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Goldstars and the later B50 series
#644894 03/19/16 10:19 am
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I am sure that some of you owners of Goldstars have likely owned the later (1971) 500 single that BSA upgraded from the unit single 250 in a last gasp effort to reclaim some market share that they were steadily losing to the Japanese. I would be interested in any comparative comments regarding performance and handling of these two singles. I regrettably passed up an opportunity to own a Goldstar (for a song) back in the seventies but have owned a couple 441's and a B50SS. Any thoughts or comments welcome.
Mr Mike

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Re: Goldstars and the later B50 series
Mr Mike #644904 03/19/16 12:39 pm
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Pretty much two completely different bikes. One, was capable of 44 to 46 HP under race conditions and the later B50 was barely pushing 34. The preunit Gold Star had a very good frame and longer wheelbase that slowed the handling and made a very nice ride at speed. The later was short, engine sat higher and was derived from a dirt bike where you want quick turn-ins and would be a little scary at high speeds. The later was given the Gold Star moniker, not because it earned it, but because BSA was clutching at straws to try and use a proven name to gain sales.

So, different engines, different frames, totally different bikes only similar in name.

That's IMHO,

Bill B...


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Re: Goldstars and the later B50 series
Mr Mike #644907 03/19/16 1:02 pm
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The Victom I rode was not balanced centrally, it was heavier on the left side than the right, if I remember right. (Or left confused ).
Disconcerting when you came to a stop. It felt like the bike wanted to fall over.

CZ

Re: Goldstars and the later B50 series
Mr Mike #644909 03/19/16 2:30 pm
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The 441 bsa victor and later the B.50 was successful from 1967 to the mid 1970'S in short circuit racing but primarily in endurance racing being entered by Mead andTomkinson a british dealership. There were riders like Alan Peck,PhilGurner,Nigel Rollason and Clive Brown and produced apprx 50 BHP so they could be tuned to go very well. I had a 250 1968 Starfire tuned by Gander and Gray.Romford, England and it would rev to 9000 revs and would do 47 mph in 1'st, 68 in 2'nd, 90, in 3'rd and 105 in top.
Goldie John.

Re: Goldstars and the later B50 series
John Alexander #644925 03/19/16 5:06 pm
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Originally Posted by John Alexander
The 441 bsa victor and later the B.50 was successful from 1967 to the mid 1970'S in short circuit racing but primarily in endurance racing



With much modification to frame, suspension, and engine I'm sure.

My '59 Gold Star Clubman primarily stock race bike would top out at 118 on the long front straight at Portland Inter. Raceway.


Bill B...

Last edited by Boomer; 03/19/16 5:07 pm.

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Re: Goldstars and the later B50 series
Mr Mike #644933 03/19/16 6:47 pm
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my gold star 500 on half throttle at 6000 revs at 105 mph will accelerate to just under 7000 revs in top pulling 118 mph,totally stock BSA club mans spec,
Goldie John.

Re: Goldstars and the later B50 series
Mr Mike #644948 03/19/16 11:52 pm
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This whole discussion reminds me of a joke that was popular when I was still pulling wire as an IBEW Journey Wireman.

Three little boys were bragging about their fathers.

Boy #1: My dad's a policeman and he's so fast he runs down crooks on foot and catches them.

Boy #2: That's nothing, my dad is a fireman and he gets to the fires before the alarm is called in.

Boy #3: I got all you guys beat. My dad's an electrician. He gets off work at 4:00 and he's home by 3:30.


Bill B...


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Re: Goldstars and the later B50 series
Mr Mike #644990 03/20/16 11:11 am
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Sounds like I haven't found anyone who has owned both. I missed my chance years ago. It may be true that the characteristics of the bike are different, but the are both 500cc, pushrod, carbureted singles. My B50 might hit the ton but I have never tried it. The B50 unlike the Goldstar never had the years of race team support and performance tuning until they were out of business. CCM and others like HP Stan and Ed V have got some good running flat tracker B50's. If a stock Clubman can run north of the ton I would guess they probably got the edge. The B50 has a weight advantage and I guess would probably do better in the dirt.

I guess those of us that prefer the 4 stroke singles really ought to have one of each.

Has any one seen them running against each other in AHRMA races? Just wondering.

Mr Mike

Re: Goldstars and the later B50 series
Mr Mike #644994 03/20/16 11:38 am
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My long time friend Ken L. also living here in NoNV, races in AHRMA with both a modified B50 and and a Goldie I built for him. He goes fast on both of them. I like that.


Dave - NV
Re: Goldstars and the later B50 series
Dave - NV #645014 03/20/16 1:38 pm
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Re: Goldstars and the later B50 series
Mr Mike #645025 03/20/16 3:07 pm
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The last and, I feel, the best of the of the Gold Stars was the Competition Special built from '61 to '63. It was nicknamed the "All Sport" for being able to be competitive in all types of racing at that time be it roadracing, flat track, or TT, just be changing it's gearing. When it was in production it was competitive in all of those events professionally and often won. The B50 was only competitive in motocross and has been, as stated before, later in vintage racing by much modification. Again two different bikes and I don't think you could say they are similar because they are bothe 500cc.


Bill B...


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Re: Goldstars and the later B50 series
Mr Mike #645036 03/20/16 3:53 pm
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For the last year that the Clubman's race that was held on the Isle of Mann,1956, of the 32 entries, 23 were Gold Stars. Of the top 18 finishers 17 were Gold Stars and they took the first 6 finishes.

It was said that the Clubman race was cancelled because it was just a race of one bike, the Gold Star.

Show me any results of a B50 coming anywhere close to those.


Bill B...


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Re: Goldstars and the later B50 series
Boomer #645058 03/20/16 5:54 pm
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I had a 71 B50 years ago that I bought at auction after the previous owner had totaled it. I bought a new frame from an unsold new 250 cc bike that was being stripped by the dealer for parts. Swapped the forks and frame. I hated the OIF. I also hated the compression release. After only a few months the shaft wallowed out the aluminum and was useless. The right rear turn signal light was located directly behind the exhaust, and it promptly melted away from the heat. However, I rode that bike to school and work for about 3 years and never had a problem. It was a very fun bike to ride and I wish I still had it.


Current Bike: 1968 Triumph Bonneville T120R, M1030M1 U.S.M.C. Diesel
Previous British Bikes: 1968 BSA Lightning, 1969 BSA Lightning, 1969 BSA Firebird Scrambler, 1971 BSA Gold Star, 1974 Triumph Trident
Previous Non-British Bikes: 1983 BMW R80RT
Re: Goldstars and the later B50 series
Mr Mike #645066 03/20/16 7:00 pm
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I have both. Off road, the edge is definitely in favor of the B50. On road, no comparison, the GS is a much nicer bike. Much nicer.

GS handling is very good, motor is so sweet.

B44/B50's are fun to ride, but they are definitely not in the same league. A GS set up well just works so well on so many levels. It really is an apples/oranges comparison.


Never underestimate the human ability to elevate stupid to a whole new level!.
Re: Goldstars and the later B50 series
Boomer #645069 03/20/16 7:51 pm
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Originally Posted by Boomer
Pretty much two completely different bikes. One, was capable of 44 to 46 HP under race conditions and the later B50 was barely pushing 34. The preunit Gold Star had a very good frame and longer wheelbase that slowed the handling and made a very nice ride at speed. The later was short, engine sat higher and was derived from a dirt bike where you want quick turn-ins and would be a little scary at high speeds. The later was given the Gold Star moniker, not because it earned it, but because BSA was clutching at straws to try and use a proven name to gain sales.

So, different engines, different frames, totally different bikes only similar in name.

That's IMHO,

Bill B...



^ Guessing that it's best not to mention the B25SS 'Gold Star' then!:)


Mike
1971 BSA B25SS
1965 HONDA C90
1969 HONDA C90
Re: Goldstars and the later B50 series
Mike P #645084 03/20/16 11:49 pm
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Originally Posted by Mike P
Originally Posted by Boomer
Pretty much two completely different bikes. One, was capable of 44 to 46 HP under race conditions and the later B50 was barely pushing 34. The preunit Gold Star had a very good frame and longer wheelbase that slowed the handling and made a very nice ride at speed. The later was short, engine sat higher and was derived from a dirt bike where you want quick turn-ins and would be a little scary at high speeds. The later was given the Gold Star moniker, not because it earned it, but because BSA was clutching at straws to try and use a proven name to gain sales.

So, different engines, different frames, totally different bikes only similar in name.

That's IMHO,

Bill B...



^ Guessing that it's best not to mention the B25SS 'Gold Star' then!:)




Best not! HaHaHaHa. Very good Mike.


Bill B... beerchug


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Re: Goldstars and the later B50 series
Boomer #645088 03/21/16 2:45 am
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This one
[Linked Image]
... but not the goldstar twins
[Linked Image]

... the rocket goldstar
[Linked Image]

... Or spitfire goldstar
[Linked Image]

Re: Goldstars and the later B50 series
Mr Mike #645106 03/21/16 8:24 am
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I had a 68 B44 Victor Shooting Star, which I dearly loved. It had its issues, and to show its affection broke my foot in a "kick back" on starting. I now have a bone growth on top of my foot from that incident.

I have a 58 "Clubmans" Gold Star (so says the dyno sheet from the factory) which was apparently shipped with Castor R.

To my way of seeing things, the '58 presents a higher quality package than the Victor. -One thing that was strange on the Victor was the asymmetrical placement of the footpegs. IIRC the right side peg was placed further forward on the frame than the left side peg. Maybe it was the other way around...

Both neat bikes, but I prefer the '58.


Hate is a poison which one consumes hoping for another to die.
Re: Goldstars and the later B50 series
Mr Mike #645147 03/21/16 3:43 pm
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Hey Mr. Mike,
You don't think that all that money they have tied up in their Gold Stars has affected their responses, do you?


Ed from NJ (a proud unit singles owner) and ducking for cover before the responses come!!

Re: Goldstars and the later B50 series
edunham #645155 03/21/16 4:36 pm
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Originally Posted by edunham
Hey Mr. Mike,
You don't think that all that money they have tied up in their Gold Stars has affected their responses, do you?


Ed from NJ (a proud unit singles owner) and ducking for cover before the responses come!!




No worries Ed, stand up and take it like a man. wink

You know, the questions were asked and I think the responses show the answers to what Mike asked. I do have several Gold Star's but I've owned most of them since the '70's and at that time were selling for similar prices to the unit singles. The most I have paid for any one of my Gold Stars is $2500.

But to take a dirt bike that was poorly adapted for the street and to paint a name on it that was from an accomplished machine and had no similarities other than brand just to it market it is an insult.

Like was said earlier, apples to oranges.

After all, opinions were being asked for and that's my opinion. beerchug


Bill B...


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Re: Goldstars and the later B50 series
Boomer #645164 03/21/16 5:00 pm
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[quote=Boomer][
No worries Ed, stand up and take it like a man. wink

You know, the questions were asked and I think the responses show the answers to what Mike asked. I do have several Gold Star's but I've owned most of them since the '70's and at that time were selling for similar prices to the unit singles. The most I have paid for any one of my Gold Stars is $2500.

But to take a dirt bike that was poorly adapted for the street and to paint a name on it that was from an accomplished machine and had no similarities other than brand just to it market it is an insult.

Like was said earlier, apples to oranges.

After all, opinions were being asked for and that's my opinion. beerchug

^ Your opinion and others are dead on Boomer, It should never have happened. Talk about taking a name in vain, this was surely it!
Once my even more miniature version with that pretentious name that I bought in pieces and am rebuilding/re learning after an absence of 30 years, it will be sold off and a more real to me 50's/60's bike will replace it.



Last edited by Mike P; 03/21/16 5:17 pm.

Mike
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Re: Goldstars and the later B50 series
Mr Mike #645179 03/21/16 6:43 pm
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I dont remember any Goldies winning the 24 hrs at Bold Or, a B50 did. Beating Commandos et al.


71 Devimead, John Hill, John Holmes A65 750
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Re: Goldstars and the later B50 series
gavin eisler #645181 03/21/16 7:44 pm
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Some BSA B50 RACING HISTORY

http://www.b50.org/mead.htm

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mead_%26_Tomkinson_racing


Re: Goldstars and the later B50 series
Mr Mike #645244 03/22/16 10:32 am
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Thank you gentleman. I expected controversy and got some. I am still chapped that I let my chance at a Gold star pass, but not as chapped as letting a 57 Corvette get away for $1300... I offered $1200. I have owned a 250 Starfire, a couple of 441's, and a B50 but never a preunit single. The B50 has some significant improvements over the 441. Better bottom end, better brakes, better riding position, comfortable seat, more power, metal gas tank. I am not a fan of the OIF, although it poses no real problems. I've removed the sorry signal lights, and the electric box goes if I have any electrical problems. As we all know the last gasp by BSA was too little too late. OTOH we enthusiasts are the beneficiary of BSA's demise finding old classic bikes at reasonable prices and excellent parts availability. Who would have ever thought it would turn out this way.

Meanwhile maybe I should sell a few things and find me a late model Clubman to fix up and judge for myself. When I put together my B50 it became my ride of choice over a 650 lightning and a 441.

Mr Mike

Re: Goldstars and the later B50 series
Mr Mike #645651 03/25/16 6:23 am
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Though the B.S.A.B50 could be made to go well in racing, it did not gain the mystique and reputation of the Gold Star.
it did lead the Bol D' Or in 1971 for 13 hrs before front brake problems slowed it down to 8 overall, and in 1975 lapped the I.O.M. at 95 mph which was quick compared to the 87 or so mph of the Clubmans Gold Star in 1956, though road improvements and ironing out the bumps no doubt helped,but looked after can make a nice road bike but us being Gold Star owners just love the sometimes bloody mindedness of the Gold Star for when she is running well, nothing compares.
Goldie John.

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