Speaking in 1992, British author Owen Wright said, “The Val Page-designed BSA M group exemplified everything that was good about BSA. With his straight forward, robust design and solid construction, coupled with a high quality finish and extensive spares backup, the dry sump lubricated M group models were winners from the start when then introduced as a part of a completely new production range for 1937.” Page and his team designed a beautiful engine to sit below a handsome fuel tank which included a bit of a “dashboard.”
Valentine “Val” Page got his start with J.A. Prestwich, apprenticed to help engineer Brough-Superiors. Then he went to Ariel, helped to design beautiful Square Fours. Next it was Triumph, where he was known to work with the brilliant Edward Turner. By the time he moved on to BSA in 1936, imagine how much he had learned about engineering, design and what sold well in England and Europe, then later in America. Page also designed the BSA Gold Star; he was a master of the “thumper” design.
This BSA is an important motorcycle for its designer heritage, but it has a personal story as well. “My father bought it in 1947 after WWII in Montreal, Canada as transportation. They were produced for a few years and I’ve only read of a handful remaining worldwide. We decided to have it restored a few years ago by Dave Perewitz’s Cycle Fab. Now we are loaning it to the National Motorcycle Museum in memory of our father, Keith,” says current family caretaker Doug Robinson. The M22 retains its original tool kit with air pump, even a bright yellow shop towel.
When you visit the National Motorcycle Museum you can check out this M22, a couple of racing Gold Stars, several 1960 though 1970’s BSA twins, a few fine Ariels Square Fours as well as some Brough Superiors.
- Engine: Four-Stroke, Air-cooled
- Type: Single Cylinder, OHV
- Carburetor: Amal Type 76
- Bore & Stroke: 82mm x 94mm
- Displacement: 496cc’s
- Lubrication: Dry Sump
- Compression Ratio: 6.8:1
- Horsepower: 12HP
- Starting: Kick Starter
- Exhaust: Brooklands Style Silencer
- Transmission: 4-Speed
- Clutch: Dry, Multi-Plate
- Primary: Chain Driven
- Final Drive: Chain
- Electrics: 6 Volt, Battery, Generator
- Frame: Single Down Tube to Double Cradle
- Suspension: Girder Fork / Rigid, Sprung Seat
- Brakes: 7” Drum / 7” Drum
- Wheels / Tires: 3.25”x19″ / 3.25”x19″
- Wheelbase: 54 Inches
- Top Speed: 78mph
- Weight: 375 Pounds
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