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Re: BSA A65 5 speed gearboxes [Re: Allan Gill] #510953
10/19/13 3:56 am
10/19/13 3:56 am
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Lightning Offline
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Hi Allan,
As there hasn't been much said about Quaife remaking 5 speed gearboxes for A65's on the forum I thought that I would contact Richard at P and M Motorcycles myself.
I was more than a little disappointed with his reply as he seemed to think that SRM should as he put it "commissioned Quaife to produce the 5 speed clusters", though he did say that if there were enough orders Quaife would make a batch of 25 and then the price would come down to about 1.250.00 plus VAT.
It would seem that nobody wants to go out and actually make them, what really gets me going is that companies like Nova Racing and Quaife are more than happy to make them for the BSA and Triumph threes and even Velocette's but not A50/65's, surely the total output of A50/65's was around the same if not more than either the three cylinders or Velocette's singles.
Is there any real interest in the making of a 5 speed box for our bikes and if there is how can we get one of these companies to make them?
I look forward to some serious and positive answers.

Last edited by Lightning; 10/19/13 3:56 am.
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Re: BSA A65 5 speed gearboxes [Re: Lightning] #510963
10/19/13 6:09 am
10/19/13 6:09 am
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Stuart Offline
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Hi,

Originally Posted By: Lightning
It would seem that nobody wants to go out and actually make them,

No; with respect, you aren't understanding the situation.

1. Quaife have already said it "wants to go out and actually make them".

2. What Quaife don't want to do, based on their first-hand experience in the school of financial hard knocks, is front up the money for them.

3. Whether we like it or not, the trade's perception of twin owners is they're tight. Do you have just twenty-five A65 owners climbing over each other for a 5-speed 'box? I rest this part of my case, m'lud.

4. Triumph twin owners are perceived as equally tight. Like A65's pottered a few miles on fine days by middle-aged men, T140's and TR7's used the same way don't need 5-speed gearboxes. If Triumph hadn't fitted thousands of twins with 5-speed 'boxes as standard, you'd also struggle to find twenty-five Triumph twin owners fighting over them.

Originally Posted By: Lightning
what really gets me going is that companies like Nova Racing and Quaife are more than happy to make them for the BSA and Triumph threes

5. Most "BSA and Triumph threes" have 5-speed 'boxes as standard so I assume you're mixing them up with the 6-speeds? Bottom line is, as opposed to twin owners, there are enough triple racers and rich road riders willing to put their hands in their pockets for that sort of money on a regular basis.

6. On the basis of the above and usual British bike parts middlemans' mark-ups, whoever acts as one will need to pay Quaife about fifteen grand plus VAT for twenty-five sets. Along with Quaife, P&M and SRM choose not to commit that sort of money for something that, in their experience, will do nothing for many years but sit on a shelf gathering dust.

7. You got eighteen grand doing nothing better? Put your money where your computer is and be that middleman. You stand to make 100% profit (hollow laugh).

Hth.

Regards,

Re: BSA A65 5 speed gearboxes [Re: Allan Gill] #510965
10/19/13 6:41 am
10/19/13 6:41 am
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Rotherham - S. Yorkshire
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Lightning' very serious point made about quiafe. I don't think (but please don't put my head on the chopping block if I am wrong) the triples had much more in the way of BHP (from stock) than a lightning or spitfire. I think if Quaife did make these boxes for off the shelf purposes, with the amount of A65 owners around the world compared to R3/Trident or Velocettes sales in theory should be a lot greater (pro-rata) granted that most of the A65 owners would be happy with their lot without spending too much money! on the other hand, A65's (as well as A10's) are the more popular classic touring bikes, A50's (poor little things) need all the help they can get on the road especially when maintaining speed with the A65's.

The only thing I can think of when the masses are considering a purchase of this size are the re-sell value of the bike. A prospective purchaser may not want to pay an additional 1300 on top of the bikes value for the a particular bike. On the other hand, said purchaser may do so because he knows he is getting the 5 speed box.

However, meantime we shall wait and see what happens. smile

I have spoken to SRM at cadwell park about the quaife box, from memory they were using one on their bike, I asked them if they had considered selling the 5 speed boxes and their answer was no.

Stuart, Sorry. I had started writing before your post was submitted, I think we are talking the same page - but you say it far better than I do grin

The stump up cost to quife would be a good deal more than 18,000, well it would be for 25 anyway.

Last edited by Allan Gill; 10/19/13 6:46 am.

beerchug
Re: BSA A65 5 speed gearboxes [Re: Allan Gill] #510997
10/19/13 10:17 am
10/19/13 10:17 am
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Get a grip, 99% of the boxes sold for threes ,manxs,goldies,velos etc are for racing 5 and 6 speed,the people who race these are serious spending 30k on the bike dosnt matter,no one races a65s at a serious level with good reason,no ones going to tie up 30k on a65 gearboxes when 99.99% of riders are quiet happy with the 4 speeds.


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Re: BSA A65 5 speed gearboxes [Re: Allan Gill] #510998
10/19/13 10:20 am
10/19/13 10:20 am
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Hi Allan,

Originally Posted By: Allan Gill
Sorry.
The stump up cost to quife would be a good deal more than 18,000, well it would be for 25 anyway.

No worries.

I based my "18,000" figure on 15k + 3k VAT being roughly half the retail 1,250 of each set multiplied by 25, 100% being the usual markup from wholesale to retail. If you're saying that Quaife's unit price would be closer to the proposed 1,250 retail, the prospect of any business fronting up the 25 sets money is even less likely, because businesses must make a profit or they aren't long-term.

Hth.

Regards,

Re: BSA A65 5 speed gearboxes [Re: Stuart] #511019
10/19/13 12:34 pm
10/19/13 12:34 pm
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Rotherham - S. Yorkshire
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Originally Posted By: Stuart
Hi Allan,

Originally Posted By: Allan Gill
Sorry.
The stump up cost to quife would be a good deal more than 18,000, well it would be for 25 anyway.

No worries.

I based my "18,000" figure on 15k + 3k VAT being roughly half the retail 1,250 of each set multiplied by 25, 100% being the usual markup from wholesale to retail. If you're saying that Quaife's unit price would be closer to the proposed 1,250 retail, the prospect of any business fronting up the 25 sets money is even less likely, because businesses must make a profit or they aren't long-term.

Hth.

Regards,


Agreed, and quite possibly part of the reason why this hasn't been pursued before.

I appreciate your racing background Wak, but there are quite a few A65's that enter the racing scene, I think it is also taken more seriously in USA. The A65 within the 650 class (reduce the bore) has a lot of potential with its slightly over square motor. With some serious development, there is no reason why it can't be a worthy choice to race.
IMO

Anyway, for anyone road riding or racing, and those doing serious mileage it is well worth considering. But the possible retail of this would be a short term opportunity unless the idea really takes off. Meanwhile its a case of publicising that this is/will be a possible purchase before too long.


beerchug
Re: BSA A65 5 speed gearboxes [Re: Allan Gill] #511033
10/19/13 2:14 pm
10/19/13 2:14 pm
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I think the limited use of A65s in racing compared to T140s is because of their 100cc deficit. Once that is corrected, five speed gearboxes will be more sought after. Last time I checked, AHRMA does not have a 650cc class. Does the UK?

Re: BSA A65 5 speed gearboxes [Re: Allan Gill] #511119
10/20/13 6:13 am
10/20/13 6:13 am
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derby england
wak Offline
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im not knocking a65s i have 6 of them,they are my favourate brit twin, and i know they can be made to go very fast,sidecar lads still do ok with them,but the point i was trying to make is the people who make them fast are the sort of people who can make a yamaha r1 crank fit in a bantam , and they are not the people who will go and buy a 1500 gearbox.
Me in some sort of action 1990ish 880cc TZ 350

Last edited by wak; 10/20/13 6:25 am.

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Re: BSA A65 5 speed gearboxes [Re: wak] #511133
10/20/13 8:39 am
10/20/13 8:39 am
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I'm not an expert on road racing but I'm pretty sure that AHRMA has a class called Classic 60's and I have seen A-65's race in that class. They also allow overbores. Admittedly, a BSA nut has an uphill battle in any twin class. Especially against Triumph which has a great amount of support from suppliers of racing type parts and services.
Despite that situation a few of us are carrying the BSA flag into battle! PRT

Re: BSA A65 5 speed gearboxes [Re: Allan Gill] #511148
10/20/13 11:02 am
10/20/13 11:02 am
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Hi Allan, glad you are more positive than others about the remaking of a Quaife 5 speed box.
As I said at the start of this post I and a friend are definitely interested in 2 boxes, and I am sure there must be interest around the world for 23 further gearboxes, just look the large amount of A50/65's that are still on the road and are raced weather that be as solos or in sidecar racing.
My rebuild of my 1972 Devimead BSA Lightning is taking shape and if companies like Bob Newby Racing, Megacycle Cams, Carrillo rods, Pazon Ignitions and SRM can make parts for A50/65's and make a profit I don't see why someone can't do the same with remaking a Quaife 5 speed box.
Oh and Stuart the BSA Rocket 3 never had a 5 speed box fitted as standard except in the X75 engine, and the Trident never had a 5 speed box until late in 1972.

Re: BSA A65 5 speed gearboxes [Re: Allan Gill] #511153
10/20/13 11:25 am
10/20/13 11:25 am
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John Healy Online content
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"I think if Quaife did make these boxes for off the shelf purposes,"

To my knowledge all of the Quaife gear box sets for British motorcycles were commissioned by the like of Mick Hemings, ,John Surtees and others in the trade. I retired my Triumph 500 twin for the lack of a 5 speed. I developed the 500 as far as iI could using a 4 speed, and I was a day late when I went to get one from Mick Hemings. He needed to get buyers for 10 sets, and the last ten sets had sat on his shelves for nearly ten years.

I doubt seriously if you could garner a 100% profit from this kind of exercise. What I have found is one or two people who need a specific ratio gearbox get together and order the minimum amount to get them made. They keep a couple of sets and flog the balance, often to unsuspecting buyers who only see "5 speed."

A word to the wise... make sure the 5 speed you are buying has ratios you need. For example if used for racing in AHRMA often a street ratio will serve you better than a close ratio. Most of the AHRMA races are dashes, with few laps available to make up the time you loose by getting into turn one in tenth place. IMHO for most AHRMA racing is a drag race to get into turn one first and then to hold on to that position. There is little time to make up time lost trying to make your way through riders who have no set line or are not proficient riders. Obviously a very close ratio gear set is all but useless on the street.

I say this because if someone is looking for a 5 speed for the street, often they find the set they purchased has a first gear closer to their stock boxes third gear. Their dream has turned into a nightmare. The bike is unrideable. This is the case of many of the Vincent 5 speed sets available today as the close ratio set not suitable for street use.
John Healy


Re: BSA A65 5 speed gearboxes [Re: Allan Gill] #511154
10/20/13 11:33 am
10/20/13 11:33 am
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Lightning ,i think you will find the 71/72 rocket3 has the early quaife 5 spped box, the designation is A75RV,about 250 were made,triples on line as the info.I agree with John, road boys will not want race ratios and race boys will recoil at road ratios,does this mean 25 of each ratio ?


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Re: BSA A65 5 speed gearboxes [Re: Allan Gill] #511167
10/20/13 1:15 pm
10/20/13 1:15 pm
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Lightning Offline
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Silly me I should know better than to allow you boys to steer me off of the subject, 5 speed gearboxes for A65's.

Re: BSA A65 5 speed gearboxes [Re: Allan Gill] #511168
10/20/13 1:34 pm
10/20/13 1:34 pm
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"does this mean 25 of each ratio ?"
In most cases, Yes.

Lightning "I look forward to some serious and positive answers."

Sometimes to give an answer you need to define the question and explain your answer using relative examples... I think all of those who have responded have done just that. Now if you are serious it's time to man-up and put the 's on the table.

You could do what Tim Joyce did to his 500 when he faced the same problem I did. Cut off the transmission of the back of a A65 motor, and either run it with a Triumph non-unit gearbox adapted for a 5 speed, a Nourish Norton gear box adapted for a Triumph 5 speed gear set, or do what Tim did and weld on a 5 speed gearbox casting to the back of the 500 motor. None of these will set you back what it would cost you to have 24 gear sets sitting around looking for homes.


Re: BSA A65 5 speed gearboxes [Re: Allan Gill] #511176
10/20/13 2:09 pm
10/20/13 2:09 pm
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DMadigan Online content
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Still, a five speed road box with a slightly taller first gear would be better than the stock four speed, yes? At least you would have four racing gears rather than three and you could possibly beat everyone else to the first corner for the remaining procession around the track.
Actually, only 25 of the first four ratios, the fifth would remain 1:1.
ARMA Classic 60's 650 10.4.3d - Gearboxes must be mechanically restricted to 4 speeds.
Not much point in a five speed for that.

Last edited by DMadigan; 10/20/13 2:24 pm.
Re: BSA A65 5 speed gearboxes [Re: Allan Gill] #511188
10/20/13 3:08 pm
10/20/13 3:08 pm
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Ron - in California R.I.P. Offline
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Fun topic for sure.. First of all YES and YES a road bike gear set is not good on the race track and vice versa..

I am the poor sot that made 5 speeds to fit pre-unit BSA gear boxes and I can tell you there is no way I could ever break even. But I will say they are a huge improvement..! The gears I used are Triumph gear sets which are now hard to find (good ones that is). And for the racer I got the close reatio gear set, which works well.

For racing there are tracks where the 6 speed is king and there are places the 5 speed is better. Many of the 500 CC racers run the 6 speed here in the US. At Daytona the 6 speed is a plus, but at Sears Point and Miller the 5 speed is better. It takes "X" seconds of time to upshift and then again to downshift. And it really depeds on the way the engine is tuned. Some race engines have a somewhat narrow power range and they need more gears.. some have wider power range and can use less. But look at the RPM changes between shifts and that tells a big story. I was just watching some Barber race videos, and was shocked to see RPM drops in the 2,000 rpm range.. not good at all and the one bike had trouble pulling top gear due to it. Unless you have seen the difference having closer ratios in 3rd to 4th and 4th to 5th makes, you really do not know..

But I can say the same on the street. My one street bike (BB Goldie) could not pull 3rd gear up in the mountains and I was killiing it using 2nd gear. But once the 5 speed go put in, the engine was so happy pulling 3rd g ear which was a lot faster speed than the old 2nd gear. At sea level on flat ground, the 4 speed is OK.

So yes in the end it is the use needed that dictates what you need.

Cost wise, $2,500 for a "plug N play" set up like that is just right..
Ron

Re: BSA A65 5 speed gearboxes [Re: Allan Gill] #511204
10/20/13 6:12 pm
10/20/13 6:12 pm
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Lightning Offline
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There's a Disney film called Bambi that had a saying slightly updated by me "if you can't say something intelligent don't say nothing at all"

Re: BSA A65 5 speed gearboxes [Re: Lightning] #511246
10/21/13 12:02 am
10/21/13 12:02 am
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Stuart Offline
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"When you're in hole, stop digging" seems more appropriate ...

Re: BSA A65 5 speed gearboxes [Re: wak] #511247
10/21/13 12:04 am
10/21/13 12:04 am
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Hi Wak,

Originally Posted By: wak
i think you will find the 71/72 rocket3 has the early quaife 5 spped box, the designation is A75RV,about 250 were made,

198 in 1971. The requirement was for 200 of both 5-speed T150 and 5-speed A75 ('V' and 'RV', the latter were converted 4-speed engines already built) to homologate the 'box for AMA racing. Subsequently, 5-speeds were fitted to T150's as standard from March '72 and three '72 R3's were built with 5-speeds before the engines became Hurricanes. Then over 7,000 T160's were also built ...

Regards,

Re: BSA A65 5 speed gearboxes [Re: Allan Gill] #511297
10/21/13 11:18 am
10/21/13 11:18 am
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I offer my opinion here for those thinking they might like a 5-speed gear set for their street machine, and this is an opportunity to get one.

Lightning, you answered your question in your first post where you said that you brought this up with Richard Pecket. As with all of the brands you mentioned, and those you didn't like Vincent, someone stepped up and put the money on the table. That is how it works and that is the one "serious and positive answer" you will garner. No offense meant, and I am sorry that it is not acceptable to you.

I have had more than a passing interest in the UK "5 speed" game. We recently worked with a Vincent customer who HAD TO have a 5 speed and got caught up in this. Some fast talking UK trader/racer/huckster sold him one. A very close ratio one at that. Seems they had to have 10 or so made and had a few extras to flog. The bike was totally unrideable on the street. Totally!

I talked to John Surtees, the customer stepped-up and a BUNCH of dollars were exchanged. John had Quaife make us up a kit we wanted where we replaced the lower 3 gears with ratios more suitable for the street. I say this because people read these threads, think this is a great idea for their street bike only seeing 5 speed, and buy in on the 25 build. This, not knowing, or understanding, what they are getting. I have seen this too many times not to bring it up!

I have on the shelf several sets of Phil Pick/Richard Pecket close ratio 1st, 2nd, and 3rd gear sets for the stock Triumph 5 speed made by David Holder. For a Triumph 750 twin, and the type of racing done in the States they are totally un-useable. Every one we let use a set, including our rider Jerry Wood who has had more than 40 years of racing Daytona both in modern and classic racing, removed them after the very first racing weekend. They might work on a highly tuned triple on the Isle of Mann, but not on the very short circuit racing found here.

Sorry Ron, they didn't even work at Daytona!!!!!!! If you were the only one on the track, sure. But when we ran Sportsman 750 there were 2 waves of 40 riders. To get in the front wave near the front you would have had to have raced at one of the smaller tracks, thousands of miles from our local track, the previous year. Other wise you would be at the back of the first pack, or worse in the second wave. You were also in a class where with only having attended one weekend of Racing School you could race Daytona. This isn't the days where we started as a novice on a 250 and worked your way up to Amateur and then Expert.

So if you didn't get into turn one near the front you spent the next 6 laps working your way through people who had no idea of the line through the infield. The fast lines through the Daytona infield are not intuitive and this would find you over taking a novice rider (aka Squid) cutting directly across the racing line. This finally got Jerry a few years back where a novice rider doing something stupid in the International Horseshoe on a modern bike high sided in front of him. He ended up with his femur and the bulk of his pelvis blown-up into his intestines.

So besides matching the ratios to the torque curve of the engine, whether it be for street use or road racing, which is essential, there is more to think about when selecting ratios. The heyday of AHRMA at Daytona with elbow to elbow racing with novices using lines know only to themselves and the guardian angel that protects them, is not the Isle of Man where you might pass a half a dozen racer per lap.

Lightning sorry if all this offends your sensibilities. And Stuart I have been in holes few people have dug themselves out of...
John Healy


Re: BSA A65 5 speed gearboxes [Re: Allan Gill] #511304
10/21/13 11:56 am
10/21/13 11:56 am
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Just thought I'd add my 2c here...I agree that the stock A65 ratios are fine for the street. Having said that, and not being a racer, adding a fifth gear between 2nd and 3rd would improve things greatly for the road. At least the kind of roads I like. A 21 tooth gearbox sprocket, then a slightly lower 1st, 2nd as is or slightly lower, a 3rd between original 2nd and 3rd, then a 4th slightly higher than original 3rd, then of course, 5th. Thus eliminating the annoying gap between 2nd and 3rd. Other benefits of these ratios with the 21 tooth would be less clutch slipping or disengaging to slow when in slow traffic on chugging op steep lanes, and shifting down from top to add revs to climb grades not being as dramatic.
Now, if someone could offer that for a few hundred bucks I would be going for my wallet!
I completely understand the financial roadblocks but I can wish...
Slightly different ratios for 2nd and 3rd would do almost as well.

Bill


69 A65T
71 B50T
85 K100RS
54/59 A10SR
69 B44VS
71 A65FS
95 Trident
Too much moderation is bad for you.

Re: BSA A65 5 speed gearboxes [Re: No Name Man] #511308
10/21/13 12:16 pm
10/21/13 12:16 pm
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Stone Creek OH USA
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Rich B Online happy

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Rich B  Online Happy

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Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 5,099
Stone Creek OH USA
Bill

An A65 with a CR box has very nice gap (or lack of a gap laughing ) between 2nd and 3rd. Just about perfect on the twisty roads in SE Ohio. Down side, you better not mind slipping the clutch a bit to get moving. And that is with gearing that is slightly taller than 21/47.


Life is too short to drink cheap, bad beer.
Re: BSA A65 5 speed gearboxes [Re: Allan Gill] #511309
10/21/13 12:48 pm
10/21/13 12:48 pm
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Boston, Massachusetts
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John Healy Online content
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John Healy  Online Content
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Boston, Massachusetts
RichB:

At Daytona with the 750 short rod we used 22/34 or 32, and depending on the wind on the back stretch could have use 30. Calculate that 1st gear ratio with a close ratio box, slipping the clutch, and trying to get into turn one going past 40 riders, or more trying to get into turn one in the top 6.


Re: BSA A65 5 speed gearboxes [Re: John Healy] #511315
10/21/13 1:42 pm
10/21/13 1:42 pm
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U.S.
Magnetoman Online content

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Magnetoman  Online Content

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Something to consider is that 5-speed gearboxes are readily available for around the prices being discussed in this thread, in the form of used Ducati 600 Monsters. In addition to the 5th gear you get more h.p. and disk brakes.

It's fun to fantasize about things that are very unlikely to happen, like getting 25 people to front the money necessary to finance the production of a BSA gearbox with ratios that all 25 people will agree on. But, if your BSA 650 isn't doing for you all the things you would like it to do, you might instead consider adding a bike to your stable that will fill that performance gap better than a 5th gear on your BSA would.

Re: BSA A65 5 speed gearboxes [Re: Allan Gill] #511323
10/21/13 2:56 pm
10/21/13 2:56 pm
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Pittsburgh,Pa.
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Redd32 Offline
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Magnetoman,

How very true, but people ride and modify British bikes for all kind of crazy reasons. Why not just buy a modern Jap mike?



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