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Can you identify this motorcycle?

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C T23/01/2022 19:04:13
54 forum posts
2 photos

img_20220123_162541_7~2.jpgSorry it's not the best photograph but can anyone identify the make and model please. I do know that the photograph was taken in 1959.


Edited By C T on 23/01/2022 19:05:33

Michael Gilligan23/01/2022 19:28:23
20057 forum posts
1040 photos

BSA M20 is in with a chance : **LINK**


Former Member23/01/2022 19:31:57
1085 forum posts

[This posting has been removed]

C T23/01/2022 19:41:00
54 forum posts
2 photos

The BSA M20 was the closest match I could find but no not quite.

Unless there was slight changes during production period, the shape of the casing changed.

Andrew Tinsley23/01/2022 19:57:26
1610 forum posts

Looks like my father's pre war James 198cc twinport.


Mark Rand23/01/2022 19:58:45
1236 forum posts
28 photos

There were an awful lot of M20s made over nearly 20 years, in both military and civilian versions, so there was a fair bit of variation.

Michael Gilligan23/01/2022 20:06:21
20057 forum posts
1040 photos

Is there a certificated Rivet-Counter on the forum ?

… We need your assistance:



Former Member23/01/2022 20:28:46
1085 forum posts

[This posting has been removed]

Steviegtr23/01/2022 20:30:02
2421 forum posts
336 photos

There was also a M21 600cc version. Or could it be an Aerial. ?? really no idea .

C T23/01/2022 20:33:00
54 forum posts
2 photos

I have looked at many images of the BSA M20 through its production run and am unable to find a match.

I thought I was looking at a sidevalve engine but now not sure if it's possibly a 2stroke. Again the James surgested can't find a match. The owner of the motorcycle in the photograph had quite a number of bikes over a number of years. I have found many photographs of him his wife with their transport, his wife also rode bikes. I have extracted 6 bikes so far from an outbuilding. The bike in the photograph is not one of them yet.

duncan webster23/01/2022 20:49:11
3919 forum posts
61 photos

Looks a lot like a BSA C10, I had one once, horrible thing

JohnF23/01/2022 20:52:29
1146 forum posts
189 photos

My observations are it appears have a solid frame and girder forks so most probable pre war or at least pre 1950 I think, Had a short search and a BSA C10 c1939 seems a possibility, the timing cover looks similar and its a side valve engine [C10 was made for several years well into the 50's with tele forks] See a couple of links


edit -- Ha! Duncan beat me to it 

Edited By JohnF on 23/01/2022 20:53:30

Chris Evans 623/01/2022 20:57:18
2050 forum posts

Another vote for sidevalve BSA C10.

Second thoughts the girder fork side links don't look like BSA.

Edited By Chris Evans 6 on 23/01/2022 20:59:40

C T23/01/2022 21:00:21
54 forum posts
2 photos

Thank you for that yes a BSA C10 from around 1940 looks to fit the bill. Now as an addition I have found an owner's manual for the BSA "C" range of engines giving a little more credence to the C10.

Thanks again

Robert Butler23/01/2022 21:02:12
382 forum posts
6 photos

The OP image does not show access to the valve chest so unlikely to be a C10. I am inclined more to the two stroke theory.

Robert Butler

Bill Pudney23/01/2022 21:53:33
606 forum posts
24 photos

Whatever it is, or isn't, it's what used to be described by "One Track", in Motorcycle Sport as "....grey porridge...."



Robert Butler23/01/2022 22:20:44
382 forum posts
6 photos

Also no sign of an oil tank and most 4 strokes of that era are dry sump.

Robert Butler

mgnbuk23/01/2022 22:32:41
1175 forum posts
71 photos

Carb mounts at the top of the cylinder, so unlikely to be a two stroke.

No idea of the maker though.

Nigel B.

Michael Gilligan23/01/2022 22:48:33
20057 forum posts
1040 photos


Robert Butler23/01/2022 22:52:05
382 forum posts
6 photos

May be, but carb may not be bolted directly to cylinder, may be a manifold or downdraft mounting. The puzzle is there appears to be a timing chest or it could be a mag dyno drive?? The no oil tank is a pointer to 2 stroke. The Classic Motorcycle - Richard Rosenthal expert on old motorcycles.

Robert Butler

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