Page 48. 1944 BSA WM20 500cc Army Motorcycle. SOLD

1944 BSA WM20 500cc Army Motorcycle

Rigid with Girder Forks.

With Army accessories: Sump guard, black-out lamp, side stand, etc

Frame number WM20 110717

Engine number YM20 B 03492

In good running order. No docs.

After WW2 there was a shortage of new cars and motorcycles for sale. Most were exported to help with foreign exchange so Great Britain could repay its massive war debts to the USA – which led to the end of the British Empire. Many decommissioned M20’s became everyday transport.

This 1944 machine seems to have survived intact, and is ready to see service again as an everyday hack or machine for taking to summer shows and local events.

You can see its numbers for yourself, which confirm its authenticity.



Viewed as a near failure in the eyes of the War Office in 1936, this model was ultimately to evolve into perhaps the most illustrious and longest serving model in the history of British military motorcycling, not to mention becoming the most numerous type produced for the War Office itself.

The vast majority of BSA M20 models delivered were employed by the War Department (Army), although smaller quantities were also used by both the Admiralty (Navy) and the Air Ministry (RAF). It is interesting to note that the Air Ministry used quantities of the model fitted with a Swallow-manufactured sidecar, and that a great number of the smaller M20 model contracts throughout the Second World War specified sidecar-lugs for the frame, generally removed from all the larger contracts, which were specifically solo only.

Although intended as a general-purpose motorcycle for convoy escort and long-distance communications duties, due to the sheer number supplied the model was employed ultimately in every theatre of war and for virtually every purpose imaginable, whether suitable or not. It is perhaps for this reason that the model is the one best remembered by and familiar to most ex-servicemen and other individuals when military motorcycles are mentioned. The post-war service of the BSA M20 model further increases its renown, the type being retained in service as the standard War Department motorcycle throughout the national service period of the 1950s and onwards in limited numbers until the end of the next decade, this despite the fact that it was never totally suitable, and was most probably retained only because of the huge quantities of machines and parts available following the end of the war.

During the course of the Second World War and throughout the post-war period, virtually all M2Os were rebuilt by the military at least once, if not several times. Engines were changed around under service-exchange schemes and rebuilt models were constructed from stocks of parts assembled from all years and contracts. In certain instances, the military authorities would fit a brand-new frame or engine-unit to a rebuilt machine and not stamp the item fitted with a number, further complicating dating such a machine today.

[Source: British Forces Motorcycles]



1 copy

You can read about BSA’s wartime bicycle production at the Online Bicycle Museum –

on the page illustrating my 1939-1945 WW2 BSA Mark V Army Bike





OWNER: BuyVintage Online Auctions

LOCATION: Brighton, E.Sussex, United Kingdom


DELIVERY is not included in this auction.

This means that it is not my responsibility,

BUT I can put you in touch with a delivery chap and organize collection;

you liaise with them direct re delivery and pay them separately.

Great Britain – delivery is ONLY £60 for this motorcycle to main parts of England;

extra to extremities such as Scotland, Wales, Cornwall, etc (and may take longer to arrive)

(Please email your postcode if you want to confirm price).


(Collection when they’re in my area; delivery when in yours).


If you want it fast, please organize your own collection.


Ireland & N. Ireland – I’ll recommend some companies, but you’ll have to organize it yourself.

Europe – delivery is probably around €400 to Germany, Austria, France, Italy, Spain, etc. I can recommend two companies.

North America, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, etc – I’ll organize all the crating and shipping for you.

PAYMENT: Paypal is okay for cheap items; otherwise deposit only on paypal please.


You must communicate with me before the end of the auction to discuss payment and shipping options.


AFTER PURCHASE: Please email me your phone numbers; I prefer to speak to all purchasers personally.

I do everything I can to make your purchase a pleasurable experience.

I’ve been selling obscure vintage vehicles on ebay since 2002.

Sharing similar interests, I’ve become good friends with many of my customers.

Please feel free to email or phone with any comments or questions…


VEHICLE CONDITION: Vintage vehicles are wonderful beasts

– but each has an individual personality and they sometimes have bad days just like you and me.
You will need basic mechanical skills (or a local mechanic) to use one on a regular basis.

Two-strokes invariably need basic servicing before starting them, if they’ve been left to stand for more than 3 weeks or so.

These are rare vehicles whose values are not necessarily based on running order.



If you have any questions about this (or any other vehicle in these BuyVintage Online Auctions),
you can contact Colin in our Customer Service Department between 9am and 7pm daily:

By Phone – (UK 0044) 07866-126469

By email –

The Auction Catalogue is our website –



to see what’s currently being sold



Published on February 16, 2008 at 3:52 pm  Leave a Comment  

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