One of the classic bike mechanics I was talking to in the old city put me in touch with a guy who turned out to be a bit of a collector of old British bikes. It seems that he had acquired these bikes as and when they had turned up over the years with the intention of one day, perhaps in retirement, restoring them to their former glory. We were introduced and he invited me to go for a ride to his farmhouse (i.e. barn) just outside the city to have a look at his collection.
So off we went, through the rice fields and mango orchards until we came to a large gate leading to an overgrown track, and then to an old shed.
I have to say, this was definitely one of those barns that as a motor enthusiast you always dream of stumbling across! The doors were a bit rusty but when they were eventually flung open, what should be inside but a 1930’s Fiat car surrounded by various old bikes. Now, not being a classic bike expert I have no idea what the various different models were, but I can read badges and so I know that they include BSA’s, Velocettes, AJS’s, a Norton and of course the compulsory (in India) classic Bullet.
Only one of the bikes were for sale though – a large, girder-forked BSA that I am guessing was from the war-time going by the chassis contract number brass badge and a rather crazy air intake system. Nice bike, but a bit big and bulky for me and I think the girder forks might have proved a bit too ‘interesting’ for day-to-day use. But nevertheless, a very interesting afternoon…
The gallery below shows some of the bikes that were there and no doubt someone will be able to put names to the models.