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Jack

BSA M20

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Want one.

 

Do any of you guys own one or have experience of them?

 

What are their good points and bad?

 

Cheers.

 

Jack.

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Want one.

 

Do any of you guys own one or have experience of them?

 

What are their good points and bad?

 

 

 

Hi Jack,

 

I bought a WM20 in 1983 and restored it, still have it although not ridden lately. A pretty original 1941 model, I did over 13,000 miles on it, travelling to shows, etc. It only let me down once, requiring an AA Relay home, but all other problems encountered, I was able to get home under my own much reduced steam.

 

The BSA is still good for parts, although cost of parts has risen along with the value of the bikes. You have to watch out for some pattern parts, probably originating from the Far East area. This was the reason for my relay home, substandard clutch parts.

 

As for riding, I loved it. After riding modern bikes, at that time, Moto Guzzis, it was quite a contrast. So long as you did not push it too hard, braking and handling not up to modern standards. I found that it paid to watch the road surface ahead, for potholes, badly filled trenches, etc. as they can pitch you off or get a tank slapper. Lots of fun though. Best time with it was on a Guernsey Liberation Tour in 1990, I rode from Kent to Poole, had a week riding around the island, then rode home and in all that time, the only thing needing doing was to adjust the clutch cable.

 

Are you convinced that you need one now ??

 

Richard

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Thats great Richard, thank you very much for that.

 

That is just what I needed to know as I was so impressed with the guys on the Aldbourne convoy, they were simply outstanding. I have been trying to find an excuse to jump back on a bike for many years but the bikes I used to ride had a habit of breaking motorway speed limits in first gear :shock: as well as having the habit of lifting up onto the back wheel :shock: it is all very cool wheeling down a high street with one hand on the bar whilst the left is giving the peace sign - when you are young but not so clever when you are older...and grown up :cry:

 

I had a chat with Graham from Dorset MVT at the weekend as he owns a BSA and he has been very pleased with his also.

 

Cheers.

 

Jack

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As you know there was a big article on the bike in one of the recent CMV

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As you know there was a big article on the bike in one of the recent CMV

 

:oops: missed that one.......will have to look back through the back issues.

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Have you had a look at Henk Joore's WM20 website ?

 

http://home.quicknet.nl/qn/prive/ahum/

 

If I' haven't typed the link correctly, just Google "WM20"

 

As a committed Norton man, I am tempted to ask why not go for the machine that the War Department chose after extensive pre-war testing rather than one forced upon them by the exigencies of war ? :-)

 

Seriously though, the extensive post-war use of WM20s does seem to mean that most spares are more plentiful and much cheaper.

 

If you can get hold of Orchard & Madden's "British Forces Motorcycles 1925 - 1945", it's well worth a look and the frame number listings will help you know what you're looking at.

 

Rich.

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I've had mine for more years than I care to remember and still ride it. Longest trip was from Lancashire to the D-Day celebrations in Normandy in 2004. Despite the fearsome hot weather it never let me down. I agree that everything Kewelde says about riding. The girder forks and solid rear end means you have to concentrate on your riding style.

 

Here's me trundling through the Normandy beaches on my way to Gold Beach and Ver-sur-Mer.

 

http://s91.photobucket.com/albums/k305/Monty_Stubble/RN%20WW2/?action=view&current=Bike-BW.jpg&refPage=&imgAnch=imgAnch7

 

As to your comments about a 'designed' DR bike ... it wasn't. It was a simple civvie bike which partly fulfilled the Ministry's desire to get something which would tide them over until they could find something better and given that BSA could produce large quantities quickly it was adopted. In fact the first time the bike was put forward for consideration in 1937 it was rejected as exhibiting too much wear of components.

 

In their second trial they were still only assessed as 'fair'.

 

Amazing to think they carried on in British service into the 60's and there were apparently some still lurking around in the early 1970's!

 

I have had to rebuild my gearbox as it was a bit graunchy but thats the only beef in over 6,000 miles.

 

 

 

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Always been a big fan of the BSA M20 myself, at the moment i'm looking for a motorbike as I can't afford a car (just finished 6 form), but unfortunately i'm restricted to 125cc until i'm 21, so an M20 is out of the question for a few years unless I want something pretty to look at!

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What size engine are the M20's? Insurance groups etc etc?

 

.............not that I am close to thinking about buying one :naughty:

 

Cheers.

 

jack.

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Jack,

 

Actual capacity of a M20 is 496cc, but it is always known as a 500. Regarding insurance groups, I do not know, because mine has always been on classic mv insurance schemes, which do not, from memory have groups, unlike normal m/cycle insurance.

 

Richard

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What size engine are the M20's? Insurance groups etc etc?

 

.............not that I am close to thinking about buying one :naughty:

 

Cheers.

 

jack.

 

 

Jack if you kep this up you will have to think about some more land :lol:

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Nah, gonna have to buy some Brit kit next :mrgreen:

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Nah, gonna have to buy some Brit kit next :mrgreen:

 

 

Last time I looked the M20 was Brit Kit :roll:

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Last time I looked the M20 was Brit Kit :roll:

 

 

Sorry, yes know that, I meant over US MV's............ :schocked:

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Sorry, yes know that, I meant over US MV's............ :schocked:

 

 

I knew that (I think) :-D

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Just a few silly M20 questions - what fuel do they take? Also, how heavy are they? Reason for my asking is that I may (all dependent on how quickly I can save up) an M20 in bits. As i'm 18, plan is to restore it, then when it's done trailer it to shows, but not sure if i'd need a specially designed trailer for a motorbike, or maybe just take the front wheel off and put it on a normal trailer or something. Any advice more than welcome

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Just a few silly M20 questions - what fuel do they take? Also, how heavy are they?

 

To answer your first question.......petrol :-D

 

I have used ordinary unleaded with a lead substitute, with no more than the expected problems with exhaust valves. If you are going to trailer it, I would not expect you to have to much trouble. I used to ride mine all over the country, carrying all my kit and camping gear, so I was well aware of problems that may occur, maintenance prior to travelling being essential. In 13,000 miles, only once did I have to get recovered and that was due to some faulty pattern clutch parts.

 

Weight is around 392 pounds. I would advise use of a bike trailer as the machine would be difficult to handle loading and unloading from a normal trailer without a front wheel.

 

Richard

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Well, I don't know about out there, but here in India, 16Hs are generally in high demand by the 'collector' folk and they trade hands for exorbitant lumps of money. The M20s are fast gaining value as well, but less moneyed folk like me can possibly save up for a few generations and plonk one in their sheds. But whenever I speak to owners who've ridden and owned both motorcycles, they seem always to be fonder of the BSA for the simple fact that they broke down less often and were easier to bring back to life (read as 'start') than the Nortons.

But with like all these machines, it's the heart that prevails. In my personal experience, albeit limited, my BSA plods whenever I want. Sure, I haven't traversed the continent on the slide-valver, but the bike has never disappointed me on Sunday rides. But in terms of the sheer thrill factor, my good old Triumph 3HW is where it is at. Keeping up with traffic is a cinch and she's so darn good looking as well.

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Sure, I haven't traversed the continent on the slide-valver, but the bike has never disappointed me on Sunday rides. But in terms of the sheer thrill factor, my good old Triumph 3HW is where it is at. Keeping up with traffic is a cinch and she's so darn good looking as well.

 

Good man Kylohere,

another Triumph fan

 

:clap:

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Do you know any alternatives please Adrian?

 

 

Well, if you were well aquainted with BSA's then "Bloody Sore Ar*e" is an old favourite.......after 200 miles on mine, I can vouch for it.

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Ah, that seems more appropriate to a column asking about M20s good and bad points Richard.

 

To be honest, you would get a sore butt on any make of old bikes with girders, rigid frame and sprung saddle :-(

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Want one.

 

Do any of you guys own one or have experience of them?

 

What are their good points and bad?

 

Cheers.

 

Jack.

 

 

If the truck is going then maybe it is time for the purchase of the m20 you have promised yourself,at least with bikes your loss of storage is easily sorted,go and buy a shed.

Just imagine it Jack full dispatch rider kit ,thumping m20 and you leading a column of ww2 armour into Dorchester

Nigel

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ones m20 is sat in the garage with its rider sat in the house wondering whether it would be an interesting experiment to go out for a ride in the snow and see if the heat from the old sidevalve will clear the blocked roads,although I must say the icy patches on the roads on boxing day made for an interesting ride

Nigel

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no heating just a few other bikes ,a car under restoration a dehumidifier and my tools

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