Saturday, September 11, 2010

BSA find on craigslist. Small bike in a small world.

As a certified vintage motorcycle hoarder, I find myself constantly browsing sites like Craigslist and Ebay in search of great deals. Usually I find nothing, but from time to time I run across something interesting that I simply must have. Friday night was one of those times.

The caption simply read BSA parts, Downingtown PA. Now I grew up in Downingtown and it's only 15 minutes away so I checked out the photos and discovered a BSA frame, some tanks, a wheel and some other stuff that was hard to make out. The price was right so I responded.

I made a deal over email and arranged to pickup the unidentified pile of parts the next morning. Oddly, the address given to me was right up the street from the house I grew up in. I fantasized that maybe this was left behind in my dads garage when we moved (17 years ago), finally put out for trash by the current owner, then trash picked by a neighbor who figured they could make a quick buck on craigslist. This turned out to not be the case, but it was a neighbor who lived up the street from us, who was into motorcycles. When I showed up, it was the wife who was selling these things. She recognized my make from the email and was also curious to see if it was the same Matt Smith that grew up on the corner. We had a nice chat for a while before going into the garage to see the pile of brit iron. Included in the sale was a 1951 rigid b31 frame with what appears to be the correct gas tank for the bike. An oil tank which I have yet to identify, a rear tire that looks british, but I'm not sure if it went to this bike or not, a BSA two passenger seat that looks fairly decent (looks like it would have gone to the plunger frame version of this bike) and lastly an old fiberglass racing fairing which I think needs to be painted up for Team Smoke and Throttle to be proudly displayed in the S&T headquarters (my garage).
One BSA badge still intact. Surface rust and only a few minor dents to pull. A very good candidate for restoration.

The B31 Rigid.
Race fairing from who knows what.
Oil Tank, still unidentified. Maybe from the B31?
Rusty hub, but it will clean up nicely. Looks like a standard Dunlop hub.
BSA seat, B series> Looks similar to the goldstar seat, though they were probablky the smae or very similar to the b-series anyway.
Couldn't resist making a mock up. The front tire (leaning against a gallon sized can of WD-40) is from my 71 Thunderbolt, but I like how the front and back wheels are similar sizes.
Now I need a motor. Someone suggested a J.A.P. side valve. I like that Idea, though I think a BSA B33 500 would be easier. No rush, I have to bikes being rebuilt and a 58 Triumph project to think about. So in the meantime, I will continue searching out and hoarding parts for my various projects (both existing and future ones).

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