New bike 40 years in the making
MONTO computer technician Peter Williams is revved up after completing a painstaking restoration of his beloved classic motorcycle, a project that was almost four decades in the making.
Over the past three years Mr Williams rebuilt his 1962 BSA Bantam D1 from the ground up.
As an 18-year-old, he acquired the bike from a Calliope farmer for the $28 air horns off his car.
A recent appraisal valued the finished product at $15,000.
“When I bought it, it had been leaning up against a shed in Calliope for 10 years.
“It was in terrible condition,” Mr Williams said.
“I always had the dream of returning it to its former glory.
“I was too broke at the time to fix it and then I met my wife and had kids, so it went back in the shed until 2015.”
Last month, after 39 years off the road, the old Bantam took just five kicks to start.
No expense was spared on the build.
“It’s certified as a concourse restoration, meaning it’s in showroom condition.
The job included restoring all the original chrome work and a complete rebuild of the motor, plus new wiring, paint, wheels and lights – using genuine parts wherever possible.
For a time during the mid 1900s, the discontinued English manufacturer made some of the most sought after motorcycles in the world.
BSA ceased production in the 1970s and their value as collectors’ items has steadily increased since.
Mr Williams credited social media for the explosion of interest in restoring vintage bikes.
It inspired him to establish BSA Bantams Australia, an online hub of motorcycle enthusiasts that has now grown to more than 400 members.
One thing won’t change though: the bike is not for sale.
“I’m never, ever going to sell it,” he said.
“If my kids don’t show an interest it will go to a museum.
“The most satisfying part is riding it. The work was enjoyable at times but for the most part it was frustrating,” he said.
ALL CLASS: The restored 1962 BSA Bantam D1’s value has appreciated significantly.