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Homepage. This page: Classic post-war BSA motorbikes, one with two lads sat upon it prior to riding around a field.

1. BSA Bantam D1 (plunger).

As a nipper I regularly charged around the garden and nearby field on an ancient 50cc Raleigh Runabout. Whereas I made do with a multi-coloured moped, these lads were lucky enough to have access to a 1950 BSA Bantam (plunger) two-stroke motorcycle to chase rabbits with. The registration, VMP 252, confirms that the (mist green) motorcycle was registered in the London area in 1950. Buyers in 1950 could opt for a "rigid" Bantam (ie fitted with no rear spring), or the sprung "plunger" version.
No doubt in these nanny-ing times, many would frown on letting youths of this age near a motorised machine, but so long as they're sensible and adequately supervised, it would have been a great deal of fun and something to look back on with fond memories I'm sure.
(Please click the thumbnail to view full-size image.)
BSA Bantam motorbike
The Bantam was introduced in 1948 as the D1, a two-stroke machine of 125cc, all of which were painted (and that included the wheels) in factory "mist green", a pale shade. The design can trace its routes though to the German DKW firm, however following WW2 the design was adopted by BSA as part of the war reparations. Versions would be built by IFA in Germany, as well as in America (Harley Davidson) and even in the USSR by MMZ (Moskovskiy Mototsikletniy Zavod).
British motorcyclists would need to save up 60 GBP (plus purchase tax) to purchase a brand new 125cc Bantam D1. The 4hp engine was a two-stroke unit, with Lucas coil ignition (or later, Wipac magneto) providing the spark. Over the years the bike would undergo a number of revisions and improvements, with the engine capacity being increased to 150cc (D3 model), and later 175cc (D5 on), before the model's eventual demise in 1971.

2. A 1952 Bantam D1 (rigid).

Now, a slightly later Bantam D1 registered in Somerset during 1952. Unlike the machine shown previously, this has a rigid rather than a plunger frame. This 125cc motorcycle has been fitted with a number of popular accessories including a screen, leg shields, and rear panniers. The children shown sat on the BSA in this photo are somewhat younger than the pair shown above.
A 1952 Bantam D1
Return to Page 14 in the classic & vintage vehicle photo gallery. A number of motorcycle-related images can be found on the site, they include this interesting snapshot of two people with a pre-war BSA B33 machine. A dealer leaflet explaining a new hire purchase scheme available to customers in 1962, can be found here.
Parts for classic BSA motorcycles can be found on this page in the classified ads section.

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