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Early M20, BEF ??

Hi Rik, I have started a this new thread, thanks for your reply and research.

Quote Rik:

"" Michiel, it's certainly possible. I calculate 16247 to be C4142680 from C5610. The latest BSA that I have in a BEF photograph is C4144239 (17806) which would have been delivered to Chilwell at the end of April 1940.

The photograph is certainly south of the Somme so it could well have arrived with 2nd BEF. There were also new machines arriving as replacements and they would have been stocked at Le Mans or Laval I believe.

Ultimately, I think that your first-rate knowledge of the early components will be what tells you whether this seems to have seen British Army service after June 1940. There was of course a substantial British Army presence in Berlin during the post-war years and an early 1940 frame number together with a deLuxe rear mudguard are not in themselves enough to be certain...both components were being used in post-war rebuilds. ""


I have asked Henk about the ledgers and WM20.16247 was delivered on 13.3.40 to the War Office. But I guess that only is no prove that it was part of the BEF?

Also found the photograph you mean on Henks DVD. (It is really amazing how much information there is available these days). Also noticed that 4143073 it has now the C number on both sides of the tank instead of only on the left side.

The project is quite complete with early short forks, early tank, and cadmium and green under the black, It has a bottom-end WM20.16885 which is delivered 5.4.40. to the War office. The wheels, saddle, front mudguard and toolboxes are from another make, but it looks like all BSA parts that are there are early.

I will try to remove the black with paintstripper, amazingly it will dissolve all modern paint but not the Original khaki.

Also will post some more pictures but photobucket has maintenance at the moment.


Re: Early M20, BEF ??

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Re: Early M20, BEF ??

Hi Michiel
That's an interesting machine.

Is the saddle German?

And is that a late war REME type repair to the crankcase where the mag pinion seal fits or a conversion for another type of magneto?


email (option): robmiller11(a)

Re: Early M20, BEF ??

Hi Rob,

Think the non BSA parts like the wheels, toolboxes, came indeed from a German machine, but not yet sure which make, the saddle has no markings but it looks like it came from a pillion seat.

Luckally the magpinion seal area is undamaged, what you see is only a piece of gasketpaper glued to the case.

I just dismantled the bike and most is in very good condition, not that much wear and no rust. amazing for its age.

Cheers, Michiel

Re: Early M20, BEF ??

Michiel, I appear to have slipped up on the dating - on the contract card there is a 'BF' (Brought Forward) total for March that I had seen as the start of production.

Do you have the rear tailpiece ? If it has no drillings for a WD taillight then that would be pretty convincing evidence of no later-war use.

I assume that you'll be carefully sanding fuel tank and tail piece looking for markings?

Re: Early M20, BEF ??

I guess there are a few options for the restoration of this machine.

Return it to its BEF spec.

or if all the foreign components can be dated to early enough in the war, it could be kept as a German ersatz machine, which must be very very rare.

I suppose its a bit like archaeology, sometimes you have to tear up a medieval floor to see the Roman mosaic underneath.


email (option): robmiller11(a)

Re: Early M20, BEF ??

Interesting 2nd option, Rob. had not thought about that, probably because the small adaptions to make the wheels fit look more like a bad DIY job than a serious workshop job. It would save me searching for a lot of parts!, but think I will go for the BEF spec.

Rik, sadly the tailpiece is not there.... Also found out that the tank has been roughly sanded before the black paint was applied, so no markings there.

Thanks for your thoughts!, Michiel

Re: Early M20, BEF ?? Progress

Hi, just thought sharing some pictures of the progress of the bike. Frame and forks were in great condition, so not much pain there. Now just hung the parts on I had, to see what is missing. Hope to find the rest on Netley next week!
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Tomorrow there will be a fly by of a Spitfire in our town, Thanks for your great heritage, GB!! Cheers, Michiel

Re: Early M20, BEF Getting close....

Allmost there, running fine, just some final fiddling

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But I am short of the curved frontbrake lever which goes on the brakeplate. Is there someone here who can sell me one ???

Cheers, Michiel

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Re: Early M20, BEF Getting close....

Michiel, this message board needs a 'like' button !

Most stylish.

Re: Early M20, BEF Getting close....

Your bikes are really looking gorgeous Michiel! Great job!


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Re: Early M20, BEF Getting close....

Hi Michiel,

She's a lovely looking machine You've done a nice job. Can I ask you a question?
Are they the one piece rubber oil pipes that you have used? If so, may I ask where you got them from? Needing some for my Sept 40 bike.

Cheers, Dave

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