The BSA Bantam Bible
All Models 1948 - 1971
by Peter Henshaw
- Year-by-year, change-by-change evolution details
- A complete history of the Bantam
- How it came about - postwar reparations from Germany
- Bantam cousins - Harley and Russian 'Bantams'
- Success! - the early years
- Growing up - the 148cc and 175cc Bantams
- Tragedy - lack of development leads to decline
- What might have been - could the Bantam have survived?
- Useful contacts
- Facts & figures
- What to look for when buying a secondhand Bantam
Year-by-year evolution of the BSA Bantam, a simple commuter bike that thousands learnt to ride on. It became the standard GPO 'telegram bike' in the 1950s and was a huge success, with 100,000 built in the first four years of production. It's a story with interesting asides, like the Hummer, Harley-Davidson's version of the DKW that inspired the Bantam, and survived into the 1960s. But it's a sad story too - BSA failed to follow up the Bantam's early success by developing it, and by the mid-1960s it was looking outdated, especially next to the new breed of four-stroke Hondas. That the Bantam was allowed to fizzle out in 1971 symbolised the state of the industry that produced it, but today there's a thriving community of Bantam owner/riders. The book ends with a guide to buying a secondhand Bantam, along with useful appendices on specifications, engine/frame numbers, and contacts among the clubs and Bantam specialists. Every Bantam owner, or would be owner, needs this book - the Bantam Bible!
Covers: D1, D1 Competition, D1 Deluxe, D3 Bantam Major, D5 Super, D7 Super, D7 Deluxe, D7 Bantam, Silver, D10 Supreme, D10 Silver, D10 Sports, D10 Bushman, D14/4 Supreme, D14/4 Sports, D14/4 Bushman, B175, B175, Bushman.
First published by Veloce Publishing in July 2008.
This is the most thorough, complete and entertaining book on the humble BSA Bantam that I have read. The Bantam isn't a bike I know a great deal about (although a D1 did pass through my garage a little while ago), but I still found this book to be a very good read.
I know it is a little trivial, but it is crammed with colour photos, and I don't know about you, I do find black and white books that little bit duller to read... There is no chance of that happening with this one!
It covers every aspect of the evolution of the bike from its launch in 1948 right through to its eventual and rather sad demise in 1971 providing details on the specification of every model. But this is only a small part of the book. Most of the book, is crammed full with well written, features and articles on various aspects of life with a Bantam. These include the history of its development (and lack of it...), buying a Bantam, racing a Bantam, adventures on a Bantam, living with a Bantam etc etc. Seems to be missing the "50 Ways to Leave Your Bantam" chapter though...
This is a high quality, well composed book that I am very confident every Bantam owner, past, present or planned, would enjoy and benefit from.