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My Rat-Trap of a '71 BSA OIF Lightning #763094 01/21/19 4:17 am
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celtrock Offline OP
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Hey folks, nice to meet you all. I've been restoring bikes for a couple of years on my off time at an amateur level. Started with a '67 Triumph Mountain Cub then on to a '75 Suzuki Titan 500. I picked up an A65 roller in 2015 and it sat in my basement up until about a month ago. It's pretty rusty, crusty and quite a project. I'm missing quite a few parts and it doesn't have its original engine but it's made up for by the fact that it comes with 3 grab rails, 2 front wheels, a number of tachs and speedos and 3 motors.

[Linked Image]

Right now I've disassembled it all and I've begun the process of re-assembly.

[Linked Image]

I find that when I go to a bike show my head is much more easily turned, not by the shiny new restos but by the bikes that show their age and their history. My last bike I stripped and powder coated, painted and restored but with this bike I'm leaving it as is. I'm just cleaning, de-rusting, re-greasing, wiping it down with linseed oil, putting in new bearings and rubbers and replacing missing parts best I can. This bike has its original Dove Grey paint and so I thought it'd be fun to leave it. If I ever change my mind I can easily do a repaint but it'd be much harder to do that in reverse!

[Linked Image]

One problem I'm finding is that there are just SO many boxes and so many doubled parts. I keep ordering stuff just to find that I had one at the bottom of a Tupperware at the bottom of a tote. It'd be nice to have someone around who could identify everything for me but the "bike guys" in Vermont tend to be few and far between. I'll just cozy up with a parts book and a giant table and spend a week identifying everything. Oh, and I'll have to look up this serial number:

[Linked Image]

I'll keep record here of my work in case anyone is interested. Cheers!


You know, I'm sick of following my dreams, man.
I'm just going to ask where they're going and hook up with 'em later.
-Mitch Hedberg
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Re: My Rat-Trap of a '71 BSA OIF Lightning [Re: celtrock] #763102 01/21/19 11:14 am
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Interesting , thats the 2nd early OIF A65 I have seen lately with the fairing mount tubes on the headstock, my June 71 doesnt have this. You are off to a good start , looks like the side stand lug is intact and you got the swinging arm out. . For the head steady mount you will need an OIF head and rocker cover, easily spotted , the cover has two 5/16" holes in the centre for the head steady. The paint doesnt look to be in bad condition, typical key fob and speedo cable wear otherwise pretty decent.
The air boxes suggest it was a twin carb A65 L originally.

Have a good look at the fit of the side panels, I found that I had to cut scallops from the top of the steel panels horizontal section to clear the frame tabs properly. Any way, best of luck. keep the pics coming.

Last edited by gavin eisler; 01/21/19 11:15 am.

71 Devimead A65 750
56 Norbsa 68 Longstroke A65
Cagiva Raptor 650
MZ TS 250
The poster formerly known as Pod
Re: My Rat-Trap of a '71 BSA OIF Lightning [Re: celtrock] #763105 01/21/19 11:36 am
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Jon W. Whitley Offline
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Nice project, I have a '71 BSA 650 project as well. Where in Vermont are you, maybe we could help each other out ?


Jon W.


1957 6T Thunderbird 650
1968 T100R Daytona 500
1971 TR6R Tiger 650
1970 BSA A65F 650
1955 Tiger 100 - Project

Re: My Rat-Trap of a '71 BSA OIF Lightning [Re: celtrock] #763106 01/21/19 11:47 am
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rocket man Offline
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Interesting project. I was wondering what the tubes on the headstock were as I have them on my 71 T140 Bonneville. (thanks Gavin). My suggestion would be to buy a parts book, then you can identify what parts you already have. Good luck.

Re: My Rat-Trap of a '71 BSA OIF Lightning [Re: celtrock] #763109 01/21/19 1:14 pm
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kurt fischer Online Content
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celtrock, I like your approach, you've got enough original-ness there to make it interesting to retain.

I read "BE" as built in February 1971.

My '71 is "HE" -- built in July 1971, and judging by some of the crappy frame welds, maybe built on the last day before summer break. As to Rat-Trap, I think my BSA, as seen June 2011, would beat yours:
[Linked Image]

For BSA parts, I call British Cycle Supply -- call them up, they ship from Limestone, Maine, parts at your door next day. You will need a parts book so that you can order by part number -- they can prolly sell you a parts book.

And for sure, look up Jon Whitley!



Kurt

-- Don't believe everything you think.
Re: My Rat-Trap of a '71 BSA OIF Lightning [Re: gavin eisler] #763160 01/22/19 3:30 am
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celtrock Offline OP
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Interesting! Thanks for the tips Gavin, I'll keep the pics coming as the work goes on. I don't have anyone around me to do this sort of stuff with and love the comaraderie these forums create amongst folks of similar interests. Cheers!


You know, I'm sick of following my dreams, man.
I'm just going to ask where they're going and hook up with 'em later.
-Mitch Hedberg
Re: My Rat-Trap of a '71 BSA OIF Lightning [Re: Jon W. Whitley] #763164 01/22/19 3:32 am
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celtrock Offline OP
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No kidding? Sounds great... originally I'm from Barre but now located in St. Albans though I'm never adverse to travel. Seems everyone up here is either into sport bikes or Harleys so its tough to find a crowd. I'd love to see what you've got!


You know, I'm sick of following my dreams, man.
I'm just going to ask where they're going and hook up with 'em later.
-Mitch Hedberg
Re: My Rat-Trap of a '71 BSA OIF Lightning [Re: rocket man] #763165 01/22/19 3:35 am
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celtrock Offline OP
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I do actually have a parts book, wish it had real photos and went part by part. I literally have boxes filled with bolts... who does that?! crazy

Cheers!


You know, I'm sick of following my dreams, man.
I'm just going to ask where they're going and hook up with 'em later.
-Mitch Hedberg
Re: My Rat-Trap of a '71 BSA OIF Lightning [Re: kurt fischer] #763167 01/22/19 3:41 am
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celtrock Offline OP
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Wow, thanks for that tip! Can't beat next day parts. I just came back from Lowes looking for stainless screws armed with specs from the parts guide. Can you believe Lowes doesn't carry a
1/2"-20 (UNF) X 1 1/8" hex bolt? ;-)

I was able to get 4 bolts to hold the front mud guard. You WAIT until I post a picture of that sucker... you're gonna laugh.


You know, I'm sick of following my dreams, man.
I'm just going to ask where they're going and hook up with 'em later.
-Mitch Hedberg
Re: My Rat-Trap of a '71 BSA OIF Lightning [Re: celtrock] #763207 01/22/19 4:14 pm
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Pete Suchawreck Offline
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About what my 72/76 Triumph looked like when I got it. Complete and running now. Original black frame paint, not as cool as your Dove grey.

Re: My Rat-Trap of a '71 BSA OIF Lightning [Re: celtrock] #763218 01/22/19 6:32 pm
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Jon W. Whitley Offline
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Originally Posted by celtrock
No kidding? Sounds great... originally I'm from Barre but now located in St. Albans though I'm never adverse to travel. Seems everyone up here is either into sport bikes or Harleys so its tough to find a crowd. I'd love to see what you've got!



I'm in Barre Town up by Trow Hill Grocery. I need an engine for my '71 and I have pretty much everything else through basic parts accumulation over the years. Send me a PM or email me at wwhitjonw @ a-o-l. c...




Jon W.


1957 6T Thunderbird 650
1968 T100R Daytona 500
1971 TR6R Tiger 650
1970 BSA A65F 650
1955 Tiger 100 - Project

Re: My Rat-Trap of a '71 BSA OIF Lightning [Re: Pete Suchawreck] #763313 01/23/19 7:17 pm
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celtrock Offline OP
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It's kind of funny that anyone thinks of the Dove Grey as cool (I do) given how everyone hated it. They hated it so much that the dealers stripped down new bikes in order to paint them black. That's the main reason I didn't want to repaint mine, I wanted to keep that original color with its authentic fading and chips. I figured that, even if I found the right color to powder coat it would probably look like it did in 1971 and not almost 50 years later.

With the help of my son I got the rear wheel reinstalled last night. That thing is a beast. Trying to keep the spacer, speedo and washer all in place while also getting it through the chain adjuster is a bear! I'd hate to get a flat on the side of the road and have to change this thing out!

Lunmad Gets A Flat


You know, I'm sick of following my dreams, man.
I'm just going to ask where they're going and hook up with 'em later.
-Mitch Hedberg
Re: My Rat-Trap of a '71 BSA OIF Lightning [Re: celtrock] #763531 01/25/19 8:06 pm
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celtrock Offline OP
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Followed the book as well as the video of Lunmad changing out his wheel bearings. Mine are installed differently and seem to use different pieces. The fact that I had two wheels to pull apart and they were identical leads me to think that maybe, due to his being a Triumph, his front wheel setup is different. After swapping out the bearings for sealed ones (originals were in great shape though, I felt bad doing it but saved them just in case) and putting it all back together I turned my attention to the brakes. Holy cow were those things corroded and dirty. Before and after:

[Linked Image] [Linked Image]


Once I installed my wheel (I'll just have to take it apart again to get the fender on... can't wait to show you what THAT looks like) I rolled it into my living room without a lift!

Yes, this photo was taken last night, yes, it is almost February and yes, I do realize that aside from having a motorcycle in my living room I also have a Christmas tree... still...

[Linked Image]

Now the fun begins!

Last edited by celtrock; 01/25/19 8:06 pm.

You know, I'm sick of following my dreams, man.
I'm just going to ask where they're going and hook up with 'em later.
-Mitch Hedberg
Re: My Rat-Trap of a '71 BSA OIF Lightning [Re: celtrock] #763545 01/25/19 9:48 pm
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Posts: 6,054
Jon W. Whitley Offline
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Originally Posted by celtrock


Yes, this photo was taken last night, yes, it is almost February and yes, I do realize that aside from having a motorcycle in my living room I also have a Christmas tree... still...




You are not the only one, as I still have my tree up too ! I would have a bike in the living room but the missus doesn't think like I do !


Jon W.


1957 6T Thunderbird 650
1968 T100R Daytona 500
1971 TR6R Tiger 650
1970 BSA A65F 650
1955 Tiger 100 - Project

Re: My Rat-Trap of a '71 BSA OIF Lightning [Re: celtrock] #763570 01/26/19 2:06 am
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Mark Z Offline
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Originally Posted by celtrock
Wow, thanks for that tip! Can't beat next day parts. I just came back from Lowes looking for stainless screws armed with specs from the parts guide. Can you believe Lowes doesn't carry a
1/2"-20 (UNF) X 1 1/8" hex bolt? ;-)

I was able to get 4 bolts to hold the front mud guard. You WAIT until I post a picture of that sucker... you're gonna laugh.


I've never seen generic hardware come in 1/8"-length increments. Sometimes I can't even find 1/4"-increments. Solution is to buy stainless and cut 'em to length.

BTW, I have most of a '71 FS; I'm parting it out for a friend. No fuel tank, but pretty much everything else. Oh... no FS exhaust either (of course).


Mark Z

'65(lower)/'66(upper, wheels, front end, controls)/'67(seat, exhaust, fuel tank, headlamp)/'70(frame) A65 Bitsa.
Re: My Rat-Trap of a '71 BSA OIF Lightning [Re: celtrock] #763571 01/26/19 2:16 am
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Mark Z Offline
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Originally Posted by celtrock
It's kind of funny that anyone thinks of the Dove Grey as cool (I do) given how everyone hated it. They hated it so much that the dealers stripped down new bikes in order to paint them black.


In fact the factory reverted to black during the '71 model year.


Mark Z

'65(lower)/'66(upper, wheels, front end, controls)/'67(seat, exhaust, fuel tank, headlamp)/'70(frame) A65 Bitsa.
Re: My Rat-Trap of a '71 BSA OIF Lightning [Re: Mark Z] #763592 01/26/19 2:47 pm
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celtrock Offline OP
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Can you believe Lowes doesn't carry a 1/2"-20 (UNF) X 1 1/8" hex bolt? ;-)

I've never seen generic hardware come in 1/8"-length increments. Sometimes I can't even find 1/4"-increments. Solution is to buy stainless and cut 'em to length.

BTW, I have most of a '71 FS; I'm parting it out for a friend. No fuel tank, but pretty much everything else. Oh... no FS exhaust either (of course).
[/quote]

I found a bolt here for about $.50 less than the grade 3 looking bolt that's on eBay... and it's stainless!

Bolt Depot

Boy, sure would love to have a Firebird Scrambler exhaust...


You know, I'm sick of following my dreams, man.
I'm just going to ask where they're going and hook up with 'em later.
-Mitch Hedberg
Re: My Rat-Trap of a '71 BSA OIF Lightning [Re: celtrock] #763607 01/26/19 4:25 pm
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Mark Z Offline
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Originally Posted by celtrock
I found a bolt here for about $.50 less than the grade 3 looking bolt that's on eBay... and it's stainless!

Bolt Depot


Looks like a good site, although I seem to be able to find everything I need in SAE and metric locally.

There will be just a bit of British (CEI) hardware on your '71 - for instance, the studs that hold the carburetors to the head. Any of this sort of hardware will be 1/4" X 26 tpi, 5/16" X 26 tpi, or 3/8" X 26 tpi. Also a smaller size called 2BA, which is about identical to SAE #10 X 32 tpi. If you need any of this stuff, check out British Tools and Fasteners, ad somewhere on this site. They have about everything, much in stainless steel, British taps and dies, thread gauges, etc.




Mark Z

'65(lower)/'66(upper, wheels, front end, controls)/'67(seat, exhaust, fuel tank, headlamp)/'70(frame) A65 Bitsa.
Re: My Rat-Trap of a '71 BSA OIF Lightning [Re: Mark Z] #763609 01/26/19 4:57 pm
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celtrock Offline OP
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Where do you find it locally? A local hardware store? Chain?

Just went through a box of bits. Check THIS out:

[Linked Image]

I know some of this stuff (4 rear brake switches?!) but other bits are a little more mysterious. I know maybe 1/2 of what this stuff is.
Sadly that Norton box only held another brake switch in it.


You know, I'm sick of following my dreams, man.
I'm just going to ask where they're going and hook up with 'em later.
-Mitch Hedberg
Re: My Rat-Trap of a '71 BSA OIF Lightning [Re: celtrock] #763638 01/27/19 12:46 am
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quinten Online Content
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.
... don't know why I never noticed this before ,
Or why I am noticing it now ,
but why is the oily frame .... rear brake arm so loooong ?
.

Re: My Rat-Trap of a '71 BSA OIF Lightning [Re: celtrock] #763650 01/27/19 10:24 am
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gavin eisler Offline
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90% of the stuff in the lectrics pic is irrelevant.Maybe handy for bartering though.

The ignition switch with the key might work ( if the contacts are good), and the brake switches might work.
The steering stem lock might fit.
The lights s/w toggle style are too large to fit the flat back bucket. You need the smaller 1/2 turn type of switch.
Ammeters are off earlier models.
The chrome dome nuts, might fit the steering stem.
the tank mount rubber ( bagged ) looks too small , different bike.
most of the other stuff is off other bikes.
the rear brake arm looks fine to me.


71 Devimead A65 750
56 Norbsa 68 Longstroke A65
Cagiva Raptor 650
MZ TS 250
The poster formerly known as Pod
Re: My Rat-Trap of a '71 BSA OIF Lightning [Re: celtrock] #763676 01/27/19 4:15 pm
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Mark Z Offline
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"Where do you find it locally? A local hardware store? Chain?"

Right in my own town, there's Agway, and there's Home Central (which may be a True Value franchise; I don't pay much attention to signs). Both of these stores have an extensive selection of SAE and metric hardware. In both stores, the distributor for the hardware is Hillman, and a Hillman rep. stocks the displays.

About fifteen miles away is a Home Depot; they also have a pretty extensive selection of hardware. I would guess Lowe's does too, but I haven't really looked there.

"but why is the oily frame .... rear brake arm so loooong ?"

Oily frame, that's funny... hopefully most of it stays on the inside. By rear brake arm, do you mean the foot pedal? If so, I think it's just a matter of where it had to be mounted. Non-oily frame brake pedals are pretty long too. You may appreciate the leverage afforded by that long pedal some time; remember this is a mechanical drum brake, not a hydraulic disc brake.


Mark Z

'65(lower)/'66(upper, wheels, front end, controls)/'67(seat, exhaust, fuel tank, headlamp)/'70(frame) A65 Bitsa.
Re: My Rat-Trap of a '71 BSA OIF Lightning [Re: celtrock] #763681 01/27/19 4:54 pm
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DMadigan Offline
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People hated the dove grey because it shows dirt so easily. Remember, these had non-O-ring chains and an oil drip feed which sprayed it all over the back end of the bike.
You can get bolts in 1/8" and 1/4" increments from McMaster. Stainless, black oxide, titanium, zinc plated, whatever. You will have more than you need so you will have to buy more bikes to use them.

Re: My Rat-Trap of a '71 BSA OIF Lightning [Re: celtrock] #763710 01/27/19 9:29 pm
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Looking at the first pics and the random electrics pics. Looks like you have one of the original hbar switch clusters, if it is the two position blade type then that will do high / low beam, horn and lights flash. The three position blade type is for indicators , kill switch and a dead button to keep you guessing. If you have the two blade type and no indicators you may get away with a kill switch button ( theres looks like something suitable in the random bits pic). It looks like the original grey sheathed bar loom was chopped from the switch block, its still dangling in the first pic.

lectrically, it would have come with a Zener Diode bolted to the LHS air box inner. A 3 plate rectifier ( black fins) bolted under the seat somewhere. ignition switch in RHS steel panel, Light switch in headlamp top RHS, 3 idiot lights, one oil pressure, one high beam, one for indicators .2 off 12 volt in the bracket below the seat coils . A small rubber box with 2 ignition condensers ( room for 3), under the seat .
its not unusual to find some other type of "power box" or replacement solid lump rectifier still working with the old ZD , and isnt a bad idea to fit one if you have nothing to begin with , this will replace the original rectifier and Zener.

have a good look at the battery strap mounts, the front one can sometimes rub on the carrier, a couple of licks with a file will fix it. get ready to spend over and take it for the team when it comes to buying all the knackered rubber bits.
battery mounts, side panel mounts ( buy 6, split 4 length wise to use for front fender mounts), lamp bucket bathtub rubber frame grommets, Instrument cup rubbers, handle bar clamp mount rubbers, tank mount rubbers, tank centre mount rubbers ,front fender mounts and wire stay headlamp mounts will all probably be perished or missing. Generally if they have seen UV or oil they will be FUBAR.
When it comes to all these it might be easier to get them from triumph parts list numbers, because these BSA s were only made for 2 years, and Triumph kept going with the same basic set up for another 10 or so years its generally a good bet to go to the triumph guys for all the cycle part stuff, apart from the motor mounts, fuel tank,seat hinges and rear chain guard its all the same as a T, of course they use a different part number , but T parts books are out there on line if you need them.

I think the only original rubber bits left on my 71 are one tank rubber , and the top wire stay mounts. Most all the replacement rubber bits are made from fast rot materials, they last a little longer if you baby them with lotions, but dont be surprised when the "new " speedo rubbers are cracking 1 year later. If any of the original stuff is still there and looks usable it will probably be better than a one year old "new" rubber part.

Nuts and bolts wise, when I give dimensions hereI refer to bolt shank diameter not Across the Flats , the chassis is all UNF, originally all nuts were a self locking type, Aero something, if nutty originality isnt a big deal, buy a dozen , 1/4 UNF ( rear fender mounts). 5/16 UNF (8 fork caps), 3/8 UNF , (2 pillion footrests, 2 Lower yoke clamp.2 H Bar P brackets)4 Shock mounts)

galvanised Nylock nuts,

get half thickness ones if you can,washers to suit, not too large, apart from the fender bolts.The lower drive side shock nut is a special, its extra thin, 3/8 UNF, you wont get a full nut in there. Might be worth buying from the parts number for this one, I just filed one down to fit.

For engine bolts there are guys selling sets on e bay , they are a mix of diameters and lengths with a couple of 7/16" diam curve balls that arent that easy to get.Make sure you get a 71/ 72 BSA A65 set,T stuff wont work here. If you keep the stock rider footrests, modify the mount bolts to a stud and nut, the bolt is a total arse to get in.

Last edited by gavin eisler; 01/27/19 9:45 pm. Reason: seat hinges, fuel tank

71 Devimead A65 750
56 Norbsa 68 Longstroke A65
Cagiva Raptor 650
MZ TS 250
The poster formerly known as Pod
Re: My Rat-Trap of a '71 BSA OIF Lightning [Re: celtrock] #763718 01/27/19 10:47 pm
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Quote
Oily frame, that's funny... hopefully most of it stays on the inside. By rear brake arm, do you mean the foot pedal? If so, I think it's just a matter of where it had to be mounted. Non-oily frame brake pedals are pretty long too. You may appreciate the leverage afforded by that long pedal some time; remember this is a mechanical drum brake, not a hydraulic disc brake.


No , i mean the torque arm (stay) attached to the brake drum .
Part #12
[Linked Image]
I guess its normal for oif and/or conical brake .
Just never noticed it before because ... it's tucked in behind the silencers .
... just to my eye it looks longer than the job calls for ?

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