1953 BSA GOLD STAR BACKGROUND
Throughout the 1930s, BSA created and developed a strong line of single-cylinder motorcycles. In 1937, they introduced the 500cc Empire Star. When Wal Handley lapped the Brooklands racetrack at over 100 mph average speed, he was awarded a Gold Star. The name stuck and was applied to the new high-performance variant, the 1938 BSA Gold Star in both 350cc and 500cc form. The engines were hand-built to the highest standard. The BSA factory offered several performance modifications as options. Every bike was run on a dyno, and came from the factory with a printout of its dynamometer results showing the actual horsepower that the engine produced. The BSA Gold Star was one of the fastest production motorcycles on the planet at the time. 1939 was the last year of civilian production prior to World War II. These early pre-war bikes had rigid frames and girder front forks.
1953 BSA GOLD STAR DESIGN
The 1953 BSA Gold Star came in two sizes, 350cc (the BB32) and 500cc (the BB34). The hand-assembled engines were based on the same design, but with different bores and strokes. Changing over to an aluminum cylinder and head from cast iron after the war saved some 20 pounds and improved cooling. Constant and continuous development and refinement improved nearly every part of the bikes. However, the big news for the 1953 BSA Gold Star was the adoption, finally, of a new frame with a swing-arm rear suspension. Of course, much more had to be changed to accommodate the new frame and running gear.