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Joris

WWII bike to start with

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My brother got infected by the WWII bug this weekend and is now concidering a WWII motorbike. What would be a good one to start with, which are reliable, spare part availability easy to operate / maintain. Etc etc etc

 

Who could help us with these questions?

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Your brother could not do better than go for a BSA WM20. The parts are available, not difficult to maintain and not too bad a ride.

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Your brother could not do better than go for a BSA WM20. The parts are available, not difficult to maintain and not too bad a ride.

 

 

As a dyed-in-the-wool Norton man, it rather pains me to say it but I have to agree. The M20 saw long post-war service and has by far the best NOS parts availability. It also has the virtue that it can be used in almost any rôle and was used by front-line units from 1939 through to 1945 although there were of course detail changes.

 

My suggestion would be to do lots of research first. Orchard & Madden's "British Forces Motorcycles 1925 - 45" is a good starting point. What is your brother's motorcycling experience ?

 

Have a look at Henk Joore's WM20 website http://home.quicknet.nl/qn/prive/ahum/

 

and also Rob van den Brink's Norton WD site

http://home.tiscali.nl/wd16h/

 

They both have their virtues and will give you an idea of what to look for.

 

Matchless G3Ls also turn up regularly and are not too expensive but are a bit less forgiving of abuse than side valves.

 

Triumph 3HWs tend to be a bit scarce and parts are less common.

 

Royal Enfields were generally used for "behind the lines" work

 

Ariels are nice but hard to find.

 

I assume you're discounting 2 stroke lightweights ?

 

Miss-matched engine and frame numbers are not generally considered a problem with WD bikes but be careful because there are some dreadful "bitsas" out there with post war and bodged parts.

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Miss-matched engine and frame numbers are not generally considered a problem with WD bikes but be careful because there are some dreadful "bitsas" out there with post war and bodged parts.

 

 

That is a good point about "horror bikes", in the course of my work, I came across one, it involved a lot of effort to put it right. You are best to find one that is running and rideable.

 

Mismatched engine and frame / chassis numbers are a fact of life with any WD vehicle, be it armoured car, lorry or bike.

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Well my brother has his licence for over a year now and drives every day so he's becoming an experienced driver quickly.

 

Thanks for the heads up!

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Hello there, let's me introduce myself, I am the brother of Joris, and i am indeed infected, I'll gather some information (manuals books whatever..) and more important, saving some money to buy one...

 

I am looking for a unrestored bike, because i own a brand new bike (Yamaha FZ6-S2 Fazer 600cc for those who want to know that)and using it for home - work traffic and i like to have a wwII bike to have fun with it (tinker and driving... you name it, i do it :P)

 

last weekend, when we had a break in our roundup with the WWII vehichles i watched those BSA M20 and some Harley Davidsons... those bikes are really beautiful and simple... (not saying about my Fazer... i wouldn't even tinker my Fazer...)

 

btw, what's the waste of these bikes? (litre / distance ratio) (my Fazer does 1 / 18 :o but that's offtopic :o)

 

btw, dont blame my english, i am bad of hearing (and the english of dutch deaf peoples are usally horrible... :o)

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I'm not saying this (just) because you are my brother but your english is quite good!

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Hello Zooropa,

 

No problem with your English if you use words like "tinker" - I think you've got the idea already. I'm a compulsive tinkerer and it really is necessary if the whole thing is to remain a pleasure !

 

It's going to be a bit of a change from riding the Fazer. First thing to do is sort out some linkages and cross-over shafts to swap the Yam's rear brake and gear pedal over to the proper sides. You don't want to get confused while high-speed bend swinging on the M20 :-)

 

I think that the best advice is to buy the best that you can afford (although it won't necessarily be the dearest). If you have any interest at all in period originality then that will be cheaper in the long run. Don't let me talk you out of "autojumbling" though, it's a great part of the hobby. More cross-over with the civilian "oldtimer" people than with more dedicated MVs.

 

Although 70 year old side-valves are low tech, a major difference with modern stuff is that the parts often need "fettling" whether original or pattern.

 

When you say "waste", I assume that you're translating "verbruik". Fuel consumption on side-valves is actually not all that good as they're not very efficient. The ohv 350s are better. I think that you could find that an M20 is worse than the Yamaha but then you're going to be thrashing the poor old M20 everywhere !

 

Good luck with your search and research.

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thank you, 69x100 what about tinker, my dictionary didnt gave any other words for that... as like as the "waste"... my mistake.. hehe

 

i think i go for BSA M20 (when i have money to buy one) now first gathering some useful informations like manuals.. my brother ever told me that he found a complete manual for his dodge on the internet. perhaps he knows where i have to look for a manual for BSA M20 and other useful things :D

 

i already expected that the brakes and the clutch are swapped, just those mad englishmens...

 

when i was on tour with that ww2 vehichles, i saw 2 different colors for BSA M20, the brittish green (dark green) and american green... what's color is the right one? or doesnt matter?

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Ouch, this is dangerous territory, everbody claims to have the correct colour...

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I'll stick my neck out and suggest that dark green is probably a bit post-war. Most M20s saw some post-war service.

 

Broadly, most bikes early war were khaki, then service brown (best described as half-dried kooien stront!) and then olive drab which was very close to the US colour but not quite the same.

 

You can get away with quite a shade variation, even on the same bike.

 

eBay is the best place for period literature. It quite often turns up from non-specialist sellers doing house clearances and things. I would recommend logging on to ebay.uk for all things British motorcycle. I'm in Belgium and if I let it log on to eBay Belgium, I miss most of it.

 

I've just bought a Norton contract C.7353 Instruction manual for £5 but the going rate for most parts / instruction books is probably £12 - £20. Of course you'll need the correct one for your bike as they were overstamped with contract details.

 

A good start might be a copy from Elk Engineering. http://freespace.virgin.net/elk.engineering/manual.htm

 

 

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How about a BSA foldingbicycle?

Very low tech and lots of fun!!!!

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I've just bought a Norton contract C.7353 Instruction manual for £5 but the going rate for most parts / instruction books is probably £12 - £20. Of course you'll need the correct one for your bike as they were overstamped with contract details.

 

A good start might be a copy from Elk Engineering. http://freespace.virgin.net/elk.engineering/manual.htm

 

 

 

 

thanks! i'll check that link! so far i dont have any questions left... perhaps later more...

 

at last, thanks

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