Small but strong

The BSA C11 was a solid, workmanlike motorcycle, possessing many of the attributes of its bigger brethren, presented in a pint-sized package.

The C11 is happy to ‘trundle along’ at 45mph for mile, after mile, after mile…
The C11 is happy to ‘trundle along’ at 45mph for mile, after mile, after mile…

Mike Tottey’s first bike was a BSA C11 rather like the one he’s just restored, but this is no tale of an epic mission to recreate a long-lost first love.

“No,” he admits, “I didn’t really want a C11 in the first place. I’d set my sights on a Bantam, but in 1950 they weren’t to be had for love nor money, so, with my dad’s help, I settled on a secondhand one of these.”

I suppose I can understand 17-year old Mike wanting the new and fashionable tiddler, but with the benefit of hindsight I reckon BSA’s inability to keep up with demand did him a favour.

Words: Roy Poynting Photograph: Terry Joslin

Read more in September’s issue of TCM

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