Ian Ballard's,

Harry Foster framed BSA "Otter".

Number 18.



Ian riding his "Foster" "Otter", on the 22nd Feb 2015. with engine supplied originally by Tom Johnson, and Dave James, of JJ Cables. Warwickshire.





Ian had a ride out at the Talmag trial on Sunday and enjoyed is ride around.


He never stops sending me new information that he gets about the "Otter" breed, when ever he finds or sees it. 

this time he has probably instigated two new stories.

Thank's mate you know I appreciate it, as I do from any of you that keep helping me make this website better.

Anyway Here is Ian's "Foster Otter" at the Talmag, now sporting New alloy guards  including the one for the chain.





Ian's ,"Foster" "Otter" BSA B40WD. 2016.





Here is a link to Sliders Talmag coverage 2017. and a really good photo Of Ian on his "Foster Otter" again





I have decided to give you a page to yourself Ian, as you have given me more information in a week, than I have found out in two years about the "Otter" frames built by "Harry Foster."


                        This is the "Foster" "Otter" that Ian built, as it was when newly assembled.



Note the exhaust is much like the original Scott Ellis bike BOK 228C.



                            This is Ian's bike as it is today.


 This is Ian's Story about the Harry Foster "Otter" framed BSA B40 Trials bike that he built.


Sorry for the delay, but took a while to find a picture of the bike as it was in 1985. The scruffy version is as it is at the moment, and has not been used for the last 8 years.
Have also found a few more details in the search.
Frame purchased from Ally Clift in November 1984, one of two I bought at £125 each, my brother used the other, but has sold the bike now.
Took a while to deliver as Harry Foster only made in batches of I think 5 frame kits at a time, so probably 1985 before I got this frame.
Engine is ex WD from Johnson Cables in Banbury, who used to get them from ex army sales.
Forks may well be from same place.
Bantam hubs and Sammy Miller rear shocks (Betor)
Tank is original Lyta, bought new from B Hichisson who made the factory ones.
Running on standard point with a 12 volt conversion from OTJ.



when new in 1985



The photo below is Ian showing how well the bike handles taken just after the "Otter" was put together.





Ian as also sent me this information, about what may be a picture of the very first Harry Foster

built BSA "Otter".


While looking for my pictures I have found this poor faxed photo and the only thought
that comes to mind is that Allan (Ally) Clift sent this to me to show the actual frame and bike.
It could well be the first one made !
It is definitely not a Southern Centre bike.
Could this be the first "Otter"frame that Harry built?
 We now think 2016 that it is the first BSA engined bike built for, Tom Seward.
The first bike around here was Colin Harvie's, then I built mine and my brother's.
David Tarwacki then built the first Triumph engined version.
So there were at least 4 Harry Foster built Otter's in the Southern centre.
3 of which are still around.

I am hoping Ian will send me more information about the  Southern centre bikes when he has time.


Ian is in the middle of rebuilding a BSA C15 at present  these are the "New Pictures"

 that Ian has sent me today .19 June 2014.



Ian is rebuilding this BSA C15 T, for his three year old grand son, has I have mine for George.



This is one of the best examples of a rebuild of a Classic trials bike down to the detail has was! 

 I do know because I had one of the original BSA C15T's has you know ,and gratefully still have two today.



There is just nothing like a job done well, no matter how long it takes , it is all in the detail.


 Now, Ian has sent me photos of another two frames, that he has, one an original "New " Harry Foster,"Otter" frame, and one from Jim Susan's. 


I now think that I may well do a page on Jim's bikes.  Now Up.


 And will update the Harry Foster  page, with Ian's pictures.


 I must thank Ian for keeping in touch from day one, and making this site what it is today.

Thanks mate.

More Later. And  New Breaking Story.


Well you now know that I have the Original "Foster Otter" frame jig  and I am about to embark on this New mission and build a batch of five, has Harry used too,"Foster BSA Otter" frames using this jig.

Most bits are now sourced and are in my hands. 

When I told Ian about the frame Jig story, he said that if I needed to borrow his New "Original Foster "frame to get the detail right I could, and will, but not only that Ian said he would get it delivered to me as well.

Just a BIG thank-you once again mate for  being with me from day one on this "Otter" site and now helping me in this New Chapter with the "Foster Otter" frames.


Ian also takes me photographs of appropriate machines when he is riding with them in trials.

Here are a few that I have not used before.


This is  Number 28  riding his BSA  Faber "Otter".in the Jack Engelfield Classic trial. 


 Number 26 riding his BSA "Miller Otter" in the same trial.


.Number 25 Ariel Arrow Built by Mike Mackenzie.


 Ian:>  February 2015 A few "Otters" seen yesterday at The Jack Engelfield trial at Theale run by the Mortimer Classic club.
No 16 is me (Top of the Page).and the other bikes are no.28 Faber Otter (purchased using your web site) no.26 Miller Otter and the no.25 Arrow which was built by Mike Mackenzie.
It was a good day as we finished before the rain, but plenty of southern mud,also out of the four unit construction BSA's three were "Otters".
The real news is that there was an Otter for sale by Brice Haines and this is the first Foster Otter in the South built and owned by Colin Harvie. (£2700). Also confirmed was the Truimph Otter built by David Tarwacki is the same one still owned as a sidecar outfit by Barry Pocock.

Charlie:> Thanks Ian , we keep getting the information don't we>


Ian, Here is that "Foster Otter" outfit in the 2010 "Classic Trials Show". and a winner.

Photo Lee Prescott.



 I will update has the builds continue.