Classic British Legends: BSA Bantam

The most famous ‘working’ motorcycle ever made, certainly in Britain? The BSA Bantam is close, if not the one. Sure, it’s not possessed of the glamour of its Gold Star stablemate or the Triumph Bonneville, but the little BSA was known intimately and ridden extensively by a whole lot more riders than those two put together. And the story for this most British of legends all began in Germany. In the aftermath of the Second World War, the Allies plundered the broken Fatherland for repatriations and one of the spoils was the DKW factory’s neatly styled and soundly designed RT125 model. Manufacturers around the world (including Harley-Davidson and later Yamaha) produced versions of the German engine, but in Britain, BSA’s Bantam, launched in 1948, became the best-selling variant; by 1953, 100,000 had already been sold.

Visit the Mortons Archive for more information and online search options, or speak to our archivist Jane Skayman on 01507 529423 with your requirements. Email

Classic British Legends costs £6.99 from WHSmith or it can be bought directly by calling 01507 529529 or visiting

The Classic MotorCycle Issue 42-01 - Jan 2015

Where legends come to life

Related magazines

Go Digital!

Abroad? Running out of storage space? Want to carry all your monthly reads with you?

Download our free app and get an issue FREE!

Available on the App Store
Available on the App Store
Available on the App Store

Save £s and paper, Go Digital>