1935 Velocette 348cc KTT MkV Racing Motorcycle
Registration no. 833 UXH
Frame no. MTT26
Engine no. KTT577 (see text)
The major change on the preceding MkIV KTT had been the introduction of a four-speed gearbox with positive-stop foot-change and a new cylinder head incorporating hairpin valve springs and a more-compact scavenge pump. Re-designing the latter enabled the spark plug to be re-located for improved combustion, and part way through production the MkIV benefited from a change of cylinder head material from cast iron to bronze. In essence the MkIV frame remained the same open diamond type as used by earlier models, with the addition of a strengthening lower subframe, but for the MkV Veloce devised an entirely new frame to house a further-revised MkIV engine. The new chassis featured a full lower cradle, vertical saddle tube, and single front down tube, and was also used for the road-going KSS and KTS models. MkV production lasted from October 1934 to October 1935, during which period slightly fewer than 70 machines were produced.
Following the construction of the last MkV KTT in October '35, Veloce Limited's commitments to - among other projects - the development of the pushrod-engined M-Series roadsters meant that there would be no more production KTT racers until the arrival of the MkVII in March 1938. The handful of near-mythical MkVI bikes built in the intervening period were for works team use only. In his authoritative work, Velocette - 'Technical Excellence Exemplified', marque expert Ivan Rhodes records that two of the handful of MkVI frames made were used by the works team in 1936 while three others, all with big-fin alloy barrels and MkII KSS cylinder heads, were ridden by prominent privateers. The last of the MkVI series, which housed an engine topped by enlarged, square-finned cylinder head with enclosed valve-gear, formed the basis for the production MkVII KTT.
Supplied new by Deansgate Mart, Manchester and listed in KTT registers, this is a genuine MkV, albeit one that is believed to have had its crankcases replaced at some time, resulting in the loss of the original number stamping. (The vendor has resisted the temptation to re-stamp the number). Modifications include the fitting of a KSS MkII aluminium cylinder head, a common upgrade in period (see above); Walter Handley, amongst others, raced KTTs modified in this way. In addition, the engine is fitted with a larger inlet valve, a Mark VIII piston, a 17/8 cam, new Carrillo con-rod, KTT MkVIII-type low-pressure oiling system, and a magneto recently overhauled by Dave Lindsley. The forks are of the correct strutted type and the machine is fitted with a Smiths rev counter and a small bore exhaust. Its first gearbox being beyond repair, the machine has been fitted with a replacement stamped with the original numbers (original gearbox shell included in sale).
During the present ownership the KTT has been campaigned at the 'Festival of 1,000 Bikes' on three occasions, Schotten in Germany and Dijon in France, and has been displayed at the Velocette Gathering at Stanford Hall. Owned by the current vendor since 2004, the machine is offered from a small private collection of exceptional Velocette motorcycles and is presented in good working order, very smartly prepared. Accompanying documentation consists of a Swansea V5 document.
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