Tuesday, June 16, 2009


"You got to know when to hold 'em, know when to sold 'em" - apologies to Kenny Rogers - but indeed circumstances required that my long-anticipated Antipodean Velo MkVII KTT should pass to a new owner before I even laid a finger on it. I did have the luxury of choosing with whom it might reside, and I chose proximity over any other factor... such a rare machine (Veloce made 37 mkVIIs in 1938) is an easy sell, and the KTT might just as easily have landed in England or Germany, but my friend John has been a fly in my ear for a long time about wanting a KTT...that he didn't have to restore. John is a great stalwart/founder of the Velocette club here in North America, and who deserves better the blessings of what I consider the prettiest of all the KTT range, produced from '28 to '49, from Mks 1-8.

A modern Honda CBR metal crate was sourced in Melbourne, the bike wrapped in bubbles, and airfreight customs are a thousandfold easier to navigate than sea freight, even if shipping costs are nearly triple that of an uncertain voyage on a big boat.

Still, it was John's 50th birthday all over again, as we slowly unwrapped the bike - what a treat. All the arcane instructions written on tape were unnecessary - a Velo is a Velo, and they're fairly easy to navigate.

As the bike had sat for an unknown length of time, the front innertube had perished, so the first order of business was a tube swap. Fill it with oil, a little 110 octane race gas, a short bump, and the neighbors are awake!
After a brief warmup to check oil circulation, and a short ride, it was back into the shed for more fettling...and a set of new tires, as the old ones are rock hard.

The bike will appear, suitably fettled and shod, in Kamloops B.C. for the big week-long Velo rally in July. Come have a look, and listen. It sounds tremendous.


Grandpa Jimbo said...

John: I'll be there with bells on and I can't wait to see and hear it!
Great day for riding in Tucson but Velo is apart.
i rmn & etc.. Jim A.

Anonymous said...

wot not fooking sound track yer fooking heathen , yer aught to be horse whipped but you most likley would like it lol dave

YJH said...

congratulions from a Paris friend_Velocette, immensely beautiful

Anonymous said...

great article , but it would be nice with a little of the history , of a fine looking bike who were when? dave

Anonymous said...

Dear Paul,

First, let me say I'm a big fan of your blog. With so many blogs that are just photo scrolls of tired images, it's nice to have a good read once in a while!

Bill Bryant
(Biltwell / ChopCult)