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I'm writing from Italy and I found a BSA M20 in my fathers basement. It is completely disassembled and rusty, but all major parts should be there. I'm trying to find someone that could tell me if it would be possible to restore it and how much it would cost.
If you could point me in the direction of a good mechanic that could take the job I would be grateful. I think my best bet would be sending the parts to someone in the UK, but if you know someone in Italy it would be even better.
It's always possible to have a WW2 motorcycle restored, there are many people who can help you.
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At the moment I only have 3 pictures I took at the first parts I found, as they were.
I will photograph every part I will find as soon as possible.
Everything can be restored, assuming that you have the frame and forks and they're in reasonable condition. However, I can't see that a 'basket case' like this one could be restored at anything remotely approaching a reasonable cost...It'll be a case of learning to do it yourself as you go along - using specialists where necesary or ending up with a bill exceeding €20000 for a motorcycle worth €8000...Unless it has extreme sentimental value, better to sell this as a project and buy a decent runner.
I think that I could do some of the simpler work. Maybe that could help keeping down the expenses.
Here in the USA, an old bike shop that does restorations,figure $75 per hour for labor. So after one week (40 hours) you are already at $3,000 and that is with no replacement parts. It is very easy to exceed the value the bike will be worth when done unless you are doing most of the work yourself or you have a very rare and valuable bike.
I do almost all of my own work and even then it is not cheap to restore a bike. Also restored bikes are no fun to ride as you are constantly worried about scratching the paint and it getting dirty. My M21 is mechanically perfect but rusty.
If you have the frame & guards then it is a job you can do yourself.
In reality there is very little that can not be done by an enthusiastic ameture following the guidance that the good people of this group can provide.
Remember they are not a F1 Ferrari race car.
The war office picked M20's because they could be pulled apart with very basic tooling by people with very basic skills.
They are very sympathetic motorcycles and will run reasonably well with everything worn out and mal adjusted.
However before you start, think hard about exactly what your aims are.
There will be a massive difference between making it into a reasonable running bike or a nut & bolt perfect restoration and changing plans 1/2 way through will cost a packet.
I very rarely repaint any bike I find.
It is only ever really original once.
After that is is a reconstruction of varying quality.
By coating the bike with a clear coat paint I save several thousand dollars and end up with a bike that actually looks like it is 70 years old.
Before you start you will need to examine every part carefully
check every bearing for roughness & rust.
Any rust = replacement and for the big end & main bearings this will be big money
Then there is the piston & bore.
The only parts I regularly send out to specialists are magnetos & dynamos.
I have rebuilt a couple myself but it was way too much work particularly as I do not have the tools to do it easily.
As for mechanics, there is a branch of the BSA club in Italy who are quite active and are usually in touch with the local magicians.
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Personally I like to fully refurbish everything both mechanically and cosmetically but that does increase both the cost and the time taken to complete the job...Discussions about the best or right way to do a bike will go on forever no doubt and there will always be different opinions.....
Basically, mechanical parts must be properly refurbished if you want to ride the bike and beyond that the level of finish is optional...
If you want to restore it cosmetically then it will take longer/cost more but that's a choice you might be happy to make...I've spent more on restoration than a bike is finally worth a number of times over the years but the key thing is I've done the bike the way I want it to be...
It's not all about money after all, assuming over time you can come up with it!!.. I'm doing it because I like old bikes, not as an investment...In fact I make a point of trying not to think about my bikes in that way. ...As most people have transport before they come across an old bike to restore the fact is no one really has to spend any money... We just do it because we want to....Ian
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Not that it matters, but this is quite an old thread that was resurrected by a spammer who Henk has deleted. Ron
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I'll say no more then, there's no point talking in an empty room...:laughing: :laughing: ....Ian
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Lucky you!!!! Please email me. and I will send you two chapters of my book on the WD M20
to start your out right. I'll send you Frame Prep, and Frame Alignment gratis.
All the best from the States!
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