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How to: KSS / KTT frame repair

March 3, 2010


The Velocette MkI KSS and early KTT models had just a few weak points, one of the largest was in the frame.  Veloce was still using top-mounted gearboxes in the early 1930’s, with a lug brazed into the frame tubes.  Said lug tends to crack and break during spirited riding, a common discussion point among early Velo owners.  And it will always break at the wrong time; Kim’s 1930 KSS frame broke 8 days before she was due to ride the bike 1000 miles in the annual Velo club summer rally


Put another pot of tea on the stove, it is time to strip the bike down and fix it.08_07_08 039

Later that night:  An unhappy girl with a broken and disassembled bike.

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Note the nice new 21” rear rim and tire!  The bike handles very well, with very light weight and tall skinny tires.  The cg is low, and steering geometry is just right.  The early Velos are very hard to beat on tight twisty roads.  The bike almost steers itself through the corners.  Using these bikes, Veloce won the Isle of Man TT in 1926, 1928 and 1929.


Bryan Stearns at Advanced Welding did the preheating and welding, adding a strengthening plate below the lug.  Veloce added a tubular subframe to the MkIV KTTs circa 1933 to strengthen this area, running from the bottom of the crankcases to the rear axle lugs.  Our bike has performed well with the strengthening plate for 2 years, but we might build a sub frame for added insurance.  The bike gets ridden a fair amount of miles, but Kim’s light weight is pretty gentle on it.


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With a day or so to go, the bike was rebuilt, chains and clutch adjusted, etc. 

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a happy finish:

USA July 2008 171

photo of Kim by John Jennings



Stopping for lunch in Ferndale, CA

3 Comments leave one →
  1. Craig Howell permalink
    March 3, 2010 10:03 pm

    Very cool, I didn’t know Kim spun wrenches with you too!
    She’s a badass!

    • kim Young permalink
      March 3, 2010 10:43 pm

      Yeah, it helps to know what to do with your tools when you ride without your ‘mechanic’. I have disassembled the motors in my bikes down to splitting the crankcases and the big end. I do know the difference internally between the 350 OHC with bevel gear drive and the 500 push rod motor and how they work. But you will notice I wear gloves to avoid getting grease under my nails!

  2. Roy Caldwell permalink
    August 5, 2012 6:05 am

    Pete, Sorry I called you John. No idea why my fingers did that. However I have taken them to the garage and punished with a BSW spanner. Still interested in some geometry numbers for Kim’s Velo.

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