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Frame number KM201697
Engine number KM20633
Can anyone give me any details on this machine please, was this a war department bike or civilian please? And any other info relating to this bike is appreciated. Is it possible to find out where it may have been dispatched to during its military life? Would this have had a tank C number?
I have the option to buy this machine which is in running "oily rag" condition in civilian clothes, it still has the original valanced rear mudguard and large tank, and hand gear change. I'm torn between buying this and a 1941 Matchless G3L in army trim, they have been offered to me at similar prices. I like them both so really not sure which one to go for, is there any reason I should go for the BSA over the Matchless?
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I'm not aware that the British army had hand change M20's? I'd be interested to know. Ron
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Both the Frame 1697 and engine 633 were despatched to the Irish Department of Defence, Dublin, coincidentally on the same day, 20/2/1939 but the engine has been swapped around.
It wouldn't therefore be possibe to allocate a correct British War Office serial to it.
John O'Brien will no doubt be along shortly to give chapter and verse on specification.
A 1939 bike to my mind will always be more interesting and the pre-war date with girder forks may give more access to events and club runs...
Thank you, are the records that you used to find the despatch date and location available online?
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I have sent you an email with some additional detail - it's original Irish Registration number.
Registration ZC 5892 was allocated to an M20 with engine 633
I believe many were registered with engine numbers as opposed to frame no’s as the frame was on the engine mounting lug & not on the headstock
This with the frame/engine protector tinware made it easier for the engine number to take preference as the frame reference was partially obscured
1697 doesn’t appear with records to hand - not surprised as I have gaps to fill in on my files from 38/39 ledgers at the library in Dublin
As an early machine - the Irish army took a large quantity of m20’s in 1939 and among the early models many were panel tank models with foot & hand change - very few photos exist - but some video evidence has highlighted some
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Hi Nathan, When I read your post and saw the frame number, I thought, "That rings a bell" I bought a KM20 with frame KM20 1697 but with engine KM20 647 on the 15/09/1976 in Rathfarnham, Dublin. It was frame, forks, wheels, gearbox, oiltank (with screw-on cap) and valanced rear mudguard. It had the magdyno and chaincases with the 8 spring clutch. No petrol tank and foot change gearbox
In 1976,(the year of hot summer)there wasn't a lot of information about on old bikes, no classic bike magazines, no internet, there was MCN and Motorcycle Weekly for the adds. I had a plan that I was going to go to Arnhem with the MVCG (now the MVT )in September 1977 with the bike but as the weeks rolled by I realised that wasn't going to happen unless I could source the parts I needed. My brother Rod came onboard and we bought a batch of WM20s which we then concentrated on. We got to Arnhem in 1977 and I got to Bastonge in 1978 and I'm still "chuffing" about the place on my WM20, 45 years this year. We never did anything with the KM20
About 15 years ago I had to do a clear out and we sold off our surplus M20 stuff, including KM20 1697 to a man in Co Monaghan.
If you wish,I'll e-mail some photos to you if you do buy the KM20.
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