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BSA M20, 2 x 1 (Front view, left side)

 
 

  Front view, left side

Picture courtesy of Fin Kløve Lassen, Vallensbæk Str.

 

Danish Army Specific: This machine was received just after WW II, presumably from the British forces in Germany.
Historical
: First attempt to have the M20 accepted by the War Office in the run-up to WW II was in 1935. The War Office requested seven motorcycle manufactures to submit single-cylinder 500 cm3 machines for evaluation. BSA Motorcycles Limited offered the 499 cm3 side-valve type W35-6. The bike failed to complete the obligatory Mechanisation Experimental Establishment (MEE) 10.000 miles reliability test, and in 1936 a 496 cm3 version, the first M20 was submitted. This version failed the trials as well,but did at least complete them, and during 1937 further 3 versions were submitted.
The improved models was judged as "acceptable" and 2 batches with small changes were delivered in 1937.
Volume production of what was first known as the K-M20 took place from 1939 (designation changed to W-M20 within the same year), and after final refining it was standardised in 1942. From that on only minor changes were made to the bike.
The M20 was intended as a general purpose motorcycle for task such as convoy escort and long distance communication duties.
The motorcycle was used by all British armed services, and remained the standard service machine through the 1950´s. Several was still in use at the end of the 1960´s.
Around 126.000 were made - more than any other WW II bike.
Length: 2.18 m (86 inches).
Width: 0.73 m (29 inches).
Height: 0.99 m (39 inches).
Weight: 176 kg (392 lb.).
Engine
: Own 1-cylinder, 0.496 cm3 (30 cubic inches) displacement, air cooled, carburettor.
Horsepower: 12 at 4.100 rpm.
Transmission: 4-speed.
Transfer case: None.
Electrical system: 6 volt.
Brakes: Mechanical.
Tyres: 3.25 - 19.
Fuel type: Petrol.
Fuel capacity: 16 liter (3.5 gallon).
Range: 280 km (175 miles).
Crew: 1 + 1.
Additional: Some of the RAF bikes were added a sidecar manufactured by Swallow.


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