velocette LE


THE VELOCETTE LE – A BEST-SELLER?
Immediately following World War 2, there was a pressing need in the UK for simple, inexpensive, utilitarian personal transport to get to-and-from work. Velocette attempted to tap into this market with their radical new “LE” in 1948. LE stands for “Little Engine”, and it certainly was. The 149cc water-cooled, side valve, flat-twin made all of 8-horsepower. It was mounted in an unsightly pressed-steel frame with a swing-arm and telescopic front forks. Designed by Charles Udall, it was supposed to be cheap and easy to produce, so that it could be delivered to the market at a very low price. But the radical new design (including one of the earliest examples of unitized engine/transmission/gearbox construction) proved to be complicated and expensive to produce. Strangely, despite all this, it proved to be a runaway best-seller for Velocette, in fact their best-selling model ever! Still, the high cost of tooling and manufacture made it almost impossible for Velocette to make a profit. One nice feather in their cap was the wholesale adoption of the LE by British Police. It was produced, pretty much as-is, until Velocette closed their doors in 1970.


Velocette LE SPECIFICATIONS

Model designation
Years in production
Series
Engine type
Valve gear
Displacement
Power output @ RPM
Gearbox
Final drive
Suspension, front
Suspension, rear
Frame type
Brake, front
Brake, rear
Tire size, front
Tire size, rear
Seat height
Weight
LE
1948-1970
MkI 1948-59; MkII 1951-57; MkIII 1958-70
Water-cooled, horizontally-opposed twin
Side-valve (flathead)
MkI: 150cc / 9.2 ci; MkII: 192 cc / 11.7 ci
MkI: [email protected] 5,000rpm; MkII: 8hp @ 5000rpm
MkI & II: 3-speed; MkIII: 4-speed
Shaft-drive
Telescopic fork
Swing arm w/2 shocks
Pressed steel monocoque
5-inch SLS drum
5-inch SLS drum
MkI 3.50″ X 19″; MkII & III 3.25″ X 18″
MkI 3.50″ X 19″; MkII & III 3.25: X 18″
28″ / 710mm
260 lb / 120 kg

Velocette LE YEAR-BY-YEAR


1970 LE Police Bike

Among other things, the Velo LE was a top-seller to British police forces.


Check out these VELOCETTE BOOKS



Velocette Motorcycles




BOOK OF THE VELOCETTE ALL SINGLES & TWINS 1925-1970




Velocette: Production Motorcycles (Crowood Motoclassics)




Velocette Motorcycles – MSS to Thruxton: New Third Edition




The Velocette Saga: The Story of a Great Motorcycle




Velocette 350 & 500 Singles: All 350 & 500cc models 1946-1970 (Essential Buyer’s Guide)




Always in the Picture: History of the Velocette Motorcycle




Velocette: The Racing Story (Crowood Motoclassics)




Velocette (Illustrated Motor Cycle Legends)




Velocette – Technical Excellence Exemplified


 

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