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Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. [Re: Kevin (NZ).] #404664 11/20/11 7:29 am
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Great links Kevin. In my opinion, the Steve Koerner thesis, the Joe Heaton thesis, and Bert Hopwoods "Whatever Happened to the British Motorcycle Industry?" are the cream of the crop for reading material about the Brit bikes we love.
"Shooting Star" is a new arrival (2009), and it's pretty good, just gave it another speed read yesterday actually.
Hope to come across a copy of "Giants of Small Heath", it's scarce and usually expensive, but apparently essential as well.


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Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. [Re: Two Alpha] #404667 11/20/11 8:06 am
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"GIants of Small Heath" is a very good general history of BSA. I bought my copy when it was first available in Australia.
"Whatever Happened" is also very good, but is coloured by Bert Hopwood having been an engineer & manager in the industry.

Joe Heaton's thesis is quite good, but it tends to use second hand sources (such as Ryerson's and Hopwood's books). It's a shame the appendices aren't available for download. I'm pretty sure Heaton got his 1967 information from Hopwood's book rather than being an independent verification.

Going even further off topic, Joe Heaton was part of the same overall English industrial scene as Hopwood (although from a different area), so I think he completely missed some quite significant problems with BSA. I won't hijack this thread for that particular rant, though.

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. [Re: Gary E] #404668 11/20/11 8:55 am
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Originally Posted by Gary E

Originally Posted by Kevin (NZ).
...I am now going off the phantom bike idea.

I'm glad. I never subscribed to that scenario.

Originally Posted by Kevin (NZ).
From Gary's description of the despatch books it seems the Y bikes have entries within the covers themselves.

That is correct. The "Y" bikes are entered on the inside of the front cover of book #274 and inside of the front and back covers of book #275

Originally Posted by Kevin (NZ).
The numbers are always identical to another contained within the book itself...

I have never presented that. The books are arranged by numerical order. So, the Y bike numbers in the inside front and rear covers COULD (likely) also be included (be the same) in the numerical numbers throughout the books. BUT, whether those numbers on the pages of the books have any entries is suspect. They could be blank lines.

Until two bikes show up with the same numbers, I will not consider that theory.



Unfortunately, we are theory rich and facts poor for the most part. You (Gary) did put a few theories to rest with the info about the oil manifold being the primary reason for the "-Y".
It sure felt like a big step forward had been made when you posted that!

In regards to whether or not there are duplicate numbers in the books for 1967 "-Y" bikes and 1969/1970 "Y" bikes, you've actually seen those particular books and didn't notice any specific cases of a particular 1967 "-Y" serial number being repeated as a 1969/1970 "Y" number. That probably wasn't one of the things you intended to look for when you had access though.

One of the only other sources of evidence we would have for this number duplication would be the BSAOC UK dating certificates for the 1969/1970 "Y" bikes. I think I only have an image of one such certificate, and that would be Bruce's (thanks!).

[Linked Image]

Taking a close look at what the certificate says,
"It was originally due to be despatched to BSA Incorporated, New Jersey, USA on the 10th November 1966. It was refurbished at the factory and re-despatched to BSA East, New Jersey USA on the 18th August 1969."

How did they arrive at this statement?
Without knowing exactly what extra information is in the books, I'm fairly sure that those two dates were there, that serial number A65LA 77** Y was there, and that either serial number A65LA 77**, or serial number A65LA 77**-Y was there.
There had to be an identical number, give or take a "-Y" that was attached to that 10th November 1966 date. That date wouldn't be on the certificate if the serial numbers weren't essentially the same! One digit off wouldn't have made the grade.

Obviously we know that "refurbished" and "re-dispatched" are extremely doubtful, but that is what the folks at BSAOC have been led to believe so they pass it on to us.

Also note that it says "originally due to be despatched", that could very well mean that the 1967 bike was never despatched. Perhaps it never existed, except on paper. That could be possible when you consider the unexplained use of 1967 serial numbers on 1969/1970 motorcycles. The later bikes may have been numbered that way to make things right.

So, what other certificates do we have available for the 1969/1970 "Y" bikes? Are they all worded in a similar manner as this one?


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Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. [Re: Two Alpha] #404670 11/20/11 9:25 am
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Say I was a motorcycle manufacturer and I claimed to have made a certain number of motorcycles and exported them to USA, but I didn't actually make and export as many as I had claimed to. Then someone started asking questions a year or so later. I guess I would then be tempted to start building and exporting them now, and producing records accordingly. If I later had to produce some documentation to satisfy the present owners of the bikes I would probably write something like:

"It was originally due to be despatched to xxxxx, USA on the 10th November 1966. It was refurbished at the factory and re-despatched to yyyyyy, USA on the 18th August 1969."



Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. [Re: Shane in Oz] #404687 11/20/11 2:16 pm
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Originally Posted by Shane in Oz


Joe Heaton's thesis is quite good, but it tends to use second hand sources (such as Ryerson's and Hopwood's books). It's a shame the appendices aren't available for download. I'm pretty sure Heaton got his 1967 information from Hopwood's book rather than being an independent verification.

Going even further off topic, Joe Heaton was part of the same overall English industrial scene as Hopwood (although from a different area), so I think he completely missed some quite significant problems with BSA. I won't hijack this thread for that particular rant, though.


Totally agree Shane, those appendices would be gold.
Heaton's difficulty in coming up with first hand sources is understandable, his thesis was completed in 2007 and most of the main characters were gone by then. At least with Hopwood, nobody's been able to say that he didn't have his facts straight.

I know you're a knowledgeable guy about a lot of this stuff so I'll be looking forward to your rant about what Heaton missed. beerchug

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. [Re: Kevin (NZ).] #404689 11/20/11 2:29 pm
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Edited message stream with BSAOC on the 2009 certificate shown above. I posted some of this prior. This is 2.5 yr old info and might be out of date now.... start at bottom:
---------------------------------------------------
• RE: Vin # A65LA77xxY
From: stephen foden ([email protected])
Sent: Thu 3/05/09 2:47 PM

Hi Bruce
I do about 40 letters a week on BSA's for the Club, the dating certificates are the easy part the retentions of origianal registrations can take up to 3 hours each and to date i have done 1500 of them. This I do in my own time as i have a full time job. Therefore i prefer to use what time i have left restoring and riding my BSA's rather than entering into the arguments on the sites. I willing give my time to the BSA Club for free. I sometimes do articles for the Star mag as well and I always research these before putting pen to paper.
By all means put it onto the forum. if you please.
Thanks Steve

________________________________________

From: [email protected]
Date: Wed, 4 Mar 2009 20:36:01 -0500

Steve,

I've read about Umberslade Hall......and it's impact. Poor use of cash flow.

Don't know if you follow bb.com, but it has a pretty big audience on classic Brit biking. When I get my certificate, I'm going to update the following link, and thinking about bringing up the Y topic again, probably in a new thread. Do you post on bb.com? Think you would have a lot to add on this Y subject. If you don't want to post, could I post your relevant comments on this?? After all, no one is closer to this than you. As you actually conversed with Al Cave, you could add your inputs surrounding the dock story, export credit impact on business, if bikes ever physically existed, etc.......as there are lots of rumors out there. Just a thought.

http://www.britbike.com/forums/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=236313#Post236313


Regards,
Bruce

________________________________________

From: [email protected]
Date: Wed, 4 Mar 2009 20:33:02 +0000

Hi Bruce,

I had the good fortune of knowing Alistair Cave very well and I still miss his phone calls asking about this and that. Part of these discussions were about this issue. The 100,000 series machines were primarily for home and general export. The thing you have to realise is the factory were producing machines in advance of the orders therefore in the late 60's they would arrange the line for the next years production generally after the factory closedown where any heavy machines were moved start with the west coast and then the east coast machines then they would produce fror the home and general export. Slotted in were the special orders for army, and police models as they paid quickly. They did not have any income coming in for approximately 6 months of the production year. Therefore the export credits were vital to the survival during this period as well as the overdraft at the bank. It was this osver reliance on the american market as well as the disastrous 1971 models launch which finally caused the crash. Alistair told me that the oil in frame models were launched and he had to make over 100 corrections before he could put them on the line. Even the basic of how do you get the braze residue for out of the oil bearing part of the frame was not even considered. It was a nightmare scenario as the designers were isolated from the people who had to produce them.

The despatch books (approx 500) have just been digitised but my priority is to have the 1950's bikes transcribed as they are listed by engines therefore it takes for ever to find a frame as it could be in one of several books and could be in rigid or sprung frame or swinging arm series which did not come down in any logical order. At least the unit A series are listed by frame and the late ones the engine matches the frame number. (mostly). I have been studying these books from when I had them microfilmed for the Science Museum in 1991 and they still throw up mysteries and in some appalling unfathomable handwriting.
Steve

________________________________________

From: [email protected]
Date: Tue, 3 Mar 2009 18:59:25 -0500

Steve,

Your explanation points to accounting/finance tricks to keep from taking a financial hit. Here are some links to this very topic on bb.com. Amazing how much interest it creates.

http://www.britbike.com/forums/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=38314&Searchpage=1&Main=5063&Words=%2Bservice+%2Bbulletin+&Search=true#Post38314

http://www.britbike.com/forums/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=8528&Searchpage=1&Main=1286&Words=%2Bservice+%2Bbulletin+&Search=true#Post8528

Thanks,
Bruce

________________________________________

From: [email protected]
Date: Tue, 3 Mar 2009 21:16:17 +0000

Hi Bruce,

Ammended dating certificated posted tomorrow.

These were machines which were sent out from the factory in 1966/67 but due to a strike at the electrical component manufacturer they were incomplete and so to get the export credits which gave them finance BSA 'exported' them, usually to containers in the docks. By the time the strike was over the american market had been missed and at this time 80% of production was sold in America. Usually the bulk of American sales took place in February/April West coast and March/June east coast. Therefore they had a lot of unsold units. The 1968 season machines were being produced starting after the July/August closedown using the export credit finance. The machines were then refurbished to 1969/70 specification and sold. The Y denotes the change in warranty in America by indicating that the machine is a '1970' model and so eligible for the 180days/6,000 miles warranty as against the 1969 90 days /4000 miles warranty. This is taken from the BSA service bulletin 5-70.

Steve

________________________________________

From: [email protected]
Date: Mon, 2 Mar 2009 18:32:29 -0500

Steve,

Curious if the club knows anything more about these "Y" bikes?
These 69-70 "Y" bikes all seem to be 100% 1969/1970 model year in all physical respects. Even my engine has the raised vin pad with BSA logos embossed where the vin # is stamped, so it can't be the 67 engine crankcases which did not have that feature. I'm thinking these bikes actually couldn't be refurbished 67 ones, but actual 69/70 models. These "Y" bikes have had a number of threads related to this topic posted on bb.com, and photos all showed a raised vin pad. Lot's of theories on this subject...... but more than likely, what really happened lost to history and time. Also, besides the 69/70 models with "Y" vins, there appears to be 67 models with "-Y" suffixes.

Thanks for the dates. It's good to know they live in the old ledgers!

Regards
Bruce

________________________________________

From: [email protected]
Date: Mon, 2 Mar 2009 21:00:54 +0000

Hi Bruce,
Please find attached a copy of the dating certificate.

Hard copy in the post
Steve

________________________________________

From: [email protected]om
To: [email protected]; [email protected]
Subject: Vin # A65LA77xxY
Date: Mon, 16 Feb 2009 18:23:22 -0500

Steve,

I would like to apply for a dating certificate for my 1969 BSA Lightning, vin # A65LA77xxY. On the surface, “A65LA” indicates a 1967 model, but my understanding is the “Y” suffix was used on bikes issued in 1969-1970 with 1967 serial numbers that were not actually issued in 1967….however confusing that may be. Everything on the bike is pure 1969.
Please find attached photos of the vin #s and a picture of the bike after I completed her restoration last fall.

Regards,
Bruce


Bruce


Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. [Re: Atlanta Bonnie] #404709 11/20/11 5:44 pm
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Great post Bruce. Many thanks to you, and Stephen, for providing this.

While Stephen stuck to the official BSAOC UK story, and the memory of his good friend Alistair Cave, he does provide a few hints.

"They did not have any income coming in for approximately 6 months of the production year. Therefore the export credits were vital to the survival during this period as well as the overdraft at the bank."

"These were machines which were sent out from the factory in 1966/67 but due to a strike at the electrical component manufacturer they were incomplete and so to get the export credits which gave them finance BSA 'exported' them, usually to containers in the docks. By the time the strike was over the american market had been missed"

I need to do a little thinking on this, something is a bit puzzling with the dates. I'm kinda wondering why they didn't use 1968 style serial numbers on the 1969/1970 "Y" bikes.


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Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. [Re: Kevin (NZ).] #404735 11/20/11 9:03 pm
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Quote
All these y bikes had a different warranty period,


Holy Allan, where did this gem come from ?


BSA/Triumph group changed the warranty from 90 days to 180 days effective 1 March 1970. It was advised in SB (Gen) 2-70.

Are you thinking of that ?

That was for all motorcycles made as 1970 models sold in the States after that date... T100, T120, A65, B44, A75.. the works.

That was nothing to do with the Y bikes, apart from the fact that some were now outed as 1970 models and were still unsold as of that date. (Some were still being made). All 1970, 71 and 72 bikes got the 180 day warranty.

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. [Re: Atlanta Bonnie] #404746 11/20/11 10:31 pm
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Thanks Bruce for providing the email history there.

I got the impression Steve is starting to take this a little personally, as I am sure anyone would. He has a full time job, a life, a motorcycle hobby, and he is a committee member and librarian.

Now he is saying he is doing 40 Dating Certificates a week, maybe I misread that.

Brian Pollitt was in the job previously and his situation would have been exactly the same.

I don't even know if Brian or Steve own A65 bikes. Maybe they don't.

We have been debating this for 10 years now and the BSAOC UK were aware of the confusion almost from day one.
For all we know others may have brought it up even earlier.

I don't see this can be sorted out by a librarian just because he has access to the records.

The wider committee should have been involved, they had access to a type specialist who would have had the knowledge and ability to work this through.

I can remember the confusion we had here with Bonzo, Ignoramus, JD, I think, and others before we realised that we were talking cross-purposes.

We did not even know at that time that we had the two groups of Y bikes. Some were talking Dash Y and some Y, I knew nothing about the '70 bikes at that time.

With one of the latest threads we have running here we have stumbled upon a batch of Spitfires, - we have been referring to them as Hybrid bikes.

They don't fit the pattern of either group so we may now have a third grouping of Y bikes. The A65SA17xxxY Spitfires.

They have all the appearances of a MkIV bike but the engine is numbered with the 1967 style yet again.
The engines have a couple of cast in features, both crank case halves have 1968 manufacturing details. The cast alternator support housing and the transmission fill hole is solid. The inner timing cover is different to accommodate this.

If the BSAOC story is based on anything then it may well be this group of bikes. We, as a group here, only started talking about them a few months ago.


I received some correspondence from the BSAOC about 2 weeks ago. I actually had sent an email to every committee member's email address (that I could find) in late July.

The committee must know about this, you can't hide away for 10 years surely. They have a volunteer who appears to be loaded with enough to do as it is and yet he is delegated to reply to my query.

The same chap seems to be regarded as a cash cow that can boost the clubs coffers.

The VMCC do Dating Certificates I believe. They charge a similar amount and have a full time staff member it seems.

http://www.b50.org/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?f=11&t=2237

http://www.vmcc.net/lib_sos_form.pdf


If the BSAOC are saying they are too busy to correct their site. (Well I think they would if they replied to correspondence.)

If they are too busy to actually research what goes on the Certificate... and are content with the dubious accuracy.

Perhaps everyone should reconsider the situation.
Perhaps it is unfair on a few in the club to carry the burden.
Transferring all Dating applications over to the VMCC may be the way to go.

This A65 situation is easily fixed.

The subject only affects the model years 1966 to 1970.
I know we might be seen as 'BSA Police' or 'rivet counters' or whatever else. If the prime publications are not accurate then how do owners, buyers and sellers stand a chance.

I am not saying everyone should have a period perfect bike.
We just need products to be presented accurately.
It seems not a week goes by that we have someone trying to sell a product and he quickly gets 'corrected' by someone that has done a Google. Invariably they quote the BSAOC website and it turns to custard.

Rob went to all the expense of importing a 1967 Royal Star in from the states a few years ago. Just a few weeks ago he discovered it is actually a 1969 model.

Steve at Troy Engineering is trying to sell a 1970 engine. Half the world is telling him it is a 1967. He has been flip-flopping changing the ad description.

We saw another bike sell for $2000. The seller took a hit on A65LA11798Y. A 1970 bike that again attracted all the Googlers said was a 1967. That may have cost him about $1000.

Bob Down has one, a magazine article about how his 1970 bike is now a 1967.
Don Bachtel has owned a Y bike since 1983. He knows his is a 1970 Y.
Bonzo parted a Y bike out because he could not get 1967 parts to fit.

Bruce, John, Ignoramus, I think JD, and many others here own Y bikes.

As for the 1967 Dash Y bikes, I have two, Shane has one or two.
Gary has at least two.

Thousands of others around the world also, and we have to put up with all this nonsense whenever someone spots the Y suffix.


The BSAOC is saying they are too busy to correct the website.

Good grief.


I did another search and came up with this.
[Linked Image]

This is a good one. Nice and easy and I am sure very accurate.
I did note the irony of the despatch being so close to the shipping strike dates of May 1966. I see know that the strike extended longer than I noted the other day.

Quote
On 16 May 1966, the NUS launched its first national strike since 1911. ...

.....

...On 23 May, a week after the outbreak of the strike, the Government declared a state of emergency, although emergency powers were not used. The strike finally came to an end on 1 July 1966.


Now regarding the duplicated numbers;

If the owners of the Dash Y bikes are indeed getting two dates on their certificates then we should be wondering. It would be a very good lead perhaps indicating the same number could have been used twice.

I have not seen a certificate for a Dash Y lightning or Thunderbolt yet.



Last edited by Kevin (NZ).; 11/21/11 4:04 am. Reason: Dating Cert added and subsequent
Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. [Re: Kevin (NZ).] #404760 11/21/11 1:00 am
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Stephen Koerner 1995 Thesis - The British Motor Cycle Industry 1935-1975

Dial-up warning, it's a 28.6 MB PDF document.

page 352 - "In 1966 Chairman Eric Turner claimed that motor cycle output was up by 50 per cent on the previous year and that 75 per cent of output was going abroad. Indeed, the level of exports was now so high that BSA/Triumph won the Queen's Award for Industry in both 1966 and 1967. Profits were up as well, to a healthy £3.6 million in 1966. In 1967 Turner remained breezily optimistic, despite the fact that profits had slipped back to £3.2 million"


page 358 - "During 1969"..."One press report described the factory as "cluttered with machines unfinished for lack of one or more components - perhaps even the final stick-on transfer."

It sounds like this was situation normal at Small Heath from 1967 on, always waiting for parts from outside sources.

Last edited by Two Alpha; 11/21/11 5:32 am. Reason: add a couple of quotes

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Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. [Re: ] #404765 11/21/11 2:01 am
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Yes Allan, I think it is the website that needs to be looked at.

I appreciate it maybe a voluntary effort and the guys are again only making time when and where they can.

If the VMCC are operating as a business then I think that is great. I can see that there is a fair amount that has to go into answering some of these queries and researching the info for a Dating Certificate.
I would certainly never be interested in doing it.

I think that the method the BSAOC is using maybe questionable. It seems unfair to have one Committee member doing the research and then having to produce and mail the certificate.

He has to cover a wide range of bikes and over a long production period. Let us not forget that some of these machines are nothing like they were when manufactured.
Mis-matched engine/frame combos aside there are all manners of bike cobbled together that may require a dating certificate for registration purposes.

I thought Bruce's request was very reasonable. He gave all the details and then a description of what he thought.

We are talking legal documents, akin to a birth certificate... well in a manner.
Perhaps the application should be treated along similar lines.

I think the bike photos and narrative should have to be reviewed by a couple of guys who are familiar with the model. If the book dates were forwarded to them they could satisfied themselves of the wording.
The Dating Officer could produce and certify the certificate.

Most of that is a few seconds work with email attachments and the like. We have all seen first hand how it has assisted us here.

I have only seen a few certificates, all had mistakes in my mind.
Morgan's was the best but it had the engine number suffix lacking the Dash. I am sure it would have been on the application as a Dash Y engine.

The worst I have seen was an obviously 1970 bike dated as a 1965.

Then there is the chap with the early closed loop bike which had previously been dated as a 1968. Even from his description it sounded like a 1963-64 era machine.

Against that we have Rupert in Australia that is convinced he owns a 1972 Spitfire road racer and he is even quoting some BSA owners' club.

I have worked in the UK a lot. Military, General Aviation and airline. Yes, things are done a little differently. I won't say there is an apathy but there is certainly some inertia to overcome.

Many of the readers here will be on BSA Committees, there are branches all over the world. We will have members from similar clubs, and not just single marque ones at that. They have all willingly offered time and effort to their hobbies and interests.

Here we have one website, the BSAOC UK which is purporting to be the the prime club supporting our marque.

It is certainly easy to find on the internet, and the new website looks very good. The layout although not finished is easy to navigate about and appears user friendly.

All that is devalued when we can see several errors in the info and then the intransigence associated with it.

I am sure none of the guys writing here are getting paid for our time but I would like to see a positive result for our efforts.



I did another search and came up with this.
[Linked Image]

This is a good one. Nice and easy and I am sure very accurate.
I did note the irony of the despatch being so close to the shipping strike dates of May 1966. I see now that the strike extended longer than I noted the other day.

Quote
On 16 May 1966, the NUS launched its first national strike since 1911. ...

.....

...On 23 May, a week after the outbreak of the strike, the Government declared a state of emergency, although emergency powers were not used. The strike finally came to an end on 1 July 1966.


Now regarding the duplicated numbers;

If the owners of the Dash Y bikes are indeed getting two dates on their certificates then we should be wondering. It would be a very good lead perhaps indicating the same number could have been used twice.

I have not seen a certificate for a Dash Y Lightning or Thunderbolt yet.







Last edited by Kevin (NZ).; 11/21/11 5:24 am. Reason: Dating Cert added and subsequent
Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. [Re: Kevin (NZ).] #404785 11/21/11 6:42 am
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I must say that the Unit A-Series portion of the Engine and Frame Listing on the BSAOC UK website, Stephen Foden's email conversation with Bruce, and other bits of correspondence that I've seen from Stephen Foden put my head in a bit of a spin.

Somewhere along the line, the real experiences of Alistair Cave at BSA have morphed into what we see written in the above locations. Some statements are dubious enough that they cast doubt on those that may be correct.
It's a shame that website page wasn't repaired a long time ago but let's do our best to make sure it soon is.

As far as the "-Y" and "Y" go, I believe we have that pretty well sorted now.

1967 "-Y" on engine, not on frame, indicates an upgrade to a three port oil manifold part way through the year.

1967 Spitfire "Y" on engine, not on frame, indicates an upgrade to new version engine cases near the end of the year. Basically, full Mark IV upgrade with 1967 serial number.

1969/1970 "Y" on engine and frame, indicates that these bikes are fully 1969/1970 models, only the serial number is 1967. They were eligible for full warranty as a new 1969 or 1970 model.

The explanation for the use of 1967 style serial numbers on the 1969/1970 "Y" models must involve the Export Credits, or perhaps Export Tax incentives, from 1967. BSA were probably correcting an accounting issue when they went this route. smile



Last edited by Two Alpha; 11/30/11 6:10 pm. Reason: Spitfire info per Kevin (NZ), "Y" rewording per following discussion.

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Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. [Re: Two Alpha] #404786 11/21/11 6:56 am
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Kevin (NZ). Offline OP
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1969/1970 "Y" on engine and frame, indicates that these bikes are eligible for full warranty as a 1970 model, dependent on date of purchase.


I strongly disagree with this part.

All Triumph and BSA motorcycles produced as 1970 models and sold retail in the USA after March 1st 1970 were eligible for the 180 day warranty.

We know of a Y model bike exported in April 1969. It was stamped with a Y almost a year before the increase warranty plan was hatched.

The Y bikes were included in the Service Bulletin as the dealers were only just receiving them brand new from the factory.

Gary said the bulk were despatched in Jan, April and May of 1970.
A few of the bikes will have been sold before 1st March possibly. They were not eligible... so the Y does not guarantee eligibility.
Similarly many of the other 1970 bikes (B44, A65 etc) would have been sold prior to that date so they were ineligible also.
I cannot see any link between the suffix and the new extended warranty.
I am sure we can find a date for the announcement of the new warranty. I believe it will be very early 1970, Jan/Feb.


Incidentally, the middle group.. the Spitfires with the engine cases also have the full MkIV styling,- later front end, rear shocks, taillight etc. To all intents and purposes they are MkIV bikes but again they have the 1967 numbers.

Last edited by Kevin (NZ).; 11/21/11 7:02 am. Reason: Added Spitfire comments.
Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. [Re: Kevin (NZ).] #404787 11/21/11 7:06 am
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Hey Kevin, that's why I put the "dependent on date of purchase" bit in there.

The full warranty length is determined by the date of purchase, prior to March 1st, 1970 is 90 days, post March 1st, 1970 is 180 days.

Another way to put it would be...

Purchased before March 1st, 1970, your full warranty is 90 days.
Purchased after March 1st, 1970, your full warranty is 180 days.

Hopefully you strongly agree now. smile


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Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. [Re: Kevin (NZ).] #404789 11/21/11 7:19 am
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Kevin (NZ). Offline OP
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Hmmm, I cannot see the Y bikes being related to the warranty. The bikes had been getting stamped with the suffix for about 8 months before Peter Thornton made the Warranty announcement.


Quote
Peter Thornton, CEO US BSA/Triumph Operations Aug 1969- until terminated May, 1971

And Rob says this about his A50..
Quote
and refurbished being redespatched to New Jersey in June 1969


It was definitely stamped with the suffix before the announcement was even dreamt up.

All BSA and Triumph bikes would have been in the same situation.
Where are the Y Triumphs, or the Y unit singles for that matter. ?

I see it akin to the electrical theory for the Dash Y bikes we have lived with for 9 years. Who is mentioning that now ?

Last edited by Kevin (NZ).; 11/21/11 7:39 am.
Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. [Re: Kevin (NZ).] #404790 11/21/11 7:43 am
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I think you are locked on to the new 180 day warranty introduced in 1970 for some reason. BSA bikes would have all had full factory warranties, from the date of purchase, for many years prior to 1970.

Other than the "Y", those serial numbers scream 1967. They had to put some identifier on them to indicate that they were eligible for a full current warranty when they were sold in 1969 or 1970. I think that's the reason for the "Y", otherwise they would only be eligible for whatever warranty you would get with a refurbished 1967 model.

They obviously wanted 1967 serial numbers on those bikes but had to find a way to minimize potential problems for new owners who may need repairs under warranty.

Last edited by Two Alpha; 11/22/11 5:48 pm. Reason: add reference to refurbished 1967 model.

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Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. [Re: Kevin (NZ).] #404791 11/21/11 7:53 am
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Originally Posted by Kevin (NZ).



All BSA and Triumph bikes would have been in the same situation.
Where are the Y Triumphs, or the Y unit singles for that matter. ?



As far as I know, Triumph never put 1967 serial numbers on any of their 1969/1970 motorcycles.

BSA didn't put 1967 serial numbers on their 1969/1970 singles or triples. Their serial numbers accurately reflected their date of manufacture.

They didn't need a "Y" to signify that they were something other than what their serial number indicated.


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Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. [Re: Kevin (NZ).] #404792 11/21/11 8:00 am
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I still disagree.

The warranty card is written out when the bike is sold from the showroom floor. All new bikes would have received the 90 Day warranty.
The first SB, 2-70 makes the announcement to the US dealers about the new 180 day warranty. That would have been about Feb 1970.
I don't have a copy with me but I know Lew does. He will confirm if it mentions the Y bikes. I am sure it does not.

The subsequent bulletin had to be issued in May to tell the dealers that the 'funny' ones were to be covered.
That is the only time I have seen the Y bikes mentioned in any BSA publication. SB 5-70.


Yes, I am dead against the mention of the warranty. I own and ride one of the Dash Y bikes. I am sick of people trying to tell me it was sold new in 1970 and had the extended warranty.

Quote
Machines re-exported in 1970 were stamped with a 'Y' suffix to indicate that they were 1970 models and therefore eligible for the increased warranty.


My Thunderbolt was sold in 1967, over two years before the extended warranty existed.

Last edited by Kevin (NZ).; 11/21/11 8:02 am.
Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. [Re: Kevin (NZ).] #404793 11/21/11 8:06 am
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Regarding BSA unit singles with the Y stamp, they do exist. In fact, I posted a link to an eBay 441 offering with pictures a while back on this, or one of the other related Y threads you guys have going on. As I recall, the only ones I have seen have been 68 models.

I wonder if this issue may have anything to do with the 67 Triumph TT Specials in 65 frames? Far fetched, probably...

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. [Re: Kevin (NZ).] #404794 11/21/11 8:09 am
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I'll bet it had a warranty in 1967.


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Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. [Re: Kevin (NZ).] #404795 11/21/11 8:38 am
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Kevin (NZ). Offline OP
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Sorry Steve, I did see mention of the Y stamped B44 but neglected to follow it up.

I see it on eBay now.

Ebay B44 engine with Y after number

I know you have been around singles for a long time. That style of stamp is strange to me.
What do you make of the stamps, and the Y ?

Thanks for the input.

Oh and TA;
I am sure my Thunderbolt did have a warranty... but it would not have needed it naturally. smirk

Just as well as it would have been expired about 600 days when the new warranties were announced.

The entire premise of the BSAOC story about the Y bikes hinges on this extended warranty claim.
We can see Y bikes were being shipped at least 2 months before the chap who devised the scheme even joined BSA.
Peter Thornton -- an MIT graduate ad man who knew nothing about motorcycles or the industry.
(Thornton was an advertising consultant with InterPublic, the largest advertising agency at the time)

Last edited by Kevin (NZ).; 11/21/11 8:55 am.
Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. [Re: Kevin (NZ).] #404801 11/21/11 11:24 am
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My theory why the Y on the '69-70 bikes with '67 numbers, put a Y without the dash so we can differentiate between these and the real 1967 bikes. Then when the extended warranty came, the '70 bikes with the '67 numbers already have a Y so you dealers know they are '70 bikes, and if sold after the date are also covered by the extended warranty. Not stamped with Y for warranty stamped Y to indicate 69-70 model with '67 numbers. Doesn't that fit? We already know the -Y on the true earlier models is for the oil manifold don't we?
I just think the A65s are so cool, its a pity the factory didn't develope them more and go one size bigger with em, a 500, 650, 750, and 900 just altering bore and stroke.


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Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. [Re: Mark Parker] #404818 11/21/11 2:34 pm
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Substantially right Mark, thought I had the bulk of what you're saying covered with my original wording.

Originally Posted by Two Alpha


1969/1970 "Y" on engine and frame, indicates that these bikes are eligible for full warranty as a 1970 model, dependent on date of purchase. (These are fully 1969/1970 models, only the serial number is 1967)



There's nothing about an extended warranty in there.

Without the "Y" identifier, just based on the serial number, these bikes would have looked like they were only eligible for a refurbished 1967 warranty, whatever that covered.

While the correct warranty must have been an important part of it at the time, beyond the warranty period the "Y" identifier would/should have been important for parts/spares suppliers.

However, back in the UK, BSA official policy seems to have been that these were just refurbished 1967 bikes. They've all been re-exported, nothing to see here, move along.





Last edited by Two Alpha; 11/22/11 5:23 pm. Reason: added a few more sentences on the end

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Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. [Re: Kevin (NZ).] #404833 11/21/11 3:53 pm
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Steve Erickson Online Content
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Kevin, on that 441 stamp... the main body of the stamping looks OK to me, but the Y is definitely an afterthought, done with a different stamp set.

A FWIW tale... years ago, when I picked up a Y stamped VS, I asked an old-timer in the San Francisco area (who was pretty savvy on BSA lore) about the Y. He told me that stamp was done at the (Hap Alzina's?) distribution warehouse. As I remember, that 441 had the Y stamp placed in the same fashion as this eBay engine, below the main body.

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. [Re: Kevin (NZ).] #404836 11/21/11 4:25 pm
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Originally Posted by Kevin (NZ).

I have not seen a certificate for a Dash Y lightning or Thunderbolt yet.


While he didn't post a picture of his certificate, this fellow apparently has one (A65TA 1**58-Y) and has provided us with a few details.

MalSealy

"Dating info from the BSA owners club show it was manufactured in January 1967. However it was not dispatched until June 1968 when it went to Gaffali in Saudi Arabia."




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