In a lifetime of messing about with, repairing, restoring and riding motor cycles there is always something that crops up by way of surpise, often chances that come our way. Such was the case last year when a mate who had accumulated a number of Bantams, mainly as he deals in registration marks, decided to sell all 13 and I agreed to recommission them all for him. A long story but one of the benefits of doing this work was a C15 and this has become my latest project.
Clearly it is a 'sum of parts' in many respects and assembled in order to sell for the VRM, as it has new cables, new handlebars and one or two other new items, whilst the remainder is a combination of mainly good but used parts. Best of all the wheels are fine for reuse, so no expensive bills there. My intention is to build a bike I can ride not show, so although I used to paint-spray for a living many years ago, I will resist the temptation to go for a concours look!
A complete strip down has revealed no major horrors. The inlet flange on the cylinder-head was broken and the gearchange quadrant splines 'shot' but an engineer mate with all the right contacts got that work sorted for me.
The frame number is C15444 which indicates to me that it must be one of the earliest frames from 1959, whilst the engine number C151721 must be later, though still with the distributor ignition.
THER ARE TWO AREAS IN WHICH I COULD DO WITH SOME ADVICE PLEASE:
1) I have rebuilt the distributor and the points appear to be in good condition; the capacitor I can replace from my stock but I would appreciate advice on whether or not electronic ignition would be a good way to go? If so which ones would you recommend? I am City & Guild qualified and happy around vehicle wiring, having built specific looms for cars and bikes, so nothing should present itself as too much of a challenge and I fitted several Electrex World systems to may mate's various Bantams.
2) FRONT FORK OIL-SEALS: My understanding is that BSA fitted a single oil-seal to the early forks but that these kept 'blowing' and so a modification was made to fit an additional seal. This I assume explains why my parts list shows a single seal fitment, parts number 40-5049 & 40-5013, whilst replacement holders advertised on the Internet comprise the 'cover', (as per 40-5014 but now containing the additional seal), combined into a single unit, i.e. the two seals in one holder? CORRECT ME IF I HAVE THIS WRONG PLEASE. I purchased a pair new from an Internet dealer and they had the correct part number, were identical in all dimensions to the original fitted to my C15 and yet refused to screw onto the fork leg. N.B. The fork leg threads are undamaged, ditto the original holders and these originals screw together perfectly and easily. I had to return the new ones to the supplier with a query as to whether or not the threads had been cut correctly, it was as though there was no 'lead' on the thead. I have no pipe-thread gauges so cannot check the thread but they appear to be 26 tpi on my originals and, by eye at least, appear the same on the new, returned, ones. CAN YOU ADVISE RE THREAD SIZES AND IF THERE WERE DIFFERENT ONES FITTED TO THE EARLY 'RESTRICTOR ROD' TYPE FORKS? Can you also recommend fom where I might obtain new holders that will fit?
That is it for my present problems!! The rebuild is about to commence and so there will doubtless be more questions from me regarding aspects of that rebuild.
Thank you for reading this far......