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What your thoughts about this old girl? (circa 1950 BSA)

Discussion in 'Modifications and Projects' started by TRA, May 19, 2011.

  1. Pluses: Looks to be pretty complete and original. BSA C11 parts are fairly easily available even if you have to buy from the UK. A decent bike in its day and better (more reliable anyway) than the later C15.

    Minuses: It's a 60 year old 250. Expect similar performance to a Postie bike, although rather better up hills and maybe a bit more top speed.

    Wonder what the reserve is.

    Looking at it, it's the sort of thing that, given new tyres and brake shoes and a rewound magneto, could probably be ridden around largely as-is. Far more cred than a shiny restored one :D.
  2. Lol, re postie bike. Not buying it as a regular rider so I can handle that.

    I am tempted to hit the buy now button. What do you think its worth?
  3. About $100, 'cos that's what it would have fetched when I first got interested in such things :D.

    Seriously, though, I can't really offer much advice except what I've picked up from reading Just Bikes a lot. Maybe $2-2.5k. Any more and you might as well save up a bit more and buy something that actually runs. Like I said, the C11 is worthy enough but it's not terribly special or exciting.
  4. Cheers. The buy now price is $2000. Restored ones I have seen seem to go for $4000 to $4500. I might put a bid in and see how it goes. There will always be more.
  5. It's not hard to see you throwing $3-5k at it after purchase so $2k is the most it is worth. Of course making a profit is not what you are trying to achieve, but it's got to make some sort of sense.
  6. That's why my own approach would be to do the minimum possible to get it roadworthy and reliable (probably not that much) and ride it as-is, with all its history intact. Paint and plating are expensive, unnecessary and too much work to maintain (IMHO).

    $2k ain't bad by the looks of it. When I see what sort of prices are asked for rubbish like Bantams and Villiers engined grey porridge, at least, in this case, you get a proper motorcycle rather than the 1950 equivalent of a V-moto.
  7. If it turns over with reasonable compression and no horrible noises, buy it. Its going to cost to do it up even without the plating and paint, but original cosmetics with restored mechanicals makes a lot of sense to me.
  8. Certainly easy to work on and a lot of fun despite the interesting brakes and rear end - claimed top speed was about 70 mph when new but you wouldn't want to sit on that for long.

    It's certainly pre 1951 since the suspension was changed to a plunger rear-end after that and it may be even older, the tank looks older and it could even be 1930's but I'm not a real BSA expert (I have helped work on one or two over the years).

    The BSA owners club is pretty strong and might be able to help source parts.
  9. Just about believable, but you'd be flat on the tank and pulling the end off the throttle cable to get there.
  10. The ones pulling decent money still have all the original bits.
    I luv em. The oldies. It's a fun hobby that is getting very expensive. It's also very addictive.
  11. I might head up and take a look on Saturday. Its a good 200km from my place, but a good excuse to rack up some k's on the new trumpy.

    This may force me to hurry up and build a carport so I have room in the garage!!!
  12. Just rang them. They have turned it over and nothing is siezed. Its not running because the piston is apparently in a box. repro headlight and bars, aluminium guards so possible also repro. Missing speedo and some other small bits. He said the it was stamped C10T and said it may have been used for trials, but he was not really sure.

  13. I did say claimed :)

    I suspect you'd need a long runup on a downhill slope.
  14. A little more research suggest to me an early 1948 model. The T suggest telescopic forks, with a G for girder forks.

    Not sure its worth it now, with all the bits missing.
  15. The C10 was a a sidevalve 250. Worth avoiding unless you enjoy being passed by mopeds. The bike in the picture doesn't look like a sidevalve to me. I guess it's possible that an OHV top end has been grafted to a SV crankcase, which would make it as close to a C11 as makes no difference but the originality takes another hit.
  16. If it were me I'd look at what I was ultimately going to finish up spending, and all guesses will be lower than actual costs, and think about what I could buy with that figure. For the $5-6K that this thing might finish up owning you, you can buy a more useful Matchless or AJS 350 single in good order with better road performance and a big spares network. There are even 500s around for that or a little more, but the 350 will shake your fillings out a little slower. Most small Pommie bikes, BSAs included, measured their acceleration with a calendar. They were neat little bikes but not much fun to ride even then. And isn't the ride what you're after? Don't get me wrong; I like small bikes. I'm restoring a Honda 50 Cub. But it will only owe me about $1500 all up when it's done so its useability is a lot less important.
  17. Very good point! I religiously go through the classics section of the ebay bike sales almost every day, looking particularly at British bikes, and from that I can say that you can easily get a good restored bargain for that price - a bigger bike that's all done and ready to ride. But if the 'joy' of rebuilding is what you're after, this might not mean much. Me, I'd rather just ride the thing (otherwise my bullet-proof SR500 would be sold by now and a Matchless would be sitting in its place.)
  18. I reckon I want a bit of both! I love the idea of doing a restoration, cause I am so anal about my work that it has to be perfect. I also miss the days where I could not affort to buy new shit and pay mechanics and had to do all the stuff myself. When you put down the tools and start working in an office, you always get the urge to do hands on stuff again.

    However I also want something I can ride. But I want a real old mean bike, something you wont use a lot, but is fun to ride once every month or two. I dont do fast, I dont have the balls anymore, so 250cc is fine. I would not be unhappy with something bigger though. Love the british bikes, especially the 1950 and older models. No rear suspension and sprung seats, girder suspension on the front. I am sick and twisted, but I have always liked them, even before I really got interested in motorcycles. Used to go to the hotrod shows and always spend hours looking at the old bikes.
  19. PS, forgot to mention I paid off the mortgage last year, hence the new trumpy. We are going to buy and investment home soon, so I reckon I have about 6 months of free spending before the minister of war and finance cuts the budgets!! So I am spending almost every day trawling ebay, trading post, bikepoint and bikesales for something that takes my fancy. Happy to take tips on other places to look too.