FIRST BIKES

Real Classic - - Letters -

RC194 re­minded me of BSA C10s and my first bikes. I started rid­ing at 11 or 12 on a plunger BSA D1 Ban­tam around our or­chard in ru­ral War­wick­shire. We had a suc­ces­sion of early and later D1s, then a D3, and I ended up with a two-tone green C10L. These bikes were ob­tained by my un­cle who was a serv­ing of­fi­cer with the Coven­try Po­lice Force. He took me for my first pillion ride on the C10 to the lo­cal wind­mill and back, an ex­pe­ri­ence that has stayed in my mem­ory ever since.

When I turned 16 he sourced a ma­roon C15 com­plete with a han­dle­bar fair­ing, leg shields and a rack – an ideal starter bike, but sadly my par­ents would not let me have it. An ac­ci­dent when I was 13 while rid­ing the Ban­tam had some­thing to do with my par­ents be­ing not keen on mo­tor­cy­cles.

It didn’t put me off, how­ever. I’ve rid­den all my life and am still as keen on BSAs as ever. I know Frank has had his ups and downs with BSAs, but some­one has to love them! Andy Bean, mem­ber 12,473

I’ve no idea why I find work­ing on BSAs to be so un­re­ward­ing, to be hon­est. I enjoy rid­ing them as much as any equiv­a­lent ma­chine, but just feel in­ca­pable of build­ing them to a level I’m happy with. I sus­pect it’s be­cause I’ve be­come fa­mil­iar with the way AMC and Nor­tons are put to­gether and find the BSA way dif­fi­cult to han­dle. Maybe I should get an­other BSA to build – this time a com­plete one so that I can see how it all fits to­gether?

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