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woensdag 21 oktober 2009

A D7 Review

Good Points

Simple, reliable, honest, easy and low cost to maintain, parts easily available, interesting, cheap to run, it's British and BSA !!!

Bad Points

If I'm forced to comment, then, can be a little slow in some conditions, brakes need careful attention to be effective in modern traffic, and er, that's it!

General Comments

The Bantam came into my life by accident, a local Garage (Black Country, West Mids area UK) we used to service our company vehicles had it, a 1965 D7 in blue, lurking under a sheet in the corner. Being a motorcyclist I had noticed the bike shaped drape on previous visits, but on this occasion there was a delay with a vehicle I was collecting so, with some time to kill, I investigated. That mileage couldn't be genuine, 1600 miles !! Looking further though, it probably was, the tyres were almost unworn, original Dunlop lightweight. The chrome on the tank was as new, etc etc. The garage owner wondered over, confirmed the 1 previous owner and history, and then asked me if I wanted to buy it. Long story short , I did. Some recommisioning work was needed, new battery etc, but then it ran like would be expected from such an original low mileage machine. When I had accustomed myself to the engine and gearbox characteristics , I discovered a very surprising bike. Handling was excellent, I could take it to the footrest rubbers in corners, just like my Velo Viper. The torque was a real surprise, allowing a 55 mph cruise even with my 6ft, 80 KG frame aboard! Steep hills took the edge out of it, but nothing to drastic. The ratios's in the 3 speed box could catch you out occassionaly, but it is something that can be lived with. I have ridden as much as a continuous 100 miles in reasonable comfort, the ride quality being satsifactory. Initially the brakes were inadequate, but I discovered a manufacturing defect and also replaced the shoes and trued the front drum and now they are ok. The most enjoyable thing so far is the revenge I get when after being overtaken by indignant modern car drivers in a straight line, they arrive at a sharp corner or roundabout and I just go straight past them using the handling. It runs forever on a gallon of unleaded , 40:1 premix, is great fun to ride and always draws interest when parked or in traffic queues. It takes up very little space in the garage, and if I have a local errand to run it's always the first bike I think of because it's so light to move around and convenient to just hop on. The BSA D7 then, really good little machine, I recommend it highly !