1944 BSA Mk.V Military Roadster

1944 BSA Mk.V Military Roadster

Frame No. T127667

24″ Frame

28″ Wheels

Coaster Brake

The best-known British military bicycle is the BSA Airborne Folding Bike, whose unique design captured the public interest. However, these days, BSA’s other military bicycle, the Mk.V, is a much rarer machine.

With such a strong following, particularly among motorcyclists, any machine proudly proclaiming its Birmingham Small Arms origins attracts a lot of attention…

…but a BSA Military Roadster doubly so.

Below you can see American GI’s pedalling off on Mk.V bicycles at a US Riviera Recreational Area.

These were located at Nice for enlisted men and Cannes for officers.

mkV_Nice_Americans

BSA BICYCLE CARRIES 10 TIMES OWN WEIGHT

1 copy

1 copy2

1 copy3

COASTER BRAKE v CONVENTIONAL BRAKES

A distinguishing feature is the coaster brake – easily spotted when you notice the handlebars sporting only one brake lever.

BSA merged with Eadie in 1907 to become Great Britain’s leading manufacturer of coaster hubs for the next fifty years.

Below you can see this BSA’s coaster hub.

While the Mk.V has a coaster rear brake, another version was also made – the Mk.V* – with conventional brakes. Compare the Phillips MkV* (below), with its two brake levers on the handlebars.

To see more PLEASE CLICK HERE

Large numbers of these BSA military bikes were exported to Europe and Commonwealth countries.

In France, they were used by American troops at various bases around the country.

The picture below shows Mk.V’s being loaded or unloaded from a US Navy ship.

mark5s

Thanks to Johan at www.theliberator.be website for the use of these pictures.

Johan’s own 1944 BSA Mk.V* bicycle is numbered T136102; as it was once owned by Philip Moreau, the marque specialist, I consider that date to be accurate.

This one is T127667, so I assume it’s slightly older.

 

I had the Mk V serviced in March, 2010. The rear hub had not been working very well, so it was dismantled, cleaned, repaired and re-assembled.

As there was no identification on the outside of the hub I wasn’t sure if it was also made by BSA.

But, having taken it apart, the internals were found to be BSA.

Before the Mk V went back into storage, I took some shots with two contemporary military roadsters, the 1947 Mercury and the Swiss Army Bike.

Below, you can see the BSA with the Mercury in the background.

The Mercury is the one with the saddlebag.

And here it is next to the Swiss.

BSA BICYCLES BEAT U-BOATS

2 copy

2 copy2

2 copy3

FRAME NUMBERS

The Frame number T127667 is stamped into to the nearside (left side) top of the seat tube. The War Department number (below) is on the opposite side.

3 copy

3 copy2

3 copy3