Engine Type: 350cc

VIN/Chassis: KTT96

Build Date:  1929

The Velocette works racer was developed from the road going KSS model in 1925. It then won the first of many TT wins on the Isle of Man in 1926. In 1928 Velocette introduced the world’s first positive stop gearchange on the works racer. They subsequently licensed it to many other manufacturers.

In 1929, Velocette started producing copies of the works racers for sale to the general public. An idea common nowadays. These first copies of the factory racer are now referred to as Mk 1 KTT. In 1929, the first year of production, approximated 180 Mk 1 KTT’s were manufactured. The bike being auctioned is KTT 96 – halfway through the first year of production.

In 1929, Dirt Track racing (Speedway) was extremely popular in the UK. Velocette decided to produce a dirt track racer, designated KDT with a special frame and a KTT motor bored and stroked to 440 cc. Unfortunately, these bikes were unable to compete against other successful Dirt Track racers of the time and the project was quickly abandoned. Velocette bought back whatever sold bikes they could and together with the unsold bikes, they were dismantled and the frames scrapped. The engines were sent back to the assembly shop where they were rebuilt back to 350 cc and standard KTT spec. They were then installed in new frames and sold as standard Mk 1 KTT’s. This bike, KTT96 is one of those bikes.

The engine number is listed in Ivan Rhodes’ book “Technical Excellence Exemplified”, first edition, page 187 as originally to Dirt Track specification. These bikes are unique in that their engines left the factory TWICE as new motorcycles, whilst retaining their original engine numbers.

There is one surviving KDT which the factory didn’t manage to buy back in the UK. There is also an original frame with an incorrect KSS motor, also in the UK. The original KDT is thought to be worth around $200,000 due to its rarity. Obviously if the KTT 96 engine was reunited with the incorrectly engine KDT or a replica frame was constructed around KTT 96’s engine the resulting bike would be extremely valuable.

KTT 96 was sold to a UK buyer and eventually found its way to Norway. It was purchased by a Victorian country gentleman and slowly restored back to original condition as it had been upgraded with a number of Mk 4 parts over the years. The bike is now in standard Mk 1 specification. The 3-speed gearbox was supplied by Ivan Rhodes and rebuilt by Norm Trigg. It has the correct positive stop gear change.

In 1929 successful racers could and would order special modifications when they purchased a motorcycle. The original purchaser of this bike preferred Racing Brampton girder forks to the standard KTT “Webb” forks and this is what he specified. A number of racers in the era preferred the Bramptons over the strutted Webbs which were difficult to straighten after an accident. Nowadays, genuine racing Brampton forks are rare and expensive.

The bike presents as an older restoration with a paint finish typical of the day – not over shiny like many modern restorations. The nickel plating on many of the components is also more typical of the 1920’s than shiny chrome.

To protect your investment vehicle bidders should consider at a minimum replacement of fuel, oil, fluids, filters and thorough brake inspection as vehicles may have been stationary for some time. Vehicles are sold as is off the floor – unregistered. No warranty expressed or implied, sold with all or any faults, and where applicable sold with Australian Government Import Approval. NK