Author Topic: 1965 BSA Lightning Rocket Original Survivor  (Read 835 times)

Online Dave Swanson

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1965 BSA Lightning Rocket Original Survivor
« on: June 30, 2022, 02:38:15 PM »
For fans of old Brit bikes here is a special one.  A completely original down to the tires, 1965 BSA Lightning Rocket with 2600 miles.  I have never seen an original condition BSA of this vintage anywhere near this condition.













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Offline tazio

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Re: 1965 BSA Lightning Rocket Original Survivor
« Reply #1 on: June 30, 2022, 02:56:58 PM »
That's crazy !
 I love it !
 :thumb:
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Re: 1965 BSA Lightning Rocket Original Survivor
« Reply #2 on: June 30, 2022, 03:52:35 PM »
Makes me want to win the lottery. :grin:  One of my three or four favorites of all time.

Offline Vagrant

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Re: 1965 BSA Lightning Rocket Original Survivor
« Reply #3 on: June 30, 2022, 04:04:11 PM »
I bought a brand new 66 Lighting. By 3000 miles the rear fender had vibrated in 1/2. Pretty bike though.
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Re: 1965 BSA Lightning Rocket Original Survivor
« Reply #3 on: June 30, 2022, 04:04:11 PM »

Offline JJ

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Re: 1965 BSA Lightning Rocket Original Survivor
« Reply #4 on: June 30, 2022, 04:11:03 PM »
One word sums it all up........"Fabulous!"  :thumb: :bow: :cool: :boozing: :wink: :smiley:
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Online lucian

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Re: 1965 BSA Lightning Rocket Original Survivor
« Reply #5 on: June 30, 2022, 04:29:06 PM »
That is amazing, thanks for sharing . What beautiful symmetry on those vintage britt bikes. 

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Re: 1965 BSA Lightning Rocket Original Survivor
« Reply #6 on: June 30, 2022, 05:01:37 PM »
First motorcycle I rode,had to settle for a 63 305 Honda Dream due to finances.I regret not getting a BSA as I would have been forced to learn mechanics.

Online Dave Swanson

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Re: 1965 BSA Lightning Rocket Original Survivor
« Reply #7 on: June 30, 2022, 05:26:34 PM »
First motorcycle I rode,had to settle for a 63 305 Honda Dream due to finances.I regret not getting a BSA as I would have been forced to learn mechanics.

I think you deserve a ride on this one Tom!
Dave Swanson - Northern IL
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Online Chuck in Indiana

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Re: 1965 BSA Lightning Rocket Original Survivor
« Reply #8 on: June 30, 2022, 06:31:21 PM »
Well.. I've *seen* one.
It was a really long time ago, however.. :smiley:
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Re: 1965 BSA Lightning Rocket Original Survivor
« Reply #9 on: June 30, 2022, 06:41:25 PM »
I know rider in town that has one just like that, he bought new.  Still rides it.  It looks the same but he said it had it restored but it's looked like new for 20+ years that I've known the guy.  This guy also has a NorVin with a Rollie Free cam (I'd like to see him start it).
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Re: 1965 BSA Lightning Rocket Original Survivor
« Reply #10 on: July 01, 2022, 06:55:05 AM »
Here's A few extra bits that came with the 1965 LR. 50 wt oil, the original spark plugs, Lucas points, handbook and 65 brochures.

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Offline yogidozer

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Re: 1965 BSA Lightning Rocket Original Survivor
« Reply #11 on: July 01, 2022, 07:11:30 AM »
Dave, are you the owner?
Beautiful bike!

Offline larrys

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Re: 1965 BSA Lightning Rocket Original Survivor
« Reply #12 on: July 01, 2022, 07:25:28 AM »
She's a purty thang! Wonder if it runs?
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Re: 1965 BSA Lightning Rocket Original Survivor
« Reply #13 on: July 01, 2022, 08:29:34 AM »
Dave, are you the owner?
Beautiful bike!


Yes.
Dave Swanson - Northern IL
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Online Dave Swanson

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Re: 1965 BSA Lightning Rocket Original Survivor
« Reply #14 on: July 01, 2022, 11:48:18 AM »
She's a purty thang! Wonder if it runs?
Larry

Runs great!
Dave Swanson - Northern IL
1935 GTS
1968 V700
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1980 T3 California
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Online Dave Swanson

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Re: 1965 BSA Lightning Rocket Original Survivor
« Reply #15 on: July 01, 2022, 02:53:07 PM »
The toolkit appears to be quite complete.

Dave Swanson - Northern IL
1935 GTS
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Offline yogidozer

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Re: 1965 BSA Lightning Rocket Original Survivor
« Reply #16 on: July 01, 2022, 04:02:42 PM »
Park this next to a 1000 pound BMW Transcontinental, like a time machine.
1965 BSA Lightning Rocket...light weight, kick start, carb. point ign. light handling
easy to work on, MUCH more attractive, nice sound.....take me back! :thumb:

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Re: 1965 BSA Lightning Rocket Original Survivor
« Reply #17 on: July 01, 2022, 06:31:23 PM »
Thanks for the offer Dave but Iíll pass on the ride.It would probably be a disappointment compared to my memory of a 3 block ride on one in 62  or 3.

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Re: 1965 BSA Lightning Rocket Original Survivor
« Reply #18 on: July 02, 2022, 09:52:14 PM »
Nice pickup Dave.  Can you post your impressions when youíve ridden it a little?  The tanks on those are just so pretty.
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Online Dave Swanson

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Re: 1965 BSA Lightning Rocket Original Survivor
« Reply #19 on: July 02, 2022, 10:20:02 PM »
Nice pickup Dave.  Can you post your impressions when youíve ridden it a little?  The tanks on those are just so pretty.

Will do.  I've ben giving it a thorough going over before I start it.

The tank on this LR is fairly rare in the USA.  It is the larger capacity "home market" tank.

It is quite the time capsule




« Last Edit: July 02, 2022, 10:27:40 PM by Dave Swanson »
Dave Swanson - Northern IL
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Offline krglorioso

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Re: 1965 BSA Lightning Rocket Original Survivor
« Reply #20 on: July 02, 2022, 10:27:02 PM »
I worked as a mechanic at two BSA dealerships in the 1960s.  The early A-65s often did not have the crankshaft oil gallery drilled fully across the crank throws, resulting in no pressurized oil to the Left side big end rod bearing.  Result of this usually was a broken con rod and a very handy crankshaft inspection hole in the front, Left side of the case. 

BSA would warranty the parts, but the labor was the responsibility of the dealer.  Often, this negated the profit that the dealer made originally on the sale of those bikes. The second dealership was also a multi-line Japanese bike agency.  We had very little warranty work with them.  If they came back to us, it was always for routine maintenance or for repairs due to abuse by the owners.  Triumphs were much better bikes than BSA once they went to unit construction IMO.

The beautiful BSA Lightning shown does bring back memories of when bikes looked like bikes, not wheeled insects as do many current bikes.

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Re: 1965 BSA Lightning Rocket Original Survivor
« Reply #21 on: July 03, 2022, 03:30:06 AM »

The beautiful BSA Lightning shown does bring back memories of when bikes looked like bikes, not wheeled insects as do many current bikes.

Ralph

The Lightning was my second BSA, the first was 500 single. Rode the 650 from Michigan to Colorado in the early  '70's with my friend John on his Triumph. That Bzer was fast, it'd smoke John's TR6, but it sure did vibrate. After riding 300 or so miles, my body would be numb. We generally rode the two lane highways and sometimes folks would check us out in the small towns when we stopped.  The BSA always got more comments than the TR6. I sold it, along with my '64 Pontiac when I moved to Alaska in '72. I sure do miss that Pontiac!  :grin:
« Last Edit: July 03, 2022, 03:55:13 PM by frozengoose »
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Re: 1965 BSA Lightning Rocket Original Survivor
« Reply #22 on: July 03, 2022, 06:00:57 AM »
The home market (UK) version was called the Lightning Clubman. It was 1965 only, gold-coloured and had a hump at the back of the seat and a big gold star type badge at the back. It also had a siamesed exhaust (two into one). They are rare and command a premium price. The Achilles heel of all these twins is the timing side bush through which the oil passes. If oil changes are neglected the bush wears and oil pressure is reduced. This can result in the left hand big end (furthest away from the oil feed) letting go and the con rod making a bid for freedom through the crankcase. It happened to a couple of friends bikes back in the day. The cure is a roller/ball bearing conversion, converting to a quill oil feed like a Triumph end fed crank.
My own 1971 Lightning was the last of the pre oily frame models. The vibration at 80mph and above made my eyeballs rotate and wrecked two speedo heads and one rev counter head. Pretty? (yes, very); reliable (can be if ridden gently and oil changes are fastidious and frequent. The oil tank needs to be removed and properly cleaned when doing an oil change. Really, a regularly ridden bike would benefit from an aftermarket spin on oil filter as the original is so coarse itís like stopping gravel through a tennis net. The strongest motors are those in the oily frame models, with wider mating surfaces and thicker flange barrels.

Online Dave Swanson

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Re: 1965 BSA Lightning Rocket Original Survivor
« Reply #23 on: July 03, 2022, 06:30:58 AM »
The home market (UK) version was called the Lightning Clubman. It was 1965 only, gold-coloured and had a hump at the back of the seat and a big gold star type badge at the back. It also had a siamesed exhaust (two into one). They are rare and command a premium price. The Achilles heel of all these twins is the timing side bush through which the oil passes. If oil changes are neglected the bush wears and oil pressure is reduced. This can result in the left hand big end (furthest away from the oil feed) letting go and the con rod making a bid for freedom through the crankcase. It happened to a couple of friends bikes back in the day. The cure is a roller/ball bearing conversion, converting to a quill oil feed like a Triumph end fed crank.
My own 1971 Lightning was the last of the pre oily frame models. The vibration at 80mph and above made my eyeballs rotate and wrecked two speedo heads and one rev counter head. Pretty? (yes, very); reliable (can be if ridden gently and oil changes are fastidious and frequent. The oil tank needs to be removed and properly cleaned when doing an oil change. Really, a regularly ridden bike would benefit from an aftermarket spin on oil filter as the original is so coarse itís like stopping gravel through a tennis net. The strongest motors are those in the oily frame models, with wider mating surfaces and thicker flange barrels.

A friend created this Clubman replica. 

Dave Swanson - Northern IL
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Offline cliffrod

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Re: 1965 BSA Lightning Rocket Original Survivor
« Reply #24 on: July 03, 2022, 07:21:10 AM »
Thatís a really nice bike, Dave.   Original original is where itís at..  Very very cool.

Whatís the back story?  It looks to have been stored & cared for very well- none of the common dusty or oily air damage, faded on one side, etc.
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Online Dave Swanson

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Re: 1965 BSA Lightning Rocket Original Survivor
« Reply #25 on: July 03, 2022, 07:35:50 AM »


Whatís the back story?  It looks to have been stored & cared for very well- none of the common dusty or oily air damage, faded on one side, etc.

The history of the bike is spotty at best.  The story goes that the original owner purchased but never had much of a chance to ride it.  His family stored it in a protected environment until it was sold in 1982 to a motorcycle collector in Ohio.  The collector took very good care of it and would occasionally ride it.  A few years ago the bike was sold to a motorcycle museum in Wisconsin and was on display in their beautiful facility for about 2 years.  Due to the museum not having unlimited space the bike was sold (to me) to make room for other acquisitions. 
« Last Edit: July 03, 2022, 07:36:43 AM by Dave Swanson »
Dave Swanson - Northern IL
1935 GTS
1968 V700
1973 V7 Sport
1974 Eldo
1977 Convert
1977 Lemans 1.2
1980 T3 California
1993 1000S - Sparklehorse
2004 V11S - Eraldo-ized
2016 Griso SE - Beetle-ized
2021 V7-850 Stone Centenario
2022 V85TT Guardia d'Onore

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Re: 1965 BSA Lightning Rocket Original Survivor
« Reply #26 on: July 03, 2022, 10:20:28 AM »
A friend created this Clubman replica. 


Yes, thatís what they looked like. A friend who used to live round the corner from me used to own one in the seventies when I had my Goldie. I bought a few bits from him as he also raced a Goldie engine in a Featherbed frame.

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Re: 1965 BSA Lightning Rocket Original Survivor
« Reply #27 on: July 03, 2022, 11:00:31 AM »
There is a former Guzzi dealer in St Louis who has a bsa museum in his new shop,Donaldson Cycles ,a big multi brand dealer.He and his wife raced these and have a fantastic collection of bikes and memorabilia in the dealership.

Online Dave Swanson

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Re: 1965 BSA Lightning Rocket Original Survivor
« Reply #28 on: July 07, 2022, 08:41:05 AM »
After a week of very thorough fettle sessions the BSA is on the road, and running very well!  I am very pleased with it.  I love original survivors and this one has that in spades.







Dave Swanson - Northern IL
1935 GTS
1968 V700
1973 V7 Sport
1974 Eldo
1977 Convert
1977 Lemans 1.2
1980 T3 California
1993 1000S - Sparklehorse
2004 V11S - Eraldo-ized
2016 Griso SE - Beetle-ized
2021 V7-850 Stone Centenario
2022 V85TT Guardia d'Onore

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Online LowRyter

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Re: 1965 BSA Lightning Rocket Original Survivor
« Reply #29 on: July 07, 2022, 11:21:20 AM »
 :thumb:
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