1957 BSA Bantom - just bought one!

Discussion in 'Old's Cool' started by Worroll, Dec 16, 2012.

  1. Worroll

    Worroll Been here awhile

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    [​IMG]

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    Just picked this beauty up. 150cc, 50 mph max speed, 5 horsepower! It will be fun tracking down parts!
    #1
  2. Pigford

    Pigford British

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    Part shouldn't be too elusive - those Villiers motors went in EVERYTHING back in the day - from water pumps to .. errr, bikes :lol3


    Look up "Moto Giro" on the Googler :deal
    #2
  3. D.Bachtel

    D.Bachtel Been here awhile

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    Pretty little bike. Not a Villiers but a Deek as in DKW.
    War reparations and all that stuff.
    German design, originally, but BSA produced and modified.

    Could be wrong....

    Don in Nipomo
    #3
  4. Prmurat

    Prmurat Long timer

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    Bantam?
    #4
  5. D.Bachtel

    D.Bachtel Been here awhile

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    Correct.
    #5
  6. motu

    motu Loose Pre Unit

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    That'd be a D3 Bantam Major - my fist bike. I think they do 51mph - details like that are important with a Bantam. My wife's first bike was a D7 Bantam Super - that's the 175.
    #6
  7. Worroll

    Worroll Been here awhile

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    Correct, it's a D3 Major. I had to look up the engine number and the frame number to properly identify it. I'm going to restore it to original styling, probably not with original parts, but keep it looking era correct styling. I knew absolutely nothing about these bike until two days ago, so it'll be fun!

    It is the DKW design, BSA tweaked and manufactured.

    The biggest hurdle is it's missing the stator, ignition and that whole side cover for the engine.

    I was curious with the top speed of 50mph, I'm assuming it just runs out of power at that speed, and the engine isn't screaming rpms? safe to run continuously at 45-50mph?
    #7
  8. davevv

    davevv One more old rider

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    That same DKW design was the basis of the Harley lightweights (AKA Hummer) from the late '40s to the early '60s. I have no idea whether any of the motor parts are interchangeable, but it might be worth checking into. There is an active Hummer community here in the states, so if anything like the side cover might work, they'd be a parts source to look into. They might even have a bit of knowledge on the Bantams too.

    My first bike was an actual Hummer, which is one of a number of variants of the Harley lightweights and 125cc. My second bike was a Super 10, which was a 165cc version. They would run comfortably around 45mph. For a 14 year old in 1961, they were fabulous. Lots of new found freedom and I rarely saw a highway so the speed was just fine for surface streets.
    #8
  9. England-Kev

    England-Kev Long timer

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    In the 1950's, Bill Lomas and Dickie Dale -- Moto Guzzi works riders -- were invited to ride a Walsh-tuned Bantam and went through the 100mph mark on a number of times. The Walsh Bantam was thought to be the fastest 125cc powered bike in the world.

    The Walsh Bantam...

    [​IMG]

    :clap
    #9
  10. Worroll

    Worroll Been here awhile

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    Just looked up the Harley Hummer, the engine looks near identical, except it's reversed. I do remember reading that BSA re-engineered the Germany engine reversed - gear shift on right side.
    #10
  11. ricochetrider

    ricochetrider a certain something

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    Hope by now you know of the website Britbike.com ...
    Buncha great guys, real knowledgeable, and also a great source for parts, as most major Brit parts suppliers advertise or sponsor there.
    Overall, probably THE best single resource for your resto/rebuild. NOT to discount the folks here, who are also quite knowledgeable, and helpful. I've met many of the BB.com folks, tho- and they are definitely really good people who will be as excited as you you are about your Bantam.
    #11
  12. caponerd

    caponerd Kickstart Enthusiast

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    An interesting bit of DKW RT clone history is that Royal Enfield was making one in 1938. This bike was used against the Germans in WWII as "The Flying Flea" which was modified to be dropped from airplanes for use by airborne troops.

    There's a rather sad story between the lines of that.
    #12
  13. Worroll

    Worroll Been here awhile

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    I'll have to sign up at BritBike.

    I never thought I'd be so excited about a motorcyle with less horsepower than my snow blower!
    #13
  14. Brunow - 007

    Brunow - 007 Bantam Fever

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    I have the later D14 bike and it's perfect for cruising around town!
    Parts won't be that mutch of a problem. Might even think about the electronic ignition! :freaky

    Good luck with her!

    [​IMG]
    #14
  15. vtwin

    vtwin Air cooled runnin' mon

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    Cool little bikes.

    [​IMG]
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  16. England-Kev

    England-Kev Long timer

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    First date ?

    :evil
    #16
  17. Worroll

    Worroll Been here awhile

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    Figured I put up an update. I did find a guy across the pond that was able to get me the missing engine parts, stator, case, etc. I was able to find the right side tool box, but am still looking for the left side cover. I got a front seat from a smaller Honda Shadow that looks like it will fit on with little engineering. I also got two possible front fenders cheap from eBay, one from a small 70's Honda and the other from a small 70's Suzuki dirt bike.
    Unfortunatly I haven't had the time to do anything with these parts yet, but I should start on it mid-end of summer.
    #17
  18. bmwhacker

    bmwhacker Still on 3 wheels

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    I crossed paths with a 1957 Bantam D-3 today. I think it showed 9k miles on it. All original and complete except for a repaint. The seat has a solid pan but the foam / cover is missing. The original exhaust is in nice shape. Chrome on the rims is blistering. The present owner said it has good compression & spark but he never ran it.
    Is a $1000.00 too much for a complete speciman?
    #18
  19. jeep44

    jeep44 junk collector

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    #19
  20. Rango

    Rango Phaneropter

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    Sounds like a candidate for the 'cheap bike' thread.
    Why are you still hesitating?
    #20