This project is about the restoration of a 1968 BSA Bantam D14/4. I should admit that my first bike was a 1966 BSA Bantam D7D/L - this perhaps explains why anyone would would want to restore a Bantam. Hopefully it's going to look up ending like this.

Bantam

My first Bantam was bought when I was at school and it covered a fair old distance. I used it pretty extensively for 18 months when the lure of a Triumph T90 took over.

I bought this Bantam in 1986 from a bike shop in Edward St, Chorley - I can't remember the name now. It was one of those spur of the moment decisions that you wonder about afterwards. Anyway, it didn't need much doing to it and was used on and off. One day, I was driving through the village only to suddenly hear a banging from the engine. I thought I'd got a damaged big end so pushed it home. When I took the head off, I found what looked like a nail head impaled in the cylinder head. It was a rivet head from the flywheel plates that helped squeeze a bit more power out of the engine (by increasing the compression in the crankcase). According to Alpha Bearings who fixed the knackered big end (as a consequence of the rivet jamming the piston), it was a common problem. They recommended that they remove the plates. It didn't get much use after that as I had to move house - so it was stripped down to small packages so it could be stored.

That was 17 years ago! Unfortunately its second home was in a chicken shed. I hadn't noticed that the roof was leaking - the crankcases didn't particularly like being constantly wet and suffered from corrosion. I spotted an B175 engine for sale on ebay a year ago and bought that for use of the crankcases. So, finally restoration has started! If you're into that sort of thing, you can follow progress in the diary. I've gradually learnt about the subtle differences between the D14 and the B175. The gudgeon pin is one example. The pin was missing from the B175 box set so I tried to use the one from the D14. This isn't long enough.

Here's a picture of my first bike - taken in 1972. Spot the utterly useless crash bar that was clamped round the down tube!

oldbantam

 

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