Starting somewhere around 1998 I imported old bikes from India to the UK and did this for around four years. Most of the bikes were pre-war or ex-WD and some were in fine condition and some terrible: there were a surprising number of Welbikes amongst them. I found these photos whilst going through an old album. There was another Welbike I had that had been converted in to a bicycle as well that alas I don't have a snap of. I'm not entirely sure how so many ended up in India bit it seems like they were used as runarounds at large bases and probably continued to be used by the Indian Army too for a while too after the British left. There were both MkI and MkII variants, several had been neatly modified with a fabricated centre stand.
I think most of these below have been restored by now. You might imagine that another eight of them would satisfy demand but they have surged and surged in popularity to the extent that several batches of replicas have been made. At least one of these ones was used as a pattern for replicas.
If you aren't familiar with the Welbike there's a very brief history here.
|Petrol tanks missing was the norm, mini carrier is neat!|
|This Welbike has its tank but the pump must have gone so it|
has been converted to gravity feed.
|One of the better Welbikes that came over. Neat centre stand|
and gravity petrol tank from perhaps a stationery engine or
|Petrol tanks missing but otherwise this MkI was very nice and|
original. Also with centre stand, this one kept its stand after
restoration and it is a nice part of the bike's history.
|Eek! A chromed and shiny Welbike. BSA Parabikes in the|
background. There were a lot of these in India too.
|Another good MkI Welbike.|
|Last one and also in pretty decent nick.|