The coming bike in pre 65 seems to be the humble BSA Bantam, once classed as merely a beginner’s bike to learn on before moving on to something proper, the Bantam is being taken to new levels of success. Of course there always were people who knew it was capable of great things – Bantam racing club for instance, and BSA themselves with some super special versions made at the end of the 1960s for trials like the SSDT.
One exponent of the little machines is Alan Wright – who hosts the off-road show at Telford every February – and he has a range of new bits for Bantams.
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Hi slatest offering is a universal classic silencer of 1¾in bore made by exhaust specialist WES for any two-stroke trials system. Each silencer comes with long life packing. There are two types – one with a straight tubing line to the front exhaust pipe and one where the front part of it is tack welded to the main part of the system. This allows final tweaking to occur so that if your bike has an angled silencer fitment to its front exhaust, break the tack weld, position correctly and reweld just the front silencer tube to perfect alignment.
Cost for either system is £99 and you can contact Alan on 01789 751422.
• Norton tuning
Latest parts from MAP Enterprises are steel H-beam con-rods and piston sets for 750/850 Norton engines. The kits complements the firm’s already popular alloy long-rod conversion.
The con rods are of H beam design from AISI 4340 forged steel with ARP2000 rod bolts with 6.362in centre to centre distance (5.875in for stock) giving a better rod to stroke ratio and a much shorter lighter piston to further ease vibrations. The rods use stock Norton shells.
The pistons are forged, available in most bore sizes and include highest quality rings, tapered pins and spiro-lock clips for 750 and 850 Norton engines (non-combat) in 9.5 & 10.5-1 compression.
There’s an accumulator groove for reduced ring flutter at higher speeds, four under pin oilers for a cooler well lubricated pin, ultra high quality Nitrited stainless steel rings.
The rods cost $295 (£182.69) each while the pistons are the same again per engine set.
• Triumph Cub parts
Meriden Off Road – Tiger Cub Specialists – are on the ball with bits and pieces for Cubbists.
Latest accessory is a pair of rocker box tall nuts. They lift the hexagon away from the rocker box alloy so it doesn’t get damaged when tightening up the rocker boxes. Made in stainless steel, they won’t rust and will help keep your bike looking its best. Cost is £6 plus postage. The company also produces stainless steel nuts for adjusting the clutch springs on a Cub. These costs £9 plus p and p. More information from www.meridenoffroad.co.uk
• Book: Touching the World
Cathy Birchall is the first blind person ever to circumnavigate the globe on a motorcycle, covering 26,385 miles, 31 countries and five continents with her companion Bernard on an 18-year-old motorcycle.
From feeling the traffic passing so close it touches you as you ride through Indian cities, to mounting an elephant from the front (yes, really) in Nepal and climbing the mountain at Machu Picchu in Peru with its innumerable steps and vertiginous drops, Touching the World takes you on a journey of extraordinary beauty and interest, full of surprises. It is unique in the perspective it takes, because Touching the World is written from Cathy’s point of view.
Their old BMW motorcycle keeps breaking down and you feel for Bernard as the lights dim in Malaysia and the bike grinds to a halt with a dead battery! But somehow they keep the bike going and in this they were often helped by the unwavering kindness of strangers.
Touching the World by Cathy Birchall and Bernard Smith is 344 pages plus prelims, 29 colour photos and eight maps. It costs £12.99 and is available from Panther Publishing Ltd.