1930 BSA Bikes
Year of manufacture1930
Property of a deceased's estate
1930 BSA 770cc Model E
Registration no. TP 9352
Engine no. XY862
* 'Barn find' condition
* Offered for restoration
* No documents
Originally established in 1861 as an armaments manufacturer, The Birmingham Small Arms Company switched to making components for the bicycle industry in 1878 following a Government-induced downturn in the arms market. Within a few years the firm had moved on to offering complete bicycles and tricycles distinguished by its famous 'Piled Arms' emblem, only to abandon the cycle business in 1888 when the War Office decided to re-equip the British Army with new rifles. BSA was back as a supplier of bicycle components in 1892 and even built a small quantity of internal combustion engines to order; but then came the Boer War and the firm once again reverted to the production of weapons. When it next returned to two-wheeled transport, in 1902, BSA would be there to stay.
BSA first experimented with powered two-wheelers in 1905 using a standard-type bicycle. This first motorcycle made by BSA used a proprietary engine - probably the Belgian Minerva - clipped to the front down-tube, but it was not until 1910 that the firm introduced a model entirely of its own design and manufacture. This was produced, not at the famous Small Heath works in Birmingham, but at the old Eadie Manufacturing Company factory in Redditch. The acquisition of Eadie in 1908 had brought with it considerable experience in the manufacture of bicycle hub brakes as well as the services of Albert Eadie, who, together with ex-James Cycle Company works manager, Charles Hyde and engine designer, F E Baker, would be responsible for establishing BSA as a motorcycle manufacturer.
Displayed at the 1910 Olympia Show, the first series-production motorcycle to feature the marque's distinctive green and cream tank colours was a 499cc (3½hp) sidevalve single, which was soon complemented by a 557cc long-stroke version. The firm's first v-twin - the 770cc (6/7hp) Model E - appeared late in 1919 and would prove the forerunner of a long line of rugged and dependable 'sidecar tugs'. A larger, 986cc version debuted as the Model F in 1922 and would continue in production as the Model G, regularly revised and updated, until 1940.
Sadly, nothing is known of the history of this 'barn find' Model E, which is offered for restoration and sold strictly as viewed. There are no documents with this Lot.