BSA Bantam D1 125cc. 1950. 9,935 Miles. Rare Early Unrestored Sound Example!
Sale price: £1727 ≈ $1727 ≈ €1727 ≈ ₿0.036 btc
Last update: Item location: Chester Le Street, UK
Seller's notes: Please see description and images. Please read description fully.
Sale type: Fixed price listing
BSA Bantam D1. 125cc. 1950 (Registration date: 11/08/50). 9,935 Miles. Rare, Early, Genuine, Unrestored, Sound Example!
Please read the description information fully, before considering bidding: There is a lot of information, however I feel this bike deserves it.
Low minimum bid, with no reserve!
I have set the minimum bid at what I feel is a no brainer situation for anyone genuine. To take this to whatever they feel it is worth to them and be happy with. Hopefully that will also align nicely with what I feel it is worth, as I personally believe that it is worth more than this. However that is the gamble and nature of a bid auction. I also know someone who broke a Bantam and stripped it down completely and sold it off as spare parts and that came to more than this minimum bid amount all in all. So as far as I am concerned this bike is worth this or maybe more in its component parts and hence I feel is no risk for anyone.
The V5C registration document is all present and correct and the bike will have its registration number "LXS 304" displayed on it as it should be when it goes.
The bike was previously owned by a lifelong BSA Bantam enthusiast. I must point out that I am not a Bantam enthusiast and nor do I know a great deal about these, if in fact much at all to be honest. The bike was a family friends Dads, who was a classic bike enthusiast. This is the bike which he ultimately held on to last of all and kept to the bitter end of his biking life and interest. For many years in the later stages, he only used the bike on just one occasion a year, for a local classic bike gathering / meet up event. As such quite some years back he had removed the bikes 125cc engine and had put a later 60s fully re built 175cc engine into it. The 125cc engine was also re built by him and then that was just stored into an engine stand frame and placed alongside the bike on display with it.
I am a biker, however not involving old vintage machines such as this. I had always admired this bike whenever I visited my friend and often commented on how I loved the look and style of it. The guy finally had to give up completely well into his 80s, due to increasing ill health and his living circumstances then having to change. I was then nicely given first offer of his Bantam and I grabbed it without hesitation. At this time the bike had just been stored inside his Livingroom and had not been used for quite some time. I jumped at the chance and the bike literally was then simply transported directly from inside his home, where it was cherished and admired, into my Dining room. Where it has continued to be admired and became an interesting talking piece in my home.
The bike was registered to my daughter, as there was an original idea that she may seek to take it to some classic bike events / shows and do something useful with it. That then was not the case as she moved away for her education. It has 5 former keepers showing on its log book, however obviously one of those was my daughter who did not use the bike and nor have I. So in reality there have only been 4 people who have actually used this bike in its lifetime. Since it was acquired by my family 2 ½ years ago now. The bike has only just been kept stored indoors, as an interesting object which I have enjoyed looking at. Just simply to have as a piece of British bike history and a nice conversation piece. It has just been looked at all this time basically, as an appealing historic item. Even down to people who visit who aren't into bikes commenting that it looks like that bike Steve McQueen rides in the Great Escape. Clearly not, but an interesting conversation piece anyway. That may be a shame to some who would do far more with this bike, however I never intended to.
The story with this bike as far as I am aware and understand, is that it was bought by a Doctor in Scotland for his receptionist to deliver prescriptions in and around the area. I was told it then went to Bantam enthusiasts from there. Last year I decided to sell the later 60s 175cc engine which he had rebuilt and fitted into the bike and just put the 125cc engine back into it. I have never had any intention to actually use / ride this bike. So I thought someone might as well benefit from the good later 175cc engine which was in it. The guy who bought the 175cc engine said that it was absolutely superb, which I never doubted for one moment. That was a testament to the gentleman who owned this bike for so long. I am fine with more modern and basic mechanics, so simply removing the 175cc engine and bolting the 125cc engine back into the bike was something I was happy to tackle myself. Also the bike was only there to just be looked at and not ran or used.
As for going about fully setting up and starting up such an old vintage bike which I know nothing about, which has been unused for so long. That was something which I was not so confident about attempting and as such I have not done that. This is purely out of fear of doing something wrong and potentially causing any damage or issues. The previous owner has been building classic bikes and classic trials bikes his whole life. After he retired, then repairing and rebuilding old bikes was all he was ever spending his time on. As such I have absolutely no doubt at all and as much faith as anyone could possibly have in anything, that the 125cc engine which he rebuilt and then placed into the engine stand was to exactly the same standard.
Knowing this guy as I did, he would not have let anything come my way which had any known issues of note at all, or anyone else for that matter. After putting the 125cc engine back into the bike. I was originally thinking of setting about getting the bike fully up and running and back to how it should be. So I started to connect things up, such as connecting the clutch cable and I sourced a new NOS Champion spark plug (35p from Halfords price label on it) and a new battery to set about doing that. The battery it had has managed to retain some charge suprisingly, however I wanted to get a new one. When I went to connect the throttle cable to the 125cc smaller carb, it would appear that the throttle cable which was compatible with the later larger 60s 175cc engine and bigger carb it had in it, appears to be a different cable to the one for the 125cc engine. The nipple on the end appears larger than the recess in the much smaller carb slider and in fact does not fit into the 125cc slider. I then stopped there at that point and sat back and decided against messing about with things I do not know about any further. So that is how it now currently sits as is.
As for the general overall condition of the bike. As far as I am concerned it is a good sound solid original and unrestored example. I am aware that the guy fully re built the bike front to back last nut and bolt. However this was an operation in retaining its originality as much as possible. Which involved taking the bike apart, cleaning, checking, repairing anything, lubricating and keeping things as original as possible, then reassembled. I believe the term is an oily rag restoration, where the original marks, patina and history of the bike are retained as much as can be achieved. Just making sure the bike was re built mechanically and everything was as it should be. To be fair I believe he carried that process out on a number of occasions over the time he owned it. Whether that is 100% the case, or he made any tweaks or touch ups or whatever here and there. That is something which I do not know and unfortunately now cannot confirm. For me it is what it is and that is why I have set the minimum bid where I have. This is order to not get into any knit picking or minor matters with those who live and breath these. As far as I am concerned it clearly has not been fully restored and had all its originality removed. It appears to me to be predominantly original condition and as it should be to be on the safe side description wise there. I do not profess to be an expert on these things and I cannot vouch for its 71 year life.
As for the running condition of the engine. From my perspective this guy would never have anything with issues going on, which wouldn't have then been dealt with, sorted out and put right. When I took the bike it was started up for me with the 175cc engine in it and then ridden up and down the lane perfectly fine. When I was given the 125cc engine I was told that is more of the same and all good to just fit back into the bike and use anytime if I ever wished to do that. After taking the bike I then simply emptied the petrol tank and let that vent. Then put it in place indoors, where it has been stored ever since. So it was running, working and riding perfectly fine as it should, albeit with the 175cc engine in it and then has just been sat where it is since. I have absolutely no reason at all to doubt that the 125cc and carb which this guy also fully rebuilt before putting it into the engine stand isn't as it should be, perfectly useable and to the same standard.
The kickstart moves as it should and the piston moves perfectly fine and freely. However I feel that it should be set up to be started and ran by someone who will check, prep and service or do whatever else they feel is best. Not having had me fiddling about with it, since it belonged to the last knowledgeable person.
I would assume that anyone who wants this bike to use as intended will know it's a decent sound Bantam. Or it may well appeal to someone who just simply wants it for similar reasons as myself, to just keep, collect or take and show at classic events and have as a nice object etc. As far as I am concerned and aware, it needs the correct 125cc throttle cable, the wiring connecting up correctly, the chain adjusting / shortening slightly, as it appears slacker since the 125cc engine has gone back in. Checking over front to back and then whatever starting up process is appropriate.
The V5 registration document is present and all in order, the registration number is “LXS 304”. This is none transferable and cannot be taken off the bike. The registration number is not shown in the images. This is because it had a "BSA" display plate on it while in my home. However its correct registration number will be on the bike when it goes as it should be. The V5 was sent off and has had the correct details updated to the 125cc engine. Obviously the bike is MOT and tax exempt (free). So as soon as someone has set the bike up and has it up and running. It will just be a case of insurance and then off it could be going to be used and enjoyed.
The auction is just running its course as is on bids and there isn't a buy it now option. So if you are interested then please just enter into the bidding and bid to whatever you are happy with.
Any questions please feel free to ask and I will try to help in any way I can.
In my opinion I have set the minimum bid to be around uncertain non running project bike territory and far rougher and incomplete examples which I have seen. In reality I feel that once in the right hands, this would be a case of within a days worth of tinkering, to then have it up and running and on the road perfectly useable. I can't see that any parts or any notable expense would be required here. Other than maybe a correct 125cc throttle cable, if that cannot be adapted. Just a bit of the right kind of persons time and knowledge applying to it. Then it would be worth what a genuine original and fine rolling up the road example would be worth to someone. There are those who favour sound unrestored examples, over fully restored examples. I suppose with this you have the opportunity of having the option of either keeping it just as it is. Or restore it to whatever level of quality of restoration you may choose. I personally like it just how it is and would leave it as it is and enjoy it at that.
Please note: The only payment options accepted are either cash on collection, or BACS confirmed direct bank transfer, prior or upon collection. In order to ensure against any timewasters, unless the winning bidder makes contact straightaway and would be coming quickly to collect it. I will require a £100 holding deposit sent via BACS direct bank transfer. If the bike is not going to be collected within 7 days from the close of the auction, then it will need to be paid for fully. However as long as it has been paid for, I then have absolutely no issue with keeping hold of it and safely storing it until such time as it can be arranged to be collected.
In order to try and assist anyone who may live a fair distance away. I would also be prepared to discuss potentially meeting someone half way / delivering the bike. To help anyone who may be some distance from me, or have transport / mobility issues. If so I would need a more notable deposit such as £500-00, or it fully paid for prior to entering into any long journeys with it and also my basic fuel cost involved covering. I am not concerned about anything for my time spent, as long as I am not out of pocket while assisting anyone in this manner. If anyone feels they may want this then that would have to be fully discussed and any potential plan mutually agreed, before the close of the auction and prior to any bidding taking place. If any meet up / delivery requests are made after bidding or after the auction closes, I cant guarantee that I will be able to assist.
I would also be prepared to deal with any bike couriers which the winning bidder may choose to engage. Again as long as the bike is paid for prior to any collection. I am not sure what bike couriers charge these days, however that is another option for the buyer to consider and way up.
Happy bidding and good luck!