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4.9 out of 5 stars23
4.9 out of 5 stars
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Many moons ago, ‘Rupert Ratio’ of the BSA Owners’ Club produced an invaluable manual, an extremely detailed hands-on guide to maintaining, rebuilding and trouble-shooting the Unit Single engine. That extensive and informative book became the must-have accessory for all owners of late Beesa singles and is widely accepted as THE work of reference for all the models, C15, B25, B40, B44, B50 and even their very close relative, the Triumph TR25W.
The first book only covered the unit single engine and none of the cycle of chassis parts, so if you needed any technical advice about anything other than the motor then you had to resort to other, less detailed sources of information.

Now that situation has been remedied with this new publication, another extensive practical handbook which examines the single-cylinder BSAs from tip to tail-light. It’s no surprise that this book took a while to put together – the author must have burned plenty of midnight oil trying to condense his experience as the BSAOC’s long-standing technical officer into 335 densely-packed pages.
The well-illustrated and comprehensive chapters cover everything from correctly identifying your machine, through brakes, hub, wheels, forks, chains, exhausts, filters, electrics and instruments. The author relies heavily on his three decades of experience with these bikes and has avoided simply regurgitating chunks of other manuals and publications – instead you get his personal experience and advice about which methods, components and techniques have proved successful over the years. He’s also included chunks of invaluable technical data from original factory records.
Almost every single page contains a carefully captioned image – and many of the black-and-white photos are of components as they appear now, 40 years old and frequently a bit battered. This is deliberately done to reassure owners that their parts are not the only ones which might be a bit wonky! Images like the ones showing five different types of fork yokes or two alternative kinds of gear lever are incredibly helpful to the restorer, especially if your project arrived as a pile of separate parts and you’re not certain exactly which ones really belong with your bike…

What this book most definitely is NOT is a glossy, colour coffee-table publication. It's not a marque history nor a model guide (although you learn absolutely heaps about the background to the bikes by reading any of the sections). it doesn't discuss the different merits of the various models, but it does provide you with all the info you need to actually get one back on the road and keep it there.
The text is clean, clear, easy to read and comprehensible. It leans towards the technical, as you would expect from a practical manual of this type.
Totally recommended by a BSA B25 owner...

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on 7 April 2014
Volume one was good but necessarily brief when dealing with C15 to B50 engines, as even the great Rupert can’t have taken them all apart, but Volume 2 is a real mine of information which in some instances cuts through the maze of part numbers and has more pictures for greater clarity.
The same endearing humour is present as a reminder that this was written by someone who has suffered many of the pitfalls and seeks to save others from a similar path.
Anyone who has picked over parts at an autojumble and wondered why so many parts are almost right, but not quite, will find answers here. Why plough through several parts books when Rupert can tell you that there are only two lengths of petrol tank spacer and that is really the only critical part? He even describes how some unobtainable parts may be substituted by slightly modified commonly found parts.
Forget Haynes and Clymer, Rupert Ratio is the man with the answers.
I recommend this book to parts suppliers too, then maybe their descriptions might be much closer to truth than fiction.
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on 14 April 2014
I've read it right through once and it's every bit as good as the engine book.
No hesitation in recommending it to anyone with an interest in these models.
Now I can't wait to see Volume 3!
Roy I Pellett
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on 30 December 2014
As the owner of one of these bikes, this is a great reference book. The painstaking research and preparation of this work is obvious and the author is an expert on these bikes. Of particular merit are the wealth of illustrations and detailed notes explaining the variations of the same parts, and how to get around the unobtainable parts either by substitution or modification. Dismantling and assembly tips abound. This book is essential for the owner or restorer of any BSA unit single.
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on 6 June 2014
I just wish this book had been available a couple of years ago when I was building my B40. I had to find out the hard, and expensive way, what would fit and what was correct for my model and year, The differences between the C15 and B40 are far more than many people think (incl, dealers) and I still have a lot of parts sold to me as C15/B40 which would not fit. Essential reading for anyone with, or an interest in, the BSA unit single range.
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on 13 May 2014
Having a unit single in my garage I found these books extremely useful, I bought the 'engine' volume sometime ago and recently purchased this volume which I have found very useful indeed. Having met 'Rupert Ratio' himself recently at a motorcycle show, I can say that this book is a restorers 'helper' in every respect.Great and informative read.
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on 5 August 2015
I thought that I had all the information for restoring my old WD B40 with a very old copy of the Haynes manual, but this series of three books has a load more information that is vital for the restorer. The books are full of helpful pictures, diagrams, parts lists etc and I would recommend them to any BSA singles restorer.
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on 9 July 2014
The same as the Engine book, fantastic. Maybe even better, if that's possible. Every thing you need to know, written in an easy to understand way, technical enough without trying to baffle anyone. BSA unit fans need to buy it. All classic bike fans should buy it. Thank you Rupert Ratio!
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on 12 September 2014
If only I had bothered to read this first I could have saved myself so much time and heartache, never the less learnt an awful lot the hard way and now if in doubt I will refer to the book first. Great asset to restoration.
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on 22 March 2015
You must buy this book to complement Vol 1 as it all about the cycle parts and not the engines! A minefield of information on the BSA unit singles, the engine is covered in Vol 1. A must for the bookshelf. Eric.
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