New bike 40 years in the mak­ing

Central Telegraph - - LIFE | SCHOOLS - Macken­zie Colahan Macken­

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.

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