Friday, April 18, 2008


Little is known of this unusual machine, other than snippets of information from over the years.
It was believed to have been made in the tool-room at Kirby Engineering in Sydney, NSW, during the early 1940s.
It is based on a Velocette Mk.2 KSS engine ( e/no. KSS5351 ).
Kirby was known later for the manufacture of small engines, in fact they were called upon to supply replacement engines for the disasterous LE Velocette Industrial engine supplied to the NSW creamed ice-cream maker "Mr Whippy"....but more of this in a planned future blog item on this engine.
I remember it languishing outside Ryan and Honey’s, a bike wrecker at 4 Hunt Street, Sydney, likely around 1964.
In fact I was interested to buy it and the then proprietor, Laurie Mitchell, a likeable rogue, suggested £49/10/- ( Australia changed to decimal currency $ and cents in February 1966)…a fortune to me at the time.
It’s condition was about the same as it looks now, complete with flat front tyre. The bike has had a hard life, judging by the red rusty primary chain and general condition.

One item missing is the petrol tank, which I’m sure had a Velocette style transfer “Rotacette”…The bike is currently owned by the racing Roberts family in Sydney, who to date have been unable to get it to start.

A rotary valve head on a KSS bottom half….the pictures will tell the story…

The article basically as is I published in FTDU331, Autumn 2005.
Left click on photo to enlarge.

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