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Anyone ever actually ridden a Bantam?

Discussion in 'Bike Reviews, Questions and Suggestions' at netrider.net.au started by revhead998, Jun 14, 2009.

  1. I'm interested to see how many on this forum have actually had anything to do with these fine machines. :twisted:

  2. Isn't that a type of chicken??
  3. irony: the use of words to convey a meaning that is the opposite of its literal meaning

    No, but in 1956 when we were living in Adelaide, we had a visitor who had one, and we (my 7 year old brother and myself) managed to start it! We scared the sqids out of ourselves, and mum and dad were not amused :(.
  4. NO though I used to ride a 250 BSA and it was a great little bike.
  5. This thread also reminds me of an old South Park episode "Who is the chicken lover?"
  6. I owned a bantam for about a year when I first got on the road.

    Great little bike served me well but you have to carry spare spark plugs and the tools to clean and refit. They fowl(intentional) them all the time.

    A good one would be worth a bit by now I'd have thought.

    That was 1972 I think.
  7. I had a go when i was about 4 but she pecked me so i didnt try again
  8. Ever tried just to chase a bantam? They are frikken fast
  9. Not even I am old enough to remember riding one, but I well remember the one our family friend in Adelaide had.

    As Hawklord said, due to the stone-axe simplicity of the engine, the lack of proper exhaust scavenging (pre-Degner) and uncertain British electrics, the Bantam was renowned for "whiskering" its spark plug. Whiskering is when a build up of carbon "grows" between the two electrodes finally joining up in the middle and stopping the spark from sparking.

    Bantam owners carried a stock of spark plugs and a plug spanner so that de-whiskering (or replacing) of the plug could take place on the roadside and it regularly did.

    I imagine that, if anyone had a good example of a Bantam these days it would, perversely, be worth a lot of money.

    For those who think this thread is a gigantic con, let me assure you that the bike DID exist. Here's one.


    Interestingly, the fastest Bantam in the world resided for many years in Melbourne. The Walsh Bantam, ridden to a myriad of race victories by Maurice Quincey (Ray's dad) and Ken Rumble, was world famous in its day.


    You can read some more about it HERE.
  10. Yep, I did. My Dad owned one when I was in my early teens. He used to let me ride it around the lawn. I'd pretty much forgotten about that until this thread, thanks for bringing it back. First bike I seriously rode. Not sure what happened to it.
  11. Strangely enough no-one yet have mentioned the legendary reliability of the bantem
    No I don't own one nowadays, I think I used dads machine as landfill.
  12. RC36

    Thanks for the pic. That's the one but mine was painted black (with
    a paintbrush).
  13. Nope, but I do have extensive experience of its 2nd cousin, the MZ TS125.

    The chassis (which has almost no resemblance to the Bantam) was brilliant (by cheapo 125 standards).

    The engine, which is recognisably from the same family, was dreadful.

    British two strokes are, in all honesty, mostly not very nice, because they all hail from the days when strokers were the cheap, grey-porridge, ride to work equivalent of all those Chinese scooters.

    It was only really when Dengner and Kaaden went to Japan that the two stroke as a howling demon of a hooligan tool really came into widespread existence.

    Edit: Actually, I might be wrong about Kaaden. I'm thinking of the other MZ guy who defected with Dengner but my brain's gone blank with regard to names.
  14. I'm not old enough to have owned one although I was pillioned around on one a fair bit and I did get to ride it a bit (on private property).

    I loved going for pillion rides on that bike as a kid and they are a cute little classic bike but they really are suitable only for around town sunday rides (60kph is about it).
  15. No, you're not wrong. It was Walter Kaaden who developed the expansion chamber, but he didn't go to Japan. Degner defected at the end of 1961 and took the two stroke "secrets" with him to Suzuki.

    Kaaden's resume is fascinating, having worked with von Braun on the Nazi rocket programme duuring the war. I guess that figures in a way.

    Here's the wiki on Kaaden.

    And here's the wiki on Degner.

    Incidentally, Degner would have won the 1961 125cc World Title if he hadn't defected. In doing so he handed the title to Australia's Tom Phillis (a distant relative of superbike ace, Rob) on the "works" Honda. Phillis thus became the first rider to win a World Title for Honda.
  16. Never have. Very pretty machines, but if my experience with Devery on this forum is anything to go by, evil things I suspect! He has a CZ175, which spent some time at my house, and gained complaints from the neighbours one night when he tried to leave. The sound of a chainsaw! (Lots of fun though!) Rough, mind you he's toured on it to NSW....

    QuaterWit met a guy in the CBD who has two Bantams and they are his only transport. Said they serve him fine. They're probably easier to live with than an SR500!

    Thank God for the CT90!
  17. I ran across the same question in another forum years ago, as proof of experience I made the statement "I have pushed my bantam further than I ever rode it".. Instant validation of experience!!!
  18. Yep, that'd be right. Most Bantam owners would identify with that.
  19. CZ's road bikes are more closely related to the hordes of Villiers engined grey porridge that were the Bantam's main rivals.

    I owned several, way back when. So unpleasant and undesirable are they that complete strangers would sidle up to me at petrol stations and offer me shedfuls of rusty ones for free. Certainly saves on the (inevitable) spares costs.

    Aside from the quite decent materials, the semi-auto clutch which will get you home with a broken lever, the fully enclosed chainguard (which has the minor disadvantage of being likely to kill you) and the utter simplicity of the design, I can think of no redeeming features.

    Certainly nothing to remotely justify the price tags I see attached to CZs and Jawas in Just Bikes.