Building a new Bantam Pre-65 (Planning) by Rob Sloggett

Started on March 10, 2018 at 7:00 PM

So, where do I start? Well in true social media style I popped a comment on the Aqueduct website and let the advice and opinions flood in. Basically two camps, totally divided but friendly in their approach! Camp one "your mad.... why are you building, it will cost you twice as much as one already built".... followed by links to various bikes. Camp two "crack on Rob, will be great to see another new bike, give us a shout if you need anything". I must note, a few people actually sat in both camps...

So I let it all sink in and then made the decision, I was going to build. Now when I say "I'm going to build", let me be clear. I have some mechanical skills, am happy to learn new ones and in some cases am happier to pay people to do other stuff (those whose skills are much greater than mine ever will be and will get it done in a fraction of the time). But why was I going down the build approach. Well in all honesty the main reason was as follows:

  1. I wanted to tailor the bike to my taste and style
  2. I wanted to learn about the Pre 65 scene, especially the modification side and the rules and regs within this class
  3. I wanted a mechanism to learn some new skills (e.g. welding & wheel building)
  4. My budget was not front loaded as I needed to sell one of my other bikes to part fund it

With that decision made, it was then time to build the budget. I had a figure in mind based on the machines I had seen for sale and started with a figure of £3k in mind. I then split the bike down into to its main components (engine, frame, yokes/forks/rear shock, wheels/hubs, tank/seat). Yep, I reached for the spreadsheet and started to break it down.

Next step was to get onto ebay and a couple of other sites and research the parts. Getting a baseline of what was out there and adding a bit of contingency got me to my final budget of just short of £3,500. This felt about right and in some cases I knew I was probably over and in others a bit under but hey, that's project management and estimating for you! The full breakdown is shown in the adjacent panel.

The engine figure seems a bit high, but this was based on getting a donor engine for around the £300 mark, then another £300 for the rebuild (including an electronic ignition) plus money for a carb, air box and exhaust system etc.

The frame included the based build then additions such as side stand, chain tensioner, footrests and final powder coat.

Once I had a budget I was happy with, the fun started and really affirms why I went down the build route. It was time to start hitting social media, forums and the club network to start sourcing parts and this is where the friendship of the club and the Pre 65 scene in general really came to life. But enough about that for now, we will start covering that off in the build sections later on.

Budget Breakdown

Engine = £950

Frame = £730

Front/Rear Suspension = £900

Wheels, Hubs & Tyres = £530

Tank and Seat = £350