Hinrik

BSA WM20 1942 Restoration

35 posts in this topic

Hi guys,

Some 10 years ago I made a trade with a friend. He got a 1900?s Bulldog revolver from me (which I got as a gift) and I got a "fish box" of a BSA M20 motorcycle wreck. I did not have any information or partslist on this bike, so nothing happend for a while, until I got in touch with a fellow Aircraft Engineer, that had the same bike here in Iceland. Here are the before photos of the bike:

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Here you can see the actual plastic "fish box" haha. The bike was a total mess, incorrect girderfork, tank, mudguards and so on. Many of the parts has ugly brass weld repairs on them. It was not really worth the trouble to restore it, but it had a matching number on the frame and engine, which is a little scarce. The main reson I wanted it was because it came to Iceland in WWII with the "Invading" British Army.

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After getting a copy of the bikes partslist, I was able to make up a long-long list of parts I needed...and since I was working in England for 3 years and went regularily to auto-jumbles and found parts threre. After buying parts for 2 years, I fealt I could start on the bike, and now after 2 more years...this is what it is looking like:

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hinrik!

what can one say????

this is a stupendous effort which

should give you great pleasure!

while i would not use this for going

to the grocery store, i can only

IMAGINE the pleasure of the first ride!

MOST IMPRESSIVE!!

joe

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Otto, oi, obrigado.

Joe, thanks for nice comments.

This has taken "blood-sweat and tears" but its very close to starting for the first time. I am hoping to be able to finish it before may 1st, when there is an annual motorcycel drive to from the Capital here to one of our national parks. I have found an original Dispatch riders helmet, coat, gloves, goggles and boots dated 1944 that fit me! So I will look "period" when riding the bike...on warm summer days here.

Here are a few photos of the rare NOS parts that I have found and used. Amazing how many old "new" parts are out there.

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Many of the parts that I bought from a dealer in London, come with the wartime partstags still attached.

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Its something else, to open up these old WWII boxes and pull out 60 year old, brand spanking new parts!

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This is hard to find part, a WD (War Department) marked battery lid. This one came in the original cardbox.

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Oil pipes from oil tank to sump. I had to clean the grease off, and look how nice it is, the correct dull color of the wartime cadmium plating. Looks so much better then the current plated aftermarket parts.

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Wow... what a labour of love !! Hats off to you for the effort !

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Hi Hinriki,

What marvelous work you have doing! That's a master piece of restauration :jumping: !

Otto

PS. Your Portuguese is fine, where did you learn it?

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ID: 14   Posted (edited)

Guys,

I am member of the Aviation History Club here and I am rebuilding the bike in our hangar that has a very nice workshop with lathe?s, drill presses, tools, cleaning cabinet, sand and seperate bead blasting cabinets, paint booth etc. which has made the work more easy.

I am actually a Curator for a Aviation / War museum project. My collection of items related to WWII-Iceland ranges from tie pins to stationary engines.

Otto, I have some friends (girlfriends) in RJ and Sao Paulo. I am trying to learn. Still trying to find a good CD to learn Brazilian Portugese. What do you collect?

Here is a photo of a very hard to find NOS part, the original Wartime Canvas handlebar grip. Note the small black adjustment screw on the throttle body, I have actually gone through the trouble of beadblasting and gun bluing many of these small parts! Lot of work, but looks great afterwards.

Regards

Hinrik

Edited by Hinrik

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Hinrik!

Nice Bike!

Like me...u started with not much....and managed to get all the bits you need...

Handy living close to England..eh!

Me...well i had to make alot of parts...could not get them anywhwere...

Or some robber wanted far too much for the parts...

I managed to find a few NOS items, like the crashbars, ( very good, as no scrape marks on them..so they chromed up nicely!) headlight surround...front guard....to name a few things....

I like the special fittings you have used...to make it original! like the bar grips!

I had nothing to go on...no totally original bikes still down this way...UNTIL....

A friend of mine who collects Indians, ( has over 20!) found this one...it was part of a deceased estate...apparently the fellow, bought the bike, after the war..( army surplus) and rode it and had a minor accident, ( Just fell off i think!) and put it in the shed and forgot about it!

Thsi bike was ( and still is) a totally Original bike from the war! and i was able to look at it closely and suss out where all those funny looking bits of metal belonged! wow ! it was amazing! this bike had never had a spanner taken to it!

Paddy still uses it and runs to Akaoroa on it..about a 11/2 hour ride....

Good job done!

Regards from New Zealand.

Paul

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ID: 16   Posted (edited)

Very nice! I have done a few Brit bike restorations myself. I found it fun, frustrating,rewarding and draining to the wallet! In the end the restoration costs way more than finding and buying a perfect example to start with but there is a feeling you can't buy of completing every little detail yourself!

Best, Sal

Edited by Sal Williams

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Sal,

You are absolutley right! I did have a diary of how much I have spent on this project, but that was lost when my lold aptop hard drive crashed...maybe a good thing as I could of bought a perfect WM20 for the money spent, however...that bike would not have anything to do with Iceland in WWII.

Regards

Hinrik

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I stumbled across this forum whilst "googling" WM20.

My compliments on the restoration. It is the attention to detail that makes all the difference. So many WD bikes seem to be based on a 25 yards rule. If it is painted khaki and looks ok at 25 yards then it is good enough.

I am still at the collecting parts stage with a 1939 WD16H that appears to have been left behind here in Belgium in 1940. I have been able to bring up the Unit Markings (HQ RE 2nd Infantry Division) but sadly not the "C" number. Many of these early war bikes had them on the front no. plate which has become lost.

Have you been able to pin down the census number as an Iceland 'bike? Have you based it on frame / contract number or photographic evidence?

I am extremely jealous of the battery cover. Do you have a source ?

Keep up the good work and let us see what it looks like when it's running.

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Otto, I have some friends (girlfriends) in RJ and Sao Paulo. I am trying to learn. Still trying to find a good CD to learn Brazilian Portugese. What do you collect?

Hi Hinriki,

Sorry for the delay to answer you, I thing I'm growing age, and my two neurons are in vacantion :D .

I collect German WWI Air Force things ( medals, badges, documents, awards, etc.

When you came to Rio, please, inform me, it will be a pleasure to meet you.

Otto :beer:

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Otto,

Your reply is great timing. I will fly tonight: China-Dubai-Amsterdam, and on sunday: Amsterdam-Madrid-Rio. I rented an apartment in Jardim Botanico. Will stay in Rio for 11 days. Drop me message, and I will gladly get in touch once I am there.

Regards

Hinrik

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ID: 21   Posted (edited)

That is the best WM20 restoration I have seen for ages. You got the parts from Russell Motors, didn't you? I did a WD G3 one time and found that the best way of getting that preservative grease off was to place the parts on a block of wood in the hot flow from an electric space heater. A good alternative to the cadmium plating of yesterday - it is hard to get it done anywhere outside India or Pakistan nowadays because of the cyanide involved! - is to have the parts dull or hard-chromed and then fine-blasted. It is not quite the same but is better than any of the alternative finishes offered by platers the "civilised world" these days.

PK

Edited by PKeating

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Dear PK,

Thanks for your most welcome comments. Yes indeed, many of the NOS parts come from Russell motors, but I have also been able to find a lot of stuff from 2 good friends; Henk Joore of Holland (http://home.quicknet.nl/qn/prive/ahum/index.htm) and Ian Wright of Ark Motorcycles, Devon England.

Ian has restored a number of BSA M20, and is re-manufacturing many old hard to find parts. He told me frankly one day, that if I continue restoring my bike using all the rare NOS parts I have been able to find, this might become the most complete and original WM20 in the World!

I have been saying it for 3 years: "next summer it will be ready" but now....I can really say it with confidence...."It will be ready this summer!!"

Cheers

Hinrik

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On a friendlier note, I would like to say that my 12 day visit to Rio de Janeiro was great fun. I was lucky enough to enjoy the hospitality of our member Rendersburg (Otto) and we went to a nice Aiviaiton museum together and I had a nice dinner in his home, with his family.

I encourage other members to meet up like this.

Obrigado amigo

Hinrik

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Obrigado ? voc?, amigo (Thanks to you, friend).

Otto

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Here's a pic from an album I recently purchased with a lot of images from that campaign...

IPB Image

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