During the ’60s and ’70s, the name Seeley was synonymous with quality, go-faster aftermarket frames, bodywork and exhausts. The man behind it, Colin Seeley, began as a motorcycle mechanic in the early ’50s and was soon to set up in business with his father offering workshop services and then becoming a dealer for new machines and by the late ’50s had secured main dealership contracts with the likes of AJS, BMW and Matchless to name but three.
Success upon success
Success as a motorcycle dealer clearly wasn’t enough for Seeley as, in the midst of building up his dealerships, he experimented with motorsport and was able to exploit his relationship with Greeves (he was a main dealer for them too) to secure a factory ride on scramblers in ’58 and ’59. He went on to compete in the Isle of Man TTs and the British and World Championships for sidecars from ’61 to ’67 ending with a handful of podium finishes to his name.
The Seeley chassis
As he approached his retirement from racing, Seeley began developing frames for racing motorcycles powered by engines from AJS and Matchless and continued largely with these engines until 1967, going so far as securing the tooling and spares from Associated Motor Cycles for the racing components for AJS, Matchless and Norton. From around 1967, Seeley began to develop frames for engines from other manufacturers and specialist builders including URS (Helmut Fath), QUB (Dr. Gordon Blair, Queen’s University Belfast) and Yamaha (these being known as Yamsels).
By the early ’70s many of the factory teams had stopped competing in motorcycle Grand Prix and Seeley’s rolling-chassis became popular with privateers during that period. It was around this time that Seeley began using other Japanese engines in his racing chassis such as the Suzuki TR500 before moving into road chassis most famously for Honda CB750.
Seeley-Honda CB750 for sale
A rather special edition of the Seeley-Honda CB750 from 1977 sold for US$10,350 (£6,907) in January 2015 at the Las Vegas Motorcycle Auction . Available as a chassis kit or in road-ready form, fewer than 200 were ever sold. It features a nickel-plated chromoly (high carbon steel) frame, Lester cast-alloy wheels, an upgrade to twin Hunt disc brakes up front , 5.5 gallon hand-beaten alloy “supertank”, single seat and full fairing with twin headlamps.