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#827513 10/23/20 4:47 am
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I have been offered an A65 basket case supposedly 1970 BSA by a mate who's having a clear up. Too many projects & not enough time he says. He's right, Flat track Triumph outfit, Cooper Mk9 replica race car, 3 x T Models, 2 x JAP v-twin race bikes & the list goes on.
Anyway, after checking the engine & frame numbers it turns out to be a 1964 A65 Police bike.
What spec were these? Thunderbolt or Lightning?
Not sure if I should restore it as a Police bike or whatever they were based on.
Thoughts anyone?


1964 A65 Police
2004 Triumph Sprint RS
GSX1100 Roadrace sidecar
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The spec was what was ordered, as a fleet order the customer had what they wanted as long as the parts existed.

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As Kommando said, the spec was what the customer ordered.

Having said that, it would almost certainly have been single carb, with the engine pretty much to A65 Star spec, with an uprated electrical system for the flashing lights, siren, wireless and so on. If it still has the side covers, they will give a good indication as to whether it was single or twin carb. I have a couple of sets of (later) police side covers, and both left covers have a large battery lump.
NSW police bikes used chronometric speedos which were regularly calibrated.

I think, but don't hold me to it, that the South Oz police were the main ones to use BSA twins. I've been told that most of the other states went for Triumphs.

"Retired Fireman" and one of his mates know a lot about the various Aus police models, but I don't think he's been on the forum for some time.

Basically, police accessories are as rare as hen's teeth, so it's probably best to rebuild the engine to 1964 Rocket specs, and use whatever cycle parts came with it. If it comes with police parts, by all means fit what you have. If anybody tells you it's missing such-and-such a part, tell them you haven't been able to find one, and ask if they have any. Surprisingly enough, the answer is sometimes "Yep, I've got one in the shed which was too good to chuck out. You can have it if you like"

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Which police force ?
SA used mostly BSA's I think Victoria used BSA & Triumph
NSW used mostly Triumphs & I think Qld had Triumph singles & Areil chairs
And yes they were all different specs .
Windshields, Bigger alternators extra battery or car sized battery single seat & radio box with or without panniers .
AFAIK the engine modle numbers were standard BSA code so A65T or L then P123 or A123 etc
Usually only a 3 digit serial number because they would usually be numbered 001 to the last number of the amount ordered .

However they will be in the despatch book records held by the BSAOC UK so pay them the money if you want gospel as to what was fitted.
Seen way too many variations that the owners ( some who rode them from new ) swear the bike is original to stick my neck on the chopping block.


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I reckon it would have been from South Oz as my mate is over there quit a bit. I have to wait until Comrade Dan releases us from Lock-down until I can pick it up, giving me the sh1ts. There's a few boxes of stuff, couple of sets of wheels, guards, pipes & a new tank.
Looks like I'll put it together as a Rocket then & as it won't be original I'll spec it up a bit with some later bits.


1964 A65 Police
2004 Triumph Sprint RS
GSX1100 Roadrace sidecar
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Engine # A65AP1188. Frame A506089.


1964 A65 Police
2004 Triumph Sprint RS
GSX1100 Roadrace sidecar
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1964 model year A65 POLICE started with Engine A65AP 101 Frame A50 5501

So that stacks up as yours being a 64 A65 Police model but no clue as to spec.

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I have a set of police A65 cases kicking about somewhere. I'll see if I can dig out the number. I vaguely recall the number was in th general range as well. I know army B40s had their own engine/frame number sequence, but I think the A65 police bikes stayed in the general A50/A65 sequence.
Originally Posted by BSA_WM20
AFAIK the engine modle numbers were standard BSA code so A65T or L then P123 or A123 etc
That's a good point. A65A was the A65 Star, so the police A65AP engines were probably to the softer Star spec.
Originally Posted by Duncan Rogers
I have to wait until Comrade Dan releases us from Lock-down until I can pick it up
If you're in Danistan, the Vic club has a lot of info about most BSA models. It's well worth getting in touch, and joining if you're not already a member.


Found it: A65AP 385

Last edited by Shane in Oz; 10/23/20 10:14 pm. Reason: Added engine number
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Don't know if you have already found this but there's a video on You Tube showing a 1967 A65 Thunderbolt Police Special, see This Link.

Looks like some of the differences as already mentioned are different side panels to allow for a bigger battery, panniers (possibly Craven?), a wind-shield and crash bars.

There's also another site with two pics of 1963 A65 Police bike in Jersey UK, both bikes have a faring. One bike has a deeply valanced front mudguard so probably an A65 Star based model, the other may be Lightning based?, see This link


1968 A65 Firebird
1967 B44 Shooting Star
1972 Norton Commando
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There are a few in the BSAOA SA.
A couple turned up at the International at Halls Creek .
Took a few detail pickies .
Got some more from a fanatic that turned up at one of our BSA Days
If you would care to email me I will send them to you when I dig them off the other computer
I am with TPG.com.au and being a BSA nut have the user name bsansw .
We had a member with a police thunderbolt a long time ago but he also had Healy's and he got out of bikes all together .
I might have some details of his bike ,which was restored by Merv Cooper who apparently supplied them new but that was predigital days so a bit harder to lay my hands on .


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Thanks for the pics Trevor,
I'll wait to see what's in the boxes when I pick it up to decide what I do.
I'm toying with the idea of making it into a Thunderbolt styled period cafe racer if there's too many original bits missing. Only a couple of weekends to wait now....................


1964 A65 Police
2004 Triumph Sprint RS
GSX1100 Roadrace sidecar
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Thought i had lot more but after a whie it became apparent they were all of the same bike.
Couldn' find any of Phils bike but I have lost hundreds of slides from the pre digital days .
The Police bikes that turned up the to BSa days ended up being A10's & Saints so not much use to you .
OTOH, the fastest way to get obscure parts is to ride the bike without them .
Sure enough some will will tell you that the parts are wrong then tell you they got them sitting in their shed.


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Do I need to run the friction damper in the triple clamps? If not really needed it would look better without it.


1964 A65 Police
2004 Triumph Sprint RS
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Originally Posted by Duncan Rogers
Do I need to run the friction damper in the triple clamps? If not really needed it would look better without it.

Good question. It was an optional extra on the OIF models and many other models don’t have them.


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 Duncan Rogers
Do I need to run the friction damper in the triple clamps? If not really needed it would look better without it.

I've always found my A65s handle or track better with a little drag on the damper.


Mark Z

'65(lower)/'66(upper, wheels, front end, controls)/'67(seat, exhaust, fuel tank, headlamp)/'70(frame) A65 Bitsa.
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Friction damper on my 69 has a very noticeable effect whether tight or loose. Ceriani types like on OIF models just don't seem to need them


69 A65T
71 B50T
85 K100RS
54/59 A10SR
69 B44VS
71 A65FS
95 Trident
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