1952 BSA Bantam refurbished

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I haven’t ridden this bike for five years. A few months ago I noticed that the front tyre was perished. The tyre was cracked, as was the inner tube (tubeless tyres weren’t widely available when this bike was made). The inside of the wheel was badly rusted so I decided to clean it up and repaint it. Then I thought I might as well tidy up and paint the mudguard and forks. One thing led to another. I took off the headlight. The wiring was poor. While I had the headlight off it seemed to make sense to replace all the wiring – and convert the electrics from 6 volts to 12 volts. That meant putting new electronics under the petrol tank.

When I took off the tank I noticed that it rattled. At some stage in its life it had been lined to prevent rust. Thanks to governments that are too thick to understand the consequences of what they do – UK and EU – insisting on ethanol being added to petrol, the lining had turned into broken-up lumps of what looked like old varnish. I flushed out loads of the stuff, it had clogged the fuel pipes and carburettor.

I added flashers, an LED ultrabright running light, and bicycle panniers. If any future owner wants to remove them, that’s fine. I want a safe bike that can be used on today’s roads. You might have noticed that the paint job finished just behind the engine. When the rear tyre needs replacing I’ll have a go at the rest.

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