c.1917 BSA 4¼hp Motorcycle Combination
Engine no. 25737/28019
Introduced in 1905, BSA's first motorcycle used a proprietary engine and the firm did not offer a model entirely of its own design and manufacture until 1910. The first series-production BSA motorcycle was a 499cc (3½hp) sidevalve single, built initially with single-speed, belt-drive transmission and later on with a three-speed countershaft gearbox. Well engineered and equally well made, this first BSA proved an enormous success and changed little over the next few years, though for 1912 a two-speed hub gear was available together with an all chain drive model suitable for sidecar work. For 1914 the range was augmented by a 557cc (4¼hp) version featuring a strengthened frame and the new three-speed gearbox, which was designated Model K if fitted with chain-cum-belt transmission or Model H with fully enclosed all-chain drive.
Originally despatched to the French Army, this 'time warp' BSA was previously owned by the lady vendor's grandfather, then by her father, both of whom took great care of it. Believed last ridden in the late 1950s, the machine has been safely stored in a dry garage in the South of France since then. The BSA is believed never to have been restored and is described as complete and in excellent condition for its age. It comes with a French-made sidecar (not illustrated), various BSA catalogues, instruction manual (in French) and several boxes of spares. Accompanying documentation consists of miscellaneous parts/maintenance bills, assorted photographs, French registration papers, and correspondence (dated 1920) from BSA importers, Brown Brothers Ltd.