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But it will be a pity to see it go." Type: Air-cooled sidevalve single Capacity: 496cc (500cc)Bore & Stroke: 82mm x 94mm BHP: 13 @ 4200rpm Compression ratio: 5:1Transmission: 4-speed, multi-platedry clutch Brakes: 7-inch drums front and rear Electrics: 6-volt, magdyno Front suspension: Girder Rear suspension: Rigid Wheels: 3.25 x 19-inch front & rear Weight: 369lbs (dry)Maximum speed: 55mph (approximately) The BSA WD M20 website Probably the best military M20 site in the world owned and managed by Dutch BSA M20 expert, Henk LMS (Lichfield)01543 480600 dangerous talk because the guys who own and love their Birmingham Small Arms M-Series military mounts take their rides pretty seriously and can be a sensitive bunch.

And here at Sump we know that because we've got a fabled BSA WM20 in the garage, and every once in a while we chip in some idle comment on Dont get us wrong.

I've had mine up to around 65mph, and I think there was a little extra speed in reserve.

"Brakes are reasonably good for a bike of that age. And these engines have a clattery sound that you either like or don't.

Except that the military had already committed itself to other mounts. What it meant was that there simply wasnt enough time, tooling, money or development engineers to focus on Hopwoods 5TW twin and sort out the usual teething problems with a new machine, and so the project was shelved. However, this 5TW sidevalve was stillborn, and Hopwood moved on to other things.

(as differentiated from the 5TW prototype); this bike featuring an all-enclosed drive chain utilising rubber sleeves over the top and bottom chain runs. But the costs were mounting, and the British army was lukewarm about it, and so this project was also shelved.

This wasnt ideal because the army also preferred bikes that were fairly quiet and couldnt be heard more than half a mile away, and 3000rpm, even on a 3TW, makes for a fair racket in still air when the snipers are abroad.

Triumphs Edward Turner, still smoking with his more or less instant success with the Speed Twin and keen to bolster the firms order books, quickly rose to the challenge with the 3TW; a compact 350cc, twin-cylinder engine housed in a rigid frame with girder forks and employing the fuel tank as a stressed member (in later Tiger Cub style).Instead, it was a horse of a very different colour, especially when displayed in RAF livery as opposed to the more usual army green of military bikes. Interest in war motorcycles has increased ten fold since we acquired our WM20thanks partly to the aforementioned website run by Henk Joore.Ten years ago in the UK, there were maybe a few dozen military M20s on the road, and not an awful lot more other ex-army mounts.It was demobbed in 1975, and was sold off in 1980 with a W registration plate."I picked it up from a friend of a friend who had owned it for about seven years.

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