BSA Path Racer c.1912 and restoration dilemmas

My BSA Path Racer has been somewhat over-restored (not by me, I hasten to add!) and I’m currently considering what to do with it, in terms of ‘de-restoration’. As some of you will know, path racer’s with such extreme sloping top tubes are very rare. I have never been able to find one in original order. I bought this one some time ago because it is a BSA, so of top quality, and it had all the correct original fittings, including the Kundtz wooden rims and Brooks B11 racing saddle. But I have never liked it much because of the over-restoration. For me it’s far too glossy and shiny! The bike was originally painted black, so why paint it green? I don’t understand this sort of thing. All the nickel has been re-done too. Modern nickel plating, due to the process changing over the years, looks very little like the original which was less shiny and a different colour. If you HAVE to re-nickel, at least do it in dull finish which is a little more acceptable. There is another problem in that the modern reproduction BSA transfers that are available are of completely inaccurate colours. So, I’m tempted to give the bright parts to a platers to re-finish in dull nickel, and paint the frame black with no transfers. The alternative is to sell it to someone who likes shiny bikes!

Below are images of the bike together with the catalogue pages from the 1912 BSA catalogue, showing details of the bicycle and the different handlebar and saddle options. Note the integral handlebar clamp which is basically the same as the ‘modern’ A-head.

Click images for more detail

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