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I've had a bike notion .... #696730 05/29/17 12:05 am
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Lannis Online Content OP
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As Fay and I are riding through our mountains here, or through a State Forest, I see little "Forest Roads" and "Fire Roads" going off into the greenery. When I look at a map, these roads often go many many miles through the woods and mountains, no signs of civilization around anywhere. I'm being heavily tempted.

My riding for the last 40 years has been geared around:

1) Highway roadburners
2) Two-up touring bikes
3) Old Brit bikes for riding to rallies.

I have not even though about a trail bike since I sold my 1973 Yamaha CT3 175 cc back in 1976, which was a very nice bike for the road and for the woods.

I have friends who have gotten back into off-road riding over the last few years, guys who used to ride with me on 175 to 360cc bikes with a MAX of 30 horsepower; very few people had anything as big as a 400. Almost without exception, my get-back-into-trail-riding friends buy a 450cc to 690cc bike with 60 water-cooled horsepower, and suspension as tall as a tree, and forget how fast that outfit will get them going, and they high side or endo and finish with the bike hammering them into the fire-road like a tent peg. And they are limping around grimacing every time they laugh or cough or sneeze, and using an elbow crutch until the cast comes off.

I know that many people these days use bikes like my Guzzi Stelvio or the big BMW GS bikes for off-roading. That's the LAST thing I would ever use that bike for - what possible use could I have for 590 pounds and 100 horsepower on an Appalachian fire-road or creek bed?

As I think about what bike might be good for, say, a 100 mile ride to a trailhead, a day of riding the woods, and 100 miles home on the old blue highways (55 - 60 MPH), I think how cool an MZ ISDT replica (not a genuine replica, but a replica replica, if I can say it that way) would be for that. Then I think of my old CT3 or a DT250 Yamaha, and then I think of a trail-optimized 441 Victor Enduro. For the way I'll ride, the 1973 suspension travel will be fine - I don't care to ride on stilts and try to sit on a 2" wide seat.

Something that weighs 300 pounds or so, or less, and has at least 20 - 30 horsepower and can travel on the road at 55 - 60 with pretty aggressive tires (not full knobbies). Old and cool would be good, although I bought a 1986 TT225 Yamaha once that my boys learned riding on which was pretty good ....

So that's me thinking about it. Any ideas that occur to anyone, I'd like to hear your thoughts ....

Lannis


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Re: I've had a bike notion .... [Re: Lannis] #696731 05/29/17 12:39 am
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[Linked Image]


'Nuff said


Never underestimate the human ability to elevate stupid to a whole new level!.
Re: I've had a bike notion .... [Re: Lannis] #696735 05/29/17 12:56 am
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bodine031 Offline
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I have a 69 B-44VS since 1981. Boyer-EI /Mikuni 30mm round slide, Podronics. Honda dirt bike front end, good r/shocks, solo seat. easy to start, (I'm 64) reliable as a cannon ball. It's been all over north GA fire/back roads. Just a fun bike. Other option go the Barbers Vintage event in Oct. and bring home one of the gazillion low mileage mint vintage enduros in the swap meet.

Re: I've had a bike notion .... [Re: Lannis] #696737 05/29/17 1:04 am
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Ob1quixote Offline
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I ride a DRZ400.
Oil capacity to allow an Iron Butt ride.
Can be lowered through linkage change.
Aftermarket seat for comfort.
Aftermarket tank for range.
Enough power to play offroad, enough to play on road.
It is what I mainly do for motorcycle fun.

You might start with a WR250.
Will be lower in height, weight and power, but still a capable machine.
Comes with a comfortable seat!
The Honda 250 is as heavy as my DRZ, not suggested.

More than happy to help if you need it!
Talking about playing my game!



When singing "Kung Fu Fighting" is outlawed, only outlaws will sing "Kung Fu Fighting"
Re: I've had a bike notion .... [Re: Lannis] #696741 05/29/17 3:20 am
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ricochetrider Offline
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Lannis

Don't you have a Firebird Scrambler? Put some dual sport tires on that baby.
Switch the front end out for some enduro front end to get a little more travel, a little more modern. Put some snazzy rear shocks on that sucker and voila!

Fire road firebird scramble on.

Just a thought man. Happiness begins within.... within one's garage!

Yamaha XT 500s don't suck either, BTW. In case I'm misremembering and you don't have the FB Scrambler.

Ya know man you could probably ride darn near all the way from your house to my house and cover about 80% dirt- or more!

Last edited by ricochetrider; 05/29/17 3:21 am.

"It is no measure of health, to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society."

Re: I've had a bike notion .... [Re: Lannis] #696757 05/29/17 11:48 am
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Mike Baker Offline
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Recently had the same thought. And that's where the old Aermacchi race bike is headed. 260 lbs, torquey 350cc motor, yuge gas tank.
Should make a fun fire road touring bike.

Re: I've had a bike notion .... [Re: Lannis] #696758 05/29/17 12:04 pm
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Lannis Online Content OP
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Some good ideas so far, I just have to find some "good ideas" for sale!

Tom, I thought about the Firebird, I have a 17 tooth front sprocket I could install, I have some wide bars for it,it needs new tires so it would be a good time to change ....

... but it's 410 pounds wet, more than I want to try to ride on the rough roads.

A light 250 two-stroke is more my speed, I think!

Lannis


Play stupid games ... Win stupid prizes!
Re: I've had a bike notion .... [Re: Lannis] #696777 05/29/17 3:08 pm
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GrandPaul Offline
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THIS is what you need. '64 T-Bird with Storz bodywork, Akront alloy rims, reinforced swingarm, 70s front end.

[Linked Image]

email me and let's make a deal [email protected]

Last edited by GrandPaul; 05/30/17 2:05 pm.

GrandPaul (does not use emoticons)
Author of the book "Old Bikes"
Too many bikes to list, mostly Triumph & Norton, some BSA & European
"The Iron in your blood should be Vintage"
Re: I've had a bike notion .... [Re: Lannis] #696780 05/29/17 3:13 pm
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I went to a dual sport ride over in Indiana organized by the Mud Daubers M/C years ago. A couple guys show up on big Beemers. The first thing they do is send you straight up the side of a great big hill and straight down the the other side, it's always muddy and slick. These Beemer guys are back within 10 minutes. I heard one guy tell someone "I don't know what the hell this is but it ain't no dual sport ride" I guess they were expecting a lot of gravel roads but what they got was basically a prerun of the Mud Daubers enduro.


When given the choice between two evils I picked the one I haven't tried before
Re: I've had a bike notion .... [Re: Lannis] #696788 05/29/17 5:09 pm
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D.Bachtel Offline
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Something like this could take you a ways....

[Linked Image]


238lbs. and 38 hp should be able to haul you around, maybe even street legal with minimal effort.
450cc of low compression and heavy flywheel. Geared down to 90 mph top speed.


Don in Nipomo

Re: I've had a bike notion .... [Re: Lannis] #696794 05/29/17 6:16 pm
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Wilfred Online Content
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I'm hoping my T100 ISDT replica will be good for all the gravel roads the loggers and miners have left behind on Vancouver Island. Should have 30 horses and with all the alloy bits like tank, fenders, motor mounts and shortened seat, alloy rear sprocket, BSA folding pegs, smallish headlight, C15 chainguard ( it'll be road legal ) I hope to keep it as close to 300 lbs as possible. The Bultaco front wheel should help. Bought a pair of road legal Kenda knobbies so we'll see how that works out.

Now all I need to do is get it finished before I'm too old to ride it.........Funny how life keeps putting important things on the back burner.

Cheers, Wilf

Last edited by Wilfred; 05/29/17 6:22 pm.

"It's about the ride..."
Re: I've had a bike notion .... [Re: Wilfred] #696802 05/29/17 8:28 pm
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bodine031 Offline
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You and Lannis need to check out www.thelastchancegarage.com in OR-E-GONE

Re: I've had a bike notion .... [Re: Lannis] #696804 05/29/17 9:01 pm
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Richrd Offline
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Kaw klr650

Comfortable for fay


Rich (last remaining member ThreeMustGetBeers)
"It's not always about going fast. Sometimes it's nice to slow down" (Wendy E.2016)

69 bonney
72 commando
75 commando interstate
06 Suzu..Suzu.. uh appliance
couple of beesas a ducati
and the Snake Bike
and a Honda?
Re: I've had a bike notion .... [Re: bodine031] #696808 05/29/17 9:28 pm
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Shane in Oz Online Content
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Originally Posted by bodine031
I have a 69 B-44VS since 1981. Boyer-EI /Mikuni 30mm round slide, Podronics. Honda dirt bike front end, good r/shocks, solo seat. easy to start, (I'm 64) reliable as a cannon ball. It's been all over north GA fire/back roads. Just a fun bike.

My B44 is a pretty compact bike, and Lannis is taller than me. A B50T with some of those mods would fit the bill nicely.


This example might be a little overdone for gentle pottering. The owner is rather serious about his off-road riding.

Re: I've had a bike notion .... [Re: Lannis] #696813 05/29/17 10:44 pm
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RF Whatley Offline
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Ten-year old, used Honda XR200's (and similar) are around and can be had for several hundred dollars. These are nothing more than the iconic Honda SL125 punched out, and given a 10" travel front and rear suspension. They are impossible to break, and most come with electric start in case you're too puffed to kick.

However, there's a down-side to consider about any used "dirt bike". Lots of these bikes (even the ones with lights) were never tagged for the street. Consequently, there is no title. You buy them off CraigsList with a BOS and the guy's word that it's not stolen. If the bike ever gets impounded, you'll have no way to get it back.

That's OK if you only paid $200 for a Honda; you can walk away. But before you pay big bux for a nice KTM you need to consider these things.


Don't hide 'em, Ride 'em !!

RF Whatley
Cornelia, GA
Re: I've had a bike notion .... [Re: shel] #696820 05/30/17 12:22 am
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Ob1quixote Offline
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Originally Posted by shel
I went to a dual sport ride over in Indiana organized by the Mud Daubers M/C years ago. A couple guys show up on big Beemers. The first thing they do is send you straight up the side of a great big hill and straight down the the other side, it's always muddy and slick. These Beemer guys are back within 10 minutes. I heard one guy tell someone "I don't know what the hell this is but it ain't no dual sport ride" I guess they were expecting a lot of gravel roads but what they got was basically a prerun of the Mud Daubers enduro.


There is a difference between dual sport and adventure rides.
Dual sport concentrates on trail and single track, and as little pavement as possible to connect them.
Adventure rides concentrates on dirt and gravel roads, and as little pavement to connect them.

That said, I've seen some big bikes complete DS rides, and I've piloted my DS bike on adventure rides.
I like the occasional ADV type ride.

One of the DS rides I did this spring was a slightly shorter version of the Sandlapper Enduro, held the day before.
Figured that is what it would be, and had a blast!


When singing "Kung Fu Fighting" is outlawed, only outlaws will sing "Kung Fu Fighting"
Re: I've had a bike notion .... [Re: Lannis] #696849 05/30/17 2:02 pm
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GrandPaul Offline
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Oh, yes, I also have this nifty '98 KLR that can hold it's own with most anything out there, only 30,000 miles on the clock, with the doohicky fix done.

[Linked Image]

Brand new swingarm and dogbones, wheels from an '05 KLR.

P.S., I added a bit of info on the street tracker, above...

Last edited by GrandPaul; 05/30/17 2:06 pm.

GrandPaul (does not use emoticons)
Author of the book "Old Bikes"
Too many bikes to list, mostly Triumph & Norton, some BSA & European
"The Iron in your blood should be Vintage"
Re: I've had a bike notion .... [Re: GrandPaul] #696855 05/30/17 2:52 pm
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kurt fischer Offline
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Originally Posted by GrandPaul
Oh, yes, I also have this nifty '98 KLR ...


I like that "earlier" generation of KLR 650. About 10 years later, Kawasaki "upgraded" the KLR -- bulked it up, is the way I'd put it. I had a 2009 for three years, really too heavy for trail work IMO, at least for my skill level. But this one looks like a good option. Quite versatile, ADV rides, unpaved roads, trails, commuter ... just install the tires and gearing that suit you. Lots of good aftermarket to be had from http://www.happy-trail.com/. Just DO NOT get the Corbin seat. If anything, go with Seat Concepts https://seat-concepts.myshopify.com/. Or add a seat pad. I used a wood-bead seat pad (don't laugh, it was great!).

One thing to consider: can you pick the bike up by yourself? I dropped the '09 KLR twice when I was alone, driveway and parking lot drops, stupid. It took all I had to get it off the ground and upright. On some sandy trails, I fell over at 10mph, fortunately it was a group ride, and three others lifted the bike off my leg. (No damage to the bike or me, just a few weeks of PT for my shoulder where I landed. Lucky.)

Of course, with any of these bikes, you can spend spend spend -- on suspension upgrades, or big bore kits, for example. Or you can just get you a new Husqvarna. grin

FYI ...


Kurt

-- Don't believe everything you think.
Re: I've had a bike notion .... [Re: Lannis] #696865 05/30/17 4:57 pm
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bodine031 Offline
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No reason your FB set up as an enduro won't work as an adventure sport type bike. In 01 we sold our 68 FB to get CJ her 01 Bonny. The FB came with us for many years as my go explore N.GA. back roads during the Brits in the Blue Ridge, @ Suches. Turners Corner & Bald Mountain CC. While our B-44VS is fun and does a great job, 8yrs. ago I put together a mutt 1964 A-65 SF-Hornet in Street Tracker trim with Knobbies on it. For me it's more suited for all day exploring (less vibration)
My 2 cents: 2 strokes are fine but not much in the torque dept. Watercooled is fine till you crash and the water escapes. I'm not much for the single track cow paths more for logging/clay type roads and fields along rivers or lakes Seems like $$$$ setting up the FB would be the way to go, sure your old enough to remember that's why the "Scramblers" Hornets, FB's & Trophy's became such good sellers here. Good luck with what ever you decide.

Re: I've had a bike notion .... [Re: RF Whatley] #696874 05/30/17 6:22 pm
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ricochetrider Offline
Moto Mojo
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Originally Posted by RF Whatley
Ten-year old, used Honda XR200's (and similar) are around and can be had for several hundred dollars. These are nothing more than the iconic Honda SL125 punched out, and given a 10" travel front and rear suspension. They are impossible to break, and most come with electric start in case you're too puffed to kick.

However, there's a down-side to consider about any used "dirt bike". Lots of these bikes (even the ones with lights) were never tagged for the street. Consequently, there is no title. You buy them off CraigsList with a BOS and the guy's word that it's not stolen. If the bike ever gets impounded, you'll have no way to get it back.

That's OK if you only paid $200 for a Honda; you can walk away. But before you pay big bux for a nice KTM you need to consider these things.


Excellent point about no title and BOS. Not to mention that the average old dirt bike has probably had the living tar beat out of it. On this note, I'll say there's a massive market for stolen dirt bikes, but a great majority of them end up in cities. It may always be a good idea to have a local cop run the numbers on any bike with a bil of sale purchase type arrangement before exchanging money for bike- just to see if the bike is legit or not. I'd say a bike needs to street legal to get from Lannis' house to the nearest fire road. So that puts him squarely in the market for a dual sport or endure style bike, rather than a straight-up dirt bike. BUT I still think the Firebird Scrambler is the bees knees, with the proper suspension upgrades & set-up!

Originally Posted by Ob1quixote
Originally Posted by shel
I went to a dual sport ride over in Indiana organized by the Mud Daubers M/C years ago. A couple guys show up on big Beemers. The first thing they do is send you straight up the side of a great big hill and straight down the the other side, it's always muddy and slick. These Beemer guys are back within 10 minutes. I heard one guy tell someone "I don't know what the hell this is but it ain't no dual sport ride" I guess they were expecting a lot of gravel roads but what they got was basically a prerun of the Mud Daubers enduro.


There is a difference between dual sport and adventure rides.
Dual sport concentrates on trail and single track, and as little pavement as possible to connect them.
Adventure rides concentrates on dirt and gravel roads, and as little pavement to connect them.

That said, I've seen some big bikes complete DS rides, and I've piloted my DS bike on adventure rides.
I like the occasional ADV type ride.

One of the DS rides I did this spring was a slightly shorter version of the Sandlapper Enduro, held the day before.
Figured that is what it would be, and had a blast!


Lannis is talking about fire roads and not single track or trail riding- tho I've seen and heard of guys on big BMW and KTM adventure bikes who could hang in there with the best of the dirt bunch. Some friends of mine did a "dual sport" run, like Ob1Q is talking about. They are all there on their dirt bikes, semi road legal, waiting to start. As mentioned, the opening section featured some rugged trail sectio & went straight up the mountainn. My buddies were all like WTF! This knucklehead with his 700 lb BMW is gonna hog up our action! He'll BE IN THE WAY!
etc.

Flag droppped, they all took off together. BIG ass dual sport BMW guy deftly (and very quickly) muscled his way through the throng on the perfect line, bumped his way straight up the mountain out of sight- and they never saw him again til the end of the day! laugh

Suzuki was making some smaller dual sport bikes back in the day- like down to 250 CC, I believe, and Kawasaki had their little Sherpa, which was, I believe, the precursor to the KLR series... KTM had their 400 or 450 dual sport bike, and they come up for sale now and again. I've thought about it a few times cuz heck yeah there's a lot of fire road riding around here!

Lannis mentioned 2 stroke but I personally wouldn't go that direction- too many awesome 4 stroke dual sport options out there these days. I've always (as mentioned) longed for a Yamaha XT500- also a great endure/dual sport bike that lands you pretty squarely in vintage bike territory. I rode Dieter's XT500 around Germany, Sweden, & Norway and it was a gas.

Last edited by ricochetrider; 05/30/17 6:37 pm.

"It is no measure of health, to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society."

Re: I've had a bike notion .... [Re: Lannis] #696875 05/30/17 6:28 pm
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Ob1quixote Offline
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While some were in Blowing Rock, I was about 110 miles south...

[Linked Image]

And I finally got my Garmin camera on my helmet! This is dual sport, and for this ride, the most open section.





When singing "Kung Fu Fighting" is outlawed, only outlaws will sing "Kung Fu Fighting"
Re: I've had a bike notion .... [Re: Lannis] #696889 05/30/17 8:08 pm
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GrandPaul Offline
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Nice ride!


GrandPaul (does not use emoticons)
Author of the book "Old Bikes"
Too many bikes to list, mostly Triumph & Norton, some BSA & European
"The Iron in your blood should be Vintage"
Re: I've had a bike notion .... [Re: Lannis] #696890 05/30/17 8:11 pm
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GrandPaul Offline
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This may be off topic, but man I love my '92 Yamaha TDM850!

I wouldn't call it "suited" to off-road per se (a bit heavy), but I think with some decent tires it would do me okay...

[Linked Image]

Sucker gets to 125 indicated in a hurry, without breathing hard or any hint of a struggle. Feels as nimble as any classic 650 or 750, just twice as fast. Yeah, I know, it's NOT a classic, and it's NOT British!

Last edited by GrandPaul; 05/30/17 8:13 pm.

GrandPaul (does not use emoticons)
Author of the book "Old Bikes"
Too many bikes to list, mostly Triumph & Norton, some BSA & European
"The Iron in your blood should be Vintage"
Re: I've had a bike notion .... [Re: Lannis] #696903 05/30/17 10:22 pm
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kevin roberts Offline
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who says it's not a classic? all it takes is more time.

i remember reading in a bike magazine in the middle 70's about "classic bikes." the article was about some great new UJM, and the author stated, and i remember the quote word-for-word: "that 1967 triumph bonneville will never be worth more than you can get someone to pay for it . . ."

that is absolutely true, but it means something different now than he meant then.



every day you do not take a chance is a day of your life that you will never get back.
Re: I've had a bike notion .... [Re: Lannis] #697042 06/01/17 7:12 pm
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gavin eisler Offline
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I think lightness is the key, I would rather take a 125 off road than a 500, My old MZ 125 would take anything in its stride, it was light enough to pick up several times a day, built tough too. The last ones with a front disc and an oil tank and a fully enclosed chain. they can hit 10,000 mph, thats miles travelled per hour worked on maintenance.
Plus , if you look at an MZ 125 in a mirror it turns into a BSA Bantam.


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