Following his retirement from competition, the talented craftsman began producing his namesake frames, powering them initially with AJS and Matchless motorcycle engines and later with engines from the likes of Yamaha and other Japanese manufacturers.
These frames – both production and race – earned a reputation for their fine handling, with Derek Minter describing it as the describing it as “the best steering solo he'd ever tried”. They were soon the race bike of choice for privateers of the era.
In the 1969 Isle of Man Senior TT, Seeley-framed machines finished third, fourth, sixth and seventh. The following year Tommy Robb rode to a fourth-place finish in the 500cc world championship aboard a Seeley. And in 1971, Barry Sheene rode a Hi-Tac Suzuki T500 engined bike to win the British national championship, before declaring it the best-handling motorcycle he had ever ridden.
The popularity and highly-rated performance of Seeley’s race bikes promoted his road production bikes, a business which thrived throughout the ‘70s. Since the late ‘80s, when vintage racing rose to popularity, Seeley machines have won twelve times at the Manx Grand Prix. Following his stint alongside in automotive racing, in 1992 Seeley became involved in running the Norton Rotary race team.
He dedicated much of his later life to charity work, establishing The Joan Seeley Pain Relief Memorial Trust in memory of his first wife, who died of cancer. And in 2006 and 2008, he published two autobiographies, documenting his life and memories of motorcycle racing from the 1950s to the present day.
Colin Seeley made an irrefutable impact on motorcycle racing and will be greatly missed.