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BSA M20 sidevalves are dirt cheap in england because the country is crawling with them. Stone simple and reliable but all the horsepower of a cb350. They were made for a looooong time too and pressed into service in all aspects of the british government. I think they were used from 1939 till like the early 1960s. I remember a classic bike issue where they did an entire top end on the bike on the side of a road with just the tools in the toolkit.
 

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I think it is way overpriced. I got $1400 for my Ariel, and at the Mid O bike auction NICE triumps and BSA's were hardly breaking $4K.
 

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dude is dreaming. he bought it high, had it shipped, and now wants to make a profit. wonder what his reserve is......6K?

texy
 

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had it shipped from where though? The canadian military used these bikes too and although not as common as in ol' blighty you can still find them up north. I saw three in the last two weeks, two at mid-O, and one last week riding in the city.

$5K for a bike you can't hop on and ride is too expensive (unless it is a ducati SS or a vincent - even old harleys are not this unreasonable).

and they did paint those bikes with a brush, why he thinks this is so charming is beyond me. Maybe if I paint a cb750 honda with a brush he will fawn over that too.

I will say one thing cool about them, they figure heavily in the james bond spy novels (not the shitty movies but the awsome books) as the dispatch riders all used them.

I looked it up and depending on the year they make 12hp @ 4100 rpm or 13hp @ 4200rpm. Ripping.

this is kinda a fun read:
http://home.quicknet.nl/qn/prive/ahum/


my favoriet part:

quote:Although intended as a general-purpose motorcycle for convoy escort and long-distance communications duties, due to the sheer number supplied the model was employed ultimately in every theatre of war and for virtually every purpose imaginable, whether suitable or not. It is perhaps for this reason that the model is the one best remembered by and familiar to most ex-servicemen and other individuals when military motorcycles are mentioned. The post-war service of the BSA M20 model further increases its renown, the type being retained in service as the standard War Department motorcycle throughout the national service period of the 1950s and onwards in limited numbers until the end of the next decade, this despite the fact that it was never totally suitable, and was most probably retained only because of the huge quantities of machines and parts available following the end of the war.
Edited by - geeto67 on Aug 06 2007 09:47:40 AM
 

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Thanks for all the cool info...I'll def keep a lookout for one cheaper...speaking of old WW2 bikes has anyone ever seen or owned a WW2 German Beemer?

Banned From The Pubs..
'73 CB350(RIP)
'74 CB750K3 Cafe Thriller
 

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quote:
Thanks for all the cool info...I'll def keep a lookout for one cheaper...speaking of old WW2 bikes has anyone ever seen or owned a WW2 German Beemer?

Banned From The Pubs..
'73 CB350(RIP)
'74 CB750K3 Cafe Thriller
A harley beemer or a german beemer? If you want a new one go buy a URAL and detach the sidecar - the URALs and DKNEPRS are the russians building the bikes with the stolen BMW tooling taken during WWII.

It is not widely known but HD toward the later years of the war copied exactly the bmws the allies were capturing in europe. The idea is that any time one was captured it could be used for parts to keep the american counterpart running. More WLA HD's survived than HD sidevalve beemers, but that is ok since there are a decent number of WWII beemers still around (although not as many as there are M20s).
 

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Many of the german bikes were Zundaps. To the untrained eye they look just like BMW's--Boxer engines, etc. Not sure of the ratio of Bmw's to Zundapps---sounds like a good research project for Geeto.

Back in the 60's I had a 40's Zundapp 2 stroke single--plunger frame had been converted to hardtail, the timing cover was gone, but a large tin can fit perfectly, total loss electrics. God, we trashed that bike in the fields. My brother still has it kicking around somewhere...
 

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Can someone please tell me why anyone would want an M20? Apart from the guy who has a boat and is looking for an anchor. A friend of mine in Ireland told how he was on a trip around Ireland on an M20. Near Killarney it broke. He pulled the carb and mag/dyno and threw the rest in a ditch and hitched the rest of the trip. At that time that was the fate of any M20 that broke.
 

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quote:
Can someone please tell me why anyone would want an M20? Apart from the guy who has a boat and is looking for an anchor. A friend of mine in Ireland told how he was on a trip around Ireland on an M20. Near Killarney it broke. He pulled the carb and mag/dyno and threw the rest in a ditch and hitched the rest of the trip. At that time that was the fate of any M20 that broke.
Probably for the same reason people like mopeds.

Serously though, the only reason I could see someone here in the states wanting an M20 (or any sidevalve BSA) is the cache of riding a WWII relic to their local starbucks or bike night, having a bunch of people who know nothing about bikes oogle the thing and talk about how cool it is, and then ride it home and park it. You would probably get the same kind of attention if you walked around in a fully accurate WWII RAF officer's uniform, they both have about the same utility. It is pretty to look at in a full size GI Joe sort of way.

I think M20s in europe are like VW beetles are here in the states. They made so many of them they were considered disposable for a very long time, but then over time the bike gets associated with an era, becomes an icon, and then slowly values creep up.

Personally I would love to have one just to fulfil my fantasy of being a 1950's ministry dispatch rider tearing up english country roads on my way from "Universal Exports" (bonus points for people who get this reference) or MI-5 carrying important cold war documents to a remote RAF station. I would have to get the full dispatch leathers to boot to really feel the part. Sadly this dream is usually shattered when I realize that "tearing up the countryside" on an M20 is a brisk 45-50 mph, and that is if I have no desire to have a working machine at the end of my journey.



Edited by - geeto67 on Aug 06 2007 4:00:56 PM
 

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i just emailed him and offered 1200 for it. i doubt he'll accept, however, does anyone here on the board live in or near oklahoma city that would be willing to pick up and store it for a short time IF he accepts my offer?

fat people are harder to kidnap
 

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you mean universal exports where the likes of m, miss moneypenny and q worked? i too am an avid james bond fam, both books and sean connery movies.

fat people are harder to kidnap
 

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either that or you are a smersh agent....(the plot thickens)

Fuzzy - M20s are not large bikes either. I know you and I are roughly the same size (I have a lot of height on you however) and I can tell you I look goofy on an M20. considering some of BSA's 250 singles form the 60's are more bike than this I would consider one of those if you really want one.

Army navy stores have access to large supplies of olive drab paint (even the same formula stuff from the 40's), I betcha if you painted any bike flat olive drab and lettered it in yellow it would get noticed. You probably would get even more noticed if it was a 70's Jap bike and you lettered it in japanese.
 

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well the guy basically laughed at me, which is about what i expected.
no major loss as a guy i met on another message board (sohc forum) and who i'm building a 750k for, told me he knows a guy with an h2 i can get for really really cheap.

fat people are harder to kidnap
 

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quote:
well the guy basically laughed at me, which is about what i expected.
no major loss as a guy i met on another message board (sohc forum) and who i'm building a 750k for, told me he knows a guy with an h2 i can get for really really cheap.

fat people are harder to kidnap
seriously....hook a brother up!
 

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ohhhhhhhhhhhhh no. no way in hell lol. i'm hoping to find out more about it tomorrow.


fat people are harder to kidnap
 

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bond books were always fun, movies were always so far out there but good, imaginative, fun .I used to be Bonded, but Im much better now.

Im so far behind ,that I think Im in first.
 
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