K17 DUE 192K (1,c.1970)

K17 was another monocoque bodied motor cycle. Peter Hardy sent me a number of photos and a sketch by Tom Killeen showing the machine with a perspex canopy. According to C. Jackson, this actually existed and Tek occasionally drove it to work at Jensens, this was DUE 192K.

k17_sketch_small.jpg

Clearly one example of this top heavy contraption was actually built, the one used by Tek. It was registered in Warwickshire in Aug'1971. The following photos, and doodle by Killeen, show what it looked like with rocket shaped body and ``stabilisers'' for parking use.

k17_doodle_small.jpg k17_side_small.jpg k17_rear_small.jpg

Even more bizarre is this photograph, a collage which Tom put together at some time. This is a pure flight of fantesy.

harley_small.jpg

I later spoke with John McCartney who told me that this car appeared on the L.E.Velocette Owners' Club stand at the Motor Cycle Show in Stafford. In fact it had been photographed by Albert S. Bite on 9/8/2009 in Aldington. His photos are posted on Flickr at http://www.flickr.com/photos/albertsbite/4409416746/in/photostream/.

A note from the owner appeared on the vehicle as follows.

Killeen K17 Prototype.

Built as a prototype for inner city transport by designer Tom Killeen at Springbok Engineering in Sutton Coldfield in the late sixties. K17 uses racing car monocoque tub with Velocette Viceroy mechanical components. Stabilizers are lifted by vacuum.

Road tested by Bob Currie and featured in the ``Motor Cycle'' 1971.

If you have any further information on Killeen, his prototype vehicles or Springbok Engineering please phone me, Dave, on 01384 74691, please leave your number and I will return the call.

k17_aldington.jpg

Albert notes: This "feet first" bike was designed and built by Tom Killeen, a former racing car designer from Sutton Coldfield in the 1970's. It was built in response to a 1967 Ministry of Transport document entitled "Cars for Cities".

It is powered by a 18bhp version of the Velocette Viceroy two stoke engine. The body is aluminium with fibreglass nose and tail sections.

The two "stabilizer" wheels would be retracted via a pneumatic mechanism once the bike was under way.

Another unusual feature is the headlamp which is mounted in the nose cone, facing upwards. The flush panel on top of the nose cone has an angled mirror on the underside and once this was raised the light would reflect forward.

Rob Allan
2013-04-02