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Cornering Clearance Suggestions for A65?
#808710 05/12/20 10:09 pm
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I'm a newcomer to BSAs, and I need some advice. I have just finished my 68 Spitfire and I am encountering a lack of cornering clearance, and I am guessing that more experienced BSA folks know exactly what to do.

This may just be a design issue. Measuring, the tips of the mufflers are 3 inches lower than on my stock 70 Bonneville, and the pegs are an inch lower. The pegs don't bother me so much, since they are folding. But the mufflers do (touching down mufflers is not conducive to my continued health).

Do I need to fabricate new shorter brackets? Or pull the pipes in some more (they are pretty close to the passenger peg loops already so not much to gain there). Or is there some other part I don't know about yet? If it helps, I have a 4.00 Avon AM26 on the back, a 3.50 on the front (neither one particularly short sidewalled), and I have increased rear preload to the top (sort of disappointed to see these are already 13.4 inch shocks, no easy gain there), and I haven't done anything to the fork preload yet. I do have a set of 14 1/2 inch Works Performance shocks off a race bike, and there are up pipes for these, but I would prefer to leave this stock looking.

Last edited by linker48x; 05/12/20 10:11 pm.
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Re: Cornering Clearance Suggestions for A65?
linker48x #808713 05/12/20 10:39 pm
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If you have street exhaust system, you should have non-folding footrests.


Mark Z

'65(lower)/'66(upper, wheels, front end, controls)/'67(seat, exhaust, fuel tank, headlamp)/'70(frame) A65 Bitsa.
Re: Cornering Clearance Suggestions for A65?
linker48x #808717 05/12/20 11:04 pm
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Watch out when cornering to the left. The kickstand lever arm hangs low. I've ground the end off from contacting the pavement several times on my '68 Spitfire.

Had a friend "pogo stick" into the ditch from excess contact with it to the pavement.


1967 BSA Wasp
1967 BSA Hornet (West Coast Model)
1967 BSA Hornet (East Coast Model)
1968 BSA Firebird Scrambler
1968 BSA Spitfire Mark IV
1965 Cyclone Competition Build
Re: Cornering Clearance Suggestions for A65?
Mark Z #808719 05/12/20 11:20 pm
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On the folding footpegs, that is interesting, I do have folders. Not stock, I guess, but that is a good thing though, as far as I can see, from the point of view of not being one more solid piece to hit the ground.

On the centerstand tang, I've planted it pretty solidly already, in the first 200 miles, much to my surprise, enough to get the rear tire off the ground. Fortunately didn't see a ditch though--hope your friend was okay. Any suggestions how to raise or trim it?

And any suggestions about raising the pipes?

Re: Cornering Clearance Suggestions for A65?
linker48x #808722 05/12/20 11:29 pm
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Originally Posted by linker48x
I'm a newcomer to BSAs, and I need some advice. I have just finished my 68 Spitfire and I am encountering a lack of cornering clearance, and I am guessing that more experienced BSA folks know exactly what to do.

This may just be a design issue. Measuring, the tips of the mufflers are 3 inches lower than on my stock 70 Bonneville, and the pegs are an inch lower. The pegs don't bother me so much, since they are folding. But the mufflers do (touching down mufflers is not conducive to my continued health).

Do I need to fabricate new shorter brackets? Or pull the pipes in some more (they are pretty close to the passenger peg loops already so not much to gain there). Or is there some other part I don't know about yet? If it helps, I have a 4.00 Avon AM26 on the back, a 3.50 on the front (neither one particularly short sidewalled), and I have increased rear preload to the top (sort of disappointed to see these are already 13.4 inch shocks, no easy gain there), and I haven't done anything to the fork preload yet. I do have a set of 14 1/2 inch Works Performance shocks off a race bike, and there are up pipes for these, but I would prefer to leave this stock looking.
The Avon Roadriders have way, way more grip than the Dunlop K70s which would have been fitted originally, so muffler height wouldn't have been the limiting factor then.
How about fitting 1968 Firebird Scramble high pipes?

The stands will still be a limiting factor on the left as Gary pointed out, but the exhaust system won't be.

Re: Cornering Clearance Suggestions for A65?
linker48x #808732 05/13/20 12:32 am
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Having similar probs, lose the centre stand, fit a siamese system to gain LHS clearance if that doesnt fix it, if you go real hard consider Gold star pattern loudencers and shorter mount brackets. The bevel on the goldie cans gives a wee bit more room.
Or try hanging your shoulder further in . before setting into the corner physically move your upper torso into the bend , shoulder and head. Get physical. With no pipes and stand on the DS the next thing down is the foot rest, folding types are out there. I hesitate to recommend high pipes they come with all sorts of leg burning issues.
Pipes can be tucked in a little by playing with washers at the rear mounts.
Upper body lean in has far more effect than poking your knee out.
A skinnier back tyre will help, a fat tyre needs more lean angle for a given speed.
I have scraped RHS silencers on pre 71 models , the system is a limiting factor.

Last edited by gavin eisler; 05/13/20 12:45 am.

71 Devimead, John Hill, John Holmes A65 750
56 Norbsa 68 Longstroke A65
Cagiva Raptor 650
MZ TS 250
The poster formerly known as Pod
Re: Cornering Clearance Suggestions for A65?
linker48x #808759 05/13/20 3:17 am
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True about AM26s versus K70s, I rode my first roadrace in 1969 on K70s and thought they were great—but times do change don’t they? The street AM 26s are better than the Dunlop 591s we raced on in the 90s.

Gavin, thanks for the ideas. I had thought of using the similar —what do they call those—Dixiecups? Anyway, the tapered accessory mufflers from the 50s, originally Webco I think? that look like Gold Star pattern mufflers that you can still get, and that come in a turned up style as well as straight. And it’s pretty hard for a center stand to hit the ground if it’s not on there.

I’d prefer not to use up pipes, just so it looks more or less stock.

Thanks all. Any more ideas, just let me know!

Re: Cornering Clearance Suggestions for A65?
linker48x #808778 05/13/20 7:49 am
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Might be good to post a picture, I have never had clearance issues with my bike and that isn’t because I don’t bank it over. I run road riders but used to run with K70’s. regarding the 3.50 front tyre, I never found the bike cornered as well with it on as it does with a 3.25


Now let’s all have a beer beerchug

68’ A65 Lightning “clubman”
71’ A65 823 Thunderbolt (undergoing restoration)
67’ D10 sportsman (undergoing restoration)
68’ D14 trials (undergoing transformation)

Re: Cornering Clearance Suggestions for A65?
Mark Z #808779 05/13/20 7:51 am
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Originally Posted by Mark Z
If you have street exhaust system, you should have non-folding footrests.


Spitfires and firebirds had folding footrests I believe (least in 68)


Now let’s all have a beer beerchug

68’ A65 Lightning “clubman”
71’ A65 823 Thunderbolt (undergoing restoration)
67’ D10 sportsman (undergoing restoration)
68’ D14 trials (undergoing transformation)

Re: Cornering Clearance Suggestions for A65?
linker48x #808782 05/13/20 8:20 am
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I would check following before changing the parts on the bike Have you set your static sag correctly ie 1/3 of total travel on the front, 1/6th on the back, are the shocks the right length and not short.

Folding pegs is a good feature, you get advance notice before something else digs in and dumps you.

Re: Cornering Clearance Suggestions for A65?
linker48x #808796 05/13/20 12:28 pm
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My '68 Spitfire drags the center stand on the left. I don't believe i've ever touched on the right side.

I've learned just where that limit is and keep it to "no more than a slight drag". When dealing with 50-year-old tech for brakes and suspensions but improved cornering grip with better tires, it's best to play it safe and know your (and the bike's) limits.

Re: Cornering Clearance Suggestions for A65?
linker48x #808821 05/13/20 6:19 pm
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ok so no one has been sufficently forthright (or rude) to ask the OP if he is excessively fat .........i mean really fat .........better believe that will make a difference to clearance


"There's the way it ought to be and there's the way it is" (Sgt Barnes)
1 member likes this: KevRasen
Re: Cornering Clearance Suggestions for A65?
linker48x #808836 05/13/20 8:43 pm
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LOL, no, sorry, not fat, funny (and fair) question though. Preload set already, all is good there. I put a couple photos in the "What did you do to your bike today?" thread in the general area, at this point they are the last posts there. http://www.britbike.com/forums/ubbt...at-did-you-do-to-your-bike-today-join-in

The main problem seems to be it doesn't have enough ground clearance. I am hoping to get some suggestions from people who have already fixed this, best suggestions so far are to take the center stand off and to make new muffler brackets to pull them up--or it looks like I could simply drill new holes in the existing ones.

I know I can put up pipes on it--I put them on my road racer just for this reason. http://www.britbike.com/forums/ubbt...d-triumph-ahrma-750-sportsman#Post786265 and I have a pair of longer 14.5 inch Works Performance shocks. However, I am hoping to keep it stock looking. And I enjoy pulling the wire on it, it is a great motorcycle!

Re: Cornering Clearance Suggestions for A65?
linker48x #808838 05/13/20 9:22 pm
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The lever on the centre stand isn’t correct, it should be more rounded to clear the silencer. It’ll be that what’s keeping the stand down and that’s what your grinding. Also if you are grinding your silencers you might have the wrong brackets.

Back to the centre stand, if you cut the lever off the stand will go further up and won catch, it will be a bugger to lower having twin pipes.


Now let’s all have a beer beerchug

68’ A65 Lightning “clubman”
71’ A65 823 Thunderbolt (undergoing restoration)
67’ D10 sportsman (undergoing restoration)
68’ D14 trials (undergoing transformation)

Re: Cornering Clearance Suggestions for A65?
linker48x #808946 05/14/20 8:02 pm
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Here's a pic of my A65 Firebird bitsa, as can be seen, I have the 1968 high pipes, so no cornering problems, although to be fair I dont try that hard.

[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]

Worth checking your centre stand spring as often these are weak and can cause the stand to bounce around during hard cornering.


1968 A65 Firebird
1967 B44 Shooting Star
1972 Norton Commando
Re: Cornering Clearance Suggestions for A65?
linker48x #808962 05/14/20 11:50 pm
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With stock footrests and rubbers bevels appear when leaned over in extremis, on the RHS the belly of the silencer is the next thing down, on the LHS the centre stand is first followed by the side stand and footrest depending on position.
Any mega type pipe loses the first touch down RHS, on the LHS stands grind away slowly or get taken off.
If you are going past the stand limits, take the stands off, If you fit longer rear shocks you might gain a bit . Next would be TT Type pipes , which are a Pain to keep clean. Although Ive often pondered a collector box under the motor dead centre with pipes swept in, so everything is tucked to the middle, dream on. I had a dunstall two into one like that once , didnt run well for me, kept falling off , and lost oomph mids. Two into one crossing over under the motor is a good idea , coming back out as two, Mark Parker has a good X pipe set up, the name is self explanatory.
If crossing pipes under the motor appeals , ponder on sump drain and gearbox drain locations, they make life tricky.

I only found clearance on the RHS to be an issue when two up on the dry frame , but that was with no centre stand.You get a cigar if you can scrape the can RHS one up.

BITD when people were young most brit footrests had a jaunty up tilt from being dropped, this helps with the last bit of ground clearance, folk are too hung up on right angles now.

Last edited by gavin eisler; 05/15/20 12:12 am.

71 Devimead, John Hill, John Holmes A65 750
56 Norbsa 68 Longstroke A65
Cagiva Raptor 650
MZ TS 250
The poster formerly known as Pod
Re: Cornering Clearance Suggestions for A65?
linker48x #808965 05/15/20 12:16 am
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Thats a great looking bike Gunner , I would love to get the pipes blue on that .Needs Ally rims in my biased opinion.

Last edited by gavin eisler; 05/15/20 12:17 am.

71 Devimead, John Hill, John Holmes A65 750
56 Norbsa 68 Longstroke A65
Cagiva Raptor 650
MZ TS 250
The poster formerly known as Pod
Re: Cornering Clearance Suggestions for A65?
linker48x #808967 05/15/20 12:21 am
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Eventually it goes away. Plus what Allan side , the protrusion bit should curl tight round the pipe, maybe someone " straightened it ".

Attached Files IMG_1245.JPG

71 Devimead, John Hill, John Holmes A65 750
56 Norbsa 68 Longstroke A65
Cagiva Raptor 650
MZ TS 250
The poster formerly known as Pod
Re: Cornering Clearance Suggestions for A65?
linker48x #808990 05/15/20 7:20 am
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Might be worth measuring the distance of the rear shock bolt to the ground when the op is sat on the bike. The rear shocks could just be toast, I borrowed a bike once (back when I was lighter) my pillion was a feather weight also but whilst it seemed ok solo, taking a left hander - even the slightest one made you feel like a “flattrack hero” there was a small enough amount of tyre grip but the stand stopped it and the back end brought itself round. I’ve never experienced this on my own bike so put it down to shock absorbers. Also if the bike is rideable solo on the hardest setting then there is something wrong. If I set any of mine like that it is just too darn stiff to ride.

Lowest position - solo
Middle position -with pillion or luggage
Stiffest position - with pillion and luggage.


Now let’s all have a beer beerchug

68’ A65 Lightning “clubman”
71’ A65 823 Thunderbolt (undergoing restoration)
67’ D10 sportsman (undergoing restoration)
68’ D14 trials (undergoing transformation)

Re: Cornering Clearance Suggestions for A65?
linker48x #808999 05/15/20 8:27 am
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Quote
Thats a great looking bike Gunner , I would love to get the pipes blue on that .Needs Ally rims in my biased opinion.

Thanks Gavin, that photo was from a few years ago and the pipes have blued more now, but I need to get out more and give it a good hard ride. Agreed about the rims, the alloy type would probably be better.


1968 A65 Firebird
1967 B44 Shooting Star
1972 Norton Commando
Re: Cornering Clearance Suggestions for A65?
linker48x #809027 05/15/20 3:26 pm
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When I got my first Lightning back in the early seventies, I was riding it to work every day, and on the way home, there was a 270-degree ramp going down to the highway that I would take a little faster every day, until one day I scraped the right footrest. At that point I said, ok, now I know how far the bike can lean, and I've never leaned it that far since.

As I've been following this thread, and per my first reply, I was thinking that if you have rigid footrests, they will hit before the silencers. However, I happened to remember that back when I got that bike, it had narrow upswept megaphones ("trumpets', they've been called). (Which, by the way, would be another option for providing more ground clearance to the exhaust.)

I still maintain that folding footrests are for off-road use though, and for racing, so as not to cause injury if you dump. If you're leaning the bike enough to fold the footrest, where is your foot, on the tarmac?


Mark Z

'65(lower)/'66(upper, wheels, front end, controls)/'67(seat, exhaust, fuel tank, headlamp)/'70(frame) A65 Bitsa.
Re: Cornering Clearance Suggestions for A65?
linker48x #809068 05/16/20 1:18 am
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If all of the muffler brackets are correct and the mufflers are factory spec., then the muffler shoulder just barely clear the bottom of the passenger footrest mount.

[Linked Image from i.postimg.cc]


1967 BSA Wasp
1967 BSA Hornet (West Coast Model)
1967 BSA Hornet (East Coast Model)
1968 BSA Firebird Scrambler
1968 BSA Spitfire Mark IV
1965 Cyclone Competition Build

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