|On the Banvill, YCMC November 16th 2009..|
The engine and forks are great ( 37a and Mazzochis inside 'cub' legs) However the frame is too short ( wheelbase is approx 48.5 inches) the foot pegs are too high and the rear shocks are under sprung ( it has circa 2 inches of sag when i sit on the thing and most riding conditions have the springs almost fully compressed!)
Having checked out the dimensions on my Beta Rev3 to try to have a similar riding position I can see that some drastic chopping / fabricating of the Bantam's modded frame would be required and then re powder coating the whole lot. The swinging arm spindle is supported by bronze bushes which although recently replaced and still as new, this frame is possibly at the extent of its life in my hands.
So armed with a drawing board, pencil, tape measure, micrometer, credit card and an exhaustive trawl of the Internet for inspiration I have decided to build a James /Francis Barnett replica.
The FB concept holds more attraction to me as 'everyone' has a James (must be a red thing) and FB were regarded in the 40's and 50's as being a a well engineered bike. However the adoption of the AMC unit for power in the late fifties meant that as trials bikes in the early 60's they were unfashionable and simply useless! 1962 though had the 'works' using the 32a/37a motor. At the end of the day the only difference was the tank badge and frame colour red vs Ardent Green..