- Excellent runner, mechanically sound, very well kept
- Early example of a ‘Production racer’
- Well loved with only 3 owners, some engineered parts introduced but mostly original
With a fair few years of loving ownership—ninety-three to be exact—this fine example of a ‘Production racer’ is in excellent running and riding condition. The Velocette KTT, a part of the Velocette Model K series of motorcycles, was originally released in 1929 by the British marque based in Birmingham. The TT designation was released with intention to be used in racing, and as such did not come with such road-legal necessities lights or any gauges to distract the rider from doing their job; however some KTTs could be ordered as road-legal motorcycles at higher cost.
Developed specifically for the Isle of Man TT, the most significant and important motorcycle race of all time, the KTT was based on the KSS with many improvements introduced. Developments such as the positive-stop foot gear changer were introduced in Velocette’s 1928 KTT development bike, which allowed the rider to switch gears either up or down with one single movement, as opposed to other hand-change designs. This not only proved successful in racing, but it found its way into just about every other production motorcycle released, becoming the standard mechanism for gear changing to this day.
This particular Mk.1 KTT is a true piece of motorcycle racing history, and is preserved in a well-functioning and visually striking manner that’s ready to be ridden and enjoyed. With no outstanding maintenance or work to be completed, this bike is ready to take you to both the vintage racing short track or hill climb, or on tour like the current owner has enjoyed.
The History and Paperwork
- Current V5C present
- First registered for road use on 21 June 1984
- Owner states the bike has been dry stored when not in use, and has been taken on tour through Europe; said to function flawlessly
- The bike comes along with original carburettor and original KTT 3-speed gearbox
- Current owner has made some modifications as below:
- Early works 4-speed works gearbox fitted with Venom close ratio gears, rebalanced gear linkage, and kick start
- later cam box to reduce cam wear was added
- Improved front brakes and modified front brake anchor made to works patent (takes braking torque off of bottom of forks)
- Road carburettor
- Made and fitted camshaft oil pump
- Thick base barrel upgrade
- Updated ignition with racing mag
While any direct racing history of this bike is yet to be discovered, this modified motorbike was lovingly used and kept by its previous three owners, but especially by the current. First registered for road use in 1984 by the previous owner, the bike has enjoyed many miles and has endured through 93 years of time to become the glorious period works style bike it is today.
The current owner, a collector, connoisseur, and engineer by trade, has ridden it to its fullest during their ownership, and has also engineered and fitted a few upgrades and updates for a more modern riding experience. Having taken the bike to Scotland, the Irish Rally, Mallory Park, Donnington, through the Picos in Spain, Wales, and notably coming 5th place in the Barbon hill climb just to name a few, it’s safe to say the bike has been put through its paces and is still grinning for more under its next ownership.
The vendor notes that there is a discrepancy between the frame number, and V5C. According to Ivan Rhodes, President of the Velocette Owners Club, who has the works records covering the period the machine was made, the frame number agrees with the V5c is in error and will need correcting.
- Showing exceptionally well for its age, with some historic restoration apparent
- Plenty of patina to back up the racing heritage
- In full working order and ready to ride
In its current state, this KTT is visually quite well off for its age. It does indeed look to have been ridden, but you’d be hard pressed to say it’s seen a difficult life.
The current and previous owners have cared for the bike over the years, and its visually the result of some repainting work as well as diligent dry storage and maintenance. While there is wear noticeable in some places, touch ups to the paint seen, and other signs seen on the saddle and elsewhere, it does present remarkably well.
With overwhelming period character, all of these negatives are far outweighed by its overall incredible vintage design and engineering. Just look at that exhaust pipe! This one is clearly purpose built and ready to be put to the test.
- Owner states all mechanics working as they should be
- Engine visual state is in above average condition for the age
- Owner states the bike stops, starts, shifts, and handles better than to be expected
- Engine reportedly healthy and ready for more miles
While it is a factory race-built bike, the owner tells us it will fire right up first kick, and is entirely mechanically sound. Considering the modified nature of the bike, it will expectedly have a bit more of a bite than your average K Series, or indeed even your average KTT. The 348cc overhead camshaft engine is also in a good visual state with no cooling fin damage seen on the head or barrel.
The bike is reported to be in top condition mechanically, and does not come along with any known issues or problems to solve. It’s ready to drive, run, and race as you’d expect for a bike built during this period, and notably better based on the owner’s solid engineering upgrades and other updates.
It’s worth noting that with all of the modifications made to the bike, it does indeed still ride and feel like a Velocette. It’s not taken so far past the point of no return, and it doesn’t feel like the bike is being taken in a direction away from what Velocette originally intended. It’s simply modified as seen fit based on personal preference—as one does.
With these modifications comes a smoother and more rider-centric ride experience, and helps improve the day-to-day usability of the bike, enabling the rider to use it more often and with a bit more modern economy. Changes such as the kick starter, balanced gear shifter intended to reduce the tendency of having the gear pop out over bumps, and road carb for easier driveability do improve the overall experience with this one. These things hardly soften the bike, and it still is reported to ride and drive like the original designers intended.
Whether you have big plans to sling this one around your local track, participate in a vintage hill climb, or just admire it in your garage, this KTT is an excellent opportunity to get your hands on a fine example of British pre-war race engineering. With Velocette being a small Birmingham based motorcycle company, they sure didn’t lack innovation and courage to bring forth new ideas.
This KTT is a prime example of the marque, and does in practice mirror the innovative sentiment Velocette lived by, with the current owner having introduced their own innovations to the bike to make improvements where they saw fit, its sure to bring a smile to its next owners face every time they fire it up.
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