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We will have to think about the effect of the shipping strike here as well.

I don't have much time for some of those other myths but the dock strike is a fact.

From what I have read it would have been difficult to export a bike in Oct -Nov 1967. The backlog affected shipping well into the new year.

The story has us believing bikes were returning from overseas, they would have been held up also.

We won't mention the singles or even Triumph... no-one else seems to have asked the questions there.


Why, Y, Dash Y..



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So I finally got some more pictures uploaded. Hear are a few examples of the points plates and timing advance units I have on hand. I'm not well versed in these things. My first A65L has a Sparx unit on it so I have not had any experince with the original bits. The unit on the left is from my '67 A65L (A65LA420), it is a un-molested original. The center unit came from the new 0Y engine. The left one is from the other engine, Firebird did you say? The only diference is the points plate right? Where are the condensers supposed to be? The advance units all seem to be the same.

[Linked Image]
[Linked Image]
[Linked Image]

This last photo is just an honorable mention for the bodge job on the kicker and shift lever. The kicker has a big bolt instead of the taper pin. The shift lever also has a large bolt and nut squeezing it, but it is the sheet metal screw forced into the end between the shaft and lever that really shines!
[Linked Image]



1967 A65 Lightning
1967 Moto Guzzi V7
1969 B44 Victor Special
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Then it also dawns on me..... how did they fill the gear box? I'm afraid I will open it up and find that it was run dry!


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Thanks Rusty.

It was the 0Y engine I was interested in. You are saying the middle set of points came from that.

In 1968 and onwards they had that later arrangement, the condensors mount on the frame under the seat. The diagonal bracket on the 0Y frame is the difference from a standard 1967 frame.

We were unsure if the engines had a small modification when they were transplanted, it seems going from your example that they did.

Your 1969 Firebird engine has had a few bodges but I am getting some clues from it all the same. We know it is an Oct/Nov 1968 build and that circular ringworm casting was only about for a few months.

As you have noticed that engine should have the dipstick in the inner timing cover.

Thanks again for the pics. They all help.


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Originally Posted by Rusty Goose
Then it also dawns on me..... how did they fill the gear box? I'm afraid I will open it up and find that it was run dry!


I noticed that as well. The Timing inner and outer cover came off a early A65 as there is an inspectors (?) round tab fixed to the back top of the inner timing side cover. Both my 64 Lightning Rocket and the 64 A65 Star 650 have this. I have not seen any of the later bikes with this. Can anybody tell me what this was for?

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edit: sorry guys, took a little too long to get this post together, I was trying to reply to Kevin from about five posts ago.

I've finally managed to get hold of my own copy of "The Giants of Small Heath", written by Barry Ryerson and first published in May of 1980.

Here are a few selections that might be of interest, nothing specific on what happened in 1967 that led to our "Y" bike mystery though, minimal mention of the 1967 season really. The AGMs were held in the second week of November, and notice that there is no mention of the 1968 shipping strikes. It actually sounds like BSA had hardly any product to ship while the strikes were on.

pg. 162 and 163
"Sturgeon also was responsible for a major investment programme at Small Heath which proved to be controversial. It took place in 1965 when a magnificent array of new equipment valued at £750,000 was installed. This doubled BSA motor cycle capacity and, according to the Financial Times of 29 April 1965, 'this is already almost covered by demand over the next 18 months'. Later, in March 1967, in the month before Sturgeon's death, it was announced that BSA had installed a new system at Small Heath, using car-type assembly techniques, at a cost of £100,000. An ICT 1902 computer was used to control production and spares programming, with conveyor delivery of parts, making Small Heath the most modern assembly plant in Europe's motor cycle industry (though much manufacturing machinery remained which was worn out). It was capable of assembling 1,600 machines a week, or one every 1.5 minutes.

pg. 174
In the final quarter of the financial year, that is, up to July 1967, a fall in motor cycle sales at home and abroad reduced Group profits by half a million pounds; and by July of that year BSA suffered its first major redundancy.

pg. 174
It was, however, failure to match production at Small Heath with market demands in the US that was the major cause of the troubles which can be attributed to BSA management. For instance, in 1967-68 large stocks of motorcycles which had missed the critical April-May-June selling season were brought back from America and sold off at a substantial discount. The fault did not lie with those responsible for production, but was due to such things as design changes not being completed ready for manufacture, when the plant and workforce was standing by waiting for them.

pg. 167
Now we can consider two quotations from the chairman's report to the AGM of 1968: 'Our motor cycle production programmes had to be held back...in the latter part of the year because the introduction of new machines in both the BSA and Triumph ranges had to be put off to the current year, mainly through the incorporation of later design improvements.' This cost £729,200, reduced to £403,151 by a non-recurring profit arising out of devaluation. The nationwide selling force in America had been nearly doubled, but 'a large sales volume was lost through delays in the availability of new models.'
The disasters, which were massive in relation to BSA finances, clearly happened, were reported publicly and severely weakened the Group as a whole.

pg. 175
Looking back at the year 1967-1968, Turner said at the AGM that the group figures were 'disappointing' and that the Motor Cycle Division had had 'an unexpectedly frustrating year.'


Last edited by Two Alpha; 01/17/14 3:07 pm. Reason: highlight "and Triumph"

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All in all, I'm thrilled to have the book, but I'm disappointed with how sparse the references are to the problems that must have occurred in the 1967 season.

It's easy to see how most of the books that followed, save for the one by Bert Hopwood, went with what Ryerson had written in the excerpts in my previous post.

Amongst others, Ryerson particularly credited for their assistance in the work:
John Balder (Works Director) (Steve Koerner has him as Manager, BSA, 1948-1968)
Alister Cave (Works Director, now Managing Director NVT Engineering Ltd)
Wilf Harrison (Export Director)

These guys were there, especially the first two, they knew what happened!

I think we can see where the BSAOC would have a similar story to what Ryerson had written back in the late '70s.

Sure, the 1968 season may have been an even larger disaster for BSA, but why such little mention of the problems from 1967? We know that it had to cost them near $1,000,000 and that it took three more years to get fully cleaned up. Surely if any of this had been mentioned to Ryerson it would have been in his book, it would have been the first obvious step along the way to the downfall of BSA. Hopwood was there, he knew, but swept it under the carpet.

There's no doubt management was keeping this under wraps, and the investigative reporters/authors all seem to have missed it.

Looks like it's up to us to solve it. help

Keep those clues coming folks, any despatch dates would be extremely helpful, it would be nice to see a few more from the late 1967 and early 1968 seasons.


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There is a whole untold story here and I believe much has been deliberately covered up.

Unfortunately Matt took it personally, I think he is now realising that there is a whole lot more going on than just a rogue numbering issue.

Quote
Sorry Kevin but I'm not going to be updating the BSA book in the near future, and I'm not really that interested in the various issues BSA had when numbering their bikes some 45 years ago..............


Quote
I stand by what I've written; it was as correct as it could be at the time and it acknowledges that there was a bit of a mystery over the numbers

As for your conspiracy theories on cover ups and back covering - I would much rather subscribe to the cock-up school of management at BSA - but of course anyone can see a conspiracy if they look hard enough.


I disagree with him.
I see this being much more than just a cock-up.

I can't see how BSA got an Export award for 1967 and at the very same time we have all this drama going on.
I am having to doubt much of the existing written material on the events of the period. These guys knew in 1967, well at least the ones mentioned in Ryerson's book.

His book was written just years afterwards though and the defensive story was well formulated by then. We have suspicions of why this happened but the guys involved had much to lose.
Bert Hopwood knew, as did others that had less to lose than those directly involved and yet they all chose to keep mum.

Many BSA owners here have a Unit Twin and were wondering abut it's history.
Most Have Dash Y bikes and were getting fed the story about it being rebuilt and shipped later.
We think there were 12,000 of those bikes, that is a lot of confused people. I have two Dash Y machines.

To date no-one has taken the time to correct the story.

We then realised that the Hybrid Spitfires and 1969/70 Y bikes exist as well. Another 2000 or more machines.
The owners of these bikes have no idea of the model even in some cases.
All these marque specialists, with their 'complete stories' can't give an owner a correct indication of the year of manufacture of his bike.

We now know enough...
We can tell the owners what they have.
In most cases we know how and why the suffix is on the bike.

We don't know what really went on at BSA during 1967 and 1968.
Those that do made an effort in concealing whatever it was.

I think 1967 for the most part was a normal year. Whatever happened must have been towards the end of 1967 calendar year and onwards for the next year or two.

One thing is for sure. The various history books that have been written about the demise of BSA are not at all complete, possibly even incorrect.

Some in the UK do know, they are keeping quiet to this day.
Matt Vale obviously does not know the truth, he has been fed a story and accepted it. Many others before him did the same.

I just have a feeling that this thread is so long, not because of the lack of information..... but even worse, it is the misinformation.

My question, the one I can't answer, - is
What happened to those original 1967 bikes that went on to be re-despatched a year or more later ?

Over 2000 bikes. Only BSA, only twins, what initiated them getting remade, what happened to the left over carcass and parts, why is nothing mentioned ?


Why, Y, Dash Y..



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http://news.bbc.co.uk/onthisday/hi/dates/stories/november/19/newsid_3208000/3208396.stm

19 Nov 1967

Quote
The government announced last night it was lowering the exchange rate so the pound is now worth $2.40, down from $2.80, a cut of just over 14%





http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/I'm_Backing_Britain

Quote
The year 1967 had seen the British economy suffering from several difficulties. Despite tax increases announced in July 1966, the 1967 budget had set the greatest deficit in post-war history of £1,000m.[1] Each month, the Board of Trade published figures of the 'balance of trade' between exports and imports which seemed to show an ever increasing deficit,[2] The closure of the Suez Canal after the Six-Day War hit exporters, as did an unofficial dock strike which broke out at the end of September.[3] Having put up the bank rate to 6% on 19 October,[4] on 18 November, the Government abandoned three years of attempting to maintain the exchange rate and devalued the Pound sterling from $2.80 to $2.40. Although an economic defeat, devaluation was perceived as an export opportunity which British industry needed to seize.


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Has anyone read this book, I was not aware of it until today ?

http://www.motorcycleclassics.com/c...sh-motorcycle-industry-zm0z12sozbea.aspx


[Linked Image]

http://www2.warwick.ac.uk/knowledge/culture/stevekoerner/#.UtorQ9KBrDc



Table of Contents

Introduction 1 1 British supremacy, 1935 - 1939 11 A wide range of motor cycles 13 The structure of the pre-war motor cycle industry 15 Industry management and motor cycle sports 20 Leadership at BSA 21 The British Cycle and Motor Cycle Manufacturers' and Traders' Union 25 Foreign competition between the wars 26 Sales crisis in the home market 28 Critics of the British motor cycle industry 32 The search for the 'Everyman' motor cycle, and the elusive female rider 33 'No women need apply' 40 Over-reliance on the racetrack 42 The British motor cycle industry answers its critics 44 Competition from Germany 48 Trouble in the factories 51 2 The war years, 1939 - 1945 57 The government 'concentrates' motor cycle production 57 Motor cycle Blitzkrieg 59 Blitz on Britain 61 Wartime production 63 Standardising design 65 Planning for the post-war world 66 Preparing for peace 70 Making the transition from war to peace 73 Sorting out problems 75 3 Revival and complacency, 1945 - 1951 83 Recovering from war 83 Post-war industry structure 86 Meeting government expectations 93 Old problems return 94 Post-war German reparations 94 The export drive 99 Motor cycle sport 102 Retail price maintenance 105 Improving productivity 107 Danger ahead 112 4 The Window of Opportunity, 1951 - 1956 115 Spreading affluence 115 BSA's rising star 117 From 'Big Six' to 'Big Four' 121 The smaller firms struggle on 122 Motor cycle road accidents on the rise 126 The sporting ethos endures 127 Rider safety 130 Bad behaviour 132 Scooter fashion 133 Retail price maintenance under threat 138 The export drive falters 139 Imports flood into the home market 144 Boardroom putsch at BSA 147 6 The Window Closes, 1956 - 1961 149 British scooters and mopeds make their debut 149 Blame the government 152 Motor cycle design evolves 153 Another wave of imports arrives 154 Corporate investment 155 More cars on British roads 158 Letting down our side 160 Changing consumer tastes 161 The North American market beckons 163 Factory production is reorganised 169 Harley-Davidson beleaguered 171 The German motor cycle industry resurgent 172 Trying to enter the Japanese market 175 The British motor cycle industry splits over protectionism 176 Motor cycle manufacturers feel the squeeze 179 The industry steps forward 182 Losing on the racetrack 183 Changing the guard 184 Teddy boys on wheels 188 Cold shoulder for the industry 192 6 The firms and their workers, 1960 - 1973 195 Trade recession 195 Sales paradox 199 Industry in the doldrums 201 Unrest among AMC shareholders 202 Other manufacturers stumble and fall 204 Labour relations in the motor cycle industry 206 Militancy at Triumph 207 Worker militancy re-emerges 208 Further labour turmoil at the Triumph factory 211 Labour-management peace prevails at BSA 212 At Triumph Labour militancy continues to spiral upwards 214 The labour relations climate changes at BSA 216 7 The collapse of the British motor cycle industry, 1960 - 1975 219 Whirlwind out of Japan 219 The 1962 Anglo-Japanese Treaty 225 Japanese imports arrive in Britain 228 British consumers desert the industry 232 Industry solidarity is shattered 234 The industry regains respectability 235 Japan's export drive reaches North America 235 British motor cycle manufacturers retrench 239 Further change at BSA 240 Japanese sales strategy changes gear 244 British manufacturers suffer in comparison to their Japanese competition 247 Breakdown at the BSA and Triumph 249 BSA's big gamble 250 Epilogie: The British motor cycle industry, 1973 - 2006 255 Conclusion: The strange death of the British motor cycle industry 265 Notes and references 277 Select bibliography 329



Why, Y, Dash Y..



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The book would be a more readable version of his 1995 thesis, might not have as much information though.

Steve Koerner 1995 Thesis

edit: Looking forward to having this one in my library nonetheless. If you read Heaton's thesis, the number of times he references Koerner is striking.

Last edited by Two Alpha; 02/01/14 11:28 pm.

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Originally Posted by Kevin (NZ).
Unfortunately Matt took it personally, I think he is now realising that there is a whole lot more going on than just a rogue numbering issue.
Quote
I stand by what I've written; it was as correct as it could be at the time and it acknowledges that there was a bit of a mystery over the numbers.

It's strange how Matt highlighted that small section regarding the remarking of frame and engine serial numbers, as if he knew that there was something extra special about it. Unfortunately he didn't confirm that what his source was telling him had any truth to it! I wonder how the sharing of that misinformation came about, it's almost as if the source (BSAOC UK?) stressed the importance of their story so that it would be included. When I read that section in Matt's book for the first time, it was reading ok for the first half, and then my jaw hit the floor when he went off the rails in the last few sentences.

Originally Posted by Kevin (NZ).
I think 1967 for the most part was a normal year. Whatever happened must have been towards the end of 1967 calendar year and onwards for the next year or two.
We only have a few solid clues. The lowest number with two dispatch dates (we don't have the actual dates yet) would be A65TA 6031Y. It's a 1969 "Y" bike, the original 1967 6031 bike would have been dispatched approx. three weeks into Oct., 1966. Whatever the problems were, they appear to have started quite early in the 1967 season.

BSA may not have realized that they had the problem until quite some time later though. The earliest second dispatch date we have, at this point anyway, is Jan. 22, 1968! That's fifteen months later, but we do know that there was a dock strike in those first few months of the 1968 season, and according to Ryerson there were "design changes not being completed ready for manufacture, when the plant and workforce was standing by waiting for them."

If someone in the UK was interested in digging up some dispatch date information from the VMCC, they might be able to crack this wide open.


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We have become a lot wiser about things BSA in the past 15 years. I am wondering if some of these researchers and historians have also. The Bacon books generally date from the '90's also.

Strangely enough my concerns and uncertainties about the Y suffix bikes has now taken a new twist. I think we have many answers to the Y suffix conundrum now, we can't have too much more to learn there.

It is the deeper question now of the why and how.
We may know the what and when....

WHY is still the question. Surely one researcher must have worked that one out.


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Originally Posted by Kevin (NZ).
We have become a lot wiser about things BSA in the past 15 years. I am wondering if some of these researchers and historians have also.
I've used the following quote before, perhaps even in this very long thread, so please excuse me if it is a repeat:

Reporters are faced with the daily choice of painstakingly researching stories or writing whatever people tell them. Both approaches pay the same.
Scott Adams. The Dilbert Principle, 1996

You've never seen much of the information in my thread on rebuilding a 1957 Spitfire Scrambler in a book or magazine article before, because no writer could possibly earn a living if he had spent all the time necessary to gather those facts and then do the fact checking necessary to minimize the chances of errors slipping through:

http://www.britbike.com/forums/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=496950#Post496950

In the end book and magazine writers get paid by the number of words, not by the time spent gathering the information to write those words.

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Here's a T Bolt for the list

http://www.eBay.com/itm/BSA-A65-CAS...ries&hash=item4d17737229&vxp=mtr

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Thanks for the heads up on that one Kev, another 1970 "Y" with a 7000 number, very interesting.


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What we need now is for Magnetoman to come into possession of A65SA 11577Y. wink

(A65SA 11577Y might be the very first of the hybrid/"Y" bikes.)


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[Linked Image]

This is another interesting one. I am sure I am not alone in thinking those unique castings were normally seen on XD and AD bikes of the 1970 season. We have seen other Y bikes with them and 'hopefully' rightfully assumed that they also were made in the same era. That would be December 1969 and January of 1970.

We don't have shipping details for this bike yet but I am going to assume it will be Jan or Feb 1970. The bike is in Washington USA so we would expect to see confirmation of US shipping.

I don't know how it will be positioned on John's spreadsheet but it would appear at this stage that we are seeing a four digit 1970 model.



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Originally Posted by Kevin (NZ).
I don't know how it will be positioned on John's spreadsheet but it would appear at this stage that we are seeing a four digit 1970 model.

Yes, that one went straight into the 1970 column. That makes three of these 7000 series "Y" bikes now that appear to have been made during the 1970 season.

Another story within a story. Did the engine stamper just accidentally miss these numbers on his list in 1969? What else might explain this?

It does seem to confirm the importance they attached to getting each and every one of these numbers back onto a motorcycle.


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I just checked on the eBay auction. It would appear the seller amended the title at some stage.

Quote
BSA A65 CASES - matched pair- "y" motor from 1970



Quote
Nice clean cases, #A65 TA 7584 Y with bsa logos in the background. Matching assembly numbers. No problems, all good threads. Coupla studs missing. I look over these parts very closely, often cleaning to find any flaws that help provide an accurate description. I'm no expert in all things motorcycle but frequently refer to what resources I have available to help identify. Know what you're buying, ask questions about measurements or other specifics. If a part appears unusable I throw it away, if it looks like it needs repair I say so. I'm not out to cheat anybody, I don't need the aggravation. I know what buying on ebay is all about, I've done lots.I pack carefully, use lots of tape, and try to ship promptly



Would those resources be the Bacon books, Matt Vale's complete story, the BSAOC website ?
With an honest description like that I have to imagine Chassy55 is either a member or reader here.

Very well done :bigt


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Another one? A65LA 15067-Y
http://www.eBay.com/itm/BSA-1967-bs...;item=191052539886&pt=US_motorcycles

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Yes 15076 is a 1967 Dash Y bike and fits into that last batch of Lightnings made in 1967.

[Linked Image] [Linked Image]


Why, Y, Dash Y..



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Originally Posted by Kevin (NZ).
Yes 15076 is a 1967 Dash Y bike and fits into that last batch of Lightnings made in 1967.

There was at least one more large batch of Lightnings, A65LA 15824 to A65LA 16579. It's got one lonely Spitfire in the middle though, A65SA 15996, not sure what to make of that one as I haven't got a picture of the engine stamping.

Also, right at the very end of the production year, the highest numbers we have for 1967, there are a few lightnings. A65LA 18242, A65LA 18267, and A65LA 18322, wish we had despatch dates for them!


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I don't see SA 15996 on the list. Maybe I need the lastest update.

I have images of SA 16587-Y and LA 15995-Y to add to the list.


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Here we go, freshly updated...
BSA Twin Serial Numbers 1967-1970

I don't have anything for SA 16587-Y yet, it's on the spreadsheet now though. Already have LA 15995-Y.

Here's a couple of pictures and some text for SA 15996-Y, 1967 engine.

[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]

The following text is from the auction site, it's a bit of a mish-mash but enough to put it as 1967 A65SA 15996-Y.

The A65SA Spitfire in question here is a Mk 3 model purchased by the vendor in 1966 intending for it to be restored, but never completed. No documents or details of early history are to hand at time of writing but may be available before sale, although a VMCC dating letter is with the bike. According to this the engine no. listed as 15996 would have been manufactured around 1967, but BSA records are indistinct for the period as many machines were unsold and held in stock for 2 years or more, some being exported as late as 1970. The colour scheme would have been black frame parts with flamboyant red panels.

Link to Auction


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