Classic Racer

BREATHING LIFE back into CLARA

Initially, the cammyVelocette was anonymous. The bike came about as the result of a discussion between two of the company’s top engineers. It was based on a standard, 350cc overhead camshaft KTT engine but among many others of that ilk the supercharger made this one a unique example.

Designer Phil Irving and technical director Harold Willis were the two engineering minds involved and the idea for the bike began during an ‘after-hours’ discussion at the local pub. The broad subject was the evolution of the KTT models. Irving had only joined the company in 1930, but he had already addressed problems experienced with earlier KTT engines, where ever-higher states of tune were causing blow-ups that had barrels separating from crankcases. In trying to pre-empt future weaknesses, Irving wondered if the relatively small main bearings were the next potential problem area. The pair decided to experimentally increase the stress on an engine by fitting a supercharger.

Supercharging a single cylinder engine is not easy. The supercharger provides a steady charge of pressurised air, or fuel/air mix, depending on where the unit is fitted into the induction layout. The pressurised gas is delivered

You're reading a preview, sign up to read more.

More from Classic Racer

Classic Racer7 min read
Uncini: Mr Serious Speaks
“The most important person in my box was the one I looked at every time I returned to the pits. A glance and he understood everything. If I was satisfied or not. If I had a good feeling or not. If the last changes were an improvement or not.” While h
Classic Racer2 min read
Msv Invests In Improvements
Jonathan Palmer’s MSV group has been busy over the winter months, spending considerable amounts of money on improvements to four of their already excellent facilities – Brands Hatch, Cadwell Park, Snetterton and Oulton Park all benefitting from exten
Classic Racer9 min read
TORQUE the TORQUE BARTOL’S 1983 250
Jocular and modest, but also focused and determined, Austrian Harald Bartol was one of the top two-stroke tuners in the GP paddock up until the demise of the 125GP class in 2011. But he was also one of the rare breed of rider engineers, equally skill