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1972 Thunderbolt #735238
05/14/18 1:17 pm
05/14/18 1:17 pm
Joined: Apr 2013
Posts: 183
Illinois
S
Spitfire Ken Offline OP
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Spitfire Ken  Offline OP
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Posts: 183
Illinois
I am considering the purchase of a 1972 Thunderbolt.
The vin starts with A65TJG009. I cannot find any reference on the ID Charts to anything in 1972 with a JG in the vin. The chart only refers the A65 for the frame number for a 72 Thunderbolt.


The Devil is in the details.

1957 BSA A10 Spitfire Scrambler (number matching, very correct in decent condition)
1965 BSA A65 Lightning Rocket "Clubman" (restored)
1966 BSA A65 Spitfire MK-II (restored)
2001 Kawasaki W650
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Re: 1972 Thunderbolt [Re: Spitfire Ken] #735241
05/14/18 1:46 pm
05/14/18 1:46 pm
Joined: Jul 2001
Posts: 12,726
Central Virginia
Lannis Online content

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Lannis  Online Content

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Posts: 12,726
Central Virginia
A65TJG-xxxx would be a Thunderbolt (T) manufactured in August (J) of 1972 (G) according to the reference I always use, which has proved accurate in the past ....


I stopped believing for a little while this morning. Journey is really going to be upset.
Re: 1972 Thunderbolt [Re: Spitfire Ken] #735248
05/14/18 2:12 pm
05/14/18 2:12 pm
Joined: Aug 2005
Posts: 1,322
melbourne florida
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bodine031 Offline
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melbourne florida
Concur with Lannis. Roy Bacons BSA buyer guide shows Aug-72 build. pretty much the end of the line of 650's with a handful of A70L coming here.
keep us posted if you get it.

Re: 1972 Thunderbolt [Re: Spitfire Ken] #735253
05/14/18 3:09 pm
05/14/18 3:09 pm
Joined: Feb 2008
Posts: 4,304
New Jersey USA
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New Jersey USA
I would say that it is a 1972 model year Thunderbolt manufactured in August 1971.
HTH

Re: 1972 Thunderbolt [Re: Tridentman] #735256
05/14/18 3:43 pm
05/14/18 3:43 pm
Joined: Jul 2001
Posts: 12,726
Central Virginia
Lannis Online content

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Lannis  Online Content

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Posts: 12,726
Central Virginia
Originally Posted by Tridentman
I would say that it is a 1972 model year Thunderbolt manufactured in August 1971.
HTH


Upon mature reflection and further research, I think you're right. The "G" indicates manufactured in the "Model Year" 1972, which is actually AD 1971.

The last A65 twin came off the BSA assembly line at Small Heath in February 1972, so August 1971 it must be.

Lannis


I stopped believing for a little while this morning. Journey is really going to be upset.
Re: 1972 Thunderbolt [Re: Spitfire Ken] #735316
05/14/18 10:52 pm
05/14/18 10:52 pm
Joined: Jan 2014
Posts: 3,753
Aus
N
NickL Offline
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NickL  Offline
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Posts: 3,753
Aus
My old heap is A65T KG01*** That's a '72, probably slung together in Brum late '71.



Re: 1972 Thunderbolt [Re: Spitfire Ken] #735319
05/14/18 11:21 pm
05/14/18 11:21 pm
Joined: Oct 2006
Posts: 2,537
Elburn, Ill. USA
I
Irish Swede Offline
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Posts: 2,537
Elburn, Ill. USA
Your "1972" bike is most likely an early one, built in September of 1971.
There may still be some lingering 1971 features remaining on it.

Re: 1972 Thunderbolt [Re: Spitfire Ken] #735322
05/14/18 11:46 pm
05/14/18 11:46 pm
Joined: Jan 2014
Posts: 3,753
Aus
N
NickL Offline
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Aus
Seems up to 72 par, black frame, iron oil pump, scalloped flywheel, stupid small tank and bars etc.
Doesn't have the steel capped rods though, only the last few got those.



Re: 1972 Thunderbolt [Re: NickL] #735355
05/15/18 7:19 am
05/15/18 7:19 am
Joined: May 2004
Posts: 3,696
Sydney Australia
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BSA_WM20 Offline
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Originally Posted by NickL
Seems up to 72 par, black frame, iron oil pump, scalloped flywheel, stupid small tank and bars etc.
Doesn't have the steel capped rods though, only the last few got those.


Actually Nick there are a lot of 71 numbered A 65's sold down here as "brand new" 73, 74 or 75 models.
These were all returns from other places and in some cases had European compliance plates fitted.
These were all late 72 spec. I have one with steel capped rods, cast iron pump, etc.
The story is they were "remanufactured" remaindered bikes sent down here cause Australia is so far away we would not know that BSA has closed down.
The other story was the local agents bought the bikes cheap and then did the retro fit & respray locally.
Never had proof of the story either way. But the bikes are real I knoow of 5 of them ( including mine sold as a 73 )

All of them are painted in Norton colours over a silver base just with less coats of the translucient laqueur so they were a lighter blue, green, red or white, solid colour, black frames & guards with the extra wire brace.
Most had the large tank.
By now I would have thught you would have come across a few by now.


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Trevor
Re: 1972 Thunderbolt [Re: Spitfire Ken] #735538
05/16/18 1:55 pm
05/16/18 1:55 pm
Joined: Jun 2002
Posts: 9,809
Scotland
S
Stuart Offline
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Stuart  Offline
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Joined: Jun 2002
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Scotland
Hi Ken,

Originally Posted by Spitfire Ken
1972 Thunderbolt.
The vin starts with A65TJG009.

Don't know about every BSA model line but I do know the first '72 Rocket 3's were made on 24th August 1971, stamped with a "JG" date code.

On the same day, they also built about thirty R3 engines that'd been numbered - but not date-coded - in the '71 number range. To get the bobblies going on internet forums half-a-century later (very prescient), they date-coded these bikes "JG" too.

Hth.

Regards,

Re: 1972 Thunderbolt [Re: Spitfire Ken] #735586
05/16/18 10:13 pm
05/16/18 10:13 pm
Joined: Jan 2014
Posts: 3,753
Aus
N
NickL Offline
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Aus
Thanks Trevor, that would explain a few things.



Re: 1972 Thunderbolt [Re: Spitfire Ken] #735592
05/16/18 10:56 pm
05/16/18 10:56 pm
Joined: May 2018
Posts: 64
Oregon, USA
S
Sluggo650PNW Offline
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Joined: May 2018
Posts: 64
Oregon, USA
Depends on what you want the bike for? Restore? Rider or full on hooligan custom?? The BSAOC of NorCal gave away a few during their raffles at the Clubmans shows and they were all restored and very nice,. But if buying as an investment, they have increased a bit, But most feel you would be hard pressed to sell and break even. So buy it because you love it, not as an investment..

Personally, I am seeing a tremendous amount of interest in OIF bikes regionally as well as nationally here in the US to be restyled into "Street Trackers", Does not take many mods to make the OIF look like a Trackmaster.
(Purists look away, stop reading right here, go cleanse yourself with "Tuning for speed" or some 1950s factory service sheets and do your incantations)

Something like this A70 in a TrackMaster, But plenty of other examples out there:

[Linked Image]

Of course front brakes are important to me, but this is the general idea... I have a basket case A65 OIF in storage, I feel thats the direction it will take when it sees daylight again.

Trevor, I will say you are correct, and the incidents you describe are not isolated. Several West Coast US dealers told me (Call up Bob Raber in San Jose, he will tell you the same) that it was not unheard of for a dealer to repaint a bike because their customers thought the stock paint was unattractive, or in some cases were poor quality. But in the US we have what is called "Flooring costs" and many dealers borrow money from banks to purchase bikes and order new dealer stock for the coming year, so they are paying a premium and bearing interest on the "Floor Stock" so *IF* a product is not moving, get it out of there and get in something that will move. Slow moving inventory costs you $$$$$ and is a liability.

In the US many dealers could not get satisfactory numbers of bikes that were good sellers, Triumph & BSA often forced a dealer to take on lessor models for every popular one they got.
Cliff "The Bandit" told me when he was selling T120s like hot cakes and had a waiting list of customers that he would have to take 3 250s and 2 500 twins for every T120. He often dropped the singles and 500s to just over dealer book to move them out the door. BSA was no different.

However from time to time some dealers would have floor stock that they simply couldnt move and to mitigate the costs, regional factory reps would shuffle the deck chairs to keep everyone happy. Thats WHY there is so many T120SR and TR6SR Triumphs in the PNW, as these were a Western Canada model (Sports Road) and Canada had a recession and people were not buying bikes. These machines were shifted to PNW US dealers and sold as "NEW" models, often repainted to match current brochures.

Compiling those issues, some US DMV would title and register a machine by date purchased, NOT the date of manufacture. (I have a titled 56 Goldie that didnt exist in 56, its a 55 model) But I have seen a LOT of similar bikes, Eldon Wright, regional rep facilitated a LOT of deals like that in the 1960s, So, I frequently see machines erroneously identified.

I also have here a 1974 Triumph 500 single, Strangely resembling a BSA B50. The Gentleman who owned it worked in South America and had to return to the US 30 days a year to keep his visa while working down there. Being largely off the grid in Brasil, Columbia and Honduras he was not immediately aware that BSA had gone out of business. What he WANTED was a BSA A50 touring twin with a single carb. He was rather upset and disappointed. Ended up buying the rebadged BSA, Ne Triumph and I have the original purchase invoice, factory manual, and the helmet they forced him to also purchase. Being an off road MX model they cobbled on a BATES headlight and a accy tail light. But the title and registration clearly say 1974. He was not happy with the purchase. He rode it from Portland to Seattle and back and parked it in his family's barn. Never ran again.

Re: 1972 Thunderbolt [Re: Sluggo650PNW] #735631
05/17/18 10:01 am
05/17/18 10:01 am
Joined: May 2004
Posts: 3,696
Sydney Australia
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BSA_WM20 Offline
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Sydney Australia
Australia was BSA's biggest export market till 1952.
We bought a lot of bikes mainly because it is Gods gift to motorcycling with about 300 dry days a year ( in Sydney ).
When the USa became BSA's main target, we got dropped so ended up being nearly a full season behind the USA.
However it ws very common to send bikes that missed the USa wes coast selling season down here where we tend to buy bikes all year round.
Thus it was not uncommon to see USA west coast brand new bikes in Australian showrooms before the UK & general export versions arrived.
Almost as common to see both side by side in showrooms.

I was told but can not confirm that BSA's were still being sold in India brand new as late as 1984


Bike Beesa
Trevor
Re: 1972 Thunderbolt [Re: Spitfire Ken] #735638
05/17/18 10:59 am
05/17/18 10:59 am
Joined: Jan 2014
Posts: 3,753
Aus
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NickL Offline
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NickL  Offline
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Aus
Yes, i wondered what would have happened to all the stock that was held worldwide and how the dealers were left contractually, when beezer shut.
Going by some notes on here, beezer must have owed lots of money on warranty claims and dealers would have had to work on the remaining stock
if they were going to sell it with any warranty at all. I know a couple of dealers in London still had A65's in their showrooms well after the event. (Slocombe's + Kays)



Re: 1972 Thunderbolt [Re: Spitfire Ken] #735931
05/20/18 6:35 pm
05/20/18 6:35 pm
Joined: Dec 2017
Posts: 149
England
F
ferretjuggler Offline
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Posts: 149
England
August 1971 manufactured 1972 MY.
I read somewhere that the last batch of A65 twins were built on 10th of December 1971, of course it could have been February '72 instead, but I think that by August '72 the BSA twins were sadly consigned to history.

There has been a lot of confusion caused over the years by people stamping frames and engines with "impossible" number combinations (and it's still going on now)

Very recently a large bike breakers near me sold an imported T120V frame which had a number that could not possibly have been issued by the factory.
The breakers had made a NOVA declaration on that frame number too.
Now someone has bought it and will no doubt be applying to the TOMCC for a dating certificate.
Well I think that they will be in for a nasty surprise


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