The Female Dispatch Riders of Wartime England
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Thread: The Female Dispatch Riders of Wartime England

  1. #1
    Senior Member Darth's Avatar
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    The Female Dispatch Riders of Wartime England

    Interesting little article...for our Limey Bruthas & Sistahs:

    https://www.motorcyclistonline.com/f...&mid=536507690



    Here's mine. A 1943 (same age as me!) BSA 500cc side-valve (flat head) M-20. Hard-tail & girder forks. Nickname: "Grandpa". The ones painted in olive drab were homeland Army or Marine models. Blue ones were RAF. Tan ones were N. Africa campaign.
    I completed restoration of this one, one of my favorite ever bikes.
    Started 1st kick, he said "Donk-Donk-Donk-Donk...".
    Ran a steady 55MPH.

    Last edited by Darth; 05-26-2019 at 07:12 PM.
    TW-Brian, Sthrnromr, Fred and 7 others like this.
    "Faster, faster, faster, until the thrill of speed overcomes the fear of death."
    - Hunter S. Thompson

    “It’s more fun to ride a slow bike fast, than a fast bike slow”.

    "The less horsepower a motorcycle has, the more it can teach you.” - Ben Bostrom

    And though a mountain may rise up and smack the livin' shit outta me,
    and wad up my bike somethin' awful...
    Still, I rise!
    (With apologies to Maya Angelou)


    "Give a Damn"
    - C. M. Howe, Jr.

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    Senior Member RockyTFS's Avatar
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    Heh. Looks just like a Shinko 241 up front! I can't imagine riding over 20 mph at night with that shaded headlight!!! Great article.
    Darth likes this.
    Rocky
    2018 TW200
    2014 BMW R1200GS LC

  3. #3
    Senior Member Darth's Avatar
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    Interesting little details about these bikes...

    Rubber was a protected war material, so they made the hand-grips from thick canvas. Glued on and finished with brass ferrules. They wore very well and hardened up...like textured Bakelite.
    They were the most difficult things to find for my 100% correct "motor-pool restoration".

    The second scarcest thing was the "black-out mask" for the headlight.

    When these old boys would go to a motor-pool for repair or rebuilding, they would first subject them to a deep, thorough steam cleaning.
    Left to dry and resprayed with a heavy coat of green, blue or tan paint, usually standard issue olive drab. No need to mask anything off, just tell the nearest private to wipe down the saddle and lamp lenses with petrol and a rag.
    Simple but effective!

    Mine was in pretty good shape mechanically. But cosmetically, he looked as though he had spent WWII leaned up against the back wall of a company latrine. Only slightly beat up but terminally filthy but not much rust.
    We suspected he had not seen combat and probably served on the mainland in dispatch or light transportation service.

    Following the finest tradition of war-time Brit motor-pools, I took him to a car wash and dropped 40 Quarters down the slot and blasted the hell out of the whole thing. I cheated on mine and removed the seat, saddle bags and covered the lamps, electrics & carby.
    After leaving him to dry in the hot Texas sun for a week, the tires, mag, seat and head & tail lamps were masked off. He was then treated to 10 cans of OD duck blind paint.
    Perfect!

    He never failed to start or return home from a ride...and everybody loved him!
    Miaugi and Sthrnromr like this.
    "Faster, faster, faster, until the thrill of speed overcomes the fear of death."
    - Hunter S. Thompson

    “It’s more fun to ride a slow bike fast, than a fast bike slow”.

    "The less horsepower a motorcycle has, the more it can teach you.” - Ben Bostrom

    And though a mountain may rise up and smack the livin' shit outta me,
    and wad up my bike somethin' awful...
    Still, I rise!
    (With apologies to Maya Angelou)


    "Give a Damn"
    - C. M. Howe, Jr.

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  5. #4
    Senior Member RockyTFS's Avatar
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    Fascinating!! 40 quarters? I only spend half that on my truck, camper, and TW after a camping trip.
    Darth likes this.
    Rocky
    2018 TW200
    2014 BMW R1200GS LC

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