1949 BSA Bantam

1949 BSA Bantam 125cc

The Town Moto July window bike is definitely worth dropping by to check out. This 1949 BSA Bantam is a little slice of motorcycling history. The Bantam is based on a German motorcycle from DKW whose engineering designs were forfeited to the allies as a result of World War 2 reparations. BSA did a mirror image of the gearbox that places the controls on the right side as with other British motorcycles of that time. Harley Davidson also made a bike called the Harley Hummer that used the same engine.

The Bantam was available only in "mist green" and sold for £60 plus tax. While the frame and other components of the Bantam evolved over it's life, the engine stayed completely unchanged for the entire 23 years of production. 

This motorcycle is owned by our friend Chris who told us about some of sleuthing that he has done on this relic. The head on the motor appears to be a Trials head with a compression release. Somebody has also rigged in a switch from a bus on the headlight as well as a pedal from a bicycle for the kick starter. The fuel cap has a neat little container for mixing oil for the two-stroke engine (two measures of oil for every gallon of petrol).

For those who don't know, BSA stands for Birmingham Small Arms. The company got it's start producing firearms. At its peak, BSA was the largest motorcycle manufacturer in the world, and the Bantam remains as BSA's most iconic product.

What is the fate of this motorcycle? A restoration, a cleanup, or leave it as is... Ask Chris and he'll interrupt you mid-question with "I don't know."

1949 BSA Bantam 125cc1949 BSA Bantam 125cc 1949 BSA Bantam 125cc