BritBike Forum logo
BritBike SponsorBritBike SponsorBritBike SponsorBritBike SponsorBritBike SponsorBritBike Sponsor SteadfastCyclesBritBike SponsorBritBike SponsorBritBike SponsorBritBike SponsorHepolite PistonsBritBike Sponsor
Upgrade to: Premium Membership | Gold Membership | Life Membership | Vendor Membership | Site Sponsor Membership
Member Spotlight
TJD
TJD
Devonport Tasmania
Posts: 212
Joined: August 2005
New BritBike book out!
ShoutChat
Comment Guidelines: Do post respectful and insightful comments. Don't flame, hate, spam.
Search eBay for motorcycle parts in following countries
Australia, Canada, France, Holland, Italy, United Kingdom, USA
Previous Thread
Next Thread
Print Thread
Rating: 5
Page 28 of 33 1 2 26 27 28 29 30 32 33
Joined: Jan 2006
Posts: 2,805
Likes: 16
Britbike forum member
Offline
Britbike forum member
Joined: Jan 2006
Posts: 2,805
Likes: 16
John,

I sent you an image of SA 16587-Y


1967 BSA Wasp
1967 BSA Hornet (West Coast Model)
1967 BSA Hornet (East Coast Model)
1968 BSA Firebird Scrambler
1968 BSA Spitfire Mark IV
1965 Cyclone Competition Build
Support Your #1 BritBike Forum!

Check out British motorcycles for sale: British Motorcycles on e-Bay UK, British motorcycles on e-Bay North America
Joined: Apr 2011
Posts: 600
Life member
Offline
Life member
Joined: Apr 2011
Posts: 600
Got it, thanks Gary!


BSA
Matchless
Triumph
Joined: Jul 2012
Posts: 387
Likes: 3
J
Britbike forum member
Offline
Britbike forum member
J
Joined: Jul 2012
Posts: 387
Likes: 3
Hi

This one is for sale on e-bay.
1967 BSA LIGHTNING 650cc
Frame No: A65 LA2408
Engine No: A65 SA17348Y

John

Joined: Apr 2011
Posts: 600
Life member
Offline
Life member
Joined: Apr 2011
Posts: 600
Great, thanks for the heads up John. Two for the price of one.

It's on eBay UK.


BSA
Matchless
Triumph
Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 1,733
Britbike forum member
OP Offline
Britbike forum member
Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 1,733
With the new eBay rules I can't view the auction without the URL or link. Even then it may be doubtful. The bike sounds like a very early 1967 model Lightning fitted with a 1968 Hybid Spitfire engine. The engine number and Y description both fit onto the spreadsheet probably making it 99.9% likely to be a 1968.

Edit, just realised John is in the UK so that helped. I can view UK auctions still.

http://www.eBay.co.uk/itm/BSA-A65-L...t=UK_Motorcycles&hash=item461a2c3aa7

[Linked Image]



I am amazed at the numbers of these Hybrid Spitfire we are accumulating. It was only a few years ago that we were debating how some Mk III's seemed to have 1968 styling.
We now know that 478 of them were made and at the very end of the 1968 season. We have seen the pics of bikes and engines and they confirm our thoughts.

For all that I am still astounded that we seem to be completely lacking info on the first bikes. the 2,500 or so that are showing as being despatched in 1967 and then literally vanishing.

Sure we have seen a few examples of the 0Y bikes, but what 5 or so of them sofar. They are the bikes that seem to have the 1967 engines fitted into a later frame and cycle parts.

The Hybrid Spitfires are 1968 through and through, as indeed the 1969 and 1970 Y bikes are to their respective model years.

It makes me wonder what the next clue or revelation will be.

Last edited by Kevin (NZ).; 02/02/14 12:50 am.

Why, Y, Dash Y..



Joined: Apr 2011
Posts: 600
Life member
Offline
Life member
Joined: Apr 2011
Posts: 600
Well I did manage to come up with another clue over the past week, had the good fortune to communicate with someone who has done a tremendous amount of research into the British motorcycle industry.

Their comments lend fuel to the idea that BSA was hiding the story of the "Y" bikes. They didn't hear of any problems with serial numbers for those bikes - not even the hint of a mention, either in print or from the people they interviewed. And the persons they interviewed included Alistair Cave, who never mentioned anything about the "Y" bikes, though he should have known.


When the BSAOC finally asked Alistair Cave about the "-Y/Y" bikes, the story that came out of that was a jumbled mess, almost as if he was unprepared to give out the straight goods.
And that jumbled mess is still on the BSAOC website, along with numerous other places where people think that, because it's on the BSAOC website, it must be true.

The onset of the whole "Y" bike story just happens to coincide with the beginning of the Lionel Jofeh period in February 1967. Building up to, and during that time, we have...

- the doubling of capacity, in 1965 under Harry Sturgeon, with £750,000 of new equipment installed.

- the push for the Queens Export Award in 1966 and 1967.

- the "-Y" upgrade beginning in Sept. or Oct. 1966.

- serial number 7031(!) being dispatched on Oct. 31, 1966!

- the installation of a £100,000 computer system in early 1967 to control production and spares programming, with conveyor delivery of parts.

- the purchase of Umberslade Hall.

-In the summer of 1966, with the value of the pound falling in the currency markets, exchange controls were tightened by the Wilson government. The pound was eventually devalued by 14.3% to $2.40 on 18 November 1967.

- 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.

- per 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.

- the national dock strike which lasted from Sept. 18th to Oct. 30th, 1967.


They cranked up their production at the exact same time their sales were slowing down!

We can see on the spreadsheet that the "Y" numbers generally start around serial number 7000.
I think they got the first 7000 bikes shipped out very quickly and then started running into some sales resistance, while the production line kept pumping out more product.
The bikes get taken for a quick test in that wet winter weather, quick polish, boxed up and down to the docks so they can collect the export credit, and wait for an order to come in so they can be shipped.
Sales are not as expected, a major redundancy is necessary in July.
Perhaps coincidental that the "incorporation of later design improvements" delays the introduction of the new models.
And then a six week shipping strike, do we still have moist 1967 models sitting in boxes down at the docks?

So who has the juice to force BSA to export 1500 to 1800 "Y" bikes over the next three years, giving away a bunch of money on each one?

At this point in time, I think the whole reason for the "Y" bikes boils down to management errors, their sales projections were too optimistic, they didn't realize it soon enough, they didn't slow down production soon enough, and they were too embarrassed by the fallout to provide the details. If you could lay fault, wouldn't it have to be higher up the chain than Alistair Cave? It appears he was determined not to say.

Starting the 1969 serial numbers at 11101 was not a cock-up by BSA, it was part of a three year plan to make those previously exported numbers good.

We'll keep chipping away as the serial number and despatch date information comes in, but wouldn't it be great to come up with the 1968 paperwork explaining the "Y" bikes to the North American distributors. Wouldn't something like that have been kept on file by Don Brown? "But, by 1967 I was back with the Brits, being hired by Lionel Jofeh to be VP/GM of BSA, Inc."


Last edited by Two Alpha; 02/02/14 12:49 pm. Reason: toss in a few more thoughts.

BSA
Matchless
Triumph
Joined: Apr 2011
Posts: 600
Life member
Offline
Life member
Joined: Apr 2011
Posts: 600
Carrying on here so as not to keep adding bits into the previous post.
Originally Posted by Two Alpha
So who has the juice to force BSA to export 1500 to 1800 "Y" bikes over the next three years, giving away a bunch of money on each one?

I think we all know who that would be.
What's interesting is that they allowed BSA three years to make things right.

This was a very expensive catastrophe in 1967, a significant initial lurch in the direction of the bankruptcy which eventually followed.

This story of the "Y" bikes deserves a page in any book on the British motorcycle industry, or BSA.
Does it not look like this was the beginning of the end?


BSA
Matchless
Triumph
Joined: Apr 2011
Posts: 600
Life member
Offline
Life member
Joined: Apr 2011
Posts: 600
Originally Posted by Kevin (NZ).
For all that I am still astounded that we seem to be completely lacking info on the first bikes. the 2,500 or so that are showing as being despatched in 1967 and then literally vanishing.

The despatch dates will tell a portion of the story, unfortunately we're using the slow drip method of collecting them at present.

Perhaps, at some point, an interested person who lives near the VMCC will pop in there on a little research mission.

Does such a person exist near the VMCC?



BSA
Matchless
Triumph
Joined: Jul 2010
Posts: 164
K
Britbike forum member
Offline
Britbike forum member
K
Joined: Jul 2010
Posts: 164
Here's a dash X Royal Star to add to the confusion !!

http://www.eBay.co.uk/itm/1967-BSA-...orcycle_Parts_13&hash=item2ece5e7213

Joined: Apr 2011
Posts: 600
Life member
Offline
Life member
Joined: Apr 2011
Posts: 600
Thanks Kev, hopefully we're ever so slightly less confused now. smile


BSA
Matchless
Triumph
Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 1,733
Britbike forum member
OP Offline
Britbike forum member
Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 1,733
Thanks for the link to the Dash X engine and pics of the engine number. A50RA 3768-X

[Linked Image]

I think we decided the Dash X engines were the ones modified and then restamped after the bike had already been assembled. Probably elsewhere in the factory and before the bike was shipped.
The 3768 number falls into that pattern very nicely so that is another piece of the puzzle coming together.
As for timimg, RA 3762 seems to have just left the factory but the other (later) bikes in that batch seem to have gained the Dash X.
I think we all expect the dates to fit in very nicely with the Service Letter advising of the AAU and cam mods along with the 3 pipe oil manifold.
Once we review those particular bikes in the VMCC records all will be revealed.


Why, Y, Dash Y..



Joined: Jul 2010
Posts: 164
K
Britbike forum member
Offline
Britbike forum member
K
Joined: Jul 2010
Posts: 164
http://www.eBay.co.uk/itm/bsa-a65-m...orcycle_Parts_13&hash=item1c3c4c34c3

Here's another

Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 1,733
Britbike forum member
OP Offline
Britbike forum member
Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 1,733
[Linked Image]

Spitfire 4605-Y. A very common engine and number now but interesting in that it may help establish the point in time when these engines were being stamped on the assembly line.


Why, Y, Dash Y..



Joined: Jun 2011
Posts: 54
Likes: 1
K
Britbike forum member
Offline
Britbike forum member
K
Joined: Jun 2011
Posts: 54
Likes: 1
Kevin,
Looking at the pictures on eBay this one has not had the oil pipe change. It still has the two pipe one without the rocker box outlet. It looks original.

Keith.

Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 1,733
Britbike forum member
OP Offline
Britbike forum member
Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 1,733
Well spotted Keith.

[Linked Image]

We can see the two pipes and not the third smaller rocker feed.

I guess that opens up a range of possibilities. What do we think ?

It could have left the factory like this of course, maybe only half the mod got carried out on this particular bike. We assume this is one that had the modifications carried out on the assembly line though. That being the case you would expect it had the later oil tank fitted on the frame. Then again maybe not.

The other thing here though is that we have no idea of the frame this was in. Reading between the lines I doubt it was still a matching number bike.

That being the case it is possible this engine was modified or mixed and matched a little. It may have even gone into a 1966, or earlier, bike.

It may be worth keeping in mind also though. I think we are all happy now that the Dash Y signifies the 3 pipe manifold and ignition cam introduction.

I am sure anything is possible with BSA. Perhaps the chap with the Dash Y stamps just went down the line and restamped every engine... just assuming the mods had been done. This bike would have been on the line in those early days !!!


Why, Y, Dash Y..



Joined: May 2009
Posts: 110
M
Britbike forum member
Offline
Britbike forum member
M
Joined: May 2009
Posts: 110
Here's one for the list. Took a pic of this damaged case at a swap meet in Australia.
Photo is not the clearest. TA9236-Y

[Linked Image]

Joined: Jan 2006
Posts: 2,805
Likes: 16
Britbike forum member
Offline
Britbike forum member
Joined: Jan 2006
Posts: 2,805
Likes: 16
Thanks for the image Matt. That number fits right in with the typical numbers for mid model year '67.


1967 BSA Wasp
1967 BSA Hornet (West Coast Model)
1967 BSA Hornet (East Coast Model)
1968 BSA Firebird Scrambler
1968 BSA Spitfire Mark IV
1965 Cyclone Competition Build
Joined: Apr 2011
Posts: 600
Life member
Offline
Life member
Joined: Apr 2011
Posts: 600
Thanks Matt. :bigt


BSA
Matchless
Triumph
Joined: Dec 2002
Posts: 664
Likes: 3
M
Britbike forum member
Offline
Britbike forum member
M
Joined: Dec 2002
Posts: 664
Likes: 3
I'm not sure whether this is worthy of inclusion in the list but I have a used copy of the Haynes shop manual bought on eBay years ago. This is the 1974 edition with what appears to be a 1969 Royal Star on the cover, not the later editions with the Spitfire on them. In any case, an earlier owner of this manual had written notes inside, including the following engine number: A65SA4866-Y. No other info, unfortunately.

Last edited by MarcB; 02/23/14 9:58 pm.
Joined: Apr 2011
Posts: 600
Life member
Offline
Life member
Joined: Apr 2011
Posts: 600
Thanks Marc, no problem adding that one in the 1967 column.
It would have been from near the end of a run of about 500 Spitfires, off the line around the last week of September, 1966.

The lowest numbered "Y" bike, at least as far as we currently know, is A65TA 6031Y of 1969.
While A65SA 4866-Y doesn't seem especially important right now, 6031-Y of 1967 should have been coming off the line within the next two weeks after it.

Any chance you could post a picture of the notes that accompanied the serial number?


BSA
Matchless
Triumph
Joined: Feb 2002
Posts: 525
Britbike forum member
Offline
Britbike forum member
Joined: Feb 2002
Posts: 525
Kev, sent you a pm about the Y numbers.
Andy


Thrash, Bang, Re-Build...
Joined: Jul 2010
Posts: 164
K
Britbike forum member
Offline
Britbike forum member
K
Joined: Jul 2010
Posts: 164
and another

http://www.eBay.co.uk/itm/BSA-A65-S...t=UK_Motorcycles&hash=item258aa68eb4

Joined: Jul 2010
Posts: 164
K
Britbike forum member
Offline
Britbike forum member
K
Joined: Jul 2010
Posts: 164
Here's a Lightning Y

http://www.eBay.co.uk/itm/Vintage-B...orcycle_Parts_13&hash=item3f3243d024

Joined: Oct 2001
Posts: 1,472
Likes: 70
S
Britbike forum member
Offline
Britbike forum member
S
Joined: Oct 2001
Posts: 1,472
Likes: 70
That definitely looks like a 1967 '-Y' motor, so it's interesting that the paperwork doesn't have the dash.
That may be one of the factors causing confusion.

Joined: Apr 2011
Posts: 600
Life member
Offline
Life member
Joined: Apr 2011
Posts: 600
And another one on eBay, A65LA 10585Y.

[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]



BSA
Matchless
Triumph
Page 28 of 33 1 2 26 27 28 29 30 32 33

Moderated by  Allan G, Jon W. Whitley 

Link Copied to Clipboard
Upgrade to: Premium Membership | Gold Membership | Life Membership | Vendor Membership | Site Sponsor Membership

BritBike SponsorBritBike SponsorBritBike Sponsor
Home | Sponsors, Newsletter | Regalia | Calendar | Bike Project | BritBike Museum | Spiders Cartoons, | DVD- Manuals & Parts books
Powered by UBB.threads™ PHP Forum Software 7.7.5