Summary

BSA Model K three-speed belt-drive motorcycle with vertical single-cylinder side-valve engine, manufacture in 1916. The Victoria agent for BSA motor cycles was Milledge Bros from 1912 to 1918. After 1918 the agent was Finlay Bros. The Model K was one of BSA's main pre World War I models, popular with both solo and sidecar riders throughiout Britain and British colonial markets. Civilan supply of BSA motorcycles ceased in 1916 due to wartime demands for military production by the British Government, with BSA concentrating for a period largely on small arms manufacure. Production of the Model K motor cycles resumed after the War and continued into the 1920s.

The BSA brandname was derived from the Birmingham Small Arms Company founded in June 1861 in Birmingham, England, by a collective of independent gunsmiths from the Birmingham Small Arms Trade Association. After transforming Birmingham's small arms industry through the introduction of mechanised mass production and standardised components, BSA later diversified it's manufacturing interested, producing bicycles and cycle components from 1869, motor cars from 1908 and motorcycles from 1910. After the First World War, BSA Cycles Ltd was set up as a subsidiary company in 1919, to manufacture both bicycles and motorcycles. BSA motorcycles were sold as affordable machines with reasonable performance for the average private or commercial user. BSA stressed the reliability of their machines and the availability of spares and dealer support. Their designs used a mixture of single and twin-cylinder sidevalve (SV) and overhead-valve (OHV) engines offering different performance for various roles.

This BSA Model K machine was initially loaned to the Museum by Mr Alexander E. Copland and was formally donated to the Museum by the Estate of Alexander Ewart Copland in 2006. It carries a South Australian registration label and the registration number 7147. The registration tag expired on 31 March 1945. Copland was a noted collector of antiques and automotive items over many decades.

More Information