Britbike forum

EBay A65 dating question.

Posted By: Jim Hultman

EBay A65 dating question. - 06/24/11 1:06 am

This bike is on EBay right now:

[Linked Image]

He calls it a '68. The LA motor number would be from '67. Both frame and engine have the infamous "Y" stamp. To me, the bike is obviously a '70. Clutch, horn relay, decals, etc.

The '70 I'm just finishing up has the date code letters and A65L.

Any ideas what this bike is? When did they start the BSA background stamping on the engine?

By the way, someone should probably snap this up. IMHO, price is fair and he's open to offers.
Posted By: Bob~NJ

Re: EBay A65 dating question. - 06/24/11 1:52 am

Its a '70. Here's the service bulletin:

[Linked Image]

Cheers~Bob
Posted By: Jim Hultman

Re: EBay A65 dating question. - 06/24/11 2:00 am

Wow, Bob, you genius! Never seen that bulletin before. Explains a LOT about the old "Y" debate, at least how it applies to the '70 bikes.

Thanks!

Wish I had a few bucks right now. I think I'd be headed to Wisconsin to pick up this bike! cry
Posted By: Kevin (NZ).

Re: EBay A65 dating question. - 06/24/11 2:30 am

http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/BSA-...otorcycles&hash=item3f0b388141#v4-33

Yep, the bikes with the 'Y' suffix on both engine and frame are generally 1970 models. The earlier 1967 bikes were never stamped on the frame, - and of course have a completely different appearance engine.

I think we were assuming the bikes appeared towards the end of the 1970 season, it is interesting to note this one is supposedly original and has the grey faced instruments.
I hope Bacon was not trying to rewrite history regarding the introduction of the black faced ones.
Those that were around at the time will remember when they first saw them..
I never saw a 1970 bike back then with the black ones, - but that would have only been from a very small sample.

This bike on Ebay is a good example of a 1970 model. A couple of guys here have just bought similar machines and they will be studying these pics intently. All good stuff.
Posted By: Bob~NJ

Re: EBay A65 dating question. - 06/24/11 3:02 am

Jim,

No genius here, just pasted an old post from here. My genius is concetrating on why my tach is suddenly jumping around this weekend. That is a great looking bike.
NOW about this -Y code.......

Cheers~Bob
Posted By: D.Bachtel

Re: EBay A65 dating question. - 06/24/11 5:51 am

I concur, it is a 1970 and not a bad deal with a low enough "Make Offer" option.

Don in Nipomo
Posted By: BSA_WM20

Re: EBay A65 dating question. - 06/24/11 9:14 am

No the USA got the first production run.
We got the dregs of what was left in the UK , called the "home & general export model" and then some of what did not sell in the USA and even some of the "Europe Export model" .
Best I can make out they generally had the bigger guards and a speedo marked in Km in stead of Miles, some times.
Posted By: Kevin (NZ).

Re: EBay A65 dating question. - 06/24/11 10:12 am

Quote
I think those bikes shipped over seas, would have been the first to leave the factory, especially those going to AUS to NZ
,

I am not sure I have come across this one before... I was in NZ and we never really got new season bikes. Bikes here could be sold and ridden any time of the year, not like the seasonal markets in the Northern Hemisphere.

I remember seeing a batch of brand new Thunderbolts for sale on the showroom floor in April 1974.
I think it was pretty well known and accepted that the market here would sell the bikes that had missed the selling season elsewhere in the world. So a bike still sitting in the States at the end of Summer/Autumn would be despatched to the colonies in time for the peak riding season here. I guess the last thing the dealers needed was competition from the 'New' season bikes.

Thanks Bob for taking time to post a copy of the SB. The battle of the '-Y' and 'Y' will be won yet...
Posted By: Gary E

Re: EBay A65 dating question. - 06/24/11 3:27 pm

Originally Posted by Kevin (NZ).
Yep, the bikes with the 'Y' suffix on both engine and frame are generally 1970 models.


Kevin, good that you included 'generally' as you know the late '67 Spitfires refitted and sold as '68's were stamped with the 'Y'.
Posted By: Kevin (NZ).

Re: EBay A65 dating question. - 06/24/11 7:32 pm

Hi Gary, yes I did leave the out.... mainly because I know of one Y bike that appears more '69 model for what ever reason. Then there are the 'X' bikes as well.

As for the Spitfires.... many have the '-Y' on the engine.
I am familiar with the restyled MkIV appearance '-Y' bikes also but I am sure they were never stamped on the frame. Were all the restyled bikes wearing the '-Y' engine suffix ? I am assuming they were but can't recall now.

I see the Ebay auction has now been changed.... he is calling it a 1967 Lightning, - Duuuurhhhh cry
Posted By: Alex

Re: EBay A65 dating question. - 06/24/11 7:42 pm

Sounds like an "expert" filled him in...
Posted By: Jim Hultman

Re: EBay A65 dating question. - 06/24/11 7:48 pm

Originally Posted by Alex
Sounds like an "expert" filled him in...

That would be me. At least I tried to to explain that it was a '70 but he wasn't having any. Oh well. confused
Posted By: Alex

Re: EBay A65 dating question. - 06/24/11 9:10 pm

Originally Posted by Jim Hultman
Originally Posted by Alex
Sounds like an "expert" filled him in...

That would be me. At least I tried to to explain that it was a '70 but he wasn't having any. Oh well. confused


Nice try, anyway, Jim. I gave up long ago trying to tell ebay sellers anything. More often than not, you get an angry response.
Posted By: Kevin (NZ).

Re: EBay A65 dating question. - 06/24/11 10:58 pm

Success, It is now a 1970 model.

This will cause a stir.....

Can you imagine all the owners who will now think they have 1970 model Spitfires and Hornets etc... hmmm.

For all that it may be that another battle in the war may be won.

At what point will the BSAOC in the UK catch up and correct their website ?
Posted By: Gary E

Re: EBay A65 dating question. - 06/25/11 3:44 am

Originally Posted by Kevin (NZ).
As for the Spitfires.... many have the '-Y' on the engine.
I am familiar with the restyled MkIV appearance '-Y' bikes also but I am sure they were never stamped on the frame. Were all the restyled bikes wearing the '-Y' engine suffix ? I am assuming they were but can't recall now.


The late '67 Spitfires in the (about) 16000-17000 number group had the engine stamped 'Y', but not the frame. These were the converted '67's to '68 specs and were dispatched April-July 1968. There are 478 SA's in the '68 factory production book. These are not the '-Y' bikes.
Posted By: Kevin (NZ).

Re: EBay A65 dating question. - 06/25/11 4:01 am

Now that is interesting. Thanks Gary.
I have seen pics of some of those bikes and can't remember if they were Dash Y or Y. I am guessing Dash Y because I am sure they would have stood out for me.
They are very late despatch dates also... given that the first Dash Y Spitfires were shipped just after Xmas or New Year of 1966/'67.

Did you mean to say
Quote
converted '67's to '68 specs and were dispatched April-July 1968.
?

Are you saying the very last batch of Spitfires were actually reworked 1967 bikes ? if so that could have been the foundation for one of the rumours..

Or is it that the last of the 1967 bikes were just getting the 2ls brake etc instead of the 190mm before production of the 1968 Mk IV really started ?
That would have been July 1967
Posted By: Gary E

Re: EBay A65 dating question. - 06/25/11 1:33 pm

Kevin,
I have others, but here is one example from my data base. This is a very late '67 Spitfire, reconfigured to '68 specs, and thus, sold as a '68. It would be one of the total I presented avove. They are '68 SB in looks and specs, but with SA numbers.

[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]

The '68 production book, and I am verifying '68, not '67, has dispatch dates of these '67/'68 hybrids (for lack of a better term) as presented previously. They were dispatched intermixed along with the true '68 SB Spitfires.

The last '68 model dispatched had a date of 7/68 and was TB 10918 (Thunderbolt). The last '67/'68 SA hybrid (SA 17892) had a dispatch date of 4/68. It is noted that bikes off the production line were not neccessarily dispatched in date order. So, the April thru July '68 dispatch dates presented previously of the '67/'68 SA hybrids is correct.

Sorry Jim, for the thread hijack.
Posted By: Kevin (NZ).

Re: EBay A65 dating question. - 06/25/11 2:14 pm

Thanks Gary, I found pics of the same bike here also, now that I have bothered to look. They are all over the place aren't they ? Some with the Dash and some without in those high numbers. I have SA17890Y as a MkIV also. 17898Y is another...I have pics of it as a MkIV and good pics of the engine number.
Interestingly enough it is several numbers above the highest you have for that model.

I found quite a number of pics of engine numbers of SA17xxxY bikes but I have no idea of the model. Certainly a high percentage of those Spitfires are missing the Dash before the Y suffix though. The Piled Arms logo has disappeared by now also.

Do we have -Y bikes (Spitfires) that ran for much of the 1967 model year and then several hundred at the end of the run as just Y suffix and in MkIV livery... or is it not that easy ?
17732Y, 17365Y,17642-Y,17856Y,

Posted By: Gary E

Re: EBay A65 dating question. - 06/25/11 7:37 pm

Originally Posted by Kevin (NZ).
...17898Y is another...I have pics of it as a MkIV and good pics of the engine number.
Interestingly enough it is several numbers above the highest you have for that model.


It is all hard to interpet, in some cases, as I have an image of SA 17904Y which was not found in the production book. Go figure.

Originally Posted by Kevin (NZ).
...The Piled Arms logo has disappeared by now also.


The piled arms logo stamp on the engine seems to have disappeared about #10000, although early '67 numbers don't have it. I have seen several in the 2000, 3000, and 4000 numbers that don't have it including my '67 Wasp that is in the 3000 group.

Originally Posted by Kevin (NZ).
Do we have -Y bikes (Spitfires) that ran for much of the 1967 model year and then several hundred at the end of the run as just Y suffix and in MkIV livery... or is it not that easy?


That is my observation. As you say: "-Y" SA's through most of '67 (except very early of course) then the "Y" SA's at the end made in to '68's.

So, there are actually three Y issues (oh no!): "-Y", SA "Y", and 1970 "Y". Whew! I think I will go have a beer.
Posted By: Kevin (NZ).

Re: EBay A65 dating question. - 06/25/11 11:05 pm

Yep, I am a few hours ahead and had my Saturday night beers while trying to digest this last night.

I can see now that many of the last SA Spitfires had just the Y suffix (again with the odd exception).
And I am understanding your observations about that tallying with the MkIV styling.... my sample base is far too small to be accurate.

The big issue for me is the despatch dates.

I realise you have seen the records and may even have a copy, - which is marvellous. The thing we seem to be saying is that these bikes were built at the end of the model season (maybe... we don't know).
They were restyled as MkIV (or built that way before SB numbers). I am assuming assembled in June 1967 (for example)

B U T . . .

It all comes off the rails when you say they were despatched a whole year later... what gives ?

Could this be another part of the jigsaw ?
Alistair Cave, BSA Former Works Manager right to the end, also BSA Owners Club Vice President, was adamant that bikes were in storage and stamped with the 'Y'. (Well that is how BSAOC UK see it.. he may have been mis-reported. Possibly taken out of context.)

We know it was not the '-Y' bikes of 1967... they were selling immediately. We have Dating Certificates plus several owners here were riding them during 1967.

It was not the 1970 Y bikes.... BSA in the States included them in their SB when they had to match the Japanese warranties in the early '70's. The Bulletin was dated May 1970 so the bikes were in the USA by then, - indeed they gave an example of one selling in March 1970.
Again we have owners here buying them in 1970. And they were not sold in competition with the OIF bikes that appeared just a few months later.

Could it be the THIRD Y bikes that created all this confusion ? (ie SA17xxxY)

A restyled SA Spitfire is little competition for a SB Spitfire... it would sell for the same price.
If the model was being phased-out it might make them even easier to sell.
Did they run out of 190mm brakes, or forks or something ?
Was the market swamped with the massive run of 1967 machines and the bikes were held back ?

Presumably the bikes were already stamped with the SA numbers.
If they were not stamped you would just introduce them into the '68 production run as SB models.

Why ship them in April to June 1968 ? The last Spitfires to be sold ??

Rich B strongly believes the rumour about the small production run of '68 Firebirds is nonsense also.
The last of the 1968 Firebirds may have been sales competition for the last batch of Spitfires to be shipped.

Sorry Sir, We only made 200 Firebirds this year... would you like a nice new SA Spitfire (Hybrid). instead ?!!
Posted By: Gary E

Re: EBay A65 dating question. - 06/26/11 1:06 am

What we need is a time machine. But then we wouldn't have anything to write about.

>>>...Was the market swamped with the massive run of 1967 machines and the bikes were held back?...<<<

That would be a posibility when looking at the production numbers. About 18600 '67's (all models), about 11000 '68's (all models).

I also was perplexed when I saw that the '67 SA (hybrids) were dispatched so late (April thru July '68). I would have thought they would have been the first to go before the '68 SB's.

Also noted in my image data base of the '67 SA's (hybrids) are that the cases are '68 style with the cast in place mount for the stator, and no threaded hole for the transmission oil filler plug. That could also throw a wrench into the mix of posibilities you have presented, or did the factory just run out of '67 cases (model-year part change - not-uncommon).

More '68 Firebirds were produced than true '68 Spitfires (SB's).

Posted By: Shane in Oz

Re: EBay A65 dating question. - 06/26/11 7:45 am

Originally Posted by Gary E

I also was perplexed when I saw that the '67 SA (hybrids) were dispatched so late (April thru July '68). I would have thought they would have been the first to go before the '68 SB's.


I've read somewhere that BSA manufactured the engines, stamped them with the model and serial number and then they went into stores to be fitted into a rolling chassis later. If there was a batch of A65SA motors right at the back of the store room they might have been the last to go down the cycle assembly line.

I don't know how true the story about the store room is, but it's quite likely considering that *all* of the triple motors were built at Small Heath, and the T150s stuck on a truck to go to Meriden to be put into bikes.
Posted By: Kevin (NZ).

Re: EBay A65 dating question. - 06/26/11 9:27 am

Hi Shane,
I have heard the frames were stamped to match the engines also.

Quote
I've read somewhere that BSA manufactured the engines, stamped them with the model and serial number and then they went into stores to be fitted into a rolling chassis later.


In the case of all the Y bikes, - indeed all cases, at what point do you think the suffix was added to the engine number ? I would think later on at the time the frame was being stamped.
That would be convenient to indicate any peculiarities...... but why then would they stamp the engine with a suffix and not the frame ?

All very strange still isn't it. And only certain batches of the twins at that, - we don't see suffix stamps on other models during the late 60's onwards.

I know you have commented on the MkIV SA Spitfires before.., did you know about the very late shipping dates...? I think we are all surprised by that.

I would like to see a dating certificate for one ... I believe the numbers were assigned about June of 1967, a MkIII in the mid 15700 numbers was shipped towards the end of April. It was a "-Y" bike.

Possibly another question for Gary, - were other models apart from the A65SA bikes stamped with such high numbers ?
LA14295-Y is the biggest I can do. I have pics of LA16xxx and LA17xxx but they are 1970 'Y' bikes.
I have very few pics of any 1967 bikes numbered in the 13xxx to 15xxx series..(Apart from Spitfires).

Posted By: Gary E

Re: EBay A65 dating question. - 06/26/11 9:01 pm

Originally Posted by Kevin (NZ).
Possibly another question for Gary, - were other models apart from the A65SA bikes stamped with such high numbers? LA14295-Y is the biggest I can do. I have pics of LA16xxx and LA17xxx but they are 1970 'Y' bikes. I have very few pics of any 1967 bikes numbered in the 13xxx to 15xxx series..(Apart from Spitfires).


The late Spitfire SA's (hybrids) stand alone with the "Y" engine/no "Y" frame. No other models. The numbers are in a separate section of one of the production books and are random from 11577 to 17892.

In the 13000, 14000, and 15000 number groups, a lot of Sptifires and Hornets were produced, with some Lightnings in there, all with "-Y".

1970 "Y" bikes numbers range from 10434 to 17042 in random of the 10000, 11000, 12000, and 17000 number groups.
Posted By: Atlanta Bonnie

Re: EBay A65 dating question. - 06/26/11 9:42 pm


Than there are the orphan 1969 Y bikes. My number is A65LA7752Y.

I posted a picture of the dating certificate a while back that says it left on 8/19/69 for NJ. Maybe it s/b be a 1970 with that late ship date, but the engine is pure 69...not having the 1970 changes for clutch entry and barrel studs.
Posted By: Kevin (NZ).

Re: EBay A65 dating question. - 06/26/11 10:47 pm

Hi Bruce, I didn't realise you had a '69 'Y' bike but I was aware of them. They must be very rare..

Quote
yes I did leave the out.... mainly because I know of one Y bike that appears more '69 model for what ever reason. Then there are the 'X' bikes as well.


It may even be yours !.... I will see if I can get some more details. an odd case within a series of anomalies, for sure..

Now we need a 'X' bike owner to step forward.

Posted By: Kevin (NZ).

Re: EBay A65 dating question. - 06/26/11 11:12 pm

I have been thinking about what Bruce said.... A 'Y' bike shipped at the start of the 1970 season.

I then wondered if they were all like that,- before the early S/N struck home. By far the majority of 'Y' bikes (A65L and A65T) have very high numbers...again up around 17xxx in many cases.
Did BSA really make the same number of bikes in 1970 as they did in 1967 ? I thought they were well into decline by then.

Hmmmm, we now have a situation where they used the Y suffix for what ever reason at the start of the 1970 season.
Until now I assumed the largest batch was at the end of the run (going by large S/N)..
Many guys here have 1970 'Y' bikes. Can anyone provide an example of shipping dates for a 'Y' machine..... be dead strange if we found one in mid-season, or even April of 1970.

I have a feeling the large numbers were specifically chosen, either as a ruse or because they were certain they were never going to reach a production figure that great. I am thinking it is no coincidence that the 'Y' Spitfire hybrids and many of the (-Y) machines bore similar large numbers.

I remember reading that magazine article about a chap who bought one new, I thought he said it was during 1970. He was the guy that bought the bike back 25 years later and the bike had aged 28 years. It was now titled as a 1967... (It was a 1970 Y bike).
Posted By: Gary E

Re: EBay A65 dating question. - 06/27/11 1:20 am

Originally Posted by Atlanta Bonnie

Than there are the orphan 1969 Y bikes. My number is A65LA7752Y.

I posted a picture of the dating certificate a while back that says it left on 8/19/69 for NJ. Maybe it s/b be a 1970 with that late ship date, but the engine is pure 69...not having the 1970 changes for clutch entry and barrel studs.


Good info! I've added Bruce's '69 LA to my '67 number database

Originally Posted by Kevin (NZ).
...By far the majority of 'Y' bikes (A65L and A65T) have very high numbers...again up around 17xxx in many cases....

...Until now I assumed the largest batch was at the end of the run (going by large S/N)...

...be dead strange if we found one in mid-season, or even April of 1970....


As I mentioned earlier, according to the '67 production books, the '70 "Y" machines had random numbers from 10434 to 17042 and were in the 10000, 11000, 12000, and 17000 number groups. They were dated as dispatched in January, February, and May 1970 (68 machines in May).

I think I may still have that '67/'70 Lightning article
Posted By: Kevin (NZ).

Re: EBay A65 dating question. - 06/27/11 2:48 am

Sorry Gary, I may have drifted off there. I missed what you said about the 1970 Y bikes.

First off, here is a pic of Bruce's 1969 Y Lightning.

[Linked Image]

It certainly has some 1970 features but it is the engine that is different. Ok, we know the engine was probably made and stamped earlier and then when it reached the line the 1970 cycle parts were there.. a very similar situation to the Y Hybrid Spitfires of 2 years earlier.
Does the Y signify something there, ''' ok guys we have an earlier number but this is now a machine to be sold as a new season bike '''''.. ?
Did Bruce say 7000 something ? a very high figure for a bike shipped at the end of August.
Indeed 7700 after 6 weeks production maximum.... what did those guys do during their summer break ?
Surely that figure is out of sequence... does the LAxxxxY signify something there perhaps. A 1969 engine that missed the cut, we still want to use it but can't put it into either a '69 frame or '70 frame easily..

Quote
As I mentioned earlier, according to the '67 production books, the '70 "Y" machines had random numbers from 10434 to 17042 and were in the 10000, 11000, 12000, and 17000 number groups. They were dated as dispatched in January, February, and May 1970 (68 machines in May).


I missed some key points in this also I am afraid Gary.
Again many more questions than answers sorry.
Are you saying the 1970 Y bikes are included in the 1967 production books ?
We know they were not made until June 1969 at the earliest. Bruce has an engine conforming to 1969 specs and apart from that the change to 1970 engines seemed smooth and effortless.
ie, not fitted to 1969 machines and yet all 1970 models have it, including almost all the Y bikes of 1970.

Shane has asked this one before. Do we have documented any instance of a duplicated number.
A 1967 LA or TA-Y bike in the 11,000 to 17,000 number range.
ie sharing with a similar numbered Y bike..
Probably not because we know it was mainly the Spitfires and Hornets that were up around there in 1967.
I guess it would be very obvious also that the duplication was there seeing as they used the same book for both.
Is that the reason they used the 1967 book, - .. so there would be no duplication. The chap stamping the engine could choose a number that seemed to be spare, or available.

Why would BSA include 1970 model, and produced, machines in a 1967 book. It must have made the 1970 production figures look grim...

AND.. the bikes were shipped early in the season, or at least mid-season. Jan and Feb says Gary.
Posted By: Atlanta Bonnie

Re: EBay A65 dating question. - 06/27/11 3:09 am

Here is a picture of the bottom end during tear down. Does anything appear to not be 69? (Can't claim to be an expert)

[Linked Image]

a before shot:
[Linked Image]

After:
[Linked Image]

Vin
[Linked Image]
Posted By: Kevin (NZ).

Re: EBay A65 dating question. - 06/27/11 3:29 am

Nice bike Bruce.. are you too scared to start it ?



Just because the HT leads were missing when you bought it mate.
beerchug
Posted By: Kevin (NZ).

Re: EBay A65 dating question. - 06/27/11 9:49 am

Another thought.. it seems that all the Y bikes were export models.

We now suspect there were three main variants or batches.

Regarding the last group, - the Y bikes of 1970;
Could it be that something was going on with Export Incentives, VAT clawbacks or similar and that the factory had to make up numbers later on. If for example that claims were made for bikes that did not actually exist..., holes in the S/N sequence.
Is it unreasonable that these bikes were subsequently discovered (in storage directly at the end of the 1970 production line) ! smirk

They could then be drip fed back into the system via the '67 production books with a plausible cover story, or stories.
In storage, or exported and then sent back or whatever.

The staff must have known, they would have seen the numbers as the bikes came off the line. They would either been surmising or fed a story. The same with the USA dealers, they had seen the Bulletin and most would have physically seen the machines (1970 Y bikes).

Surely any man with a brain would be saying 'Hang on mate... what gives here ? We are (assembling/shipping/selling) bikes with 1967 style numbers.... what is the go then ?'

Someone must remember what the staff were told..
Posted By: Atlanta Bonnie

Re: EBay A65 dating question. - 06/27/11 10:09 pm

Good catch. She has about 800 miles on the clock now, and runs great.

In fact, don’t tell anyone on the Triumph forum, but RF rode her last fall, and found her to be smoother than my Triumphs! Doubt he would admit he rode a BSA though!

Posted By: Kevin (NZ).

Re: EBay A65 dating question. - 06/27/11 10:19 pm

I was more curious about the unique ignition system. Wireless HT and all...

Now back to the subject bike, it appears A65LA11798Y sold for $2000.
It would have to be a great start for a project at that, I hope it has gone to a good home.
It was a shame we did not get to see all the Questions and Answers, going by all the revisions to the auction there must have been a bit happening behind the scenes.
Posted By: Atlanta Bonnie

Re: EBay A65 dating question. - 06/27/11 10:39 pm


I'm beginning to think the real story behind these Y bikes will never be known.

But no one can deny they don't exist!
Posted By: Kevin (NZ).

Re: EBay A65 dating question. - 06/28/11 12:09 am

[Linked Image]


A6LA10481Y

Especially for you Bruce.

I also came across this in my archives. A message I posted on this forum back in 2004... ( Some guys need to get a life, - honestly.)

Quote
A65TA6950Y, A65TA7031Y and A50RA10144Y are all 1969 bikes, with the raised boss, but I can't say with certainty that they all bear the little logos.

A65LA15126Y, A65LA10849Y and A65LA15824Y all have the boss, and logos, and are 1970 model bikes.


This has been going on far too long. I am now tripping over myself. Surprised to see the Royal Star there, the SB did not mention them.

I am 99% positive the bikes would have been stamped with the logos, I just could not make them out with the pics I had.
Posted By: Atlanta Bonnie

Re: EBay A65 dating question. - 06/28/11 12:41 am

Wow, that is also a 69 based by clutch cable entrance….and cylinder stud size looks 69.

Wonder if it was sold as a 70 model? Do you know history? (or on any of the other 69 spec bikes you listed)

Posted By: Kevin (NZ).

Re: EBay A65 dating question. - 06/28/11 12:44 am

[Linked Image]
A65LA10971Y

This is the magazine article I alluded to.
The same bloke with a Y model bike but with the photos taken 26 years apart. The red bike is a 1970 bike which I think he bought new. The black bike is titled as a 1967, .... it just so happens to be the same bike. He aged 26 years and the bike 29 during the interval.

I have found the article in htm. form.

This is an excerpt;

Quote
The motorcycle under discussion is a 1970 BSA 650 Lightning. Or is it a 1967 as the Ownership title states? More on that later.

I was the proud owner of this BSA in 1979. Prior to that my Father-in-Law was the proud owner, and prior to that his son was the proud owner. Now, hold on, this is where it gets interesting...


Quote
Now, I remember owning a 1970 BSA, engine # A65LA10971Y. The title represented the bike as a 1967. Frame and engine numbers matched.

Checking the BSA Owners Club Website (in the UK) I had reason to believe the dating was incorrect.
Now, all the Brit Bike Owners already know about the mixing and matching that took place in the waning years at the Birmingham plant. The frame for this bike was produced in 1967 and given a VIN # but the frame was not assembled and sold until 1970, when the later model parts were added and the bike shipped to USA.

The engine number was added to match the number stamped on the frame in 1967 and the letter "Y" was added to indicate the assembly of an early model frame with newer model engine and fitments.

BSA did not match the frame and engine numbers of earlier models, I believe they started this number matching in 1967.


Quote
It rides like a BSA, it looks like a BSA, but is it a 1967 or 1970?
I put my money on the latter!



He then goes on and details all the engine and frame differences between the 1967 and 1970 models.

He knows it is a 1970 and that the BSAOC have mislead him..
Posted By: Atlanta Bonnie

Re: EBay A65 dating question. - 06/28/11 12:56 am

Wish I could get younger while my bike aged.

so somewhere in between 10481 & 10971 it became a true 70 model
Posted By: Kevin (NZ).

Re: EBay A65 dating question. - 06/28/11 1:26 am

Quote
so somewhere in between 10481 & 10971 it became a true 70 model


I reckon.... and these numbers have nothing to do with 1969 or 1970 production numbers. It is almost like they were running two sets of books.

Which, of course, they were. Gary is saying the numbers are included in the 1967 production books. I hope he gets a chance to look into some of the numbers quoted here to give us an insight into that aspect of it. Naturally none can have been exported prior to the summer of '69.. grin

(They were not made until then...)
Posted By: Gary E

Re: EBay A65 dating question. - 06/28/11 4:09 am

We are getting a lot of mileage out of this hijacked thread, but it is somewhat related I guess.

Originally Posted by Kevin (NZ).
...Are you saying the 1970 Y bikes are included in the 1967 production books?...

...Why would BSA include 1970 model, and produced, machines in a 1967 book. It must have made the 1970 production figures look grim...


The 1970 Y machines I spoke of earlier are all entered in two of the three 1967 production books. The entries are not on the usual production pages. The production books each have 100 double-sided pages, so there are 200 pages. Each page has 41 lines for entries, one machine per line. The '70 Y machine entries are located on the inside of the front and back covers of two of the production books. These cover inside pages do not have any lines like the normal book pages, so the '70 Y entries are smaller print and squeezed on the pages and not very well lined up, typical of someone making entries on a blank page with no lines. The entries look like an after-thought (just my opinion). The entries are in '67 number sequence, small to large, but in random number order, ie, with many number gaps.

Of the model year production books I researched, the '67's were the hardest to interpet. Everything is hand written, a lot in pencil, so some entries are hard to read. As an example, an entry may indicate a SA but next to it in the margin is a LA in different hand writing. So which model is it for that production number?

I suspect since they were using '67 numbers for the '70 Y's they thought is appropiate to put the entries in the '67 books.
Posted By: Kevin (NZ).

Re: EBay A65 dating question. - 06/28/11 9:28 am

Thanks for that info Gary, it is little wonder trying to get to the bottom of all this is such a nightmare.
I came across some bottler anomalies while going though the photos earlier, - I am not sure at what point to introduce them into our discussions here. (1969 this time).

I agree about the thread drift but I think we are not straying too far from the topic.
We have just seen a seller try and sell a 1968 A65L that he has supposedly been working on. How he did engine work without twigging is beyond me.
Regardless, he then advertises it for close to $3000.... possibly close to what it is worth. He is obviously confused about the mismatch of parts as he is even considering parting it out.
Come in Bonzo........ wink

He then gets mail from all the do-gooders that think it is a 1967. Yes, they have read the books and the web sites.

Ok, now getting even more p*ssed off he edits the advert to read 1967.
Making himself look a little stupid in the process, full credit to him for reacting.

Then amongst all the questions and angst he is receiving there is an element of sense that it may be a 1970.
He discovers this forum, changes the Model to a 1970, stands firm on his decision and then lets it go for $2000.

This is very similar to what a large number of owners here have been through with their own machines.

I only hope he has mentioned this discussion to the buyer so that history does not repeat itself again.
I can name 5 owners off the top of my head that have thanked me personally for providing them with a definite answer on the dating of their bikes. The suggestion being it is a better service that paying $25 or whatever for the wrong reply.

The only problem is that I feel I have not answered them at all. Years ago I suggested that we sort this out before it is too late.
Doug Hele died just months after I bought my first -Y bike... and I asked the question on this very forum as part of my pre-buy.
Since then Alistair Cave and presumably many others are no longer there for us to ask.
We are talking about events of 40 years ago, not that long really. I think many men that were involved in the making or marketing of the bikes would remember.

I believe we will get answers, and very soon. Gary has been very helpful with his insight into the records he has seen. Dare I say it but others have also seen these records and almost closed ranks on us. The BSAOC UK been very quiet, or worse, on the situation.
I was always under the impression that the answers were going to come from the Midlands area, I am less sure now.
It may well be it will come from the States, that seems to be where the bikes were sent to. The dealerships had to explain to each and every customer why their new bike had funny numbers.

RF and John Healy were in the industry and they both have good recollections of events in that era. I believe others that were more involved in the BSA marketing and sales are still about and active. Perhaps we should be seeking some input from those guys before the years roll on further.
Posted By: Kevin (NZ).

Re: EBay A65 dating question. - 06/28/11 11:21 am

Previous discussion on Spitfire production numbers.

Quote
Alistair bequeathed material to the BSAOC and in that was his factory weekly production register. The production of Spitfires were as follows:-
1964/65 Spitfire Hornet 2139
1966 Spitfire MkII 3719
1967 Spitfire MkIII 3058
1968 Spitfire Mark IV 471
This excludes the Mark III Spitfires upgraded to Mark IV specification. These are composite figures and so each year would have home, USA East Coast, West Coast and export specification models.



I am having trouble comprehending these figures.
I doubt the comments from the BSAOC Librarian are helpful also.
How can an incomplete bike be exported ?

We know 1967 Spitfires are plentiful, even the Dash Y ones are everywhere. I would put money on there being many more MkIII than MkII bikes about now.

Less than 500 MkIV bikes, so with the several hundred that we now believe were Hybrid added to the mix that makes over a thousand..ok, fair enough, - but that also means every second MkIV Spitfire is a SA17000Y bike.

The quality of those hybrid bikes must have been sh*t, - only a small percentage have survived compared to the 'true' 1968 MkIV models. The SB machines are more plentiful to my mind.

I guess all the info we come across has to be a step forward. I am just concerned about facts and figures that don't make sense. Somehow amongst all this we are making progress
Posted By: Crazy

Re: EBay A65 dating question. - 06/28/11 11:45 am

Aww,[email protected] hell,now im really confused.What do i have...A65sa100...-y eng and frame no the same registed as 1967 ??????? Hmmm worth more? not likely.but what have i got.It is a 1967 spitfire isnt it??
Posted By: Kevin (NZ).

Re: EBay A65 dating question. - 06/28/11 12:11 pm

G'day Crazy, sorry mate you just have a bog standard 1967 MkIII Spitfire. Common as, specially with the Dash Y suffix on the engine.

We all have them. How there can be more 1966 models is a mystery to me.

It is the later 1967 Spitfires that were restyled and sold in 1968
that we were wondering about.... the A65SA17xxxY bikes.

I have seen pics of you on your bike, it is a good looking example.
Posted By: Gary E

Re: EBay A65 dating question. - 06/28/11 3:28 pm

Originally Posted by Kevin (NZ).


Quote
Alistair bequeathed material to the BSAOC and in that was his factory weekly production register. The production of Spitfires were as follows:-
1964/65 Spitfire Hornet 2139
1966 Spitfire MkII 3719
1967 Spitfire MkIII 3058
1968 Spitfire Mark IV 471
This excludes the Mark III Spitfires upgraded to Mark IV specification. These are composite figures and so each year would have home, USA East Coast, West Coast and export specification models.


...Less than 500 MkIV bikes, so with the several hundred that we now believe were Hybrid added to the mix that makes over a thousand..ok, fair enough, - but that also means every second MkIV Spitfire is a LA17000Y bike....


My production book research can easily dispel the "471" production total of the true '68 Spitfires, (as well as the 200 or 250 total of the '68 Firebird Scramblers from previous posts). It is only about a third of what is recorded in the books. As I mentioned earlier one of the the '67 books have 478 SA Y's (hybrids) dispatched in '68. Even so, the ('68 SA Y and SB) are still the lowest year produced of the three years of the Spitfire.

I too, am curious oabout the higher number of '66's than '67's. With such a big error in the total '68's, I am not sure that I can trust any of the production numbers in that Alistair communication.

The lowest SB is numbered 2478, and went to Mexico in 1/68. Other higher numbers were dispatched in 10/67. The lowest numbered SB to the US is 3048 in 11/67 to the east coast distributor. The highest number SB was 10618 to Sweden in 7/68.
Posted By: Kevin (NZ).

Re: EBay A65 dating question. - 06/28/11 9:28 pm

Quote
I am not sure that I can trust any of the production numbers in that Alistair communication.


You are not alone there Gary. Thanks again for digging up those interesting facts.

What a way to run a business, surely someone at BSA must have had some idea of the numbers of bikes they were making and selling.

We know the bulk of the machines in question were exported, is there any way of getting access to the records of the US distributors ?

While we would all like to know specific details of each of our own individual bikes we can see that is just not possible in many cases. The records as they stand appear incomplete, erroneous and worse. (Misleading).

The crime in my eyes is that no-one can accurately date some of these models. It is almost like best guess will do, I can only imagine what some of the vehicle registration authorities make of all this.
I can see the problem the BSAOC dating officer has, but basically what he says goes. It is great for getting machines legal and VIN'ed but does not necessarily help the owners further down the road.

Of the engine numbers of the bikes, 1966-1970, that I have looked at in the past few days you can see trends. I know Gary can work from them also. They may be the numbers themselves, the style of stamp, the size of some particular stamps, other adjacent markings, casting marks, grinding marks or other indicators. There is definitely a pattern and a flow.

If it is not in order, ie if just one of these indicators is out of place it stands out like dogs balls.

That is just the engine number. Frames are much the same, certain features would be present during certain eras.
Naturally with BSA being British there are exceptions, we expect that. The passage of time has to be factored in also.

Sellers will still try and introduce lies into their sales pitch, - another good source of confusion and rumour. We have all seen them, indeed a large percentage of adverts on Ebay seem to be flawed. Some like the bike we have been debating are just honest mistakes.

At the moment it is just a case a 'buyer beware' and you get what you are dealt.
A number of owners here must still be wondering exactly what they have invested in.

THe last A65 off the line



Posted By: Atlanta Bonnie

Re: EBay A65 dating question. - 06/28/11 10:44 pm

You and Kevin have shed a lot of light on this. Definitely moving it forward. Thanks.

The only statement I believe on my BSAOC dating certificate is the 1969 ship date that probably came from the 1967 book Gary E mentions. Here’s a pic of dating certificate again. No way my bike is a refurbished 67. Also want to say these guys do this on a volunteer basis,and I really appreciate that, and the facts on these Y bikes are muddled for sure.

[Linked Image]
Posted By: Kevin (NZ).

Re: EBay A65 dating question. - 06/29/11 2:31 am

Thanks for posting that copy again Bruce.

We know that no part of your bike existed in November 1966, - so what bike is he talking about ?

He seems so certain with his dates..

Perhaps they do have different records to those that Gary has seen. The implication to me is that the same numbers have been used twice, - once as a 1967 model and then again three years later for your bike.
I am not suggesting that a LA77xx or a LA77xx-Y bike physically exists but I think we have to admit it is a possibility.
I believe the chances are more likely that it existed on paper only until it was discovered parked not far from the end of the A65 production line in mid-summer of 1969.

It did not leave the factory in 1966, go to the port, come back, go into storage for over two years and then get a massive make-over to become an early 1970 model. I hope people here are intelligent enough to understand that.
Well I know at least three wise men.. wink beerchug
Posted By: Kevin (NZ).

Re: EBay A65 dating question. - 06/29/11 7:53 am

Quote
dates that I got from the BSAOC dating service concerning my Spitfire A65SA 173xx Y (not a DASH Y)

initial despatch date 12/05/67 (May 12th 1967) BSA NJ
second despatch date 12/04/68 (April 12th 1968)


Sorry Eric, I was slow to realise that there is now a third batch of Y bikes. This was from 2 1/2 years ago and I was thinking you had a MkIII at that time.
I can now see you have one of the batch of MkIV bikes that were shipped in the period April, May and July 1968.

I have brought this back up as again it shows the two shipping dates that the BSAOC Dating Officer seems so keen on.
Gary was researching your case at that time and he will have an idea of what you bike did during that year or so.... again,- if indeed it physically existed in May 1967. At least in your case there is every chance a bike could exist.

We are talking the second grouping of Y bikes here now, - the 1968 model Y Spitfires, the A65SA17000Y machines.
Have you managed to determine a manufacturing date for your bike at all ?
Some items, if still original, may have dates on them.... Coils and oil pump come to mind. Several other Lucas components may also, - rotor, brakelight switch.

The oil pump in particular would be an interesting one. What would we think if it was dated after May 1967 ?
Actually the same question could be asked of any SA17000Y owner, does anyone know their oil pump DOM ?
A restyle operation would be straightforward, change of front end, headlight and rear fender tail-light unit and rear shocks.
Tank and side covers, or at least a decal change.
Actually the tanks are dated also often, - in this case I would not be surprised with a 1968 date.


Posted By: Gary E

Re: EBay A65 dating question. - 06/29/11 12:55 pm

Originally Posted by Kevin (NZ).
...is there any way of getting access to the records of the US distributors?...


I do not believe records of the two US distributors are available or are even in existence.

Originally Posted by Kevin (NZ).
Sellers will still try and introduce lies into their sales pitch, - another good source of confusion and rumour. We have all seen them, indeed a large percentage of adverts on Ebay seem to be flawed. Some like the bike we have been debating are just honest mistakes.

At the moment it is just a case a 'buyer beware' and you get what you are dealt. A number of owners here must still be wondering exactly what they have invested in.


Unfortunately, ebay doesn't have a system or provision for reporting inaccurate wrong narrative in sellers listings. They have a "report" button to hit on, but it only goes to pre-canned choices, none of which addresses the correctness of the listings content. The seller can just about include anything they want in the narrative, ie: 'the sky is falling'; 'this Lightning is made of solid gold'; 'this '67 Thunderbolt is the only one the factory made; 'only 200 '68 Firebirds were made'; etc.

Originally Posted by Kevin (NZ).
What a way to run a business, surely someone at BSA must have had some idea of the numbers of bikes they were making and selling.


I believe the factory had the best intentions regarding record keeping at the time. I may have portrayed the production books as a mess in my previous posts. They are not. They are very orderly. At the time, the entries may have been deemed very explanable. But to go back now 44 years later and determine what occurred with having a limited amount of information (only production books) at our disposal is a bit difficult. Can't image what archaeolgists have to try to determine history when going back 1,000's of years.

Originally Posted by Kevin (NZ).
Perhaps they do have different records to those that Gary has seen. The implication to me is that the same numbers have been used twice, - once as a 1967 model and then again three years later for your bike.


I do not believe there are any other records. I feel that BSAOCUK is utilizing the same (copies) production books that I researched. The dating officer has mentioned reference to a daily ledger which I think may be from Mr. Cave.

I do not believe the factory used numbers twice; one machine, one number. The path of a particular machine, in several cases, over a period of years is what is perplexing and is in question.
Posted By: Gary E

Re: EBay A65 dating question. - 06/29/11 2:39 pm

Originally Posted by Kevin (NZ).
We are talking the second grouping of Y bikes here now, - the 1968 model Y Spitfires, the A65SA17000Y machines.
Have you managed to determine a manufacturing date for your bike at all?


The late Spitfire SA's (hybrids) converted to '68 specs entered in the production book are random from 11577 to 17892, so not just in the 17000's number group.

Originally Posted by Kevin (NZ).
A restyle operation would be straightforward, change of front end, headlight and rear fender tail-light unit and rear shocks. Tank and side covers, or at least a decal change.


As well as the newer '68 style case with the cast in place stator mount and undrilled transmission oil filler hole.
Posted By: Shane in Oz

Re: EBay A65 dating question. - 06/30/11 10:25 am

While we have the thread well and truly hijacked, here's another -Y Spitfire for the image collection

http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/BSA-A65-...t=AU_Motorcycles&hash=item2a11eb6caf
Posted By: Kevin (NZ).

Re: EBay A65 dating question. - 06/30/11 10:49 am

Thanks Shane, is that another one for the collection ?
It is not so far down to Melbourne.

I can see Crazy chipping in soon also, he has to travel just a little further for it.

Posted By: Shane in Oz

Re: EBay A65 dating question. - 06/30/11 11:20 am

Originally Posted by Kevin (NZ).
Thanks Shane, is that another one for the collection ?
It is not so far down to Melbourne.


That depends on the reserve and who else bids smile

Yeah, I can do Melbourne and back comfortably in a weekend.
If I was patient enough, I could probably put the bite on somebody down there to pick it up and hang onto it until the All British
Posted By: Two Alpha

Re: EBay A65 dating question. - 06/30/11 5:17 pm

Kevin was wondering about high numbers, here's a couple for you.

Frame - A65LA 105590 (boss)
Engine - A65LA 105590Y (no boss)

The second 0 in the engine number is stamped a bit lower than the rest with the Y slightly higher but not quite matching the rest. The rest are actually a little uneven in vertical location, but fairly close.

The frame number is fairly uneven on both levels, very up and down. There definitely isn't enough room left to squeeze a Y on the end though.

I'm off to work shortly, and the camera battery is stone dead anyway, I'll take some pics later to post this evening.

May even need to change the date on my sig, and do some re-arranging, once your opinions are in. smile
Posted By: Kevin (NZ).

Re: EBay A65 dating question. - 06/30/11 9:54 pm

[Linked Image]

Ok I am not so sure about these ones.
The engine in the photo may be similar and I have known about it for many years.
Until now it was the only one and as the BSAOC website mentions the extra '0' I assumed someone had stamped the engine number to 'correct' it.
Unfortunately I cannot find the frame number on this particular bike to see how it matches, which presumably it will.

From your description I am confident your bike is a 1967 model.. you will no doubt see similarities with the pic above. I am guessing you will have the Piled Arms logo in a similar position also.
The number in my pic are uneven and it may be noteworthy that the second 0 is in a different style... actually it is more like the style of stamp BSA started using during 1969.

Now whether these bikes had a Dash preceding the Y is difficult to say. I have not seen a Lightning without the Dash, 1967 model bikes here. I assumed they had stamped over the previous stamping, - is that sort of mark behind the 0 ?
How about on your bike ?

The engine is definitely 1967, and I am confident was initially stamped up then. When the final 0 was added I cannot say, and similarly I would be guessing with any production history of the bike itself. Hmm, or indeed of any history since 1967. If it is a production marking then I am sure it will be pretty rare.

Posted By: Kevin (NZ).

Re: EBay A65 dating question. - 06/30/11 10:48 pm

I was not sure where to introduce this next photo.

I will show it here and see how we get on with it.

[Linked Image]

This one is completely out of left field..

Sorry if it too much of a thread drift but it may show what historians, authors, and just riders and owners are up against.

This is presumably a 1969 engine. The numbers themselves would indicate that.
The style of stamps was first used by BSA at the end of summer in 1968 on the 1969 models, I have never seen a 1968 model stamped with them.
The Date code would suggest that the engine was stamped in September 1968 as an early '69 model year bike.

BSA Numbering Systems

I mentioned earlier about the flow of the stampings, this bike certainly confirms that. The first few bikes of 1969 season had the TC, TC, FC etc that we read about in the Bacon books. Even the site I referred to here correctly mentions that also. Then we now know in September the Month/Year code was accepted and ran until the end.
This would date the introduction of the new style stamps.

The problem here is that it is also before the raised pad , - which was first introduced in late summer 1968. Most early 1969 engines have the pad, starting with the TC bikes etc mentioned earlier.
(The TC, LC and FC bikes didn't have the BSA icons nor did the initial few months of the later numbering style ... the NC and PC bikes would not have them).

I have seen pics of early 1969 season engines without the raised pad so it was just a gradual phase in as the older engines where used up. I think the change to the new numbering system and the introduction to the new stamps started abruptly though... and possibly at the exact same time.

Oh, and one more thing...

It must be unusual for any 1969 Twin to have a small engine number.. They all seem to have 5 digits.
Posted By: Two Alpha

Re: EBay A65 dating question. - 07/01/11 4:09 am

Just re-read the thread again to make sure I hadn't missed anything. Very interesting stuff.

I'll apologize in advance for the picture quality, the bike is a bit awkward to get at right now so the shots are from a bit of an angle and not quite as clear as they could be.

Here's my frame number. The two 0's look similar enough that they could have been stamped at the same time. Very doubtful that an acceptable Y could have been added on at the end.

[Linked Image]

And a couple of pics of the engine number.

[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]

The two 0's look to be from a different stamp. Was the Y added at the same time as the second 0, or was it added at a later date again?
The UK BSAOC site has this to say...
"Machines still in stock in the 1967 season (about 1000) were resold in the 1969 and 1970 season. These returned machines are shown with a cross at the beginning of the despatch book record, they then reappear at the end of the book with the revised despatch date. The 1969 models are identified by the adding of an extra 0 at the end of the frame marking putting the number series into the 100,000's. Machines re-exported in 1970 were stamped with a 'Y' suffix to indicate that they were 1970 models and therefore eligible for the increased warranty."

Apparently, my bike was left over from 1967, marked as a 1969 model with an extra 0 (engine also had a 0 added), left over again, then re-exported in 1970 as a 1970 model eligible for the increased warranty!
I wonder how many of these 100,000 numbered bikes the UK BSAOC knows of? This one and the one Kevin had posted appear to have been just over 500 units apart on the 1967 assembly line. I guess that's reasonable if there were a total of near 1,000 bikes left over in 1967.
Glad I wasn't in charge of keeping the records neat and orderly!
Posted By: Kevin (NZ).

Re: EBay A65 dating question. - 07/01/11 5:30 am

Quote
The UK BSAOC site has this to say...
"Machines still in stock in the 1967 season (about 1000) were resold in the 1969 and 1970 season. These returned machines are shown with a cross at the beginning of the despatch book record, they then reappear at the end of the book with the revised despatch date. The 1969 models are identified by the adding of an extra 0 at the end of the frame marking putting the number series into the 100,000's. Machines re-exported in 1970 were stamped with a 'Y' suffix to indicate that they were 1970 models and therefore eligible for the increased warranty."


Yep, that entry does appear on the BSAOC website... has anyone ever seen it anywhere else ?

Perhaps we should be asking the man who wrote the website how many of these bikes that they refer to has he actually seen.

That website has been the cause of so much grief, and it is flawed in so many places. The only good thing about it is that it has had a going over recently and has been reformatted.
It now has little notes saying that no listing is 100% accurate and buyer beware.
Exactly correct.

The problem I have, and this is just with the A65 twins, is that it is misleading.
In 10 years I have now seen photos of two bikes with the extra zero. I have seen more pics of 'X suffix' bikes than that.
We know many hundreds of the 1967 bikes have the Dash Y suffix on the engine. We know that they were on the road within months of being assembled, some even before Xmas 1966. (Or very close to it).
The BSAOC does not mention them, nor does any other dating list.

We now know there is a batch of Spitfires stamped up as A65SAxxxxxY, these bikes appear to have been made in late 1967 and possibly even early 1968. They certainly have 1968 model features, including both crankcase halves.. plus headlight switch etc. BSA would have had to be keen, and intricate, to get them all so model perfect. Oh, and we have not seen any extra zeros on them either.


Then we have the third batch, - the Y bikes of 1969 and 1970.
Again, all very honest to their model... in almost every detail.
To rework these bikes the factory would have had to replace about 90% of the machine. Apart from handle bars, rear wheel, speedo drive and instruments, just about every thing else would
have to be replaced.
Major engine changes, both cases, cylinders, heads and a host of other items, including outer timing cover and the likes.
The frame gets a new swing arm, bridge for the condensors, fairing lugs, new fuel and oil tanks as well as complete new front end.
Again we have not seen one of these yet with the extra zero.
We know that it is some of these bikes that are eligible for the extended warranty period. 180 Days, just like every other BSA made as a 1970 model and sold retail after 1 March 1970.

I think the BSAOC website entry is just one confused mess.

The 1969 model machines may have started at S/N 10,000 or close to it. All the twins I know of from 1969 are in the 10,000 to 20,000 series... ie they all have 5 digits. Yes, that is different, it makes 1969 model unique.

I just wish someone from the BSAOC in the UK would take time out to read all this and then at least make an effort to correct the website. Just a few notes mentioning the examples where confusion always creeps in would be a very good start.
All the years, 1966, 1967, 1968, 1969 and 1970 have anomalies.


You can probably guess what I think about some of the Dating Certificates they have sold as well.....


2A, I can see the doubts in your mind also...
Quote
Apparently, my bike was left over from 1967, marked as a 1969 model with an extra 0 (engine also had a 0 added), left over again, then re-exported in 1970 as a 1970 model eligible for the increased warranty!


Posted By: Kevin (NZ).

Re: EBay A65 dating question. - 07/01/11 10:08 am

So the thinking is that BSA built that bike as a '67 model and after 3 years of reworking were able to put a much more reliable bike on the market. In that time they had done, - hmmmm, all of stamp a zero on both the engine and frame.

I look at pics of those two bikes and I am sure that I see a faint outline of a Dash lurking underneath (behind) that final zero on the engine number. I think it is a genuine Dash Y bike that has been over-stamped at some point. It would be interesting to see how far back in history those numbers go.


Just to confuse things further..
I have pics of A65LA10520Y and A65LA10587Y, both have the raised pad and are 1970 bikes.
The factory must have had some method of avoiding duplication of numbers when they assigned the 1970 model bikes the similar numbers.
Have you any idea when you bike was first titled or registered ?
Posted By: Gary E

Re: EBay A65 dating question. - 07/01/11 3:32 pm

I concur with you Kevin that his bike looks to be a "-Y" with a "0" over stamping. The original number would be consistent with what I have observed in the books.
Posted By: Two Alpha

Re: EBay A65 dating question. - 07/01/11 6:10 pm

Is that the dash, just outside the 10:30 position on the "0", most noticeable in the second picture of my engine serial number?
It looks straight, with 90 degree corners, too perfect to just be a random scar.

I had no clue about most of this stuff prior to yesterday morning! Bought the bike back in the mid 1980's as a rolling chassis with most parts still attached, the engine was out of the chassis. It came with a few more boxes of parts from a similar vintage A50/A65. I had pulled a few parts off of the chassis back then but kept them separated and identified as being from A65LA105590Y. Maybe I need to bring this bike back into the workshop and get to work on it! Seems to me it is very similar to the ebay bike this thread is based on. Obvious differences are that mine is red, and has the older no boss crankcase.

Last evening was mostly spent looking for images of the factory records. I know that I have seen them in just the past few months, stumbled across them on a European website when I was looking for info on an A10 project I am currently working on. Kicking myself now as I can't find them on my hard-drive either, why oh why wouldn't I have saved that!

A clearer picture of when the initial serial numbers were added to the engines and frames would help me out. Some things I've read have said that the engines were stamped first and then the frames were stamped to match. Other times I've read the exact opposite!

It's quite disappointing that this stuff hadn't been sorted out years ago by the folks that were there. Hopefully some of the people that were near the stamping and recording process are still around to finally give us the definitive story at some point.

Is it possible that these were just excess 1967 engines with perhaps just the A65LA stamped on at time of manufacture, and that were finally mated to a frame and the rest of the serial number added for the 1969 or 1970 model seasons?
As Kevin mentioned above, A65LA10520Y is stamped on a raised boss, yet A65LA105590Y is stamped on a pre-boss left crankcase!
This would seem to indicate that they were filtering in the older excess 1967 engines just prior to stamping the serial numbers on these newer 1969 engines.
Why were they using the "LA" designation for these newer engines, other than to perhaps to provide some continuity for the assimilation of the older engines?
Why wouldn't there be some half decent explanation noted in the log book for these unusual numbers? Perhaps there is, maybe in one of the books from previous years. As mentioned by Kevin, they had already been using the "Y" to indicate carryover of an engine to the next years model Spitfire.

Cheers,

John
Posted By: Two Alpha

Re: EBay A65 dating question. - 07/01/11 6:16 pm

I must say though, this is much more interesting than if a computer had been pounding the numbers on!

Kevin, I zoomed in a ways on your picture of A65LA111050Y, it looks like the right end of the dash is at the 9:00 position, right where you would see the "9" on a clock face. The add on "0" was stamped right on top of a dash on that one.
Posted By: Kevin (NZ).

Re: EBay A65 dating question. - 07/02/11 12:13 am

Quote
As mentioned by Kevin, they had already been using the "Y" to indicate carryover of an engine to the next years model Spitfire.


I did think that was a possibility with the hybrid 1967 MkIV Spitfires. Gary has since pointed out that the stampings are infact on later engine castings.

Quote
Originally Posted By: Kevin (NZ).
A restyle operation would be straightforward, change of front end, headlight and rear fender tail-light unit and rear shocks. Tank and side covers, or at least a decal change.

Originally Posted By: Gary E.
As well as the newer '68 style case with the cast in place stator mount and undrilled transmission oil filler hole.



I have had to rethink on that one. The transmission filler reposition is a true 1968 feature and all of the Hybrid Spitfires have the later hole and cap.

The old hole above the gearbox was not filled in, it is as cast. The Hybrid A65SAxxxxY Spitfires now appear to have been purpose built as opposed to left over or rebuilt.
Bugger... it was these bikes that I thought may have been the start of the 'missed the market, missed the boat rumour'...
These bikes were shipped towards the end of the '68 season, - indications are now that they may have been assembled later in the season also.
Of course, we still have the dilemma of why they are stamped with 1967 style numbers.
Posted By: Kevin (NZ).

Re: EBay A65 dating question. - 07/02/11 3:51 am

[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]

This is what happen when you start looking..

This is what I believe to be a 1967 -Y bike. I have not seen the bike itself.

I read that number as A65SA 17642-Y. It could also be without the Dash, how good is my eyesight ?

It has the 1968 crankcase features that Gary spoke of but we would not expect to see it in a MkIV Hybid bike because of the Dash.
What a shame it is missing the chassis, but we can see it has not been drilled for the transmission filler so presumably (Positively) had the 1968 style filler cap on the inner timing cover instead.

Does the casting number on the left hand case half give us a clue ? One thing for sure though, this crankcase was not machined up in the early 1967 calendar year.
Posted By: D.Bachtel

Re: EBay A65 dating question. - 07/02/11 4:31 am

I'm soooo glad my Y has a raised pad with "BSA" stampings.
A65LA 10943 1970 Lightning manufactured Jan 1970.


Don in Nipomo ... Y?? Why not?
Posted By: Kevin (NZ).

Re: EBay A65 dating question. - 07/02/11 6:22 am

Hahahha Don, so you think you have a 1970 model ?

A good firm believer, good on you. I think Bruce is standing firm alongside you also. Well done chaps.

So the 1970 guys are happy, the bulk of the 1967 -Y bikes are also well sorted and we, the owners, are accepting them as genuine 1967 models.
I have two Dash Y bikes, one a Mk III Spitfire. Still many unanswered questions but I feel relieved that myself and other owners can now see that the books as they stand are incorrect. (Well at least the BSAOC website comments are).

It is now the Hybrid guys that must be wondering, I think it is pretty clear though that the bikes were built alongside MkIV bikes and even shipped later than the bulk of the SB bikes. A Hybrid bike is a MKIV in every respect.

Try this one;

These are pics of one of the very first SB Spitfire engines, it can be compared to the last of the MKIII cases I posted a little earlier. (A65SA17642-Y, or just Y if I misread it).

A65SB2690

[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]


I will give you a clue, they are identical castings.
Posted By: Two Alpha

Re: EBay A65 dating question. - 07/02/11 6:53 am

Kevin,

There should be a sticky at the top of this section with your current (and future) knowledge of the 1967 to 1970 BSA twin cylinder serial number anomalies.
It may be a work in progress for a while yet, but it would sure help to clear some fairly muddied waters for a lot of folks.

Took a closer look at my engine serial number this evening, washed it off and peered at it with a magnifying glass. It definitely was A65LA10559-Y at one point, no doubt in 1967.

The $64,000.00 question is who put the "0" over top of the dash, and added one to the frame number as well? Was it BSA?
It seems that somebody that was there must have confirmed that they had done this in some instances. Was there any part of what the UK BSAOC site says about this true?

Don, perhaps your mission could be to come up with the definitive answer as to why BSA thought it would be a good idea to use the 1967 prefix and number range for your bike. That should keep you busy for a little while.
smile beerchug
Posted By: Kevin (NZ).

Re: EBay A65 dating question. - 07/02/11 7:33 am

Thanks Two Alpha, I realise that this topic may have not run the way you may have liked but I am glad you are running with it and keeping up with the play.


Quote
Was there any part of what the UK BSAOC site says about this true?

A very good question, I am thinking that the more we dig here the more we deviate from what they are trying to say.

I hate to say it but if you break down the comment into manageable portions we are basically disagreeing with each and every one of them. They seem to have taken a complex issue and tried to paraphrase it in a few simple sentences.
I thought that the previous example of a Dash Y bike being overstamped with a zero was an effort by a frustrated owner to 'correct' it.
Your bike may well be the second, and there will be others about as well.

You guys should form a little club and gang up against me and what I am saying.

Gary cannot say too much about individual examples from the records he has seen but I think he has given a very good indication that is agreeing with what you are now saying. Your bike was a genuine Dash Y bike, a true 1967 model, it may have gained a zero but I don't think that changes much for you.


For those that want a little more of this intrigue, and think they can hack it...

Another thread discussing Hybrid 1967/1968 Spitfires.

Page 3 is about where we are here. I have shown a photo of a late MkIII Spitfire that appears model correct in every way. It is however a very high number and has the enlarged '8's in the stampings that we normally associate with 1968 models.

If the title is the original, I would have thought the dates seem a little late. It is shown as a 1968 model which is ok, but the certificate appears to me to be dated May 1969... a very late date for a MkIII bike.


Posted By: Two Alpha

Re: EBay A65 dating question. - 07/02/11 9:02 am

No probs Kevin, I really had no expectations or preferences here, just ran into a number of contradictions that I needed to slog my way through. Good thing you guys were here.

For many years, I thought this was a 1968 model. A couple months ago, while trying to sort out an A10 that had joined the collection, I decided to check this A65 as well and determined that it was actually a 1967 model. The Y at the end had me wondering a bit at the time what it indicated.
Then this thread showed up a few days ago!

The quote from the UK BSAOC is odd for a number of reasons. If the bulk, perhaps all, of the 1967 twins had the -Y, there is no way that the extra zero could be added, and then the Y added later. It's already there!
Why would they even come up with this statement? It seems like a very poor guess as to why some bikes were perhaps showing up with this unusually configured serial number.
Or do these serial numbers actually exist in the factory log?

I'm tempted to go the certificate route just to see what comes back. Is there a certificate for the other 100,000 number you posted?
Posted By: Kevin (NZ).

Re: EBay A65 dating question. - 07/02/11 10:26 am

Quote
Then this thread showed up a few days ago!


Now that is funny..... at least to many here.
The Y, Dash Y debate has been going on for 10 years and my name tends to get written all over it. It has become a bit of a joke in certain drinking circles.

This time around has been a little more satisfactory, mainly because we have more support, many now know the facts and can see it coming together. In the early days we were still trying to find each other


With this thread it seems to be coming together, like I feel we have made progress. Especially with the input from Gary to guide us and put us back on track when we come off the rails.

I have a better picture of things myself now. Still no idea about why BSA wanted to use the Y on any bike but at least I know what ones have it... well sort of.

I am very surprised at the revelations of the 67/68 Spitfires, - I never saw that coming.

It is winter here at the moment, but the weather is brilliant. The longer nights give me a chance to tap away here and I am determined to get some more answers here yet.

All we need is the BSAOC to amend their website. The other dating lists are all incomplete but they are not causing as much grief as the 'OFFICIAL' one.

Just removing the remarks about the Y bikes would be a VERY GOOD start.

I would love to see what they come up with for a dating certificate for your bike. One in the 6 digits...

I really do feel for the Dating Officer though, - he is not paid for his efforts and has pressure to deliver. You take the money, you have to send a Certificate.
Some bikes I have seen are just nightmares, - I could not say what it was..... it is much easier on the outside looking in and saying what it is not.

I would forget the records, look at the bike and make a statement to the effect that based on our expert opinion, taking incomplete factory records into consideration, the machine is deemed to be a 196x model. Do it by a committee if necessary, at the moment issuing a certificate saying that the bike was shipped in 1966 when we know that it did not even exist cannot be right, legal or fair.

Something needs to give here.....
Posted By: Gary E

Re: EBay A65 dating question. - 07/02/11 2:05 pm

Originally Posted by Two Alpha
...knowledge of the 1967 to 1970 BSA twin serial number anomalies....


I do not think this thread has shown any evidence that there are twin numbers of the '67's and '70's. I wouldn't want someone to misread the post and get another erroneous rumor circulating like the 200 - 250 '68 Firebird production one that refuses to die.

Until I see two separate bikes/engines with original twin numbers, I'm sticking with the one "'67 number on '67 and '69/'70 machines" assumption.

Originally Posted by Kevin (NZ).
If the title is the original, I would have thought the dates seem a little late. It is shown as a 1968 model which is ok, but the certificate appears to me to be dated May 1969... a very late date for a MkIII bike.


The date of the title doesn't give me any confidence that this machine is anything other than what we have already discussed, as the date of the title is only the date the owner made ownership official with the state. Months could have passed after purchase before he sent or walked the paper work to the state DMV.
Posted By: Two Alpha

Re: EBay A65 dating question. - 07/02/11 5:59 pm

Sorry Gary, that would have been a bit clearer as "...knowledge of the 1967 to 1970 BSA twin cylinder serial number anomalies....
I'll edit that post for clarity.

Totally agree with you on needing to "see two separate bikes/engines with original twin numbers".

At least that part of the UK BSAOC quote must have some truth to it.
"These returned machines are shown with a cross at the beginning of the despatch book record, they then reappear at the end of the book with the revised despatch date. The 1969 models are identified by the adding of an extra 0 at the end of the frame marking putting the number series into the 100,000's."

Anybody who has access to the dispatch book could confirm or dismiss this. I assume that the numbers with the revised dispatch date are all going to be a six digit number.
They don't mention modifying the engine number but this surely would have made sense to someone at BSA as they had started with matching frame and engine numbers in 1967.
Just a stab in the dark here but is that a plausible reason for the addition of the "-Y" in the 1967 model year? Did the singles have the "-Y" in 1967 as well?
Posted By: Two Alpha

Re: EBay A65 dating question. - 07/02/11 6:32 pm

Originally Posted by Kevin (NZ).
Quote
Then this thread showed up a few days ago!


Now that is funny..... at least to many here.
The Y, Dash Y debate has been going on for 10 years and my name tends to get written all over it. It has become a bit of a joke in certain drinking circles.


I've only just rekindled my British bike interest after a multi-year layoff. As you can see my registration date for this forum is less than three months ago! Since then I've gone through many of the old threads, ignored all the ones about A50/A65 serials though as I didn't realize their relevance to me!

Over the last couple of days I have searched back for those threads and read many of them. The amount of time, and the
number of years, you have been trying to get to the bottom of this has me very impressed.
It's great to see the progress along the way, and even in just the last few days.
Now where's that sticky?
Posted By: D.Bachtel

Re: EBay A65 dating question. - 07/02/11 8:02 pm

Originally Posted by Two Alpha



Don, perhaps your mission could be to come up with the definitive answer as to why BSA thought it would be a good idea to use the 1967 prefix and number range for your bike. That should keep you busy for a little while.
smile beerchug


It was confusing back in 1989 when I bought it, I know mines a 1970.
Mission over... check check. :bigt

Don in Nipomo
Posted By: Kevin (NZ).

Re: EBay A65 dating question. - 07/02/11 11:19 pm

Quote
Anybody who has access to the dispatch book could confirm or dismiss this. I assume that the numbers with the revised dispatch date are all going to be a six digit number.
They don't mention modifying the engine number but this surely would have made sense to someone at BSA as they had started with matching frame and engine numbers in 1967.


I have not seen the books and don't know how they are laid out. I think one man has either tried to interpret them or believed what others have told him. The books must be a mess, - how can a bike be returned when it was not even made yet.
We will use Bruce's 1969 Dating certificate as an example... initially despatched in Nov 1966, and then re-shipped in Aug '69.
Three years later !!!! What do they think that machine did in those 3 years ?
I can tell you now that by looking at engine castings, frame specs etc that very little, - IF ANY, of this bike physically existed in 1966. The bike did not exist.

6 Digit bikes must be very rare, I can only speak for unit twins but I have only ever seen pics of two (now).
I am pretty sure those two bikes are not shown in the factory records as having the 6 digits either, I would be surprised if they were not sold during 1967.... nowhere near the factory in 1969.
As far as I can tell most of the Dash Y bikes were exported. It is not an English thing so they may be having trouble comprehending all this. I know of at least one bike that has
returned to the UK (in more recent times). It is a Dash Y and I am not sure what year Alan calls it. He is, or was, a member here.

Matching numbers came in midway through the 1966 season. The first Dash Y bikes seems to date from reasonably early in the 1967 season.

Honestly, the BSAOC could rewrite that comment and include so much good stuff. All these stories have been lingering for so long, some of the rumours just refuse to die.



I cannot comment on Unit single numbering but I have never heard the Y suffix used in relation to anything other than the twins. There seems to be very little confusion on that side or it, the guys with the 441's know their stuff and never speak of numbering issues.
Posted By: Gary E

Re: EBay A65 dating question. - 07/03/11 12:21 am

>>>...I have not seen the books and don't know how they are laid out. I think one man has either tried to interpret them or believed what others have told him. The books must be a mess,...<<<

Originally Posted by Gary E
I believe the factory had the best intentions regarding record keeping at the time. I may have portrayed the production books as a mess in my previous posts. They are not. They are very orderly. At the time, the entries may have been deemed very explanable. But to go back now 44 years later and determine what occurred with having a limited amount of information (only production books) at our disposal is a bit difficult. Can't image what archaeolgists have to try to determine history when going back 1,000's of years.


The production books I researched are very orderly.

>>>...At least that part of the UK BSAOC quote must have some truth to it.
"These returned machines are shown with a cross at the beginning of the despatch book record, they then reappear at the end of the book with the revised despatch date. The 1969 models are identified by the adding of an extra 0 at the end of the frame marking putting the number series into the 100,000's."...<<<

I did not see any crosses at the begining of the production books. Maybe I missed them. Nor did I see any 6 digit numbered entries either.

Posted By: Kevin (NZ).

Re: EBay A65 dating question. - 07/03/11 1:10 am

Quote
I did not see any crosses at the begining of the production books. Maybe I missed them. Nor did I see any 6 digit numbered entries either.


Perhaps we can ask the question again. Is any part of the BSAOC UK comment regarding the A65 numbering anomaly correct ?

I, for one, cannot make any sense of it at all.

Perhaps we are getting to the stage where we can rewrite the comment here. Once we are in agreement it could be submitted to them for their thoughts and possible inclusion on the website.
Many of us here are BSAOC members.


Oh, and another massive step sideways...

The same website talks about matching numbers on the 1966 models. I am not sure if I have enough info to go on but again I am confused.

Quote
1966 'A' series machines started the season with A50, A50B and A50C frame designations with the usual non-matching engine markings. After frame 3200 the engine and frame markings were the same. There was a short period where the engine marking matched the frame marking but the frame prefix was A50. Presumably to use up stock in store prior to the change over.


I am not sure about this A65 engine and A50 frame but with matching numbers. I have seen examples of 1966 non-matching and 1966 A65 matching... but never came across one in between.
Any thoughts anyone ?

Given the accuracy of the rest of the comments I am now wondering about this also.

Posted By: Gary E

Re: EBay A65 dating question. - 07/03/11 4:52 am

Originally Posted by Kevin (NZ).
The same website talks about matching numbers on the 1966 models. I am not sure if I have enough info to go on but again I am confused.

Quote
1966 'A' series machines started the season with A50, A50B and A50C frame designations with the usual non-matching engine markings. After frame 3200 the engine and frame markings were the same. There was a short period where the engine marking matched the frame marking but the frame prefix was A50. Presumably to use up stock in store prior to the change over.


I am not sure about this A65 engine and A50 frame but with matching numbers. I have seen examples of 1966 non-matching and 1966 A65 matching... but never came across one in between.
Any thoughts anyone?


According to the '66 production book I reviewed, the matching numbers started at #3217 in November 1965. I would say that is a lot longer than "a short period" as presented above.
Posted By: Two Alpha

Re: EBay A65 dating question. - 07/04/11 5:51 pm

Originally Posted by Gary E
>>>

The production books I researched are very orderly.

>>>...At least that part of the UK BSAOC quote must have some truth to it.
"These returned machines are shown with a cross at the beginning of the despatch book record, they then reappear at the end of the book with the revised despatch date. The 1969 models are identified by the adding of an extra 0 at the end of the frame marking putting the number series into the 100,000's."...<<<

I did not see any crosses at the begining of the production books. Maybe I missed them. Nor did I see any 6 digit numbered entries either.



Gary, was this in the 1969 despatch book record or were you talking about the 1967 books?

I'm still hoping for access, for all of us, to digitized copies of the despatch book records. That way we can all really be on the same page.
Posted By: Two Alpha

Re: EBay A65 dating question. - 07/04/11 11:51 pm

Ok, I've started the process to get a dating certificate from the UK BSAOC with an email to Steve Foden.

Using the Jay Leno 1967 Lightning for reference, I made note of a few differences with mine that were very obvious.

My bike has newer versions of the following...
Front Brake
Fuel Cap
Taillight Assembly
Rear Shocks
Rocker Cover
Carburettors

No doubt there's more that a closer look would reveal.
Posted By: Kevin (NZ).

Re: EBay A65 dating question. - 07/05/11 12:10 am

I wrote a reply and then realised I was on the wrong track.

We think your bike is a 1967 model, but with an unusual number.
Are you saying now that it may be different to a 1967 ?

Ahhhh, I see the problem.

The bike Jay Leno is calling a 1967 is more 1966.

The side covers and tank would have been dropped very, very early in the 1967 season. They are features associated with a 1966 Lightning. As with the rocker cover, rear fender etc.

That bike would be a good example of a 1966 bike, it is not any indication of a 1967 Lightning. The guys commenting on the bike have mentioned that on his website.

http://www.jaylenosgarage.com/photos/bsa-lightning-moto/4725#item=115939

The following photo would be much better for use as a comparison.

http://www.cybermotorcycle.com/gallery/bsa_1967/images/BSA_1967_Sales_Catalog_A65_Lightning.jpg


[Linked Image]

Posted By: Two Alpha

Re: EBay A65 dating question. - 07/05/11 12:50 am

The parts listed above, from my bike, look exactly like the ones pictured on the Firebird on the following page...

http://www.britbike.com/forums/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=20287&page=38

Hey, who would have thought Jay Leno couldn't get it right!
Posted By: Kevin (NZ).

Re: EBay A65 dating question. - 07/05/11 1:00 am

Sorry Twin Apha, I have amended my post above a few times.

I have added the BSA publicity shot of a '67 Lightning, hopefully your bike looks more like that.

I did not see a Firebird in the link you posted, it took me to page 38...
Firebirds would normally have different features again, certainly with the tank. It depends on how close the bike you referred to was 'original'. The front brake would be different also, they all had 2ls brakes fitted.

Posted By: Two Alpha

Re: EBay A65 dating question. - 07/05/11 1:06 am

Kevin, all I see in your post is a link to Leno's bike. Nevermind, I see it there now!

The Firebird is down near the bottom of page 38, the one restored by Richard Phillips.
The items I had listed are all exactly the same as on mine. The tank itself is different but the cap is the same as mine.
Posted By: Two Alpha

Re: EBay A65 dating question. - 07/05/11 1:17 am

#346719 - 12/05, 2010, 9:38 pm 1968 BSA Firebird Scrambler [Re: raf940]

I found the picture of the 1967 Lightning at the link you gave, the following items are still different than on my bike.
Front Brake
Fuel Cap on Tank
Taillight Assembly
Rear Shocks

1968 makes a lot more sense as far as moving out excess 1967 stock, remember I mentioned earlier that I had thought for years that this bike was a 1968. That's what it had been sold to me as and I had never bothered to check the SN until just recently.
Posted By: Kevin (NZ).

Re: EBay A65 dating question. - 07/05/11 1:29 am

[Linked Image]

This is a pic of a nice 1968 Firebird.

Quote
My bike has newer versions of the following...
Front Brake
Fuel Cap
Taillight Assembly
Rear Shocks
Rocker Cover
Carburettors


Ok, so compared to a 1966 bike you thought your bike had features more aligned to the Firebird.
The brake could have been fitted late in the season, conceivably. The Lightning of 1968 had it along with the new forks, they were one year only.
The rear shocks were a feature of 1968 and the new 'flip-up' fuel cap was introduced then also, as indeed the tail-light and concentric carbs.



Can you post a pic of your bike here or email one through to me ?

How does it compare to this one ?

http://www.cybermotorcycle.com/gallery/bsa_1968/BSA_1968_Brochure_USA_03.htm
[Linked Image]
Posted By: Two Alpha

Re: EBay A65 dating question. - 07/05/11 1:53 am

Yes, that's it in the bottom picture you posted, from the 1968 Lightning brochure.

Forget about the 1968 Firebird, I had just stumbled across that and had a bit of a "eureka" moment that I wanted to share!

I took a look at the 1969 Lightning brochure, the shocks and the front brake mechanism had changed again.

So, my oddball serial number would seem to equate with a 1967 motor, and perhaps frame, with 1968 cycle parts. Possibly it was despatched in the '68 season and sold here in Canada as a 1968 model.

Again, that would seem to make a lot more sense than what they've proposed for these numbers on the BSAOC site.

I think we may have made a modest move forward here.
Posted By: Kevin (NZ).

Re: EBay A65 dating question. - 07/05/11 2:00 am

There are still a number of items that may help us out here. I know Gary wants to ask you about the gearbox oil filler location.
Is it an alloy cap behind the cylinders or a plastic dipstick arrangement in the inner timing cover ?

I would like to know about the headlight switch, is it a rotary switch or a toggle type ?

Quote
I think we may have made a modest move forward here.


Quote

Ok, I've started the process to get a dating certificate from the UK BSAOC with an email to Steve Foden.


Pay the man his 10 Quid.... this has to be well worth it. smile

Your bike has so many '68 cycle features it has either had a ragged history and been cobbled up as a bitsa or indeed it may have left the factory like that.
We know it is a Dash Y engine.
We can see the frame did not have any Y suffix
Both now have the extra Zero suffix added, in 1967, '68 and early '69 style stampings.
BSAOC UK have spoken about an extra zero stamping, in a muddled and confusing manner.
We have seen how a large number of 1967 Spitfire numbered style engines have been fitted in MkIV cycle parts. BUT.... they have 1968 castings and are numbered differently. The A65SAxxxxY bikes.

We have seen a pic of ONE other bike only with the extra zero suffix on the engine. (unfortunately know nothing of the rest of the bike).



Posted By: Two Alpha

Re: EBay A65 dating question. - 07/05/11 2:40 am

I don't see an alloy cap, there is a bolt/plug/machine screw a couple of inches rearward from the right cylinder base. There is no plastic dipstick, or hole for it, in the inner timing cover.

The headlight switch is a toggle type.
Posted By: Kevin (NZ).

Re: EBay A65 dating question. - 07/05/11 3:05 am

We need to see the dating certificate don't we ?

I can see you and I are now both thinking that it was a '67 engine and frame that was then built up with entirely 1968 model cycle parts.

I am now starting to believe that the zero stamping may not be just a coincidence.

It could possibly mean that the BSAOC comment has several small elements of fact but all rolled together into just a confused mess.

I would love to know if your bike left the factory with that extra zero, at the moment it appears to be unique in that it has so many 1968 model cycle features. There are many other possibilities there also though, especially since it has passed through many hands in the past 40 years.

It is still possible that the bike left during the 1967 season, just like the majority of the other Dash Y bikes.... not an answer you would like to receive I am sure but we have to take it into consideration.

I, like you, would love to see a despatch date of somewhere in the 1968 calendar year, - I guess even late '67 will be good enough.
Here's hoping.. beerchug
Posted By: Two Alpha

Re: EBay A65 dating question. - 07/05/11 4:18 am

Originally Posted by Kevin (NZ).

It could possibly mean that the BSAOC comment has several small elements of fact but all rolled together into just a confused mess.


I think that's it in a nutshell Kevin. It's as if someone recorded the details, in shorthand, and then the web-master didn't quite get it straight later on.

"Machines still in stock in the 1967 season (about 1000) were resold in the 1969 and 1970 season."
The comment misses the obvious here, that the 1967 extras would be sold in 1968, 1968 in 1969, and so on. Why would they just sit on the unsold 1967's for over a year?

"These returned machines are shown with a cross at the beginning of the despatch book record, they then reappear at the end of the book with the revised despatch date"
That could be the way they would do it each year with the excess machines. They would have to record it somehow and there probably wasn't enough room left at the original entry to do a neat job of it there.

"The 1969 models are identified by the adding of an extra 0 at the end of the frame marking putting the number series into the 100,000's."
We'll see about this one, It would appear that it should be 1968. I've informed Steve at BSAOC that the cycle parts on my bike appear to be all 1968. He may torpedo me yet.

"Machines re-exported in 1970 were stamped with a 'Y' suffix to indicate that they were 1970 models and therefore eligible for the increased warranty"
If these were just the carryover 1969 machines, I think the comment is probably ok. Tagged on at the end makes it seem like they are still referring to the leftover 1967 bikes.


beerchug




Posted By: Kevin (NZ).

Re: EBay A65 dating question. - 07/05/11 4:48 am

Quote
"Machines re-exported in 1970 were stamped with a 'Y' suffix to indicate that they were 1970 models and therefore eligible for the increased warranty"
If these were just the carryover 1969 machines, I think the comment is probably ok. Tagged on at the end makes it seem like they are still referring to the leftover 1967 bikes.


I have major issues here though.
The majority of these bikes are true 1970 models, at least the ones I am aware of. That is many.. !!

They have the larger engine barrel studs, the clutch cable entry and the Battery mounting... and other 1970 features. Sure we know a handful that have some '69 features also.. Bruce has one.

The numbering is also different to the run of the mill '69 and '70 models. We now know the details are entered in the 1967 factory records.... hmmmm,

The warranty statement is just confusing also. It is the 1970 models that were eligible, not the Y as such. Many Y models would not have been.
They had to be 1970 models AND sold after 31 March 1970. We know some were on the road before 31 March.

You are correct though, the 1967 Dash Y bikes could be mistaken as being left behind and carried over. Three years is just ridiculous and makes a mockery of the whole comment. The unfortunate thing is that there are so many Dash Y bikes about and many hundreds of people have read (and believed) that statement.

I am not even sure that the BSAOC UK realise that there are so many Dash Y bikes about. 1967 was a very good year for BSA, - one of their best. A very large percentage of A65 twins bear the Dash Y engine suffix. There must be 3,000 bikes at least possibly even many more. I would think 6,000 may even be possible. This is just the 1967 Dash Y bikes... not the A65SAxxxxY Spitfires (MkIV's) and not the Y bikes of 1969 and 1970.

The BSAOC Dating Officer has been issuing certificates for some of the 1967 Dash Y bikes. They show (correctly) shipping dates all through the 1967 year.
The BSAOC committee must realise that these bikes are just normal models, not held back due to shipping strikes, poor exchange rate or whatever other excuses we have been hearing.

The good news is that the BSAOC UK seem to be working on their website. The dating page is getting a flowchart look about it and they have left blocks yet to be completed. The identification one in particular could be interesting and include much of this detail.

BSAOC Dating site
Posted By: Two Alpha

Re: EBay A65 dating question. - 07/05/11 6:25 am

Was it only the leftover 1969 LA and TA bikes that got a "Y"? I think that is probably the case.

Service Bulletin 5/70 explains that all the 1969/70 LA and TA "Y" bikes were eligible for the longer warranty, one of the examples they use is A65LA3058Y. It was eligible, just had to be sold later than March 1st, 1970. If it had the "Y", it was considered as a 1970.
Even though Bruce's bike retained many 1969 features, and was despatched on a fairly unusual date, it would have been considered a 1970 model at the time.

It almost seems to me that they must have switched over, late in the 1969 season, to the LA and TA plus Y serial numbers for the machines that would get left over. Especially if all of their orders were filled at that point.

Perhaps they were already upgrading the engines to 1970 specs. Do you know of any/many later 1969 season machines, with regular 1969 serial numbers, that already had the 1970 engine improvements?
Posted By: Two Alpha

Re: EBay A65 dating question. - 07/05/11 6:30 am

The Lightning is edging ever closer to the front of the shop, it probably knows it's going to have it's picture taken pretty soon!
Posted By: Kevin (NZ).

Re: EBay A65 dating question. - 07/05/11 6:57 am

Quote
Was it only the leftover 1969 LA and TA bikes that got a "Y"? I think that is probably the case.


I don't think this is the case. The LAxxxxY bikes ran all the model season, I think Gary may have provided details there. For a while I was thinking they were end of 1970 season bikes.

This is what he had to say back on 27th June.
Quote
Quote:
As I mentioned earlier, according to the '67 production books, the '70 "Y" machines had random numbers from 10434 to 17042 and were in the 10000, 11000, 12000, and 17000 number groups. They were dated as dispatched in January, February, and May 1970 (68 machines in May).


Quote
Service Bulletin 3/70 explains that all the 1969/70 LA and TA "Y" bikes were eligible for the longer warranty, one of the examples they use is A65LA3058Y. It was eligible, just had to be sold later than March 1st, 1970. If it had the "Y", it was considered as a 1970.


Yes, I agree.It does say that regular 1969 bikes are not eligible. It does also say the Y bikes can be called 1970 models. The thing is some were produced early season and shipped soon after. I think there is every chance Bruce's bike for example would have been sold well before March. It was shipped from the factory in mid August. It could even have been sold before Xmas.

Quote
Even though Bruce's bike retained many 1969 features, and was despatched on a fairly unusual date, it would have been considered a 1970 model at the time.

Yes, I agree. Many bikes are dated on first title date. The shipping date alone may have dated his as a 1970 model.
As you say the SB 5/70 calls it a 1970 also.

Quote
Perhaps they were already upgrading the engines to 1970 specs. Do you know of any/many later 1969 season machines, with regular 1969 serial numbers, that already had the 1970 engine improvements?

No.. never seen one. It may even be the other way round. The first of the '70 models may have missed out on the features, - just as Bruce's bike did.

I was around when some of these bikes appeared in the showrooms, I saw some odd blends, particularly with the 72,73 Bonnevilles. There were certainly hybrids, possibly changeover models but the numbering was never tinkered with.

BSA changed many bikes for many years at the summer break. All models had yearly model changes. Bantams, Singles and Twins. They managed for all those years until 1967, '68, '69 and '70.
Then we all of a sudden start getting this numbering confusion, and then only with the twins.
The bikes themselves, physically, remain in sequence. It is just the Serial Number allocation that wanders all over the show.

Posted By: Gary E

Re: EBay A65 dating question. - 07/05/11 2:26 pm

Originally Posted by Kevin (NZ).
I am not even sure that the BSAOC UK realise that there are so many Dash Y bikes about. 1967 was a very good year for BSA, - one of their best. A very large percentage of A65 twins bear the Dash Y engine suffix. There must be 3,000 bikes at least possibly even many more. I would think 6,000 may even be possible. This is just the 1967 Dash Y bikes... not the A65SAxxxxY Spitfires (MkIV's) and not the Y bikes of 1969 and 1970.


The "-Y" bikes are numbered from about 4200 to about 15000, so that is about 10800 '67 machine; a majority of the '67 model year production.
Posted By: Keith Miller

Re: EBay A65 dating question. - 07/05/11 3:18 pm

Hi,
Are all the -Y bikes export machines?
I've just been Googling changes in UK tax etc. for 1967-1970.
In 1967 the government devalued the pound and introduced an Export Promotion program. This continued upto 1970 when as quoted by the Government the books were balanced.
This may or may not mean anything to this debate. Just a thought that if the -y bikes are export only could this possibly be a reason why they were specifically marked?

Thanks

Keith.
Posted By: Shane in Oz

Re: EBay A65 dating question. - 07/05/11 9:00 pm

Originally Posted by Keith Miller
Hi,
Are all the -Y bikes export machines?
I've just been Googling changes in UK tax etc. for 1967-1970.
In 1967 the government devalued the pound and introduced an Export Promotion program. This continued upto 1970 when as quoted by the Government the books were balanced.
This may or may not mean anything to this debate. Just a thought that if the -y bikes are export only could this possibly be a reason why they were specifically marked?



1967 '-Y' bikes seem to be a change to the wiring harness, so they're pretty right.

The 1970 'Y' bikes with 1967 numbers are the ones which have been causing the problems. Since I'm a cynical old so-and-so, pretending 1970 bikes were 1967 models to get export subsidies seems eminently reasonable to me. It would also explain why Al Cave wouldn't let on about it.

I have also read that a fair proportion of the X75s were built in 1973 and stamped with 1972 month codes to get around US noise regulations, although that was Norton Villiers, not BSA
Posted By: Gary E

Re: EBay A65 dating question. - 07/06/11 4:13 am

Originally Posted by Keith Miller
...Are all the -Y bikes export machines?...


Keith,
The "-Y" machines are not just the export. They represent 60 to 65 percent of the total '67 model year production. I do not believe the balance of about 7200 machines would have been distributed only in the UK.
Posted By: Keith Miller

Re: EBay A65 dating question. - 07/06/11 8:42 am

Thanks Gary,

It was just a little suspicious that BSA got a special Queens award for Industry for 1967 and again 1968 for export achievement, in light of what was happening economically in the UK at the time.
Conspiracy? (Ha! Ha!)
I think we will have to keep digging around to find the true reason for the -Y serial numbers.

Regards
Keith.
Posted By: Kevin (NZ).

Re: EBay A65 dating question. - 07/06/11 9:41 am

I am still left wondering here though. I heard Shane say about the change to the electrics on the 1967 Dash Y bikes, both mine have the later Zener heat sink.
I think we have been accepting that for many years, as opposed to the other stories we were being fed. Was it Mr BSA that was here that suggested the electrics ?


I can see from the few dating certificates I am aware of that some were shipped early in the model year. We have at least two forum readers here that have bikes that were shipped before Xmas 1966.

I have this uneasy feeling about the reports of the Dash Y bikes in the UK. I know of one.... sure Gary will now know of many more Hornets etc but I am guessing that they may have been recent imports back into the UK.

I know of one Dash Y exported to Sweden in April 1967.
All said and done the change to the electrics is minor, at least in the scheme of things.
We also have the Y used on the Hybrid MkIV Spitfires. It must mean something else in their case..

We also have the X suffix bikes, what does the X denote ?
And many Hornets have the Dash Y, and they don't have the relocated Zener.

I am wondering if the bikes have the changed electrics have them because they have the Dash Y, not the other way round.. ie Dash Y because of the change.

I like conspiracy theories, and Keith has some good points.
Do we know of any Dash Y bikes sold new within the UK ?
Do all 1967 bikes, without the Dash Y, have the old Zener heatsink located under the seat ?



Posted By: Alex

Re: EBay A65 dating question. - 07/06/11 1:22 pm

Originally Posted by Kevin (NZ).

Do all 1967 bikes, without the Dash Y, have the old Zener heatsink located under the seat ?


Dunno about that, but I can give you at least one data point: My Royal Star has no Y and had the zener under the seat.
Posted By: Rich B

Re: EBay A65 dating question. - 07/06/11 1:44 pm

Kevin

The story I have been told about the 67 -Y bikes, it was more than wiring harness change. Wiring harness, alternator mounting, and some other minor component changes were all part of the -Y bikes. So Hornets, even though they had minimal electrics, were still considered -Y bikes due to the alternator mount and other minor changes. I have seen MSO's for Hornets & Spitfires delivered in Ohio in March of 67 with -Y in the S/N

Reality is, some of the changes happened earlier than the start of the -Y, seems to me the it was a convenient way for BSA to keep track of all of the changes as a block by using the -Y at some specific starting point. Seemingly the starting point was new harness and diode location. That is a fairly significant parts list change and would make sense to me to clearly denote the change.

And as far as using odd S/N sequences...as long as the manufacturer records the S/N as a valid factory issued S/N, they can do it. It may have made sense at the time, it certainly drives us nuts now, but as long as it was recorded, nothing nefarious about the sequences.

BSA may have had certain, specific commercial reasons for the odd sequences later on. As long as they recorded the sequences and no one cried foul....it was game on grin
Posted By: Gary E

Re: EBay A65 dating question. - 07/06/11 3:35 pm

Originally Posted by Rich B
...it was more than wiring harness change. Wiring harness, alternator mounting, and some other minor component changes were all part of the -Y bikes. So Hornets, even though they had minimal electrics, were still considered -Y bikes due to the alternator mount and other minor changes.


The two Hornets and another engine case here, numbers in the 9000's and 13000's are all -Y machines and have the 'not cast in case' stator mounts (older style).

The -Y engines didn't start at one particular number in the production book. They were random throughout a section of numbers at about #4200. Some later were not -Y and some earlier were -Y. I have knowledge of #HA 3252-Y and SA 4302 (no -Y). SA 4300 on Ebay right now is not a -Y machine. By about #4300 all machines coming off the production were -Y built.
Posted By: Kevin (NZ).

Re: EBay A65 dating question. - 07/06/11 11:09 pm

Hi Rich, thanks for the reply.

I am just concerned that we may be guilty of starting another rumour of our own. I think we recognise that there are indeed many Dash Y 1967 bikes about but I am just uncomfortable with the way it is sitting.

I know Dave MacDonald's 1967 Thunderbolt is an earlier non Dash Y bike. Wade rode it in the last International and it has the Zener under the seat but also an enlarged battery side cover.

I am used to aircraft parts books, the change point is normally indicated with a code, followed by a S/N start point and then a note. Any exceptions are normally notified by a Bulletin or other Service Information.

OK, with BSA because the numbering was not sequential as such we have a range of numbers, almost in a haphazard manner.

That is fair enough, we don't have a firm start point. The problem is we also do not see a Code or a note in the books.

I doubt any of us have seen mention of the Dash Y in any BSA publication. Not in any Parts book, a Service Bulletin or anywhere.

Bacon did not mention it. BSAOC UK do not talk about it.
We have literally thousand of bikes stamped with a code that BSA may have deemed at the time to be important, and yet they did not bother to tell anyone about it.
This stamping continued for almost the entire model year.... plenty of time to circulate something.

Al Cave was at the factory, he must have known..... how could he be Past President of the BSAOC and then allow his version of events to be published as they were.
Those rumours of shipping strike, exchange rate, bikes returned for rebuild, 1000 bikes in storage, etc could have easily been straightened out.
Roy Bacon chose not to mention it in any of his books. In the Twin Restoration book there is a great shot of a Dash Y serial number.

And this is just the Dash Y, - we have thousands of them.
Then there are the A65SAxxxxxY hybrid Spitfires.. no mention.
The Dash X suffix bikes, again no mention.
We may even have some 0Y bikes, possibly '67 engines and frames in 1968 cycle parts.
Then we have the Y bikes of 1969 and 1970.

Of all these no mention whatsoever....

Ahhhh, of course we have SB's (Gen) 2/70 and 5/70.
These talk about warranties, nothing else. The second one had to be issued to clear the confusion the earlier one generated.
It appears that in a VERY QUIET manner, BSA admitted that the A65LAxxxxY bikes were 1970 models.
Only the American dealers were told, at least that we know of.

I presume the US dealers had to match the warranties offered by the Japanese companies. Extending the period is a big move, and would have cost a lot of money. I am not even sure they changed the warranty period in the UK or elsewhere.
I read that some of the BSA assembled Triumph unit singles were costing on average 15 Pounds per bike, in after sales warranty. The bikes were retailing for less than 300 pounds. 5% seems a very high figure but if correct would be crippling. I am not sure where that figure was in relation to the 1970 models, you would hope it was referring to the 180 day warranty claim period though. I should add that although those machines were made at Small Heath it was up to go the guys at Meriden to look after the warranty repairs, that may have been a factor.

So in 40 years, and with many authors doing research and writing about the marque, and the machines, this is the best we can come up with.

One SB and a poorly written note on an owners' club website. !!!
Posted By: Kevin (NZ).

Re: EBay A65 dating question. - 07/11/11 8:25 am

[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]

Ebay Spitfire
Posted By: Gary E

Re: EBay A65 dating question. - 07/11/11 4:56 pm

Incorrect headlight shell and switch. The 'one' stamping has been 'doctored'. Sold in March 1010 for $5,531, then again by the same seller in August 2010 for $5,600. A 3 owner machine.
Posted By: Kevin (NZ).

Re: EBay A65 dating question. - 07/13/11 4:29 am

There certainly are many more of these 1967 number sequence MkIV Spitfires around than I expected.
I know about 1000 bikes total MkIV bikes seems low. I am now considering it feasible that about one half of the production may have been what we are referring to as these hybrids.

I think you may have mentioned that a while back Gary.... I reckon this bike will sell for the mid $5000 range again.
I didn't notice the head light but it is an easy fix at least.
Posted By: Gary E

Re: EBay A65 dating question. - 07/13/11 3:45 pm

That bike previously had a newer chain guard with the extra bracket, but I can't tell by the current images if it has been changed.

According to the '67 production book there were 478 hybrid '68 SA machines.

In the third '67 production book, after several blank pages, the hybrids are listed, starting with #11577 (4/68) and going randomly upward by number to #17892 (4/68). The dates are also random in months April, May, June, July 1968.
Posted By: Gary E

Re: EBay A65 dating question. - 07/18/11 3:22 pm

A lot of incorrect information continues to circulate, as indicated by the responses below in the '68 SA listing above. No wonder the rumor mill continues into perpetuity. The sale closed at $6,100 with the reserve not met. The seller bought it 8/2010 for $5,600. A 9% return (gross) in 11 months.


Questions from other members : BSA : Spitfire

Q: Hi,is the tank paint original and what is the actual mileage on the motor and chassis.Thanks,Tom Jul-15-11
A: I can't answer either question with certainty. When I got it the speedo shoed 2600 miles and had only been ridden 600 miles since 1993. So who knows. I think the paint is original but that is just my guess. Thanks tim

Q: st thought you might like to know that your spitfire has an intresting history as I have one from the same batch. Athough the VIN number is SA for being made as a MK3 in 1967 it was not shiped to the US that year due to unsold stock in the US,It was stored at liverpool docks then returned to the factory and upgraded to a MK4 and shiped to the US in 1968 hence the letter Y on the engine case. A very special bike in fantastic orignal condition Martin Jul-15-11
A: Thanks for the info.

Q: Hi, I don't know if you're aware but your bike has an interesting history. It was built in 1967 as a MkIII Spitfire (denoted by the 'A' in the engine and frame numbers) it was exported to the USA and later returned in a batch of unsold bikes to BSA in England. It was kept in storage then rebuilt and sold in 1970 as a MkIV, denoted by the 'Y' suffix on the engine number. You can read about it here on the BSA Owners Club site. :- http://www.bsaownersclub.co.uk/Engine_Frame.html Jul-13-11
A: Thanks, that is amazing.

Q: Does the tank have the stud for the front reflector which was mounted under the front of the tank for 1968? Jul-11-11
A: The studs are there as are the reflectors

Posted By: Gary E

Re: EBay A65 dating question. - 07/26/11 2:56 pm

Originally Posted by Gary E
...The sale closed at $6,100 with the reserve not met. The seller bought it 8/2010 for $5,600. A 9% return (gross) in 11 months...


The second listing of the '68 SA above Ebay sale closed at $5,600, down from the first listing close of $6,100. Reserve not met again. Same high bidder.
Posted By: Kevin (NZ).

Re: EBay A65 dating question. - 07/27/11 1:29 am

Quote
denoted by the 'Y' suffix on the engine number. You can read about it here on the BSA Owners Club site.


The sooner the BSAOC UK pull finger and correct their site the better.

As you say everyone that viewed that auction will now have the rumour implanted in the mind. Next time it gets repeated it will be slightly different etc...

Very soon we will be hearing about dock strikes, adverse exchange rates and one thousand bikes in storage at Small Heath.

Oh Dear


Posted By: Gary E

Re: EBay A65 dating question. - 07/27/11 1:52 am

The different rumor stories about BSA machines are like looking up urban legends on snopes.com or other similar urban legend sites. Some legends never die, they just recirculate every few years.

We've made a little headway this year in determining a little more info than what we have collectively had previously. The subject will fade out over the next few months, then next year or the year after a new participant to the board will pop one of the factory urban legends on us, and "a way we go again". Maybe then we will be able to extract a bit more info than we accumulated this time around, and we will have then gotten slightly further with uncovering the truth.

X Files: Mulder says, "The Truth Is Out There".
Posted By: Kevin (NZ).

Re: EBay A65 dating question. - 07/27/11 9:47 pm

I have written to the BSAOC UK again, - this time to the whole committee.
It would make life so much easier for people buying or selling unit twins if that dating page was corrected.

There are literally thousands of Y suffix bikes (or engines) in existence. For that club to have a note going into detail with incorrect info is just not right.

I have two Dash Y bikes and neither was held back at the factory...

Just removing the comments from the website would be a huge leap forward.
Posted By: Gary E

Re: EBay A65 dating question. - 08/15/11 2:54 am

Kevin,

Any word back from the BSAOC UK regarding their incorrect dating page?
Posted By: Kevin (NZ).

Re: EBay A65 dating question. - 08/15/11 4:30 am

Nothing yet Gary. I am not sure when they have Committee meetings but hopefully my emails will be tabled then.

I guess the bigger picture would include the appointment of a dating officer and also the unit twin specialist. We may have to wait until the situation stabilises and the latest appointees
get comfortable in their new positions.
Posted By: Steve Erickson

Re: EBay A65 dating question. - 08/21/11 2:01 am

Y'all are having so much fun with this Y issue on the twins, I thought I'd add in a single or two. I used to have a Y 441 engine, long gone, don't really remember details on it, I assumed Y was a dealer stamp. But, if you look at ebay item 250877852011, you will see a B44B engine with the Y stamp. B of course indicates 68, though the seller calls it a 64 (sigh), and it does appear to be a 68... no tach drive provision.
Posted By: BSA-Jay

Re: EBay A65 dating question. - 08/21/11 8:10 pm

ok ok... so from what i have read in this thread My bike which i previously thought was a 67 is actually a 70?? both frame and motor are stamped "y" but there is no BSA back stamp. I had gotten this lightning in a bulk load of BSA goodies and it didnt have a title,but was told that it was a 67...
Posted By: Two Alpha

Re: EBay A65 dating question. - 08/22/11 3:48 am

From the information you've provided, one possibility is that you have a 1967 engine in a 1969 or 1970 frame. There are a few other possibilities though, more info is needed to really pin it down.

Are the engine and frame serial numbers matching?

It would be great if you could post pictures of both the engine and frame serial numbers.
Posted By: BSA-Jay

Re: EBay A65 dating question. - 08/22/11 3:27 pm

Originally Posted by Two Alpha
From the information you've provided, one possibility is that you have a 1967 engine in a 1969 or 1970 frame. There are a few other possibilities though, more info is needed to really pin it down.

Are the engine and frame serial numbers matching?

It would be great if you could post pictures of both the engine and frame serial numbers.


Hey Alfa,
Yes, the motor and frame are matching #'s.... which confuses that they dont have the later model 70's "multi-stamp behind the motor #'s. Although my profile pic is the bike in question, i will post some better pics when i get home from work tonight.

Thanks!!
Posted By: BSA-Jay

Re: EBay A65 dating question. - 08/22/11 3:44 pm

Also, i copied this from an earlier quote....
"Quote:
As I mentioned earlier, according to the '67 production books, the '70 "Y" machines had random numbers from 10434 to 17042 and were in the 10000, 11000, 12000, and 17000 number groups. They were dated as dispatched in January, February, and May 1970 (68 machines in May)."

My Bike is in the 1500 number group.....does this help clear it up a bit? or make matters worse?? =/

Posted By: Two Alpha

Re: EBay A65 dating question. - 08/22/11 9:34 pm

So your engine/frame number must be something like "A65 LA 15**Y" and on a raised boss just under the cylinder on the left crankcase?

Your number seems unusual for a 1970 "Y" bike, to me at least. Hopefully some of the more knowledgeable members will chime in here. Looking forward to seeing pics of your numbers, the unit twin BSA numbering system is anything but cast in stone.
Posted By: BSA-Jay

Re: EBay A65 dating question. - 08/22/11 11:08 pm

Two Alpha,
Exactly.....except there is no Raised Boss... its directly on the motor itself. i'll try to insert a pic of the motor... well from before i started working on her...I apologize that its on my Face book page. http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?f...8.100000217134238&type=1&theater


My next issue is the Clutch.. which seems to work properly except when the bike is cold.. its seems to engage even when the Lever isnt in use. but this is a topic for another thread
Posted By: D.Bachtel

Re: EBay A65 dating question. - 08/22/11 11:14 pm

Jay...

Big difference between a 1967 and 1970 Lightning.
Actually there are a bunch of little differences...

No one would produce a 1970 out of a 1967, engine frame or otherwise. I would suggest posting a few pictures of your
Lightning and we'll let you know what you have. :bigt

Don in Nipomo
Posted By: Two Alpha

Re: EBay A65 dating question. - 08/22/11 11:39 pm

Your facebook link isn't working for me unfortunately.

Is your engine number more like "A65LA 15**-Y"? Note the dash, "-".
Is there a "Y" at the end of the frame number?
Posted By: BSA-Jay

Re: EBay A65 dating question. - 08/22/11 11:44 pm

[Linked Image]
this is from before i started the motor work.... and yes its a -Y
Posted By: Gary E

Re: EBay A65 dating question. - 08/22/11 11:50 pm

That number is indicative of a typical '67 engine. The stampings in the image looks like 13826. And yes also to your facebook link not working.
Posted By: BSA-Jay

Re: EBay A65 dating question. - 08/22/11 11:59 pm

Thanks guys,
Thats what i thought.... im trying to post the other pics, but they seem to only want to come up as links so i'll post them below.. they are to my Photobucket. [img]http://i628.photobucket.com/albums/uu2/jpalisi/Buzzbomb3.jpg?t=1314056333[/img]
[img]http://i628.photobucket.com/albums/uu2/jpalisi/Buzzbomb2.jpg?t=1314056335[/img]
[img]http://i628.photobucket.com/albums/uu2/jpalisi/Buzzbomb.jpg?t=1314056333[/img]

Pictured is the Buzzbomb with a 69' Thunderbolt motor in her, cause the original motor was still on the bench in need of a wee bit of trans work. also the original tank is also on the bench currently being Kreemed, and the original rear shocks suck so i got these shiny chrome ones.
Posted By: BSA-Jay

Re: EBay A65 dating question. - 08/23/11 12:04 am

Gary,
Its actually stamped as A65LA 15826-Y, so either way its not in those other number ranges and im extremely relieved!!!
Posted By: Two Alpha

Re: EBay A65 dating question. - 08/23/11 12:10 am

I'm a believer, pictures are worth a thousand words!
Posted By: BSA-Jay

Re: EBay A65 dating question. - 08/23/11 12:20 am

here's a few more that are more recent... headlight adressed and pegs and whatnot actually installed. except for the tank and the rear shocks its what she rolled off the factory floor with... it was sitting in a garage for 28 years before my buddy got his hands on her and then I got her years later.
[Linked Image]
[Linked Image]
[Linked Image]
Posted By: D.Bachtel

Re: EBay A65 dating question. - 08/23/11 12:33 am

1967


Don in Nipomo
Posted By: Alex

Re: EBay A65 dating question. - 08/23/11 12:57 pm

Looks like a straight-up '67 lightning to me, too.
Posted By: Kevin (NZ).

Re: EBay A65 dating question. - 10/26/11 11:33 pm

Dunno where I was in August but I missed this one going on.

The engine is certainly a 1967 Dash Y model, we all got that one correct. The frame however would not normally have the suffix. Not for a '67 frame anyway.

I guess it is possible it may have been added to 'correct' the matching numbers. Probably all the more so if any of the States use the engine number as the VIN.

For Jay I noticed the '69 engine has the raised pad... we were talking about your new purchase and I think you will find that the 1970 bike you are about to pick up will be similar.

For everyone, including those in the UK.
I have still not had any reply of any kind regarding the anomalies in the BSAOC UK website.
I wrote to the entire committee, well those that had an email address.
Posted By: Gary E

Re: EBay A65 dating question. - 11/03/11 4:55 am

Another one of those '67's that's not a '67, currently on Ebay.

A65LA 7879Y

http://www.ebay.com/itm/190595518060?ssPageName=STRK:MEWAX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1423.l2649

[Linked Image]
Posted By: Kevin (NZ).

Re: EBay A65 dating question. - 11/05/11 9:18 pm

Thanks Gary,

Wow.... the tide is turning. He has changed the advert heading and just look at some of the comments. Plenty have advised him it is a 1970. I wrote in and I don't see my comments there....

He is quoting our Forum as listing it as a 1967.... but he goes on to say our forum is the most informative or accurate.

Thanks Troy Engineering ....
We here all know it is a 1970 but the dating listing in use will have a few errors still. We are all waiting for the BSAOC UK to pull finger.
Posted By: Gary E

Re: EBay A65 dating question. - 11/06/11 2:30 am

Kevin,

I sent him (Troy - the seller) a post for his re-listing of the engine on the additional info he posted regarding the reason for the -Y (mid-year wiring change). It was about Hornets having atypical wiring systems but having the -Y stamping. We'll see if he posts it.

He's had plenty of contact; you, Leon, me, and maybe others that didn't get posted.

I have some info that has come to me that may help in explaining the '67 "-Y" dilemma. I will be providing it soon.
Posted By: Kevin (NZ).

Re: EBay A65 dating question. - 11/09/11 8:47 pm

Just another quick update regarding this dating issue. I have finally received a couple of replies from the BSAOC UK.
I have sent off my submission requesting that we update the info on 1966 thru 1970 years.

If all goes to plan and they are agreeable then a quick brainstorming exercise here should soon come up with the good gen. I think we need to see a few features mentioned for each year, such as intro of the engine pad, and the new style 1969 numbers etc. Obviously mentioning the Dash Y and Y bikes also.
Posted By: Gary E

Re: EBay A65 dating question. - 11/12/11 3:57 pm

HORNET "-Y" ENGINE STAMPING EXPLANATION

Word verbatim 4 page factory document dated October 18, 1966

"Install this latest improvement before selling this Hornet.

The BSA factory has found that this simple improvement described on the following pages will add much to the durability and performance of 1967 Hornet models. This new improvement is built into all 1967 models after the following twin engine number:

4144 -- BUT, if you have an engine with a lower number, and the letter X or Y following engine number, the improvement is already built in.

ACCORDING TO OUR RECORDS YOU HAVE RECEIVED ONE OF THE 1967 HORNETS WHICH DOES NOT INCLUDE THIS NEW FEATURE. THEREFORE, IT WILL BE NECCESSARY FOR YOU TO INSTALL THE NEW OIL LINE DURING NORMAL SETUP."


The document goes on to explain the installation procedure (with a full page sketch included) for replacing the 2 oil line manifold on the bottom of the engine with the newer style 3 oil line manifold. As everyone knows the 2 oil line manifold is used in conjunction with the older style oil tank which has the the rocker feed pipe nipple on the top front. And the small 3rd oil line on the 3 oil line manifold is the newer rocker oil feed line.

The factory included a kit which includes the replaement manifold, small oil line, o-rings, and hose clips.

The document includes:
"TWENTY DOLLARS ($20.00) LABOR CREDIT will immediately be given to you when you return the original oil line to Nutley with the green warrenty tag attached."
Posted By: Jim Hultman

Re: EBay A65 dating question. - 11/12/11 5:04 pm

Originally Posted by Gary E
HORNET "-Y" ENGINE STAMPING EXPLANATION

Word verbatim 4 page factory document dated October 18, 1866

Great info, Gary. but now I'm gonna have to find me one of them "1866" models to update to the Y specification! grin laughing

(sorry, couldn't resist!)

But seriously, dude, you are a GREAT detective, and we all appreciate your efforts! grin
Posted By: Gary E

Re: EBay A65 dating question. - 11/12/11 7:30 pm

Hey thanks Jim for the eagle eye on my typo. That would truly be a vintage bike indeed. I'll go in and fix it to the correct year.
Posted By: Kevin (NZ).

Re: EBay A65 dating question. - 11/12/11 7:48 pm

Hi guys,
I have been waiting a few days for this one.
It certainly looks promising, - has anyone checked to see if indeed most of the bikes have this feature.

If you go into a bar and ask for two beers and get served up one beer in a half pint and the other in a wine glass.... what have you got ?

Two beers or a beer and a wine ?

The BSAOC, with their reasoning, are trying to say one is a wine.
When I look at the pic of the engine above you can see exactly that.
Forget the raised pad,
Forget the new style font
Forget the back stamped icons
Forget the larger barrel studs and nuts

just look at the numbers.....

it is wine Sir, just taste it.
Posted By: leon bee

Re: EBay A65 dating question. - 11/12/11 7:54 pm

I don't quite get it yet. Those bikes would have been crated with 67 tank and the older manifold, thus no top end oiling at all? Then I guess changing it WOULD improve durability and performance! Thanks Gary.
Posted By: Kevin (NZ).

Re: EBay A65 dating question. - 11/12/11 8:12 pm

The earlier models had the oil feed to the rockers running from the tank Leon. The tanks had a small fitting that the line slipped on to. Many bikes still run like that, it seems strange they did not offer a retrofit to the 1966, and earlier, models.

Gary may well have cracked this one. I am thinking that there may have been a problem with the tanks, akin to the issuing of an AD or SB for an aircraft.
I think Gary has found a copy of another BSA (USA)Service Bulletin.

The engines stamped with the Dash Y would have the new manifold... it would also alert everyone that a new style oil tank was to be fitted. (Well at the assembly line anyway).

I am about to rattle through my library now and check the pics to see if this indeed is the case with the other models.
I suspect it will be and I am at a loss to explain why the letter is directed at Hornet owners. It may well be that similar letters were personalised for Spitfire, Thunderbolt etc.

It mentions an X suffix. I have seen a pic of an engine stamped that way and I reckon it was not a Hornet.

This revelation along with the BSAOC UK stating that it was indeed Al Cave that provided them with the info on the Y bikes is good news.
The former Works Manager had to be in on the 1970 Y bike numbering 'scam'.
The tale is just so flimsy and I think it very much a cover story.

Interesting times gentlemen..

Posted By: leon bee

Re: EBay A65 dating question. - 11/12/11 8:15 pm

I know. But I'm saying it sounds like those bikes arrived at dealer with 67 tank and the 66 type manifold.
Posted By: Kevin (NZ).

Re: EBay A65 dating question. - 11/12/11 8:31 pm

You may be correct. But it would not be all the bikes, just one or two would certainly be justification to transmit a SB.
You would have to think someone would have noticed the rocker feed line missing though.
Certain Lycoming aircraft engines get a stamping on the prop flange if a corrosion inspection (internal) has been accomplished in a particular manner, - as laid down in the SB.
Posted By: Gary E

Re: EBay A65 dating question. - 11/12/11 10:50 pm

This 4 page set speaks of only of the older style oil tank with the rocker feed pipe. Appearently, the early '67 Hornets came with the old style oil tank along with the 2 pipe oil manifold.

In the kit installation instructions (12 steps) step #10 reads:

"Next, remove the old rocker feed pipe from the top of the oil tank and rocker box [should say: rear of head]. Discard the rubber pipe. Now, plug the oulet from the tank with the short length of rubber pipe, metal pipe and two clips."
Posted By: leon bee

Re: EBay A65 dating question. - 11/12/11 11:15 pm

So dash Y meant a 67 bike with the newer oiling setup? An otherwise 67 Hornet would have the 66 type oiling?
Posted By: Kevin (NZ).

Re: EBay A65 dating question. - 11/13/11 1:38 am

Gary does the instruction sheet tell the dealer to restamp the engine number once this mod has been accomplished ?

I looked back through the pics and saw one engine that looked like it was Dash 7.

I could not say for certain which pics showed 3 line manifolds and which were earlier. I did see some none Dash Y early 67 models with the 3 lines however.

I have to say I am still uncertain over this one.
Why the USA bikes and not the UK version ? I only know of one Dash Y bike in England, and it was re-imported by Alan in recent times.
Posted By: Mark Parker

Re: EBay A65 dating question. - 11/13/11 4:34 am

Just went through my collection of cases, found a 68-728 casting # case with A65TA12655-Y also has the # 65 12655 stamped on the boss where the alternator support casting sits inside the primary?
Also have an odd looking case AD*****A65T with big studs and 70-9099 casting #. And boss with BSA stamps for the eng number, However this boss section is quite different to others I have seen, as are the casting parting lines, IE the patterns used to cast it are quite different to other cases I've seen. Another couple of cases which have the same 70-9099 # are made with different patterns. These have small or large studs and all have raised # boss with BSA stamps, but just the normal type.
Posted By: Gary E

Re: EBay A65 dating question. - 11/13/11 5:11 am

Originally Posted by leon bee
So dash Y meant a 67 bike with the newer oiling setup? An otherwise 67 Hornet would have the 66 type oiling?


That is my interpetation of this particular factory update kit set of instructions.

Originally Posted by Kevin (NZ).
Gary does the instruction sheet tell the dealer to restamp the engine number once this mod has been accomplished?...


The instructions do not direct the dealer to do any stamping.

Originally Posted by Kevin (NZ).
I have to say I am still uncertain over this one. Why the USA bikes and not the UK version?...


Tomorrow I will present some info from this same set of instructions that could be interpeted to include the other '67 models.
Posted By: Kevin (NZ).

Re: EBay A65 dating question. - 11/13/11 8:44 am

[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]


[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]


Mark has mentioned casting numbers.

Here we have some pics of two engines. The top one is a typical 1967 Dash Y engine. OK, not so true in that the alternator and points covers have been upgraded but the cases and numbers are correct. LA2720-Y.

The bottom two photos are of a 1970 Y model engine. Remember now the BSAOC UK are saying that the bikes were upgraded at the factory.

We wave the wand over the top pics and end up with the engine below.... MAGIC.

The alternator support was new for 1967 and was bolted in place. By 1970 is was cast integral with the left crankcase half.
We can compare the two halves..

Later left halves have the number pad and backstamped.
Characters stamped with the new font that appeared about Sept 1968 for the 1969 season.
Bigger crank mouth studs. (Barrel attach).
Cast alternator support.

The right half has the studs.
No gearbox bung (it was moved to the inner timing cover for the 1968 models).
Cast in oil pressure port.
Single bolt access for the timing plug.

There will be other differences also.

So the two crankcase halves of a 1970 Y bike are nothing at all like those of a 1967 model machine.
Even the numbers had to be stamped on after Aug 68. The raised pad appeared at that time... followed a month or so later by the new stamps.(New Font).

Mark also mentioned the changes to the number pad. I also have pics of that and have wondered.
It is a different casting again it seems.

I know if I post a pic I will then have to try and date them.
from memory it was early in the 1970 season.


Posted By: Kevin (NZ).

Re: EBay A65 dating question. - 11/13/11 10:51 am

[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]

The top two pics are of a 1970 Y Thunderbolt and then a Royal Star number from early in the 1970 season.

The different style numbering pad is certainly distinctive and not all that common. I have to imagine it was used for a short time only and may well date the Y bikes with it. From my smallish sample here I have my money on engines stamped during December and January of the 1970 season. (XD and AD prefixed).
I think they are classic pics as the bikes could just as easily be identical twins.

I would bet $10,000 that the Y Thunderbolt engine was in a batch cast and stamped in the first few months of the 1970 season. I would bet $500,000 that it was not cast and stamped in 1967 !!!!


The next pic is of a Dash X suffix bike. This time a Lightning from reasonably early in the 1967 run.
The last photo is of a set of cases from early 1969 season showing the casting numbers Mark spoke of.

Posted By: Gary E

Re: EBay A65 dating question. - 11/13/11 5:07 pm

Originally Posted by Kevin (NZ).
...a typical 1967 Dash Y engine. OK, not so true in that the alternator and points covers have been upgraded but the cases and numbers are correct. LA2720-Y...


That '67 number (LA 2720-Y) is the earliest -Y number I have seen to-date and have added it to my '67 number database. The previous earliest number I was aware of was HA 3252-Y.
Posted By: Kevin (NZ).

Re: EBay A65 dating question. - 11/13/11 5:23 pm

Hi Gary, I did notice it was early and tried to read it. I could not.
It is filed under that number so we should have no reason to suspect it,- I just cannot confirm.

I will search again and see what I can come up with.
Posted By: Gary E

Re: EBay A65 dating question. - 11/13/11 6:30 pm

In the '67 Hornet update oiling kit instructions #6 of 12 instruction steps it reads:

"INSTALLATION OF NEW OILING KIT:

It is not neccessary to loosen engine mounting bolts.

Assemble the heavy feed and return oil lines to the new oil pipe assembly with clamps installed loosely. (DO NOT ASSEMBLE THE NEW ROCKER BOX FEED LINE AT THIS POINT.) The new oil pipe assembly with heavy line attached is inserted over the righthand exhaust pipe between the engine and frame. Oil lines are snaked over the kickstand member and upward toward the oil tank.

(Now the new rubber rocker box feed line is installed on the oil pipe assembly with hose clamp loosely fitted in place.)"


The part of this instruction segement to key in on is the underlined portion of the one sentence. Since the Hornets (most Hornets) had high pipes, then the underlined instruction would not apply, and would only apply to other models' standard street pipes. If the sentence is not a typo, then it would suggest the update oiling kit is applicable to all '67 A65/A50 models.
Posted By: Kevin (NZ).

Re: EBay A65 dating question. - 11/14/11 1:18 am

[Linked Image]

This must be an early one also then.

I read it as A65LA254-Y

Then there is this bike...

[Linked Image]

I have it labelled as A65LA224-Y

I guess those two numbers compliment each other. You would imagine that they both could not be wrong.

It makes the 2720-Y bike look modern.

Ok, things we know.
The Dash Y bikes are true 1967 models
(With the possible exception of the MkIV Spitfires, our hybrid bikes).
The Dash Y bikes were produced during the entire production run for that season. Or very, very close to it.
The Dash Y bikes are common.
The Dash Y bikes don't appear to be so common in the Home Market. Possibly...
The Dash Y bikes were being shipped early in the season, any dock strike delays would appear unlikely. I know of one shipped in 1966.
We know a Dash Y Spitfire was shipped to Sweden in April 1967.
Many Spitfires and Hornets have the Dash Y engine suffix.
Does that tally with the Home Market comment above ?
Lightnings and Thunderbolts also had the suffix, again in large numbers.

Gary has a document that states that all the bikes after 4144 have the improved rocker oil feed. It also says the X or Y suffix means the same.
Therefore an earlier number but with the suffix has been modified already ?

The BSAOC UK think all the above is not true, - their version is that the bikes were still at the factory until 1970 and then completely rebuilt and then exported. Ahhh Hmmm, - as 1970 models. wink

Hmmm, something to mull over on the cool winters nights guys.

Posted By: Gary E

Re: EBay A65 dating question. - 11/14/11 2:06 am

Originally Posted by Kevin (NZ).
...The Dash Y bikes were produced during the entire production run for that season. Or very, very close to it...
...Therefore an earlier number but with the suffix has been modified already?...


My research of the production books indicated that machines were not dispatched in the numerical order of their frame/engine numbers. As a result, low stamped numbers were sometimes shipped later on by a month or more. So, my opinion is that the "-Y" does not include most of the '67 model year. Generally, the -Y shows up on a consistent basis beginning in the 4,000 numbers.
Posted By: Kevin (NZ).

Re: EBay A65 dating question. - 11/14/11 2:19 am

But the engines were stamped first, at least that is how I understand it. So a bike with 3 digits would have been made early in the season. I have been reminded that they were making 600 bikes a week at this stage.

I realise we are gaining more questions than answers but there has to be some logic amongst all this.. Doesn't there ?

Posted By: Gary E

Re: EBay A65 dating question. - 11/14/11 3:22 am

Maybe so. But the "-Y" may have been added to the numbers later, especially if the engines were pre-stamped before the production line and possibly used out of numerical order.

I think 600 machines a week is a bit of a stretch. The numbers just don't add up to that kind of production unless the plant was shut down for several weeks sometime during the fall/winter/spring time period.
Posted By: Kevin (NZ).

Re: EBay A65 dating question. - 11/14/11 3:33 am

I see...

Thinking. hmmm

Why aren't the guys in the UK being more helpful here. As Lannis says, the guys that did all this are still about.

I have Lotus cars and went to a factory reunion at Cheshunt. The ex-workers were only too helpful in answering the various queries.

The stamping of the Dash Y suffix was before export, so done at the factory. I still can't see how these bikes never made the home market. At least they did not appear to have been common in the UK.
Why is that ?

Same with the Y bikes of 1970.... I am thinking they were all exported for a reason though.
We can let our imaginations work through that little exercise.


Have you any evidence of a Dash Y bike of 1967 being sold on the home market ?


As for the 600 bikes, it came from the BSAOC. It would include all models, Bantams etc.


Posted By: Gary E

Re: EBay A65 dating question. - 11/14/11 3:50 am

The only notations in my research notes is that a majority of the TA's (Thunderbolt) were dispatched to various police and government agencies in the UK. Not many came to the states. The production books do not have any notes or markings in them regarding the "-Y" stamping that I noticed.
Posted By: Mark Parker

Re: EBay A65 dating question. - 11/14/11 8:44 am

"their version is that the bikes were still at the factory until 1970 and then completely rebuilt and then exported. Ahhh Hmmm, - as 1970 models." Would there be a benefit to BSA? Were they taxed on bikes built in 1970, but the same tax not apply if they had some built previously, ie 1967 that they could sell? Then one could understand stamping a bunch of 1970 models as 1967 vintage and exporting them so they were not where UK persons may look and see them to be 1970 manufactured with just 1967 numbering. What is different now to 1970 is how we can put a photo up and its around the world in seconds.
It seems pretty obvious the - Y 1967 bikes had the Y to indicate they had the new oil pipes.
Posted By: Kevin (NZ).

Re: EBay A65 dating question. - 11/14/11 10:27 am

Welcome to the saga Mark. You have seen the crankcase halves and can see that the 1967 one is completely different to the 'AD' dated one from 1970.

You are correct about data being compared so quickly these days.
This 1970 Y bike thing has been kept under wraps for 40 years. Questions have been asked, some magazines have tried to explain it away but they have all been hoodwinked by the comments on the BSAOC website.

Alistair Cave was past President of the BSAOC and passed the story on as gospel. I have had a lengthy explanation sent to me by email just in the last week.
It is clear that even now the BSAOC committee believe their comments on the website.

I have been asking questions for ten years now and Alistair must have been aware we were on the case. It seems he remained quiet until the end..... or at least still serving up the same old story.

I am of the opinion that something happened in 1970 whereby the factory went through this charade of presenting a batch of A65LAxxxxxY bikes and maintaining that they were reworked 1967 bikes. The stories make out the bikes had been reimported back from the States or returned back from the ports. I think the reasoning being that export tax had already been paid on those machines.

The factory workers must have realised something was going on.
The Customs agents could have been deceived, - they would not know the difference.
The dealers in the US would know, and perhaps kept quiet.
The new owners would perhaps learn in due course, when the dealer supplied parts did not fit.


Posted By: Mark Parker

Re: EBay A65 dating question. - 11/14/11 11:20 am

"The factory workers must have realised something was going on."
Maybe not many.

"The Customs agents could have been deceived, - they would not know the difference."

They would just see crates with bikes in them as described.

"The dealers in the US would know, and perhaps kept quiet."

It would just be a 1970 BSA to them, the numbers may be odd but they have the 'Y' on a raised boss so they know they are a 1970 model, its just how they came.

"The new owners would perhaps learn in due course, when the dealer supplied parts did not fit."

Maybe not a problem in 1970 or 71, BSA dealers could have be aware, like pointed out in the warranty dealer advice, but down the track, when there are no dealers just places selling BSA parts, you are going to have confusion.

If all we could find in the world were 1967 BSAs with 1967 numbers we could say this didn't happen, but there are obviously a lot of 1970 bikes with the 1967 numbers, its not like there was a crankcase and timing covers recall or something.
Someone might say 'Oh that bike must have had the C/cases replaced and stamped with it's old number's, but no one who knew BSAs would say that because the timing covers are different, the cyls and studs are different, if you replaced cases you'd do it with ones that fit.
Posted By: Gary E

Re: EBay A65 dating question. - 11/14/11 3:44 pm

We can probably all agree that the 1970 Y machines are 1970 in everyway but have 1967 style numbers.

Whether they were re-made '67's or not may be considered a secondary issue? If they were re-made '67's, then the factory would have spent big bucks making the change since there are so many differences. I can imagine the high cost of doing the re-make and how the factory could not have come out financially by doing that. Seems some other kind of incentive must have been in play, ie: taxes, government subsidies, etc.

Now the task seems to be getting the BSAOC UK to recognize the physical differences and that there are "Y" machines with '67 style numbers in the 1970 model year and "-Y" machines in the 1967 model year and include the information on their website.
Posted By: Two Alpha

Re: EBay A65 dating question. - 11/14/11 6:46 pm

Would there be anyone who might still face a potential liability if the true story of the 1970 A65LA*****Y BSA motorcycles came out?

If, as some of us suspect, this was an effort to avoid taxation, there may have been criminal liabilities which could carry on after the Dennis Poore/NVT deal. The 40 year charade may be there to protect more than a few reputations.

It sure would be nice to have only truthful information about the motorcycles on the BSAOC UK website. Get rid of the fiction at the very least.
Posted By: Kevin (NZ).

Re: EBay A65 dating question. - 11/14/11 10:59 pm

Two very good posts. Thanks Gary and Two Alpha.

I have recently written on a parallel thread..

Similar thread running on Dash Y and Y bikes.

http://www.britbike.com/forums/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=403707&page=2

I am sure we can all see the situation. It is exactly as Gary has stated. The BSAOC website should reflect the facts.
At the moment there is no mention of either.

We have also now to consider the criminal aspects of this.
Two Alpha has mentioned liability.
Are we all party to a continuing fraud ?
If there was a cover-up just how deeply has it permeated ?

I am now starting to wonder if we have placed the BSAOC UK in a
precarious and unenviable position.

I am thinking dating of machines, the deal with DVLA and any fallout that could be possible there.
This uneasiness over the validity of their story is not news to them though. The Committee I mean.

I know I have been asking questions since 2000 and have posted on at least three forums. I am not sure when I first made contact with the guys in the UK. It was at least 6 years ago. I would have thought that was sufficient time to respond.


I have only seen a handful of dating certificates, many I did not agree with.
Some like Morgan's are okay... even if it flies in the face of the comments on their website. Others I have seen have been inaccurate (to be polite).

From my experience with BSA bikes, going back 40 years now, I have only really seen the numbers grief with the unit twins.
Perhaps the dating of those should be more methodical and be dependent on rubbings, photos and other documentary evidence rather than just a string of numbers accompanied by a cheque (check).

Correcting the website would obviously help..





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