THE BSA M20
The BSA M20 and M21 sidevalves were introduced in 1937 and owe their existence to the draughting pen of a certain Valentine (Val) Page—the same highly-talented ex-JAP and ex-Ariel designer responsible for machines such as the technically creditable (if stylistically wanting) Triumph 6/1, the redoubtable BSA Gold Star and, not least, a wide range of highly underrated Ariel singles.
Discontinued in 1963 (1955 for the M20), two engine sizes were listed by the Birmingham Small Arms Company; the 496cc M20 (82mm x 94mm), and the 591cc M21 (85mm x 105mm up to 1938, and 82mm x 112mm thereafter). Both bikes started out with hand change, rigid frames and girder forks. That was pretty much the pre-war state-of-the-sidevalve-art.The BSA M20 was a reliable and affordable form of post war transport, so BSA repainted the khaki WD models black and they became particularly popular as a sidecar motorcycle. The Automobile Association placed a large order and their yellow and black M20 combinations became a familiar sight on British roads. The 1945 wartime cast iron engine continued in production until 1951, when an alloy cylinder head was introduced but otherwise it remained largely unchanged
🔴Engine: 496cc single cylinder side valve 4 stroke
🔴Fuel capacity: 3 gallons
🔴Manufacturer: Birmingham Small Arms Company
⚫️INTERESTING FACTS ⚫️
⭕️1. Designer Val Page (1897-1978) was also responsible for the futuristic two-stroke Ariel Leader (1958-1965).
⭕️2. The Birmingham Small Arms Company was founded in 1861 by 14 gunsmiths formed to supply munitions to the British Government.
⭕️3. An OHV B-Series 350cc or 500cc single cylinder engine will fit an M-Series machine, but you'll have to change the exhaust, fuel tank and one or two other minor parts.
⭕️4. There are two types of M20 gearboxes; early and late type (pre- and post-1949). They are interchangeable.
Could he have avoided it? 🤔
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