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BSA Motorcycles


With the turning of the seasons, riders across the land look forward to the annual Bonhams Autumn Stafford Sale – and this year, the motorbike lineup is particularly well-stacked. RideApart states that two collections in particular – the Phil Morris Road Racing Collection and a series of motorbikes that used to belong to German film critic …

1969 BSA A65 1969 BSA A65 Lightning 1969 BSA A65 LIGHTNING The 650 Lightning was BSA’s top-line bike, and meant to do battle with the market-dominating Triumph Bonneville and had twin carbs just like the Bonnie. The ’69 Lightning was certainly fast enough and handled well. It just never had the styling to compete with …

The 1945 BSA M20 was the last year of production during World War 2 and and just a part of BSA’s massive wartime contribution to Britain’s war effort. 1937 was its first year of production that would last until the late 1950s. Designed to be simple, rugged and reliable, the WM20 was a side-valve (flathead) …

Check out these BSA BOOKS BSA Motorcycles: The Final Evolution The BSA Gold Star: Motorcycle History Illustrated Bsa Buyer’s Guide (Motorbooks International Illustrated Buyer’s Guide) Bsa Twin Restoration BSA Unit Singles: The Complete Story including the Triumph Derivatives Bsa Motor Cycles: Since 1950 (British Motor cycles since 1950) BSA Unit Twins BSA 500 & 650 …

1952 BSA A7 Pre-Unit 500 Twin 1952 BSA A7 BACKGROUND Like everyone else in the British motorcycle industry, BSA was caught flat-footed when Triumph introduced its game-changing 500 Speed Twin in 1938. And like virtually everyone else, BSA was relying heavily on single-cylinder designs for its bread and butter. But the new twins had arrived …

1969 BSA Rocket 3 1969 BSA ROCKET 3 BREAKS NEW GROUND The irony here is that the mad scientists in the back room at sister-brand Triumph had 3-cylinder prototypes running around since 1965, a full 4 years ahead of Honda. But parent-company BSA dithered. It wasn’t until word leaked out of the mighty 4-cylinder from …

1955 BSA A7 Pre-Unit 500 Twin 1955 BSA A7 BACKGROUND The 500cc A7 was BSA’s first vertical twin and marked its entry into that very lucrative market, started by the Triumph Speed Twin just prior to the war. At war’s end, virtually every British motorcycle manufacturer fielded their own vertical twin, usually starting out at …

1953 BSA Gold Star 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 …

CLASSIC BRITISH RAT BIKES – BORN OF CHOPPERS When I was growing up and learning to ride, around 1970, people were chopping all kinds of things, not just Harleys. Lots of guys were chopping their Honda 350s, 450s & 750s. I even saw a Kawasaki Mach3 chopper once, with extended forks & no additional rake. …

CLASSIC BRITISH ROAD RACING MOTORCYCLES This 1969 Triumph Trident T150 Road Racer was campaigned by the legendary Gene Romero (above). The development of motorcycle racing has largely dominated many racing sports over time. The sport involves road racing, off road racing, both either on circuits or open courses and track racing. There is now a …

Miltary Motorcycles YEAR-BY-YEAR 1937 BSA WM20 1941 BSA M20 1941 Harley-Davidson WLA 1942 BSA M20 1942 Harley-Davidson WLA 1943 BSA M20 1945 BSA M20 1946 BSA M20 1999 Harley-Davidson MT500 A WORK IN PROGRESS In our efforts to complete our online index, and make this the world’s greatest website about classic British motorcycles, we’re building …

1968 BSA A65 1968 BSA A65 Spitfire Royal Star ABOVE: Starting with the 1968 BSA A65, the Spitfire Royal Star joined the lineup, as BSA’s premium offering, at least until the arrival of the Rocket 3 a year later. 1968 BSA A65 Firebird Scrambler BSA’S DESERT SLED The A65 Firebird Scrambler was intended as a …

1964 BSA A65 NEW MODELS The 1964 BSA A65 was, of course, the third model year of the new unit construction BSA twins, the 500cc A50, and the 650cc A65, which had replaced the very successful pre-unit A7 (500) & A10 (650) in 1962. BSA was very conservative in the new machine’s configuration, as was …

1973 BSA B50MX 1973 BSA B50MX BACKGROUND BSA produced one of the world’s most successful 500cc singles in the Gold Star starting in 1938 and running all the way through 1963 when production ended. The entire BSA product line was being converted from non-unit construction to unit-construction and the ancient non-unit Gold Star had to …

1957 BSA A10 Pre-Unit 650 Twin 1957 BSA A10 BACKGROUND BSA’s A10 was the 650 version in it’s twin cylinder heavyweight line. The 500cc version was called the A7. Following Triumph‘s success with its seminal 500 Speed Twin, after the war, BSA and most of the rest of the British motorcycle industry followed with their …

1966 BSA A65 1966 BSA A65 Spitfire Special 1966 BSA A65 SPITFIRE SPECIAL This was the hot rod version of the A65, just behind the A65 Lightning. Like the Lightning, the Spitfire had twin Amal carbs (Amal Monoblocs would be standard for 1966; Amal Concentrics didn’t arrive until 1967.) A65 MECHANICALS The unit construction 650 …

BSA-MAHINDRA UPDATE, December 9, 2020 When Indian tractor giant Mahindra & Mahindra (M&M) bought the old BSA brand for $5.4 Million USD in October 2016, they had big, ambitious plans to launch the revived brand as an upscale retro bike for the US and European markets. Now, 4 years later, we’re still waiting. What happened? …

Old School BSA Choppers BSA CHOPPERS WERE HIP Back in the very-late-1970s and very-early-1970s, crazy guys (usually without a whole lot of money to work with) were chopping everything with two wheels. I had a couple of buddies who chopped their 350 Hondas, and Honda 750 choppers weren’t uncommon. For the guys who couldn’t afford …

BSA Bantam History ABOVE: 1950 BSA Bantam D1 123cc. SPOILS OF WAR The birth of the BSA Bantam line did not take place in England after the war. Indeed it started out as a pre-war Germany design, the DKW RT125, and DKW was taken over by the Allies as part of the war reparations Germany …

BSA MOTORCYCLE BOOKS For many years, BSA was the world’s largest manufacturer of motorcycles. Check out all the great books we have about BSA. We have a wide selection of books about BSA history, photo exposes, shop manuals, restoration guides and much more. If you’ve been looking for that book, please buy it here. Sales …

CLUBMANS SHOW 2012 PICTURES WHAT A SHOW We’ve been talking about it for months now. The 25th Annual Clubman’s All-British Weekend took place on Saturday, March 31, 2012 at the Santa Clara County Fairgrounds in San Jose CA. Sponsored by the BSA Owners Club of Northern California (BSAOCNC) sponsors this legendary show, which is the …

The Clubmans Show 2011 DON’T MISS THIS SHOW!! The Clubmans Show 2011 promises, as do all Clubmans Shows, to be a Must-See event for anyone with a love of Classic British Motorcycles. This is the 24th year of this amazing event. Sponsored by the Northern California Chapter of the BSA Owners Club, or BSAOC, the …

CLUBMANS ALL-BRITISH WEEKEND 2017 MAKES 30 YEARS Every year for the last 30 years, the BSA Owners Club of Northern California (BSAOCNC) has put on an all-British motorcycle show and ride that has been billed as the biggest in the West. This year’s Clubman’s All-British Weekend-2017, the 30th Annual, was on Saturday, March 25 this …

The Clubmans All-British Weekend-2014 27th ANNUAL CLUBMANS ALL-BRITISH WEEKEND-2014 This year’s Clubmans Show was a little smaller than last year, but just a impressive as ever, with a stunning array of Classic British Motorcycles, customs, choppers, bobbers, cafe racers, track racers, street trackers, and on and on. Sponsored by the BSAOCNC (BSA Owners Club of …

We not only covered the Clubmans All-British Weekend 2012, we set up a photo booth to take studio-grade pics of gorgeous classic British motoryclces. For more coverage of the show, and lots more eye-popping photos, go to our Clubmans Show 2012 Pictures page.   CLUBMANS All-BRITISH WEEKEND 2012 – The 25th Annual CLUBMAN’S SHOW If …

The Clubmans All-British Weekend 2005 had more than just gorgeous motorcycles. We had a celebrity. That’s racing legend Eddie Mulder on the left & BSAOC president Don Danmeier on the right, with the proud recipient of Best in Modified Class. THE BEST CLASSIC MOTORCYCLE SHOW AROUND I go to classic bike shows, auctions, rallies & …

CLUBMANS 2011 PHOTOS: WHAT A SHOW!! As always, this year’s Clubman’s All-British Weekend Motorcycle Show was fantastic!! While it felt like there weren’t quite as many bikes as last year, it also felt like the quality of the bikes entered was even better. Put on by the BSAOCNC (BSA Owners Club of Northern California as …

My Classic Motorcycle Restoration Project: My next cheap Classic Motorcycle Restoration Project: This sweet 1979 Triumph T140D Bonneville Special, pictured here in our state-of-the-art Research & Development Center (my garage). CLASSIC MOTORCYCLE RESTORATION PROJECT: THESE BIKES ARE CHEAP! Obviously, ‘cheap’ is a relative thing. But, when you think of what it costs to get into …

CLASSIC 70s CHOPPER This unit-construction Triumph started out life as a single-carb TR6 650, but now has an alloy 750 big bore kit & Sudco Mikuni carb. This beauty is decked out to the max in the classic style of 1970. Its rigid frame, Girder forks, no front brake, 5.00X16 rear wheel, banana seat, sissy …

ABOVE: The annual BSAOC Triples Ride meets in front of Rabers before taking off through the hills above San Jose. BSAOC Triples Ride BSA ROCKET 3’s & TRIUMPH TRIDENTS RIDE TOGETHER The BSAOCNC (The BSA Owners Club of Northern California) sponsors about one fantastic ride every month throughout the year. Some are themed rides (Rigid …

BSAOCNC – THE BSA OWNERS CLUB OF NORTHERN CALIFORNIA The Northern California BSA Owners Club was formed to promote the preservation and enjoyment of the motorcycles produced by the Birmingham Small Arms Company. Founded in 1985, the Club now has over 500 members, and has since its inception produced a monthly newsletter, the Bulletin. Technical …

BSA MOTORCYCLE BOOKS For many years, BSA was the world’s largest manufacturer of motorcycles. Check out all the great books we have about BSA. We have a wide selection of books about BSA history, photo exposes, shop manuals, restoration guides and much more. If you’ve been looking for that book, please buy it here. Sales …

BSA MOTORCYCLES RULE THE WORLD! From the mid-1930’s through the early 1960’s, BSA was the world’s largest producer of motorcycles. But their motorcycle division was just one small corner of the gigantic BSA financial empire at that time. In fact, BSA was one of the largest companies in the world for many years. At the …

BSA A65: THE MOVE TO UNIT CONSTRUCTION The BSA A65-A50 twins, the A65 being a 650 twin & it’s smaller sister-bike the BSA A10 500 twin, were the natural result of the trend, then sweeping the British motorcycle industry, to unitize engine construction. Prior, most engine packages were made up of separate crankcase, primary case …

ABOVE: The 1960 BSA Gold Star Clubman was a high-performance roadster. The Gold Star also earned major off-road competition cred during its 25-year career. GOLDIE LORE The BSA Gold Star was one of the most successful motorcycles of all time, both in the showroom & on the track. It’s ancient design was outdated almost at …

BSA B50 BACKGROUND BSA built its business and its reputation on big singles. The 350cc and 500cc Gold Star dominated the off-road market from the late 1930s to the early 1960s. By this time of course, the state of the art had moved forward considerably, and the heavy Gold Star couldn’t compete with lighter 2-strokes …

1947 BSA C10 BACKGROUND With the exception of their exciting new vertical twin, the A7, BSA’s postwar lineup was pretty pedestrian. They were feeding the biggest market in England at the time: low-cost commuter bikes. While England emerged from World War II as one of the victors, they were shattered economically. So millions of returning …

TANGLED ROOTS The BSA Rocket 3 is something of an anomaly in the history of BSA Motorcycles. Designed by Triumph, (BSA owned Triumph) in their Meriden Plant as the Triumph T150 Trident 750 triple, , and morphed into the BSA A65 Rocket 3, both were produced in BSA’s Small Heath factory. ABOVE: The 1969 BSA …

1955 BSA GOLD STAR BACKGROUND By 1955, the Gold Star was well-sorted and had turned into a fine machine. All Goldies were special to begin with, each engine being hand-assembled and dyno-tested at the factory. A copy of the dyno test was included with each new Gold Star. They were powerful and reliable, and they …

1959 BSA A10 Pre-Unit 650 Twin 1959 BSA A10 Rocket 1959 BSA A10 ROCKET By 1959, both of BSA‘s big non-unit twins, the 500cc A7 and the 650 cc A10 had been in production for a decade or more and had been the recipients of constant and continuous improvement. This would break and they’d make …