Author Topic: B21 - So what exactly have I got here?  (Read 133 times)

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Group Leader

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B21 - So what exactly have I got here?
« on: 21 June, 2019, 16:24:16 »
Hi  Everyone,

Some may have spotted I joined the forum a few weeks back and today I have received my BSAOC welcome pack so now I'm a fully paid up member from  the Herts and Beds border.

I've recently acquired a 1939 B21 De luxe which is essentially complete (minus a speedo, see my previous thread) but needs a bit of TLC before it chugs off up the road.    It came with a BSAOC dating certificate that a PO had got along with an age related registration certificate.   It claims to be an Empire Star (by the badge on the tank) and on a previous MoT certificate although from my (very!) limited understanding of BSA model numbering I've not found any official reference to the B21 ever having that title.   I understand that the B21 was made between '37 & '39 and there was the complimentary B22 series which did have the Empire Star name.  It appears that a crude categorisation between the two models might be; the B21 series had a hand-change gearbox and the B22 had a foot-change box although it's not as a simple as that of course. 

My bike seems to be a bit of a hybrid (albeit matching frame and engine) as it is a B21 with a hand-change box adapted for foot-change with an external positive stop mechanism!   This mechanism wasn't working when I got the bike but I've now disassembled, cleaned, lubricated and correctly assembled it  (well at least better than it was) and now all four gears can be selected although you'd be stretching it if you said it was slick!  The mechanism seems to contain all the bits that would normally be found in the box and they look identical to the illustrations in various manuals of the foot change versions (Ratchet plate, 2 pawls, 2 parallel springs etc) so it looks like it was an official mod or upgrade.

From what I've seen there didn't seem to be a 1939 version of the B22 just the B21 standard and B21 de-luxe, so is it that the de-luxe is in essence the B22 / Empire Star or is it more likely that a PO stretched a point and applied Empire Star markings to it just to make it sound a bit more imposing?

I note in the members handbook it says that there are handbooks for the B21 and B22 series in the library but they do not appear in the member's area on the website (It does say on the website that Pre-War are not available) does this just mean they've not yet been uploaded but they could be acquired in the interim by more direct means?

Anyway, I'm sure they'll be loads more questions on girder forks, BSA head bolts, BSA colour schemes and numerous other topics over the following months!

Any advice / guidance gratefully received.

Thanks

Alan

« Last Edit: 21 June, 2019, 16:39:45 by Group Leader »

Group Leader

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Re: B21 - So what exactly have I got here?
« Reply #1 on: 21 June, 2019, 16:32:41 »
Here's the tank badge - is that original?

Oh, and the oil filter has had a bit of a makeover.

Alan

JulianS

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Re: B21 - So what exactly have I got here?
« Reply #2 on: 21 June, 2019, 17:36:26 »
Below from 1939 catalogue.

This was the year the 250cc C10 and C11 models were introduced.

Group Leader

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Re: B21 - So what exactly have I got here?
« Reply #3 on: 21 June, 2019, 21:05:46 »
Ah ha,  I see that the speedometer was an optional extra ;D  Shame the original purchaser didn't fork out for that option, still never mind!

But has anyone seen such an adaption of hand-change box to foot-change?   So far I've come across no refernces to the device or photographs of it.   And why did my B21 De-Luxe have a hand-change box anyway?   Maybe it was a subsequent replacement for an original foot-change that happened to be convienent (the tank doesn't have any fittings for the hand-change lever)? 

And is it an Empire Star or not?

Julian - In my B21 Speedo thread you kindly included an extract from the parts book.   Is that one of the documents that is available from the BSAOC library?

So many question for this BSA newbie!

Alan
« Last Edit: 21 June, 2019, 21:10:21 by Group Leader »

JulianS

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Re: B21 - So what exactly have I got here?
« Reply #4 on: 21 June, 2019, 22:40:08 »
No Empire Star models listed in 1939. Last ones were 1938.

I will send you a PM.