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3rd April 2003


BSA Bantam: Owen WrightBSA Bantam

If anybody thinks all old bike books are the same sort of thing, the wild variations between recent Crowood volumes should make them think again. Owen Wright's new one on the Bantam, everybody's learner bike from BSA, is just about exactly how work like this should be done. It's strong on personal experience and reminiscence - Owen's first bike was a 150cc Bantam D3, the first of eight he's owned - so when he writes how 'electricity and Bantams are not the best of pals', he knows whereof he speaks; and when it comes to addresses for spares and services, the list is unusually comprehensive and includes accurate assessments.

But this is also skilfully blended with lucid explanations of technical developments - I finally found out what the Schnuerle Loop was! - plus often originally researched model history, as well as an interesting ongoing assessment of the Bantam's impact on motorcycling and on British social history. And with just over 400,000 of the two-stroke tiddlers produced, that impact was not inconsiderable.

This is a full-size hardback, lavishly illustrated with period black and white photos and art work, plus a lush 8-page centre coloured section which justifies the 19.95 cover price. If you're at all interested in old wheels, this book is a real gem. It got the ultimate accolade for a one-model volume from me - it made me want to go out and get one again!

Steve Wilson

BSA Bantam by Owen Wright.
Published by Crowood, ISBN 1861265395, for 19.95.
Buy a copy from Amazon for 13.97


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