THINKING OF BUYING?
BSA built their upright sidevalve and ohv singles throughout the mid-1920s, before switching over to the ‘sloper’ style from 1927. While L24s aren’t exactly common, there are a few examples in circulation – and don’t forget to search for the 1925 L25, the 1926 L26 and so on. Vintage bikes from this era are eligible to take part in the Banbury Run, so the closer you get to 1931 the more the price tends to rise, along with performance and practicality.
One particular L24 was up for grabs on eBay this summer. Brightwells sold this machine for £3400 in 2012, and it changed hands again soon after. The current owner says that he finds it impractical to use in the congested south-east of the country. It hadn’t run for many years when the he bought it; ‘I had the magneto re-wound and it started third kick.’ He replaced its AMAC carb with an Amal, and says this still needs some more fine-tuning. ‘It runs well but tickover is erratic. It starts first kick if the proper priming sequence is followed.’
The L24 bid to £5350 on eBay this summer but didn’t sell at that price.
Meanwhile, Andy Tiernan has a later, ohv 350 in stock. It dates from 1927 so has proper brakes and improved front suspension to match the sporty engine specification, and its restoration has recently been completed. The three-speeder pulled well over an eight-mile road test, with excellent compression which suggests a rebore in its not too distant history. The L27 is up for £9000 at andybuysbikes.com