Developed from the pre-war DKW RT125 and announced in 1948, the Bantam became a top seller for BSA, with more than half a million leaving the factory before production ceased in 1971. Originally of 123cc, the engine grew first to 148cc and then to 172cc. While larger-engined versions came and went, the original 123cc D1 Bantam in its updated, plunger-suspended form remained available until 1963, one of its foremost users being the 'GPO' (General Post Office – Royal Mail's forerunner) whose distinctive red-liveried machines – used for telegram deliveries – were a familiar sight on city streets throughout Britain.
This BSA Bantam was acquired as a restoration project from Robertsbridge Classic Motorcycles in 1997 (sales receipt on file). The vendor advises us that the machine was partly restored by Sammy Miller Motorcycles, which got it running and applied the GPO decals. Last taxed to the end of May 2001, since when it has been kept in dry storage, the machine would benefit from fine detailing, while only light re-commissioning and the usual safety checks should be required before it returns to the road. Accompanying documentation consists of V5 and V5C registration documents.