2020 Shannons Winter Timed Online Auction

1929 BSA S-29 500cc 'Sloper' Motorcycle


Wednesday 26 August 8.14pm AEST*




Engine Single cylinder, 500cc
Gearbox 4-speed manual
Colour Black & Chrome


This lot is no longer available

One of the great marques, BSA began as a gun trades union in 1854 when 14 Birmingham gunsmiths joined forces to sell arms for the Crimean War effort. In 1861 they decided to form a public company and found a site on Small Heath for their factory, opening for business in 1863.  BSA started building bicycles and associated components in the 1880s, followed by motorized bicycles in 1903.  BSA acquired parts maker Eadie Manufacturing (created by Albert Eadie, general manager of Royal Enfield) in 1907 and produced their first real motorcycle in 1910, a 499cc side-valve, with the Model H and Model K becoming their pre-war singles.  Motorcycle production halted temporarily during WW1 but resumed shortly after the war's end in 1919.  BSA hired former Daimler engineer and designer Harold Briggs, who designed new sporting machines for them, including the popular 500cc ohv Sloper of 1927.  This was designed with a saddle tank to seat the rider lower down, improving air resistance and reducing the centre of gravity to the benefit of handling and response.  The motor was known to be both powerful and quiet, Briggs utilising his automotive background to provide sump lubrication and using return springs in the valve-gear.  The twin-port S-29 model was rated at 4.93 horsepower and was also available with a specially tuned high compression motor, Lucas Acetylene or Magdyno lighting and a bulb horn.  The Sloper continued production until 1935, by which time it came with a larger 595cc engine and, in what proved to be BSA’s golden age, the Company boasted that one in four motorcycles on the roads in the UK was a BSA.