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1968 BSA A65L Identification
#809032 05/15/20 5:57 pm
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To whom might be able to give guidance. I am thinking of selling my bike that I restored many years ago. The original title and current title state that it is a 1968 year model. All the parts on the bike at the time of restoration were/are 1966 components - tail light, side covers, basically everything about the bike. The engine cases where replaced many years ago and have no serial number on them. Someone in the past had stated that it was not uncommon for BSA to sell left over units as "newer" year models. Could this have been the case? All I have to go by is the frame # A50C4115. Any feedback would be greatly appreciatated. Thanks in advance.

Rhett Kinkade


1966 BSA 650 Lightening
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Re: 1968 BSA A65L Identification
rkinkade #809039 05/15/20 7:15 pm
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A50C is a very early 66 model year frame.

Leftover was likely more a dealer left over. Different states title things different. Some go model year, others go model year sold.


Never underestimate the human ability to elevate stupid to a whole new level!.
Re: 1968 BSA A65L Identification
Rich B #809057 05/15/20 9:55 pm
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Thank you for the reply. That is good to know. The bike was sold new a Stovall's Cycle Center located in Dallas, Texas. They are actually still open as a independent repair shop and run by the original owners son and grandson. I thought at one time there was a service where you could pay to cross reference the bike frame and or the engine number to get the original info on a bike. I am gonna keep poking around . Thanks again...


1966 BSA 650 Lightening
Re: 1968 BSA A65L Identification
rkinkade #809065 05/15/20 11:30 pm
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The BSA Owners Club in the UK has a copy of the factory despatch records, and will provide a dating certificate for a modest fee.

The VMCC in the UK also has a copy of the factory records. Members can have the library search for the records of 2 machines free each year. Unfortunately, their operations are very severely curtailed at present.

The BSAOC and Britbike also have online summaries of engine and frame numbers by year. This is enough to get into the right general area, which is enough for most of us most of the time.

As Rich noted above, A50C frame numbers were only used for the 1966 model year. Early 1966 frames were stamped A50C, but later in the season BSA switched to matching engine and frame numbers.

1 member likes this: rkinkade
Re: 1968 BSA A65L Identification
rkinkade #809067 05/16/20 1:09 am
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the frame numbers are kind of high for a 66 model year 650 ... with an A50C frame stamp ?

i think , its a wasp 500 frame ( edit .. or royal star )
that was ex-factory
... fitted with blank 650 cases

Last edited by quinten; 05/18/20 12:09 am.
Re: 1968 BSA A65L Identification
quinten #809069 05/16/20 1:24 am
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Originally Posted by quinten
the frame numbers are kind of high for a 66 model year 650 ... with an A50C frame stamp ?

i think , its a wasp 500 frame
that was ex-factory
... fitted with blank 650 cases

Having researched the original factory production books in 2010 in the UK, I can say there are no '66 Wasps in the books.


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: 1968 BSA A65L Identification
Gary E #809073 05/16/20 3:17 am
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not an expert , just a reader
i should have included the Royal Star model too ...
Royal Star and Wasp models ( 500cc)
have 66 parts books
i dont have any reference to production numbers
maybe there were no 500s , just parts books

[Linked Image from heortieg.com]
https://www.heortieg.com/ekmps/shop...sp-1966-parts-manual-m292shmc-3282-p.jpg

Last edited by quinten; 05/16/20 7:30 pm.
Re: 1968 BSA A65L Identification
rkinkade #809103 05/16/20 2:57 pm
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Thank you to all that have provided info. I am going to go the BSA owners club route and do the research. In regards to the blanked out cases (no serial numbers), I was told by the staff at Stovall's Cycle Center back in the day that replacement cases did not have serial numbers from the factory. So when it was rebuilt for whatever reason, they failed to stamp the cases with the serial number from the old cases. Thanks again for all of the provided info.


1966 BSA 650 Lightening
Re: 1968 BSA A65L Identification
rkinkade #809121 05/16/20 6:14 pm
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Some pictures would be very helpful. If the frame stamp is A50C the bike isn’t a 68 to start with so the motor could be anything.


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: 1968 BSA A65L Identification
rkinkade #809227 05/17/20 9:29 pm
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Just looked up the frame A50C.4115 in the BSA dispatch books.

It was built on 15th September 1966 and was dispatched to BSA New Jersey (East coast impoters) on 15/09/1966
Its model is listed as A50R which is the Royal Star


Thrash, Bang, Re-Build...
Re: 1968 BSA A65L Identification
rkinkade #809231 05/17/20 10:09 pm
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That's interesting info, Andy.

Were there any A65s with A50C frame numbers that late, or just the A50s?

There is scope for endless distraction in those dispatch records.

Re: 1968 BSA A65L Identification
rkinkade #809364 05/18/20 9:10 pm
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Thank you for the registry info. A member of the U.K. BSAOC (Phil Bull) has replied to the inquiry that I had sent this last Saturday. I had just sent him my frame number this morning.Before I had a chance to read the most recent posts. So - not sure where to go from here... I had tried posting some photos from my old photo bucket account but the britbike system doesn't seem to like html links... It sounds like I might have what I would call a hodge podge bike on my hands. Thanks for the all of the invaluable input and info.


1966 BSA 650 Lightening
Re: 1968 BSA A65L Identification
rkinkade #809366 05/18/20 9:38 pm
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There was a request in a prior reply to post some photos as it might be helpful...

Pre-Restoration:

[Linked Image from i110.photobucket.com]


The restoration almost complete:

[Linked Image from i110.photobucket.com]


[Linked Image from i110.photobucket.com]


1966 BSA 650 Lightening
Re: 1968 BSA A65L Identification
Shane in Oz #809368 05/18/20 9:58 pm
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Originally Posted by Shane in Oz
That's interesting info, Andy.

Were there any A65s with A50C frame numbers that late, or just the A50s?

There is scope for endless distraction in those dispatch records.

i read some where , probably right here on BritBike
that #3217 is the first matching number 650 recorded in the dispatch books .
( still searching for the quote )
does the first matching mean the last non matching ? ... i would think so , but you never know

1966 was very messy year for BSA .
4000 twins were shipped from the US , back the the UK ... to have various problems remedied .

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Re: 1968 BSA A65L Identification
rkinkade #809463 05/19/20 1:25 pm
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I just wanted to share some info that I received via email this morning. Again, I want to thank everyone for all of the info that they have provided. "An A65L with that frame number was despatched to Hap Alzina,Oakland,California in December 1965 which would make it a 1966 model year machine.For information,BSA frame and engine numbers matched from this period onwards although I cannot guarantee the engine in your BSA is the original." "Much can happen in 50 years of a vehicle's life." Thanks again to Phil Bull - U.K. BSAOC.


1966 BSA 650 Lightening
Re: 1968 BSA A65L Identification
quinten #810870 Yesterday at 11:36 PM
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Originally Posted by quinten
. . . i read some where , probably right here on BritBike
that #3217 is the first matching number 650 recorded in the dispatch books .
( still searching for the quote ) . . .

Originally Posted by Gary E
. . . frame and engine numbers were not the same identical stamping until #3217, November 1965 for the '66 model year (based on factory production book research). Prior to that, the frame number is different than the engine number, but a "matching number machine" would have the correct specific numbers for each, as they came off the production line . . .


'64 TR6R Plus some Twins from other countries (U.S., Germany, Japan)

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