Shannons Insurance Broadford Bike Bonanza BSA Bantam
November 14, 2017

In the 1950s and 60s the ubiquitous BSA Bantam was favoured as cheap transportation for the working-class man who couldn’t afford a car. The design was German, part of WW2 reparations from Nazi Germany as the DKW 125 RT but the Poms mirror flipped the design for a RHS shift.

While the USA, East Germany, Russia and reportedly Japan all produced clones of the original design it was the Australian riders and tuners who did spectacularly well with the Bantam. Any form of motorsport in the era would see the little BSA tuned to within an inch of its life and ridden way beyond the design brief the factory would ever have envisioned.

The 2018 Shannons Insurance Broadford Bike Bonanza (SIBBB) will feature a number of racing Bantams from this era, among these will be the astounding Carter Bantam HCS which won an Aussie TT at Longford, Max Brumhead, Bernie Proughton, and Bill Horsman were the riders and numerous Vic titles with Mick Pettifer. The bike (named the HCS - Harold Carter Special) was a constant test bed for John and Harold Carter’s ideas over decades into the 1980s and ironically was being so constantly developed that classic racing caught up with it and it became the bike to beat in the class.

The poor Bantam was flogged mercilessly in the scrambles of the 1950s and 60s to innumerable Aussie Championships, used by riders the like  of riders Ken Rumble, George Bailey, Mal Williams, Ian Heggart, Ken Richards, Ray Dole, Chris Berendes, George Rowling and the 1959 125 Champ Stan ‘Sleepy’ Jones who’s original bike will be featured at the SIBBB.

We know there are a lot of Racing Bantams out there and Ross Martin from the SIBBB Committee (0416132150) will be co-ordinating the display so if you know of or have a significant model ring him for info. Now, Stan knows a certain Len Collier has his original Bantam still covered in Korweinguboora mud; where is he and has the poor bike returned to the earth?


 

 

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