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BSA Clone
#816427 07/16/20 6:55 pm
Joined: Oct 2002
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joe a. Offline OP
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1969 Kawasaki W2SS.. Meguro had the rights to copy in the 50's and then Kawasaki bought them out and made them 650's.

Last edited by joe a.; 07/16/20 6:58 pm.
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Re: BSA Clone
joe a. #816429 07/16/20 7:08 pm
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Never had one but online comments were good. I think they are probably a bike I'd own.

Re: BSA Clone
Ragmanx #816432 07/16/20 7:33 pm
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joe a. Offline OP
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Lets face it much easier to follow then to lead and Kawasaki was willing to build a better mouse trap while BSA was saddled with bean counters who wanted quick cash and no investment in upgrades! Kawasaki engineers built a much better engine but it still did not sell well. i think they gave up to soon since Yamaha sold many xs650's for years..

Re: BSA Clone
joe a. #816435 07/16/20 8:47 pm
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Pretty cool bikes except for the hideous overly rounded gas tanks. I should of bought the only one I have ever seen in person back in the early '90's but of course I didn't

I remember it looking so much like a British bike and was baffled in a way that it said Kawasaki on the timing cover. It was parked out in front of a house in my neighborhood in Orlando, Florida and I was working on a few other things at the time, so didn't inquire, although I went back and looked at it several times. facepalm

It wasn't until the internet came along, that I figured out what it was. It had been customized and sat real low and was black with flames on the tank (not the stock tank), that much I remember.

Shoulda, Woulda, Coulda !


Jon W.


1957 6T Thunderbird 650
1968 T100R Daytona 500
1971 TR6R Tiger 650
1970 BSA A65F 650
1955 Tiger 100 - Project
1971 BSA A65 650 - Project
1972 Norton Commando 750 "Combat"


"Every time I listen to AC/DC, so do my neighbors"

Re: BSA Clone
joe a. #816474 07/17/20 3:41 am
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I've looked at a couple of those and contemplated buying one. Then I read somewhere that when time for a cylinder bore, the drill was to replace pistons and rods and crankshaft with new. Anybody else ever see that?

Re: BSA Clone
joe a. #816490 07/17/20 7:01 am
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Some guy on my paper route back in the early '70s had one. He also had a Harley Sprint. I didn't appreciate the value of either. Young and stupid was I.


Stepping on others doesn't make you stand tall.

71 A65L "Zelda"
92 BMW K100rs "Gustav"
72 T120V cafe project "Mr. Jim"
72 T150V "Wotan"
Re: BSA Clone
leon bee #816491 07/17/20 7:03 am
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Originally Posted by leon bee
I've looked at a couple of those and contemplated buying one. Then I read somewhere that when time for a cylinder bore, the drill was to replace pistons and rods and crankshaft with new. Anybody else ever see that?
The drill with old VWs was new cylinders and pistons bought as a set and rebuilt heads as opposed to valve jobs. Worked for that engine.


Stepping on others doesn't make you stand tall.

71 A65L "Zelda"
92 BMW K100rs "Gustav"
72 T120V cafe project "Mr. Jim"
72 T150V "Wotan"
Re: BSA Clone
DavidP #816513 07/17/20 1:23 pm
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I NEVER HEARD THAT, BUT I DON'Y KNOW MUCH ABOUT THEM. THERE MUST BE A USER GROUP OF FOLLOWERS TO ASK THE QUESTION.


I APOLOGIZE FOR THE USE OF CAPS. I CAN ONLY TYPE WITH MY RIGHT HAND SO USING THE SHIFT KEY IS BEYOND MY CAPABILITES.

The Devil is in the details.

1957 BSA A10 Spitfire Scrambler (numbers matching, very correct, very nice condition)
1965 BSA A65 Lightning Rocket "Clubman" (restored)
1966 BSA A65 Spitfire MK-II (restored)
1967 BSA A65 West Coast Hornet (under restoration)
1975 Norton Commando Roadster (2100 miles)
2001 Kawasaki W650
Re: BSA Clone
joe a. #816514 07/17/20 1:25 pm
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I NEVER HEARD THAT, BUT I DON'Y KNOW MUCH ABOUT THEM. THERE MUST BE A USER GROUP OF FOLLOWERS TO ASK THE QUESTION.


I APOLOGIZE FOR THE USE OF CAPS. I CAN ONLY TYPE WITH MY RIGHT HAND SO USING THE SHIFT KEY IS BEYOND MY CAPABILITES.

The Devil is in the details.

1957 BSA A10 Spitfire Scrambler (numbers matching, very correct, very nice condition)
1965 BSA A65 Lightning Rocket "Clubman" (restored)
1966 BSA A65 Spitfire MK-II (restored)
1967 BSA A65 West Coast Hornet (under restoration)
1975 Norton Commando Roadster (2100 miles)
2001 Kawasaki W650
Re: BSA Clone
joe a. #816529 07/17/20 4:14 pm
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Originally Posted by joe a.
Lets face it much easier to follow then to lead and Kawasaki was willing to build a better mouse trap while BSA was saddled with bean counters who wanted quick cash and no investment in upgrades! Kawasaki engineers built a much better engine but it still did not sell well. i think they gave up to soon since Yamaha sold many xs650's for years..

The Kawasaki "W" engine IS a BSA A10 engine, all but the logo on the cover. The evolution to unit construction engines by BSA was motivated by more than bean counting - the competition and recreational markets were demanding lighter, more performance-oriented engines. And advances in solid state technology paved the way for simpler and more reliable alternators and battery-coil ignition systems. (I'll probably get an argument here from pre-unit owners, but let's face it, the more mechanical something is, the more prone it is to failure.)

So the future for bikes like the BSA A10 and the Kawi W was not promising. The Yamaha XS650 is not a fair comparison, as it's based on the more modern British bikes (and Yamaha went "one better" by instituting overhead cams - that is, if you subscribe to the notion that overhead cam is an improvement over pushrod-operated).


Mark Z

'65(lower)/'66(upper, wheels, front end, controls)/'67(seat, exhaust, fuel tank, headlamp)/'70(frame) A65 Bitsa.
Re: BSA Clone
Mark Z #816579 07/17/20 11:33 pm
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Originally Posted by Mark Z
The Yamaha XS650 is not a fair comparison, as it's based on the more modern British bikes (and Yamaha went "one better" by instituting overhead cams - that is, if you subscribe to the notion that overhead cam is an improvement over pushrod-operated).

And horizontally split cases if memory serves me right ? IMO, a more mechanically complicated engine but in the end, way much more reliable and able to produce more power.


Jon W.


1957 6T Thunderbird 650
1968 T100R Daytona 500
1971 TR6R Tiger 650
1970 BSA A65F 650
1955 Tiger 100 - Project
1971 BSA A65 650 - Project
1972 Norton Commando 750 "Combat"


"Every time I listen to AC/DC, so do my neighbors"

Re: BSA Clone
joe a. #816596 07/18/20 1:26 am
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I HAVE A 2000 KAWASAKI W650. SUPERIOR TO THE YAMAHA BECAUSE IT IS COUNTERBALANCED AND HAS ABSOLUTELY NO VIBRATION. IT IS FASTER THAN EITHER MY A10 SUPER ROCKET WAS AND FASTER THAN MY A65 SPITFIRE. I CAN NO LONGER RIDE SO I CANNOT COMPARE IT TO MY RECENTLY ACQUIRED 75 COMMANDO.

Last edited by Spitfire Ken; 07/18/20 1:27 am. Reason: TYPO

I APOLOGIZE FOR THE USE OF CAPS. I CAN ONLY TYPE WITH MY RIGHT HAND SO USING THE SHIFT KEY IS BEYOND MY CAPABILITES.

The Devil is in the details.

1957 BSA A10 Spitfire Scrambler (numbers matching, very correct, very nice condition)
1965 BSA A65 Lightning Rocket "Clubman" (restored)
1966 BSA A65 Spitfire MK-II (restored)
1967 BSA A65 West Coast Hornet (under restoration)
1975 Norton Commando Roadster (2100 miles)
2001 Kawasaki W650
Re: BSA Clone
joe a. #816707 07/19/20 12:17 am
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the other 650 that was deliberately targeting the British market was the Yamaha XS1 and XS2 ........i had an xs2 for a while and ringed it mercilessly...it went started and handled really well ......the orange paint and indicators were a bit much for me so i took the indicators off and sprayed it black


"There's the way it ought to be and there's the way it is" (Sgt Barnes)
Re: BSA Clone
Jon W. Whitley #816718 07/19/20 1:32 am
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Horizontally split cases are incredibly rebuild-friendly (talking about Jap bikes up to the mid 80’s). Just take the engine out, turn it upside down, take the bottom case off and everything is exposed from crank and gear shafts.

Just as well really, as replacing a kickstarter return spring would require such action on most models!

Of course dealing with the top end of a 4-stroke ohc (or dohc) four is rather more fiddly! I had the misery of dealing with a GL1000 ONCE, never again!

Re: BSA Clone
joe a. #816726 07/19/20 3:49 am
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Don't even need to take the BMW K engine out of the frame to expose the bottom end.
But, you just about need to disassemble the whole bike to service the transmission. And, chances are the rear end will need servicing long before the bottom end of the engine.


Stepping on others doesn't make you stand tall.

71 A65L "Zelda"
92 BMW K100rs "Gustav"
72 T120V cafe project "Mr. Jim"
72 T150V "Wotan"
Re: BSA Clone
joe a. #816922 07/21/20 1:45 pm
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The W1 and W2 were very reliable engines. cylinder is cast iron and can be bored. crankshaft has roller bearing one piece beefy rods and large ball bearing mains. battery ignition and Mikuni carburetors with ticklers! cases are the same vertical split line as brit bikes and it is a non unit engine. Both my W2SS and W2TT are pretty oil tight also.

Re: BSA Clone
joe a. #816923 07/21/20 1:47 pm
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Had a modern w650 unit bike with bevel drive engine and it ran great but for some reason did not interest me in the way it went down the road....too civilized? haha


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