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1921 BSA 557cc Model H Registration no. AF 2164 (U.K.) Frame no. 31905 Engine no. 31899

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Estimate: US$0
Price realised:  US$12,285
Lot number 130•, Views: 63

The Birmingham Small Arms Co., as its name implies, was set up to manufacture arms for the British Forces, a process that called for the most carefully honed engineering skills and practices. Similar skills were called for in the manufacture of bicycles and motorcycles and not unnaturally the company focused its attention in this area as early as 1906. Early models used proprietary engines however by 1910 the company was fitting its own engine units. The first entirely BSA-engineered model was the 498cc 3½hp machine which featured the distinctive green and cream livery with the familiar BSA trademark logo. In 1914, immediately prior to the outbreak of war, this was joined by the 557cc 4¼hp model with a longer stroke (98mm) engine. Initially this model was offered with single-speed, belt drive transmission and subsequently, keeping pace with its competitors, was offered with a three-speed gearbox and fully enclosed all-chain drive. The Model H specification machine was designed primarily for sidecar duty and incorporated stronger frame and forks. These BSA offerings earned their colors in military service during the Great War. This machine was first registered in Cornwall in the furthermost South-Western tip of England and its sturdy build would enable it to stand up well to those rural, out-of-city roads. It appears to have spent most of its life in that county prior to acquisition for preservation in 1974. Some 20 years later it was consigned for restoration to the world-famous Sammy Miller Museum in Hampshire and that restoration was completed in 1994. Since that time this machine has not been used but has been carefully cherished, more recently as a ‘flagship’ bike in this eclectic British collection. The machine is comprehensively equipped with P&H acetylene lighting, acetylene generator, foot boards, rim brakes, a BSA tool kit and puncture repair outfit. The rear carrier incorporates twin leather-fronted tool panniers. This Model H BSA is offered with old style and current British registration documentation, together with a photographic record of the restoration and related correspondence with Sammy Miller.

Informations about the auction
Auction house: Bonhams London
Title: The Quail Motorcycle Gathering, A Sale of Exceptional Motorcycles and Related Memorabilia
Date of the auction: 9 May 2009
Address: Bonhams London
Carmel, Quail Lodge Quail Lodge's West Field 7000 Valley Greens Drive (at Rancho San Carlos Rd) Carmel CA 93923 Tel: +1 415 391 4000 Fax : +1 415 391 4040 [email protected]