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#830192 11/18/20 12:02 pm
Joined: Dec 2018
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Hey, does anyone know if there is a published list of production numbers (i.e. how many were made) of BSA bikes?

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BSA did keep a book of motorcycle production records of weekly totals for each model. One has to go through this book to get monthly and yearly totals for which ever model one is interested in. So it takes a bit of compiling to sort out the information one is interested in. This has been done no doubt many times by many different people and the results show up in various places. There are also dispatch records that BSA recorded which specific motorcycles were sent in the world with specifics of frame and motor numbers. I do not think there was any coordination between the dispatch records and the production book to check and balance the numbers against each other so there are no absolutely solid numbers, but pretty good rough numbers. Unfortunately there are missing pages in the original production book so extrapolations on some model production numbers are needed. I think some late 1972 and 1973 pages are missing.

But to your question, no one "published list" of the entire BSA production by model (by year) over the years. At least to my knowledge. Seems that would be a neat academic exercise to do as there would be no financial gain in doing so. Also a researcher would run into massive amounts of murky information and publishing numbers on certain model production would likely result in incorrect numbers. And those incorrect numbers would then be enshrined as correct because they were "published".

Last edited by Peter Quick; 11/18/20 3:21 pm.

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To add to what Peter wrote, some years would be very difficult to ascertain reliable numbers.

Having personally researched the books for certain years while in the UK in 2010, I can say that the years of '67, '68, '69 and '70 are very confusing in places where the "Y" machines are involved. Also, since the book entries are hand written by various shift employes, some entries are difficult to read and some entries have been lined out and changed contributing to the lack of clarity.


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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Thanks for the replies and the answers were as I feared! Perhaps it is a project for my fast approaching dotage though truthfully I doubt I would have the patience.

One wonders if the published ranges of frame numbers for each year would give an approximation, or did they skip whole sections of the range just to confuse the future "archeologists"?
This all started on a rainy day with me thinking "wonder how many B441s there are still running?" so it is not exactly heart stopping important, more of an aimless musing.

P.S. I must say I find this reCAPTCHA thing very discriminatory, what happens if I AM a robot? are we not welcome as well?

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AFAIK the starting numbers for each season are fairly well correct
What is contencious are the ending numbers which as you notice are simply overlooked.
There are lots of reasons like production delays or missed shipping deadlines that could have caused last years models to follow on into next year.
Then there are dealers who swapped this years identifable parts onto the left over last years bikes on the shop floor .
Not all of the unsold bikes could be shipped to Oz.


Bike Beesa
Trevor

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