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The story of the BSA A65 and A50 motorcycles 1962 -1973
By Peter Crawford
Wideline publishing.

my copy arrived yesterday, first impression, its a real hardback with lots and lots of pictures, many i had not seen before, it even smells good.

2nd impression, flicking through, Wow, its got the good stuff. Interviews with Les Mason , Dave Mason ( ex comp shop), Nigel Rollason ( started as a BSA apprentice) and many more.
Today i spent a couple of hours reading through a few sections.
Well written, beautifully presented, a very interesting technical read.
kind of sad to learn how badly managed BSA was, they had such talent on the shop floor and it got ignored.
One wee tantalizer, stock A65 balance was 70 %, if you want to go racing use 56%. lots more good stuff like this.
What it isnt, a workshop manual or spec list.
otherwise if you have one of these bikes you will learn a lot from this book.
Highly recommended. At £ 25 plus 3 quid odd postage its an absolute steal given the quality.
It came with a thoughtful letter, nice touch, please purchase from the Wideline Publications web site, that way Peter Crawford will get the full whack.

Last edited by gavin eisler; 11/03/20 12:31 pm.

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Many thanks for the hint, Gavin.

Could you help me out with a link to wideline publications' homepage? Apparently, they do not pay Google enough to show up in the search results, or I might plainly be too thick to find it.

Cheers!

Ph.


Best regards
Phil
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Happened to be on it.
https://www.wideline.co.uk/


1970 T120R - 'Anton'
1970 Commando - 'Bruno'
1967 T120R - 'Caesar'
1968 Lightning - 'Dora'
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Ha, you seem to be smarter than me, Hugh!

Thanks, mate.

Cheers!

Ph.


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Phil
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Doubt that. :-)

Geez, book shipping costs are getting pretty steep.
Not just over the pond, I just shipped a book U.S. > Canada a month ago and got a little sticker shock.

Cheers


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Been waiting for this!! Thanks for the heads-up Gavin. Just ordered mine now.

Cheers,
Rob


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I may need that. I notice it says Volume One. Guess that means my Hornets aren't in there?

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Originally Posted by Hugh Jörgen
Doubt that. :-)

Geez, book shipping costs are getting pretty steep.
Not just over the pond, I just shipped a book U.S. > Canada a month ago and got a little sticker shock.

Cheers


You did use "media mail'? Much cheaper


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Hornets etc are in it, especially the Spit Mk 2, presumably Vol2 may be more racing orientated , I had a quick Fece book chat , T Price and the krukowskis are in Vol 2. its not East coast West coast orientated if thats what you want , its more nitty gritty.
There is a load of detail on what they found out , what they didnt think they knew and what happened next. The Mk11 should have been a rip roaring best seller ,it was briefly , a Cycle mag pic with a turkey finished that. The curse of the 4 Ca breaker. Just buy it.
A lot of the info has been on here in dribs and drabs, its good to see it all well put together in one well presented book. Without extraneous BS and guess work.

Last edited by gavin eisler; 11/03/20 9:37 pm.

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Originally Posted by Nick H
Originally Posted by Hugh Jörgen
Doubt that. :-)

Geez, book shipping costs are getting pretty steep.
Not just over the pond, I just shipped a book U.S. > Canada a month ago and got a little sticker shock.

Cheers


You did use "media mail'? Much cheaper


No such thing as Media Mail to points outside the USA.


check out: www.bsaunitsingles.com
2500 BSA part numbers with inventory in stock just for the unit singles!
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Originally Posted by gavin eisler
It came with a thoughtful letter, nice touch, please purchase from the Wideline Publications web site, that way Peter Crawford will get the full whack.
I'd love to buy it direct if there was a delivery option apart from "hand delivery on a silver platter" frown
$A48 shipping is slightly more than the cost of the book, so that's probably around 25 quid as well. I thought postage on books was in the 5 to 10 quid range.

I'd like the author to get his fair share, but not for Royal Mail or Parcel Farce to get more than the author, publisher and printer combined.

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It used to be " printed matter overseas" was the cheap deal , it works both ways , i got humped for a small archery book book by jake kaminski in the us , no bigger than a commando comic book if you remember them, cost over 35 £ to get it across the pond.
Its a good book . if you are this side of the pond , its a steal, for you others , buckle up. it has weight to it, 1.2 Kg s fresh off the scale.

Last edited by gavin eisler; 11/03/20 10:51 pm.

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I just ordered a copy and the shipping to sunny Texas was more than the cost of the book. I got a follow up email from the publisher interested to know how someone in Texas was aware of the books publication, as it hadn't (yet) appeared in any of the Bike magazines. I polished Gavin's halo a little. The publisher thinks the next volume is spring/summer and I offered to place an advance order, but that wasn't necessary.

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Hi guys,

the book arrived quite quickly.

I have had a glance but not read through, yet. I have to state I like it. It is well written, the print and quality of the book is good.

So good value for the money even taking the significant shipping cost into account.
Let's face it, Pete should not be held responsible for the shipping cost anyhow.

I am happy to have acquired it.

Thanks again for the hint, Gavin.

Cheers!

Ph.


Best regards
Phil
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'69 A 65 Lightning
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This is where being in a club works
Back in the 80's we ordered a lot of BSa books direct from the publisher
The cost of posting one book them was about 1/2 the cost of sending a box of 20.
Will chase up the publisher re bulk order not OZ.
WHta I found amazing is the publisers nor the sales agent thought to get in contact with their target audience.
Like it is not hard to find the 18 international BSA clubs is it.
Even Google can find them.

And what the hell is going on with Capcha ?
It throws up the photos but the "verify " button is inactive if you use the quick reply window.
Been trying to post some answers to this post for near a week

Last edited by BSA_WM20; 11/16/20 11:51 am.

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Ordered my copy last week following the epserts of the book posted on Facebook. There was enough good information on one double page to cause me to open my wallet on printed media... That should say something. (Not that I don't like books, I just seldom get chance to sit down and read one)


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Peter asked if I would let him know when it arrived to get an idea of the various delivery times. (UK to FL, U.S.A. in my case).
It may be of some use if folks drop him a line with the ordered/delivered lag.
editor AT wideline dot co dot uk

Cheers


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I have pored/ poured? over the book, there are some true Gems in it. Anyone trying to make dry frames wheels line up is in for a surprise, likewise the dimensions for A70 crankshafts come with 2 possibilities as far as stroke goes. Some strange stuff went on.
perhaps the most interesting page for me is the detail of the Mk iv Spit cylinder head, tuners will find this useful.
i learned a lot.


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Just received my copy and highly recommend it. Great info through out. Fascinating how Turner snubbed the A50/A65 engine development In favor of the Triumph Unit. I can understand his biases, if only he/they would have addressed the bottom end problem a whole new history would be written... The Unit BSA had the superior cylinder head and cooling especially as Triumph push rod tubes got in the way.
Judging from the title I suspect volume two on racing is in the works.
Beautifully done well worth the price....

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It's on my xmas present list along with the 1930 lemans Bentley,
wonder which one i'll get?????

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I believe one is winging it's way to Oz for my Xmas present except that's meant to be secret. Apparently another volume following next year, so maybe that covers Hornets etc.?

Cheers
Ray


BSA 1969 A65F
BSA 1966 A65H
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Kawasaki A1R
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between the book and the Bentley there are a few options, I would settle for a low mileage Daihatsu Charade, 16 valve DOHC 15 hunner , great heater good brake and electric windees, cheaper than a bentley. seriously, if you have an A65 this is gold dust.
Once its out of print ,good luck


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Gav, Nick doesn't need a heater? Queensland he'd die frown He needs air con, and probably not even brakes if he's not in the city. I think Matchbox used to do a Bentley.

I wrote to the BSA owners club about them getting a box of 10 with the price almost halved here for people in OZ. No reply yet. I ordered one a while back but the customs guys are probably still reading it.

I asked them at Ulysses as well.

From what Peter said he was doing enthusiast's books, not superficial like other stuff. It's fascinating what people were dealing with.

Last edited by Mark Parker; 11/17/20 3:38 am.

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Yes, the matchbox version is probably the nearest i'd get to owning one..................
My father worked on a few speed 6's etc and reckoned the two foot operated
brake pedal was the thing, they had terrible brakes and changing gear when
they were cold was an art.

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My book arrived today. Very nice indeed. lots of reading. Lots of stuff visible that is a bit silly from management.

I would love a Bandit/Fury frame. Firebird motor would be great in one of those with the Thunderbolt head. Imagine that with triple discs and nice wheels. A 650 like that would have plenty of nice power.


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Originally Posted by Mark Parker
My book arrived today.....
You will have surely been pleased seeing the pic of your own bike in Peter's book, Mark. grin

Cheers!

Ph.


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Phil
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Yep it's pretty cool. Must have been fun working at BSA, and frustrating. It's very interesting reading. Ideally I'd put the bike back on the dyno with the mixture corrected and the 52mm mufflers rather than 36mm or whatever they are and mess with timing and see what's possible. The trouble is I have to pay for anything I destroy. Being paid to do it at a factory would be so much better, but probably restrictive. You can see engineers being blocked and great solutions and innovation disregarded. And crazy stuff pursued. Why would you be abrasive at all to a young guy telling you about new electronic ignitions?

The star models are interesting, we are in an age when these and later models reflect a design age and they are very cool to cruise around on. People make retro but it's hardly like these things. New Triumphs are quite big and far different.


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Originally Posted by Mark Parker
My book arrived today. Very nice indeed. lots of reading. Lots of stuff visible that is a bit silly from management.

I would love a Bandit/Fury frame. Firebird motor would be great in one of those with the Thunderbolt head. Imagine that with triple discs and nice wheels. A 650 like that would have plenty of nice power.

You can get hold of a Bandit look alike frame, its the Kawasaki ER500 frame.

Bandit Frame

[Linked Image from i.postimg.cc]

Kawasaki ER500 frame

[Linked Image from i.postimg.cc]

Bandit frame with iso mounted B50 frame ie P92

[Linked Image from i.postimg.cc]

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Yes that would be nice, but maybe not eligible for classic racing.


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Hi

Yes an interesting read. One of the things that I found quite interesting was the comment by Ron Mason, who said that Devimead probably produced no more that around 200 barrels (I thought it would have been a lot higher), due to porosity and other casting issues. He said they'd get a batch of 20 and get 10 or 12 barrels out of the batch that's terrible.

I've cast 70 alloy barrels and had 4 which turned out with porosity on the final bore prior to coating, these were then linered to utilise them. So after reading that I'm feeling quite happy with myself, I did look at both the original BSA and Devimead barrels when getting the mould made and changed a couple of things to make casting and machining simpler and getting the pour temperature right is a critical part of the process.

Looking forward to reading the volume two.

John

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I straightened and extended my patterns. I just have 3 bits plus the bores. So I have one cyl that could take longer rods. But really a 750 is easier and smooth. Easy to kick start.

https://app.photobucket.com/u/markparker/p/9c945f81-7266-4d34-8565-acfc2166831a?mode=zoom.


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Originally Posted by Mark Parker
I straightened and extended my patterns. I just have 3 bits plus the bores. So I have one cyl that could take longer rods. But really a 750 is easier and smooth. Easy to kick start.

https://app.photobucket.com/u/markparker/p/9c945f81-7266-4d34-8565-acfc2166831a?mode=zoom.


It comes up saying "the owner of this album has set it to private" Mark.


Now let’s all have a beer beerchug

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I haven't, I just haven't paid enough to get the right link. I just paid a few $$ to get my photos I had there when free. And need to cancel it anyway.


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Just ordered my copy, now excitedly waiting for delivery, I hope its as good as everyone says.


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Originally Posted by Mark Parker
I haven't, I just haven't paid enough to get the right link. I just paid a few $$ to get my photos I had there when free. And need to cancel it anyway.

Thats Photobucket being a devil. I signed in a while back as I wanted to download the content which I had previously uploaded. It had some images going back 10 years which I no longer have on my current devices. It wouldn't let me download them.. Like WTF, those are my images. Those pics still occasionally pop up when i google search something like A65 etc but again the links dont work.


Now let’s all have a beer beerchug

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I just right click them and save to folder.

They had some interesting things going on with the A65s. The effort they expended on stuff that was probably backward is amazing. What part of an A65 needs OHC At what rpm are the pushrod motor's limited 10,000rpm? Why make it taller and harder to work on? Why not change the bottom end and make it as bullet proof as simple to work on as the head? Why not discontinue the holes in the drive side rod? Ben is planning racing an A65 and we now know the balance factor we need.

Interesting seeing from the perspective of the manufacturers and what causes them grief.


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Originally Posted by Allan G
Originally Posted by Mark Parker
I haven't, I just haven't paid enough to get the right link. I just paid a few $$ to get my photos I had there when free. And need to cancel it anyway.

Thats Photobucket being a devil. I signed in a while back as I wanted to download the content which I had previously uploaded. It had some images going back 10 years which I no longer have on my current devices. It wouldn't let me download them.. Like WTF, those are my images. Those pics still occasionally pop up when i google search something like A65 etc but again the links dont work.
I tried signing in to Photobucket a while back, but they had deleted my account, so all images gone. I most likely have them elsewhere.


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Originally Posted by JER.Hill
Hi

Yes an interesting read. One of the things that I found quite interesting was the comment by Ron Mason, who said that Devimead probably produced no more that around 200 barrels (I thought it would have been a lot higher), due to porosity and other casting issues. He said they'd get a batch of 20 and get 10 or 12 barrels out of the batch that's terrible.

I've cast 70 alloy barrels and had 4 which turned out with porosity on the final bore prior to coating, these were then linered to utilise them. So after reading that I'm feeling quite happy with myself, I did look at both the original BSA and Devimead barrels when getting the mould made and changed a couple of things to make casting and machining simpler and getting the pour temperature right is a critical part of the process.

Looking forward to reading the volume two.

John

Remember we are talking about UK production technology of the 1970's which was not much advanced from the immediat pot WW II technology .
Then there was this funny mindset that nothing should be changed unless absolutely necessary.
Now day we have computer controlled furnaces, holding furnaces and moulds, vacuum degassing , betted chemical control over tha melt start to finish and far better fluxes .
At college I was taught that it was impossible to ge shrinkage & gas porosity in the same casting
At work I was problem solving this exact occurance for our customers .
The use of spectrual chemistry, particularly to control minor elements that used to be considered impurities like Iron & Nickle to a level just enough to form a skin agains the mould surface instantly but not enough to start inward dendritic growth or form FeSi or NiSi intermatallics is possible now days, it was not available back then.
As is real time nuetron radiography which allows you to watch the actual solidification in the actual moulds on the casting line.
Add to that very accurate ccomputer modeling of solidification has revolutionised the foundry process .


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Hi Trevor

Thanks for your insight into the world of casting. Just to let you know my barrel were done in an old foundry (sadly now closed) using resin sand. While they did have control of the mix and furnace temperature, the pour was into the sand and let it set.

What I didn't really understand from the book, was that if you got a bad batch, would you not be thinking. Ah, maybe we want to look at changing something for the next batch! Or at least that's the way my mind works.

regards

John

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If the accepted reject rate is 40% then you just plan for it, cast 60% more , test as early as you can and the rest become process scrap.
Pe WW II nearly allof the art iron barels are porus
That is why they got painted and fitted with spun cast liners which usually do not leak.
With the advances in foundry technology post WW II the bores were as cast .
Small batches are not as much of a problem as big batches because of the time factor .
Even if you are making remelt ingots when we were pouring the 6 ton furnace we added silicon hardeer every 1/2 to to compensate for silicon burn off during the pour .
What people do not understand is the metal compositin is not consistent in the furnace and changes even more as you pour.
In BSA's time chemical analysis was all by wet means and silicon in aluminium takes about 1/2 hour so by the time you have a final chemical composition the gutnace is empty & you are 1/2 way into the next charge.
Even worse is that holes can move through the metal
so a casting that was sound when tested in the foundry or even in the machie shop can suddenly start to leak after 5 years of operation .


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Originally Posted by JER.Hill
Just to let you know my barrel were done in an old foundry (sadly now closed)


Does this mean no more barrels John?


Now let’s all have a beer beerchug

68’ A65 Lightning “clubman”
71’ A65 823 Thunderbolt (undergoing restoration)
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Hi Allan

To answer your question. Not sure, to make another batch I'd first need to find a foundry that I'd feel comfortable with. Then its how long I would end up with them sitting on the shelf! It's quite a bit of cash outlay to go cast up a batch, machine them and get them Nikasil coated.

regards

John

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Hi John, I can see where your coming from, it’ll be like starting all your years of hard work from scratch again. I’m glad I got mine when I did.


Now let’s all have a beer beerchug

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I think if Les Mason was in charge at BSA they would still be a leading brand. You would not really need hindsight to know what needed doing and what was just going to waste money. The main thing, you needed the guy in charge to be a motorcyclist who understands the product and the buyer.

How many times the screws came out of the cush hub? I brazed nuts on the back and through bolted it decades ago.

I know from experience you never discount the efforts and solutions of others because of qualification, or lack of it. An enthusiast or engineer? Or because you think you know better. Especially when results can be tested and observed, and it's being offered. How easy it would be to alter a casting and build a 744 and blow the doors off the triple.


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Mark, you and others know that BSA wasted all their scarse money on other than proper enginnering changes. As Trevor pointed out the British bike industry refused to upgrade production equipment. No matter who was in charge would not have changed anything unless there was enought cash flow for devolopment ,and there wasn't because of all the known problems.
You may be able to build high HP BSA twins with presice machine work and carefull assembly, the factory could never build it at a sellable market price and make a profit. ..Even the Japanese with massive resources had trouble building high performance twins that were marketable...And the Yamaha XS 650 was not a performance bike..


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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Originally Posted by Mark Parker
I think if Les Mason was in charge at BSA they would still be a leading brand. You would not really need hindsight to know what needed doing and what was just going to waste money. The main thing, you needed the guy in charge to be a motorcyclist who understands the product and the buyer.

How many times the screws came out of the cush hub? I brazed nuts on the back and through bolted it decades ago.

I know from experience you never discount the efforts and solutions of others because of qualification, or lack of it. An enthusiast or engineer? Or because you think you know better. Especially when results can be tested and observed, and it's being offered. How easy it would be to alter a casting and build a 744 and blow the doors off the triple.

If any one who rode & knew about motorcycling was in charge of BSA then they would probably still have been making motorcycles .
But unfortunately like all big companies BSA became run by the money men who know everything about shuffeling money and minimizing tax but nothing about producing what the company makes.
Now days if you do an MBA you will be taught that all profits are made by the board .
Jus look at all of the abandoned prototypes like the 1/2 A 7 250, abandoned in favour of the pre WWII designed C series .
Any one with 10 of a functioning brain would have tooled up to make the 1/2 A 10 250 which was cheaper to make, faster to make ,more powerful, more reliable and brough in bigger economies of scale to the A series to boot.
Abandoned because they had not recouped the developement & tooling costs of building the C series .
Only an accountant could come up with a decision like that .


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The money wasted trying to win at daytona could have been used to retool
the entire line! They had a race winning 650 and a dead beat 500, where
would you spend the money?

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Also the change in payout % going to share holders from the 1950s to the1970s I cannot see how that could work for long. BSA did do major upgrades to the factory. What was practical and needed on bikes was seen as unnecessary expense, though the cost would be minimal. And benefits immense. Failed to end feed the crank and fit a long lasting trouble free bearing, when it's already worked out. Didn't build a 750 big bore version, it just bolts on. Why build a double overhead cam head? What was the purpose? Why spend on modifying the bush? Employed road testers to ignore. 3 wheelers for mums to ride to the shops, and where do the kids fit?

If the bush wasn't changed because of engineers or company losing face, how would that work? It could have been a great marketing tool. Which motors would people be trying to buy now?

Imagine what you could build for 1972 or 73? An end fed 80x74 750 with modified twin carb Thunderbolt head, good rods and pump in the 350 frame, discs front and rear 70hp would more than suffice. A Z1 900 had 82hp and 54.5lbft claimed, the long stroke 750 was a couple less hp with 63lbft. But the short stroke should be a bit higher revving, I doubt it would be less powerful. How would a light small race bike go using the 350 frame? Is the Bandit frame better than Tony Price's Featherbed?

Last edited by Mark Parker; 11/23/20 8:40 am.

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Originally Posted by NickL
The money wasted trying to win at daytona could have been used to retool
the entire line! They had a race winning 650 and a dead beat 500, where
would you spend the money?

Where you persieve the best return for the money was or to placate the local distributors.
Remember a Datona win in the USA was equivalent to an IOM win in the UK and could add 10% to that seasons sales and allow a price hike .
In order to retool you have to convince the motorcycle ignorant money men that the new model will repay the cost of retooling and add sufficient profit to maintain the dividend at the current level , not an easy task .
It would be interesting to find out exactly what it cost to run the comp shop.
Most of the men of the period complained bitterly that it was drastically under funded


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Originally Posted by Mark Parker
Also the change in payout % going to share holders from the 1950s to the1970s I cannot see how that could work for long. BSA did do major upgrades to the factory. What was practical and needed on bikes was seen as unnecessary expense, though the cost would be minimal. And benefits immense. Failed to end feed the crank and fit a long lasting trouble free bearing, when it's already worked out. Didn't build a 750 big bore version, it just bolts on. Why build a double overhead cam head? What was the purpose? Why spend on modifying the bush? Employed road testers to ignore. 3 wheelers for mums to ride to the shops, and where do the kids fit?

BIG SNIP

To easy to do "what if's with hindsight but a different thing when you have to argue the case with technically illiterate money men in a country where tradition is everything and as they had been selling every A 7 / 10 they could make with a plain bush & side feed crank so why change it sir .
Interesting that singles retained their end feed cranks and those C 12's & C 15's are always having costly warranty repairs done so obviously this "end fed thingy " is just a fad .
Same arguement about making the modern 250 designed off the A 7 , we are selling every C 10 & 11 as fast as we can make them so why loose sales by shutting down the line to make this untested on the road new model


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Les wasn't doing hindsight he was working there. And actually testing what I was talking about.

I avoided hindsight. To use hindsight it would be obvious to use a 90degree and make it smooth, and lighter and reduce the dynamic load, and port the head differently and use alloy cylinders, though Nicasil was probably not around so liners like the three. 5speeds they had but what's available now have better ratios. I was just talking about the obvious that was available then, you just think what would be a cool bike, that could have be built then fairly easily with what they already had.

The SS750 Ducati was out around then, but the BSA is smaller and not likely to be less powerful. I think the racing F750 Dukes were about 85hp. Similar to the best 3s. It would have been interesting, but is a what if. Unless the next book has some performance figures or comparisons on the racers. Tony price had a 750 big bore that was pretty dominant I don't think the 3s were up to it.


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I will get the book, sounds like a good read......From the Triumph point of view.... BSA bought Triumph around 1951. Triumph claimed always to be a profitable company slowly strangled by BSA mismanagement , a familiar story.
When I bought my first bike, a 65 650 BSA in 1972, it was about half the price of a Triumph due to the the bad reliability reputation in the USA...Triumph engine was not better but it's success when modified for Bonneville and drags made it appear better. In the early 70's Jim Rice had a decent run with BSA in flat track.


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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just delivered, will start reading soon
regards A

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Triumph was bankrupt when Sangster bought it , same as he did with Ariel
And same as he did with Ariel he brought in the "miracle team" of Turner & Hopwood to revamp the range then made the books look really good when he sold Triumph to BSA. Apparently there was a lot of debt carried over from the revamp.
One of the historians quoted a figure like Triumph being worth 1/3 what BSA paid for it.
You of course have to remember the "old boys club" was in it's prime then so if poor old Jack needed a few million to prop up his decrepit estate the why not buy that Triumph thingie off him .
A brand having a popular model does not necessarily make them profitable particularly when they were primarily assembeling them from mostly bought in parts
Volume scale economies work both ways and more than on business has been sent to the wall because a particular product became too popular and they struggled to meet the demand rather than making a sound profit margin.
The story with Daimler was the same and as far as I can tell Lanchester was also bought at a well over valued price and Chitchester Trucks was the same.


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One theory about BSA’s post-War acquisitions of companies in various industries is that they wanted to profit from the next big war.


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Originally Posted by BSA_WM20
Triumph was bankrupt when Sangster bought it , same as he did with Ariel
And same as he did with Ariel he brought in the "miracle team" of Turner & Hopwood to revamp the range then made the books look really good when he sold Triumph to BSA. Apparently there was a lot of debt carried over from the revamp.
One of the historians quoted a figure like Triumph being worth 1/3 what BSA paid for it.
You of course have to remember the "old boys club" was in it's prime then so if poor old Jack needed a few million to prop up his decrepit estate the why not buy that Triumph thingie off him .
A brand having a popular model does not necessarily make them profitable particularly when they were primarily assembeling them from mostly bought in parts
Volume scale economies work both ways and more than on business has been sent to the wall because a particular product became too popular and they struggled to meet the demand rather than making a sound profit margin.
The story with Daimler was the same and as far as I can tell Lanchester was also bought at a well over valued price and Chitchester Trucks was the same.
I've read quite a few books on the Triumph story..They all implied Triumph was always modestly profitable even when sold to BSA.. Sangster bought a struggling Triumph in 1936 and got Turner to improve the product .It was suggested Sangster sold out to aviod the UK's brutal inheritance taxes.....Perhaps I need to look at your sources for a more complete history...


79 T140D, 96 900M Ducati ,61 A10 .On a bike you can out run the demons..
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Originally Posted by triton thrasher
One theory about BSA’s post-War acquisitions of companies in various industries is that they wanted to profit from the next big war.

Why not? It didn't do the yanks any harm did it?

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The British inheritance tax is brutal but not as bad as it was,
in 1969 under the great communist/labour government it peaked at
80% i believe. Around the time that most pop stars and the
like headed overseas to avoid the similar income tax rates.

There is no inheritance tax here, i wonder if it would be a good
thing these days, it may inhibit some of the parasitical young
chasing their parents out of their homes etc. Plus it may help
stop the dynastic tendency that enormous wealth builds.

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Originally Posted by Hillbilly bike
Originally Posted by BSA_WM20
Triumph was bankrupt when Sangster bought it , same as he did with Ariel
And same as he did with Ariel he brought in the "miracle team" of Turner & Hopwood to revamp the range then made the books look really good when he sold Triumph to BSA. Apparently there was a lot of debt carried over from the revamp.
One of the historians quoted a figure like Triumph being worth 1/3 what BSA paid for it.
You of course have to remember the "old boys club" was in it's prime then so if poor old Jack needed a few million to prop up his decrepit estate the why not buy that Triumph thingie off him .
A brand having a popular model does not necessarily make them profitable particularly when they were primarily assembeling them from mostly bought in parts
Volume scale economies work both ways and more than on business has been sent to the wall because a particular product became too popular and they struggled to meet the demand rather than making a sound profit margin.
The story with Daimler was the same and as far as I can tell Lanchester was also bought at a well over valued price and Chitchester Trucks was the same.
I've read quite a few books on the Triumph story..They all implied Triumph was always modestly profitable even when sold to BSA.. Sangster bought a struggling Triumph in 1936 and got Turner to improve the product .It was suggested Sangster sold out to aviod the UK's brutal inheritance taxes.....Perhaps I need to look at your sources for a more complete history...

Fairly sure it was Koerners or Heatons Phd thesis where that came from.
One has to be a bit careful how one reads books because an author can get sued where as a thesis writer can not because he is not publishing .
All of the period publications hailed Poore as the saviour of the British Motorcycle industry where as in reality he was a ruthless corperate raider who amassed a massive amount of profi at the expense of BSA initally , then the workers co-op and finally milked the British taxpayers for a fortune .
However to say that openly made you the prime target for a massive law suit from a man with no social conscious .


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