1969 BSA BANTAM B175
One of the most successful lightweight motorcycles produced in the UK, the Bantam originated as the German DKW RT125, the design offered to Britain as part of Second World War reparations. Taken up wholeheartedly by the BSA company, few modifications were made (mainly converting the gearchange to the right hand side) before it was introduced in 1948 as the 123cc BSA D1, soon to be renamed Bantam.
The Bantam remained in production until 1971, models being progressively updated but remaining faithful to the original design. Trials and scrambles version was produced, and the Bantam became the standard machine for use by the Post Office.
The two-stroke engine increased in capacity through 150cc to 175cc. Over 250,000 Bantams were produced.
Interestingly, the DKW design was also taken from Germany by the United States to be the first ‘new’ machine produced post-war by Harley-Davidson.
THE COLLECTION’S EXHIBIT
This is a late-model B175 machine donated in 2008 to the Collection by Shuttleworth Veteran Aeroplane Society (SVAS) member Ron Hughes who previously rode it regularly in the North London area. It has been restored by Vehicle Collection volunteers.
Manufacturer: BSA, Small Heath, Birmingham, England
Model: Bantam B175
Engine: 173cc two-stroke, single cylinder
Top Speed: 65mph