The Steve Wilson Page.

 

 

All Photos unless stated are Courtesy of Steve Wilson.©

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" Lunch Break  practice at BSA  1967".......On the ELstar Cub...

 

 

And Steve has found the invoice for the frame from Alf at ELstar, the wheels were added onto the invoice so that the machine could be registered as New....

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This page will run and run.

 After managing without mobile phones and the internet for most of his life, Steve was recently given an old Apple IPhone..

 and this has opened up an whole new world to him, and again put him in touch with us at BSA Otter, and all of the friends still around from his years of competing in motorcycle offroad sport of all descriptions ...

 Trials, Grass Track , Scrambles, (Schoolboy and adult).

Speedway with the Birmingham Brummies. and then going onto to be a major instigator in the New then BMX Sport.

But that is not half of the story because, Mr Steve Wilson from a very early age was a motorcycle frame constructor, and a lot like me.. from the same period. We wanted to try something new and different to the norm..

The machines he was involved with reads like a Whos-Who.

One of the first machines was a Triumph Cub trials machine with BSA Bantam frame.

 But this broke, so Steve ordered a frame for the engine from Alf Ellis of ELstar fame.

 After about six months the frame was constructed, and Steve fitted the Cub engine...And straight away started to get good results with the machine.

I think Steve was still working at BSA then and had met all of the comp shop crew and like me when you are in that environment with most riding trial at week ends, you join in and do your best to become a Star too. 

But Steve already had the constructing bug, and if you have got it, it never goes away..

 So in the period of change at ELstar Motorcycles , where Andy Ross had put money into help Alf out, and then sold the remains to Bob Joyner who wanted to run his own grass track and speedway team, a young seventeen year old Steve Wilson went to work for the concern.

 Steve said he spent many a day on the band saw cutting sets of engine plates 22 sets in a day...

But the trials bikes were still number one to him, although Bob did not seem too interested.. Well Steve and the guys built a Bantam engined Elstar in their own time at the factory while Bob was away on one of his buying sprees. The bike was sat in the factory workshop upon his return.. and he asked what it was. Steve said they had built it for him to ride.. as he thought a Bantam engined machine might be the in thing, and development of a trials engine was going on with his old mates at BSA...

"Well you can't ride it " Bob said "it is not your bike, and you haven't paid for it".

Steve was in a dilemma because like all young men at the time he was only paid a pittance, I think I got Six Pounds a week at the time.

He had only one chance to get the bike he had built, and that was to get someone to pay for it.

 Th good Samaritans were the Vale-Onslow family ,who stepped in and bought the Bantam machine from Bob Joyner..

 And as you can see below, it was the right decision as Steve soon started to get results with the machine.

This is only the start of the Steve Wilson Story...

 And I may ramble a bit later, as  There is so much Steve and I talked about in an hour of conversation, and all this needs fitting into place..

 But you can see... we now have  a line of history that may never have been told. Thanks Steve.Ring you shortly...

 

 

The ELstar Bantam as it is today...

 

ELstar Bantam...And a bit of journalism from the time...

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Results; I will enlarge them Later...

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Results....

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Note Dave Paxton was on the biggest bike the 350BSA B40 and that Mike Mills was riding a Bantam.

There is a connection between Dave Paxton and Steve Wilson as well as being friends.?

 Steve bought the twin pram used for Andy and Nick Paxton for his twins, and later sold the pram again to another family in the same situation... 

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A first class photo from Steve of the ELstar Cub...

 

Just a Start of the page.

Now being involved with the Vale-Onslow family Steve was asked to fit a BSA Bantam engine into a Saracen frame the family owned , the bike was named the Valon. the Vale-Onslow's had already built bikes with the title SOS just after the war so were no strangers to motorcycle manufacture.And it was hoped that with Steve's involvement they may again have a bike in production........

 

 

The Bantam engine was only the first step, as by this time Mick Martin  had designed and built the engine he named the "Mickmar"... And being the British family that the Vale-Onslow's were, they encouraged Mick to carry on with the development of the little engine, so the Bantam engine was removed and replaced by Steve with a Mickmar unit. They needed a rider that had a habit of making himself known and could encourage other people to look at the little machine , he also needed to be a half decent rider. So Alan Wright got the job... He was not the first to ride a Saracen with  a a Mickmar engine, as Mick "Bonkey" Bowers had ridden one for the now owner of Saracen David Brand. 

 

Steve and "Bonkey " Had agreed with new owner of Saracen David Brand to ride a couple of Saracen bikes in the Welsh three-day trial.

 The bikes were only thinly disguised trials machines with a few accessories fitted small lights, etc.

 Just cobbled together.

On the first day the chain flew off of "Bonkeys" bike and deposited him firmly in the bottom of a very wet ditch. and no matter how hard they tried they could not find the chain.. Anyway the next day  Steve and "Bonkey" were canning the little bikes on a fast wet road section, this time Steve lost the plot on a sharp bend and slid into a log pile at speed. With his helmet removed he was seen to be bleeding from his ear,

(Oh no that can kill-yer)

Concussed he had to spend the night on a kind ladies front room coach...

So that was the Saracens  first and last foray into the world of international trials..

 

Much more later......