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#824925 09/26/20 11:53 pm
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https://www.classic-british-motorcycles.com/bsa-a65.html

Who is this guy to write this cr*p about my bikes. Is he on britbike?

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"in 1966 BSA replaced the drive-side (left) caged ball main bearing to a roller race. This removed the positive location of the crankshaft, allowing it to wander from side to side, quickly wearing out the flimsy shims & thrust washer intended to cope with the situation. This usually lead to a spun timing-side main bush, cutting off the oil supply to the crankshaft completely" - well certainly does not appear to know much about the A65. The timing bush is two piece, pinned together and the inside flange has two flats that sit in notches in the case so it cannot lead to a "spun timing-side main bush".
"BELOW: This 1971 BSA A65 Lightning features the black frame. Note the Lightning was the twin-carb hotrod 650." - the picture clearly shows the single carb Thunderbolt.
"ABOVE: The 1971 BSA A65 Thunderbird was the single-carb roadster version." - that is the Lightning.
On the Racing page he has:
"This 1969 Triumph Trident T150 Road Racer was campaigned by the legendary Gene Romero (above)." - I am fairly certain Gene Romero was not riding a lowboy frame triple with alloy slider disc brakes in 1969. Especially one with a headlight and tail light. Maybe it was for Bol d'Or?

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Leon,
Not sure if the writer is a Forum member, but I think for the most part the article is factually fairly accurate. I think one bad decision after another led to BSA's failure. The motorcycle industry was going in a different direction in those days and BSA did not. Their sports car industry went in the same direction.
That never stopped me from liking BSA's, MG's and Austin Healy's and Jaguars.. I just liked them all, and learned how to fix what was wrong. Would love to have a Gold Star or a 100-6 Healy or a XK-120 Jag but I am now down to a single mototcycle to remind me of my love affair with these bikes. My B50 stays in the shed most of the time. I don't frequent the site much more but remember you well for your many posts. I have a few old sailboats I fixed up and spend many afternoons on the water rather than on a country road winding up my BSA.

Keep up the hobby! As long as you love'em, who cares.

Mr Mike

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I know who he is. I don't know if he is a forum member. He is a Triumph guy. Has also owned a Norton. Don't know if he ever owned a BSA. He has more recently faded from the vintage British bike scene. He is now more into promoting the buying and selling of mobile home/manufactured home parks.

When he was big into getting photos of every possible British machine (for his website) at the BSAOCNC's annual west coast British bike show and swap meet, I offered to walk each of my three bikes I had in the show that year to his photo setup so he could get the photos he wanted. He turned me down.

Another time I commented to him that he could say something positive or nice about BSA's. All I got from him was a blank look.


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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He can argue technical merits or lack thereof but he goes on and on about how ugly the unit construction A65s are! Personally, I love the looks of the bikes and their power egg engine!

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I think the "power egg" concept was developed by a noted designer of the time (Lowey ?). He was into clean lines and simple shapes. I think it was also thought it would help with oil tightness. Obviously, the concept was not universally accepted. I have to admit I always liked the look of the A65 especially the flat-track bikes but I own an A10.


Laurence Luce
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Thing is if they are such a POS how come many are still going 50 plus years latter ?


"There's the way it ought to be and there's the way it is" (Sgt Barnes)
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I am not totally in love with the looks of the A65, even though I own two of them.

I'm really a Triumph guy, but I will say this:

To me, the A65 is a better handling, more solid bike in the curves than any of my Triumphs, and I believe it's because BSA frames were race-bred,
beginning with the Gold Stars.

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Leon, has he used your bikes in the photos?

I don’t know who this guy is but something has stung his ass about them, like was left in the smoke by some guy on one, or he had one which he didn’t have the skills to keep it running right and became sworn enemies with them ever since.

Either that or he’s a genius and everyone that owns one are just Dumb sheep.


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)

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Originally Posted by Irish Swede
I am not totally in love with the looks of the A65

I'm really a Triumph guy, but I will say this:


That makes me think of the age old question or statements such as I only like blonds or brunettes or whatever. As soon as you say I really like redheads, a super beautiful black haired woman comes along and you think to yourself...wow !

Same with the British motorcycles we all love. Each marque has its fine points and certain models of each might not appeal to the eye as much as others. Personally, I see extreme beauty and attractiveness in most all of them !


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"

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one of the things i do like about BSAs is that apart from a few specialist tasks they were largely intended to be worked on , maintained, but the average working man who would typically buy a non-pretensions BSA to get to work and back .....sure the lightening's DBDs RGSs etc were blinged out to appeal to one particular market

my A65 will still hit 100mph at the drop of a hat if i "request" it to but having thrashed it mercilessly while it and i were younger i dont tend to do that anymore

so my advice to the ill-informed author of the offending article would be go boil your head and try to become a motorcyclist ......and i dont mean the alloy head because i doubt he would know how to remove it


"There's the way it ought to be and there's the way it is" (Sgt Barnes)
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They've all got their warts and good things. The old beezers are OK.

Always makes me wonder with these 'Experts', did they ever own and run one and for how long?
His Knowledge regarding the engine history is laughable if nothing else.

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Originally Posted by leon bee
https://www.classic-british-motorcycles.com/bsa-a65.html

Who is this guy to write this cr*p about my bikes. Is he on britbike?

He's just copied-and-pasted a lot of boilerplate about BSA twins that's the same stuff we've been reading for 48 years. There's nothing new there, nothing original, just the same old stuff; combination of urban legend, facts from period magazines, and descriptive opinion that has nothing to do with facts.

Why anyone would bother, I don't know.....

Lannis


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Agree with you, Lannis. What he posted is the standard mo. None of it is based on his own experience. Just like mention Lucas electrics and some nob says "Prince of Darkness".


1978 Bonneville T140E
1974 Trident
1970 BSA Thunderbolt
1971 Norton Commando
1972 Norton Commando
1973 Norton Commando
1974 Norton Commando
2018 Kawasaki Z900RS


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Originally Posted by Gary E
I know who he is. I don't know if he is a forum member. He is a Triumph guy. Has also owned a Norton. Don't know if he ever owned a BSA. He has more recently faded from the vintage British bike scene. He is now more into promoting the buying and selling of mobile home/manufactured home parks.

When he was big into getting photos of every possible British machine (for his website) at the BSAOCNC's annual west coast British bike show and swap meet, I offered to walk each of my three bikes I had in the show that year to his photo setup so he could get the photos he wanted. He turned me down.

I know who he is too. In the time that I have known him, he has had a T140 that never seemed to be running and a Sportster. I didn't know that he had moved on to mobile home parks, but I am not too surprised. He is a bit of a self promoter, spamming the club mailing list with promotion of his site and wanted the Clubman Show database for his use after we shut down the show (politely declined)

I also remember Gary's 3 '67 BSA's at the show being some of the stars. Beautifully restored East Coast and West Coast Hornets and a Wasp. If you were trying to collect good photos of classic Brits, why would you not take advantage of that opportunity?

DJinCA

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Originally Posted by DJinCA
I also remember Gary's 3 '67 BSA's at the show being some of the stars. Beautifully restored East Coast and West Coast Hornets and a Wasp. If you were trying to collect good photos of classic Brits, why would you not take advantage of that opportunity?
I spent some time chatting to Gary and admiring his bikes at Petaluma. I don't know why anybody would have refused an offer like that.

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"BELOW: The 1971 BSA A65 Firebird Scrambler was the off-road/street scrambler version with single-carb and high side pipes."

But Firebird Scramblers had dual carbs, including the one in the picture!


Mark Z

'65(lower)/'66(upper, wheels, front end, controls)/'67(seat, exhaust, fuel tank, headlamp)/'70(frame) A65 Bitsa.
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When buying stuff off easy I always check out the "Other items"
If the vendor is selling everything from condomes to maternity bras then they get a broad berth because it is blinding obvious they have no idea about what they are selling ( or the condom customers would not be coming back for maternity bras )

When it comes to published material either in hard print or tortured electron the story is the same .
A web page covering veything that ever rode down the street is bound to be very poorley written unless there is a variety of authors and has taken years to be completed .

Think Roy Bacon or Peter Henshaw .
Cut and paste books loaded with wrong information & loaded opinion.

This tosser obviously has very small genetalia and in order to build up his self esteem decided to publish a lot of rubbish that he obviously nows absolutely nothing about in order tp make people talk about him .
HE is not alone on the web by any means .

The best thing you can do is remove any link to his web page ( including the one here ) and never mention him except by spoken word .
Eventually Google will loose him and he will fade into obsecurity where opinionated morons with massive egos and tiny brains belong .
Even better go to known good quality pages every day.
That pushes them up and sends poo down the toilet where it belongs


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Single carb, A65, "Thunderbird".

Just plain sloppy work of someone who really doesn't care.


'68 B25 Starfire (single)
'72 A65 Thunderbolt (twin (I'm sensing a pattern here..))
'78 XS750 Triple (Because I just can't get my hands on
a Rocket Three...)
'87 K100GS (four banger (Because NVT gave up too quick..)
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Originally Posted by Ignoramus
Thing is if they are such a POS how come many are still going 50 plus years latter ?
Perhaps because their owners have access to top flight machine shops and can afford to correct the deficiencies of the original design. End-fed cranks, proper oil pumps, the things which BSA management failed to do.
I noticed the same errors in the post, the one thing he got right was the spectacular failures of management. He didn't even mention the gold Daimlers for the CEO and his wife.
Don't get me started on delaying production of the Trident until it was too late.


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"
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An end fed crank is not required if engine looked after properly.
Admittedly an oil filter would have been a good idea though.
Gear type oil pumps are very good, most cars use them. How many use piston pumps?
A top line engineering shop was never required to rebuild a beezer just half a brain and some patience.
Most problems were caused by plonker owners.
Just as many such plonkers had problems with Triumphs, Nortons etc etc.
Management were selling off the firm, so were not really concerned with making motorbikes.
The trident needed too much precision assembly for the factory at the time and would have
needed to be much cheaper to take the market by storm. The bandit/fury was a more realistic
direction but would have damaged the sales of the main line products.

If i owned a factory as big as beezers back then i would have considered a gold plated Rolls myself.
It's just that beezer owned Daimler around that time so use what you own eh?

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Originally Posted by Shane in Oz
Originally Posted by DJinCA
I also remember Gary's 3 '67 BSA's at the show being some of the stars. Beautifully restored East Coast and West Coast Hornets and a Wasp. If you were trying to collect good photos of classic Brits, why would you not take advantage of that opportunity?
I spent some time chatting to Gary and admiring his bikes at Petaluma. I don't know why anybody would have refused an offer like that.



Maybe they were blinded by the 14,000 watt light!


Bill B...


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Come off it Dave.Hundreds of Beesas running around that have been used & abused by owners who just bough them cause they were cheap & considered maintanance was putting fuel & oil in the bike , some times even in the right holes.
When run WFO for long times things could be a bit different, but for doing what they were intended for they were just an honest no fuss motorcycle.
I know of a lot of bikes, owned by people who are technically challenged by a screwdriver that are still running quite fine.
OTOH if you wanted to get 11 10th out of one, or are unable to accept the bike as it was accepted in the day, oil leaks & lack lustre brakes then yes you need to do a lot of fettling, on some .
Easy to critise now days when parts roll of modern computer controlled machines all identical to within 0.0001" so everything fits and is oil tight.
BAck then it was high carbon steel for the production line and high speed steel tooling for the comp shop so no two parts were ever identical .

As for the management Kohler said it all in his thsis & latter book.
It is a subject that we often ponder over & Shane nailed it decades ago.
The board was gearing up for WW III which they all knew was going to happen between the USA & the USSR any second .
Another war in which it would be happy high profit days again, that unfortunately never happened.
BY the time BSA realised this it was too late.
When looked at in this light, the sales & acuisions all make perfect strategic sense.
The government did not care what happened as BSA had paid almost no tax since the depression of the 20's when they restructured to avaoid tax.
And anything that detroyed trade unions was considered a good thing at the time.
BSA could have survived, with or without the government assistance.
Remember the non-mototcycling divisions were all very profitable ( and those still trading still are ) to the point that for 3 years their profits paid off the losse of the motorcycle division.

The BSA company is the perfect example of how consolidated capital can destroy a perfectly good business in a very short priod of time by chasing the highet possible return on capital regardless of the cost to the company .

And remember it was not the bikes that killed the company.
It was a short sell, most likely using inside information which makes ia criminal act , perpertrated by some one who was and still remains untouchable, so most likely a side member of the Royal family as their identity has been kept secret for near 50 years .


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Originally Posted by NickL
An end fed crank is not required if engine looked after properly.
Admittedly an oil filter would have been a good idea though.
Gear type oil pumps are very good, most cars use them. How many use piston pumps?
NONE of them use crap metal to make their gear pumps though.
And, the car engines which used bushings on the crank did NOT use them to feed oil to the crank. As an example, the air-cooled VW had oil feeds at three points along the crank.
Comparing automotive engines which red line at maybe 5000rpm, use wet sump lubrication and running pressures in the 30psi range is hardly applicable.

Originally Posted by NickL
A top line engineering shop was never required to rebuild a beezer just half a brain and some patience.
Then why is it so damn difficult to find a machinist who can properly ream a crank bushing? With the correct equipment, and enough patience to screw up a couple of times I could probably do it, but I don't like to practice that much.

Originally Posted by NickL
The trident needed too much precision assembly for the factory at the time and would have
needed to be much cheaper to take the market by storm. The bandit/fury was a more realistic
direction but would have damaged the sales of the main line products.
I'll agree with that. However, the Trident was supposed to be a stop-gap until more modern designs could be developed. Might have been a winner in '66, might have led to more warranty claims? Would have been easier to produce had they not been using WW1 vintage machine tools.
But, trying to compete with the CB350 with porous castings, a fragile OVC, and a crap gearbox was not the answer either.


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71 A65L "Zelda"
92 BMW K100rs "Gustav"
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Originally Posted by DavidP
Originally Posted by Ignoramus
Thing is if they are such a POS how come many are still going 50 plus years latter ?
Perhaps because their owners have access to top flight machine shops and can afford to correct the deficiencies of the original design. End-fed cranks, proper oil pumps, the things which BSA management failed to do.
I noticed the same errors in the post, the one thing he got right was the spectacular failures of management. He didn't even mention the gold Daimlers for the CEO and his wife.
Don't get me started on delaying production of the Trident until it was too late.

I do not have access to any "top flight machine shop" (what ever that is) probably because i dont like dealing with prima donnas ......who *ank on endlessly about line boring , but dont even know what the process is.. But hey 3 minutes on google and anyone knows as much about engineering as I do ....I must be a slow learner cause it took me 40 years in the trade whilst the "experts" master it on the internet. AND i sure as hell dont have endless $s to throw at theses bikes

I do not have an end feed conversion and i am still running points dang i also forgot to add an oil filter

i guess my bike is going to fly apart any second eh but having had it 49 years i guess i am stuck with the risk

The trade has become so dumbed down these days that "top flight" machine shops are a bit rare, modern motors have put them out of business with their phenomenal reliability

Im glad i remembered to do oil changes on my old dunga whist others were pulling themselves about line boring and end conversions

these bikes arnt the space shuttle ya know


"There's the way it ought to be and there's the way it is" (Sgt Barnes)
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Funny, i used a 'crap metal' oil pump for around 10 years when i raced an a65 both with and without end fed crank.
If you rebuild one properly they are fine, the racing engine i've just done which did very well last weekend uses one
as well, with an a10 crank, yes itr's end fed but the previous tuned hornet motor that i built for the guy last season was
a plain bush crank. He uses a blood line of 6800 on the new motor and 7500 on the 650. No oil/lubrication problems at all.
Any machine operator with a reasonable size mill can do the line boring of the bearing in a couple of hours, the bloke i got
to do the last one had never seen a bsa before, it's fine. I really can;t see why you have such problems. Yes some auto
cranks are fed at more than one main but why should that make a difference? My own road a65 has done 19k miles with
the original bottom end and the oil light still goes out on operation of the kick starter. When it starts to come on below
1000 rpm or so i suppose i'll strip down and replace the bush if it needs it. When i rebuilt it i didn't replace any bearings
at all including the big end shells. It's all original, just put together reasonably well. I admit i did replace the pistons a month
or two ago as they were badly corroded when i bought it and the top ring gaps were crap, i replaced the guides as well but
only because i had some pm ones and they last better and i stuck big inlet valves in.
The factories of triumph bsa and norton were all full of ancient machinery as are a lot of home workshops now. Knowing
how to set up and use them is the important thing, that's how they got away with it.
It is a shame you have such a bad view of the a65, they really are a nice old crate. Of my bikes the t120 certainly has
required more maintenance over the years than the a65, or the daytona i sold a while ago and they are all ridden just
as hard.

As i've never owned a Bandit or Fury (few have) i can;t comment on the shortcomings of them but can only say that the
direction of producing an OHC horizontally split 350 was not a bad thing to do. We can only rely on hearsay as to the
actual bikes so i'll reserve judgement until i ride one, or work on one. They were a lightweight 350 producing around
34HP so would probably have given most 500's and 650's a 'hurry-up'. in my opinion.

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Originally Posted by DavidP
a fragile OVC

Blimey ! , That don't sound good eek

So where about should I start looking to see if my old BSA's got one of these fragile OVC thingy's ?

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In general BSA's choice of materials was reasonably good.
A fine balance between cost & durability, weight & sturdiness, machine ability & precision


Every one who has never studied metallurgy is always over ready to criticisie & condem the use of zinc based pressure die casting alloys.
They seem to overlook that the EXAT SAME ALLOYS are in common use today for carburettor fuel injector pumps and a myriad of other critical items.

Yes there were better materials that could have been used but that goes for just about every item manufactured by man, unless it is designed to kill, maim or mutilate as many humans as possible in which case there are no rstriction on material costs so tripple vacuum melted titanium is fine.

Steel gears running in a zinc or aluminium casting have been used for oil pumps since the first mechanical gear oil pump.
The fact that after 50 years ( 80 for the early B & M series ) some are no longer servicabe is a simple fact of life, they have exceeded their planed service life, by several decades .
And the fact that after 50 years some are still running is a tribute to the original design & materials selection particularly considering the oil they pumped carried a high level of micro particles.

When it come to robustness of design, I am a testiment to just how well BSA's were made.
I cringe some time when remembering all of the horrid things I did to my first A 10 then there was the B40 I rode daily for 5 yeas with no cage left in the big end bearing. The 70 mile tip back home with on con rod on the A 10 locked solid on the crank , slowly smashing the barrels .
So I for one have great respect of the products of Small Heath .
What I do not have respect for is all the modern owners who will not ride their bikes because they klunk when you put them into gear of they leave 3 drops of oil after screaming 20 miles at 3 times the legal speed limit, ot they take 4 kicks to start or the hear a funny noise or ther is a ticking sound or,or,or,or,or,
any excust to rip the engine apart an not to ride the bike, just is case it might break done , as if that is the end of the earth .


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Modern bikes and cars, as complicated as they have become, have spoiled mechanical knowledge in the latest two generations.
Too many of them don't want to get their hands dirty. It might soil the buttons on their video games.

People have become accustomed to quiet, nearly unrepairable vehicles, bought new at high prices, and later, higher repair costs.
Honda sold hundreds of thousands 350 and 360 Honda twins, but where are they all now? Scrapped, as Honda parts prices were so high that
it wasn't economical to repair them.

I'll stick with our old BSAs and Triumphs. They were built to be repairable, so we do!
I'm not interested in paying $20,000 or more for a NEW bike just to give my butt a ride from Point A to Point B.

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+1 with Nick.
Back "in the day" in UK I had a couple of A10s with sidecars----used them for about ten years as our only form of transport.
Reason---couldn't afford anything else.
These bikes were thrashed pretty hard----loaded with wife and two kids, loaded up with them plus luggage to go on holiday every year.
No special treatment--no end fed cranks--no special oil pumps etc etc--just bog standard BSA as they left the factory.
One of them I got really cheap from a City Of Birmingham (UK) police auction. It was an ex police bike that had been in an accident and the frame was bent.
No problem--leave the frame as it was and stick on a sidecar. Front tire wearing more on one side?--take it off and turn it around.

Ref the Bandit/Fury--yes--a really good concept and I think it would have been a roaring success.
I remember being at the MIRA (Motor Industries Research Association) test track near Nuneaton doing cooling tests on a car when Percy Tait was testing a Bandit. He was timed at 115 mph on the test track.
What might have been eh?

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Originally Posted by Boomer
Originally Posted by Shane in Oz
Originally Posted by DJinCA
I also remember Gary's 3 '67 BSA's at the show being some of the stars. Beautifully restored East Coast and West Coast Hornets and a Wasp. If you were trying to collect good photos of classic Brits, why would you not take advantage of that opportunity?
I spent some time chatting to Gary and admiring his bikes at Petaluma. I don't know why anybody would have refused an offer like that.



Maybe they were blinded by the 14,000 watt light!


Bill B...

Good one Bill. That searchlight is almost as fun as vintage British bikes. At 800 million candlepower and a 5.5 mile beam, it's a hoot to play with. At 22" feet long, it's difficult to have more than one though.


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Regarding the alloy oil pump , my 70 did have one of those when i wheeled it out of the show room in early 71 as proud as a peacock. Funny how i got a girlfriend very soon after i got the bike .......i think she liked all the chrome she could look at herself in

Anyway the alloy pump .....it let go in 2005? as a couple of those stupidly inadequate body screws stripped in service ..its failure DID NOT blow the motor AND it would have been repairable , but since i had brought a cast iron pump whilst visiting UK many years earlier i fitted that

SO the shi* metal ally pump actually lasted 35 years

To me the worst thing on the A65s etc. were those Smiths magnetic instruments I think im on my 3rd/4th speedo , but hey one got burnt so i can excuse that one now those instruments sure were a cost cutting measure compared to the chronometrics I have learned how to fix even those now but when i was a young fellow they were completely beyond me


BTW
top thread Leon Bee it has been a very interesting and entertaining one


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Interesting responses, indeed, Ignoramus. I was just impressed by that guy's big flashy looking website, you know, as though he might know what he was talking about. Can't remember how I came across it, but a casual reader would infer these bikes were absolute junk. I've owned and ridden hard A65s since 1967. Three of them I have now I've owned or known since 1974.

I'm sure Trevor is right that it is not good to steer any hits to his website, but that will end soon I'm sure.

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Originally Posted by leon bee
Interesting responses, indeed, Ignoramus. I was just impressed by that guy's big flashy looking website, you know, as though he might know what he was talking about. Can't remember how I came across it, but a casual reader would infer these bikes were absolute junk. I've owned and ridden hard A65s since 1967. Three of them I have now I've owned or known since 1974.

I'm sure Trevor is right that it is not good to steer any hits to his website, but that will end soon I'm sure.

I wouldn't boycott CBS just because of some info on his website; it's a parts business, not a news magazine. I can "take or leave" any website content that's not relevant to the business. Kyle at CBS is responsive and prompt, and he's making a genuine effort to build a successful parts business.


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And he is a young guy, no going to retire in a year or two. smile
Big plus.

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Originally Posted by Mark Z
...I wouldn't boycott CBS just because of some info on his website; it's a parts business, not a news magazine. I can "take or leave" any website content that's not relevant to the business. Kyle at CBS is responsive and prompt, and he's making a genuine effort to build a successful parts business.
Is CBS affiliated with the website under discussion?


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That was my question. The "Contact Us" page has the name, Andy Tallone.


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This needs sorted out, CBS / Kyle is a decent sort, the link that kicked this off has nothing to do with CBS.

My tuppence worth, an end fed needle ball Timing side is a good thing, I have never regretted buying my bike which had one fitted previously.


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Originally Posted by Mark Z
I wouldn't boycott CBS just because of some info on his website; it's a parts business, not a news magazine. I can "take or leave" any website content that's not relevant to the business. Kyle at CBS is responsive and prompt, and he's making a genuine effort to build a successful parts business.

This is like an example of the telephone game, where the original message gets totally jumbled by the time it gets to the last person. Mark, not sure where you got that CBS was involved in this fiasco ? CBS being Classic British Spares.

Originally Posted by Hugh Jörgen
Is CBS affiliated with the website under discussion?

No, not by a long shot.


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I concur with Jon. That website and CBS are two different entities.


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I too was wondering how Classic British Spares got dragged into this. The thread is about Classic British Motorcycles. Kyle is a very decent fellow and knowledgeable about Brit bikes. He would not have made the glaring errors on the CBM site.

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Originally Posted by gavin eisler
This needs sorted out, CBS / Kyle is a decent sort, the link that kicked this off has nothing to do with CBS.

My tuppence worth, an end fed needle ball Timing side is a good thing, I have never regretted buying my bike which had one fitted previously.


Yes, but not an absolute necessity eh?

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Not an absolute necessity, but its the difference between fingers crossed and confidence for me.

If you are lucky enough to get a low mileage bike thats had its oil changed regularly, great.
If you buy a well used old nail , the TS bush is almost certainly fecked.
As a Fifer once put it plainly, "A65s are soft." Thats why they are cheap. Unfortunately folk like shiny pipes and paint more than engine integrity.

But , even when almost close to certain death they will still run, which is what I like about BSAs.
They are made of good stuff.

Last edited by gavin eisler; 10/02/20 11:01 pm.

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Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, as long as i know how it's put together
i will cane the hide off any a65.

Surely the comment about buying an old nail applies to any of the 60's bikes we are talking about.
The TS bush is unfortunate in that it will be the first thing to wear with crap oil quality or supply.
Big ends on any bike will follow suit very shortly but the bush doesn't have the benefit of the
centrifugal filter the big ends have.

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Did you guys who are so offended actually read all of the article? It does mention how the factory did sort out most of the
problems eventually. To me it reads just Iike article on any Brit bike, many problems that were never fully sorted out by the manufacturers. CBS is a decent vendor so let him have his opinion just like we all do..


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@Hillbilly , the link and its opinions have nothing to do with CBS, its not CBS / kyles opinions that are being scrutinized.
Look at the link , its Classic british Motorcycles. NOT CBS.

Last edited by gavin eisler; 10/03/20 12:03 am.

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Geez, my bad.. I picked up the the CBS comments...


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“But I don't want to go among mad people,” Alice remarked. “Oh, you can't help that,” said the Cat: “we're all mad here. I'm mad. You're mad.
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Originally Posted by gavin eisler
@Hillbilly , the link and its opinions have nothing to do with CBS, its not CBS / kyles opinions that are being scrutinized.
Look at the link , its Classic british Motorcycles. NOT CBS. mods should sort this out and delete stuff.

I already differentiated between the two....WTF wasn't clear, over ?


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Obviously not.Roger that. Stay calm John.

Last edited by gavin eisler; 10/03/20 12:04 am.

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My apologies to CBS for any misguided criticism I may have inadvertently instigated. The only similarities I see in their sites is the color red.

CBS is one of the emerging businesses that makes our lives a little easier. I've placed a number of small orders there and they get 100% positive feedback from me.

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The way a man (or woman) responds to having his errors pointed out to him says volumes about his character.


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Except if he's a politician eh?

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Originally Posted by Hillbilly bike
Did you guys who are so offended actually read all of the article? It does mention how the factory did sort out most of the
problems eventually. To me it reads just Iike article on any Brit bike, many problems that were never fully sorted out by the manufacturers. CBS is a decent vendor so let him have his opinion just like we all do..

Actually it reads like the trash that was printed in motorcycle magazines by repeaters who do not ride them.
There is a massive difference between the quality of the journalism pre WWII to post WWII and it did not get better.
Lots of supposed "editors & jornalist " had absolutely no understanding of engineering , metallurgy and very limited understanding of motorcycles.
Lots of them were general purpose writers who had to write one atricle a day / week / month for a variety of magazines from bird watching to fox hunting to military aircraft and what ever other title the publishers put out.
Down here the Writers for for one motorcycle magazine also wrote the cricket magazine & the surfing magazine so one would not expect them to be across everything that spewed out of their typewriters .
So you fill your article with commonly believed Urbam Myths and no one questions your knowledge or integrity.

Perfect example regularly tossed in here by the totally ignorant of what was then and still is current production line practice .
"the lathes were so old the calibration marking were totally worn off "

Well on production line lathes , there were never ever any calibration marks because they were set up by machine setters and ran between stops usually controlled phunamatically .
The "author had obviousl seen a friends 4th hand Myford ( bridgeport for USA readers ) and assumed the markings had worn off from use.
The idea that production line machines were regularly stripped down and rebuilt was of course also totally foreign to them.
And this remained for rpetition engineering till CNC started to take over in the 80's and real time computer control from 2000 on.

You will find lines similar to this in Bacon, Henshaw and the drip who published the BS article .

And of course the one I have just put an objection to
"Poxy pot mets " Monkey metal" and other such descriptions of the Mazark (patent in those days ) range of high strength high precision zinc die casting alloys .
The secondary reason for picking these alloys rather than the higher strength aluminium was the technical difficulties in casting aluminium in very thin wall sections and keeping Hydrogen out of the molten metal, a problem that zinc also suffers from but to a much lower extent.

No one makes any money casting process scrap full of gas porosity .
In the 50's 60's 70's & even the 80's there were thousands of papers written about this problem which was only really knocked on the head by some very expensive computer modeling of metal solidification in the mold and sofisticated cooling chills.


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Originally Posted by Nick H
The way a man (or woman) responds to having his errors pointed out to him says volumes about his character.

And Bacon ( or his publishers ) steadfasty refused to correct the myriad of mistakes in his BSA books over all of the reprints.


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Originally Posted by BSA_WM20
Originally Posted by Nick H
The way a man (or woman) responds to having his errors pointed out to him says volumes about his character.

And Bacon ( or his publishers ) steadfasty refused to correct the myriad of mistakes in his BSA books over all of the reprints.
If you think Roy Bacon wrote a hatchet job on A65s, you should read his Norton Commando book.

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Zinc oil pumps? In the USA ,automotive oil pumps were almost always made from cast or nodular iron. A few had the pumps built into the aluminum timing chain cover. These had a shorter iife until manufacturers learned to anodized the wear surfaces. Carburetors were mostly cast from zinc until the the mid 1950's when Carter starting casting with aluminum. New carbs today are primary aftermarket performance stuff cast or machied from aluminum..
British cars in this country had a reputation for being less reliable. This was not all just made up stories and to be truthful it was oten due to US divers lack of maintenance and abuse.
And correct me if I'm wrong, but many Australian built cars came from branches of GM and Ford, and the general designs were similar to US models including larger rugged OHV engines to suit the driving conditions.
Bikes? Bad reputations are not all made up stories. It's easy for enthusiasts to overlook pour quality control/design and find solutions . But many riders lack the skill...just read te forums here, same problems as 60 years ago, but we have better solutions now...
I always had good reliability from my Triumphs and one BSA because of driving second hand junk vehicles all my life and learned a few things to avoid trouble. Hell, I even had a 63 MGB for a number of years that was always reliable once I got rid of the few things causing the typical problems...


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Originally Posted by Gary E
I concur with Jon. That website and CBS are two different entities.

Oh, sorry for the obfuscation! I don't know now why I thought this was about CBS' website.


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My 2c on BSA zinc oil pumps: For forty-some-odd years my two A65s suffered from wetsumping. Refreshing the check ball and spring and lapping the seat did not help. On the last rebuild of my bitsa six years ago, I installed a cast iron pump from a '71. The bike has not wetsumped since, even over the winter.


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The lapping of the ball should be done on the iron pumps Mark, for the Mazak pumps you are supposed to tap the ball into the surface to address the face issue.


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Originally Posted by Allan G
The lapping of the ball should be done on the iron pumps Mark, for the Mazak pumps you are supposed to tap the ball into the surface to address the face issue.

the best way to do that is with a form relived slot drill (ball nose), the diameter of the ball obviously, but that is a major shag around needing a mill ect ......just only a small radius is enough so you don't interfere with the already marginal gasket best not tried by the average Joe as if you get chattering on the cut you have realy ****ed it.....use real low speed and just a touch .......give the spring a little bit of a stretch and Robert is your fathers brother

if you really want to get carried away polish the radius with some of that diamond paste known only to toolmakers ,,,,,,,,,,,that will give you bragging rights at the blowhard contest ..........opps i meant club meetings


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Originally Posted by BSA_WM20
"Poxy pot mets " Monkey metal" and other such descriptions of the Mazark (patent in those days ) range of high strength high precision zinc die casting alloys .
The secondary reason for picking these alloys rather than the higher strength aluminium was the technical difficulties in casting aluminium in very thin wall sections and keeping Hydrogen out of the molten metal, a problem that zinc also suffers from but to a much lower extent.
Bear in mind the BSA had been using Mazak-bodied geared oil pumps since at least the introduction of Val Page's M series singles in 1937, so were quite familiar with the technology and its characteristics. Like plain bearings, there should be no metal-to-metal contact during operation, so any wear will be due to contaminants in the oil.

Something which BSA didn't take into account with the twins (or probably didn't care about) was ham-fisted home mechanics over-tightening the retaining nuts and over-clamping the oil pump bodies onto gaskets installed onto poorly cleaned surfaces. This is a certain recipe for distortion, which is the main reported problem with the alloy oil pump bodies. This wasn't a problem with initial assembly because of the carefully calibrated wrists of the engine assemblers.

A similar problem exists with AMAL Concentric carburettors, which is why John Healey and others fabricate straightening jigs for them.

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Originally Posted by Hillbilly bike
British cars in this country had a reputation for being less reliable. This was not all just made up stories and to be truthful it was oten due to US divers lack of maintenance and abuse.
And correct me if I'm wrong, but many Australian built cars came from branches of GM and Ford, and the general designs were similar to US models including larger rugged OHV engines to suit the driving conditions.
Yes, in general Australian distances are similar to the US. Early post-war when General Motors - Holden started producing cars, Australian roads were similar to late pre-War US roads (and are probably 40 years behind the US currently). Temperature-wise, we tend to be warmer than most of the USA.

Apparently the original Holden 48-215 and subsequent FJ were based on a Chev rolling chassis and a Buick engine. They were quite reliable for their day, which is to say complete rubbish by 21st Century standards.

I could never understand why pre-Mini British cars were so woefully underpowered with hopeless cooling systems, but it became apparent driving in the UK at last year's BSA International. There just isn't anywhere to drive long distances at any speed, and a summer's day still required a T shirt flannelette shirt and often a jumper as well. Different conditions, so different requirements, and different solutions.

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Well i used to quite often do the run from London to Leeds and Preston at 100mph on the motorways.
Most of my colleagues and myself did 24-30,000 miles a year as our car leases were 2 year 60k ones.
Here people tend to jump on planes to go places which i prefer but few of the guys i know do 40-50k KM's a year in a car.
90-100mph was the normal motorway speed in the 80-90's. I've never been able to do that here 100km/hr is so boring,
it's no wonder people go to sleep and it takes so long to get anywhere.

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Nick,
Yo need a pre WWII or C series where doing 100 Kph takes every bit of skill you can muster.


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Originally Posted by Allan G
The lapping of the ball should be done on the iron pumps Mark, for the Mazak pumps you are supposed to tap the ball into the surface to address the face issue.

Right, tapping... It's been so long since I tried to correct the problem I've forgotten. After that I modified my sump plate to include a drain plug. Anyway, I think that's beside the point; I was extolling the virtues of the cast iron pump.


Mark Z

'65(lower)/'66(upper, wheels, front end, controls)/'67(seat, exhaust, fuel tank, headlamp)/'70(frame) A65 Bitsa.
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Originally Posted by Mark Z
My 2c on BSA zinc oil pumps: For forty-some-odd years my two A65s suffered from wetsumping. Refreshing the check ball and spring and lapping the seat did not help. On the last rebuild of my bitsa six years ago, I installed a cast iron pump from a '71. The bike has not wetsumped since, even over the winter.
I had the same experience, though not over nearly as many years. My '71 had the DD zinc pump, stamped with the date 3-71.
Finally found an iron pump and no more wet sumping.
Still doesn't deliver the pressure of the pump on my T120 though.


Stepping on others doesn't make you stand tall.

71 A65L "Zelda"
92 BMW K100rs "Gustav"
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In short, you replaced one 50 year old pump with another 50 year old pump made of better quality metal.
Did you rebuild the replacement pump properly? Do you know the state of the engine it came off? It could
have been pumping metal swarf and crap around for 35 years of it's 50 year life.

Your triumph pump does not have to supply a bush type crank feed, if it did i suspect it would struggle to
achieve the figures you see on an a65.

Anyway lets drop all this, what's the bike like to ride now? or do you still want to sell it?

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The pump was filthy when I got it. I disassembled, thoroughly cleaned and checked operation before installing. The iron pump actually spins with no sign of binding, unlike the old pump.
Originally Posted by NickL
Your triumph pump does not have to supply a bush type crank feed, if it did i suspect it would struggle to
achieve the figures you see on an a65.
Precisely why Triumph abandoned the crankshaft bushing.

I've only ridden the A65 around the neighborhood. The next trip will be around the lake. I'll make longer trips until I know it's reliable.
Probably sell it come Spring, my carport is very crowded with four bikes. Probably let the Beemer go too.


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I bought a '70 A65 from the junk yard for $300, rebuilt it and drove from Minnesota to Long Island and back (except had an ignition hickup in Wisconsin which resulted in a burnt valve in Ohio, stopped in a shop, took the head off, they replaced the valve and ground the seat, back on my way in a couple hours) and another trip from Minnesota to Banff and back (this time with no problems) all with the original Mazak pump. It was my college transportation. Why do you think they are unreliable?

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They’re not unreliable, but an unknown bike is an unknown bike.

The sensible approach is to test it on short hops and extend it as it becomes less “unknown”.

It hasn’t come straight from the manufacturer.


'51 C11 in a '54 C10L frame. Back on the road...
'70 Triumph Trophy 500. Next on the bench for a refresh!
'72 Triumph Tiger 650. Back on the road...
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Originally Posted by DMadigan
I bought a '70 A65 from the junk yard for $300, rebuilt it and drove from Minnesota to Long Island and back (except had an ignition hickup in Wisconsin which resulted in a burnt valve in Ohio, stopped in a shop, took the head off, they replaced the valve and ground the seat, back on my way in a couple hours) and another trip from Minnesota to Banff and back (this time with no problems) all with the original Mazak pump. It was my college transportation. Why do you think they are unreliable?

I didn't say the zinc pumps are unreliable; I just said they're prone to wetsumping after some wear. Wetsumping in BSAs occurs when the bike is sitting idle, not while running, so you would not have noticed a problem on your trek across the country even if there were one. BTW, the engine I took the cast iron pump from has enough wear on it that the crank would require a re-grind if it were to be rebuilt.

Good story though!


Mark Z

'65(lower)/'66(upper, wheels, front end, controls)/'67(seat, exhaust, fuel tank, headlamp)/'70(frame) A65 Bitsa.
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Originally Posted by Ginge
They’re not unreliable, but an unknown bike is an unknown bike.

The sensible approach is to test it on short hops and extend it as it becomes less “unknown”.

It hasn’t come straight from the manufacturer.
Nothing to do with the brand, I treat all these nearly 50 year old machines as suspect until they prove otherwise. Cell reception is spotty outside of town, and I've nobody at home to call for rescue anyway except for AMA.
However, the A65 is particularly suspect. The engine was rebuilt, with the machine work being done by shops which don't specialize in these engines. I'd feel better if I could afford to pack the whole thing off to EdV in a box filled with money, but the bike simply is not worth that much to me.


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Time to have some faith in your own ability David, you've built
enough of these old heaps to know you can put them together
reliably. You tackle trident stuf so an old a65 should be easy.

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Should be, but a Trident doesn't use crank shims, and the small ends have no bushings to line ream to fit the pins. That and the last Trident engine I built was only eight years old at the time.
I rode the A65 round the lake today and it pulls strong. I might need new shock rubbers in the clutch. Also, it takes two prods to get first gear while the bike is rolling. Gotta check that stupid eccentric on the spring. mad
Sounds a bit louder than the T120, even with identical silencers. Might just be that I must keep the revs up more on the A65, kinda like the Trident it doesn't like to drop below 4K.


Stepping on others doesn't make you stand tall.

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Yes, BSA, at least A10 's are not that difficult.....I do spend the money to have the timing the bush line honed and I believe the rod small bushes should be honed on a rod reconditioning machine.Crank shims are done during a dry assembly mock up...
You don't have to be this fussy but it doesn't hurt if you have time and a few extra bucks.


79 T140D, 96 900M Ducati ,61 A10 .On a bike you can out run the demons..
“But I don't want to go among mad people,” Alice remarked. “Oh, you can't help that,” said the Cat: “we're all mad here. I'm mad. You're mad.
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