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DBD34 Authenticity Check
#806976 04/28/20 1:55 am
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Hello from Australia. I have just joined the Forum and would like some information from the great knowledge base out there. I have been a Brit bike enthusiast/owner/rider for 40 years with cafe racer style bikes my main passion. I finally have the opportunity to purchase a 1956 or 57 DBD34 at a reasonable price but have some questions around authenticity (not an uncommon issue I expect!). I do have some general knowledge on the Gold Star and I have been researching on the 'net. I have ordered a couple of the well respected reference books to improve my knowledge further but I may have to commit to the sale before the books will reach me, hence my current questions. I will list these in order, from major concern down to minor:

1. The lugs for mounting the rear set foot controls do not have the plate with the broached hexagon aperture installed on the outside. I can see no evidence of these being removed but the bike is restored so who knows. Was this plate on all DBD Gold Stars or only some?

2. The frame and engine numbers are correct for 1956 or 1957 however the frame number is a very low CB32.40** number while the engine number is DBD.34.GS.29** making it, relative to the frame number, quite high in it's series. I know they are not meant to be matching, but is it typical to be so far apart - the frame a low number and the engine a high-ish number in each of the series?

3. The Lucas headlight fitted appears to be incorrect in that it has an underslung pilot light i.e. the pilot light sits in its own small, flat-V shaped, nacelle under the headlight bucket. I have not seen such a design on a DBD Gold Star. Assuming it is incorrect (or please correct me on this) is the correct headlight just the typical Lucas item from the period i.e, no special attributes for the DBD application?

4. There is no quick disconnect plug in the wiring loom behind the headlight. Was this a standard fitting for all Gold Stars or only certain models or as an option?

5. The alloy rims fitted are the correct size but one is an Akront the other a Borrani. I believe the Akront is incorrect, however I have heard (once only) that Boranni's may have been fitted in period. Can anyone advise details on this?

The current owner (about 10 years) doesn't know a lot about the bike and has hardly used it; the previous owner to him restored the bike but has passed away, so I have no ability to chase the history. The previous owner reported to the current owner that the bike was fitted with a RRT2 gearbox at some stage.

The bike in general is in very good condition - older restoration but done well and holding up well. Comes with the 190mm front brake, touring bars, STD gearbox, 1000 series AMAL Concentric and touring footpegs. Also comes with rear set footpegs, clip ons and short fork shrouds to suit.

Thanks in anticipation of some answers to the above.

Michael.

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Re: DBD34 Authenticity Check
cafe plodder #806994 04/28/20 3:32 am
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Interesting. Photos would help.

The ' Gold Star Buyers Companion' (by our own esteemed Magnetoman, https://www.amazon.co.uk/s?k=gold+star+buyers+companion&ref=nb_sb_noss), available via Amazon is probably your best reference work..others are notoriously poorly referenced and copy each other, perpetuating half truths!

Contacting the UK Gold Star Owners Club machine registrar (Ian Jackson, [email protected]) needs to be your first port of call - he can usually verify the dispatch details for frame and engine number (having/having access to factory dispatch records for most Gold Stars), possibly even having a copy of the original engine test certificate (which will detail the engine's specification and intended use). Ian likes to see pencil rubbings of the engine and frame stamping too, if possible, to assist with authenticating them.

Off the top of my head: (and subject to correction)

1. Mounting lugs should have the hex plate outboard..it's what stops the rearsets rotating on the mount - the stud that goes through the mount has a hex portion in its middle (studs are different left to right too). Having no hex plate would make me very suspicious - I looked at a VERY nice DBD in New Zealand about 12 years ago (oddly in Touring trim too) that had rears mounts like that. Those mounts and the style of frame number stamping caused me to walk away..price was premium and the detail didn't support it for me.

2. Seeing the frame number stamping, both in terms of style, font and location, would be a help. Estimated 'fake potential' assessment (given the rearset mounts): "high".

3. That style of Lucas headlight, with the underslung pilot, was used, but only up to about 1954, on BB machines, or thereabouts. Personally, I wouldn't expect to see one on a DBD.

4. Not sure about the incidence of QD headlight plugs, though it wouldn't surprise me to see one on a Clubmans bike; less so on a. Touring machine. Could easily be wrong, but I don't think I've ever seen a plug on the headlight shell with an underslung pilot (which will surely prompt someone to show that this is an incorrect assumption!).

5. Akront surely not original. Borrani was a period thing; being an Italian-made Rudge item (they bought the rights, or some deal like that in the 1920's or 30's), (will probably have the old 1920's Rudge logo on it, or would have).

On balance, even if the frame's authenticity is not established and the other concerns you mention might be valid, it's likely this is still a great machine to own and ride and looks the part. Price would/should reflect a lack of a frame/engine match or the frames B31 origins (if that's the case). To my mind, a genuine frame/engine, even not matched is worth (there's a statement) more than a converted B31-framed bike, though there's no difference to the way they go/ride. Typical UK values would see a genuine frame with a genuine engine, though not a 'factory pair' sell for 2-3000 pounds less than a bike with a factory provenance and it's original registration plate.

Keep us posted!

KW


No generalisation is wholly true, not even this one.
Oliver Wendell Holmes
Re: DBD34 Authenticity Check
cafe plodder #807003 04/28/20 5:10 am
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I concur with Kerry wholly except for maybe a slight exception to the headlight. I believe all the "West Coast" Gold Stars after the underslung headlight did have the QD light plug. They may have been that way on all Gold Stars but I stress the "West Coast" because the USA West Coast distributor Hap Alzina tended to get certain modifications on some BSA's that were not readily available worldwide.


Bill B...


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Re: DBD34 Authenticity Check
cafe plodder #807005 04/28/20 7:36 am
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Thanks Kerry W and Boomer for your replies.

The Gold Star Buyer's Companion is one of the books on order.
I will make contact with the UK GSOC as you suggest. Hopefully that will help give a definitive answer.

As Kerry W suggests, even if it is not a ridgey-didge example, at the right price it would provide the same experience in most respects.

I will post again when I know more.

Michael.

Re: DBD34 Authenticity Check
cafe plodder #807011 04/28/20 9:17 am
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Hi try mikes [email protected],his no is 738040055 tell him val told you.

Re: DBD34 Authenticity Check
cafe plodder #807036 04/28/20 2:40 pm
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For what it's worth, my DB34GS was dispatched to Hap Alzina on March 5, 1956.
Ian believes that they are the original items.
The frame is CB32 459X, the engine, DB, not DBD, GS 90X
Sounds to me like you have an earlier frame and a later engine.

Re: DBD34 Authenticity Check
cafe plodder #807045 04/28/20 4:07 pm
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Michael. For sure the GSOC can sort out whether or not the engine and frame left the factory together or not but given that they were also making DB32 and DB34 engines in that time frame it would be really hard to come to any conclusion about the match up of any numbers.

Gordo


The roadside repairs make for the best post ride stories.
Re: DBD34 Authenticity Check
cafe plodder #807668 05/03/20 10:36 am
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This is a picture of the frame / engine numbers from the years of your numbers .

[Linked Image from i.ibb.co]

Re: DBD34 Authenticity Check
cafe plodder #807828 05/04/20 5:44 pm
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Unfortunately BSA assigned numbers in there yearly charts in a range of blocks, ie: 101 to 2000, or 501 to 2000. This does not mean that from 101 to 2000, 1900 engines were built. It could have been 1738 or 1845, who knows except maybe the dispatch book.

Also notice the frame and engine numbers start at the same numbers for '56 and '57 and it looks like by this list the DBD head wasn't used until '58 except for race bikes. My original '57 Clubman has a DBD head. A lot of anomalies.


Bill B...


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Re: DBD34 Authenticity Check
cafe plodder #808145 05/07/20 11:10 am
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Thanks everyone again for your input. After making an enquiry on the Gold Star Owners Club, it appears the bike I was looking at is indeed a genuine Gold Star, just that the constituent parts didn't start out their lives together! The frame is a 1957 Australian-delivered DB32 in racing trim and the motor is a 1958 DBD34 originally delivered in the UK as a Clubmans. Some of the smaller items on the bike are also not correct (for either of these dates). So it could be called a Heinz Gold Star - it has 57 varieties!

At this stage I will be passing on the bike, even though it looks to be a good 'rider', and looking for something more original.

Ideally I would like a late 50's DBD34 - any offers out there (in Australia)?

Michael.


Moderated by  Rich B 

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