Velocette LE200 motor cycle, 1955.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
When the 'LE' Velocette was introduced in 1949 it established a new and advanced form of motorcycling. The design consisted esentially of a small but efficient horizontally-opposed water-cooled engine unit, with a 3-speed gearbox and final shaft drive, all incorporated in a presed- steel frame . This, together with wide valanced mudguards and legshields, was designed to offer maximum protection against the weather. The machine combined docile handling, quiet operation and a reasonable maximum speed, making it an economical and useful motorcycle for the police and many busines purposes. In 1951, performance was enhanced by increasing the engine capacity from 150cc to 192cc.