1946 VELOCETTE KSS BACKGROUND
The Velocette KSS debuted in 1925 as an OHC (overhead cam) 350cc air-cooled single. Being OHC placed it at the cutting edge of engine technology at a time when most machines still used side-valve designs or pushrods. The name KSS breaks down to the K for overhead cam (the German spelling is kam), and SS for Super Sport. It made 19 horsepower at 5,800 rpm. The KSS was completely redesigned for the 1935 model year, making everything after a Mark II through the 1948 model year. Part of the bevy of improvement that went into the Mark II was a new aluminum alloy cylinder head with fully enclosed valve gear. The 1946 Velocette KSS was the first year of renewed civilian production, after the end of World War II, and it was largely a carry-over from the pre-war models. It is actually sort of a one-year anomaly, because they quickly updated the bikes for the following model year to bring them up to date. The 1947 KSS would come with Dowty Oleomatic telescopic front forks instead of the girder front forks on the 1946-and-earlier models.