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New to me Starfire #756564
11/19/18 4:04 pm
11/19/18 4:04 pm
Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 249
Westfield, Indiana, USA
Geoff Offline OP
BritBike Forum member
Geoff  Offline OP
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Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 249
Westfield, Indiana, USA
I finally did something with my A65 - I traded it for a Starfire yesterday. After coming to the realization I am not really into Cafe Racers anymore, and the fact I have not done anything with the amassed collection of bits for my Lightning for sometime, it went to another with hopefully more of a passion for it than I had.

That said, hopefully I can get my Starfire to do 60 without blowing up smile. Anyone have good suggestions - already thinking of E & V and getting ready to buy Ruperts book.

Geoff


'78 T140V
'74 Commando
'69 TR6R
'67 Starfire
'64 Greeves TES
'58 Allstate (Puch) 175
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Re: New to me Starfire [Re: Geoff] #756567
11/19/18 4:32 pm
11/19/18 4:32 pm
Joined: Sep 2004
Posts: 900
Farnham, Surrey, UK
gunner Online content
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gunner  Online Content
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Joined: Sep 2004
Posts: 900
Farnham, Surrey, UK
The standard advice for BSA Unit singles is usually as follows:-
- fit a Carrillo or similar new conrod, this is especially important on B25's as they have a habit of snapping
- fit an oil filter
- use a new carb like AMAL premier
- use electronic ignition Pazon, Boyer etc. are all good
- use decent clutch plates such as sure flex and do the 5 plate conversion

B25's have a reputation for blowing up mainly due to over revving and poor maintenance. Get the RR manual, its a good read and you should end up with a reliable bike able to reach over 60mph.


1968 A65 Firebird
1967 B44 Shooting Star
1972 Norton Commando
Re: New to me Starfire [Re: Geoff] #756582
11/19/18 7:31 pm
11/19/18 7:31 pm
Joined: Nov 2011
Posts: 201
Nova Scotia, Canada
K
koncretekid Offline
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K

Joined: Nov 2011
Posts: 201
Nova Scotia, Canada
All good suggestions from gunner. But also, get a 1971 iron oil pump (minor clearance mods to timing case) and add an oil pressure gauge.

Actually, I'm still trying to find an oil pressure gauge that will withstand the vibrations (race bike at 9,000 rpm). I've popped the needles off of two manual models, so far. Maybe an electronic one will hold up better.

Tom


Life's uncertain - go fast now!
Re: New to me Starfire [Re: Geoff] #756584
11/19/18 8:01 pm
11/19/18 8:01 pm
Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 249
Westfield, Indiana, USA
Geoff Offline OP
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Geoff  Offline OP
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Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 249
Westfield, Indiana, USA
I was going to ask if anyone uses them for enduro or vintage mx, but as this one is pretty much an unmolested time capsule from the early '70's and still retains all of its '67 bits, that is probably off the table.


'78 T140V
'74 Commando
'69 TR6R
'67 Starfire
'64 Greeves TES
'58 Allstate (Puch) 175
Re: New to me Starfire [Re: Geoff] #756658
11/20/18 10:30 am
11/20/18 10:30 am
Joined: Dec 2004
Posts: 9,667
Scotland
kommando Offline
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kommando  Offline
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Joined: Dec 2004
Posts: 9,667
Scotland
A Carrillo rod changes the broken conrod from a seized big end to spun shells from a seized big end, still a failure but less destructive. If you fix the oiling to the big end, use T100 shells then the likelihood of the big end seizing is greatly reduced, so using the original rod becomes more palatable, go to the last version of the rod and with the oiling mods that would be bulletproof.

Re: New to me Starfire [Re: kommando] #756665
11/20/18 1:58 pm
11/20/18 1:58 pm
Joined: Sep 2014
Posts: 537
Michigan, USA
J
Jeff K. Offline
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Jeff K.  Offline
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J

Joined: Sep 2014
Posts: 537
Michigan, USA
Here is what we did for our B40 in a B25 project. Just one small tab welded to the frame and a Ed V's full flow oil filter. It fits behind the motor and you can still get to the filter.
[Linked Image]

Jeff

Last edited by Jeff K.; 11/20/18 1:59 pm.
Re: New to me Starfire [Re: Jeff K.] #756666
11/20/18 2:02 pm
11/20/18 2:02 pm
Joined: Sep 2014
Posts: 537
Michigan, USA
J
Jeff K. Offline
BritBike Forum member
Jeff K.  Offline
BritBike Forum member
J

Joined: Sep 2014
Posts: 537
Michigan, USA
I forgot to add the fittings just screw in so you can change them out for 90 degree or 45 degree if needed. And the oil filter it the Norton or Harley one.
Jeff

Re: New to me Starfire [Re: Geoff] #756677
11/20/18 3:49 pm
11/20/18 3:49 pm
Joined: Jul 2001
Posts: 13,053
Central Virginia
Lannis Online content

Well'ard Rocker
Lannis  Online Content

Well'ard Rocker

Joined: Jul 2001
Posts: 13,053
Central Virginia
I know of two folks (Mike King and Gordon Gray) who have ridden BSA unit 250s like normal motorcycles, using them for getting around, rallies, and the same use you'd put any other motorcycle to ... I highly suspect that it involves most of the things that have been discussed - careful assembly, regular maintenance, taking care of your oil (filter or frequent changes), and not thinking it's a Honda 250 that can be hammered and overrevved, but still used like a real bike on the road ...

And there may be other folks. I know that outside the Britbike world, there are people that WILL NOT BELIEVE that a BSA A65 twin (for example) can be ridden across the country, used for commuting, etc, because all they've ever ridden are beat-up wrecks and all they've ever listened to are urban legends and Lucas jokes. The unit 250s suffer from the same perception ...

Lannis


I stopped believing for a little while this morning. Journey is really going to be upset.
Re: New to me Starfire [Re: Geoff] #756687
11/20/18 5:35 pm
11/20/18 5:35 pm
Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 249
Westfield, Indiana, USA
Geoff Offline OP
BritBike Forum member
Geoff  Offline OP
BritBike Forum member

Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 249
Westfield, Indiana, USA
The real impetus for getting it was to have another Moto Giro bike. I have missed meeting Gordon for the spring Giro after suffering a catastrophic twingle cylinder crack a week prior on the way to the DMV to register it in Indiana. I thought the problem was rectified when I bought the Greeves for the fall Giro, however I grossly underestimated the amount of time it would take to finish a Greeves restoration (engine was already done) - or really any restoration for that matter.

So if I can actually get moving on the Starfire after Thanksgiving, and find a very rare piece of unobtainium (in the form of a Puch / Allstate 175 cylinder), I will have a belt and braces approach to Moto Giro with at least two bikes in the stable to run it. That said, thats all it will really be used for - plunking around at 45 - 50 mph. Going fast is relegated to my Commando and Bonneville smile.


'78 T140V
'74 Commando
'69 TR6R
'67 Starfire
'64 Greeves TES
'58 Allstate (Puch) 175
Puch 175 block [Re: Geoff] #756695
11/20/18 7:09 pm
11/20/18 7:09 pm
Joined: Nov 2006
Posts: 523
Wisconsin, USA
F
franko Offline

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F

Joined: Nov 2006
Posts: 523
Wisconsin, USA

Last edited by franko; 11/20/18 7:10 pm.
Re: Puch 175 block [Re: Geoff] #756836
11/22/18 2:29 pm
11/22/18 2:29 pm
Joined: Sep 2014
Posts: 537
Michigan, USA
J
Jeff K. Offline
BritBike Forum member
Jeff K.  Offline
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J

Joined: Sep 2014
Posts: 537
Michigan, USA
Geoff
What year is your Starfire? The first year used a fiberglass oil tank that can crack at the top, it is best to pick up a later steel oil tank with fiberglass cover. And does yours have the fiberglass gas tank? If it does you will need to coat the inside with one of the available tank sealers or else todays gas with ethanol in it will eat the fiberglass. The 1969 was a one year only metal tank and the 1970 is also metal, but of a completely different look, both will bolt on. I think the 1969 gas tank was also used on one of the 650 models. The Triumph version had a metal tank for all years and it will bolt on. They seem to be more common the the BSA tank. They are a fun bike to ride and handle well.
Jeff

Re: New to me Starfire [Re: Geoff] #756840
11/22/18 2:50 pm
11/22/18 2:50 pm
Joined: Dec 2004
Posts: 9,667
Scotland
kommando Offline
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kommando  Offline
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Joined: Dec 2004
Posts: 9,667
Scotland
Quote
The 1969 was a one year only metal tank and the 1970 is also metal


69 has tabs welded on to take the fibreglass oddie clips so it covered, but the tank is the same shape as a 70 but without the tabs so no cover and also with a lower filler cap to save the inner thigh when kicking when sat on the seat.

Re: New to me Starfire [Re: kommando] #756859
11/22/18 6:48 pm
11/22/18 6:48 pm
Joined: Sep 2014
Posts: 537
Michigan, USA
J
Jeff K. Offline
BritBike Forum member
Jeff K.  Offline
BritBike Forum member
J

Joined: Sep 2014
Posts: 537
Michigan, USA
Hello kommando
I think the USA 1970 Starfire used a different gas tank then the European model. I have seen many of them and the gas tank from the side reminds me of a Harley Sportster gas tank. It does not have the nice flowing lines of the fibreglass or the 1969 metal tanks. You can spot the 1969 right away, where the fibreglass in smooth on the top, the 1969 has a raised metal seam.
[Linked Image]
Jeff

Re: New to me Starfire [Re: Geoff] #756875
11/22/18 10:11 pm
11/22/18 10:11 pm
Joined: Dec 2004
Posts: 9,667
Scotland
kommando Offline
BritBike Forum member
kommando  Offline
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Joined: Dec 2004
Posts: 9,667
Scotland
I was talking oil tanks not gas tanks, got mixed up and did not pick up you covered both. The 69 has tank was chromed and then used on the A65 Firebird, the 70 tank is adapted from an A10 and possibly a B40WD military model.

Re: New to me Starfire [Re: kommando] #756900
11/23/18 3:03 am
11/23/18 3:03 am
Joined: Sep 2014
Posts: 537
Michigan, USA
J
Jeff K. Offline
BritBike Forum member
Jeff K.  Offline
BritBike Forum member
J

Joined: Sep 2014
Posts: 537
Michigan, USA
I did not know that, thanks for the information. The gas here in the USA with it's 10% ethanol does not play nice with fiberglass, that is why I was asking about what year he had.
Jeff

Re: New to me Starfire [Re: Jeff K.] #756905
11/23/18 5:24 am
11/23/18 5:24 am
Joined: May 2004
Posts: 3,893
Sydney Australia
B
BSA_WM20 Offline
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BSA_WM20  Offline
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B

Joined: May 2004
Posts: 3,893
Sydney Australia
Originally Posted by Jeff K.
Geoff
What year is your Starfire? The first year used a fiberglass oil tank that can crack at the top, it is best to pick up a later steel oil tank with fiberglass cover. And does yours have the fiberglass gas tank? If it does you will need to coat the inside with one of the available tank sealers or else todays gas with ethanol in it will eat the fiberglass. The 1969 was a one year only metal tank and the 1970 is also metal, but of a completely different look, both will bolt on. I think the 1969 gas tank was also used on one of the 650 models. The Triumph version had a metal tank for all years and it will bolt on. They seem to be more common the the BSA tank. They are a fun bike to ride and handle well.
Jeff

The tank wth the deep sculpted knee grips oft refferred to as the Arrowhead tank has the same upper pressings .
However the A & B series tanks use different pressings underneath.
The A series fits nicely on the B's but the B tank needs to sit higher on the frame when fitted to an A series to clear the head & carb/s

Most of the A65's imported from the west coast seem to have the B series tanks on them which I think is just a styling thing as USA tastes seem to favout a lot of space between the head & the tank, so was probably done to improve the looks.


Bike Beesa
Trevor
Re: New to me Starfire [Re: Geoff] #757195
11/26/18 4:09 pm
11/26/18 4:09 pm
Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 249
Westfield, Indiana, USA
Geoff Offline OP
BritBike Forum member
Geoff  Offline OP
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Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 249
Westfield, Indiana, USA
It is a bone stock (except for a metal flake green paint job that is 99% removed at this point) 1967 Starfire. I was going to do a Caswell lining in it as I have had good success on my Norton after 8 years with Caswell. Gordon suggested getting a steel tank from India as he has not had success with liners getting into all the nooks and crannies. Did not know about the oil tank, and will be on the look out for a steel one.

Still cleaning up the garage from my Greeves project - once that is all done and everything is in order I will start messing it all up again with the Starfire.


'78 T140V
'74 Commando
'69 TR6R
'67 Starfire
'64 Greeves TES
'58 Allstate (Puch) 175
Re: New to me Starfire [Re: Geoff] #757817
12/02/18 11:36 am
12/02/18 11:36 am
Joined: Sep 2015
Posts: 322
Kent, England
J
John Alexander Offline
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John Alexander  Offline
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J

Joined: Sep 2015
Posts: 322
Kent, England
I don;t see any reason why a completely standard BSA Starfire should not be able to cruise all day at 60 MPH. Most important to maintain it correctly i.e., oil change every 1000 miles and most important not to rev it high. Starfires are quite capable of revving to 9000 revs as standard. I owned a 68 Starfire for 2 years ftted with a rev counter and it would rev to 9000 and had no problems.

Re: New to me Starfire [Re: Geoff] #758084
12/04/18 10:23 am
12/04/18 10:23 am
Joined: May 2004
Posts: 3,893
Sydney Australia
B
BSA_WM20 Offline
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B

Joined: May 2004
Posts: 3,893
Sydney Australia
9000 on a pushrod engine ?
Me thinks the tacho was telling prokies


Bike Beesa
Trevor
Re: New to me Starfire [Re: Geoff] #758086
12/04/18 10:47 am
12/04/18 10:47 am
Joined: Dec 2004
Posts: 9,667
Scotland
kommando Offline
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kommando  Offline
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Joined: Dec 2004
Posts: 9,667
Scotland
Red line 9000 rpm on a B50

[Linked Image]

And it won races

https://youtu.be/V7z8Isoo8BM

Heavily modified so not standard but retained pushrods

http://www.b50.org/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=6830&p=62243&hilit=9000#p62243

Would not go by a Smiths tacho as a reliable source but Scitsu are good clocks


Re: New to me Starfire [Re: Geoff] #758196
12/05/18 3:41 am
12/05/18 3:41 am
Joined: May 2004
Posts: 3,893
Sydney Australia
B
BSA_WM20 Offline
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B

Joined: May 2004
Posts: 3,893
Sydney Australia
So not a bog standard B25 then.
Staan, Mark & Ed can build engines that will do 9000 and stay in one piece but I could not see a bog standard one pulling those revs without reverting to a pile of parts.
I know of Gold Star motors that could be made to do those sorts or revs, for a short while before the rockers & pushrods parted company.
The owners used to make clock springs to hold the rockers against the pushrods.
Will have to check but fairly sure my B50T had redline at 7000 rpm and holding it there for any length of time would have you walking home.
Got some boots with holes in them that will attest to that.


Bike Beesa
Trevor
Re: New to me Starfire [Re: Geoff] #758227
12/05/18 3:12 pm
12/05/18 3:12 pm
Joined: Sep 2015
Posts: 322
Kent, England
J
John Alexander Offline
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John Alexander  Offline
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J

Joined: Sep 2015
Posts: 322
Kent, England
BSA WM20, you are possibly right about a bog standard Starfire not being able to rev to 9000 but as standard, BSA quoted 24 BHP at 8,250 revs. My Starfire was only slightly tuned. The ports were opened out to take a 30mm Concentric carb and a 10.25 piston with standard camshaft and exhaust. It had a BSA Spitfire revcounter/speedo conversion which i did not have fitted before it was tuned. The gearing was raised by one tooth less on the rear sprocket and it would pull 95 MPH at 8,500 revs. I reckon as standard it would rev to 9000.

Re: New to me Starfire [Re: Geoff] #758364
12/06/18 4:06 pm
12/06/18 4:06 pm
Joined: Sep 2015
Posts: 322
Kent, England
J
John Alexander Offline
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John Alexander  Offline
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J

Joined: Sep 2015
Posts: 322
Kent, England
Also, the reason the Starfire snapped con rods was because of it's ability to rev. The 67 Barracuda and 68 Starfire, though exactly the same breathed better than the 69 and subsequent models. The dealership which tuned my Starfire found the 69 model did not perform as well as the 69 model. They changed back to the 67/68 exhaust and performance was restored. My mistake, it was a 10.50 to one piston.


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