What was that vintage motorcycle I saw the other day?

I was going to tack a report onto Johnny L.A.'s unusual car spotting thread but I have no idea what it was. I tried a Google image search for the usual suspects but to no avail so I thought I’d ask the Dopers. The cycle must have been from the '20s or '30s and had an unusal parallelogram-shaped tailpipe.

Chevy “Death Ray”.

Sounds like a Velocette, the type of pipes you describe are known as fishtail pipes in the UK.


This style of exhaust was used on several Velocette models, from the 350KTS of 1938 vintage, right through to the Viper of 1961.

This machine was a US specific export,

Which was in its day, a hark back to 1930’s nostalgia

The Velocette club page


There were some other machines that had them, AJS had something similar,


Which likely means you will find some sort of Matchless Motorcycle with similar pipes.

Sorry, by “tailpipe”, I meant the tip. It looked something like this:

[   \ 

(those extra backslashes are vents). That Velocette is damn close though.

If you saw it running, it couldn’t have been a Harley! :smiley:

Actually, there were so many odd-ball manufactures “way back then” that it could have been any number of things. You got any more details?

She told me she loved me like a brother. She was from Arkansas, hence the Joy!

'Fraid not. We were behind and to the right. The only part that I got a really good look at was the tip of the exhaust pipe but overall it did resemble that '48 Velocette in dave’s first link. Perhaps someone will recognize my drawing.

Trying to figure out what that was is driving me crazy.

I’ll bet it is this,

or this

BSA sold well in the US and the 986CC G14 would have been a direct competitor to Indian and Harley.

How about one of these?

The BSA B50 T.

The same bike was also sold badged as a Triumph. It’s not as old as the Velocette (and definitely not as cool), but it’s the only one I know of that has an exhaust can of that shape…