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Bikes being used.

As the saddle spring thread has gone right off topic I thought I'd start a new one and say how I enjoyed seeing Ian's M20 in its natural enviroment, so much more like a period photo than the posed pics of as new bikes we see so often. I also have nothing but admiration for anyone who restores a bike to this condition and manages to keep it that way, and the dedication and research that goes into such projects is amazing. Restoring a bike to factory condition is one thing, keeping it that way while using it regularly and as nature intended is another thing altogether.

Best wishes,

Tony.

Re: Bikes being used.

Hello Nathan,
Wow, your collection of NOS equipment is amazing, must have taken great dedication and patience to amass all this and I'm following your M20 project with great interest. I would never have the patience for anything like this myself but it is a good thing that there are people like you out there to preserve this history for future generations to see.
Imay not have worded my post too well, I meant shots of bikes that have been recently restored to as new cond. rather than original shots of machines in nice clean condition, which are of course invaluable historically, and that Ians M20 looked as though it has just slogged its way up to the front with a vital despatch!
All the best
Tony.

Re: Bikes being used.

I'm from the era when blokes rode their bikes to work, often in preference to using the car if they were lucky enough to own one as well....They wanted to ride bikes...In my case it was the cheapest form of transport I could lay my hands on that went with my £7 a week apprentices money, I sold my expensive group of sports bicycles that I had worked hard to build from the best parts available and bought a 5 year old Matchless...

That time pre dates the rise of the 'classic bike' movement, the investment market, the universal Japanese bike period, the resurgence of the European manufacturers, the time when Harleys got reliable enough so someone who wasn't a motorcycle mechanic could own one and, most recently, the 'fashionista' characters that ride bikes as a fashion statement...

In my case it was the cheapest form of transport with an engine that I could buy with my apprentices wage that could give me the chance to get further from home than an evening spent with my compatriots, sat on a bench, under a street lamp down by the woods...

It took about 12 months for me to 'get in' with the local bike crowd in town and at that point I began to experience the true camaraderie that existed in those days amongst a group of motorcyclists...I was hooked and have continued down that road my entire life....When I met the girl who is now my wife I advised her in week one never to make me choose between bikes and her....She understood and she didn't...

I still regard bikes primarily as a tool to do the job they were intended to do, that is to work for a living and provide transport...The rest of it is just icing on the cake as far as I'm concerned...

I learnt years ago that bikes are different things to different people...That's fine, it takes all sorts...

However, you'll never find me drooling over a bike in a museum...I always have the thought in my mind that 'Someone should take that out and give it a damn good run'.....In the National Motorcycle Museum there are loads of rare bikes....For example, there's a Watsonian V Twin prototype that I'd love to get on the road where, in my opinion, it belongs...

In the hands of private owners I consider it a great shame that thousands of motorcycles stand idle, never turning a wheel in anger bcause they think they are too valuable, or to rare etc. etc.....What a waste...I can only feel people have lost track of what being a motorcyclist actually is....To my mind it has to include using them....Ian







email (option): ian@wright52.plus.com

Re: Bikes being used.

Another good thing about riding bikes is that you wear out parts. This keeps the industry of parts supply going,stop using them and people stop making parts. For me the worst thing is people restoring bikes to "show standard" but never even start them up.Some apparently don't even fit all the engine internals.Just as well make a clay or wood model if looks are all that matters. Both mine and my brothers G3l were built by people who clearly had no idea of what is needed or acceptable to make a bike run and ride well. Each to their own,but I'd rather see them used and dirty.

Re: Bikes being used.

Well I'm guilty! I've got about 30 bikes and I literally can't ride them all. I also only want a limited amount of Ethanol hanging around in tanks. However, they are all restored for the road. Nothing skimped and definitely no empty crankcases. I have about 6 bikes in my collection that are riders and I use them regularly enough....Until now of course.

I consider it to be a sort of museum reference with as much back up literature as poss and original and contemporary pictures. I've been collecting, restoring, updating, correcting and learning for a lot longer than Nathan and Tom have been alive.

It's a hobby gone mad!! Ron

email (option): ronpier@talk21.com

Re: Bikes being used.

['I wish I was there when all this was current and new...']

I'm bloody glad I wasn't...

The 30's was a time of genuine hardship with a large part of the population unemployed and malnourished...As the 40's arrived a lot of people lost their lives...and if you were in the 30's you ended up in the 40's...

I know from the stories my father told be of the blitz in Coventry it wasn't a great time..He was relatively lucky though as he was in a reserved occupation...
Some of my relatives lost their lives and I'm sure dying in a tank at 21 years old, getting shot down and killed over Berlin, dying as a prisoner of the Japanese or being on a ship getting sunk by a submarine and spending the next two years in hospital with oil in the lungs and stomach can only have been horrendous......That was the experience of some of my relatives....

I think it's wise not to look back at that time with rose tinted glasses...and it seems the further you look back the harder it gets for the ordinary man...Half of the guys who were in the army at that time probably didn't want to be...Many were sent there by the courts as an alternative to a prison sentence...

Regarding bikes I've had a lot of them, initially one at a time as I sold one to get the next..By my mid thirties I was able to have more than one...I actually topped out at 10 all at once but one day I woke up and decided I was mad...I only had one ass after all...

So, I sold 5 and since then have owned 3 to 5 most of the time with relatively frequent changes apart from two of them....Enough for some variety but not so many they didn't get any use....Now as my mileage is dropping off as I get older I have 4 and I'm considering moving one of them on...

The fact is, I'm no 'collector'...If I see a complete bike in the garage and unused for too long I tend to think it's time to send it on its way....Ian

email (option): ian@wright52.plus.com

Re: Bikes being used.

Self appointed or qualified social historian?...Jesus....You'd better sell your computer and see if you can work on getting rickets or polio...Live the dream....:laughing: ....Ian

email (option): ian@wright52.plus.com

Re: Bikes being used.

There was plenty of off-roading during the 1930s. The Army may have been under-resourced and there was far too little realistic battle training but they did spend a lot of time on sport (which proved its value in 1940)...There had been organised Army Motorycle trials for a number of years and units trained for them.

Eastern-Command-Champinship-4-39









A few years ago, when my Dad (wartime Royal Sigs) was over here, I came back after a few hours with bits of greenlaning on the 16H, thinking that it looked positively campaigned...."Blimey" said Dad...."I don't ever ever remember seeing one that clean"...:grinning:

Mud's OK, it cleans off;..However, the modern obsession with road salt means that finish can deteriorate more in a single winter than they once would have over five years....I try to keep my salty roads riding to a minimum.

"Don't get it muddy, Son !"

A-1938-C9999999-Pre-war-Trial

Re: Bikes being used.

I should have guessed...

So when I think I'm a dentist and open my own Dental surgery I've just got to tell them I don't need qualifications, they don't necessarily reflect knowledge or ability.

It's one of the things I like about Engineering, which is what I have a number of meaningless qualifications in....

It's an exacting discipline and after your done it's either right or wrong...There's no faking it and there's no room for bullshit...What a great world to operate in...Ian



email (option): ian@wright52.plus.com

Re: Bikes being used.

Nathan Saunders
I'm a musician too, I can play an instrument...but I didn't use the word professional. I'm not a professional social historian, but a social historian none the less. Don't forget, a qualification is just a certification, it doesn't reflect knowledge or ability. Often the non-professionals are much more capable than the certificate wielding professionals.
"Often the non-professionals are much more capable than the certificate wielding professionals."

This is an example of the Dunning-Kruger effect. The disdain for the expertise of those who have devoted years of study to a subject by those who don't know how very much they don't know. It's a real thing. Ignorant of one's own ignorance, in other words.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dunning%E2%80%93Kruger_effect

email (option): moatjon [ at ] aol.com

Re: Bikes being used.

Back to Tony's original post, I'm not a believer in "patina" if it's worn out and tatty, restore it and ride it until it needs doing again. Hopefully it'll last another 80 years. I haven't seen the picture of Ian's M20 you are referring to, but he restored it just the same.

They were all new and shiny once.

WD-1st-Battalion-Queen-Victoria-s-Rifles-QVR-a-TA-regiment-affiliated-to-The-King-s-Royal-Rifle-Corps-training-as-a-motor-cycle-reconnaissance-battalion-in-the-New-Forest-near-Beau-2

My WD16H was hand painted a yucky green and looked awful. Although it had an MOT and "on the road", I stripped it and gave it a full restoration. Just as well I did as several parts were worn out, and now I'm confident to ride 400 miles or more around Normandy for a week without it breaking down. After 8 years it's aged nicely without being tatty. New bags fitted now, but don't worry, they'll soon age as well.

IMG-20200511-WA0009

email (option): horror@blueyonder.co.uk

Re: Bikes being used.

Hello Horror,
Patina, yes its a devisive issue isn't it? Personally If something has still got a good deal of its original finish, paint, chrome etc I like to leave it as it is, after all it is only original once and this is how the manufacturer turned it out however many decades ago. Mechanical checking and overhaul of course, brakes and tyres 100% sorted, but leave the finish as is. Its also cheaper that way. (I'm from Yorkshire). If the things suffered horrible paint jobs and bodgery over the years it needs to be sorted.
A couple of questions re your 16H please, I notice the horn is facing sideways whereas the horns on the 16H and Big 4s in your superb black and white photos face foreward, does this depend on the year and is the horn bracket different? My 16H has a sideways horn but is fitted to the mounting clip with a crude looking bolt and bit of tube to allow the horn to clear the downtube, it doesn't look right. Is your pillion seat the correct WD type, I've got a similar looking one on my ES2, its a Hutchinson make, the front mounting is slotted vertically to ajust the seat height, if it is a WD type I'll use it on the 16H. I can't remember what year the bike is but its a Pride and Clark rebuilt job so could have all sorts of different year bits on it, the carrier rack looks to be the same as yours though ie. the larger one piece type.

Thanks and best wishes

Tony

Re: Bikes being used.

I have only limited experience with restoration compared to others here. I took a '65 Lightning that had been chopped and proceeded to restore it until I'd replaced pretty much everything but the engine. I found a '54 Ariel Huntmaster that had been abandoned in a barn and stripped it down to its bolts, sand blasted and repainted it. Both looked factory new when I was done. But this one? Nope, I'm not touching it. It's only got 2,500 miles on it. Mechanically it's barely broken in and starts on the first kick every time. I personally love the look.

(since the picture was taken I replaced the concentric carb with a spare pre-monobloc I had laying about)


email (option): moatjon [ at ] aol.com

Re: Bikes being used.

Most of the bikes I've restored had to be...

Many came in the proverbial cardboard boxes and the old chestnut of 'restore or don't restore' didn't come into it....

I often buy them like that because I enjoy the restoration, it's half the reason I want to own them..The other half is that once done they'll get used and I like reliability. Unrestored bikes are OK but basically you don't know what the condition of most of it is (the bits you can't see...) It's a break down waiting to happen if you do a lot of miles...I commuted to work on my bikes for around 30 years winter and summer and they had to get there....They were my only transport...

Also,when I set off on a tour I want to be pretty confident I'm going to get there and back, preferably without getting my tools out along the way. 'Setting the clock back to zero' by doing a full restoration means I'm aware of the condition of everything as far as it's possible to be...The results speak for themselves...I can't remember the last time I broke down on my M20...

That's not to say I haven't done anything to it...it's just that I like to do PREVENTATIVE maintenance in the comfort of my workshop, not out on the road....

I'm with Horror on this...Get them into good condition and then ride them till they need looking at, do the repairs...repeat...I've done that for the best part of 40 years with my M20..I've had it longer than the army did (they got rid of it after 27 years) and have probably covered more miles on it as well....It passed the 100,000 mile mark in my ownership years back, I didn't bother to record it after that...

I imagine there are a limited number of M20s in in the hands of a private owner with that sort of mileage on the clock....Ian

email (option): ian@wright52.plus.com

Re: Bikes being used.

Tony the forward facing horn was an early thing. I expect Rik will know when it changed. My 16H is 1940 (retro fitted with pannier/pillion) Jan made the special bracket for me......Copied from Rik's original I think. Ron
16H-232
16H-274

email (option): ronpier@talk21.com

Re: Bikes being used.

Tony Leedal
Hello Horror,
Patina, yes its a devisive issue isn't it? Personally If something has still got a good deal of its original finish, paint, chrome etc I like to leave it as it is, after all it is only original once and this is how the manufacturer turned it out however many decades ago. Mechanical checking and overhaul of course, brakes and tyres 100% sorted, but leave the finish as is. Its also cheaper that way. (I'm from Yorkshire). If the things suffered horrible paint jobs and bodgery over the years it needs to be sorted.
A couple of questions re your 16H please, I notice the horn is facing sideways whereas the horns on the 16H and Big 4s in your superb black and white photos face foreward, does this depend on the year and is the horn bracket different? My 16H has a sideways horn but is fitted to the mounting clip with a crude looking bolt and bit of tube to allow the horn to clear the downtube, it doesn't look right. Is your pillion seat the correct WD type, I've got a similar looking one on my ES2, its a Hutchinson make, the front mounting is slotted vertically to ajust the seat height, if it is a WD type I'll use it on the 16H. I can't remember what year the bike is but its a Pride and Clark rebuilt job so could have all sorts of different year bits on it, the carrier rack looks to be the same as yours though ie. the larger one piece type.

Thanks and best wishes

Tony
Yes Tony, it depends on the year of your bike to where the horn is mounted. Early bikes on the frond down tube like my black and white picture, later it fitted sideways on the engine mounting bolt. There's a special bolt for this.

More variations shown on the WD Norton site https://www.wdnorton.nl/Military_detail_variations_16H.htm

DSC-7191

image

email (option): horror@blueyonder.co.uk

Re: Bikes being used.

I've seen at least 30 other M20s here in the Detroit area since I got mine in '88. Invariably, they all looked like D. Bakkers bike, mine included. not many around here seem to be inclined to restore them to WW2 spec, although I did restore mine.

Re: Bikes being used.

Horror, thanks for that, I'll check the Norton website, I think my bike is 40 or 41, the clip on the frame looks correct for the side facing horn, maybe its just the bolt and spacer that are wrong or maybe the horn should have a right angle type mounting bracket.
Ian, I'm in full agreement with you regarding a machines mechanical condition and fitness for purpose, I just feel that its a good thing to preserve the original finish when there is still enough of it left to show how well it was built and how well it has lasted. It's also a valuable historical reference when those "Should that headlamp bracket rivet be cadmium or chrome plated" type arguments crop up. Not that they ever do on this forum of course.
Out of interest, a friend of mine has a prewar 1000cc V twin which he has owned for about 25 years, it is unrestored but well maintained and repaired if a problem occurs, he's done 750000 miles on it in this time, including many holidays and rallies in furrin parts and also used it for his work which often meant riding from Bedfordshire to all parts of the UK, often 2-300 miles away. A true enthusiast.

All the best
Tony








Tony

Re: Bikes being used.

doug price
I've seen at least 30 other M20s here in the Detroit area since I got mine in '88. Invariably, they all looked like D. Bakkers bike, mine included. not many around here seem to be inclined to restore them to WW2 spec, although I did restore mine.
I got this one in San Francisco. I’m going to keep it like this other than going through it mechanically.

FB722-D59-FA31-4281-A7-E7-2-FF75-F39-DCF0

email (option): benjamincameron75@gmail.com

Re: Bikes being used.

Tony I posted pictures above Horror's where you can see the angled bracket.

Ron

email (option): ronpier@talk21.com

Re: Bikes being used.

I always have a wry chuckle at the 'American' M20s...It's pretty rare to find one in such good unrestored condition in this country....That can't be right...:laughing: ...Ian

email (option): ian@wright52.plus.com

Re: Bikes being used.

There is plenty of direct and indirect evidence that the British Army practised vehicle movements extensively in the run up to the war that everyone knew was coming. The training areas around Aldershot and Salisbury Plain were there for a purpose. Far more unmade tracks and roads at that time too.

DMF-171

16-H-Horse

In my opinion, a historian would have to prove a statement that army motorcycling was restricted to roads and campsites during 1939...I can see no basis for it.

Re: Bikes being used.

I agree...Large numbers of motorcyclists were under training and the acquisition of off road riding skills was also an intrinsic part of the requirements just as much as road work.....Along with the formal off road training, inter unit trials competitions were used as a way to hone and further improve the abilities of the riders and large scale exercises provided more of the same....Ian

email (option): ian@wright52.plus.com

Re: Bikes being used.

Ron Pier
Tony I posted pictures above Horror\'s where you can see the angled bracket.

Ron
Ron, many thanks for the pic, as you know I'm pretty hopeless with the pooter and hadn't noticed it before I replied to Horror. Its all clear now, an angled horn bracket, often used on cars and I have one on a 12v Altette so that's sorted, brill!

Re: Bikes being used.

D. Bakker,
you dont have to restore your M20.
But you could at least straighten your front mudguard stay....

Re: Bikes being used.

Michael
D. Bakker,
you dont have to restore your M20.
But you could at least straighten your front mudguard stay....
That's the top of the proverbial slippery slope, innit? :grimacing:

email (option): moatjon [ at ] aol.com

Re: Bikes being used.

That's almost exactly what mine looked like when I got it in '88. There were lots of markings under the thin top layer of paint, most notably a big red "Drive on the right" painted on the top of the tank. Much later I got the information on it off the keycard that showed it had been in Germany with the BAOR.

Re: Bikes being used.

Ian Wright
I always have a wry chuckle at the \\\\\\\'American\\\\\\\' M20s...It\\\\\\\'s pretty rare to find one in such good unrestored condition in this country....That can\\\\\\\'t be right...:laughing: ...Ian
A good number of the machines ending up in the US during the mid-1960s were brought over in large numbers in turnkey condition; “excess to requirement” from the military, and sold complete with tool roll and operators manual. That is the reason you still find relatively pristine examples here from time to time; it’s only been 50+ years since they arrived!

email (option): teladelujo@msn.com

Re: Bikes being used.

doug price
That's almost exactly what mine looked like when I got it in '88. There were lots of markings under the thin top layer of paint, most notably a big red "Drive on the right" painted on the top of the tank. Much later I got the information on it off the keycard that showed it had been in Germany with the BAOR.
Hey Doug,

Mine has the same stenciled in red across the tank. Along with what I assume to be the auction lot number on the tank. There is also faintly visible under the post war paint a census number and tyre pressure stencils on the mud guards.




32-B1-D5-EF-2-C4-F-4-F8-F-9-B14-750623-F6-F88-A

email (option): benjamincameron75@gmail.com

Re: Bikes being used.

Lex kindly supplied me with a copy of the key with my bike noted (Red arrow)


22-E339-AC-76-A2-4-A35-B3-FD-5-B03541-E3684

email (option): benjamincameron75@gmail.com

Re: Bikes being used.

Lex kindly supplied me with a copy of the key with my bike noted (Red arrow)


22-E339-AC-76-A2-4-A35-B3-FD-5-B03541-E3684

email (option): benjamincameron75@gmail.com

Re: Bikes being used.

The first couple of M.20s that I bought came via Dawson Motors of Nottingham who bought them from the MOD surplus sales and indeed had LOT Nos. painted in white either on the fuel tank or front mudguard. Underneath the layers of paint other traces of their former lives were revealed via generally white paint markings and former unit markings.

The best one I found was in clear white stencilling across the tank when I bought it and it read CP/BER. I sought the meaning of this from a number of people. Eventually a contact at Chilwell told me it stood for 'Cycle Parts Beyond Economical Repair' and I paid Dawson Motors £35 to put myself in the powerful position of owning the machine.

That was 1967 and I still have the machine albeit I restored it in 1973.

Re: Bikes being used.

Ron, As an aside, my horn clamp is a copy of Lex's, made by Jan. My bracket is a repaired original. The frame clamp has quite an unusual form. It clamps well, but also has to hold the heavy horn in alignment and the Altette is often seen drooping in period photos. The bracket can break too.

Sideways facing horns are mounted direct on the engine stud and the forward facing type are clamped. There are a number of different brackets, either single or double reinforced and some with a rib. Clearhooter brackets are not quite the right size but look similar.

It strikes me with the US bikes that one or more traders and lots of customers made a miscalculation. I bet it was envisaged that all those cheap bikes with 'springers' would make an ideal bases for a sub-Harley chopper...they must have looked at the M20s when they arrived and realised that the spirit of 'Easy Rider' was a long way off :smile:

Re: Bikes being used.

['The best one I found was in clear white stencilling across the tank when I bought it and it read CP/BER. I sought the meaning of this from a number of people. Eventually a contact at Chilwell told me it stood for 'Cycle Parts Beyond Economical Repair' and I paid Dawson Motors £35 to put myself in the powerful position of owning the machine...']

I thought my M20 came from Pride and Clarke but I now think it too came from Dawson Motors... It was demobbed in 1968 with registration number NEG 793 F which it still has....

It was completely rebuilt and finished in Maroon but retained all it's military parts...The paint wasn't a 'line it up against a wall' job...The bike had been stripped and properly refinished....That also included the engine and gearbox..

With so much maroon it was an 'eye catcher' to say the least..:laughing: ....The first owner told me he paid a premium price to get a 'good one' and it certainly was that....I use to see the bike running about locally and frequently had a chat with the owner to see how it was running...He used it for his everyday transport...Unfortunately in those days he didn't like the look of my long hair, leather jacket and A10 café racer so wasn't interested in selling it to me!!...

About 8-9 years later he sold the bike to someone I knew, he was an ex DR who served in North Africa and Italy...I expressed an interest and he said he'd give me 'first go at it' if he sold it...Around a year or so later he wanted to buy a cammy Velo and one of his bikes had to go to fund it, so I got my chance and I jumped at it...I finally got the bike over a decade after I first saw it!....With the ex DR it had now morphed into 'Nato green' which most people used in those days....That was a 'line it up against the wall' paint job!....

The rest to date is my history with the bike, which I have enjoyed immensely....I actually feel quite lucky to own a bike that I know the history of from the day it was released...Ian

email (option): ian@wright52.plus.com

Re: Bikes being used.

Ian I don't think your M.20 bearing an EG plate is a Dawsons machine as EG was a Peterborough Registration I believe and Dawsons were based in Nottingham - my M.20s that came from Dawsons had TV such as LTV 58F which I sadly sold.

Re: Bikes being used.

Peterborough is 58 miles from Dawsons in the next county...(Cambridgeshire)...Now I'm thinking of possible scenarios....A (localish) dealer bought a few from Dawsons, did them up and registered them locally before selling.....Or it was just another dealer who bought them in from the auctions...?

Anyone know of a dealer in Cambridgeshire who was involved in ex WD stock in the late 60s?....

email (option): ian@wright52.plus.com

Re: Bikes being used.

NEG was an old Huntingdonshire number...Peterborough had been Northamptonshire but from 1965 to 1972, the county was 'Huntingdonshire & Peterborough'...so it should have been registered in that area.

Re: Bikes being used.

When I got my M20 in '88, it was one of a group of 6 surplussed bikes at "British Only" (very close to my house). The bikes all had lot numbers on the tank, and customs tags wired on them with lead seals on the wire. They came complete with all tools, tool rolls, and original pannier bags and straps. Ken at British Only let me go through the big box of tools for them, and pick out a set for the bike I was buying-most of the tools were still in the original packing, with Chilwell tags on them. At that time, mine was the last of the 6 M20s he had, but no one but me seemed to be interested in getting a toolkit for their bike.

Re: Bikes being used.

What a great buy...When I bought my M20 there was little interest in military bikes at all, never mind the toolkits...They remained a 'cheap option' for a long time because of that...

The current enthusiasm is something relatively recent...Most people thought I was deranged when I first rebuilt mine and got all the cadmium and dull chrome plating done....'Why waste all that money on an old army bike?'...:laughing: Ian

email (option): ian@wright52.plus.com

Re: Bikes being used.

One of the many times I still kick myself to this day: Around 1990 I had my M20 at a local military vehicle show. There was a guy there trying to sell a completely original M20 (just like the photos here) for $300. The engine was stuck (what he said, anyway), but I didn't buy it. I had the money with me, I had my truck, we could have simply backed up to each other and just rolled that bike into the back of my truck, but for some reason I didn't buy it. D'oh! D'oh!

Re: Bikes being used.

Ian and Doug,
Hindsight, a wonderful thing, I started to be interested in old bikes when I was fourteen or fifteen, always the real old stuff, flat tankers, Brough Superiors, Scotts, anything after 1930 was regarded as not worth bothering with unless it was a stonking great V twin or had a camshaft on top of the cylinder head.
After a while I started buying and selling a few bikes, '30s and early post war stuff mainly, BSA Norton and AJS/Matchless singles in more or less complete condition, sometimes running, sometimes not, could be bought for ten or fifteen pounds.---- Unless it had REME plate nailed on somewhere, or the remains of pannier frames, or those curious Michelin V tread tyres, then it was "Its an old army bike luv, a fiver's your lot". Maybe the memories of the war were too recent or maybe people just wanted new and shiny bikes, but my friends and I could not afford those and an army bike was as good as any other,I never wanted a new Bonnie or CB 750 anyway, the old stuff had a charm all of its own and it still does, I just wish I had kept a stash of those "army bikes."

Tony.

Re: Bikes being used.

I remember being at a show with my M20 a few years back and I was chatting to an elderly gent, he was in his 70s or 80s maybe, he used to do a bit of trailing back in the day, he pointed at my knobberly tyres and said, "I bought a complete M20 in the mid 60s because the tyres were like new, I removed the tyres and scrapped the rest,
And the cost £4.00"

I was stunned
Alwyn

email (option): Alwyndart@gmail.com

Re: Bikes being used.

In theory the starting price for a WM20 at the military clearing sales had a starting price of £ 10
It just happened that none ever got a second bid.
If you bought them is larger lots you got them cheaper still.

Then there is the simple fact that everything is only ever original once.
After that it is a recreation no matter how hard you try to keep to original specifications it is not nor can it even be original again

This is one of the reasons why I refuse to "do up" my M20
It is exactly as it was ridden in the 40's 50's 60's 70's till the second owner bought it an he did nothing to the bike cosmetically.
I have owned it since the 90's, put well over 100,000 miles on it and it should look like it has done 100,000 miles.
Heaven only knows how many miles the original owner put on it but the brake drums were ( and still are ) over the maximum wear limit and it was on + 80 piston when I got it .
There was no speedo on it when I got it ( seethe photo in the gallery ) and I had it for over 10 yeas before I fitted one.

None of my bikes get an "original restoration"
If they have original paint and particular pinlining then they get a protective top coat over the deteriorated paint to prevent further weathering and that is it.

ai have no problems with people who strip everything back to bare metal then refininsh their bike to an "original" appearance till they start calling it original, which of course it is not unless it had a frame dipped in black enamel and the rest of the body work sprayed in plain enamel. Presenting a bike with a powder coated frame & tin wear resplendent in two pack glory is not and never ver can be called ORIGINAL, it is a RECREATION or REPLICA it is not nor can ever be original.

As for museum pieces no problem with the jus so long as they are accurate and properly labeled as "rebuilt or restored" and lot listed as "In original condition" which of course they are not.

As for owners using them, I gave up on that years ago.
I ride mine where I want to go and where the ride will be interesting, usually with 2 or 3 others because my routes generally have a bit of unsealed roads where the other 200 members will not ride .

email (option): bsansw1@tpg.com.au

Re: Bikes being used.

A few years back this image of me "using" my M20 was printed in the club magazine.
It caused the greatest number of comments of anyting published in over 20 years and most of them were a tyrade of abuse for abusing my motorcycle . Funny enough the bulk of them came from people who either did not owns a BSA at all or their bike was not in running condition.

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email (option): bsansw1@tpg.com.au

Re: Bikes being used.

Looking at the rear stand in that picture! I'd hazard that someone had fitted the chain adjuster snail cam.....Upside down:upside_down_face:

AS Hans would have said DAMHIK!!
Ron

email (option): ronpier@talk21.com

Re: Bikes being used.

The front wheel's still on the ground, Trevor. It can't be overloaded !...Not heavier than a pillion passenger surely, anyway ?

Re: Bikes being used.

One spark and the whole thing could have gone up...:laughing: ...Ian

email (option): ian@wright52.plus.com

Re: Bikes being used.

I would say Trevor has set the rear stand like that in case the m20 power lifts the front wheel off the ground !!!!

Dave J

email (option): jamfam@dragnet.com.au

Re: Bikes being used.

In India or Asia the wife and whole family would be sitting on top of the logs, so whats the problem?

Re: Bikes being used.

Ah! O.K. so I have to smile, -check-
Bike in used condition, -check-
Stuff loaded -check-
This is me, in for some blatant self promoting! :sunglasses:
My W/VH at last years AOMCC rally in Pershore.(from Almere, Netherlands)
The Ariel is called 'Burney' because it burned to the ground at Keep Them Rolling some years ago.
Fitted with all sorts of non WD bits, good for motorway use if need be.
Fitted a '51 Red Hunter VH engine with A6/664 cam, steel flywheels + BA box, LED all round, juice from a Alton (yes they work)
Headlamp is a Miller from a Sarolea. Forks where rebuild by Jake Robbins https://www.jake-robbins-vintage-engineering.co.uk/ (now there's a craftsman!), both wheels NOS (not anymore now) from 'a warehouse' in France. Monobloc carb. Altette hides a 12V Nippon claxon. All tin bits original, no Indian reps.

Annual-rally-Pershore-UK-2019

email (option): vincent@vincentvanginneke.com

Re: Bikes being used.

Nice bike Vincent..I really like those Ariel singles, another great Val Page design...It still looks the part despite the alterations....Ian:relaxed:

email (option): ian@wright52.plus.com

Re: Bikes being used.

The stand spring has always fouled on the axle
Never quite worked out what is happening but suspect that the rear section is the narrower pre war type.
An M20 axle pokes out near 4" and the one on there is about 3" shorter then the new one I got from Russels a long while ago .
So the bike has always run an occy strap to hold the stand up fully but the rear stand strap was in use holding the timber on.
When I finally get my hands on a good new rear drum & sprocket I will sort it out but when that shot was taken 2016 I was still running a worn out chain because the teeth on the drum were worn down & hooked so the wheel is further back that it should be.
I have 3 drums that are off center which makes for a some what "bouncy" ride.
The nephews thought it was great fun so they are in to "might be able to be fixed" pile .
Got one hat is concentric lat year but it does not run free on the stub axle and I have not had the time to go through the whole rear end properly.

email (option): bsansw1@tpg.com.au

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