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#833560 12/17/20 12:18 am
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Hi All,

Forty (40!) years (sigh) ago I bought a very nice 1972 BSA B500 SS from a dealer in College Station, Texas; they had completed work on the bike in 1981 for a client who never returned - I can no longer remember what I was told they had repaired, but the bike was very nice, looked original, rode well, started as it was supposed to … :-). Was, at that point nine years old.

I had owned several bikes, new and old, by then - all Japanese - all great and fun, and reliable. THIS however, was INTERESTING!

Rode it for a couple of years in College Station and Corpus Christi, Texas while completing initial flight training in the bike’s seeming counterpart - T-28 Trojan.

Paint wasn’t as nice as it should have been, so I painted the metal bits with Emron paint - in the garage middle of Texas summer. Meh - nice, but not beautiful.

Moved to a variety of places over the intervening many years - carried it everywhere except Hawaii. It just sat in the garage in a corner at each place. “Honey, it’s a classic!” Life continued to happen.

Only odd circumstance was when boredom overcame me between flight cycles while living in Brunswick, Maine - one February I decided to start it up … figure 1988. Way too cold obviously, and kept hitting the tickler … too much gas … lit off both the internal combustion thing and the external on fire thing. Got it extinguished quickly, but did scorch the tank and a couple of wires - no burn throughs. Gave up.

Continued to move...

Well, it’s time to do something - so, I have a few options, but need some advice. Engine turns over fine (just rolling it through with everything disconnected), starter pawl needs to be replaced (it doesn’t return to vertical, and when in gear spinning the rear wheel causes it to bump, but that is minor, I think).

Option 1 - full restoration replacing almost everything, repainting almost everything, rebuilding almost everything (whether all need it simply trying to make new again)

Option 2 - partial restoration of just those things that need it, including repainting metal bits except the frame

Option 3 - use as a basis for a hybrid bike of some sort, things like replacing scrambler pipe with swept, etc.

All options would include electronic ignition, repaint, engine repairs as needed once back together.

My sense is the value of the bike is limited, even if it is in near perfect condition, so I was considering more options 2 and 3.

Furthering the sense of the passage of time, I had a large box of stuff for the bike that I had also been carrying around; I thought was mainly bits I had removed (like carb and side panels, etc). Turns out it included: two tires and tubes, the kickstarter pawl gear and shaft, a reworked carburetor (original I had redone somewhere?), complete set of oil and gas hoses, full set of gaskets, stainless side cover bolts, new rear brake light cover, new struts and seal kit, new stickers for the tank and side panels, fuel petcocks, rubber bits for all the pegs, etc, new clutch cable. Most from around 2000-2005, the last time I was going to work on it - but, life was still happening.

Would appreciate input regarding the various options - I took some photos that might be instructive on determine condition as it applies to the options - can't find how to post photos, yet, so here is a link that should work: https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1VFyAOL_gVX3MCUR80lhOkcwDX4fdvXQk?usp=sharing

Thanks to All!

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IMHO--go for Option 2.
From the photos you have a good start point and it sounds as though you have some at least of the parts that you will need.
Just my two cents worth of course---the decision, rightfully so, is yours.
HTH

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I'd go for Option 2 as well, or possibly just do what's needed to recommission it and then take it out and play with it, as the old dirt bike boys used to say.

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I would first make it run. fix engine as required. obviously, tires, etc need to be replaced with new.

as you said... "All options would include electronic ignition, repaint, engine repairs as needed once back together."

I'm in the make it run first camp. it sounds like it's in near running shape now, yet it also sounds like it's been in mothballs for years.
fix as required first. a complete teardown makes for a really big project. one that tends to overwhelm.

the kicker needs to be re-clocked

Florida BSA #833596 12/17/20 10:07 am
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Nice looking start point.
I would examine all the rubber mounts, replace any that are cracked or perished.
Get it running . Ride it . Then ponder paint.
The front mudguard brackets are upside down.Unless you like the big gap.


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Florida BSA #833603 12/17/20 12:09 pm
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I agree, get the thing running and enjoy it for a while. That will then help you decide what to do next, but for the love of God repaint NOW ........ Purple??!!

Florida BSA #833605 12/17/20 12:26 pm
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The purple is Hi Fi Violet and the original paint and correct for the year.

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There is a world of difference between "correct" and "right". Some fashions are best forgotten, to be passed over with a " yee Gods what were we thinking!" Purple was simply wrong then and is still wrong now!

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Originally Posted by Dave Martin
There is a world of difference between "correct" and "right". Some fashions are best forgotten, to be passed over with a " yee Gods what were we thinking!" Purple was simply wrong then and is still wrong now!

Looks nice on the B50T though with just the Stripe on the alloy tank


Now let’s all have a beer beerchug

68’ A65 Lightning “clubman”
71’ A65 823 Thunderbolt (undergoing restoration)
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That thing is clean! You must have stored it carefully. I vote for getting it running as is. That wouldn't take much work and helps you find out about the other things it needs.. But, expect all the oil seals to be hardened and cracking by now and demanding replacement. That's more work but I would still get it running first.

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Thanks for quick inputs, All!

Gavin - ahhhh .... I see where each side is attached by a rectangular keeper - the brackets are mounted upside down! Now, don't know if I did this when repainting in 1981, or previous owner had already done it ... it was the era prior to digital photography, so I may have been the culprit! Will reinstall correctly next time! Thanks!

Kommando - yeah, hi fi violet. Original color I tried to match with Imron (misspelled earlier) paint. As Dave Martin points out - sheesh - not crazy about the color, either - would prefer red with the stripe! If so changed, would there be damage to the value?

Mitch - reclock? Is this same as replacing or repositioning the large spring? The spring has popped off the tab or the holding pin?

Yeah, the more I examine it, the more it seems like Option 2 makes more sense ... and, while none of you mentioned it, I assume you, to recognize the limited nature of the bike's value ... it's not a 750 Norton Commando :-)

Pardon me as I ramble on, below … if you see something I should or should not be doing, please let me know?

I think my strategy will be sort of a middle one - I’m excited to hear it run, but need to get some items in work so I don’t double up fixing, repairing, then taking apart for something I know I’ll need/want to do, anyway.
- strip bits to be painted (going to farm this out this time!)
- pull wheels to see if can revive the chrome and/or live with the little rust on the rims; if I can’t then follow path to repainting wheels and obtaining new rims
- examine brakes and replace as needed (never been touched by me)
- get new tubes and tires installed and balanced
- while front wheel off, and as I already have new forks tubes and seals, get them rebuilt and reassembled
- repaint fenders, side covers and tank
- get the chain soaking (is it possible it is still suitable?)
- replace the ignition (is there anything else that should be “modernized” in the charging/ignition/lighting electrics?)
- should I replace all the bulbs, headlight included, with LED? Any changes required to the 12V positive ground system?
- replace coil springs and shocks
- remove exhaust pipe and get dent removed? Am assuming this is possible? Better to just replace pipe?
- engine - once wheels returned a bit more accessible will see what is leaking and where. Planned to drain and refill frame … thoughts on what oil to cycle through by hand? Thin dino (non synthetic)?
- given the age, should I replace the wire loom? (will have some time). I examined it, again - actually looks relatively good - frayed fabric covering, but wires appear intact
- looks like it’s OK to use an AGM type battery to replace the spec’d PUZ5A (9 AH) (5 1/4" x 5 1/2" x 3”)?


So, could you indulge a few (some silly) questions about where and what bits and pieces? I ordered all the parts over the years from britcycle in Canada and Maine - sent them a note reintroducing myself - they were always great).

1. Electronic ignition - several suppliers. Which is generally thought of as being easiest and best solution?
2. I have a new clutch cable, but know I need a new compression release cable, throttle cable and speedo cable. Best sourcing?
3. I have always disliked the lack of a tach gauge - it just seems imbalanced without one. Is there a factory look solution? Or, way to center the speedo?
4. Front tire - original was 3.25, but was only able to find a 3.50-18 (ChengShin) - suitable general use?
5. Rear tire - don't know what original was, but tire on it now is a knobby 4.00-18 (Yokohama); the new one I have is a 4.00S-18 (don't know what the "S" means (Dunlop Gold Seal K-70) - suitable general use?
6. Rear shocks - pretty awful looking and likely need to be changed out. Options and sourcing?
7. Repainting wheels - what is the actual color? And, what is a good source/manufacturer? Can I rattle can it, or best to simply get done by same paint shop as metal bits?

Found some great YouTube videos by 999greeves … very helpful!

Forgot to mention - I have just moved into a new place, and found that my next door neighbor is a former dirt bike racer and works at a local bike shop that does restorations along with their usual business of repairs. Should be a GREAT resource to keep me from doing stupid things and to provide stick and rudder for where to go for things like repaint, wheels, etc, if they don't do them.

Thanks, again!!

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Quote
If so changed, would there be damage to the value?

If it is it's only a matter of a second tank, guards and side covers painted in Flamboyant Red and keeping the originals on the shelf for when it comes to be sold. The factory paint is only original once, tanks and guards are easy to come by, stainless guards are another option, side panels are rarer.

kommando #833748 12/18/20 6:02 pm
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Sounds like it is not original paint (even though the color looks right in the pix). So whatever happens now will be a re-paint, including just leaving it as is...

Florida BSA #833766 12/18/20 10:12 pm
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OK - and, for another thrill today - figured I would look through the container of keys - I'm assuming a lot of you have one of these. Keys you can't identify, but since you have them you know they must fit something?

TWO KEYS THAT FIT THE BSA!

Have not been in the bike since around 1988 or so - when I caught it on fire.

U Rah

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No, not original paint - as close as I could get it at the time. Limited time and money so I kinda took the easy way out.

Florida BSA #833773 12/18/20 11:33 pm
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[Linked Image from i.postimg.cc]

I used Dodge "Plum Crazy", which is still not correct. The Hi-Violet original color uses a white base coat which gives it a brighter appearance. You can source the original color from England, but the only type they can ship is water based, which I have no experience with so I can't comment.

As for electrics, if you use an electronic ignition and a solid state regulator, the wiring will be simpler although you will have to add a two-wire pair into the points cavity, where the original only used a single wire. That aluminum box that houses the original wiring is a rat's nest.

As for the original tachometer, the parts are available occasionally on eBay, but they are quite pricey. They apparently used a smaller diameter gauge, but I've never seen one in the flesh.

Tom


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The color is very "70s".
On a personal basis I still cant decide whether I like it or not.
It is certainly a long way from the classic Brit bike black and gold---which IMHO takes some beating.

Ref electronic ignition--- I used to have a B50 and fitted Pazon electronic ignition.
Couldn't start the b****rd.
Turns out that the Pazon ignition (and probably the Boyer too) needs two triggers to switch itself on.
The B50 kick starter is very low geared and mostly doesn't provide the two triggers so doesn't spark and doesn't start.
The solution was that I talked to Andy at Pazon and he provided me with a special box that only needed one trigger to wake it up.
HTH

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lol

did you aee my fireflake purple 1970 commando when you were here?

70s definitely. could only have been more so if it were avocado with deep shag uphstery

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Hi Kevin--no--dont recall seeing your fireflake Commando when I picked up the Trident.
Is it wildly fireflake purple 70s style?
Reminds me of MGBs in 1971--every one of them seemed to be painted a horrible mustard yellow.
Jeez---that is nearly 50 years ago now---I must be getting old!

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koncretekid,

I like the clean lines with upswept pipe on your B50 ... it is so uncluttered looking ... elegant, black, silver, purple ...you also put chrome springs over the rear shocks ... nice. Missing the same front fender clip for the brake cable, too!

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Ref TM, the Pazon is the single killing needs 2 triggers before waking up, Boyer is the single friendly only needs one trigger to wake uo. Pazon have a warning on their website against using their box on hi compression singles with low Kickstarter ratios, apt description for a B50.

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Well, best laid plans and all - neighbor broke his knee while dirt racing last week. I guess my term "former dirt bike racer" wasn't quite accurate - he's always out with his kids at races, so maybe just couldn't NOT get out on the track. After a few days of agony at home he is at one of the local orthopedic hospitals - not sure of diagnosis, yet.

Shared photos with him, so I'll start disassembling a bit more. Carefully wiped frame and wheels ... neither look as bad as I feared. Couple of tiny spots of rush on rear rim and maybe smaller fuzz on front, but not really worth replacing at this point. Will remove them first.

Hey - should I ask moderator to put this thread in the Members Bike Projects area? I can then post specific questions in this part of the forum?

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Nuff said about colour ........
Electronic ignition ..... I fitted the Vape system (marketed by Wassel), to my B441 (ish). Very easy to fit and set up and it simply works. The unit is cast in resin and looks solid, it has proven to be "fit and forget". Next bike is well on the way to completion and will certainly have one of these.

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First basic question - after pulling right side cover to clock the kickstarter, found the kick starter spring off the post so that was obvious - pulled the quadrant piece, reinstalled in position, made sure the clutch rack was set, made sure the ball bearing in place, then temporarily installed the cover. But now the clutch will not release - the clutch push rod is proud of the adjusting nut by a couple mil - cable is loose at the arm (arm is in correct 1 o'clock position.

Does this mean the clutch plates are stuck together?

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To answer your question, yes the clutch plates could be stuck together. Usually, by pulling the clutch in against resistance, and rocking the bike back with the tranny in high gear, the plates will break loose. But if not, and you're sure the clutch rod and rack are correctly installed, you may have to pry out the plates.

The adjusting screw and nut are on the clutch plate side, where the adjusting screw is screwed into the pressure plate. Even without disassembling the clutch, by removing the screw completely, you should be able to see (with a flashlight) if the clutch rod is proud of the clutch nut. On the timing side, the clutch rod needs to be proud of the mainshaft nut. In other words, the clutch rod needs to be proud at both ends in order for the rack/ball to release the pressure plate. If the clutch rod has at some time run dry or overheated, or if someone converted it to a 6 plate clutch with the original rod and adjusting screw, it could now be too short.

Tom


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