Steve Mitchell’s classic interest is for BSA Bantams - the rare Competition models to be precise. He defines the appeal: “They are unmistakeably Bantams, but the bikes carry nothing that isn’t absolutely essential”
When he got a tip-off about ‘a couple of off-road 125s that were available’, he realistically expected a brace of field bikes. Instead, he found something close to Bantam heaven on earth.
On offer was a pair of D1 Competition models, one was rigid and the other was the more rare plunger model. Both had been restored and had all the ‘Competition only’ components present and correct. The bikes were also 1954 models, the only year when BSA used the larger cylinder barrels, but with the barrel stud spacing of the earlier engines.
Steve considered he bought the bikes at “a good price”. Once they were home, he cleaned stale fuel from the tanks and carburettors and with little effort both bikes were up and running.
He is working on another restoration at present, a special 1951 model, but the search continues for a 1948 bike. Apparently, the very first bikes off the line had detail differences to the following year’s Bantams when production got going.
Where legends come to life
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