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Can anyone here ID this bike?

  1. #1
    Member Tom M's Avatar
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    Can anyone here ID this bike?


    A friend who knows I subscribe to motorcycle classics asked me if I could identify this bike. I don't know much about bikes from this era so I googled a lot of plunger framed bikes from the thirties through the fifties and couldn't find it. Do any of you know what it is?

    Can anyone here ID this bike?-plunger-frame-phil-jpg

    Thanks,
    Tom

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  2. #2
    Lifer Falko's Avatar
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    Re: Can anyone here ID this bike?

    I'd guess BSA.

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  3. #3
    Member Tom M's Avatar
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    Re: Can anyone here ID this bike?

    Quote Originally Posted by Falko View Post
    I'd guess BSA.
    I thought that or an Ariel but I can't find one that has the same engine or tank paint/badge. The badge looks a bit like a BSA badge but it says something like "SHINE" when I zoom in on the scanned photo that he sent me. The motor looks like it has an M on the case but I couldn't find any Matchless models that looked like it either

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  4. #4

    Re: Can anyone here ID this bike?

    This looks close 1949 BSA B31 BSA B31 BSA announced their post war range, consisting of four models, in August 1945, headed by the sporting
    1945 BSA B31. Rare Early Model | The BSA & Military Bicycle Museum

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    Last edited by MUZ720; 04-04-18 at 02:24 PM.

  5. #5
    Lifer Falko's Avatar
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    Re: Can anyone here ID this bike?

    The badge on the tank looks like the BSA eight pointed star/badge they used for a bit. The rear shock definitely looks BSA, but I'm sure that was probably more a common part across several brands. From the rear luggage rack and saddle set up, I'd agree with MUZ720, the B31 is pretty close.

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  6. #6
    Member Tom M's Avatar
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    Re: Can anyone here ID this bike?

    It does look a lot like a B31 but all of the OHV engines in the B and C series that I saw have a push rod housing on the right side of the engine, unlike the two push rod tubes on the left side like the engine in my pic. I don't know if this helps but I tried to zoom in on the engine and tank badge in this pic.
    Can anyone here ID this bike?-engine-badge-jpg

    I'm fine with just telling my friend that it's probably an old BSA. Thanks for the help!

    Tom

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  7. #7
    Lifer Kenn157's Avatar
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    Re: Can anyone here ID this bike?

    I thought BSA too.

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  8. #8
    Lifer Gixxer's Avatar
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    Re: Can anyone here ID this bike?

    Orange County chopper?

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  9. #9
    Where is my fast? GixerJockey's Avatar
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    Re: Can anyone here ID this bike?

    Fun fact... I own a couple of old BSA rifles. Which was their primary business.

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  10. #10
    Lifer joeswamp's Avatar
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    Re: Can anyone here ID this bike?

    This is a really challenging puzzle. That bike looks like a late 1940s BSA, but I don't think it is one. A few observations:

    • That engine is really weird -- those rockerboxes hang way out away from the cylinder to a degree I don't think I've seen before. Pushrod tubes are normally set close to the cylinder, this one angles way out.
    • The badge looks like a BSA badge but it's smaller and set more forward than those on BSAs of the period. Circular badges were not uncommon in the late 40s/early 50s; Norton, Ariel, etc sometimes used them.
    • The headlamp doesn't look like the standard Lucas model that was on every British bike at the time. It's too elongated and the rim is too thick. Looks more like a BMW headlamp.

    Do you know where the picture was taken? I'm wondering if this is Japan and this is a very early Japanese postwar bike that's a rough copy of a BSA with a Japanese designed engine. At the time Japanese companies were making Harley and BSA copies under license and they were reverse engineering BMWs.

    Edit: the engine looks roughly like a postwar Indian vertical twin. Here is one on the late 40s 249 scout:



    I wonder if this is a homemade frankenbike or if it's a Japanese model copying several machines.

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    Last edited by joeswamp; 04-06-18 at 04:10 PM.
    Joe
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  11. #11
    Super Moderator OreoGaborio's Avatar
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    Re: Can anyone here ID this bike?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tom M View Post
    A friend who knows I subscribe to motorcycle classics asked me if I could identify this bike. I don't know much about bikes from this era so I googled a lot of plunger framed bikes from the thirties through the fifties and couldn't find it. Do any of you know what it is?

    Can anyone here ID this bike?-plunger-frame-phil-jpg

    Thanks,
    Tom
    I know what this is...

    This is an espresso machine.

    ... No no no.... It's a snow cone maker. That's what it is.

    ... Is it a water heater?

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  12. #12
    Member Tom M's Avatar
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    Re: Can anyone here ID this bike?

    Quote Originally Posted by joeswamp View Post
    Do you know where the picture was taken? I'm wondering if this is Japan and this is a very early Japanese postwar bike that's a rough copy of a BSA with a Japanese designed engine. At the time Japanese companies were making Harley and BSA copies under license and they were reverse engineering BMWs.
    I don't know when or where the picture was taken but I think the Air Force patch on his sleeve is from the Korean war timeframe.

    I don't know anything about japanese bikes from the late forties/early fifties but it certainly could be a japanese or even Chinese copy of a BSA. I couldn't find any pics of thirties through fifties brit bikes with an engine like that. The badge doesn't look like a real BSA badge either.

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  13. #13
    Lifer Gixxer's Avatar
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    Re: Can anyone here ID this bike?

    Quote Originally Posted by OreoGaborio View Post
    I know what this is...

    This is an espresso machine.

    ... No no no.... It's a snow cone maker. That's what it is.

    ... Is it a water heater?
    What’s that from

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  14. #14
    Member Tom M's Avatar
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    Re: Can anyone here ID this bike?

    I think the mystery is partly solved. It looks like the engine is a Japanese Mizuho 250 from the early fifties. Apparently Mizuho sold that engine to other Japanese companies too. I'm guessing that the bike is one of those other brands. I couldn't find a match for the tank or badge.

    Here's a Mizuho 250. Google will turn up some other pics. That engine was used by a motorcycle company called IMC too.
    Can anyone here ID this bike?-mizuho-250-jpg

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  15. #15
    Lifer joeswamp's Avatar
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    Re: Can anyone here ID this bike?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tom M View Post
    I think the mystery is partly solved. It looks like the engine is a Japanese Mizuho 250 from the early fifties. Apparently Mizuho sold that engine to other Japanese companies too. I'm guessing that the bike is one of those other brands. I couldn't find a match for the tank or badge.

    Here's a Mizuho 250. Google will turn up some other pics. That engine was used by a motorcycle company called IMC too.
    Can anyone here ID this bike?-mizuho-250-jpg
    THat's definitely the engine:



    Thanks for updating the thread, I was really wondering about this one.

    EDIT: check this out, a 1955 Cabton with Mizuho engine. This looks like a slightly more modern version of the bike in in the picture, but it seems to have a similar tank with that small circular badge. Also seems to have the same not-quite-Lucas headlamp:

    1955 Cabton RTS | F174 | Las Vegas Motorcycle 2017

    Some interesting info on this weird engine:

    The Cabton’s engine borrowed heavily from Indian’s postwar parallel twins. They utilized the same style of external, exposed pushrod tubes and inspection caps on top. Like Indians, they also utilized the Amal 276 carburetor with its characteristic remote float bowl. The transmission was also a copy of the popular Burman gearbox, a 4-speed with the gear shift on the right-hand side; the clutch was also evidently a copy from Burman too.

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    Last edited by joeswamp; 04-09-18 at 01:13 PM.
    Joe
    04 Thruxton (Street)
    01 SV650 (Track)
    75 CB400F (Future Vintage Racer)
    68 BSA Royal Star (Garage Floor Lubricator)

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