Author Topic: BSA Mania...  (Read 1084 times)

Online JJ

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BSA Mania...
« on: April 11, 2021, 07:46:40 AM »
With all their known faults and issues, I still have always been a sucker for a period BSA A65 650cc Lightning... :thumb: :cool: :smiley: :wink:  What a handsome machine!!



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Re: BSA Mania...
« Reply #1 on: April 11, 2021, 08:47:22 AM »
With all their known faults and issues, I still have always been a sucker for a period BSA A65 650cc Lightning... :thumb: :cool: :smiley: :wink:  What a handsome machine!!





     I have no desire to own a British bike of any brand (I don't have the knowledge, skill or headspace required, lol), but I agree with you!  :thumb:

     As a young boy growing up in small town Quebec, it was the BSA Lightnings I would see on Main St, that just seemed to epitomize mechanical perfection.

     That magnificent starburst crest on the deep red or blue tanks is forever etched in my mind as what all other motorcycles aspired to be.  :bow:

      :popcorn:
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Offline Siamese

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Re: BSA Mania...
« Reply #2 on: April 11, 2021, 08:55:02 AM »
When I was 14 (in 1968) I had a Honda Trail 90.  It was the only bike I had ever ridden.  Until my buddy and I "borrowed" his older brothers Lightning for an afternoon.  There's no describing how COOL that bike was.  Blew our larcenous little minds. 

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Re: BSA Mania...
« Reply #3 on: April 11, 2021, 09:36:34 AM »
At age 12, my cousin and I walked into AL KNAPP's BSA shop on Main Street in Poughkeepsie, New York to stand in total awe at the brand new BSA's on the showroom floor.   :thumb: :cool: :smiley:

Those 650's looked sooooooo big, but so cool at the time.  Al gave my cousin a BSA poster, which he still has to this day.



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Re: BSA Mania...
« Reply #3 on: April 11, 2021, 09:36:34 AM »

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Re: BSA Mania...
« Reply #4 on: April 11, 2021, 10:05:05 AM »
Something magical about old brit iron.




Early 1980's. My pal Scott on his '66 BSA (western N.Y. area).
We'd ride, me on my '66 Bonneville, blasting through corn fields and traveling for miles never using the roads.
The sound of those dinosaurs running in the woods was unforgettable!
All these years later, we both still own those bikes!
Mines in the middle of a restoration at this time. I can't wait!!
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Re: BSA Mania...
« Reply #5 on: April 11, 2021, 11:17:00 AM »
Poor Lannis loves those things :thumb:
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Re: BSA Mania...
« Reply #6 on: April 11, 2021, 11:56:32 AM »
First motorcycle I rode at age 16.My friends father bought him a new red one and after my friend explained the controls I got on and rode a few blocks without crashing,always wanted one until I found out about their issues.Old Guzzi dealer in St Louis and his wife raced them and have an impressive collection in their shop,super nice guy.

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Re: BSA Mania...
« Reply #7 on: April 11, 2021, 12:25:59 PM »
 Until Honda took the title circa 1960 , BSA had been the largest motorbike manufacturer in the world for years based on units built . Seems odd to think about here , where for some reason Triumph was "The English Motorbike" , but BSA was dominant around the globe , especially anywhere the British Commonwealth existed .

 As a humorous aside , some 15 years ago I was at a small gathering of motorbikers , and my /5 was sitting on its center stand among a small horde of Harley Davidsons . This guy asked if he could sit on the old thing , well yeah , just be careful . He said he always liked BMW's , but they were too tall . I jokingly stated something about Germans being tall , he asked what that had to do with anything , BMW's are English  :shocked: :rolleyes: It took several of us to convince him that the "B" didn't stand for British  :laugh:

 Dusty

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Re: BSA Mania...
« Reply #8 on: April 11, 2021, 12:34:23 PM »
Poor Lannis loves those things :thumb:

Yes, I remember he did love and own quite a few Brit bikes... :thumb: :cool: :wink:

What ever happened to ol' Lannis, anyway?  I think he is no longer on here anymore...(???)
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Re: BSA Mania...
« Reply #9 on: April 11, 2021, 07:05:36 PM »
I came to Brit bikes late.  After thirty years of airheads I bought a Commando project.  They are exactly as described- fragile, finicky and engineered by the romantic poets. But for going out for a burger or thrashing down a twisty road, they are the best.  I think that anyone with more than two bikes should own one. 
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Re: BSA Mania...
« Reply #10 on: April 12, 2021, 05:46:54 AM »
I came to Brit bikes late.  After thirty years of airheads I bought a Commando project.  They are exactly as described- fragile, finicky and engineered by the romantic poets. But for going out for a burger or thrashing down a twisty road, they are the best.  I think that anyone with more than two bikes should own one.

  Currently, Commandos are way over priced...If all a rider needs is a vintage Brit for shorter sporting rides, A Triumph is the better choice. They have the best parts availability, far easier to work on and less complicated...And when properly maintained, reliable for most riders..
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Re: BSA Mania...
« Reply #11 on: April 12, 2021, 06:00:44 AM »
  Currently, Commandos are way over priced...If all a rider needs is a vintage Brit for shorter sporting rides, A Triumph is the better choice. They have the best parts availability, far easier to work on and less complicated...And when properly maintained, reliable for most riders..

True - I love the late 60ís 650 Triumphs.  They are so pretty and seem simpler than the Norton.
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Re: BSA Mania...
« Reply #12 on: April 12, 2021, 07:07:36 AM »
My first two bikes were Yamahas. First an 80 then a 350. The Yamaha dealer was a long time BSA dealer as well. I remember seeing the BSAs and thinking how huge they were. Now I see someone riding one coming at me and wonder what kind of scooter is that.

Pete

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Re: BSA Mania...
« Reply #13 on: April 12, 2021, 07:07:52 AM »
 The Norton does offer a smoother high speed ride for longer trips....As always, different bikes suit different needs
89 Honda 650 NT , 79 Triumph 750,61 BSA A10, 650 Triumph land speed racer , dual 650 Triumph engine land speed racer.
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Re: BSA Mania...
« Reply #14 on: April 12, 2021, 07:35:36 AM »
Again, just one handsome motorcycle!! :thumb: :bow: :boozing: :cool:



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Offline larrys

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Re: BSA Mania...
« Reply #15 on: April 12, 2021, 09:08:00 AM »
Beezers are cool looking and sound great. Owning and riding one regularly, and maintaining it for a year or so would cure you of your lust for one... Though it took me 25 years of owning '60's Triumphs to learn that. I'm a slow learner.
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Re: BSA Mania...
« Reply #16 on: April 12, 2021, 09:26:02 AM »
My first two bikes were Yamahas. First an 80 then a 350. The Yamaha dealer was a long time BSA dealer as well. I remember seeing the BSAs and thinking how huge they were. Now I see someone riding one coming at me and wonder what kind of scooter is that.

Pete

My first bike was also and 80. My second was a 250, both Yamahas. My dealer also sold Triumphs and BSAs as well as other brands. Common consenus at the time was that the Triumphs were a better choice as they were more reliable than the BSAs. This was only speculated and I don't think there was any basis for it. The BSAs were a little more expensive and were out sold by the Triumphs. Both brands were nice bikes but were out of my price range, I replaced my 250 with a used BMW R50/2. I wish I still had that one.
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Re: BSA Mania...
« Reply #17 on: April 12, 2021, 09:29:00 AM »
i would love to have my BSA441 back..
NO, It's not pronounced "moder goosy"

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Re: BSA Mania...
« Reply #18 on: April 12, 2021, 09:43:25 AM »



                                                               Bastard Stopped Again

  :laugh:
 
 They were what they were , the simple fact is that even the reliable stuff from 1960 weren't ... reliable that is . In the early days of motorbiking , 1900 to WW1 , the old Triumphs built in Coventry started as a bicycle company by Siegfried Bettman , a German transplant to England built what were considered by most as the most reliable motorbikes made . Weird huh ? The world changed , BSA got big , Triumph focused on more sporting models while the boys in Birmingham manufactured tiddlers for export and a few big badass 650 CC models for America . Then Honda built that damn 450  :violent1:

 Dusty

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Re: BSA Mania...
« Reply #19 on: April 12, 2021, 10:58:46 AM »
i would love to have my BSA441 back..

The legendary "THUMPER" - 1969 441 Victor Special!!  :thumb: :bow: :cool: :boozing: :smiley: :smiley:



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Re: BSA Mania...
« Reply #20 on: April 12, 2021, 11:55:14 AM »
 Currently on my work bench, 1960 BSA A10 SuperRoad Rocket engine, gotta love the name...Some changes like USA made R&R rods....
   I like to touch the engines and feel the heritage, much of bike history and racing in British machines






89 Honda 650 NT , 79 Triumph 750,61 BSA A10, 650 Triumph land speed racer , dual 650 Triumph engine land speed racer.
" I  don't know what the world may need
But a V8 engine is a good start for me
Think I'll drive to find a place, to be surly"

Offline leroy_can

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Re: BSA Mania...
« Reply #21 on: April 12, 2021, 12:06:12 PM »
The legendary "THUMPER" - 1969 441 Victor Special!!  :thumb: :bow: :cool: :boozing: :smiley: :smiley:




   When I was 14-15 years old I had a subscription to Hot Rod magazine and Bob Greene was the motorcycle editor. He was such a true enthusiast he made every bike they tested into something you wanted. His road test of the 441 Victor really made an impression on me but my favorite was his Matchless G-85 Typhoon 600 single. I also lusted for a 650 Spitfire but maybe it was the models in the ads that sold me.
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BSA Mania
« Reply #22 on: April 12, 2021, 02:04:10 PM »
QUOTE: "...but my favorite was his Matchless G-85 Typhoon 600 single."

Fabulous machine!! :bow: :thumb: :cool: :boozing: :wink: :smiley:



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Offline nighthawk

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Re: BSA Mania...
« Reply #23 on: April 13, 2021, 04:16:02 PM »
My dream BSA was the orange Hornet, high pipes were the real deal. There was a couple of 'em around my small town in the mid '60s and I lusted after one.
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Offline Muzz

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Re: BSA Mania...
« Reply #24 on: April 13, 2021, 05:37:04 PM »
Currently on my work bench, 1960 BSA A10 SuperRoad Rocket engine, gotta love the name...Some changes like USA made R&R rods....
   I like to touch the engines and feel the heritage, much of bike history and racing in British machines








One of the more unforgettable bikes I have ridden, my neigbour's Road Rocket done to Spitfire ll specs.  I got the 1.5/32 carb off it when he fitted the twin carbs.  It went on the old G3L Matchy I had; extended the intake tract, 9.5 comp. piston, one tooth extra on the primary drive sprocket and it would purr all day at the speed limit.  When it first came off yjeRocket I found it had a 440 main jet fitted. :shocked:  Seeing the Matchy originally had a 180 main the hole looked as big as a 2"nail!

His Rocket had Burgess mufflers that would resonate at about 3500 rpm.  Sitting on the back with that sound resonating in my ears, wonderful!  It would sit on about 2200rpm in top at the 60mph speed limit and just lope along.  Had a Lucas racing mag fitted.  The bike was supremely reliable, cornered nicely and was just so stable to ride.  Simply magnificent. :thumb: :thumb: :thumb:
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Offline Muzz

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Re: BSA Mania
« Reply #25 on: April 13, 2021, 05:44:29 PM »
QUOTE: "...but my favorite was his Matchless G-85 Typhoon 600 single."

Fabulous machine!! :bow: :thumb: :cool: :boozing: :wink: :smiley:





The only 600 I have seen was a 600 Lee Matisse scrambler owned by a motorcycle dealer. He gave a demo at the local speedway one time; wheelied down the main straight, around the corner and down the back straight without dropping down.  The broooom braaaah of that thing as he was on and off the throttle was stupendous! :thumb:
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Offline Muzz

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Re: BSA Mania...
« Reply #26 on: April 13, 2021, 05:46:19 PM »
The legendary "THUMPER" - 1969 441 Victor Special!!  :thumb: :bow: :cool: :boozing: :smiley: :smiley:





If your leg hadn't given out by the time you got it going! :grin: :grin: :grin:
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Offline redhawk47

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Re: BSA Mania...
« Reply #27 on: April 13, 2021, 11:36:21 PM »
in 1970 I was a bicycle guy, working in bike shops, racing for fun and a bit of touring.  Didn't know much about motorcycles, but when I saw the ads for the new BSA 500 Goldstar I had to have one.  The BSA dealer was a couple of blocks away so I got on his list - the bikes weren't coming for several months.  After a couple of months he called and said that the 500s were still four months away, but, he had a 250 available right now.  I decided that it might be OK, and it was less money,  so I became the proud owner of a 1971 BSA   B25SS Gold Star.  I released much later that he probably did me a favor, starting me out on a smaller bike, plus, he probably had regular customers who wanted all of the 500s he could get his hands on.  I had fun with that bike, and learned a bit about motorcycle and riding them, but the bug didn't really bite.

Fast forward 30 years and the bug bite HARD.  Dual sport: KLR, KTM 950, GS F800. As I got older - more road, less dirt.  A friend let me ride his Stelvio 25 miles, on pavement - I was hooked. Bought a Stelvio and put 21,000 miles on it but decided that it was too big and heavy for a guy my age so I traded for a V7II Stone. 36,000+ miles on it now and I am a Guzzi fanboy (if I understand the meaning of that word).  I think a V85TT is in the near future.

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Re: BSA Mania...
« Reply #28 on: April 14, 2021, 06:16:41 AM »


His Rocket had Burgess mufflers that would resonate at about 3500 rpm.  Sitting on the back with that sound resonating in my ears, wonderful!  It would sit on about 2200rpm in top at the 60mph speed limit and just lope along.  Had a Lucas racing mag fitted.  The bike was supremely reliable, cornered nicely and was just so stable to ride.  Simply magnificent. :thumb: :thumb: :thumb:

 2200 rpm at 60 mph?  It would never pull gearing like that except on dead level surface with a tail wind...





89 Honda 650 NT , 79 Triumph 750,61 BSA A10, 650 Triumph land speed racer , dual 650 Triumph engine land speed racer.
" I  don't know what the world may need
But a V8 engine is a good start for me
Think I'll drive to find a place, to be surly"

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Re: BSA Mania...
« Reply #29 on: April 14, 2021, 07:58:46 AM »
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