Thanks for the kind comments lads. Mr Mike, the wheels are the original, just blasted and powder coated in the RAF blue/grey. The RAF colour is a British Standard colour, which means it can be mixed by any paint supplier and in theory should be an exact match.
Timbo, I assume RAF means Royal Air Force. What were the military uses for these little bikes? Did other government agencies use them also? I had a similar bike, a 1958 Harley Hummer...had a DKW two stroke motor. The bike was pretty slow. Probably could be used as a courier bike in the city but it needed a tailwind to go over 55mph. I see Nice Hummers going for north of $5000 in the states. Beats me. I paid $85 for mine and sold it for $30 in the sixties.
Mr Mike, a few Bantams were indeed used with the RAF (Royal Air Force), just for mainly airfield use, but i suppose for very local work also. I am told the Navy also used them on-board their large aircraft carriers but i am unable to prove this. 55mph with a tailwind?? I assume it was also down hill and slip streaming a very large truck! After WW2 BSA used the German DKW plans to produce the Bantam, i believe the BSA factory just converted all the nuts and bolt from metric to imperial before putting it into production. How did Harley come to build their version? By license?
Tridentman is correct. Actually the bike with a 125 cc DKW engine came out in the late forties after the war. It was a very basic bike and was made in the US. They upgraded the motor to 165cc in 55 and the Hummer was technically made from 55-59 but it was the same old 125 with a few improvements. Later on the bike evolved to the Suoer 10, Pacer, the Scat and likely a couple others. It was built till 1966 and by then the Japanese market had all kinds of small bikes that would run circles around those little Harley's with a DKW engine. I had a Honda 90 that would run away from my Hummer. But in those days it beat walking or bumming rides. I grew attached to mine and when I came home from basic training in the army, my old man had sold it. He gave me the $30 bucks he got for it because it was taking up space in his shop. Mr Mike