BritBike Forum

Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners..

Posted By: Kevin (NZ).

Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 11/11/11 10:49 am

It seems like we may be in the throes of getting something happening on the BSAOC UK Dating Site.

These bikes are not at all common in the UK and so we may need some numbers to reinforce the case.

It may get to the stage where we need to petition the Committee to show just how many of us are affected with this numbering dilemma.
We should all know by now that the 1967 Dash Y bikes are plentiful. I own two and I am sure we must have hundreds amongst us.

The 1970 Y bikes are not so common. We have at least 5 members here that either own or have owned them. I suspect that there may be many more.

At the moment I am being informed that the notes on the BSAOC site came from the the words of Alistair Cave, the BSA Works Manager. I think they have been interpreted by one man, one committee member that is.

If Al has been reported correctly then it has to be that he was hiding something. The stories of the dock strikes, supply shortages, bikes in storage and even the warranty one are all being attributed to him.

I think the guys in the UK have gone along with the story as they knew no different. Very few of them have ever seen a Dash Y or Y bike.. let alone own one.

I am not so sure what is the best way of doing this. Somehow we need to get across to the committee that we own these machines and that we see another side of the story.

Maybe if the UK guys can provide an email address we can all write to it with our own personal experiences and opinions.

Another way may be to set up some kind of register here, and then forward details through to them.

Things are looking good.. They are prepared to listen to us but at this stage they really seem to be believing their own story. They think that the 1970 Y bikes are related to 1967 models...
somehow we need to convince them otherwise.
Over to you guys..
Posted By: Lannis

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 11/11/11 12:43 pm

It was 44 years ago or so that people were stamping these numbers onto bikes.

Some of those guys were bound to have been young 25-year-old journeyman workers, who would now be a hale and hearty 69-year old retiree.

Has nobody looked up a person who was actually there at the time, who was actually punching numbers, and asked him simply "Wassup widdat?"

That would be an interesting "Quest" for someone! I'd do it myself except for that darn ocean ...

Lannis
Posted By: leon bee

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 11/11/11 2:23 pm

Kevin: We were just lately discussing this over at the Jockey Journal. At the same time, one of the respected posters there had put a Y engine on ebay, identifying it as a 67. Anyway, another respected member posted a scan of a BSA document I'd never seen before. You likely have seen the document, but I thought I'd try to point it out anyway:http://www.jockeyjournal.com/forum/showthread.php?t=91975



















Posted By: leon bee

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 11/11/11 2:33 pm

I can't seem to post a link to either the scan or the thread, but on the first few pages of the JJ board is a thread called "Why the Y".
Posted By: Two Alpha

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 11/11/11 3:19 pm

Why the Y
Posted By: JD

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 11/11/11 3:42 pm

I have a 1970 Y bike, and I'd be happy to discuss the issue, since I purchased a lot of 1967 parts that didn't fit the bike. Also, here's the certificate from the other forum:

Posted By: Ger B

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 11/11/11 4:33 pm

Leon's link:

http://www.jockeyjournal.com/forum/showthread.php?t=91975

Leon: there must be a space before and behind the string. smile
Posted By: Gary E

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 11/11/11 5:00 pm

I'll be posting some info this weekend in the "EBay A65 dating question" thread regarding the "-Y" stamping on Hornet engines, which may help explain its reason. It may apply to the other '67 A65/A50 models as well.
Posted By: Kevin (NZ).

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 11/11/11 6:03 pm

Yes, I have known about the two Service Bulletins for some time now. It was actually a member from my own town here that provided them, BSA USA SB (Gen) 2-70 and 5-70.


As you can see these state that the Y bikes of 1970 exist and are eligible for the 180 day warranty.
Someone has taken that to read that they were stamped especially to show they were eligible. Not true..

All BSA models were eligible, provided they were 1970 model bikes and sold after March 1970. The bikes could be B44, B25 or twins.
Furthermore the bulletin only mentions Thunderbolts and Lightnings.
So what of all the Hornets and Spitfires that have the Dash Y suffix...... if we believe BSAOC they say those bikes were remade and sold in 1970.
The facts are that most (If not all) had been on the road for many years. Gary will tell us that not one Hornet was sold after 1969 !!!!

John Healy wrote recently about the warranty. He can recall the individual that dreamt it up and how it cost BSA/Triumph thousands. The cost was astronomical and new bikes had to be stripped to meet the parts demand.

Lannis mentioned the guys at the factory. Yep indeed, and all the guys down the chain. What were they being told in 1970 when a batch of obviously 1970 bikes appeared stamped in 1967 style numbers ? We are yet to hear from the guys that were there.

We have seen an article written by an owner of one of the 1970 Y bikes. It was a 1970 model for him...... right up to the time when he bought that exact same machine back again 26 years later.

Some do-gooder had believed the BSAOC website and retitled the bike as a 1967...... Say what ?
This is what we are up against.

I believe we are very close to cracking this one.

I look forward to Gary's news on the Hornets.

The crux of the matter really is the 1970 Y bikes, - and how they CANNOT possibly be reworked 1967 machines.
Posted By: Morgan aka Admin

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 11/14/11 11:40 am

Hi folks, I have not that much to add except my spitfire was
first registred as 1967 in 1967 here in Sweden. see photo.

Posted By: Kevin (NZ).

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 11/14/11 11:55 am

Quote:
....and BSA dealers, who were made Triumph dealers with the closing of BSA, had had enough of the products assembled in Small Heath. It was said, that at the end BSA paid out over $800 US dollars in warranty for each 650 BSA twin they sold. To make things worse, not only couldn't we get spare parts due to the dire financial situation BSA was in, Peter Thornton, US President of BSA/Triumph had the brilliant idea of increasing the US warranty from 3 months to 6 months.

As an aside, the Triumph family was forced to accept all of the BSA dealers and in many cases the once competing dealers were across the street from each other. Now, The Triumph family was to include Norton dealers. This didn't make for a happy dealer network in the least. The ranks swelled and markets, and profits, shrunk.

At the time BSA/Triumph owed dealers warranty payments going back 6 months to a year. They owed me more than $3,500 and I had a sales floor of brand new motorcycles that were stripped for parts to perform warranty work. Some dealers in states where the warranty repair had to be done in 7 workdays were having to buy motorcycles back from the owners.



The quoted text comes from a post by John Healy last year.

It shows the situation and you can imagine the pressure on everyone, - certainly the management and dealers.

John clearly remembers the increase in warranty for all the 1970 range that were sold in the USA. I am sure they were forced to do that to match the Japanese opposition.

It was in this environment that Alistair and the management produced and exported the hundreds of 1970 Y bikes.
He claims they had 1000 bikes left over from 1967 and stored at the factory... don't laugh.

They were then reworked (chortle) and re-exported during 1970.

I think there were many more than 1000 of those Y bikes produced. I could produce details of 20 to 30 of them easily.

I can't go into too much detail of what Al Cave has the BSAOC believing but I am sure I can thrash it out on a point by point basis.
If the going gets too tough then obviously I will be yelling out for more help here.
Posted By: Kevin (NZ).

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 11/14/11 1:28 pm

Thanks Morgan for the input. I thought your bike had been sold in Sweden on 25th April but I now see it was despatched on that date.
It makes little difference, it shows that the bike was not sold in 1969 or 1970 as the story supposedly goes.

Quote:
>
> >We know from the above that some bikes were
despatched then returned
> >because the pound to dollar situation at the time
was not good for
> >exports as no profit would be made. the situation
deteriorated so
> >rapidly over here that some bikes actually got to
the docks and were
> >given export certificates. They had to be
reimported then later re-
> >exported even though they had not left the country
but had merely passed
> >through customs. Who would have liked to work in
the despatch division
> >at BSA at this time?
> >Some of the bikes are duplicated it seems as there
are three despatch
> >dates for some bikes and one of the bikes will then
have an extra zero
> >added onto the number as above. So it seems that
there are actually two
> >bikes despatched for about 1000 entries. I have
checked some numbers you
> >gave me.
> >
> >>A65TA12215Y 1970
> >This bike has two entries so should be one of those
that was despatched
> >and returned then despatched again. But it looks
like one bike was
> >shipped to BSA West on 21 June 1967 then another
with an extra zero on
> >28 March 1968.
> >>A65 TA 7031Y 1969
> >There are 3 entries for this one.
> >The bike was first shipped 31 Oct 1968 then 25 4 68
with an extra 0 then
> >19 4 69.


Ok then. I have been going through some of my old correspondence and dug up the above.

The BSAOC have been talking about an extra zero at the end of the numbers for 1969..
''''''''' 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 have never seen an example of this.
But.. what we do have and know about is that all the 1970 models have a zero preceding the serial number. (Edit... this is true for the 4 digit numbers as the zero is required to make them 5 digit. All 1970 A65 S/N are 5 digits).
This is for the normal 1970 sequence bikes.
The Y bikes don't have it.

Now those two bikes mentioned above are Y bikes, one had 1969 features to me and the other was all 1970.

The A65TA12215Y bike just happens to be one I posted a pic of on another thread. It happens to have a distinctive engine casting that was apparent around Xmas 1969 for the 1970 season.





The bike is obviously a 1970 Y bike and I know from the engine casting pattern that it is identical to an engine stamped with XD or AD date codes. I guess if this bike was made at the start of 1970 then it would have been expected to ship just weeks or months afterwards.

Oh no, not according to the BSAOC... it was shipped twice, both a couple of years before it was made.

No mention of that bike being shipped in 1970 at all !!!

I am wondering if the original entry is for a Dash Y bike. Then we may have a duplicate entry of 1968 for the 'clone bike'.
I cannot believe it is not showing as shipped during 1970.

Ok, let's look at the other machine.




This is unusual for a Y bike in that it has 1969 features. One of the forum members has a Y bike similar to this though.


Well we have 3 shipping dates to choose from for this bike.
25th April 1968, 31 Oct 68 and 19 April 1969.
Unfortunately I can't see the engine stamp pad.
It will undoubtedly have the raised pad which first appeared in August 1968 and it should have other features from September and possibly November also.
It won't have been shipped in April 1968 so that leaves the other two possibilities.

So what bike was shipped in April 1968 ?

I think we may well be looking at duplicated numbers here.
It is hard to believe but perhaps the Dash Y numbers were chosen again for the batch of Y bikes that followed them three years later.

This correspondence is six years old now and I have have been swimming upstream much of the time, against the flow.

Here we have two examples only of the later Y bikes. No problems with the bikes as such, - they are both true to their model years.
What exactly is the go with the paperwork though. Some of those dates are just not possible.

Would BSA be so foolhardy to use the same numbers twice ?

Surely not.

Writing out dating certificates for some of these machines must be a nightmare.




Posted By: Two Alpha

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 11/15/11 12:49 am

That's a very interesting bit of correspondence Kevin, was that from BSAOC UK or someone else?

Here's my example of a dash Y with the extra zero added.

A65LA 105590Y
On the engine, there appears to be the remnants of a dash behind the zero, indicating the number had previously been A65LA 10559-Y.





I purchased this bike around 1984 or 1985, it was a rolling chassis with the engine out. There were a few boxes of parts included which also held extra parts from other similar BSA's.
This makes it hard to say what the exact configuration of the original bike was but the engine has 1967 features and the rolling chassis has 1968 features.

> >>A65TA12215Y 1970
> >This bike has two entries so should be one of those
that was despatched
> >and returned then despatched again. But it looks
like one bike was
> >shipped to BSA West on 21 June 1967 then another
with an extra zero on
> >28 March 1968.

This March 1968 date from the correspondence you quoted in the previous post would make that bike a 1968 model, not 1969. Of course, that's assuming "standard" procedure at the factory!
As we've discussed previously, it would make sense to sell 1967 overstock in 1968, not so much for 1969 and 1970.
Posted By: Kevin (NZ).

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 11/15/11 1:14 am

Yes, the two pics are of a 1967 Dash Y bike that has been modified... or at least the numbers have been.

I doubt it was done at the factory so is probably a recent 'addition', - possibly to bring the bike into line with the Owners Club website listing. We have see other examples of 'corrected' numbers.

As for the shipping dates of the 1970 Y bike. That email came from the previous dating officer and may have a typo.

I realise the 28 March 1968 date is suspect. He talks about the extra zero also. I think it may have been a code within the dispatch book only, - the bikes themselves were probably never stamped.

I have no answer to the confused shipping details for that Y bike. Hopefully it is just a typo and he meant to say 28 March 1970. That would make much more sense to me.

I find it amusing that of all the numbers I presented (about 15 Y bikes) he chose to give me two examples. Both of which make no sense.
We are only working with very small samples here but I am starting to see trends now.
I can almost get to the stage of dating a pre-OIF unit twin ('66 - '70) without looking at the numbers. And that can be within a few months on some of them. We are only talking a 5 year span and there were just so many changes introduced over that period. Casting and machining marks are very telling also.



This number is an easy one and shows us many things.

it is a 1969 engine, even the lists will tell us that.
It has the LC codes which we know were for the first few months of the 1969 model only. It does have the raised pad so is about August or September 1968 manufacture.
It has the old style stamps and even has the enlarged 8 we associate with 1968.
Perfect... so it just a few months into the 1969 run before the new dating code was introduced. And before the new font stamps for that matter.
We can see the new hardware on the thru-bolt at the front of the engine there. I think it is an August 1968 engine.

If we look at the numbers we can see the next anomaly of the 1969 model year.
Oops. So we have a very large number for just a few months production.
The dating lists have us believe the numbers started at 101....

Not for 1969 they didn't.
Just like 1970 numbers start with a 0, the numbers for 1969 all seem to have a 1 out front putting them all in the 10,000's.
Indeed the Parts Book states that the numbering started at 11001 for 1969 Twins.
Does that sound familiar?
This is what the BSAOC UK website says....
Quote:
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 am afraid that is pretty typical of the accuracy achieved by that Dating Page. It is amateurish at best..

Who has ever seen a zero making a 1969 frame number into the 6 digits? These guys are taking the piss..


Or are they ?

Two Alpha just posted a pic of exactly that.
Having said that his is a 1967 Dash Y bike and not a 1969 model.
I think it is unique, possibly modified to tally with the website comments.
Has someone tried to make out it is a 1969 bike?

Honestly, the BSAOC website needs a little bit of thought put into it.
Half truths are of no use to anyone here.


Posted By: Gary E

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 11/15/11 1:33 am

Thanks Morgan for posting the Dating Certificate for your '67 Spitfire. It is now the only "Y" Spitfire I have in my '67 database. My research of the factory production books in the UK last year didn't reveal any Spitfires, only Lightnings and Thunderbolts. And the numbers for them were in the 10,000, 11,000, 12,000 and 17000 groupings. No 15,000 numbers in the "Y" sections. Maybe I missed it.

Is it just a typo on the Dating Certificate and it should have a "-" in there, or does your machine have just the "Y" and no "-"?
Posted By: Gary E

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 11/15/11 1:51 am

Originally Posted By: Kevin (NZ).
...It was in this environment that Alistair and the management produced and exported the hundreds of 1970 Y bikes. He claims they had 1000 bikes left over from 1967 and stored at the factory...

...I think there were many more than 1000 of those Y bikes produced. I could produce details of 20 to 30 of them easily...


The "Y" entries in the '67 factory production books that I observed were far less than 1,000. One of the three '67 books only had 68 of them, another book did not have any.
Posted By: Kevin (NZ).

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 11/15/11 2:13 am

Gary, Morgan's Spitfire is a common Dash Y model.



I think it was far too early to be included in the Hybrid MkIV listings. I must have satisfied myself that the engine did indeed have the dash. Eleven years ago Brian would have been unaware of the significance of the Dash preceding the Y suffix.


I note your comments on the Y bike shipping info.

I suspect there were more than 1000 produced during 1970. I would have thought the books for 1970 shipping dates would hold that info. I think you were looking at the earlier years mainly.
All the Hornets and Spitfires would have been shipped in 1969 at the latest.

As you have stated in the past, - the dispatch books are confusing and difficult to interpret.
What a mess.

It is even more reason to have a corrected Dating Listing so owners can see for themselves what model they now own.
It will take the work load off the Dating Officer at the same time.
Posted By: Two Alpha

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 11/15/11 4:47 am

Originally Posted By: Kevin (NZ).
Yes, the two pics are of a 1967 Dash Y bike that has been modified... or at least the numbers have been.

I doubt it was done at the factory so is probably a recent 'addition', - possibly to bring the bike into line with the Owners Club website listing. We have see other examples of 'corrected' numbers.



If the zeros weren't added by the factory, they would have been added more than 25 years ago, prior to my purchase of the motorcycle. This would have also been prior to the existence of the BSAOC UK website by at least a few years.
It seems very improbable to me that a previous owner of this bike would have been farsighted enough to realize that by adding on the two zeros, one on the engine and one on the frame, he would be in line with information from Alistair Cave which was posted on the BSAOC UK website years later.
Now perhaps the BSAOC UK actually based this story of the 100,000 range of serial numbers on their receiving numerous requests for dating of home modified numbers with six digits. If that were the case, why would those home modifiers all decide that they had to add a zero, and only a zero, to the end of the number? Obviously that's probably not the answer either.
I think, at present, that these 100,000 range numbers actually were done at the factory, and that what is on the BSAOC UK website may be a partially true explanation of the reason why.

Originally Posted By: Kevin (NZ).


As for the shipping dates of the 1970 Y bike. That email came from the previous dating officer and may have a typo.

I realise the 28 March 1968 date is suspect. He talks about the extra zero also. I think it may have been a code within the dispatch book only, - the bikes themselves were probably never stamped.



I think that he may have been referring to a bike with the number A65TA 12215-Y "shipped to BSA West on 21 June 1967 then another with an extra zero on 28 March 1968." The second one would have been the same bike with the dash over-stamped with a zero, as on my bike, making it A65TA 122150Y. In that case, the date of 28 March 1968 would make sense.
The bike that you have a photo of is another bike altogether, a 1970 model with a serial number of A65TA 12215Y.




Originally Posted By: Kevin (NZ).


This is what the BSAOC UK website says....
Quote:
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 am afraid that is pretty typical of the accuracy achieved by that Dating Page. It is amateurish at best..

Who has ever seen a zero making a 1969 frame number into the 6 digits? These guys are taking the piss..


Or are they ?

Two Alpha just posted a pic of exactly that.
Having said that his is a 1967 Dash Y bike and not a 1969 model.
I think it is unique, possibly modified to tally with the website comments.
Has someone tried to make out it is a 1969 bike?

Honestly, the BSAOC website needs a little bit of thought put into it.
Half truths are of no use to anyone here.




None of the parts that I received with that motorcycle when I bought it appear to be specific to 1969, there are items specific to 1968 though and the bike was sold to me as a 1968 model. The engine is 1967, the rest seems to be 1968.

Does anyone have a list of the rolling chassis upgrades for 1969 ready to go?
Posted By: Kevin (NZ).

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 11/15/11 5:23 am

Thanks TA,

I hear what you are saying about the zero being added and you have some good valid points.

I think there may be something in what you say. It is not straightforward though and may fall into place soon.

I see a few issues there.
The stamp appears to be different from that used in 1967.
The BSAOC have referred to the Y suffix meaning something else.
Your number has both the Y and stamped zero.
I have never seen a genuine 1969 bike with the 6 digits.
All Y bikes have the Y suffix on the frame number also.

I like what you say about some bikes being re-exported, I am sure it may have been only a small number though.

I am concerned that I was not provided with a logical shipping date for the Y bike though.



On the left is a 1970 Lightning. On the right a 1967 model Lightning !!

This is a similar Y bike that was shipped during 1970. (to our example earlier).
One of the original owners bought the bike back many years later but it was now a 1967 titled machine.

My money is on A65LA10971Y being sold a Dating Certificate at some stage.




Posted By: Morgan aka Admin

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 11/15/11 5:42 am

OK I found out that my ex spitfire was first licensed and registered for road use
1968 April 24th.
Posted By: Gary E

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 11/15/11 10:49 am

Originally Posted By: Kevin (NZ).
...I think it was far too early to be included in the Hybrid MkIV listings...


The hybrid SA's have random numbers begining with 11577, so a 15000 machine could be a hybrid. With Morgan's machine having a "-Y" then, as you say, it is a classic '67 as the picture shows those features.

Originally Posted By: Kevin (NZ).
...All the Hornets and Spitfires would have been shipped in 1969 at the latest...


The last true '67 (all models) dispatched was SA 16614 sent to New Jersey, May 17, 1967. The last SA hybrid was SA 17892 dispatched April 18, 1968.

Originally Posted By: Kevin (NZ).
I suspect there were more than 1000 produced during 1970. I would have thought the books for 1970 shipping dates would hold that info...


You are saying then that there are two bikes with the same number, one with "Y" built as a '70, and one with "-Y" built as a '67?

I regret not having spent more time researching the production books last year. A day and a half was just not enough time. At the time the '70's production books were not included in our 'to-do' list, as the list was already 1.5 pages long.
Posted By: Kevin (NZ).

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 11/15/11 12:31 pm

Hi Gary. My comment on Morgan's Spitfire being too early was referring to the shipping date. The MkIV features of the hybrid bikes would not have been available at that time.

You have surprised me with the shipping date for the last of the 1967 model bikes. It was a massive year for BSA and you are saying all bikes had gone from the factory by the end of May.
That is a tremendous effort.

Quote:
> >>A65TA12215Y 1970
> >This bike has two entries so should be one of those
that was despatched
> >and returned then despatched again. But it looks
like one bike was
> >shipped to BSA West on 21 June 1967 then another
with an extra zero on
> >28 March 1968.


I am even more concerned about these comments now.

What bike was shipped on 21 June 1967 ?
You seem to think all the 1967 bikes had already gone.
We were already worried about the 28 March 1968 date and how that did not seem to match anything.
I would bet my left ball on the bike being made about Xmas 1969... so where is the ACTUAL shipping date ?
It should be January/February 1970..

Quote:
Gary said;
You are saying then that there are two bikes with the same number, one with "Y" built as a '70, and one with "-Y" built as a '67?


I guess I am. I have never contemplated this before but after today's discussions it is certainly a possibility.

I was quoting 1970 bike details to the BSAOC and the shipping details I have received are for bikes that were shipped 2 years before my bikes were even made. What explanation can we have for that ?

You have factory documentation dated 26 October 1966 talking about the stamping of engine numbers with the Y (Dash Y presumably) suffix.

The BSAOC are offering their version saying the stamping was carried out in 1970 (with their interpretation of the warranty SB).
That rift is a mile wide..

We have to forget that they have been selling Dating Certificates, like Morgan's, that actually agrees with our version of events.

I really do think I can produce around 40 numbers of 1969/70 S/N's of Y bikes.
I mean I actually have pics of engine numbers of those bikes, taken in the past few years.
That is 4% of 1000 bikes and without even trying.
I believe that we will unearth a large number of Y bikes being made during 1970. I have no idea where the shipping records for those bikes are.


Is that why all these 1970 Y bikes are being dated as 1967 models ?
Perhaps there is no trace of them...at least in the factory records we are holding.


Quote:
- to what extent
therefore has the UK Government knowingly supported a corrupt industry? , -the documentary evidence so far uncovered shows the UK Government knew
all along that the arms industry was riddled with corruption; concealed this
knowledge from Parliament and the public; and decided to lavish support on it
anyway, underwriting it with UK taxpayers money and paying public officials to
promote it
.



THE UK GOVERNMENT
AND ARMS TRADE
CORRUPTION:
A SHORT HISTORY


Posted By: Gary E

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 11/15/11 6:38 pm

As I have presented previously in the dating thread, the "Y" machine entries in the inside front and back covers of the '67 production books show dispatch dates of January, February and May of 1970, all LA and TA models.

A clarification on the last true '67 dispatched in my previous post. Note that it is the last "dispatched" in '67, not the last machine built or dispatched in later years. Book 276 starts at #16656 and goes to #18601 with it dispatched April 24, 1968 (yes '68, and they are not noted as "Y" bikes.

More juice in my notes: "about 768 '67 "Y"'s to 1970, and approx. 380 are dated Febuary 1969".
Posted By: Kevin (NZ).

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 11/16/11 12:45 am

Quote:
As I have presented previously in the dating thread, the "Y" machine entries in the inside front and back covers of the '67 production books show dispatch dates of January, February and May of 1970, al LA and TA models.

Quote:
More juice in my notes: "about 768 '67 "Y"'s to 1970, and approx. 380 are dated Febuary 1969".


What do you make of this Gary ?
If you were to put some money down on it what would you be backing at this stage ?

I think you have the inside running as you have actually seen the books.
I keep forgetting that these Y bikes of 1969 and 1970 are mixed up in the despatch books of 1967. It seems almost like they are squeezed in afterwards the way you are describing 'inside the front and back covers'.

I am getting confused... if we do have duplicated numbers then they are being recorded in the same books.
You should see the same number but with a number of different export dates.

ISN'T THIS EXACTLY WHAT WE HAVE ?


If the books are indicating the same bike was exported twice then BSA need a cover story.
Something along the lines of dock strike, unfavourable exchange rates etc. The bikes could then sit at the factory awaiting refurbishment but there would be supply shortages (naturally !!) so they sit here for 2 or 3 years.

BRILLIANT

Lets run with that.

Quote:
Now the resale of 1967 machines in 1969 and 1970. This was brought about by BSA missing the very short buying season in the USA and at this time approximately 60-70% of production went to the USA. There were a series of strikes within the automotive component industries at that time and also a dock strike which delayed shipment of machines to the USA past the deadline to arrive in American dealers to meet the peak selling period. This left the factory and its American main agents with a glut of unsold machines. The factory had already received from the UK government export sales credit guarantees for these machines therefore they could not write them off without having to pay back the guarantee. This is to enable the factory to draw down finance to keep a constant production going. Approx 90% of sales happen within a three month period so for a nine month period there is very little return. Therefore they had to be exported. Many to the home market were sold in 1969 but there had to be some way of identifying these machines for warranty so an extra 0 was added to the engine number. Many of the machines were refurbished and then sold at a discount in the USA however the warranty arrangements changed in 1970 so some form of identifier was needed to identify which machines would obtain the extra warranty. This was solved by adding a Y for 1970 although this may also mean they have an uprated alternator which would have been added as part of the refurbishment. A dealer notification was sent out to this effect which I have attached. All the machines and new despatch dates are recorded at the beginning and end of the despatch books. I discussed this at length with Alistair who said that in order to maintain production the whole of the factory was filled with incomplete bikes while waiting for the electrical parts and retro fitting when the components arrived cost a large amount of finance which the company could ill afford.


The documentation referred to is SB USA (Gen) 5-70. The bulletin advising of the 180 day warranty across the BSA/Triumph group beginning March 1970.

I particularly liked this bit..
Quote:
in order to maintain production the whole of the factory was filled with incomplete bikes while waiting for the electrical parts and retro fitting


The Company is going down the gurgler and they are sitting on 1000 plus bikes, stashed in every available space !

For two years !!!!!!!!

How did Alistair keep a straight face ?

Posted By: Two Alpha

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 11/16/11 2:26 am

Gary, I'm trying to send you a PM but you are over your limit, possible to free up some space?
Posted By: Gary E

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 11/16/11 2:33 am

Originally Posted By: Kevin (NZ).
What do you make of this Gary ?
If you were to put some money down on it what would you be backing at this stage?

I think you have the inside running as you have actually seen the books.

I keep forgetting that these Y bikes of 1969 and 1970 are mixed up in the despatch books of 1967. It seems almost like they are squeezed in afterwards the way you are describing 'inside the front and back covers'.


Yes, they are an after-addition to the production books, so they could have been added at any time, even years after.

Originally Posted By: Kevin (NZ).
I am getting confused... if we do have duplicated numbers then they are being recorded in the same books. You should see the same number but with a number of different export dates.

ISN'T THIS EXACTLY WHAT WE HAVE?


I do not believe there are duplicate numbers. What I surmise is the '69/'70 Y bikes are uncompleted/undispatched '67 numbers. The machines may have been be in various stages of completion from over-production in the '67 model year. (the '67 model year has a lot of numbers, more so than in '66 and '68).

The factory may have had a lot of '67 numbers already in the paper shuffle with the gov't involved and looked for a way out; hence the '69/'70 debacle. Just speculation on my part.

I am of the opinion we may never really figure out the micro-reasons and events of the time period for the Y machines. But we need to keep the pressure on the BSAOC UK to improve there description on their website to reflect recognition that some '69's and '70's have '67 style numbers with the Y after them. And for them to recognize that a lot of the true '67's have a "-Y" after the engine number. They need to keep it all simple on there website so as not to confuse the masses, but yet insure that the various issues and events are reported.

As I have pined before, we could surely gain more ground tons quicker if we had our own copies of the productions books to review. I only scratched the surface when researching the production books for a day and a half last year. When opening the books (literally) for the first time, it is very overwhelming. A massive amount of information to attempt to decode.

We are being held at ransom.

Us bean counters will never rest. Someone has to carry the torch. "Endeavor to perseverve"
Posted By: Kevin (NZ).

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 11/16/11 3:31 am

I have to agree about the books. I think you have done extremely well given the limited access you had.
This would have died a natural death years ago if you had not been so encouraging and forthcoming with the information.

You may be right about the uncompleted 1967 bikes but surely they must have been numbers only.

I concede they may have even been a frame that could have been reworked. We did have an issue with some of the early Y bikes being fitted with what appeared to be older swingarms and hardware.

There can be no way a 1967 engine can morph into a 1969 or 1970 engine. Please let us be quite clear on that. It is impossible short of melting it down and starting again.

I admit I am still uncertain about duplicated numbers. That would be a massive risk to take and we have not yet seen a case of that.

How would it be though to have two bikes side by side with the same numbers. (Albeit different style).

Against this we still have the conundrum of multiple shipping dates.

For the life of me I just cannot accept the 1000 bike sitting at the factory story.

I am not even sure we know of a 1967 Dash Y bike being sold in 1970.
Morgan's Spitfire seems to have taken a year from export to retail sale. That seems to be a long time to me. I can see if it did not sell by the end of summer then it may have to be sold the following season at a discount. That would have happened to many.
But to sit in a showroom for two or three years has to be inconceivable.

The Y bikes were made in 1970 and sold in 1970. So that means there is no benefit to BSA in numbering them in 1967 style numbers.
They cost the same to produce, ship and sell etc.

That would be unless there was a law change that permitted bikes made earlier (1967 specifically) to be exempt, or subject to less, taxes.

The savings would have to be substantial though to contemplate such an exercise.

Another possibility is that something happened in 1967 that needed to be rectified.
Bikes showing in the export books that did not exist. Phantom bikes. Bikes existing in number only.
If questions were asked and these bikes could not be made to reappear then perhaps they had to be produced from somewhere.

The later reincarnations were not made in a batch. They appear to have trickled off the production lines. The production may have started during the 1969 season and extended well into the 1970 run.
The very last of the 1970 bikes had the shortened rear brake torque stay. I have not seen a 1970 Y bike like that yet.

Gary also mentioned shipping dates of January, February and May of 1970. That would tally ok.

If these are the two possibilities that we have to explain this situation then I am backing Option B.
BSA exported phantom bikes in 1967... If that is the case then the shipping dates for the first export are bogus.

Is that why BSA had such a good year in 1967. - They exported over 1000 bikes without actually making them ?

It was one of the biggest years, I am not so sure how it compared to 1966 or 1968.

I would be thinking 1968 was a lean one... we know very few true MKIV Spitfires were made as a fair percentage were hybrid MKIV's with 1967 style engine stampings. We also have the story about the 200 or so Firebird Scramblers (debunked I know).

BSA took it upon themselves to start the 1969 Twin serial numbers at 10,000 (or thereabouts).

Similarly the factory started the 1970 numbers with the digit zero preceding the numbers.

If there was a cover-up in progress were these departures from previous years part of it ?

Sorry, - yet more questions.





Posted By: Kevin (NZ).

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 11/16/11 5:04 am

I was wondering about the dock strike that affected the 1967 models getting shipped.

The BSAOC did say that it prevented the bikes reaching the States in time for the peak selling season.

I did a Google and sure enough..

Quote:
By the mid-1960s Britain was mired in an economic slowdown. Massive dock strikes in both 1966 and 1967 severely affected British exports. In an effort to prevent the flow of money out of the country, the government devalued the currency
.

Quote:
Conditions deteriorated still further, sparking a violent dock workers' strike in 1967. Over 9,000 workers joined the picket lines. In the end, the workers won out, and the government introduced the National Dock Labour Scheme of 1967.

Read more: http://www.answers.com/topic/the-mersey-docks-and-harbour-company#ixzz1dq7KKPLt


So there was a strike in 1967.
I stumbled upon the USA entry also to ensure there was no disruption there.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_strikes

So we have a strike, it was actually 6 weeks long, during 1967.

I did read that it caused such a chaos and disruption that the backlog extended well into 1968.

The strikes were numerous and widespread and extended from September into November 1967.

Whoa.... Say what ?

That is for the 1968 bikes.
The strikes would need to be about Xmas 1966 or early 1967 to affect the shipping of the 1967 models.

There were strikes in 1966.
The Seamen's strike of 1966, another big one.
Resolved at the end of May 1966.

Ooops.... that is before the 1967 production even started.

So now our Dock strike story is lacking an important ingredient. NO DOCK STRIKE..

Well not one that would have affected the shipping of the 1967 bikes anyway.
I am sure the 1968 bikes would have been affected by the 1967 strike and that would have had an impact on sales.
I did think 1968 was a leaner year for BSA.

This came about because I started wondering why Triumph had not been affected in the same way.
A dock strike must have been just as damaging to them and their product.
The same would apply to the electrical component shortage.
What part was unavailable that you could not upgrade the bike ?
Why bother anyway, - the story has us believing complete working bikes went to the docks and were processed.

The sad thing about that version of the story I quoted earlier...

the real sad thing;

It was written just last week.



Posted By: Two Alpha

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 11/16/11 5:19 am

From a previous post by Gary E..."About 18600 '67's (all models), about 11000 '68's (all models)."


Here's a quote from the "Shooting Star" book which might explain some of the late shipping dates in 1968, as well as the lower numbers sold.
Providing it's true of course, I'll try to find confirmation in the Hopwood book and elsewhere.

-“The first warning signs of an imminent collapse came in 1968, when a combination of labour troubles and missed production deadlines by a host of subcontractors caused BSA and Triumph to ship motorcycles to America late in the spring, which meant the firm missed much of the “selling season,” as the British always called it. This is likely why the new triples weren’t seen in American showrooms until June that year. The company was forced to buy back several thousand machines, mostly twins, and dump them on European markets at a loss.” (Aamidor, 2009, 115/116)

Following up on 11/18 2011, here's a relevant quote from what I consider to be a trustworthy source.

In reference to the 1968 season...
-“Large stocks of BSA motorcycles, which had missed the US selling season, which generated 90% plus of the division’s annual income and profits, were brought back from America and had to be sold off at a substantial loss. This was due to late design changes delaying completion of the urgently required motorcycles” (Heaton, 2007, 128 )

This quote from Joe Heaton's thesis references Hopwood, 1981, 228 and 240.
Posted By: Mark Parker

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 11/16/11 7:59 am

Part of quote: "Many of the machines were refurbished and then sold at a discount in the USA however the warranty arrangements changed in 1970 so some form of identifier was needed to identify which machines would obtain the extra warranty. This was solved by adding a Y for 1970 although this may also mean they have an uprated alternator which would have been added as part of the refurbishment."
Has this person seen the '67 numbered 1970 Y bikes, or a photo, because they have 1970 engines, different cyls, studs and nuts, C/cases, 2 x timing cases, clutch lift mechanism, oil dipstic for trans, all obvious and visible, and internally, different rods, gearchange quadrant, etc. What stayed the same? Maybe gears cluster, pistons, crank, clutch, primary, head? (not sure about head) and now they are saying they had the alternator replaced as well?
So did they really replace all that stuff in a refurbishment of a 1967 bike? If the guy doesn't mention new cases cyls etc etc and thinks the main holdup was the alternator, he doesn't really know what was being done, or something? Surely he has got to know he is talking to BSA owners.
Posted By: Kevin (NZ).

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 11/16/11 9:08 am

Thanks Mark.
The comments came from the BSAOC just a few days ago. I was unsure if they really appreciated what a Y engine looked like so I sent a pic of one for their comments.

I have not heard back yet.

In the many years I have been pursuing this I have yet to receive any acknowledgement that the dating lists could be improved.

Quote:
So did they really replace all that stuff in a refurbishment of a 1967 bike? If the guy doesn't mention new cases cyls etc etc and thinks the main holdup was the alternator, he doesn't really know what was being done, or something? Surely he has got to know he is talking to BSA owners.


Many of the guys reading this Mark actually own Y bikes.
They are now only too aware that the BSAOC UK website is far from factual.

The problem for me is all the potential buyers and sellers that are having problems because of the website error.
Troy Engineering thought he was selling a 1967 engine but many guys wrote in to him. He has now changed the title to a 1970 engine.
A few years ago that engine would have been sold to someone as a 1967 and the purchaser would have had problems. It was not what he expected.

The website errors are costing BSA owners money.
The BSAOC UK claim to be the official website for BSA motorcycles.
The BSAOC UK has the factory records and have known about this dating confusion for many years.

What do we have to do to get them to actually do something about it ?



In the meantime they are still taking money off people by selling scraps of paper like this..

It does not seem fair to me.
Posted By: Rich B

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 11/16/11 12:42 pm

Kevin sez:

"I concede they may have even been a frame that could have been reworked. We did have an issue with some of the early Y bikes being fitted with what appeared to be older swingarms and hardware."

Early on in this saga, someone posted pictures of a bike we all agree was a 70, but definitely had the older style swing arm pivot, as I remembr. I have seen some bikes, no question 70's, but with the original style swing arm pivot. The old dealer locally, claimed some service parts frames and left over 2nd's got used up towards the end of the 70 model run to clear inventory for the change over to the OIF. I also believe 70 was a pretty good year for BSA sales even though they may not have forecast too well.

"I admit I am still uncertain about duplicated numbers. That would be a massive risk to take and we have not yet seen a case of that."

Like I have stated before, when it comes to S/N's, as long as it conforms to Federal standards (which were just then being implemented) and is documented by the OEM as a legitimate S/N, it is game on..... A65LA12345-Y is NOT the same as A65LA12345Y as long as it is documented by the manufacturer as legitimate.

If you or I did it, we would get to wear a dress and dance for our new 400# cellmate friend named Bubba eek

As far as my 1968, since that year is in also question, the dealer remembers my bike specifically, it is a low S/N 68 Lightning, that was made available at a discount during the model changeover at the end of the model year. It came to him as a 68 with 69 cases and head pipes when he recieved it. It was also painted the darker red color we associate with Hornets & Firebird Scramblers, not the more common "Flamboyant Red". Go figure
Posted By: Semper Gumby

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 11/16/11 2:17 pm

OK - probably a gross oversimplification but...


If it has the cases with the raised numbers then it a 1970. If it has the old style cases with the numbers stamped on the case flush with the bottom of the cylinder barrel flang then it's a 1967?

I know nothing but the idea that they used old numbers that they hadn't built yet but had already been taxed on is very plausible. SO I guess the accountants made them do it?

Or perhaps some floor manager trying to get union workers to build bikes that were supposed to have already been built but not actually left the shop?
Posted By: Gary E

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 11/16/11 4:37 pm

Originally Posted By: Kevin (NZ).
...Morgan's Spitfire seems to have taken a year from export to retail sale. That seems to be a long time to me. I can see if it did not sell by the end of summer then it may have to be sold the following season at a discount. That would have happened to many.
But to sit in a showroom for two or three years has to be inconceivable...


I can envision some machines not being sold very quickly and sitting in dealerships for a long time. In the US, during that period, some states officially titled a motorcycle in the year in which it was sold (application for title). So, for example, an actual '67 bike which did not sell until '68 or '69, (or whenever) would be titled as a '68 or '69 motorcycle. If someone bought a '67 bike but didn't bother to apply for a title/license until 1970, then some states would label it a '70 bike on the title.

Both of my Hornets were that way when I got them. It caused alot of grief for me getting Oregon titles for them with the other states' titles having the wrong year on them. Also, some states back then didn't require a title for motorcyclces.

There was a Rocket 3 a few years ago that went up for sale that a dealer in the northern US (maybe Canada - can't recall) had saved. It was still in the original wood crate with all the paper work and 0 miles on the speedo. The sale included the original crate as well.

Some BSA dealerships were small operations located in small obscure towns with few sales of new bikes. Probably a similar situation around the world. The British bike dealer in my area sold BSA, Triumph and Norton in the '50's and '60's and was a small one man operation; a personal family friend. In talking with him thru the years (he's in his 80's now) I do not believe he sold very many BSA's. As a result, I can see where a new bike might sit for a long time before being sold.

Originally Posted By: Kevin (NZ).
...I would be thinking 1968 was a lean one... we know very few true MKIV Spitfires were made as a fair percentage were hybrid MKIV's with 1967 style engine stampings...


True '68 Spitfire Mark IV's produced out number the '67 hybrid Mark IV's, three to one.
Posted By: Two Alpha

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 11/16/11 5:14 pm

Gary, I've been trying to sort out all this information about the BSA Group, 1965 through 1975. You have provided a lot of solid facts based on your research (many thanks). There is one slight contradiction that I hope you could clear up though.

-“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.” (Gary E, BritBike post 382555 )

-“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. (Gary E, BritBike post 403654 )

Just hoping for clarification as these two posts are somewhat at odds with each other.
Posted By: BSA-Jay

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 11/16/11 6:19 pm

I have me one of them -Y bikes, and as far as anyone can tell it is a 67...my buddy has a 70' lightning and it has alot of differences from mine like bars, ammeter etc..etc...
Posted By: Kevin (NZ).

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 11/16/11 11:41 pm

Yep BJ your bike is a run of the mill Dash Y bike of 1967. We all have them.
Common as.

You say your mates 1970 is different to yours... if you look beyond the bars and ammeter you will see the entire front end is different

The tyre, tube, valve cap will be the same or similar, and perhaps the headlight bulb.

What we are saying is that a 1970 Y bike and a 1970 'normal' bike are as near as identical.
At the moment there is no published material stating that.
BSAOC, Bacon and all the other experts that have gone to print in the last three decades have either missed it or chosen to ignore the issue.

I can't understand how it has been left for so long.


Quote:
Semper Gumby wisely said;

OK - probably a gross oversimplification but...


If it has the cases with the raised numbers then it a 1970. If it has the old style cases with the numbers stamped on the case flush with the bottom of the cylinder barrel flang then it's a 1967?


I doubt we can get much simpler than that. Works for me..

Similarly for the frames.
If there is a Y in the frame number then it is a 1970.
Posted By: Atlanta Bonnie

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 11/17/11 3:47 am

“In the meantime they are still taking money off people by selling scraps of paper like this..”

You’re absolutely correct about my certificate!! I’ve thought of writing my own “draft” and sending it over for a redo! The only good news is that the VIN number was at least listed in the books!

Good to see you leading the charge on this issue.
Posted By: Kevin (NZ).

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 11/17/11 4:10 am

Thanks Bruce.

I think we all have a few questions over your certificate.

What do you think they are saying the bike should be titled as ?

What is it titled as ?

Mark wants to know what they mean by the phrase 'It still retains it's original motor'.
What is your interpretation of that ?

Finally the certificate seems to imply that 10th Nov 1966 can be taken as the build date.
During your ownership of the bike do you think you have come across any parts made in 1966 ?

Encore question...
Do you think you are entitled to a refund ?

Posted By: Gary E

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 11/17/11 4:57 am

Originally Posted By: Two Alpha
...-“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.” (Gary E, BritBike post 382555 )

-“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. (Gary E, BritBike post 403654 )

Just hoping for clarification as these two posts are somewhat at odds with each other.


The numbering in '67 went to about 18000, and the "-Y" bikes are up to but in the 15000's, actually closer to the 16000's with some about 15800. Take out a bunch in the 10000's, 11000's, and 12000's that are "Y" bikes and the percentage of non "-Y" machines goes up. Although the "-Y" bikes are then still a majority, the difference isn't as big as some have made it out to be. Hope this helps with a little clarification.
Posted By: Two Alpha

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 11/17/11 5:05 am

Sure does, thanks Gary!
Posted By: Gary E

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 11/17/11 5:31 am

Originally Posted By: Kevin (NZ).
Mark wants to know what they mean by the phrase 'It still retains it's original motor'.
What is your interpretation of that?


I think it means a matching number bike.
Posted By: Gary E

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 11/17/11 5:34 am

Originally Posted By: Semper Gumby
...If it has the cases with the raised numbers then it a 1970. If it has the old style cases with the numbers stamped on the case flush with the bottom of the cylinder barrel flange then it's a 1967?

I know nothing but the idea that they used old numbers that they hadn't built yet but had already been taxed on is very plausible...

Or perhaps some floor manager trying to get union workers to build bikes that were supposed to have already been built but not actually left the shop?


I can agree with all 3.
Posted By: Kevin (NZ).

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 11/17/11 5:53 am

Hmmm

I really don't mean to upset things here but the Y bikes went well beyond 16000. Be they Dash Y, Hybrid or 1970 Y.

Am I correct in saying that many of the Hybrid MkIV's for example are in the 16000 and 17000 areas.
Are these recorded in the 1968 books ?

I have some 1970 Y bikes using the 17000 numbers also.

From the 1967 bikes I have actually seen I would be saying most are Dash Y bikes.
I have not seen many Home Market bikes sold in the UK so I really can't speak for them.



A65SA16835-Y is a MkIII of 1967. A Dash Y bike.


The problem we are having here is that Gary only had access to the despatch books for a short time.

It appears that the despatch books are being used as a fundraiser by selling "Dating Certificates" rather than being put to good use for research.

http://www.realclassic.co.uk/newsfiles/news05022800.html
http://www.vmcc.net/library.htm

The Triumph records were held by the Science Museum but have since been handed over to the VMCC.

I think the present BSA records ownership needs to be reviewed.
If there are only the originals in existence then that needs to be corrected immediately, - like yesterday.

I realise Alistair Cave has gifted much of his own workings to the BSAOC but again that info must now be too valuable.

Do we need a fundraising campaign to have this material reproduced (electronically) and then made available to owners.

I have reservations about the service we are receiving from the present custodians.
Having an unpaid committee member delegated to write out dating certificates on the kitchen table after work is just not doing justice to thousands of owners.

Is it time ?




Posted By: Two Alpha

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 11/17/11 6:44 am

I think this may be the highest Y/-Y I've seen evidence of so far.



The owner had posted the following text with the photo...

here are the 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)
Posted By: Kevin (NZ).

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 11/17/11 7:21 am

I think that will be a Hybrid bike, I can go to A65SA17898Y
with one of them. Also 17890.
I have a few in the A65SA176xxY area.

Again I am forgetting where we left off with them but it is good having access to the two shipping dates.


That bike may well have been retrofitted with the MKIV features...between those two dates.

Gary will be the man on this one.
Posted By: Gary E

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 11/17/11 5:57 pm

Originally Posted By: Kevin (NZ).
I really don't mean to upset things here but the Y bikes went well beyond 16000. Be they Dash Y, Hybrid or 1970 Y.


Yes, correct. I was only reporting of numbers below 16000 as that was the clarification question presented. '67 numbers go well into the 18000's.

Originally Posted By: Kevin (NZ).
Am I correct in saying that many of the Hybrid MkIV's for example are in the 16000 and 17000 areas.
Are these recorded in the 1968 books?


Hybrid '67 SA's start at #11577 (dispatched 4/18/68) and randomly go to #17892 (dispatched 4/18/68). Yes the same date.

Dispatch dates are April, May, June, and July of '68 (yes '68).

The entries are in the 3rd '67 book (#276), in the middle of the book, after several blank pages. They are not in the '68 books.

Originally Posted By: Kevin (NZ).
From the 1967 bikes I have actually seen I would be saying most are Dash Y bikes.


"Most" can be anything from 1 machine over 50% to all machines but 1 of the total production year, so I really hesitate to use that word. As I presented previously, although a majority are "-Y" bikes in '67, there is clearly a large number that are not. 4000 (roughly the first part of the production year) is 22% of 18000 (roughly the '67 production numbers). Again, take out the "Y" and hybrids and the % get bigger.

Originally Posted By: Kevin (NZ).
The Triumph records were held by the Science Museum but have since been handed over to the VMCC.


The VMCC also has the original BSA books given to them from the Science Museum.

Originally Posted By: Kevin (NZ).
I think the present BSA records ownership needs to be reviewed.
If there are only the originals in existence then that needs to be corrected immediately, - like yesterday.


I do not know what type of records the BSAOC UK has: originals, copies, microfiche, digitized, or otherwise.

The VMCC does a very good job of protecting and maintaining the originals. And I mean that in a positive way. They are very forthcoming with help within their time constraints. Their library and records storage encompass the entire 2nd floor of their building. I feel they should continue to hold the originals.

Unfortunetely, present day worldwide identity theft has gotten to a point where everyone is hesitant to release anything but very limited info. Imagine what could happen if a picture of only one page from the books was sent to someone that had an honest interest in their one bike entry on the page. 40 other bike entires are now exposed to some nimrod that wants to misue the data.
Posted By: Lew Graham

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 11/17/11 6:18 pm

Re: Originally Posted By: Kevin (NZ).

Mark wants to know what they mean by the phrase 'It still retains it's original motor'.
What is your interpretation of that?

I think it means a matching number bike.

More precisely, I have taken it to mean that the bike left the factory with that frame number and that engine number.
The phrase 'It still retains it's original motor' avoids the confusion that can arise if the phrase 'matching numbers' is used in relation to earlier year BSAs that left the factory with frame numbers that differ from the engine numbers.
Interestingly though, when the factory were 'randomly selecting' A10 Spitfire Scrambler engines to go into frames they occasionally produced one with identical/matching NUMBERS, though the codes for the frame differ from the engine code. One of my A10 Spitfires differs by a single digit - 214 v 215 for the engine and frame numbers.
Posted By: Atlanta Bonnie

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 11/17/11 11:35 pm


“What do you think they are saying the bike should be titled as ?”
I don’t think the BSAOC really knows except what the book had in it referencing both specific dates.

It is titled as a 1969…but I don’t have any history back to 69, and it could have been re-titled along the way.
Being shipped late in the season, perhaps it should have been considered a 1970.
However, It was a mostly complete junker with 1969 features such as:
• Raised number pad on engine that matches frame (99.99% sure not a re-stamp)
• Clutch cable entry at back
• Smaller cylinder base studs
• Flat headed OPRV, not domed
• Oil pump had 69 written on it?

“Do you think you are entitled to a refund ?”
Yes…if the BSAOC were a commercial concern. But given that these are volunteers giving of their time and effort, I wouldn’t ask for it…except for maybe a discount on a corrected certificate.
Posted By: Kevin (NZ).

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 11/18/11 1:05 am

Hi Lew, thanks for the comments.

Ok, I can see the phrase is a cut and paste one of convenience.
Mark's interest was that has has examples of both engines scattered in his workshop.
He is saying that all the cast alloy components are different. A 1967 engine has different numbers, and features so it does not resemble a 1970 engine.
I read that comment as trying to tell us it is a 1967 engine that has been refurbished.... Is that what the BSAOC is trying to say ?
'Retains the original engine'
I think that is a brave call.

The engine was made in 1970 folks..
If the holder of the certificate thinks his engine is a 1967 model then he is in for a few surprises.


Thanks for your replies Bruce,I think the 1969 title is pretty close.

I am of the belief that the Bob Down bike was retitled as a 1967, probably on the basis of a certificate worded in a similar manner to yours.

Perhaps the BSAOC will send you a new certificate when all this confusion is finally resolved. You don't want to see any mention of those 1966 dates on it.



Posted By: Kevin (NZ).

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 11/18/11 3:34 am

Quote:

I do not know what type of records the BSAOC UK has: originals, copies, microfiche, digitized, or otherwise.

The VMCC does a very good job of protecting and maintaining the originals. And I mean that in a positive way. They are very forthcoming with help within their time constraints. Their library and records storage encompass the entire 2nd floor of their building. I feel they should continue to hold the originals.



Quote:
From the Despatch Books

Some years ago the BSAOC invested a large amount of its member's money in having the factory despatch books transferred to microfiche. They now have copies of each book giving details of almost all BSA motorcycles despatched between 1924 and 1973. I have had a chance to share some of the information found there with you so I am going to start with a model I have been asked a few questions about and hope to dispel some myths.


Link to Lightning Spares website.

Brian Pollitt now owns Lightning Spares and was the previous BSAOC Dating Officer.

He seems to have written a good article on the A10 RGS based largely around the records he had available to him.

We are not asking for too much more on the history of the A65 production from 1965 through to 1970.
It is a pretty small topic all said and done.

Roy Bacon, and others, have had a good crack at it and we are all much wiser and keener as a result. It would be great if we could just now delve into some of the grey area and complete the picture.

Somewhere amongst our ravings of the past two years here in BritBike.Com we may have unearthed all the necessary data.

Once we have done a job on the grey areas we may even be brave enough to encroach into the 'black' regions where no man has been before.
Posted By: RobQ30

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 11/18/11 8:54 am

If its of interest, I have an A50 Royal Star which has a Y suffix. Engine no A50RA9922Y.Bought it as an American import from Woodstock, Georgia a number of years ago. The info I found was that it was despatched to New Jersey in dec 1966, where remained unsold. It was returned to the factory and refurbished being redespatched to New Jersey in June 1969. It is registered here in the UK as a 1969 bike. When I bought it, it was a cross between an American dirt bike, big rear tyre and straight through pipes, with ape hangers that Dennis Hopper/ Peter Fonda could only dream of!

Rob
Posted By: Kevin (NZ).

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 11/18/11 9:14 am

Hi Rob.
That is interesting. Very interesting indeed.
It has to be a Y bike of 1969. I would love to see some pics.

Is it a 1967 model or 1969 in your opinion ?
Is there a Y suffix on the frame number ?

I have been looking here and all I can see of Royal Stars in that number area are 1967 models. They are Dash Y bikes.

I am sure I have seen 1970 A50RAxxxxY bikes. I realise the SB does not mention them but I will look here now until I can get some more info.

Thanks so much for reporting in.
Cheers.




This one is A50RA10144Y and is a 1969 Y bike. It may be very similar to yours. The other bikes I am seeing with numbers about yours are Dash Y 1967 bikes.
With a shipping date of June 1969, as you have been given, I have to think you own an unusual machine. Please let me know if my suspicions are correct.

I don't believe it has crossed the Atlantic four times. wink
smile
Posted By: RobQ30

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 11/18/11 3:04 pm

Kevin,

Both the engine and frame number end in a Y. I always thought the bike was a 1967, until I had it dated. I think the twin leading brake may have been fitted as part of the refurbishment? I have attached some pictures. Everything is orginal except the front mudguard and handlebars.

Hope its of some use to you.

Cheers

Rob



engine no photo




As is it now.
Posted By: Kevin (NZ).

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 11/18/11 6:49 pm

Wow Rob, that is brilliant. A nice bike and job well done.

I am not sure how well you have been reading this thread and the other similar ones.

Many of us here believe your bike was never refurbished. Your bike displays no features of a 1967 bike.

The story on the Dating Certificate has to be bogus. These bikes are either true 1967 and stamped with a Dash Y on the engine or what we are calling Y models.
There is no in between.

The 1969 Y bikes are not as common as the 1970 but several readers here own them. Yours is almost unique in that it is a Royal Star.... we have physical evidence of only a few of them.
(Two now).

As for the 1967 numbers on the Dating Certificate...
Well we have a least two schools of thought on that.

There is a possibility that a 1967 bike with the number A50RA9922 was exported in Dec 1966. (Albeit the engine had a Dash Y suffix, - many of the 1967 machines were stamped in that fashion). This would be another bike, not the one you own.

The other possibility is that the 1967 bike never existed and that the export entry is of a phantom bike, a paper bike.

I know of a Dash Y bike actually being exported to Australia in late December 1966. It is the earliest I know of so far.

Everyone reading this will have an inkling of which camp they are in. I personally am undecided.
I am 100% clear in my own mind that not one part of your bike was made in 1966.

If you read all the recent posts by Atlanta Bonnie you will see you both own similar bikes.



Quote:
I have a recently rebuilt 1967 A50 US import. Its fitted with pazon electronic ignition and a brand new amal carb.

This is from one of your posts only 6 weeks ago. You were under the impression that your bike was a 1967..... that is exactly the problem all you guys are having.
It was never a 1967 model.

What part of the UK are you in ?

You are possibly the only owner in the UK with a Y bike.
That we now have a Y bike in England has to be a very good thing for the cause. I would love for a BSAOC 'expert' to look at it and tell us all about the 'refurbishment'.

I think the BSAOC owe you a new Dating Certificate also.

Posted By: Alex

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 11/18/11 10:38 pm

Clutch entry can be altered by the use of earlier timing covers.

Another sure way to tell it's a '69 is whether the timing plug at the front of the cases is a plate with two screws or a single screw-in plug.
Posted By: Kevin (NZ).

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 11/18/11 11:29 pm

Yep Allan and Alex, they are both 1969 bikes.

The Y bikes are normally associated with 1970, well at least on this Forum.

It appears that a small percentage are 1969 and with shipping dates of June 1969 for Rob's A50 and August 1969 for Bruce's A65L that would be correct. I cannot say when the other 1969 Royal Star was shipped.
I am certain all Y bikes have the single plug for the timing tool access.



When the truth finally comes out I am confident we will find that the Y bikes ran from late '69 until towards the end of the 1970 models.


Link to pics of unusual cases.

I have placed a link here to a set of cases which have to be unique.
You can see clearly that they are 1970 castings that have been partially machined to appear closer to 1967 cases.
The obvious machining is to that plug access and also to the transmission fill hole.
I would say they have been a 'best attempt' to make up a set of 1967 model cases as spares.
I have never seen cases like it before.

As I mentioned earlier.. All the Y bike engines of 1969 and 1970 are true in every respect to their model years.
Posted By: Kevin (NZ).

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 11/19/11 12:31 am

Thanks for the question Allan.





First thing.
Only the 1969 and 1970 Y bikes have the Y suffix in the frame number.
(The Dash Y bikes of 1967 don't have it).

Second thing.
BSA changed the style of stamp to a new font early in the 1969 season. I believe it was about September 1968 (possibly October).
It meant the 'sixes' and 'nines' now had straighter tails for example. Similarly the 'five' lost it's curvyness.

The two numbers above are typical. I have actually labelled the Y bike one as a 1969 model machine.

So the frames are not only physically different, there are a number of changes between 1967 and 1969/70, but the numbers are also.

The Y bike numbers have been stamped after September 1968.
Posted By: Kevin (NZ).

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 11/19/11 3:15 am

Just to elaborate a little further on the frames.

The pic is of a normal 1969 model frame. It is exactly the same as a Y bike of 69/70.



The differences are relatively minor. (From a 1967 model bike).
The diagonal bracket for the condensors has been added.
The fairing lugs are now on the steering head.
The swing arm pivot is of the later bearing type.
The little tab retaining bolt hole is filled and re-tapped to a UNF thread.
The rear seat brackets may be repositioned on some bikes also.
All relatively easy to do you would think.

Oh the horizontal battery support gets removed for 1970 and some of the rear frame tabs get removed.

Still easy..

Ok, now they grind the number pad off and then re-stamp the same numbers back on. Only this time they stamp a Y suffix on it as well.

While this is going on we are to believe the engine is refurbished. Cases split, new castings and many components replaced including oil pump and rotor. Indeed very little of the engine is kept if you are still believing the refurbishment story.

Now the entire front end is removed and replaced.
As are the fuel and oil tanks, chainguard is modified.
Rear mudguard (fender) is replaced and a new tail light fitted.

So BSA now have a heap of NOS spares they have removed from all these bikes. Over 1000 front ends for example, and 1000 fuel tanks.... what are we to believe happened to them.
What would you do with 1000 alternator rotors. (Dated 1966/67) ?
How about 1000 crankcase halves already stamped up ? They must have been melted down because they are certainly no longer about.

If we are still believing the refurbishment story we have to bear in mind that progress was well under-way preparing everything for the introduction of the OIF models later that year.

Were BSA so affluent in 1970 that they could afford to dismantle over 1000 bikes and carry out a complete refurbishment programme.

The story is trying to tell us that this is happening in 1970 calendar year.. Do we have to remind ourselves that the first of the OIF bikes rolls off the assembly lines in August 1970.

I would have thought the factory had more pressing issues to be concerned about.

I think the refurbished 1967 leftover bike story is a POS.....

Posted By: Semper Gumby

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 11/19/11 3:22 am

I find it interesting that there are four different stampings on the engine casings: The flush casing (up until 1968), the raised pad without the BSA anti-theft markings(late 1968 early 1969), The raised pad with the anti-theft BSA stamp unter the numbers (1969 to 1973) and that weird wide raised pad casting that Kevin showed for Christmas 1970. Were the BSA stamp under the number Kevin?

Interesting...
Posted By: Kevin (NZ).

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 11/19/11 3:31 am

Yep, that is what I have been seeing.
One observation was that there are some flush casings stamped with 1969 model numbers.
Many TC, LC etc but also the new style PC and similar.

The change to the raised pad occurred early in the 1969 model run but obviously some of the older cases were not picked up out of the pile for a few months.
There were many subtle changes introduced in those last few months of 1968 Calendar year. (Early 1969 model year).

Posted By: Semper Gumby

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 11/19/11 3:39 am

Originally Posted By: 1968BSA
Both those a50s look to be 69 bikes, the exposed number stamping block, the dipstick on timing case not crank case, earlier style clutch cable entry's and 5/16 cylinder base studs


But My Firebird has the raised pad number stamp on the case with the Anit-theft BSA stamp underneath the number is and it is A65F AC17XXX which means January of 1969 and almost 7000 bikes different from Rob's. That is huge from his raised pad no anti-theft stamp and numbers that look sorta like an 1967. The raise pad and the number difference say two different things...the raised pad screams late 1968 early 1969 but the number on the case don't make sense/match with the date the cases were made.

Oi vey.
Posted By: Kevin (NZ).

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 11/19/11 3:56 am

The number sequence for 1969 models is different.

First off we have the 'normal' bikes. They seem to have started at 10,000 and not 101 or whatever, of the previous years.

So they run from 10,000 to almost 23,000.

Now the Y bikes can't do that. They have 'borrowed' their numbers from the 1967 books.
(Or rather the 1967 despatch books dictate what the numbers have to be).
We have completely different number sequences as a result.

We may well discover that the Y bikes of 1969/70 are numbered in a random sequence.
I think the guys were trying to disguise something at that particular time.
Gary has seen the shipping dates which may give us some kind of lead.
Posted By: Atlanta Bonnie

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 11/19/11 4:25 am


Here's my refurbed 67 frame sold as a 69....

Posted By: Two Alpha

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 11/19/11 4:38 am

There is very little chance that any of the parts of a bike despatched in 1967, are on a bike despatched in 1969 or 1970 that has virtually the same serial number, give or take a "Y" or "-Y"!

Check out my Previous Post, I've added a bit more reference regarding bikes being returned from North America in 1968.

It is probable that almost all of the bikes returned were the late-being-delivered 1968 models (LB, TB, etc). Surely almost all of the 1967 bikes, including the -Y's, would have already been sold by the time the 68's finally arrived in North America. If no 1967's are returned, how do they get to refurbish them and ship them back in 1969/1970?

Perhaps the theory that there were a bunch of phantom numbers in the 1967 books is correct. Maybe the 1969/1970 RA/LA/TA bikes were an attempt to make the books right.

Why was the "Y" on the 1969/1970 LA/RA/TA bikes there to indicate that those bikes got the extended warranty, the other bikes with far more proper 1970 numbers were given the extended warranty and they didn't have a "Y"?
Because, there was a bit of a problem, the LA/RA/TA made those bikes look like they were made in 1967 (the plan), but that also made them look out of warranty! The "Y" became necessary to indicate they still had any warranty at all, never mind extended.

It would be nice to see something closer to the real story regarding the use of the 1967 RA/LA/TA prefixes on those 1969/1970 bikes on the BSAOC UK website.

Hopefully they will get a good look at Rob's A50, and the certificate they produced for it!
Posted By: Kevin (NZ).

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 11/19/11 7:57 am

I am seeing a few flaws in some of our reasoning here.

We know many of the Dash Y bikes exported during 1967 were A65LA and TA... but we have RA, SA and HA bikes there also.

If we do indeed have phantom bikes then surely some Spitfires and Hornets would be on the books. BSA would not have known they were about to cease production (or did they) after the 1968 season.

If they had to find these 'missing' phantom bikes then there is no way they could refurbish a Hornet in 1970, or a Spitfire for that matter.

We have never seen a refurbished bike, of any kind.
Gary will tell us that no Hornet was ever refurbished like the story is trying to tell us happened to Rob's, Bruce's and John's bikes.

Where are the Spitfires and Hornets with the raised engine pads ?
None exist.

I am now going off the phantom bike idea.

Rich B wrote the following about 3 years ago on another Forum. (Yahoo Groups).
Quote:
To back up Kevin's comments, I have access to some paperwork &
original owner 67 BSA twins that are -Y bikes and were delivered to
the customer in March, April, & April of 1967 locally. Definitely NOT
bikes that were unsold and sold later.

Some of my sources say the -Y indicated the running change in 67 to
move the zener to under the headstock that is considered a feature of
the 68 on bikes. This is odd in light of the fact Hornet's were also
given the -Y number even though they had no zener. But early 67's
(Hornet & other models) don't have the -Y and models equipped with a
zener do not have it under the headstock. Models that do have it
under the headstock are always stamped -Y. So there must be some
truth to this change.

The old local BSA dealer is still alive, kicking, and ornery as ever.
I have asked him about the story of the unsold 67's. He laughs,
curses, etc. Said in 67, he was selling them as fast as he could get
his hands on them, would have choked his "road man" if there were
unsold 67's sitting in Nutley when he needed bikes.



OK so BSA did have a good year. They made many bikes and basically could sell them all easily. We know the dock strike was later in the year so that did not affect them and we know they were never returned to the factory.
They were all sold and on the road.

Why then did BSA make A65LA, TA and RA bikes in 1969/70.
The answer is obvious... it was because they could.

While they could not make new Spitfires and Hornets, - that would be too obvious... the factory figured they could certainly find a batch of old 1967 bikes that they had in storage. wink

The fact they made no attempt to even make them look like 1967 bikes speaks volumes. It was purely to get a Twin with the correct numbers on the engine and frame.

There had to be some financial gain in making out that these bikes were older models that had been left sitting around.
The scheme must have been hatched in 1969 and continued into 1970. They would have had to stop production of the Y bikes when the OIF machines came into being.

If this supposition were true then we have to be looking at the duplicated numbers situation.

From Gary's description of the despatch books it seems the Y bikes have entries within the covers themselves.
The numbers are always identical to another contained within the book itself.
I don't know of any instance of a stand alone Y bike in the books.

All the Dating Certificates have the initial export date (of the first bike) followed by the later Y bike Export.

The warranty extension of 1970 can have nothing to do with it. It was first announced in March 1970 in SB (Gen) 2-70.
The Bulletin obviously causing confusion so in May, SB 5-70 was released to clarify the situation.

Basically BSA USA was forced to admit that the 1970 Y bikes had been manufactured. The Warranty started from March the first and the announcement had been made not long before that.

We know the Y bikes were being made and stamped before June 1969, Rob's bike was exported then.
Atlanta Bonnie's Y bike was despatched in August 1969.

The Y stamp was in use well before the extended warranty scheme was devised.
We can soon find out the dates there because John Healy remembers Peter Thornton announcing it. It was across the whole BSA/Triumph group so the Triumph guys will have the details.




A quick Google search came up with this..

Quote:

The parts shortage in the US dates back to the mid 1970's. The period that Peter Thornton was spending millions on winning the AMA national #1 plate and his rude introduction of the 6 months warranty. BSA, and thus Triumph, did not have the money to stock spare parts in the US and were 6 months to a year in some cases behind in warranty payments to dealers.

Warranties require spare parts and with six months to cover, dealers were left with stripping bikes on their sales floor. Then came the Umberslade Hall creations and the explosive 5 speed transmission. Peter Thornton was fired, we still had the six month warranty, no spare parts and it went from bad to worse.

John Healy commenting about warranty on another forum.
Posted By: Two Alpha

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 11/19/11 2:27 pm

Originally Posted By: Kevin (NZ).

If we do indeed have phantom bikes then surely some Spitfires and Hornets would be on the books. BSA would not have known they were about to cease production (or did they) after the 1968 season.


They had to have known about the end of the Spitfire line as the Triples were already in progress. Perhaps the Hornet as well as it was gone at the end of the 1967 season. Maybe Gary can fill us in on why the change to the Firebird name was made.

Originally Posted By: Kevin (NZ).


I am now going off the phantom bike idea.



Assuming you mean that you doubt the phantom bike theory...

Originally Posted By: Kevin (NZ).


From Gary's description of the despatch books it seems the Y bikes have entries within the covers themselves.
The numbers are always identical to another contained within the book itself.
I don't know of any instance of a stand alone Y bike in the books.

All the Dating Certificates have the initial export date (of the first bike) followed by the later Y bike Export.



You are saying that "The numbers are always identical to another contained within the book itself" but we haven't yet seen two different actual bikes with identical numbers, just identical numbers within the book.

If every 1969/1970 "Y" has a corresponding 1967 number with a "-Y", or perhaps no "-Y", why hasn't one of these older bikes ever turned up? The phantom 1967 numbers theory holds water until one of these identical number bikes from 1967 is shown to actually exist.






Posted By: Two Alpha

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 11/19/11 3:43 pm

Originally Posted By: 1968BSA


Everyone with a y bike will need to list out their numbers which wouldn't include ones scrapped or owners not on the forum, the only way would be for a couple of numbers to be posted from 69/70 and be cross referenced against the 67 bikes numbers off the BSAOC data base



There have already been a number of examples of 69/70 "Y" bikes posted in this forum over the years, ebay is another good resource. I've been collecting images of these bikes for the past six months or so and Kevin's been at it for probably ten years now. Others like Mark appear to have multiple sets of the cases in their personal inventories.

Originally Posted By: 1968BSA


Only way I can see it possible since Bsaoc hasn't got any 69/70 y numbers on their records apparently.


I'm pretty sure BSAOC UK has got the 69/70 "Y" numbers on their records, Gary has confirmed that they are in the original books.

The real questions are...
Why did BSA manufacture new motorcycles in 1969/1970 and put 1967 serial numbers on them?
Why have the BSAOC UK, and numerous authors, avoided asking and answering that question?
It may have been completely above board, but the concerted effort to avoid the subject suggests otherwise.

I think we've shown in this thread that it is extremely unlikely (impossible really) that these 1969/1970 bikes are all refurbished 1967 models. Yet BSAOC UK still suggests that on their website, and have been selling owners certificates for years based on that premise! In the end, they may have some explaining to do.
We want the truth, d**n it! smile
Posted By: Two Alpha

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 11/19/11 4:33 pm

Here's two that are close, nearest I've found so far.

1967 A65LA 15826-Y




1970 A65LA 15824Y

Posted By: Gary E

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 11/19/11 5:42 pm

Originally Posted By: Kevin (NZ).
...Gary will tell us that no Hornet was ever refurbished like the story is trying to tell us happened to Rob's, Bruce's and John's bikes.


According to the production books no Hornet, Wasp, or Spitfire was refurbished for '69/'70. Some '67 Spitfires were refurbished for '68 (we call them the hybrids)

Originally Posted By: Kevin (NZ).
...I am now going off the phantom bike idea.


I'm glad. I never subscribed to that scenario.

Originally Posted By: Kevin (NZ).
From Gary's description of the despatch books it seems the Y bikes have entries within the covers themselves.


That is correct. The "Y" bikes are entered on the inside of the front cover of book #274 and inside of the front and back covers of book #275

Originally Posted By: Kevin (NZ).
The numbers are always identical to another contained within the book itself...


I have never presented that. The books are arranged by numerical order. So, the Y bike numbers in the inside front and rear covers COULD (likely) also be included (be the same) in the numerical numbers throughtout the books. BUT, whether those numbers on the pages of the books have any entries is suspect. They could be blank lines.

Until two bikes show up with the same numbers, I will not consider that theory.

Originally Posted By: Two Alpha
...Maybe Gary can fill us in on why the change to the Firebird name was made.


That I do not know. I only suspect it was a marketing decision.

Originally Posted By: Two Alpha
Here's two that are close, nearest I've found so far.
1967 A65LA 15826-Y

1970 A65LA 15824Y


The Y machine entries in the production books are random in number. There are some that are consecutive, but generally they are scattered throughtout the 10000, 11000, 12000, 17000's groups.
Posted By: Kevin (NZ).

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 11/19/11 8:56 pm

Allan I don't believe there was ever a recalled bike.
Rich B is in Ohio and said the '67 models were snapped up fast.
Gary however mention he knows of Hornets in Oregon that sat for a while. We could say the same with Morgan's Spitfire.

I would consider that a normal marketing and sales pattern though. Even in my time we saw leftover bikes in the showroom... they were then just moved to where the market was. (Downunder, we don't have any selling seasons here. I bought my Bonneville at the beginning of winter for example).

I think any wise man can see the engines were never refurbished.
Doing the frames would be a waste of time. BSA were never that stupid.

The 1968 models were coming onto the market, and possibly delayed by the shipping strikes. In reality they were similar bikes to the 67. OK a tls brake on the Twin Carb versions and a new tank.
Some small details like revised transmission dipstick and 6CA points.

If the '68 bikes were missing the target (Dock strikes) then it was not a real issue as there would have been surplus '67's that could have filled the gap.

We have the Hybrid Spitfires for example.

The Dock strike story actually works against the bikes being returned. The docks were closed Sept to Nov 1967 with the backlog going into 1968 calendar year. Imports would have been affected so why would you try and send a brand new motorcycle back to England?

The only connection between the 1967 Dash Y bikes and the Y bikes of 69/70 is the Serial Number style.

We know the Y bikes have '67 style numbers.
We know that the despatch dates are recorded in the 1967 books.

Many of us can tell you that the 1969/70 Y models were made 1969.. or 1970.
They are a later model in every respect.

We have shipping dates that confirm the bikes were exported in 1969 and 1970.

The only problem we have, and only one issue..
People still think that the bikes are somehow linked to 1967 models.


How has this come to be ?

Because the BSAOC website, Bacons books, and the other publications have charts telling them so.

That is all it is.
All this drama and grief because we have urban myth and some generalisations on the charts.

If you look for the dockstrike, refurbished bikes, extended warranty etc story then chances are you will find it in only one place.

The BSAOC website.

The worst thing about that is many of us are members of that club... we are the ones that indirectly are responsible for the mess.

We are duty bound to rectify it... we owe that to BSA motorcycles,- and history.

How many times has this been regurgitated ?

We could correct this within months.
Revise the listings and modify the web sites.
Within a few years it would be job done.
Posted By: Kevin (NZ).

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 11/19/11 9:17 pm

Originally posted by Gary.
Quote:
Originally Posted By: Kevin (NZ).
The numbers are always identical to another contained within the book itself...



I have never presented that. The books are arranged by numerical order. So, the Y bike numbers in the inside front and rear covers COULD (likely) also be included (be the same) in the numerical numbers throughtout the books. BUT, whether those numbers on the pages of the books have any entries is suspect. They could be blank lines.

Until two bikes show up with the same numbers, I will not consider that theory.


Thanks Gary. I did not intend to mislead but I was running through an option.

I think I was basing that on the Dating Certificates. For the story to hold water then the bike must have the two dates, - it seems to be the case with the Lightnings and Thunderbolts.

I have only ever seen a handful of dating certificates. Less than 10 for sure.

The Dating Officer could easily flick through those they are holding and see the trend.

How does their story hold up with the Hornets ?

That is your area and you have researched it.

You said this;
Quote:
According to the production books no Hornet, Wasp, or Spitfire was refurbished for '69/'70.


That makes sense. I have mentioned how it would be impossible to refurbish one...
None of us here have ever seen evidence of one existing.

So where does that leave the BSAOC version of the story...
The whole Y stamping thing is all based on that.

YET NONE WERE EVER DONE...


Quote:
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.


Can anyone here really understand any of that ??



I think we all agree that your efforts last weekend may have solved the Dash Y puzzle.
BSA wrote on 12th October 1966 that the Y suffix advised of the fitting of the newer style 3 pipe oil manifold.

Simple, clear, easy... and in print.
(this would be the Dash Y, depicting an addition).

The Y coding was inflicted upon us some time later.
Why, - we don't know yet.
We are however inching closer to it.. I am sure.

Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall! ” ...
Posted By: Kevin (NZ).

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 11/19/11 9:52 pm


Two Alpha said.

Quote:
The real questions are...
Why did BSA manufacture new motorcycles in 1969/1970 and put 1967 serial numbers on them?
Why have the BSAOC UK, and numerous authors, avoided asking and answering that question?
It may have been completely above board, but the concerted effort to avoid the subject suggests otherwise.

I think we've shown in this thread that it is extremely unlikely (impossible really) that these 1969/1970 bikes are all refurbished 1967 models. Yet BSAOC UK still suggests that on their website, and have been selling owners certificates for years based on that premise! In the end, they may have some explaining to do.
We want the truth, d**n it!



+ 1

clap beerchug
Posted By: Kevin (NZ).

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 11/19/11 10:03 pm

Quote:
In which ever case, I think the biggest question is WHY it was done, to know this we need to speak to the man who did the stamping


Go for it Allan.

He is just over the hill from you.

BSA factory workers

Someone there needs to do something before it is too late.

I was saying that in 2004 and the guys in the UK did nothing.
Posted By: Kevin (NZ).

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 11/20/11 3:00 am

We have had a few photos posted here that I believe are very telling.

The two frames for example. It shows the completeness and attention to detail of Bruce's 1969 A65LA77xxY frame compared to the 1969 A65T DC21253 frame.

They are identical. All the features I addressed earlier are there for all to see.

Now the engines, if we look at it as an auditor we would see the same numbers. Sure they are seperated by two digits but that only means that one bike was built between them.
So the two engines would be like twins, coming off the production line just minutes apart.

Anyway, we as BSA experts, wink know that they may be similar but not in every instance. We probably know the reasons why also, - there were no fixed change points as such on the production line. It depended very much on the castings that were chosen to build that particular engine.

We now look at the engines again. Gary has seen the books, he knows production is all over the shop.

The rest of us must be seeing two engines completely different but with almost matching numbers.
Who wouldn't go 'Wassup widdat... Lannis ?'

I am saying that we can see the later Y frames appear identical to 1969/70 frames.
We can see the engines are identical to 1969/70 engines, and nothing like a 1967 engine.
We can see that the numbers appear to a layman to be very, very similar.
How could you possibly not be saying 'what gives ?'.

I KNOW I AM ASKING

Joe Heaton Thesis on BSA Motorcycles.

Shooting Star, - The Rise and Fall of the British Motorcycle industry.










Posted By: Two Alpha

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 11/20/11 7:29 am

Great links Kevin. In my opinion, the Steve Koerner thesis, the Joe Heaton thesis, and Bert Hopwoods "Whatever Happened to the British Motorcycle Industry?" are the cream of the crop for reading material about the Brit bikes we love.
"Shooting Star" is a new arrival (2009), and it's pretty good, just gave it another speed read yesterday actually.
Hope to come across a copy of "Giants of Small Heath", it's scarce and usually expensive, but apparently essential as well.
Posted By: Shane in Oz

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 11/20/11 8:06 am

"GIants of Small Heath" is a very good general history of BSA. I bought my copy when it was first available in Australia.
"Whatever Happened" is also very good, but is coloured by Bert Hopwood having been an engineer & manager in the industry.

Joe Heaton's thesis is quite good, but it tends to use second hand sources (such as Ryerson's and Hopwood's books). It's a shame the appendices aren't available for download. I'm pretty sure Heaton got his 1967 information from Hopwood's book rather than being an independent verification.

Going even further off topic, Joe Heaton was part of the same overall English industrial scene as Hopwood (although from a different area), so I think he completely missed some quite significant problems with BSA. I won't hijack this thread for that particular rant, though.
Posted By: Two Alpha

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 11/20/11 8:55 am

Originally Posted By: Gary E

Originally Posted By: Kevin (NZ).
...I am now going off the phantom bike idea.

I'm glad. I never subscribed to that scenario.

Originally Posted By: Kevin (NZ).
From Gary's description of the despatch books it seems the Y bikes have entries within the covers themselves.

That is correct. The "Y" bikes are entered on the inside of the front cover of book #274 and inside of the front and back covers of book #275

Originally Posted By: Kevin (NZ).
The numbers are always identical to another contained within the book itself...

I have never presented that. The books are arranged by numerical order. So, the Y bike numbers in the inside front and rear covers COULD (likely) also be included (be the same) in the numerical numbers throughout the books. BUT, whether those numbers on the pages of the books have any entries is suspect. They could be blank lines.

Until two bikes show up with the same numbers, I will not consider that theory.



Unfortunately, we are theory rich and facts poor for the most part. You (Gary) did put a few theories to rest with the info about the oil manifold being the primary reason for the "-Y".
It sure felt like a big step forward had been made when you posted that!

In regards to whether or not there are duplicate numbers in the books for 1967 "-Y" bikes and 1969/1970 "Y" bikes, you've actually seen those particular books and didn't notice any specific cases of a particular 1967 "-Y" serial number being repeated as a 1969/1970 "Y" number. That probably wasn't one of the things you intended to look for when you had access though.

One of the only other sources of evidence we would have for this number duplication would be the BSAOC UK dating certificates for the 1969/1970 "Y" bikes. I think I only have an image of one such certificate, and that would be Bruce's (thanks!).



Taking a close look at what the certificate says,
"It was originally due to be despatched to BSA Incorporated, New Jersey, USA on the 10th November 1966. It was refurbished at the factory and re-despatched to BSA East, New Jersey USA on the 18th August 1969."

How did they arrive at this statement?
Without knowing exactly what extra information is in the books, I'm fairly sure that those two dates were there, that serial number A65LA 77** Y was there, and that either serial number A65LA 77**, or serial number A65LA 77**-Y was there.
There had to be an identical number, give or take a "-Y" that was attached to that 10th November 1966 date. That date wouldn't be on the certificate if the serial numbers weren't essentially the same! One digit off wouldn't have made the grade.

Obviously we know that "refurbished" and "re-dispatched" are extremely doubtful, but that is what the folks at BSAOC have been led to believe so they pass it on to us.

Also note that it says "originally due to be despatched", that could very well mean that the 1967 bike was never despatched. Perhaps it never existed, except on paper. That could be possible when you consider the unexplained use of 1967 serial numbers on 1969/1970 motorcycles. The later bikes may have been numbered that way to make things right.

So, what other certificates do we have available for the 1969/1970 "Y" bikes? Are they all worded in a similar manner as this one?
Posted By: Lew Graham

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 11/20/11 9:25 am

Say I was a motorcycle manufacturer and I claimed to have made a certain number of motorcycles and exported them to USA, but I didn't actually make and export as many as I had claimed to. Then someone started asking questions a year or so later. I guess I would then be tempted to start building and exporting them now, and producing records accordingly. If I later had to produce some documentation to satisfy the present owners of the bikes I would probably write something like:

"It was originally due to be despatched to xxxxx, USA on the 10th November 1966. It was refurbished at the factory and re-despatched to yyyyyy, USA on the 18th August 1969."
Posted By: Two Alpha

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 11/20/11 2:16 pm

Originally Posted By: Shane in Oz


Joe Heaton's thesis is quite good, but it tends to use second hand sources (such as Ryerson's and Hopwood's books). It's a shame the appendices aren't available for download. I'm pretty sure Heaton got his 1967 information from Hopwood's book rather than being an independent verification.

Going even further off topic, Joe Heaton was part of the same overall English industrial scene as Hopwood (although from a different area), so I think he completely missed some quite significant problems with BSA. I won't hijack this thread for that particular rant, though.


Totally agree Shane, those appendices would be gold.
Heaton's difficulty in coming up with first hand sources is understandable, his thesis was completed in 2007 and most of the main characters were gone by then. At least with Hopwood, nobody's been able to say that he didn't have his facts straight.

I know you're a knowledgeable guy about a lot of this stuff so I'll be looking forward to your rant about what Heaton missed. beerchug
Posted By: Atlanta Bonnie

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 11/20/11 2:29 pm

Edited message stream with BSAOC on the 2009 certificate shown above. I posted some of this prior. This is 2.5 yr old info and might be out of date now.... start at bottom:
---------------------------------------------------
• RE: Vin # A65LA77xxY
From: stephen foden (bsaoc_librarian@live.co.uk)
Sent: Thu 3/05/09 2:47 PM

Hi Bruce
I do about 40 letters a week on BSA's for the Club, the dating certificates are the easy part the retentions of origianal registrations can take up to 3 hours each and to date i have done 1500 of them. This I do in my own time as i have a full time job. Therefore i prefer to use what time i have left restoring and riding my BSA's rather than entering into the arguments on the sites. I willing give my time to the BSA Club for free. I sometimes do articles for the Star mag as well and I always research these before putting pen to paper.
By all means put it onto the forum. if you please.
Thanks Steve

________________________________________

From: bawherry@hotmail.com
Date: Wed, 4 Mar 2009 20:36:01 -0500

Steve,

I've read about Umberslade Hall......and it's impact. Poor use of cash flow.

Don't know if you follow BB.com, but it has a pretty big audience on classic Brit biking. When I get my certificate, I'm going to update the following link, and thinking about bringing up the Y topic again, probably in a new thread. Do you post on BB.com? Think you would have a lot to add on this Y subject. If you don't want to post, could I post your relevant comments on this?? After all, no one is closer to this than you. As you actually conversed with Al Cave, you could add your inputs surrounding the dock story, export credit impact on business, if bikes ever physically existed, etc.......as there are lots of rumors out there. Just a thought.

http://www.britbike.com/forums/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=236313#Post236313


Regards,
Bruce

________________________________________

From: bsaoc_librarian@live.co.uk
Date: Wed, 4 Mar 2009 20:33:02 +0000

Hi Bruce,

I had the good fortune of knowing Alistair Cave very well and I still miss his phone calls asking about this and that. Part of these discussions were about this issue. The 100,000 series machines were primarily for home and general export. The thing you have to realise is the factory were producing machines in advance of the orders therefore in the late 60's they would arrange the line for the next years production generally after the factory closedown where any heavy machines were moved start with the west coast and then the east coast machines then they would produce fror the home and general export. Slotted in were the special orders for army, and police models as they paid quickly. They did not have any income coming in for approximately 6 months of the production year. Therefore the export credits were vital to the survival during this period as well as the overdraft at the bank. It was this osver reliance on the american market as well as the disastrous 1971 models launch which finally caused the crash. Alistair told me that the oil in frame models were launched and he had to make over 100 corrections before he could put them on the line. Even the basic of how do you get the braze residue for out of the oil bearing part of the frame was not even considered. It was a nightmare scenario as the designers were isolated from the people who had to produce them.

The despatch books (approx 500) have just been digitised but my priority is to have the 1950's bikes transcribed as they are listed by engines therefore it takes for ever to find a frame as it could be in one of several books and could be in rigid or sprung frame or swinging arm series which did not come down in any logical order. At least the unit A series are listed by frame and the late ones the engine matches the frame number. (mostly). I have been studying these books from when I had them microfilmed for the Science Museum in 1991 and they still throw up mysteries and in some appalling unfathomable handwriting.
Steve

________________________________________

From: bawherry@hotmail.com
Date: Tue, 3 Mar 2009 18:59:25 -0500

Steve,

Your explanation points to accounting/finance tricks to keep from taking a financial hit. Here are some links to this very topic on BB.com. Amazing how much interest it creates.

http://www.britbike.com/forums/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=38314&Searchpage=1&Main=5063&Words=%2Bservice+%2Bbulletin+&Search=true#Post38314

http://www.britbike.com/forums/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=8528&Searchpage=1&Main=1286&Words=%2Bservice+%2Bbulletin+&Search=true#Post8528

Thanks,
Bruce

________________________________________

From: bsaoc_librarian@live.co.uk
Date: Tue, 3 Mar 2009 21:16:17 +0000

Hi Bruce,

Ammended dating certificated posted tomorrow.

These were machines which were sent out from the factory in 1966/67 but due to a strike at the electrical component manufacturer they were incomplete and so to get the export credits which gave them finance BSA 'exported' them, usually to containers in the docks. By the time the strike was over the american market had been missed and at this time 80% of production was sold in America. Usually the bulk of American sales took place in February/April West coast and March/June east coast. Therefore they had a lot of unsold units. The 1968 season machines were being produced starting after the July/August closedown using the export credit finance. The machines were then refurbished to 1969/70 specification and sold. The Y denotes the change in warranty in America by indicating that the machine is a '1970' model and so eligible for the 180days/6,000 miles warranty as against the 1969 90 days /4000 miles warranty. This is taken from the BSA service bulletin 5-70.

Steve

________________________________________

From: bawherry@hotmail.com
Date: Mon, 2 Mar 2009 18:32:29 -0500

Steve,

Curious if the club knows anything more about these "Y" bikes?
These 69-70 "Y" bikes all seem to be 100% 1969/1970 model year in all physical respects. Even my engine has the raised vin pad with BSA logos embossed where the vin # is stamped, so it can't be the 67 engine crankcases which did not have that feature. I'm thinking these bikes actually couldn't be refurbished 67 ones, but actual 69/70 models. These "Y" bikes have had a number of threads related to this topic posted on BB.com, and photos all showed a raised vin pad. Lot's of theories on this subject...... but more than likely, what really happened lost to history and time. Also, besides the 69/70 models with "Y" vins, there appears to be 67 models with "-Y" suffixes.

Thanks for the dates. It's good to know they live in the old ledgers!

Regards
Bruce

________________________________________

From: bsaoc_librarian@live.co.uk
Date: Mon, 2 Mar 2009 21:00:54 +0000

Hi Bruce,
Please find attached a copy of the dating certificate.

Hard copy in the post
Steve

________________________________________

From: bawherry@hotmail.com
To: stephen.foden@tesco.net; bsaoc_librarian@live.co.uk
Subject: Vin # A65LA77xxY
Date: Mon, 16 Feb 2009 18:23:22 -0500

Steve,

I would like to apply for a dating certificate for my 1969 BSA Lightning, vin # A65LA77xxY. On the surface, “A65LA” indicates a 1967 model, but my understanding is the “Y” suffix was used on bikes issued in 1969-1970 with 1967 serial numbers that were not actually issued in 1967….however confusing that may be. Everything on the bike is pure 1969.
Please find attached photos of the vin #s and a picture of the bike after I completed her restoration last fall.

Regards,
Bruce
Posted By: Two Alpha

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 11/20/11 5:44 pm

Great post Bruce. Many thanks to you, and Stephen, for providing this.

While Stephen stuck to the official BSAOC UK story, and the memory of his good friend Alistair Cave, he does provide a few hints.

"They did not have any income coming in for approximately 6 months of the production year. Therefore the export credits were vital to the survival during this period as well as the overdraft at the bank."

"These were machines which were sent out from the factory in 1966/67 but due to a strike at the electrical component manufacturer they were incomplete and so to get the export credits which gave them finance BSA 'exported' them, usually to containers in the docks. By the time the strike was over the american market had been missed"

I need to do a little thinking on this, something is a bit puzzling with the dates. I'm kinda wondering why they didn't use 1968 style serial numbers on the 1969/1970 "Y" bikes.
Posted By: Kevin (NZ).

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 11/20/11 9:03 pm

Quote:
All these y bikes had a different warranty period,


Holy Allan, where did this gem come from ?


BSA/Triumph group changed the warranty from 90 days to 180 days effective 1 March 1970. It was advised in SB (Gen) 2-70.

Are you thinking of that ?

That was for all motorcycles made as 1970 models sold in the States after that date... T100, T120, A65, B44, A75.. the works.

That was nothing to do with the Y bikes, apart from the fact that some were now outed as 1970 models and were still unsold as of that date. (Some were still being made). All 1970, 71 and 72 bikes got the 180 day warranty.
Posted By: Kevin (NZ).

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 11/20/11 10:31 pm

Thanks Bruce for providing the email history there.

I got the impression Steve is starting to take this a little personally, as I am sure anyone would. He has a full time job, a life, a motorcycle hobby, and he is a committee member and librarian.

Now he is saying he is doing 40 Dating Certificates a week, maybe I misread that.

Brian Pollitt was in the job previously and his situation would have been exactly the same.

I don't even know if Brian or Steve own A65 bikes. Maybe they don't.

We have been debating this for 10 years now and the BSAOC UK were aware of the confusion almost from day one.
For all we know others may have brought it up even earlier.

I don't see this can be sorted out by a librarian just because he has access to the records.

The wider committee should have been involved, they had access to a type specialist who would have had the knowledge and ability to work this through.

I can remember the confusion we had here with Bonzo, Ignoramus, JD, I think, and others before we realised that we were talking cross-purposes.

We did not even know at that time that we had the two groups of Y bikes. Some were talking Dash Y and some Y, I knew nothing about the '70 bikes at that time.

With one of the latest threads we have running here we have stumbled upon a batch of Spitfires, - we have been referring to them as Hybrid bikes.

They don't fit the pattern of either group so we may now have a third grouping of Y bikes. The A65SA17xxxY Spitfires.

They have all the appearances of a MkIV bike but the engine is numbered with the 1967 style yet again.
The engines have a couple of cast in features, both crank case halves have 1968 manufacturing details. The cast alternator support housing and the transmission fill hole is solid. The inner timing cover is different to accommodate this.

If the BSAOC story is based on anything then it may well be this group of bikes. We, as a group here, only started talking about them a few months ago.


I received some correspondence from the BSAOC about 2 weeks ago. I actually had sent an email to every committee member's email address (that I could find) in late July.

The committee must know about this, you can't hide away for 10 years surely. They have a volunteer who appears to be loaded with enough to do as it is and yet he is delegated to reply to my query.

The same chap seems to be regarded as a cash cow that can boost the clubs coffers.

The VMCC do Dating Certificates I believe. They charge a similar amount and have a full time staff member it seems.

http://www.b50.org/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?f=11&t=2237

http://www.vmcc.net/lib_sos_form.pdf


If the BSAOC are saying they are too busy to correct their site. (Well I think they would if they replied to correspondence.)

If they are too busy to actually research what goes on the Certificate... and are content with the dubious accuracy.

Perhaps everyone should reconsider the situation.
Perhaps it is unfair on a few in the club to carry the burden.
Transferring all Dating applications over to the VMCC may be the way to go.

This A65 situation is easily fixed.

The subject only affects the model years 1966 to 1970.
I know we might be seen as 'BSA Police' or 'rivet counters' or whatever else. If the prime publications are not accurate then how do owners, buyers and sellers stand a chance.

I am not saying everyone should have a period perfect bike.
We just need products to be presented accurately.
It seems not a week goes by that we have someone trying to sell a product and he quickly gets 'corrected' by someone that has done a Google. Invariably they quote the BSAOC website and it turns to custard.

Rob went to all the expense of importing a 1967 Royal Star in from the states a few years ago. Just a few weeks ago he discovered it is actually a 1969 model.

Steve at Troy Engineering is trying to sell a 1970 engine. Half the world is telling him it is a 1967. He has been flip-flopping changing the ad description.

We saw another bike sell for $2000. The seller took a hit on A65LA11798Y. A 1970 bike that again attracted all the Googlers said was a 1967. That may have cost him about $1000.

Bob Down has one, a magazine article about how his 1970 bike is now a 1967.
Don Bachtel has owned a Y bike since 1983. He knows his is a 1970 Y.
Bonzo parted a Y bike out because he could not get 1967 parts to fit.

Bruce, John, Ignoramus, I think JD, and many others here own Y bikes.

As for the 1967 Dash Y bikes, I have two, Shane has one or two.
Gary has at least two.

Thousands of others around the world also, and we have to put up with all this nonsense whenever someone spots the Y suffix.


The BSAOC is saying they are too busy to correct the website.

Good grief.


I did another search and came up with this.


This is a good one. Nice and easy and I am sure very accurate.
I did note the irony of the despatch being so close to the shipping strike dates of May 1966. I see know that the strike extended longer than I noted the other day.

Quote:
On 16 May 1966, the NUS launched its first national strike since 1911. ...

.....

...On 23 May, a week after the outbreak of the strike, the Government declared a state of emergency, although emergency powers were not used. The strike finally came to an end on 1 July 1966.


Now regarding the duplicated numbers;

If the owners of the Dash Y bikes are indeed getting two dates on their certificates then we should be wondering. It would be a very good lead perhaps indicating the same number could have been used twice.

I have not seen a certificate for a Dash Y lightning or Thunderbolt yet.


Posted By: Two Alpha

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 11/21/11 1:00 am

Stephen Koerner 1995 Thesis - The British Motor Cycle Industry 1935-1975

Dial-up warning, it's a 28.6 MB PDF document.

page 352 - "In 1966 Chairman Eric Turner claimed that motor cycle output was up by 50 per cent on the previous year and that 75 per cent of output was going abroad. Indeed, the level of exports was now so high that BSA/Triumph won the Queen's Award for Industry in both 1966 and 1967. Profits were up as well, to a healthy £3.6 million in 1966. In 1967 Turner remained breezily optimistic, despite the fact that profits had slipped back to £3.2 million"


page 358 - "During 1969"..."One press report described the factory as "cluttered with machines unfinished for lack of one or more components - perhaps even the final stick-on transfer."

It sounds like this was situation normal at Small Heath from 1967 on, always waiting for parts from outside sources.
Posted By: Kevin (NZ).

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 11/21/11 2:01 am

Yes Allan, I think it is the website that needs to be looked at.

I appreciate it maybe a voluntary effort and the guys are again only making time when and where they can.

If the VMCC are operating as a business then I think that is great. I can see that there is a fair amount that has to go into answering some of these queries and researching the info for a Dating Certificate.
I would certainly never be interested in doing it.

I think that the method the BSAOC is using maybe questionable. It seems unfair to have one Committee member doing the research and then having to produce and mail the certificate.

He has to cover a wide range of bikes and over a long production period. Let us not forget that some of these machines are nothing like they were when manufactured.
Mis-matched engine/frame combos aside there are all manners of bike cobbled together that may require a dating certificate for registration purposes.

I thought Bruce's request was very reasonable. He gave all the details and then a description of what he thought.

We are talking legal documents, akin to a birth certificate... well in a manner.
Perhaps the application should be treated along similar lines.

I think the bike photos and narrative should have to be reviewed by a couple of guys who are familiar with the model. If the book dates were forwarded to them they could satisfied themselves of the wording.
The Dating Officer could produce and certify the certificate.

Most of that is a few seconds work with email attachments and the like. We have all seen first hand how it has assisted us here.

I have only seen a few certificates, all had mistakes in my mind.
Morgan's was the best but it had the engine number suffix lacking the Dash. I am sure it would have been on the application as a Dash Y engine.

The worst I have seen was an obviously 1970 bike dated as a 1965.

Then there is the chap with the early closed loop bike which had previously been dated as a 1968. Even from his description it sounded like a 1963-64 era machine.

Against that we have Rupert in Australia that is convinced he owns a 1972 Spitfire road racer and he is even quoting some BSA owners' club.

I have worked in the UK a lot. Military, General Aviation and airline. Yes, things are done a little differently. I won't say there is an apathy but there is certainly some inertia to overcome.

Many of the readers here will be on BSA Committees, there are branches all over the world. We will have members from similar clubs, and not just single marque ones at that. They have all willingly offered time and effort to their hobbies and interests.

Here we have one website, the BSAOC UK which is purporting to be the the prime club supporting our marque.

It is certainly easy to find on the internet, and the new website looks very good. The layout although not finished is easy to navigate about and appears user friendly.

All that is devalued when we can see several errors in the info and then the intransigence associated with it.

I am sure none of the guys writing here are getting paid for our time but I would like to see a positive result for our efforts.



I did another search and came up with this.


This is a good one. Nice and easy and I am sure very accurate.
I did note the irony of the despatch being so close to the shipping strike dates of May 1966. I see now that the strike extended longer than I noted the other day.

Quote:
On 16 May 1966, the NUS launched its first national strike since 1911. ...

.....

...On 23 May, a week after the outbreak of the strike, the Government declared a state of emergency, although emergency powers were not used. The strike finally came to an end on 1 July 1966.


Now regarding the duplicated numbers;

If the owners of the Dash Y bikes are indeed getting two dates on their certificates then we should be wondering. It would be a very good lead perhaps indicating the same number could have been used twice.

I have not seen a certificate for a Dash Y Lightning or Thunderbolt yet.






Posted By: Two Alpha

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 11/21/11 6:42 am

I must say that the Unit A-Series portion of the Engine and Frame Listing on the BSAOC UK website, Stephen Foden's email conversation with Bruce, and other bits of correspondence that I've seen from Stephen Foden put my head in a bit of a spin.

Somewhere along the line, the real experiences of Alistair Cave at BSA have morphed into what we see written in the above locations. Some statements are dubious enough that they cast doubt on those that may be correct.
It's a shame that website page wasn't repaired a long time ago but let's do our best to make sure it soon is.

As far as the "-Y" and "Y" go, I believe we have that pretty well sorted now.

1967 "-Y" on engine, not on frame, indicates an upgrade to a three port oil manifold part way through the year.

1967 Spitfire "Y" on engine, not on frame, indicates an upgrade to new version engine cases near the end of the year. Basically, full Mark IV upgrade with 1967 serial number.

1969/1970 "Y" on engine and frame, indicates that these bikes are fully 1969/1970 models, only the serial number is 1967. They were eligible for full warranty as a new 1969 or 1970 model.

The explanation for the use of 1967 style serial numbers on the 1969/1970 "Y" models must involve the Export Credits, or perhaps Export Tax incentives, from 1967. BSA were probably correcting an accounting issue when they went this route. smile


Posted By: Kevin (NZ).

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 11/21/11 6:56 am

Quote:
1969/1970 "Y" on engine and frame, indicates that these bikes are eligible for full warranty as a 1970 model, dependent on date of purchase.


I strongly disagree with this part.

All Triumph and BSA motorcycles produced as 1970 models and sold retail in the USA after March 1st 1970 were eligible for the 180 day warranty.

We know of a Y model bike exported in April 1969. It was stamped with a Y almost a year before the increase warranty plan was hatched.

The Y bikes were included in the Service Bulletin as the dealers were only just receiving them brand new from the factory.

Gary said the bulk were despatched in Jan, April and May of 1970.
A few of the bikes will have been sold before 1st March possibly. They were not eligible... so the Y does not guarantee eligibility.
Similarly many of the other 1970 bikes (B44, A65 etc) would have been sold prior to that date so they were ineligible also.
I cannot see any link between the suffix and the new extended warranty.
I am sure we can find a date for the announcement of the new warranty. I believe it will be very early 1970, Jan/Feb.


Incidentally, the middle group.. the Spitfires with the engine cases also have the full MkIV styling,- later front end, rear shocks, taillight etc. To all intents and purposes they are MkIV bikes but again they have the 1967 numbers.
Posted By: Two Alpha

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 11/21/11 7:06 am

Hey Kevin, that's why I put the "dependent on date of purchase" bit in there.

The full warranty length is determined by the date of purchase, prior to March 1st, 1970 is 90 days, post March 1st, 1970 is 180 days.

Another way to put it would be...

Purchased before March 1st, 1970, your full warranty is 90 days.
Purchased after March 1st, 1970, your full warranty is 180 days.

Hopefully you strongly agree now. smile
Posted By: Kevin (NZ).

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 11/21/11 7:19 am

Hmmm, I cannot see the Y bikes being related to the warranty. The bikes had been getting stamped with the suffix for about 8 months before Peter Thornton made the Warranty announcement.


Quote:
Peter Thornton, CEO US BSA/Triumph Operations Aug 1969- until terminated May, 1971

And Rob says this about his A50..
Quote:
and refurbished being redespatched to New Jersey in June 1969


It was definitely stamped with the suffix before the announcement was even dreamt up.

All BSA and Triumph bikes would have been in the same situation.
Where are the Y Triumphs, or the Y unit singles for that matter. ?

I see it akin to the electrical theory for the Dash Y bikes we have lived with for 9 years. Who is mentioning that now ?
Posted By: Two Alpha

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 11/21/11 7:43 am

I think you are locked on to the new 180 day warranty introduced in 1970 for some reason. BSA bikes would have all had full factory warranties, from the date of purchase, for many years prior to 1970.

Other than the "Y", those serial numbers scream 1967. They had to put some identifier on them to indicate that they were eligible for a full current warranty when they were sold in 1969 or 1970. I think that's the reason for the "Y", otherwise they would only be eligible for whatever warranty you would get with a refurbished 1967 model.

They obviously wanted 1967 serial numbers on those bikes but had to find a way to minimize potential problems for new owners who may need repairs under warranty.
Posted By: Two Alpha

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 11/21/11 7:53 am

Originally Posted By: Kevin (NZ).



All BSA and Triumph bikes would have been in the same situation.
Where are the Y Triumphs, or the Y unit singles for that matter. ?



As far as I know, Triumph never put 1967 serial numbers on any of their 1969/1970 motorcycles.

BSA didn't put 1967 serial numbers on their 1969/1970 singles or triples. Their serial numbers accurately reflected their date of manufacture.

They didn't need a "Y" to signify that they were something other than what their serial number indicated.
Posted By: Kevin (NZ).

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 11/21/11 8:00 am

I still disagree.

The warranty card is written out when the bike is sold from the showroom floor. All new bikes would have received the 90 Day warranty.
The first SB, 2-70 makes the announcement to the US dealers about the new 180 day warranty. That would have been about Feb 1970.
I don't have a copy with me but I know Lew does. He will confirm if it mentions the Y bikes. I am sure it does not.

The subsequent bulletin had to be issued in May to tell the dealers that the 'funny' ones were to be covered.
That is the only time I have seen the Y bikes mentioned in any BSA publication. SB 5-70.


Yes, I am dead against the mention of the warranty. I own and ride one of the Dash Y bikes. I am sick of people trying to tell me it was sold new in 1970 and had the extended warranty.

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.


My Thunderbolt was sold in 1967, over two years before the extended warranty existed.
Posted By: Steve Erickson

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 11/21/11 8:06 am

Regarding BSA unit singles with the Y stamp, they do exist. In fact, I posted a link to an ebay 441 offering with pictures a while back on this, or one of the other related Y threads you guys have going on. As I recall, the only ones I have seen have been 68 models.

I wonder if this issue may have anything to do with the 67 Triumph TT Specials in 65 frames? Far fetched, probably...
Posted By: Two Alpha

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 11/21/11 8:09 am

I'll bet it had a warranty in 1967.
Posted By: Kevin (NZ).

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 11/21/11 8:38 am

Sorry Steve, I did see mention of the Y stamped B44 but neglected to follow it up.

I see it on Ebay now.

Ebay B44 engine with Y after number

I know you have been around singles for a long time. That style of stamp is strange to me.
What do you make of the stamps, and the Y ?

Thanks for the input.

Oh and TA;
I am sure my Thunderbolt did have a warranty... but it would not have needed it naturally. smirk

Just as well as it would have been expired about 600 days when the new warranties were announced.

The entire premise of the BSAOC story about the Y bikes hinges on this extended warranty claim.
We can see Y bikes were being shipped at least 2 months before the chap who devised the scheme even joined BSA.
Peter Thornton -- an MIT graduate ad man who knew nothing about motorcycles or the industry.
(Thornton was an advertising consultant with InterPublic, the largest advertising agency at the time)
Posted By: Mark Parker

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 11/21/11 11:24 am

My theory why the Y on the '69-70 bikes with '67 numbers, put a Y without the dash so we can differentiate between these and the real 1967 bikes. Then when the extended warranty came, the '70 bikes with the '67 numbers already have a Y so you dealers know they are '70 bikes, and if sold after the date are also covered by the extended warranty. Not stamped with Y for warranty stamped Y to indicate 69-70 model with '67 numbers. Doesn't that fit? We already know the -Y on the true earlier models is for the oil manifold don't we?
I just think the A65s are so cool, its a pity the factory didn't develope them more and go one size bigger with em, a 500, 650, 750, and 900 just altering bore and stroke.
Posted By: Two Alpha

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 11/21/11 2:34 pm

Substantially right Mark, thought I had the bulk of what you're saying covered with my original wording.

Originally Posted By: Two Alpha


1969/1970 "Y" on engine and frame, indicates that these bikes are eligible for full warranty as a 1970 model, dependent on date of purchase. (These are fully 1969/1970 models, only the serial number is 1967)



There's nothing about an extended warranty in there.

Without the "Y" identifier, just based on the serial number, these bikes would have looked like they were only eligible for a refurbished 1967 warranty, whatever that covered.

While the correct warranty must have been an important part of it at the time, beyond the warranty period the "Y" identifier would/should have been important for parts/spares suppliers.

However, back in the UK, BSA official policy seems to have been that these were just refurbished 1967 bikes. They've all been re-exported, nothing to see here, move along.




Posted By: Steve Erickson

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 11/21/11 3:53 pm

Kevin, on that 441 stamp... the main body of the stamping looks OK to me, but the Y is definitely an afterthought, done with a different stamp set.

A FWIW tale... years ago, when I picked up a Y stamped VS, I asked an old-timer in the San Francisco area (who was pretty savvy on BSA lore) about the Y. He told me that stamp was done at the (Hap Alzina's?) distribution warehouse. As I remember, that 441 had the Y stamp placed in the same fashion as this ebay engine, below the main body.
Posted By: Two Alpha

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 11/21/11 4:25 pm

Originally Posted By: Kevin (NZ).

I have not seen a certificate for a Dash Y lightning or Thunderbolt yet.


While he didn't post a picture of his certificate, this fellow apparently has one (A65TA 1**58-Y) and has provided us with a few details.

MalSealy

"Dating info from the BSA owners club show it was manufactured in January 1967. However it was not dispatched until June 1968 when it went to Gaffali in Saudi Arabia."
Posted By: Kevin (NZ).

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 11/21/11 7:17 pm

Thanks TA for the link.

I was backpacking up in Asia for much of 2009 and had limited access. I can see I did leave a question unanswered there.

Regarding the MalSealy bike it is interesting that he was given two dates.

I would think Jan 1967 is fine as that would tally with the castings and stampings.
He did say that was a manufacturing date, the Dating Certificates haven't been saying exactly that but allude to it.
The second date is too early (I think) to be that of a second bike sharing that same number.

In this case that machine may have been part of a second export.
I am not sure what to make of it really.

Any ideas ?



The Aprophet bike is a 1969/70 Y bike.
I will have to look into that a little further as I am unsure if I answered him. He may even own a 1969 model Y bike.
Posted By: Two Alpha

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 11/21/11 10:10 pm

I thought the MalSealy dates were very interesting, another little piece of the puzzle.

He doesn't mention refurbish, or re-despatch, which may be a bit of a blessing. It sure would be nice to have a picture of the certificate so we could see what the exact wording is.

Based on what he has mentioned the bike would seem to have been held over at the factory, apparently not in a container at the dock!

The build date of January 1967 should rule out having to wait that long for parts before they could ship. There must have been some other issue with this bike.

The shipping date of June 1968 also seems really late, even if there were parts issues. This was probably a Police or Military order of some sort (gray frame), they may have requested a particular delivery date (just a guess).

I believe Gary had mentioned previously that the SA Hybrids were shipped surprisingly late in 1968 as well, April through July.

Hopefully Aprophet still has that bike, as you say, it may even by a 1969 "Y".
Posted By: Two Alpha

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 11/21/11 10:52 pm

Originally Posted By: 1968BSA
Has anyone ever considered this

By 1970 BSA were having money troubles, they had already turned down the ohc changes because of costs

If they listed the bikes as warranty repaired bikes and showing 1967 numbers, they could claim against the tax, and sell them as a refurbished item with lower tax rate, if they were sold in the uk this would be traceable as would have to be sold as referbished, if exported to the usa, they could pull a crafty one and documents don't have to be released ( how do I know? I know companies what do the very thing)


My guess is that you are probably pretty close to the truth here. I would not want to suggest that what they did was illegal though, we have no way of knowing that. The purpose of the whole exercise (the 1969/1970 "Y" bikes) had to be to keep the Accountants/Lawyers/Export Credit Department happy.

Originally Posted By: 1968BSA


Another thing could be that the models although shipped few and far between, between 69 & 70 either pre stamped with the Y or stamped by the dealer upon sale of the bike. This would explain why BSAOC uk know nothing of this.


I am quite sure that the "Y" was stamped on at the factory, same time as the 1967 number. smile

BSAOC UK apparently knows what Alistair Cave told them regarding these bikes, something along the lines of ...

"Machines still in stock in the 1967 season (about 1000) were resold in the 1969 and 1970 season" (say what?),
"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." (This one could be made true with some very slight modifications)

Originally Posted By: 1968BSA


To summerise, BSA were in the sh*t and to aid sales extended the warranty and dodged the tax man by selling under the promise of them being referbished items ( which is why some of the certificates state 67 model then re-exported)


I would prefer to think they were correcting an issue to keep the Accountants/Lawyers/Export Credit Department etc. happy.

Is it possible they had a large number of engine blow-ups in the USA with the 1967 bikes when they were still under warranty?
Posted By: Two Alpha

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 11/22/11 1:58 am

Originally Posted By: 1968BSA

but, i wouldn't like to say "What they were doing was illegal" even though its now a deceased company, it would still be slanderous of me, and as you say possibly bikes which have at one point come back for warrantee work, possibly not cost effective to repair (for what ever reason) and numbers retained until a later date. The bikes would still leave the UK as repaired items, and the Y denoting modification work done (wink wink) and shipped out of the uk as 1967 bikes (on paper), with the US dealers knowing full well they were new bikes, possibly replacing stock from the original warranty repairs. (owners of faulty 67 bikes probably got upgrades to 68 bikes - i really am winging that)


If they had to replace an entire bike under warranty, all the way from the UK, the owner probably would have already received his replacement fairly quickly from the shop where he had purchased it. BSA would probably have sent a replacement to the USA distributor at a later date, perhaps even the start of the next season. No chance it would take two years though.
John Healy would be able to tell you the straight goods here, even if you asked him while he was sleeping!


Originally Posted By: 1968BSA
These Y bikes possibly went under closer scrutiny on rebuild and which was why BSA were happy to double the warranty period.


Not really much chance the "Y" bikes were rebuilds, or refurbished. They would have been built on the regular line along with all the other new bikes. Can't imagine BSA was too happy to double the warranty, even on brand new bikes, as they apparently were paying out a fairly high average per bike on the old warranty. Doubling the warranty period for refurbished bikes would have been ludicrous.

Originally Posted By: 1968BSA
That final conclusion comes from a friend who bought a brand new Triumph Bonnie in 67' during warranty it developed a fault, (cant remember what) but it went back to meridian, now he tells me it was worked on by the lads in the competition shop and went under examination to find what caused the problem, anyway it was fixed, but when he got it back, it was like a different bike, quicker, smoother.
Whether BSA had the same practice i don't know.

I've just been reading Hughie Hancox's book, he gives the impression that was the norm with the Triumph repair shop.
BSA was probably similar. The skills of the guys in the repair shop would be a cut above most of the guys on the production lines.

Say, you wouldn't happen to live anywhere near this place would you? smile
The Vintage Motor Cycle Club Limited
Allen House
Wetmore Road
Burton Upon Trent
Staffordshire DE14 1TR, UK
Posted By: Gary E

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 11/22/11 2:43 am

Originally Posted By: Kevin (NZ).
...If the owners of the Dash Y bikes are indeed getting two dates on their certificates then we should be wondering. It would be a very good lead perhaps indicating the same number could have been used twice.


The '67 dating certificates that I have received have only one date on them; the date of dispatch. They are bikes in the 9000 and 13000 numbered groups and are from Brian P.
Posted By: Kevin (NZ).

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 11/22/11 3:15 am

Thanks Gary, I realise I may not have worded that one well.

Quote:
Now regarding the duplicated numbers;

If the owners of the Dash Y bikes are indeed getting two dates on their certificates then we should be wondering. It would be a very good lead perhaps indicating the same number could have been used twice.

I have not seen a certificate for a Dash Y Lightning or Thunderbolt yet.


I am thinking you are referring to Spitfires and Hornets.
I think we would expect to see the one date, along the lines of Morgan's certificate.

In my line of thought, at the time, I was wondering if we had seen a Dash Y bike dated as being exported in 1967 and then again in 1970.
That seems to be the trend for the certificates we have seen for the Y bikes.
Now I am thinking A65L and A65T here but they are the bikes with the serial numbers most likely to have been duplicated.

I also had to reread the BSAOC version about the Dash Y bikes being marked with a cross at the beginning of the despatch books.

I believe they are saying the initial records in the books have been annotated with a cross at the beginning of the number for those bikes that were re-exported.
ie, an 'x' marked an entry that had been added to those S/N's transferred to the inside covers. The revised export date.

Hmm,
Or, possibly, where a second bike had been allocated that number...

I think it depends on whatever version of the story you may choose to believe.
Posted By: Gary E

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 11/22/11 11:30 am

Originally Posted By: Kevin (NZ).
..I also had to reread the BSAOC version about the Dash Y bikes being marked with a cross at the beginning of the despatch books.

I believe they are saying the initial records in the books have been annotated with a cross at the beginning of the number for those bikes that were re-exported.
ie, an 'x' marked an entry that had been added to those S/N's transferred to the inside covers. The revised export date...


All of the pages in the '67 books have an 'X' at the far left hand edge of the page before the frame number on every line. It applies to even the real early numbers long before the 4000's (the oil manifold document). As a result, I am of the opinion the 'X' is for some other unknown production line or documentation reason.
Posted By: Kevin (NZ).

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 11/22/11 1:07 pm

Thanks for that one also Gary.

Now we have a problem....

I was reading through some of this discussion from a few years ago...

This was pointed out to me... (after I was expressing frustration about the myths refusing to die).

Quote:

...Years ago, a friend of mine bought a BSA without papers & asked me to reference the VIN # for him because he knew nothing about BSA's. I'm not so sure that what I posted above wasn't found on this very site! (at least back then anyways).

If it's a myth....so be it. It definitely wasn't posted to misguide anyone intentionally.

Edit: Copied & pasted from homepage of this site....BSA Identification: Introduction:


Sure enough I went to this very website drop down menu and we do have those comments there.

I have been expecting the BSAOC to review their wording on the website.

Can we come up with some method of reviewing the comments on ours here ?

I know Shane and Morgan would be most involved. I believe they did much of the work in setting the website up.

Ironically both Morgan and Shane have owned Dash Y bikes.
Mike Carter has one, and away it goes.

So many of the forum members here are directly affected by those dating inconsistencies.

We are also misleading potential buyers and affecting sales.

We should be able to substitute suitable, and correct, comments into that Unit Twin Introduction box.

Is that possible please Morgan ?
Posted By: Two Alpha

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 11/22/11 5:59 pm

Looks like the questionable info was cleaned out back on Nov. 13th 2011.
Wrong, now that I've found it, it's obviously still there!

So who's got a decent re-write ready to go?
Posted By: Shane in Oz

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 11/22/11 8:24 pm

Originally Posted By: Kevin (NZ).

I know Shane and Morgan would be most involved. I believe they did much of the work in setting the website up.


You give me way too much credit, Kevin. Britbike is Morgan's hard work, with a lot of help from the moderators. We did some work together when I was getting the BSA Club of NSW site up, and getting the BSA dating CGI script going (btw, Brian Pollitt was invaluable in that)
Posted By: Kevin (NZ).

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 11/22/11 11:36 pm

Two Alpha said;
Quote:
So who's got a decent re-write ready to go?


Hahha, I am sure we all have in our mind.

UNIT A-SERIES

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.

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."


A Series Unit twins.

This range extended from 1962 until 1972.

Prior to 1966 the frames were designated A50, A50B and A50C. The engine numbers would have indicated the model along with a non matching number.
Early in the 1966 model year (from Eng 3200 approx) the engine and frame numbers were matching numbers and with the relevant model code. For example A65L 12345.

The 1967 to 1969 models were similar (still matching numbers) but with the addition of a letter indicating the model year.
A for 1967, B for 1968 and C for 1969.
For example A65TB12345 is a 1968 Thunderbolt.

From early 1969 season onwards the later style numbering sequence was utilised.
This code was the same as Triumph also adopted with the season Month and Year designator added.
A50R XD012345 for a 1970 model Royal Star. XD indicating December 1970 model season.

Notes;

Many 1967 model bikes had a Dash Y suffix stamped on the engine number. This was done at the factory to advise the later 3 pipe oil manifold had been fitted. A65HA7731-Y.

To add to the confusion the Y suffix was added to other models and seasons also.

A large batch of A65SA numbered Spitfires have MkIV physical and styling features. That range is generally of the style A65SA1*****Y. These bikes are 1968 models identical to the A65SB machines.

A percentage of 1969 and 1970 manufactured bikes also have the Y suffix. Indeed the numbering sequence is similar to that of 1967 range machines. A65LA12345Y for example.
The differences, apart from the obvious styling, are that the frame number also has the suffix and all the engines are stamped on the raised and embossed engine pad.
These machines are 1969 or 1970 models.


I would like to mention that the 1969 models start at 10,000 so all have 5 digits. Similarly 1970 models all have a zero preceding the sequence number.
That is not important at this time.(The 100,000's thing will soon be forgotten).

I would just like to put an end to the myths asap.

Posted By: Kevin (NZ).

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 11/23/11 12:34 am

Exactly that Allan.

We can't go into detail about the Y bikes because we just don't know at this stage.
I have just acknowledged that they exist and how to identify them.

I think I know why they were made but I have no proof and I most certainly don't want to start a new myth.

You are correct. They are not linked to the 1967 bikes.... hmmm (Apart from being included in the 1967 shipping season books).

You are in the BSAOC UK, and on a committee. Your club has Alistair Cave's production records.

I think you would have fun reading his 1970 notes and figures.
beerchug
Posted By: Kevin (NZ).

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 11/25/11 11:40 am

Ignoramus replied on another thread and said he has had his A65L since new in 1971.

He has a photo of the bike with 8 Km (miles) on the clock.

It is unusual in that it has a '68 style front end on it but it is definitely a Y bike of 1969/70.

I just came across these threads from a
few months ago.

http://www.britbike.com/forums/ubbthread...true#Post374227

http://www.britbike.com/forums/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=374510&page=1



Many of the guys commenting on this bike thought it was a 1968 or similar. I an wondering if it could be a 1969 Y bike. The owner did say he was adamant that it was a 1967, presumably he was believing the numbers.

Posted By: Kevin (NZ).

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 11/25/11 8:01 pm

Yep, but I was looking at the brake cable entry. It is difficult to follow the routing but it does to seem to come down vertically.

I still think it is yet another case of confusion and money lost because people didn't know what they were potentially buying.
Posted By: Gary E

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 12/16/11 4:54 pm

NOT TWO MACHINES WITH THE SAME PRODUCTION NUMBER

Referring to the '67 production books with the hand entries on the inside of the front and rear covers with dispatch dates in January, February and May 1970, I can now verify the following information regarding those "Y" production numbers.

The numbers listed in the inside covers also appear in the body of the book. The numbers in the normal pages of the books had dispatch dates already amended one or more times so there was no room for further entries. Those specific production numbers in the normal pages, which are also listed on the inside front and back covers, are not blank lines.

As an example: LA 12212 had despatch dates in 1967 and 1968 on the normal pages in the book, then again in 1970 on the inside front cover.

As a result, it suggests that there are NOT two machines out there with the same number (ie. one with '67 features and one with '70 features).
Posted By: Two Alpha

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 12/16/11 6:10 pm

Originally Posted By: Gary E

As an example: LA 12212 had despatch dates in 1967 and 1968 on the normal pages in the book, then again in 1970 on the inside front cover.

Would the LA 12212 despatched in 1967, and again in 1968, have actually been LA 12212-Y in the book?
Would the LA 12212 despatched in 1970 have actually been LA 12212Y in the book?
I expect that to be the case, hope you can confirm.
Originally Posted By: Gary E

As a result, it suggests that there are NOT two machines out there with the same number (ie. one with '67 features and one with '70 features).

While they had to be two different machines, I think the 1970 "Y" bikes were only able to be built because the earlier 1967/1968 bikes were not "out there". There must have been some major malfunction with the earlier bikes.
Do we have a decent estimate of the actual number of 1969/1970 "Y" bikes?
Posted By: Kevin (NZ).

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 12/17/11 12:02 am

Thanks for doing the research Gary.

I am not sure I have grasped this. The way I am seeing it the numbers for bikes despatched in 1969/70 appear on the inside covers of the book, - that then should be the despatch date for a 1970 model Y bike.

If you are saying that the same number appears inside the book with other despatch dates then to me the number does not seem unique.
I would be thinking that suggests a 1967 bike did exist at some point, unless the line inside was actually added in 1970 also.

We know the 1967 bikes still exist because the BSAOC have been writing out dating certificates for them, - albeit trying to say they were shipped on the later date.

I think the shenanigans occurred from 1969 onwards.... and without seeing the entries myself I believe it would be too difficult to modify the shipping records of bikes sent 2 or 3 years earlier.

I am estimating up to 10% of the A65 bikes exported during the 1970 seasons were Y bikes. That is based only on my experience of how often the numbers are coming up these days.

I just draw a different conclusion to Gary.
I do see the same production number being used twice.

All we really need to see is a genuine 'Y' bike of 1970 with an initial shipping date of 1967... to me that would settle it.

I must have the S/N of about 30 to 40 'Y' bikes by now. Surely they would appear in the production records......

It raises the question, - are they even the bikes recorded in the inside covers ?

I will need to look back but I think Bruce or John had contradictory details emailed to them.





I can see we talked about Bruce's certificate and the email history between himself and the BSAOC Librarian.
The emails were posted on this thread back on 20th and 21st November.

We do have two shipping dates for a 1970 model Y bike.
Posted By: Two Alpha

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 12/17/11 5:33 am

A few more thoughts based on what we seem to know to this point...

Originally Posted By: Kevin (NZ).

We know the 1967 bikes still exist because the BSAOC have been writing out dating certificates for them, - albeit trying to say they were shipped on the later date.

I don't think that is the case. To my way of thinking we don't know that the 1967 bikes (with the same numbers as 1969/1970 bikes) still exist, I really expect that they don't. A truer statement might be "we know the 1969/1970 bikes still exist because the BSAOC have been writing out dating certificates for them, - albeit trying to say they were also shipped on the earlier dates."

Originally Posted By: Kevin (NZ).

I just draw a different conclusion to Gary.
I do see the same production number being used twice.

I agree. In 1967 a bike with serial number LA 12212-Y, in 1970 a substantially different bike with serial number LA 12212Y. Again, I suspect that the earlier bike no longer existed when the newer bike was assembled. We haven't seen any examples yet of two actual bikes with matching serial numbers, one with a "-Y" and one with a "Y", in existence at the same time.

Originally Posted By: Kevin (NZ).

All we really need to see is a genuine 'Y' bike of 1970 with an initial shipping date of 1967... to me that would settle it.

That's impossible, many of the parts for those bikes weren't manufactured until 1969 at the earliest.

Originally Posted By: Kevin (NZ).
I must have the S/N of about 30 to 40 'Y' bikes by now. Surely they would appear in the production records......
It raises the question, - are they even the bikes recorded in the inside covers ?

That makes the most sense to me, 1967 numbers so put them in the 1967 book. No room left in the normal location for 1967 so put them on the inside covers.

Originally Posted By: Kevin (NZ).
We do have two shipping dates for a 1970 model Y bike.

Well, that is what BSAOC is saying at least.
The earlier dates are impossible for most of the parts on those 1969/1970 "Y" machines.
As mentioned before, I expect that the earlier of the two shipping dates was for an earlier and different bike, a bike manufactured for the 1967 season.
Something catastrophic may have happened to the earlier bike, and a goodly number of it's brothers, which took them out of existence as complete bikes. For some reason, perhaps export tax credits, BSA felt it necessary to build a batch of 1969/1970 bikes and re-use these serial numbers, with the addition of a "Y" on the end, to fill a void left in the tally of 1967 export bikes.
Obviously this is a bit of a guess on my part as we don't have enough information at present to come up with a definitive answer, just possibilities and probabilities.
I think Gary has provided a very important tidbit with the confirmation of actual 1967 numbers appearing to be used again in 1969/1970.
The only difference being the "-Y" or "Y" on the end, I hope Gary can confirm that as well.
Posted By: Kevin (NZ).

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 12/17/11 5:40 am

Ooops, it is just the way I have worded it.

We are saying the same thing, - honestly.

I will amend this post in a second with my revised wording.


Yep.. I had it wrong.

What we need is a genuine Dash Y bike bike that appears in the inside covers of the shipping register.
That is still not proof that two bikes shared the same number though.... it may just be that that particular bike was shipped twice. (As unlikely as that may be).


Posted By: Two Alpha

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 12/17/11 5:44 am

No worries, I know we're pretty close to being on the same wavelength here. smile
Posted By: Kevin (NZ).

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 12/17/11 6:10 am

Originally Posted By: Kevin (NZ).
Quote:

We know the 1967 bikes still exist because the BSAOC have been writing out dating certificates for them, - albeit trying to say they were shipped on the later date.


I was trying to say that those bikes showing as shipped in 1967 do exist. We have a dating certificate for Morgan's old Spitfire for example.
By far the majority of those original Dash Y bikes must have been shipped on time during the 1967 production run.
They would have one shipping date only at it will be sometime in 1966 or 1967.
Certainly the majority of the Spitfires and Hornets were shipped on time.

Many Dash Y Thunderbolt and Lightning owners are saying that their bikes were on the roads and being ridden during 1967.
I have a Dash Y A65T and it would have been shipped normally.
Remember we now know that the shipping strike story does not play any part in the Dash Y engine suffix.


I am going to contradict myself here in a minute.

I am now thinking the normal Dash Y bikes were shipped and only appear once in the despatch books.
Indeed it may be that the majority of the 650 twins of that year had the suffix anyway.
I don't think the Dash Y is actually recorded in the despatch book.
Gary would know as the Hornets had the engine suffix and he has a register of them.

So we are left with the early shipping date for a later Y bike as our dilemma.

Take Bruce's bike for example.
We are all decided it is a Y bike of 1969...and the Dating Certificate states that it was shipped on August 18th 1969.
That is fine and dandy.... Great.

But then we have reference to the other shipping date, November 10th 1966.

What is that all about ?

Now these are the entries that appear twice in the shipping book. Gary is saying that every bike that is recorded on the inside covers has been transferred from the pages within the ledger.

That is now the question...

What became of A65LA77XX shipped in Nov 1966 ?

Rich B has told us that his dealer friend was selling every BSA he could his hands on during 1967.
We know there was no strike, we have no reason the bike was not exported on time.
I am convinced BSA were not playing with the numbers during 1967.... I think that came later.

I don't see any link between 'Dash Y' and 'Y' bikes.
Apart from the fact that BSA chose to stamp the 1970 models in that style because they had already generated the confusion.
Gary has told us the Dash Y suffix is to advise or the 3-line oil manifold.


I was wrong with my statement. I stand corrected.
Two Alpha has it correct.
The dating certificates for the later Y bikes are trying to indicate that they were despatched earlier also.
Posted By: Two Alpha

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 12/17/11 7:46 am

“1970 "Y" bikes numbers range from 10434 to 17042 in random of the 10000, 11000, 12000, and 17000 number groups.” Gary E Britbike post 381004

From this we can determine that the 1970 "Y" bike numbers were spread across the entire range of numbers for 1970. We know Bruce's is a 1969, apparently built just before the start of the 1970 production run.
If these 1970 bikes were replacing destroyed or otherwise disposed of 1967 bikes, those 1967 bikes would have generally been from the second half of the production year based on those serial numbers.

If Kevin's estimate of 10% of the 1970 production is near correct, that would put the total number of 1970 "Y" bikes at somewhere near 800 or so.
This would be less than 5% of the total 1967 A65/A50 production, and maybe 7% of the total 1967 "-Y" bikes.

Something necessitated BSA using those 1967 numbers on bikes being manufactured for the 1970 season, and I am extremely doubtful that they would intentionally use the same serial numbers as 1967 bikes that were actually out and about in customers hands. That would be just too foolish. For some reason, the 1967 bikes that those numbers had been on had been taken out of circulation.

Now, I'm going to hazard another guess that some of these 800 rejected 1967 "-Y" bikes were revived, the "-" was over-stamped with a "0" which resulted in a 100,000 series "Y" bike, and sold off in 1968, or perhaps even 1969. The BSAOC seems to have some information that alludes to this. How many of these 100,000 series bikes are there? I've got one, and Kevin has previously supplied a picture of another.

The BSAOC's story regarding the 1969/1970 "Y" bikes having been originally built in 1967 and being re-despatched a few times, it has to be off base and it has resulted in them providing wonky info on their Dating Certificates. Their story seems to have come from seeing what looks to be the same serial number in two places in the despatch book and assuming that they are the same bike, when they're not really the same number, one's a "-Y" and the other is a "Y". One was built in 1967, and the other was built in 1969/1970.
Posted By: Gary E

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 12/17/11 5:26 pm

Originally Posted By: Two Alpha
...Something necessitated BSA using those 1967 numbers on bikes being manufactured for the 1970 season, and I am extremely doubtful that they would intentionally use the same serial numbers as 1967 bikes that were actually out and about in customers hands. That would be just too foolish. For some reason, the 1967 bikes that those numbers had been on had been taken out of circulation...


I concur

Originally Posted By: Two Alpha
...The BSAOC's story regarding the 1969/1970 "Y" bikes having been originally built in 1967 and being re-despatched a few times, it has to be off base and it has resulted in them providing wonky info on their Dating Certificates. Their story seems to have come from seeing what looks to be the same serial number in two places in the despatch book and assuming that they are the same bike, when they're not really the same number, one's a "-Y" and the other is a "Y". One was built in 1967, and the other was built in 1969/1970...


I do not concur. There are no -Y entires in the books. The -Y is only on the engines. There are no Y entries in the main pages of the books, only on the inside front and rear covers of 2 of the 3 '67 books.

If there is belief that there are two machines out there with the same number, ie '67 and '70, then there should be 3 machines out there with the same number, ie '67, '68, and '70. LA 12212, used as an example, had three dispatch dates, two dates in the main pages, and the third date on the inside cover.

Until I see actual evidence otherwise, such as pictures, my interpetation of the production books suggests one machine per number.
Posted By: Two Alpha

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 12/17/11 7:25 pm

Originally Posted By: Gary E


Originally Posted By: Two Alpha
...The BSAOC's story regarding the 1969/1970 "Y" bikes having been originally built in 1967 and being re-despatched a few times, it has to be off base and it has resulted in them providing wonky info on their Dating Certificates. Their story seems to have come from seeing what looks to be the same serial number in two places in the despatch book and assuming that they are the same bike, when they're not really the same number, one's a "-Y" and the other is a "Y". One was built in 1967, and the other was built in 1969/1970...


I do not concur. There are no -Y entires in the books. The -Y is only on the engines. There are no Y entries in the main pages of the books, only on the inside front and rear covers of 2 of the 3 '67 books.


Thanks for that clarification Gary. It doesn't mean that my theory above is incorrect though, just that the "-Y" is not in the books but it is on the engines.

Originally Posted By: Gary E
If there is belief that there are two machines out there with the same number, ie '67 and '70, then there should be 3 machines out there with the same number, ie '67, '68, and '70. LA 12212, used as an example, had three dispatch dates, two dates in the main pages, and the third date on the inside cover.

Not necessarily, we know the 1967 and 1970 machines are not the same, we also know that their numbers are not the same. As in the example LA 12212 versus LA 12212Y, on the bike or in the book.
The 1967 and 1968 bikes had exactly the same number, say LA 12212 (with a "-Y" on the engine only), they were, in all likelihood, the same bike. After the 1968 despatch, something happened that resulted in BSA effectively getting that serial number back. The serial number was used again, on a different bike, for the 1970 season, this time with a "Y" on the end to indicate that it was not really a 1967/1968 bike, even though the LA 12212 number was there to make it seem like it was.

Originally Posted By: Gary E
Until I see actual evidence otherwise, such as pictures, my interpetation of the production books suggests one machine per number.


It is possible/probable that none of the earlier bikes, with serial numbers that were used again for the 1970 season, ever made it into a consumers hands. Not in 1967, and not in 1968.
Perhaps BSA just gave up on trying to flog these bikes at that point and dismantled what was left for parts.

I very much doubt that complete bikes, one from 1967 and one from 1970, with the same serial number, say LA 12212 and LA 12212Y, were ever in existence at the same time. That 1967/1968 bike would have been gone before the 1970 bike ever saw the light of day.

I've tried to make sure that all of my speculations jive with information you have shared with us Gary. Your insight into what is in the actual despatch books is greatly appreciated.

Posted By: Gary E

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 12/17/11 9:04 pm

Allan,

The current conversation is mainly about the Y bikes. Those bikes are of a different situation than the -Y bikes. There were no -Y bikes in '69/'70, only in '67.
Posted By: Gary E

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 12/17/11 9:10 pm

Originally Posted By: Two Alpha
...It is possible/probable that none of the earlier bikes, with serial numbers that were used again for the 1970 season, ever made it into a consumers hands. Not in 1967, and not in 1968....

...I very much doubt that complete bikes, one from 1967 and one from 1970, with the same serial number, say LA 12212 and LA 12212Y, were ever in existence at the same time. That 1967/1968 bike would have been gone before the 1970 bike ever saw the light of day....


That is what I am suggesting, until I see evidence otherwise; one bike, one number.
Posted By: Kevin (NZ).

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 12/17/11 9:42 pm

I am not convinced.

If you think something happened to the 1967 bikes then why did it only happen to the L,T and a few R models. Naturally BSA could not re-use the numbers off the other models in 1970.. ie the H and S models.

We also have the hybrid 1968 Spitfires.
We don't have hybrid H or L, and T for that matter.

I believe all was well in the world until something happened in late 1969.
Whatever it was BSA did more than not divulge details..... they deceived everyone..

Including the BSAOC.

Al Cave had plenty of opportunity to clear this up if he wished.

BSA made a substantial batch of 1970 model unit twins during 1970 and numbered them in a 1967 numbering style. They then entered the shipping details into the 1967 books.



Posted By: Kevin (NZ).

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 12/17/11 11:20 pm

For Allan,

I think we are trying to determine the origins of the production number for the Y bikes.

I believe we have ascertained that the bikes were made during 1969/1970 calendar years. We can probably believe they were shipped at various dates throughout the 1970 season.
Bruce has a Y bike shipped in August 1969 which has to be one of the earliest ones.

Gary has now stated that the shipping dates on the inside covers of 2 of the 3 shipping logs, for the 1967 bikes, contains handwritten entries for these Y bikes.
The entries have been entered in afterwards.

The latest revelation is that every production number used (serial number) has also come from an entry within the pages, ie a bike that had been despatched earlier.

We are all trying to get our heads around what really did happen to the earlier bike, often they already have two shipping dates shown.

We know a large proportion of the 1967 exported unit twins had the -Y suffix on the engine. That feature does not appear in the despatch logs and is basically irrelevant anyway.

We are falling into two schools of thought...
Did BSA use a similar (identical) serial number twice or not.

We should also remember that every unique S/N has a model code attached to it.
ie A65LA12221

A bike inside the book is shown as A65LA12221 and may have originally been shipped as a 1967 bike bearing that number.

The same number appearing on the inside covers is A65LA12221Y.
It is a 1970 model and shipped during 1970.

We know they are not the same bike...

The question is now, - What became of the first bike ?

I say it was exported normally.

The other school thinks something may have happened to it so it did not exist by 1969.

There is a huge difference there...
If I am correct then that means we have two bikes in existence with almost identical numbers. Indeed it is only the Y suffix that distinguishes between them.



Posted By: Gary E

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 12/18/11 12:11 am

Originally Posted By: Kevin (NZ).
...If you think something happened to the 1967 bikes then why did it only happen to the L,T and a few R models. Naturally BSA could not re-use the numbers off the other models in 1970.. ie the H and S models...


From here it reads like the question is answered in the same paragraph.

Originally Posted By: Kevin (NZ).
...The other school thinks something may have happened to it so it did not exist by 1969...


I like it.
Posted By: Kevin (NZ).

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 12/18/11 12:56 am

I am worried about the possibility of two bikes having identical serial numbers.
I can't see any other possibility at the moment. But if we look at Bruce's Dating Certificate it mentions New Jersey twice.

I could imagine BSA sending the second bike to the West Coast, - sending the two bikes to the same distributor sounds a bit naff.

If we don't have the two bikes shipped then what are the other possibilities ?

What does your team say Gary ?
Posted By: Two Alpha

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 12/18/11 2:23 am

I've read a few stories over the years that may perhaps explain what happened. Here are rough versions based on my fairly feeble powers of recollection.

1) The last shipments of 1967 bikes arrived so late to the USA that they were rejected and shipped back.

2) Shipments were sent to the docks so that BSA could claim the export tax credits asap, due to a dock strike they weren't shipped to the USA in time and ended up being returned to the factory.

3) One ship load of bikes ended up so rusty by the time they reached the USA that the entire shipment was rejected and sent back. Hughie Hancox made mention of this regarding Triumphs somewhere in his book.

Is there a BSA version of John Healy out there somewhere that can set us straight?
Posted By: Kevin (NZ).

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 12/18/11 2:56 am

Hmmm...

I hope you don't believe any of them... Or have you been supping on the club's Bull Shit Ale also ?


1).
Version A.
So they kept the Spitfires and Hornets and sent the rest back.
Version B.
What did BSA do with all these bikes ?

We have also heard BSA could sell every twin they received in the States that year.

2).
So what happened to the bikes returned to the factory ?

3).
Version A.
So they kept the Spitfires and Hornets and sent the rest back.
Version B.
What did BSA do with all these bikes ?

I would think that some shipments may well have deteriorated if they sat around for a while. There would have been a good chance of that during the shipping strikes of 1966 and late 1967/1968. I can't see it affecting the '67 models.

While I am not happy supporting my duplicated numbers argument, I am more than happy to be swayed over with some sound debate.

Somewhere amongst all the possibilities should lay the truth.

It is not anything Al Cave has told the BSAOC. That being the case, no-one had tumbled onto what actually happened while Alistair was alive.

"The Truth Is Out There"
Posted By: Two Alpha

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 12/18/11 4:02 am

Originally Posted By: Kevin (NZ).

Somewhere amongst all the possibilities should lay the truth.
It is not anything Al Cave has told the BSAOC.


We really have no way of knowing what exactly Al Cave told the BSAOC or Stephen Foden, anything passed on by them that I have seen has been in the form of a second hand comment, conversation like, not as a direct quote.
It would surprise me greatly to find out that Al Cave had deliberately told them something that was untrue. That's not to say that he necessarily told them the whole story of the 1970 "Y" bikes.

As I've mentioned to you before, the info on the BSAOC website probably started out as the truth and became slightly mangled somewhere on it's way to the internet. I don't think we can dismiss the whole thing based on an obvious error or two.

Joe Heaton interviewed Al Cave for his thesis and we can be reasonably sure that it was transcribed correctly. Some of our answers may be in there if we could find a copy.

You can rule out the existence of the 1967/1968 bikes by the time the 1970 "Y" bikes were produced just based on the lawsuit or penalty potential alone. They had already changed their serial number methods to conform to regulations in their largest market, the U.S.A., why would they even think of shipping over approx. 800 motorcycles with serial numbers the same as bikes just recently sold in the U.S.A.?
It wouldn't have made any sense at the time, and shouldn't now.
Posted By: Two Alpha

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 12/18/11 5:13 am

-“The last true '67 (all models) dispatched was SA 16614 sent to New Jersey, May 17, 1967.”
(Gary E, BritBike post 403876)

-“ A clarification on the last true '67 dispatched in my previous post. Note that it is the last "dispatched" in '67, not the last machine built or dispatched in later years. Book 276 starts at #16656 and goes to #18601 with it dispatched April 24, 1968 (yes '68, and they are not noted as "Y" bikes.” (Gary E, BritBike post 403948)

-”>>>...Was the market swamped with the massive run of 1967 machines and the bikes were held back?...<<<
That would be a possibility 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.”
(Gary E, BritBike post 380875)

-“The first warning signs of an imminent collapse came in 1968, when a combination of labour troubles and missed production deadlines by a host of subcontractors caused BSA and Triumph to ship motorcycles to America late in the spring, which meant the firm missed much of the “selling season,” as the British always called it. This is likely why the new triples weren’t seen in American showrooms until June that year. The company was forced to buy back several thousand machines, mostly twins, and dump them on European markets at a loss.” (Aamidor, 2009, 115/116)

-Referring to the 1968 season “Large stocks of BSA motorcycles, which had missed the US selling season, which generated 90% plus of the division’s annual income and profits, were brought back from America and had to be sold off at a substantial loss. This was due to late design changes delaying completion of the urgently required motorcycles” (Heaton, 2007, 128 )


BSA was very late getting the production of the 1968 motorcycles off the ground, blame that on Umberslade Hall. It appears that they continued to produce 1967 models well into the 1968 season, certainly it was due to their inability to produce enough 1968 models in proper time but it may also have had something to do with export tax incentives for the 1967 year. The Spitfire Hybrids were 1968 models with 1967 serial numbers!

When Aamidor mentions the company being forced to buy back several thousand machines, mostly twins, wouldn't these have been the left over 1967 bikes? As a dealer, which would you rather the company buy back off of you, last years model or the long awaited current year model?

After they had dumped, at a loss, as many of these bikes on the European markets as they could, I suspect that they may have had about 800 or so left that they just couldn't move. This may have been stretching out as late as early 1969. At this point they could have found some way to dispose of them which did not result in them ending up in customers hands. Perhaps they still had to fulfill an obligation for the 1967 tax credits they had received for those bikes.

Voila! 1970 "Y" bikes with 1967 serial numbers!
Posted By: Kevin (NZ).

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 12/18/11 6:06 am

Wow, so many flaws there. I am not sure where to start.

It cannot have been the 1967 models that were supposedly send back.
They were selling all they could in the States that year, ask Rich B. Also the majority of the 1967 bikes had the Dash Y engine suffix and we see very few of them in Europe. There were very few Hornets or Spitfires in Europe so what twins are they talking about?
Also if the 1967 models were late getting to the market then that was it. They were stuck in the States.
They could not been sent back as the shipping strike started that Autumn (Fall). Shipping was affected for the first few months of 1968 so it was the 1968 models that were greatly affected by the strike.

BSA/Triumph sent many bikes down to NZ and Australia that had missed the US season. That would have been the norm but again did not happen. There are very few original Dash Y bikes here, most came in as wrecks in the boom of the '80's and 90's.
Both of mine arrived in the early 90's.

Most of the reference to design changes and Umberslade Hall are for the Triples. Umberslade Hall was only set-up during 1967 and would have done very little design work on the A65, if any.
The 1968 bikes had already been finalised and the production differences were only minor.
Umberslade Hall would have been working on the Triples initially along with the proposed new range. Later on it would have been designing the OIF bikes and the OHC twins.

The Spitfire Hybrids are the interesting ones. The right hand case has been cast and machined as a 1968 model and yet the left case has been stamped with a 1967 number. The left case has the cast alternator mount also.
So if the transmission hole was never drilled then they should have ample time to assemble the engine and stamp it with true 1968 numbers.
Were these bikes a fiddle too ?

BSA could easily claim they were 'late to market' 1967 bikes.... We know they were not made until the very end of the 1967 season at the earliest.
Yes they were shipped late, the shipping strike would have had a hand in that.
BSA could claim they were 1967 bikes that had been reworked even.....
Again the factory must have had a reason to pretend these were 1967 bikes. It is intriguing also that the Dash Y engine suffix actually lost the Dash somewhere along the way.

If any bike went to the ports and came back it would have been them... (But they didn't. - they were made as MkIV bikes but given 1967 numbers).


Given that the hybrid bikes are listed in the 1967 shipping records.... as well as the Y bikes of 1970... as well as the normal 1967 model run, - then it is little wonder we have so many 1967 bikes shipped.

BSA made bikes in 1968 and included them in the 1967 despatch books.
BSA made bikes in 1970 and included them in the 1967 despatch books.

Are we missing the obvious here ?
Posted By: Gary E

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 12/18/11 6:19 am

Originally Posted By: Kevin (NZ).
...But if we look at Bruce's Dating Certificate it mentions New Jersey twice.


The certificate says, "...due to be dispatched..." which to me means it may never have actually gone to or gotten to New Jersey.
Posted By: Kevin (NZ).

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 12/18/11 6:59 am

Yes, I noted that Gary and could not understand what it meant.

So if it was due to be shipped relatively early in the season then what exactly did they do with the bike.

Steve Foden stated in one of his emails that the West Coast bikes were made and shipped first as their selling season started in February.

I take it that by 10th November the West Coast bikes would have been made and exported.
He said the East Coast bikes sold between March and June...
November should have been a prime time to despatch it to New Jersey.

Surely this bike must have been exported to the States.

If the same numbers were to be used twice, and IF two bikes did exist then you would think they would be exported to different sides of the country.

Posted By: Two Alpha

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 12/18/11 9:50 am

Originally Posted By: Kevin (NZ).
Wow, so many flaws there. I am not sure where to start.

Well, I've tried to only quote sources that I have a high degree of trust in, can you prove them wrong?

Originally Posted By: Kevin (NZ).

It cannot have been the 1967 models that were supposedly send back.
They were selling all they could in the States that year, ask Rich B.

As I recall, Rich B was talking about one particular dealership, how many hundreds of dealerships were in the U.S.A.? Also, I believe he was talking about 1967 motorcycles in 1967, not 1967 models on into the 1968 model year. That's not exactly a recipe for brisk sales action.

Originally Posted By: Kevin (NZ).

Also the majority of the 1967 bikes had the Dash Y engine suffix and we see very few of them in Europe.

This may be a point in favor of your position, it could also mean that they had a very difficult time flogging these last years model bikes in Europe, which favors my speculation.

Originally Posted By: Kevin (NZ).

There were very few Hornets or Spitfires in Europe so what twins are they talking about?


Well that would leave Lightnings, Thunderbolts, and Royal Stars. The exact same models we see in 1970 with 1967 style numbers and a "Y" on the end.

Originally Posted By: Kevin (NZ).

Also if the 1967 models were late getting to the market then that was it. They were stuck in the States.

Not according to (Aamidor, 2009, 115/116), (Heaton, 2007, 128 ), and (Ryerson, 1980,174). Heaton is actually referencing Ryerson here so this is technically only two sources. What have you got?

Originally Posted By: Kevin (NZ).

They could not been sent back as the shipping strike started that Autumn (Fall). Shipping was affected for the first few months of 1968 so it was the 1968 models that were greatly affected by the strike.

BSA was shipping 1967 bikes well into 1968 apparently, Gary has noted a 1967 SA Hybrid (really a 1968 model with a 1967 number) shipped as late as July, 1968. The actual Despatch books would seem to back this up, showing 1967 bikes being re-despatched in 1968.
Also, if they had a surplus of production from 1967, it very much makes sense that those bikes would be in storage at the docks, awaiting export. Once the export process had been started, BSA could apply for payment for those bikes from a government export guarantee fund, which they would have to repay later, once they had been paid by their division in the States.

Take a close look at the following two quotes.
-“ A clarification on the last true '67 dispatched in my previous post. Note that it is the last "dispatched" in '67, not the last machine built or dispatched in later years. Book 276 starts at #16656 and goes to #18601 with it dispatched April 24, 1968 (yes '68, and they are not noted as "Y" bikes.” (Gary E, Britbike post 403948)
"The last '67/'68 SA hybrid (SA 17892) had a dispatch date of 4/68.” (Gary E, BritBike post 390783)

Add up the information in the two quotes and you can see that the 1967 model bikes from serial number 17893 to 18601 were not SA hybrids, they were other 1967 twin models and a good many of them would have been shipped in 1968, as late as July 1968 even.
Again, the Despatch books appear to confirm this.
"The numbers listed in the inside covers also appear in the body of the book. The numbers in the normal pages of the books had dispatch dates already amended one or more times so there was no room for further entries. Those specific production numbers in the normal pages, which are also listed on the inside front and back covers, are not blank lines.
As an example: LA 12212 had despatch dates in 1967 and 1968 on the normal pages in the book, then again in 1970 on the inside front cover." (Gary E, BritBike post 408940)


Not much to say about the rest of your post, you seem to be agreeable with what I hinted at regarding the SA hybrid bikes.
Maybe not after I flesh it out a little further. smile

I think they were an earlier case of later bikes being stamped with 1967 serial numbers, very similar to the even later 1970 bikes.
Again, this was most likely to take advantage of some sort of export tax incentive although it may perhaps have been to balance the books for export guarantees which they had collected for bikes which had not actually been exported. The latter may make more sense, especially in the case of the later 1970 "Y" bikes.
I'm sure they thought at the time that it would be a lot easier to sell 1968 model Spitfires, with 1967 serial numbers, than trying to sell last years leftovers of the not as flashy models.
Posted By: Kevin (NZ).

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 12/18/11 11:40 am

Yep, have to agree with most of that. Especially the part about the Hybrid Spitfires.

I am thinking that may be a factor in what happened a couple of years later... a little like the missing link perhaps.

I was just concerned over bringing quotes from some of this reports into it. I think the relevance may have been lost if they were indeed referring to another point in time.

Timing is crucial in all of this, even down to just a few months.

I find it amazing that we did not know about so many things here just a few months ago.
The reason for the Dash Y may well have been cracked.
The dawning of the Hybrid Spitfires which I now suspect are going to play a bigger part of the final solution.

Oh, the other part of your post I was going to disagree with was the stance the BSAOC has taken. This issue of the Dash Y and Y confusion was brought to their notice many years ago. Certainly before 2004.

Alistair Cave would have seen that Dating Info on the website and it seems that he did not bother to correct them on it. That info would have appeared there about 2002 or earlier to my knowledge.

We are getting into an area now where no-one here has facts just yet. We can dream up a hypothesis and naturally it will be flawed.
This is not a conspiracy though, we have seen that the 1970 Y bikes exist and that the BSAOC notes don't make much sense.

I think the issue of the multiple shipping dates in the 1967 despatch logs is a problem for us also. It is pretty obvious we have insufficient knowledge or facts to possibly agree on it.
Whenever I think of a possibility I can immediately come up with a multitude of reasons against it.

Honestly, the phantom bike is still a possibility, - as much as Gary does not like to consider it.

I can't see those bikes crossing back across the Atlantic.
The dockstrike started on 18th September and continued into November but the disruption went on for months afterwards.

September of 1967 is way too late to have affected the shipping of any 1967 season bikes.

What we have is a group of bikes showing in the 1967 despatch books with a variety of dates against them.
I don't know how this compares to the other despatch books... was it common to log them in this manner ?

I mean does this trend appear for other years also ?

You said that some of the reports mentioned bikes missing the season and being dumped on the local and European markets. I would think that is possible, indeed to be expected.
Again the shipping logs don't indicate that.

We really just do not know what happened to those first bikes.
Did they get exported, end of story. In that case we have the duplicated number version.
Did they come back to the factory? And then what? They would not have been reworked, - we have never seen a reworked 1967 bike.
Did they get stripped for parts, highly unlikely. The 1968 models were essentially the same and they were still making them.
Did a phantom bike get exported ?
Did the entry get put into the book years later even, like at the time the 1970 version of it was made.

Some may have possibly been like the bike that went to Libya.
I would have thought that bikes being prepared for Govts, Police and the military was the norm though. It is possible some end of season bikes were reworked for Special Order Only and sent months after their peers.

I guess that until we discover a little more we will all have our own views on what happened to those bikes that were supposedly returned.

I wouldn't worry about the discussion being flawed, it is bound to be until we stumble upon some more solid ground.




Posted By: Ola

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 12/18/11 2:40 pm

Hmmm - we should have a list of all Y numbers, and ask the owners of -67 bikes to check for duplicate.

Best regards
Posted By: Two Alpha

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 12/18/11 2:50 pm

It's quite the mystery novel all right.

And yes, the intrigue is in why no one who was there, and actually knew the real reasons first hand, has stepped forward to correct the flawed story (and Dating Certificates) that the BSAOC have been putting out.

And really, why has the BSAOC been carrying on with this obviously flawed story, right to the present day? Hopefully it's not just because of the business they've done with it to this point, probably the case though. It's unlikely any of their Bod would like to admit having read very much of our discussions here.
Posted By: Two Alpha

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 12/18/11 4:51 pm

Originally Posted By: Ola
Hmmm - we should have a list of all Y numbers, and ask the owners of -67 bikes to check for duplicate.

Best regards


Greetings Ola,

Kevin's probably got the best picture collection/list of the "Y"/"-Y" bikes in general.
Gary is right on top of it as well, especially with the Spitfire/Hornet/Wasp/Cyclone models.

I don't believe we've yet seen evidence of two actual bikes with the same numbers, one a 1967 "-Y" bike, and the other a 1970 "Y" bike. I doubt we ever will.

The TR3OC site mentions two Rocket 3's with the exact same serial numbers, both sold in the same country. But that would have been a one time foul up by the guy doing the stamping, what happened with the twins was systematic and deliberate.
Posted By: Kevin (NZ).

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 02/11/12 8:48 am

Thanks Trevor, it sounds like it may be an interesting one.
Posted By: Kevin (NZ).

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 02/12/12 1:19 am

Hopefully we will get a chance to see a photo of Trevor's bike here soon.
It may be a number 'out of the ordinary'.. so it will be interesting to see where it takes us.

This may be an opportune time to link to a parallel thread we have running here.
Mike sent us a photo of his engine number.
I am sure it is a Y bike of 1970 albeit the number may have a stamping error.



BSA A65 Engine Number Thread
Posted By: Kevin (NZ).

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 02/12/12 3:11 pm

Thanks for posting the pic Trevor. I can see a few things going on in it but I really would be guessing at this stage.
Do you mind posting a few more if you could please. From the front and timing side would be great.

Did you notice if the two sets of 3 digit numbers underneath the engine matched each other ?
Posted By: Kevin (NZ).

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 02/12/12 11:34 pm

I was thinking your engine was a '67, or rather the primary side maybe. I was hoping to see the view of the timing tool access hole and the tacho drive area on the timing side.
You mentioned a later type gearbox filler that should also tell a story... there are a few options there.
Gary E and a few others here will know those castings very well, I am sure you will get an answer within hours.
Posted By: Kevin (NZ).

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 02/16/12 10:29 pm

Hi Trevor, thanks for posting.

They certainly tell a story.

I didn't want to mention the other day that the only time I have ever seen a casting mark at the rear of the S/N was on post-69 engines. All the others, 67 included come down closer to the centre of the barrels.

This is certainly an interesting one.

That engine has all the hallmarks of a 1970, all apart from the numbers ? And the numbers pad.. hmmm

The font is that used prior to August 1968 calendar year. But of course they could have dug out the old stamps if they were serious about replicating an earlier engine.

What are our options here ?
It was a blank 1970 engine, albeit without a pad.
Or.. it was indeed an attempt to make a 1970 engine look like a 1967.

It could have been option 1, but..
It means a 1967 engine was blown-up after 1970. It would not be subject to any kind of factory warranty so why have a brand new engine stamped exactly in the form of the 1967 one.
The font and the Dash Y. The frame would not have had the Y.

Also you bought just the engine itself in the mid-70's.

I cannot think of too many options for this one.
You have to treat it as a 1970 engine, as indeed it is.

What is your theory for the numbers ?

Did you ever see the date scribed on the oil pump ?

Thanks again for posting, it really is most interesting.... even more so once we find out why and how.



Posted By: Kevin (NZ).

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 02/16/12 11:52 pm

Did you ever get a dating certificate for this engine ?

Gary may have it in his notes from his research. The 1967 numbers should appear in the 1967 despatch records.

It may yet prove to be a missing link in this chapter. It would be great if it was.
Posted By: Gary E

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 02/17/12 1:27 am

The number looks to be a '66 since there is no "A" after the "T". If so, why someone added the -Y is a mystery.
Posted By: Kevin (NZ).

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 02/17/12 1:57 am

The numbers had to be stamped on in 1970 or later though. There is no way they could have been done any earlier. They may have possibly used a 1969 left case (prior to the pad) and mated it with a 1969 (or 1970 right side) The under numbers are matching and I believe they are kosher.
The cases have 1970 features like the bigger barrel studs and the timing side clutch entry is 1970.

I know we don't get to see many 3 digit 1967 serial numbers but do you think they meant to stamp this one as A65TA693-Y ?

I can't see it being stamped up as a replacement engine.... I know it is a possibility but to me I reckon those stamps are a factory job.
This engine may have never been fitted to a bike, well possibly a factory hack.
How would BSA sell an engine like this ?
Posted By: Gary E

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 02/17/12 4:35 am

Not enough room to put an "A" in there. I suppose it could be another one of those factory worker stamping blunders.

#1693 certainly fits in with other Thunderbolts in the factory numbering sequences that I have in my notes for '67. If the 1 was supposed to be an "A" so the engine would be 693, it doesn't fit in at all as all the numbers in that area are Lightnings.

A "-Y" with a number like 1693 is real low, out of the usual range, but possible after seeing that 3 digit "-Y" engine you supplied.
Posted By: Two Alpha

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 02/17/12 6:02 am

Based on where the mold joint is, this left case is from no earlier than the 1969 season, it surely must have had a number pad at some point.

Looking at the area around the serial number, it has all the appearances of having been gone over with a serrated roller in an effort to simulate the original appearance. Sure looks to me like somebody ground off the pad and applied some "aging" to the case before stamping those numbers on.

They've used 1967 style stamps on it, must say they look pretty good.

I have my doubts that the factory was involved in the pad removal and stamping of this particular serial number though.
Posted By: Kevin (NZ).

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 02/17/12 6:53 am

I thought that the number was low but if indeed the factory did stamp this engine in 1970 then they would not have been too worried.

These cases were never made in 1967, far from it. It had to be mid 1969 at the very earliest.
Therefore the stamping had to be after that date also. This is 2 years after the 1967 bikes had been made.
They would have had to choose a number from somewhere.. either the original bike or from a blank line or whatever in the 1967 despatch books.

This may turn out to be a very interesting engine also.

Edit.... I had dinner while typing this.
Yes it may have had some creative stamping. The numbers are almost too poorly done for that though.
I am still intrigues about the Dash Y... the frame would not have had that.
Posted By: Kevin (NZ).

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 02/17/12 9:49 pm

My thinking was that the engine may (should) have been in a bike bearing the same number. At least that would have been the normal situation.

What we have been seeing is that the Dash Y bikes of 1967 and the Spitfire Hybrids of 1968 do not have the suffix stamped onto the frame.

As far as I can remember all Y bikes of 1969/70 do have the Y included in the frame number.
You seem sure that the engine numbers have not been ground off.
That casting mark indicates that they were made after the pad was introduced, that would have started about August/September 1968 calendar for the 1969 models (I think).
The cases are obviously matched and the right half also has all the features of a later engine.

This engine may have been an early attempt to make a 1970 Y bike..
Someone else may be able to comment on the casting process and whether it would be easy, or feasible, to remove the number pad.

You own the cases and physically have them. There has to be a history.. and possible story attached.

It certainly does not fit in to anything we have seen before, - what has the BSAOC had to say about it ?

I am hoping it is part of the 1970 Y bike mystery, at this stage I am not sure if it is one foot forward or one step rearwards.
It may be an important link even... It is just difficult to say as I certainly don't have sufficient knowledge yet.
The great thing here so far has been that we have been able to piece a few things together.
Posted By: Two Alpha

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 02/18/12 1:35 am

Originally Posted By: Kevin (NZ).

This engine may have been an early attempt to make a 1970 Y bike..


That thought had crossed my mind, but...

Why the knurl marks where the pad should have been? Surely that would have been unnecesary if it was a factory effort.
I could see how the factory guys would be able to temporarily fill in the mold to create a left side case with no pad for a one-off though.

It isn't very far-fetched to think that they may have produced a rough example or two before settling on the final method for the "Y" bikes of 1969/1970.
Posted By: Kevin (NZ).

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 02/18/12 5:11 am

Originally Posted By: Two Alpha
Originally Posted By: Kevin (NZ).

This engine may have been an early attempt to make a 1970 Y bike..


It isn't very far-fetched to think that they may have produced a rough example or two before settling on the final method for the "Y" bikes of 1969/1970.


That is where my thought process was taking me but we know of Y bikes that were produced during the 1969 season. This engine has 1970 features..

It has to be made in 1970 season.... but then why drag out the old stamps and change the mold ?
All the other Y bikes we have seen had a pattern to them.

We have seen very few Dash Y or indeed any Y bikes pop-up in the UK. The Dash Y bikes seem to be ok, nothing sinister in their numbering so some may have been sold to the home market.
That should have been the norm really.
If we think this is a replacement engine then that is certainly a possibility. But the original must have been a 1967 Dash Y engine and whoever stamped this one up was very careful to get the numbers exact. But they didn't, - the 1 should have been an A.
I could imagine a 1970 engine being available, and unstamped. We have not seen replacement cases without the numbers pad cast in before though.
This engine has several unique features..
It is a genuine 1970 engine but cast without the numbers pad.
On that pad we find a 1966 (or 1967) number and with the Dash Y suffix.
1. 1970 but no pad.
2. 1966 number. Or if the 1 is indeed an A it could be a 1967 number.
3. Old style stamps used before August 1968.
4. Dash Y suffix.

Logic would have us say that it has been ground off and funny numbers stamped on.
Posted By: Two Alpha

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 02/18/12 7:12 am

I would say 1970 as well. Pretty doubtful that this is a prototype for the 1969/1970 "Y" stamping program.
Being a 1970, it should be a good engine none the less.

Trevor, here are a few examples of engines from the 1970 season, for comparison's sake. Your engine looks like it was produced somewhere in this time frame. The texture of these cases are all very similar, yet they span the entire production year. The texture of your left side case appears to be quite different from these.


August, 1969






July, 1970
Posted By: Kevin (NZ).

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 02/18/12 11:21 am

We may have to ignore your 1970 cases for a short time here Trevor... I can't answer many of your questions surrounding them.
Others may be able to help out soon.

The photos of the extended boss seems to be limited to those engines stamped XD and AD. The listing guides have these as Dec 1969 and Jan 1970 of the 1970 model year.
What we have been seeing is the same boss appearing on some 1970 Y bikes so we have assumed they were probably cast about the same time. It really does seem like that boss only appeared for a two month maximum period.

I can comment a little on the '66 cases and some of your questions there. Those numbers may not be so unusual.

I am sure more than one guy did the stamping, we will see subtle differences.
The numbering convention was generally very good. The A65 was always a prefix until the style changed sometime in the 1969 season. Alex and John were discussing when this happened earlier. Possibly on another thread.
There were many changes to the number style introduced during 1969, I know of 3 different number sequences alone.

The casting line at the rear most stud was never seen prior to 1969. As you mentioned it was always between the studs previously.

Your '66 Spitfire cases have the machining for the alternator support that we know was introduced during the season.
It is a high number but still within the range so it is likely that it is a late season bike.
I think I have pics of similar numbers.

I will see if I can find a few now.
Posted By: BritTwit

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 02/18/12 12:52 pm

Could this possibly be an explanation for casting variations?
At the manufacturing level, molds wear with use and need to be replaced. I'm sure there were more than one or two molds in use to keep up with production schedules. If there was trouble with a mold, would they pull an older one that was used as a back up?
Posted By: Gary E

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 02/18/12 7:01 pm

Originally Posted By: Kevin (NZ).
...the 1 should have been an A...
...Or if the 1 is indeed an A it could be a 1967 number...

#1693 certainly fits in with other Thunderbolts in the factory numbering sequences that I have in my notes for '67. If the 1 was supposed to be an "A" so the engine would be 693, it doesn't fit in at all as all the numbers in that area are Lightnings.

I think the stamper just forgot the "A".

Also, it is odd that the entire stamping sequence is forward of the casting seam line. Not typical for '67 engines.
Posted By: Two Alpha

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 02/18/12 9:03 pm

Originally Posted By: Gary E

Also, it is odd that the entire stamping sequence is forward of the casting seam line. Not typical for '67 engines.


On Trevors engine, that casting seam line appears to be directly under the second cylinder stud. That's the norm for 1970 (with the exception of the XD and AD bikes), the 1967 engines have the casting seam line approximately half way between the first and second cylinder studs.

Trevor, on the 1970 examples I've posted, there is another casting line just forward of the serial number pad, does your engine have that same line?

Most of our questions on this engines serial number won't have definite answers available, we should be able to narrow down the possibilities a little though.
Posted By: Two Alpha

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 02/18/12 9:45 pm

Originally Posted By: Trevor

On my cases the ground off mould join mark is just behind the second side barrel stud. On others it’s almost exactly between the first and the second. They made no attempt to cover the grinding marks, so why IF (on my engine), they removed the ‘boss’, did they try to make it look as if it was never there? My cases are as cast.


The answer seems fairly straight forward as the serial number provides a huge clue.
Whoever did the stamping was trying to make it appear that the engine was from 1967, or maybe 1966.
There was no engine number pad in 1966 or 1967 so the pad had to go.
Once the pad was removed, I think they then tried to make it look like it had come out of the mold that way with a little creative work on the surface that was left. Then they botched the number. You would think at that point, they already had a fair bit of work into it, why not just repair the number? Perhaps they didn't realize that they had botched the number.

The thing that keeps us from accepting what seems obvious here is that the factory themselves actually did stamp 1969/1970 engines with what appeared to be 1967 serial numbers! They left the pad on though.
Posted By: Kevin (NZ).

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 02/19/12 12:36 am

Quote:
the factory themselves actually did stamp 1969/1970 engines with what appeared to be 1967 serial numbers!


Oh yes, most certainly..

And many hundreds of them.
Posted By: Kevin (NZ).

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 02/19/12 3:36 am


BSA Unit Construction Twins the Complete Story by Matthew Vale

Quote:
-- but was very disappointed by Matthew Vale's 'BSA Unit Twins'.

The title is misleading, as the book largely reproduces existing information on BSA's later twins. An opportunity has been missed to unearth new information, particularly by finding and interviewing BSA employees involved in the A50 / A65's design, production and sales



My local library does not stock this book. If the review is at all close to the mark I may just keep the money in my back pocket.

Has anyone here read it ?

I am sure the author would have never mentioned the various 'Y' suffix bikes.
What do we think.... should we approach some author like this and see if we can get the 'definitive' history of the unit twins researched and published ?
As it stands at the moment I would be thinking most of the research in the past few years has been in this forum.
Does anyone know of research currently being undertaken on this topic ?
By this I mean a blow by blow account of the A50/A65 from beginning to end.
Posted By: Alex

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 02/20/12 11:05 pm

Judging from the creative texturing (not casting marks), the sanding marks where the texturing transitions to the fillet and the overstamped T, my guess is these cases were restamped by someone to match a frame, possibly for registration purposes? Maybe competition?
Posted By: Two Alpha

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 02/21/12 5:02 am

Thanks for posting more photos Trevor. Whatever the real story is on the number, it really has no bearing on how well the thing runs. Being a 1970, you've got an engine with some real improvements over a 1966 or 1967 version.

Originally Posted By: Trevor
My engine doesn't have that forward seam.

I'm a little surprised that the forward seam is gone, whoever did this covered a fair bit more real estate than should have been necessary.

Originally Posted By: Trevor
Here are some more pictures, showing, clearly that there never was a number boss on these casings.

That's not quite what I'm seeing. smile

Originally Posted By: Trevor
Illogical to do all that work to remove a boss, when it's plain to everybody (3/8" barrel studs, clutch release mechanism, screw in timing plug, oil pressure switch, etc.) that this is a much later engine.

Very illogical all right. The factory wouldn't have done this, in fact they had already been stamping the 1967 style "Y" numbers on the raised pad for a number of months before this engine would have come off the line. Whoever did this was trying to make this engine appear as if it really was from 1966 or 1967, they must have thought that the person (buyer?) that they were trying to fool would not recognize clues other than the serial number.

Originally Posted By: Trevor
Still seems logical it was a replacement engine, possibly replaced at the factory, and stamped with the original number. PLUS A DASH Y!

I'm not really seeing the logic there. If it was the factory, or a reputable repair facility, they would have just stamped the number on the blank pad. Then again, if it was someone who was less than reputable, why wouldn't they just file the pad down until the old number was gone, then apply the one that's on there now?
To me, it seems like someone needed to get rid of the serial number that was on the engine and got a little carried away.

You're not seeing the knurling yet it seems to stick out like a sore thumb. I've highlighted some of the more obvious bits here, not sure if the added sharpness and contrast helps or not. Again, compare this with the photos I posted earlier of other 1970 engines.





Posted By: Gary E

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 02/25/12 2:29 pm

Nothing unusual about the numbers. Typical for '67.

It really doesn't look that bad, except the price. Generally, the only wrong parts are the front forks. If it was in the states, I'd consider it just to get the '68 Firebird pipes and mufflers that are on it. They are hard to find.

One person offered the USD equivelent of $2,640 and was turned down. Don't know what they go for in the UK, but they should have taken it. Here in the US, at the USD equivelent of $3,135, it's overpriced.
Posted By: Kevin (NZ).

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 02/25/12 9:50 pm

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/BSA-A65-Lightn...l-/220958996218

Yep, just a normal 1967 Dash Y bike.
Gary gave figure of 12,000 of these so by far the majority of the twins produced that season were blessed (cursed) with the suffix.



This one may require a bit of work. It should be an easy restoration all the same, parts will be easy to come by.
Posted By: Gary E

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 02/26/12 2:07 pm

How do you know it isn't a "-Y" machine without having the cases to verify as, the frames were not stamped with "-Y". Only the "Y" bikes were frame stamped.
Posted By: Kevin (NZ).

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 02/26/12 9:01 pm

Possibly Trevor. I have seen many records where the suffix is not recorded though, admittedly the States registration ones.
I would have thought your number would be a Dash Y bike myself.
Gary has a good idea of the shipping records and I am thinking he believes it should be... at least going by the number range.
Posted By: Kevin (NZ).

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 02/26/12 10:42 pm

Interesting that it is a UK spec bike and that may have a bearing on things. However the fact the number was stamped at the factory to indicate the revised oil manifold may mean all bikes were stamped anyway.
We know Morgan had a Spitfire that was shipped over in early 1967 that had the Dash Y suffix. It was not just US bikes.
Even though the '67 was one of the better ones we have not heard of many Twins being sold in Britain. It is just the way we have been gathering data from Ebay and the like.
I know of at least one other Dash Y bike in the UK but Alan's bike was a re-import.
I looked at my database here and I had two numbers just a few hundred above yours, both were Dash Y machines.

For all that I am reasonably confident that we have got on top of the 1967 Dash Y issue. All the fables we have been hearing the past few decades have no foundation.
I think the stories may have been confusing the Mk IV hybrid Spitfires with all the other Y suffixed bikes.

The 1969/'70 Y bikes still have a way to go before we can make out what went on there... and why !
Posted By: Gary E

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 02/27/12 4:08 am

Originally Posted By: Trevor
...Were they not in the same number ranges? I would think they'd build a few UK bikes alongside the US ones...

Machines were built in model groups along the production line. Also, they were shipped in groups. So, a whole page (or more) in the production books, usually the same model, would show all machines shipped, for example, to BSA West, or to BSA East, or other distributors around the world. Same applies to shipments in the UK. A group of consecutive numbered machines would show sent to the London police department, for example. In the UK, a lot of Lightning and Thunderbolt models went to military or police agencies.

Your number is intermixed, both above and below, other Lightnings, all with "-Y" engines. Typically in that number range, the machines are either "-Y" or "Y". I have no record of machines in that range without either Y. Maybe yours is an aberration. Your number is near the end of the production cycle, just before hybrid SA's began as well as "Y" bikes.

Without the case to verify, we will never know, as paper work can get jumbled after several decades. Some of the titles for the machine here had number and/or year errors. After getting one of them corrected, the new title came with a VIN with a Y after it. So that title is still wrong, but in a different way.
Posted By: Lars Haglund

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 03/18/12 8:35 pm

I am looking at a -67 Spitfire Mark 3 bike. The engine no. seems ok with A65 SA xxxxx -Y but I am confused about the frame no. which is A65 A xxxxx -Y. Of course the missing S troubles me but also the "-Y" at the end. On the -67 bikes I have seen they only have the "-Y" on the engine no. not on the frame no. Anyone seen this and got it verified from UK?
Rgrds,
Posted By: Two Alpha

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 03/18/12 8:52 pm

You are right about the two problems with the frame serial number. It was possibly botched at the factory, or perhaps later.
Can you post a picture of the serial numbers?
Posted By: Lars Haglund

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 03/19/12 7:02 pm

Sorry, I don't have it. I have not seen the bike. I got it described by the seller. It is about 3,5 hours drive one way..
Rgrds,
Posted By: Kevin (NZ).

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 08/13/12 1:01 am

I have been prompted to write a little more about this Dash Y saga.I stumbled upon this on another Forum. It is the personal experience of a guy that bought a Y bike of 1970. Much of what he says is 40 yo memory but what he says about the purchase price is interesting.
We have not seen that mentioned before.

This is what Bob wrote;

Quote:
I will second the debate over the Y suffix. The fact is, your engine could have been built and/ or sold any time between 1967 and 1970. The original intent was to for 1967 models to have an A designation after the model, 1968 was B and 1969 was C. In 1970 they converted over to the U.S. dot approved numbering system with the TWO letters after the model code designating the month and year of manufacture. But.....for some unexplained reason, bikes with the 1967 numbers continued to show up until 1970, peppered in with the bikes with the correct years numbers. I was helping out at a BSA shop in the 1960`s, and as I remember, these bikes were always considered to be 'leftovers' from a slow 1967 sales year, and were sold at a substantial discount by the dealers. The unexplained part, is that many of these 'leftover' models came thru with all of the updates for the current model year, including the raised numbers on the engine case and the larger and repositioned base flange studs. I still have not quite figured this out. In 1970 I bought a brand new blue 1970 Lightning, with the large stud case, the clutch actuator in the outer timing cover, twin horns, tail light extension, condensors mounted under seat, TLS front brake...all 1970 features.but it had A65LA 1967 numbers, and I bought it for $1025.00 brand new when the properly numbered 1970 Lightnings were selling for $1495.00. If your engine has the 1969 or 1970 updates, it was probably built in a later year than 1967. It is also correct that Hornets were not sold in the 1970 model year,
Posted By: D.Bachtel

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 08/13/12 2:08 am

Y not?

Don in Nipomo... who knows?
Posted By: grandfaloon

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 10/07/12 1:41 pm

I am new to this forum and recently purchased a Craigslist BSA Lightning (barn find) reported to be a 1969, but after reading this and many other threads, I am not so sure. I did see registration papers indicating it was a 1969, but then again, it might have been registered and sold in 1969, and hence the registration date.The frame and engine both have the same serial numbers A65LA7100 Y as you can see there is a space between the number and the "Y" just like the raised boss. The bike reportedly sat for twenty five years in a barn after the owner lost interest. The frame has not been repainted and had a 1969 sticker on the neck, now I am finding that same sticker on eBay, so I cannot go by that detail. Based on the low serial number 7100, the questions concerning the exact year of manufacture remain elusive. With questionable paperwork, now even more so. From this forum the low serial number means something, but what? I await any response, thanks in advance...
Posted By: Two Alpha

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 10/15/12 5:54 am

It's a 1969 with an extra special serial number.

If you read back through this thread you'll see a few theories as to why BSA put 1967 numbers on some of the 1969 and 1970 motorcycles. We haven't seen a decent "official" explanation yet, quite likely never will.
Posted By: Kevin (NZ).

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 10/15/12 6:52 am

Another good one. Thanks for posting.

We don't get to see many 1969 'Y' bikes.

This must be about the fifth I am aware of. They are very rare in comparison to the 1970 models, we have seen almost 100 of them listed here now.
Posted By: timbo

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 02/10/13 11:40 am

Hi, just thought i would send a photo of my engine number fitted to my OIF A65, i know its not original, but its a "Y".

Timbo

Posted By: Two Alpha

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 02/11/13 8:17 am

Thanks timbo, another 1969 LA Y engine to add to the knowledge base.
Posted By: Kevin (NZ).

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 02/11/13 10:34 pm

Thanks guys.
How many 1969 engines is that now ? Is it a dozen or more ?

Cheers.
Posted By: Two Alpha

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 02/12/13 1:37 am

Greetings Kevin!

I've got pictures of 10 now, 3 RA's and 7 LA's.

No 1969 TA yet though.
Posted By: Roger Gulledge

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 03/27/13 12:36 am

1967 BSA Hornet Factory TT Race
Posted By: MalSealy

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 03/28/13 6:04 pm

Firstly I'm sorry that I'm stupid! I dip in and read lots but have not logged in for a very long time. I also changed my email address and had not updated my profile. So when I logged in today I found a PM from a long time ago asking for more info re my -Y BSA. So sorry for the delay but here it is at long last!

This is the dating cert from the owners club. It only gives the bare facts.



However this is the note that was sent with it



This is the engine number



This is the frame number



These are photos of both sides of the bike as I got it





I have no knowledge of its history apart from the dealer I bought it from told me that he thought that it had been a Police bike.

It was quite original and the engine was on standard bore and crank (and still is) so it not been abused too much.

What I do not understand is that everything frame related was over painted in dove grey. As I stripped it down it was clear that it was all black paint underneath. As I have said I can not comment on when that happened as I have no history to it.

So over to you all to see if this helps or further muddys the waters!

If anyone wants more info I WILL reply quicker this time as I have now updated my email address in my profile.

Mal (and sorry again for the dealy).
Posted By: Two Alpha

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 03/28/13 6:21 pm

Good stuff Mal, better late than never as they say.
Posted By: Kevin (NZ).

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 03/28/13 10:59 pm

Hi Mal.
Thanks for the pics and comments.

Your bike is a little interesting. I think it is basically a standard Thunderbolt of the 1967 year and nothing out of the ordinary there.

I am guessing though it was never despatched but rather put to one side to be converted to fill and export order. A SOO at that. ie Special Order Only specification.

The tank I am sure is as it left the factory, although that is my guess.
It is unusual tank and would not have normally been available during 1967, those badges appeared a little later. Same with the cap, not normal for a 1968 bike either.

I have to say that I am believing the Dating Certificate there but I really have no reason to doubt those dates.

BSA did all they possibly could to squeeze as many bikes as they could into those 1967 despatch books.
They built a very large number during the season and seemed to have little trouble selling them. I remember Rich B saying that he knew a dealer that stated they could have sold all they got.

Times were indeed marvellous for BSA and the Brit bike industry.

The 1967 shipping books remain a complete mystery though. They must have had some very compelling reasons to keep adding bikes to that particular year.

Do we have any other details on the Saudi bikes ?

It would be an interesting subject in itself.
Perhaps many are survivors and still in the desert !!
Posted By: Ola

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 03/31/13 10:36 am

-Y engine on ebay:
http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/BSA-Horne...=item3cd057cab6
Posted By: Two Alpha

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 03/31/13 5:52 pm

Originally Posted By: MalSealy
What I do not understand is that everything frame related was over painted in dove grey. As I stripped it down it was clear that it was all black paint underneath.


As the hand written note from Brian Pollitt states, "your bike was built in January 1967". At this point, it would have been a standard Thunderbolt with black frame etc.
It's a bit of a mystery what happened over the next 15 months or so, but BSA had it in their possession and was able to despatch it to Saudi in late June of 1968. I would expect that they would have put this order together within the month or so prior to shipping, the order must have specified gray frames so gray over black it was.

It's doubtful that this bike was set aside in January of 1967 for that particular order, it would have been used to fill the very next order out, after it was built, that required a Thunderbolt.

It would be interesting to see the entry for your bike in the book as this is the first time I've seen the dating certificate done like like this, with the added note for the earlier date. The certificates have evolved slightly over the last few years when it comes to explaining these bikes with multiple dates in the books. If your certificate had been done a couple of years later, it probably would show two despatch dates like others we've seen.

One of my bikes has a very similar time line to yours, and I have an image of it's entry in the despatch book thanks to a fine gentleman who hangs out here occasionally. Mine was originally despatched on Jan. 4th 1967, and then despatched a second time on Apr. 12th 1968, according to the book.

We are still missing a big piece of the story here, but I think that the reason why all these dual despatch bikes from 1967 came about may have played a big part in why BSA had to build a load of bikes in 1969/1970 with 1967 serial numbers.

Seems we're always asking "Y" around here. smile
Posted By: Two Alpha

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 07/07/13 6:40 am

Well, we're not quite finished with this mystery yet.
The recent activity has gotten me thinking about something we haven't really touched on with these "Y" bikes.
I'll go at this with the info I have, some of you will be able to improve on it. Let's see where this takes us.

1967 Engine numbers start at 101, and run out to at least "A65LA 17151-Y". The highest number I have a picture of is "A65SA 16835-Y". I don't think we have any major issues now with 1967, we know how the "-Y" came about. Pending more info, total number of twins built is approx. 17,050.

1968 Engine numbers start at 101, and run out to at least "A65TB 10918". Total production of regular serial numbered bikes is approx. 10,800. The only "Y" bikes of 1968 were the 478 "SA/Y" Spitfires, the lowest and highest numbers I have for them are "A65SA 173??Y" and "A65SA 17698Y", obviously there are more that aren't contained between those two numbers.

1969 Now things start to get really interesting. Engine numbers start at 11101, and run out to at least "GC 22610 A65", total production of regular serial numbered bikes is approx. 11,500. The number of "Y" bikes produced in 1969 seems to be fairly low, although I do have pictures of 11 of them. The highest serial number I have for a 1969 "Y" bike is "A65LA 10481Y", lower than the official start number for 1969.

1970 Engine numbers start at HD 00101 (according to the parts book, but that's actually July, they probably meant JD 00101 which would be August) and run out to at least "HD 10670 A65L". Total production of regular serial numbered bikes is approx. 10,500.
The total production of "Y" bikes for 1970 (with 1967 style identifiers, A65LA, A65TA and A50RA) is estimated at close to 1000. The serial numbers for these bikes range intermittently from "A65LA 10520Y" to "A65LA 15824". Although there is a bit of overlap, the large majority of these 1970 "Y" bikes are outside the range of the regular serial numbered bikes for 1970.

My thoughts. Apart from a very slight overlap at the tail end of the 1970 production year, BSA made sure to keep the range of unusual serial numbers outside of the range of the regular serial numbers for 1968, 1969 and 1970. Not only were these unusual serial numbers all in 1967 style, they all fit within the range of regular 1967 serial numbers as well!

It would make no sense for BSA to be all but duplicating existing 1967 serial numbers, the 1967 numbers would have had to be defunct before they could have been used for the approx. 1500 "Y" bikes.
The loss of the original numbers/bikes, and why BSA had to re-create them, is the root of the story here. In the end, BSA had to replace those numbers/bikes at no small expense. They wouldn't have done that unless they absolutely had to, stamping a regular serial number rather than the unusual one would have been worth several hundreds of dollars, for each and every "Y" bike they produced!
Looks like about a two million dollar foul up to me, and that's back when a case of beer was less than two bucks.


Posted By: Kevin (NZ).

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 07/07/13 7:09 am

I am happy with almost all of that. It read very well.
The only thing you did not mention was that a number of Y bikes of 1969/70 have 4 digit S/N.
We know that no regular bike of those years ever had a 4 digit number so that yet again follows what you said about the S/N being outside the 'normal' range for that particular year.

I posted a little earlier today about the '69 Firebird. Is it a coincidence that that bike is in Canada now ? Andy came up with a bike with a similar number being shipped to Canada in 1967.
Obviously it is impossible for a Firebird to be shipped then as the model hadn't even been announced at that point.


You are now saying that there may be a reason behind these particular numbers for the various Y suffix bikes.
I tend to agree, I have always thought that there was more to it than just random numbers.

The Hybrid Spitfires follow on from the end of the Mk III production and give the impression they were 1967 models..... as indeed we all assumed until Gary mentioned the casting differences and the despatch dates. We were supposed to be fooled into thinking they are end of 1967 season bikes, - the reality is they were made and shipped at the end of the 1968 season.

Now for the Y bikes of 1969/70.
Only Lightning, Thunderbolt and Royal Stars. Indeed only bikes currently getting made on the line. We know the reason for that now, these bikes were freshly minted and not refurbished as the myth tries to have us believe.
I have never seen a refurbished 1967 bike, and most certainly no Hornets or Spitfires..
Again we know the reason for that. The bikes were all sold several years before the Y bikes were 're-invented' and entered into the 1967 despatch books.
So the 1970 Y bike Serial numbers are out of the range of the normal Serial Numbers for that model year. Ok. But we are dealing with bikes that are now going to be entered into the 1967 books, surely the numbers were taken from 'available' numbers in the book anyway. The jury is still out on whether we have duplicate numbers, ie two bikes with similar numbers. A65TA12345-Y of 1967 and A65TA12345 Y of 1970.

I have not seen the books myself but those that have keep talking about a couple of shipping dates. Just like the dating Certificates try to have us believe the bike was shipped once in 1967 and again in 1970.
We know the Y bike was not even made in 1967, so it cannot possibly be the same machine.

What then became of the bike despatched from the factory in 1967.

Is that the big question here ?

Perhaps the answer to our Y bike conundrum lies somewhere there....
Posted By: Two Alpha

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 07/07/13 8:04 am

Originally Posted By: Kevin (NZ).

What then became of the bike despatched from the factory in 1967.

Is that the big question here ?

Perhaps the answer to our Y bike conundrum lies somewhere there....


That's where I'm at.
The 68/69 Firebird on the other thread could also be in this situation, perhaps the 1967 Spitfire with the same number met it's demise with BSA still on the hook for it.
The number on the Firebird seems almost reckless though, especially in comparison to the "SA/Y" Spitfires that they had been doing in the previous few months. Actually, when you think about it, that 17685 number fits right in with those Spitfires.
Posted By: Two Alpha

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 07/07/13 8:27 am

Originally Posted By: Kevin (NZ).
The jury is still out on whether we have duplicate numbers, ie two bikes with similar numbers. A65TA12345-Y of 1967 and A65TA12345 Y of 1970.


It looks like BSA specifically used numbers where they knew this would not happen. The only way they could be totally sure was if they oversaw the demise of the earlier bike with that number, that had to be the case.
We haven't yet stumbled across a real case of your above example, probably never will.
Posted By: Kevin (NZ).

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 07/07/13 8:41 am

I posted this on the Firebird thread.

Quote:

Thanks for posting Ray.

At first glance your bike is a normal early season 1969 model.

You are correct in that a few things were happening. You have the month/year coding obviously and also the raised pad, - albeit before the machining and stamped icons. You do also have the new stamps with the new font so all falls into place nicely there.

By Xmas the bikes had settled into the proper and normal 1969 season identification features. We do seem to have a few Y bikes made on the line a few months later though. So that is why we have at least the three types of number sequences used during the 1969 season. The Y bikes of 1969 would have the stamped pad, icons and new font.
Nothing at all like the original numbers would have appeared on a 1967 model bike.
We should be able to crack this one. We know there were approx 1000 Y bikes and we have examples of their S/N.
We now need to find out what happened to the bikes that were assigned that S/N and shipped during 1967.

We have never checked to see if those bikes ever turned up at the distributors/dealers.

How can we check what amounts to duplicate numbers on the bikes that were supposedly sent during 1967. Did any ever get registered ?

We must have a database of at least 100 Y bikes so far....
Posted By: Kevin (NZ).

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 07/07/13 9:53 am

Hi Ian, thanks for the pic. We have seen similar stampings on B44 bikes here before and I am not sure what we made of them.

I think the B44 guys like Kommando will be the ones to have an opinion.
It will be interesting to see if it is related to any of the A65 discussion in any way.


Possibly the oil pipes ?

I think the subterfuge with the unit twins was just taking advantage of the Y suffix confusion, it seems to have worked very well.
Posted By: Gary E

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 07/07/13 11:59 am

Originally Posted By: Two Alpha
...1967 Engine numbers start at 101, and run out to at least "A65LA 17151-Y"...

Did the A65LA 17151-Y info come from me? I don't have any info that the "-Y" went that high in the numbers.

Originally Posted By: Two Alpha
1968 Engine numbers start at 101, and run out to at least "A65LB 9114"...

My production book notes indicate TB 10918 was the last '68, with a date of July 5, 1968.
Posted By: Two Alpha

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 07/07/13 3:54 pm

Originally Posted By: Gary E
Did the A65LA 17151-Y info come from me? I don't have any info that the "-Y" went that high in the numbers.

I didn't keep track of where I stumbled across the "for sale" post for this one. There were four pictures of the bike, none with the serial number.
"Meth and Veg classic racer 650 1967 Matching nmbers A65LA17151-Y A65LA17151 
built for the isle of man TT Last race finnished 3rd surfers international 1975 not started since pushed to the back of shed new pistons prior to last race Dunlop race rim rear Borani front Period DISC BRAKE steering dampner ducktail seat quick fill alloy race tank fairing its all there bolts still race wired this is a QUICK bike just been resting for 35 years.FIELDING OFFERS "

Originally Posted By: Gary E
My production book notes indicate TB 10918 was the last '68, with a date of July 5, 1968.

Thanks Gary, I will make note of that.

That little bit of overlap of numbers, at the end of the 1970 production, has me curious. They probably had no intention of doing that but ended up with late orders that pushed them up past the lowest of the "Y" numbers that they had been re-using for that season.
Was there any duplication of numbers in that overlap from "A65LA 10520Y" to "HD 10670 A65L"?
Doubtful, but that's where it might have happened.
Posted By: Gary E

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 07/07/13 4:51 pm

I'm curious if the seller made a typo and the number ought to be LA 16151-Y. Every number for a long series either side of 17151 are Spitfires (SA), and 16151 fits in with a series of Lightnings (LA). Or, maybe even more possible, it should be LA 11151 as that number also fits in with a seires of Lightnings (LA). I added it to the number database here anyway, but with a notation.

Posted By: Two Alpha

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 07/07/13 5:16 pm

The way he noted the numbers caught my eye, more precise than what we usually see, and he certainly was aware of the difference between the engine and frame numbers. Just based on that, I expect that he would have recorded the numbers correctly.
No guarantee he did though!

I'm always appreciative when a picture of the serial number is included, tightens things up considerably.
Posted By: Kevin (NZ).

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 07/08/13 2:52 am



Quote:
Meth and Veg classic racer 650 1967 Matching nmbers A65LA17151-Y A65LA17151
built for the isle of man TT Last race finnished 3rd surfers international 1975 not started since pushed to the back of shed new pistons prior to last race Dunlop race rim rear Borani front Period DISC BRAKE steering dampner ducktail seat quick fill alloy race tank fairing its all there bolts still race wired this is a QUICK bike just been resting for 35 years


Although the ad is a few years old he does give an Aussie phone number. I will give it a ring later on and see if we can get some pics of the engine numbers.
Posted By: Kevin (NZ).

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 07/09/13 3:08 am


Similar thread that I have also posted on.


Quote:
In a way I am glad we seem to be approaching this from different angles. While we are guessing, and guessing far too much at that, we may just stumble upon something in the process.

We do have common ground, much of it. I think we are now aware of the three groupings of the use of the Y suffix on the later pre-OIF twins.

You seem to think the confusing use of the suffix for 1968 and then 69/70 was due to something that happened in 1967. Along the lines of something happened to the original bikes that were entered in the books and then 'replacements' were made.

I am still thinking that BSA chose to make a batch of Spitfires at the end of the 1968 model season and then 'pretend' they were left over 1967 bikes.
We were believing they were Mk III bikes but with Mk IV styling.... it was not until Gary pointed out that the engines were made in 1968, as we can now see, and he provided shipping dates. The entire batch was made at the end of the 1968 season and shipped without delay. The engine stamps used confirms that they are indeed 1968 stamps so that all ties up.

We have Spitfires only, all newly made and then entered into the 1967 books.... giving the impression they were indeed 1967 bikes that had been restyled. I see that as deception.

In all this we have specific models of machine, not across the range if we were expecting dock delayed bikes or transit damaged.

I believe that by the time BSA were working on the 1969 range of bikes someone in management was planning a similar 'deceitful' exercise. By now the available range had been reduced, the Spitfire and Hornets were no longer being made and the Firebird could not be used as that was not produced in 1967.
The only models they could possibly work with this time were A65T, A65L and A50R.
And lo and behold that is exactly what we got.
BSA then started to intermingle production of the regular line with A50RA, A65LA and A65TA numbered bikes that were then entered as shipped in the 1967 books.

I believe BSA thought they could get away with it, they had created so much confusion in the 1967 shipping books that they had so many people believing their version.

They did get away with it. Nothing surer.
It is only now, 44 years later, that we are seeking the truth.
Alistair Cave must have seen us asking the questions, we have been at this since 2001 here that I have been involved.

He kept quiet.

The Dating Officers have tried to give their take on it all but really I have difficulty making any sense of all their contradictory remarks. The Dating Certificates for the bikes are all confused and often bear no resemblance to the comments on the website.
I have only ever seen one Dating Certificate for a Y bike that I could agree with. All the others make out as the bike was shipped during 1967 when naturally the bike didn't even exist until 2 or 3 years later. Many certificates contradict the physical attributes of the bike. This is certainly the case of the Y bikes of 1970 which were issued with 1967 model certificates. Like Phil's bike we saw the other day it is obvious that it has no 1967 features whatsoever.

I am still thinking along the lines of the stories we have been fed must have some foundation.
I believe people were hoodwinked into thinking that the Y bikes that were shipped in 1970 were indeed refurbished 1967 examples and that tax had already been paid as they had been returned to the factory.

I see the story being directed at Customs and Tax officials. The BSA insiders knew differently.
The factory workers knew they were not remade as did the US distributors and dealers.
I am also under the impression that the young guys that bought the bikes assumed they were new 1970 models.
The confusion with 1967 numbers and titles seems to have started during the 1990's.
About the time of the resurgence of interest in restoring classic bikes and coincidently the publishing of the Bacon and similar books. We also have the internet helping spread the myths and the various websites etc coming along about the same time as well.

I still think the Hybrid Spitfires and the 1970 Y bikes were all entered into the 1967 despatch books in order to get around some 1969 regulations or tax scales. They were all represented to officialdom as refurbished bikes, the problem we now have is that far too many people have swallowed the myth.

I look forward to the day when we finally hear what really happened.
Posted By: Two Alpha

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 07/09/13 8:11 am

Originally Posted By: Kevin (NZ).

You seem to think the confusing use of the suffix for 1968 and then 69/70 was due to something that happened in 1967. Along the lines of something happened to the original bikes that were entered in the books and then 'replacements' were made.

Yes, that's a short version of what I think the hard evidence we have says. You think it says something more nefarious.

Originally Posted By: Kevin (NZ).

We have Spitfires only, all newly made and then entered into the 1967 books.... giving the impression they were indeed 1967 bikes that had been restyled. I see that as deception.

I don't see it as deception. They identified these replacement bikes as different with the "Y", they showed the 1968 dispatch dates. If they really wanted to deceive, they wouldn't have done either of those things.

Originally Posted By: Kevin (NZ).
The Dating Certificates for the bikes are all confused and often bear no resemblance to the comments on the website.
I have only ever seen one Dating Certificate for a Y bike that I could agree with. All the others make out as the bike was shipped during 1967 when naturally the bike didn't even exist until 2 or 3 years later. Many certificates contradict the physical attributes of the bike. This is certainly the case of the Y bikes of 1970 which were issued with 1967 model certificates. Like Phil's bike we saw the other day it is obvious that it has no 1967 features whatsoever.


The problem with the dating certificates is that the people producing them thought that these replacement bikes were really just refurbished bikes. They thought there was only one bike when we know, for many of those numbers with a second entry, there was a second bike built as a replacement for the first!

Originally Posted By: Kevin (NZ).
I am still thinking along the lines of the stories we have been fed must have some foundation.

Yes. They need to get rid of the refurbish word pertaining to the "Y" bikes, explain that the "Y" bikes were actually replacements for the 1967 bikes but were otherwise the same as any other bike in the year they were produced.

Originally Posted By: Kevin (NZ)
I still think the Hybrid Spitfires and the 1970 Y bikes were all entered into the 1967 despatch books in order to get around some 1969 regulations or tax scales.

Except...
Quote:
In 1970 I bought a brand new blue 1970 Lightning, with the large stud case, the clutch actuator in the outer timing cover, twin horns, tail light extension, condensors mounted under seat, TLS front brake...all 1970 features.but it had A65LA 1967 numbers, and I bought it for $1025.00 brand new when the properly numbered 1970 Lightnings were selling for $1495.00.

There's no way that's going to add up in BSA's favor.

It's all rooted in 1967, whatever happened to those 1500 bikes that freed up those serial numbers. BSA was forced, probably due to something along the lines of an export incentive they had already received, to replace those bikes/serial numbers.
I doubt that there was anything underhanded about it, more likely embarrassing, and certainly costly. Perfectly understandable that they would have decided the less said the better.
Posted By: Two Alpha

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 07/09/13 4:27 pm

Let's take a closer look at 1967.

A few days ago I had posted...

Quote:
1967 Engine numbers start at 101, and run out to at least "A65LA 17151-Y". The highest number I have a picture of is "A65SA 16835-Y". I don't think we have any major issues now with 1967, we know how the "-Y" came about. Pending more info, total number of twins built is approx. 17,050.


That was based on info from the Spares List, and pictures of serial numbers and bikes that I have been accumulating.

I've also been gathering relevant information from sources I consider trustworthy. Yes, that might be a slippery slope!

Quote:
A clarification on the last true '67 dispatched in my previous post. Note that it is the last "dispatched" in '67, not the last machine built or dispatched in later years. Book 276 starts at #16656 and goes to #18601 with it dispatched April 24, 1968 (yes '68, and they are not noted as "Y" bikes.
(Gary E, BritBike post 403948 )

So, total 1967 model twin production is approx. 18,500 machines with the highest serial number being 18601, and they were still dispatching 1967 models in April of 1968!

Let's face it, this is where the necessity for the "Y" bikes is born. The original 1967 machines, with the numbers that were re-used later, became unsellable. This may have been determined immediately for some, and maybe later for others. BSA would have already collected the export credits for those numbers, net result is they had to re-create those numbers on new bikes so that they could fulfil their side of the export credit contract.

I think it's as simple as that. First batch of these replacement machines was the 1968 "SA/Y" Spitfires.

Quote:
Hybrid '67 SA's start at #11577 (dispatched 4/18/68) and randomly go to #17892 (dispatched 4/18/68). Yes the same date.
Dispatch dates are April, May, June, and July of '68 (yes '68).
The entries are in the 3rd '67 book (#276), in the middle of the book, after several blank pages. They are not in the '68 books.

(Gary E, BritBike post 404270 )
Note that at the time Gary posted this we still hadn't quite realized that the "SA/Y" Spitfires were actually 1968 models, we were still calling them 1967's.

To be continued this evening.
Posted By: Kevin (NZ).

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 07/09/13 5:00 pm

I always thought the bulk of the 1967 bikes had long been shipped before the strikes of November 1967. The backlog went through into early 1968 and would have severely disrupted the shipping of the 1968 models.
I am still very wary of any shipping entries in those 1967 books.
Likewise I am concerned about how the Y bikes are so orderly and only particular models.

BSA were exporting bikes from across the entire range and it is no coincidence that the re-exported bike fantasy only affects models that could be made on the line in 1970.
I have no doubt that various models missed their shipping for a variety of reasons. But that would have been B25 and B44 bikes as well as the twins. It is all too convenient that we only have three models of Y bike in 1970.

Steve Foden has spoken about containers of bikes having to be spruced up after deteriorating on the docks. The factory workers have mentioned this and I have no doubt it did indeed happen.
What we don't have is the dates when this occurred but it should not expected to be part of the Y bike discussion. I think it was probably a little after March 1968. Could the making of the Hybrid Spitfires been brought about by these events ?
BSA seized upon the chance to mint some 'new' Spitfires and include those numbers in the 1967 books as Gary has outlined above.
Posted By: Two Alpha

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 07/10/13 4:00 am

From where I left off this morning...

Quote:
-”According to the '67 production book there were 478 hybrid '68 SA machines.
(Gary E, BritBike post 384270 )

For each 1968 "SA/Y" Spitfire produced, from #11577 to #17892, BSA had to know that the corresponding number from 1967 no longer existed. There is no way that they could have "A65SA 11577-Y" and "A65SA 11577Y" in circulation at the same time.
This is enough to reinforce that these bikes are replacements for the same numbered bikes from 1967.

Quote:
The last '68 model dispatched had a date of 7/68 and was TB 10918 (Thunderbolt).
(Gary E, BritBike post 390783 )

By the end of the 1968 production season in July, BSA had managed to get as many of the 1967 twins dispatched as they could (end of April), dispatched the 1968 production of almost 11,000 bikes, and also dispatched 478 "SA/Y" bikes.

Quote:
More juice in my notes: about 768 '67 "Y"'s to 1970, and approx. 380 are dated February 1969
(Gary E, BritBike post 403948 )

Quote:
the "Y" machine entries in the inside front and back covers of the '67 production books show dispatch dates of January, February and May of 1970, all LA and TA models.
(Gary E, BritBike post 403948 )

Quote:
Referring to the '67 production books with the hand entries on the inside of the front and rear covers with dispatch dates in January, February and May 1970, I can now verify the following information regarding those "Y" production numbers.
The numbers listed in the inside covers also appear in the body of the book. The numbers in the normal pages of the books had dispatch dates already amended one or more times so there was no room for further entries. Those specific production numbers in the normal pages, which are also listed on the inside front and back covers, are not blank lines.
As an example: LA 12212 had despatch dates in 1967 and 1968 on the normal pages in the book, then again in 1970 on the inside front cover.
(Gary E, BritBike post 403948 )

The example of LA 12212 above suggests the primary reason why production of the "Y" bikes was spread over three years. It appears that there were two failed dispatches of the same bike, then it's demise, followed by the manufacture and dispatch of a new, same numbered, replacement "Y" bike.
As you would expect, BSA tried to refurbish as many of those ill-fated 1967 bikes as possible. Once that became hopeless, they built replacements for them.

Why did they build replacements?

It certainly wasn't because they could make more money selling bikes with the previous years serial numbers than they could by selling new bikes with the current years serial number.
The number one reason might be that they had already received an export credit for those serial numbers, and had to make good.
Something else that might have played into it, because they had won a Queen's Award for Exports in 1967 perhaps they thought that they needed to make sure the numbers were beyond reproach.

I need to give Gary a huge thank you for the tremendous amount of information he has shared with us.
Posted By: Gary E

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 07/10/13 4:26 am

Thanks a ton for assembling all of my fragmented postings into an outline that makes sense. With all of my postings spread out and intermixed within the long thread, it was all very confusing. With all these nuggets of information, maybe we can shed some light on that time period of uncertainty.
Posted By: Two Alpha

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 07/10/13 4:45 am

Originally Posted By: Kevin (NZ).
BSA seized upon the chance to mint some 'new' Spitfires and include those numbers in the 1967 books as Gary has outlined above.

Really? They were already making lots of 1968 Spitfires with 1968 serial numbers, why devalue your product if you don't have to?

As I've pointed out above, the only reason they could use the numbers they did for the 1968 "SA/Y" bikes was because the 1967 bikes with those numbers were no longer in existence.
Everything points to the new bikes being replacements for the old bikes.
So why did they do this if it was going to cost them profit?
Surely they were forced to do it, the most likely reason being the export credit that they must have received for those bikes.
They were forced to provide replacement export bikes with those serial numbers.
Posted By: Kevin (NZ).

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 07/10/13 4:53 am

Thanks for getting some of those quotes together and on the same page. Looking good.

I still have too many question marks though.
You seem to be assuming the Hybrid Spitfires replaced an earlier batch.
I am not so sure about that.
Why just Spitfires, what about all the other bikes ?
I have not seen any refurbished 1967 bike, ok they may have replaced 1967 parts with newer 1967 parts but all those bikes are faithful to their model year. The exception of course being the Hybrids, they could not possibly receive 1967 parts as they were made at the end of the 1968 season and are naturally enough made up of ALL 1968 parts.
I don't think the Hybrid numbers were used twice, but that is just a hunch I am afraid.

I see the batch of Hybrid Spitfires being made as MK IV's and sold as such. The 1967 style numbers were for a reason... probably the same reason they were entered into the 1967 books.

I think BSA used the dock strike confusion to make out those bikes were 1967 bikes that had missed the boat and were 'refurbished'.
They were 1968 models and made in 1968. BSA could have (should have) stamped A65SB numbers on them and sold them as 1968 models.
But they didn't !!

The bikes were given 1967 style numbers and shipping details squeezed into the 1967 books.
BSA must have had a very good reason to do be doing that.

Gary is quite clear on the Y bikes of 1970.
He does say the same numbers are in the body of the book. The Y bikes are recorded (with 1970 shipping dates) on the insides of the covers.

We do have a duplication of the numbers in this case.
Rich B has said that US eyes the numbers 12345-Y and 12345Y may not be the same. Even more likely when the suffix is on the engine number only for the dash Y bikes.

We need o know what happened to those 1967 bikes, and also why it only affected the RA, TA and LA models.
The HA, SA and all the singles avoided the mess.

My hunch here is that those early bikes either never existed (unlikely) or that a second bike was made and sent out in 1970 purporting to be a refurbished 1967 bike on which taxes had already been paid.
Of course they would have been paid on export, it was what happened to the bikes afterwards that we don't know about.
Did they get sold in the States, did they come back to the factory ?

Perhaps a combination of both.
Maybe the paperwork for the second despatch left a loophole wide enough to exploit by the exporting of a similar numbered bike 2 years later.
What we do know is that the 1970 bikes were never 1967 bikes.... the numbers stamped on the cases had been used before though, - well at least as far as the shipping books go.

We need the vehicle registration Dept in one of the US states to come up with a Y bike S/N that was definitely registered in 1967 or 1968. We would then have proof that two bikes were indeed made and shipped.
The query does not need the Y or Dash Y suffix. The 1967 registration may have just been A65TA 12345.
We know that the engine would have had the Dash Y anyway.
The 1970 bike would have been registered A65TA 12345Y
A different number..
Perhaps that is how BSA selected the numbers they could reuse.. they were confident the first bike had safely been titled.

Another thought,
How many distributors received the Y bikes of 1970 ?
Was it across the board or was it limited to just a select one or two ?
Posted By: Two Alpha

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 07/10/13 5:03 am

So true Gary, trying to sort out everything, not just your info, was driving me crazy.
In the end I had to copy all the good quotes and comments and paste them into a proper time line.
Posted By: Two Alpha

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 07/10/13 5:30 am

Originally Posted By: Kevin (NZ).

You seem to be assuming the Hybrid Spitfires replaced an earlier batch.
I am not so sure about that.


Originally Posted By: Kevin (NZ).
I don't think the Hybrid numbers were used twice, but that is just a hunch I am afraid.


After looking at the numbers, 1967 bikes up to #18601, and then the Hybrids #11577 intermittently to #17892, they had to have been. And the earlier bikes had to be write-offs already, within a matter of months really.


Originally Posted By: Kevin (NZ).
We need to know what happened to those 1967 bikes, and also why it only affected the RA, TA and LA models.
The HA, SA and all the singles avoided the mess.


Don't forget the SA/Y bikes. smile So RA, TA, LA and SA.

I'm having a hard time believing that there was much in the way of hanky panky going on, those boys were up to their...necks in alligators at the time.

Also, even though the 1967 bikes were "exported", quite a few of them may have not even left England, never even made it to North America.


Posted By: Kevin (NZ).

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 07/10/13 5:46 am

Again I don't see the facts on the loss of nearly 500 Spitfires.
That would be catastrophic for them at the time and we also have no evidence.
What are we supposed to believe happened to those bikes ?

No mention in the magazines, nothing in how BSA lost 2% of their unit twins exported that year, insurance ? just Spitfires ?

1967 was a good year, by all accounts it was a very good one for them.
It was 1968 when the wheels came off the wagon.
That was the shipping strike, bikes getting late to market, the introduction of the triple range and the news of the Honda 750 all hit.

I think the plan was connived in 1968 and because they got away with it they had another crack a year or so later with the Y bikes.

I see Gary is following us here. Perhaps he can help out with the Hybrid Spitfire details.
Were the numbers used twice in the shipping books Gary ?
ie, shipped during 1967 and then again in mid-1968.
Sorry but the memory is letting me down a little here. I am prepared to bet beers that they were just entered in the books the once though.
Cheers (enjoy your beers wink )

We are still coming back to what happened to the original bikes.
It cannot be too difficult of a question for us to find an answer for it.
Posted By: Two Alpha

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 07/10/13 6:27 am

Originally Posted By: Kevin (NZ).
Again I don't see the facts on the loss of nearly 500 Spitfires.
That would be catastrophic for them at the time and we also have no evidence.
What are we supposed to believe happened to those bikes ?


We have plenty of evidence in the re-use of those numbers.

I'm a little reluctant to suggest you revisit Stephen Fodor's correspondence, there are a few possibilities in there, it's just ever so slightly jumbled though.
Posted By: Kevin (NZ).

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 07/10/13 7:11 am

Yep, in the 13 years I have been doing this I have never really had a need to read much into what they are saying.

I have been preferring to see what the bikes themselves are saying and that is why I am keen to see one of the 1967 bikes with the earlier use of a duplicated number.
Until then much of this is going to be guesswork and speculation.

Stephen and most of the committee have not even seen a Hybrid Spitfire or a 1970 Y bike yet.

That is partly why it is such tough going at times.

The BSAOC UK has Al Cave's documents and notes in their possession though. It would be great if Eric could go through that and see if there are any clues.
Posted By: Allan Gill

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 07/10/13 8:38 am

I think a lot of confusion is entering here,

proper 67/68 bikes would have only had 4 numbers, not 5 as on the -Y bikes (correct me if im wrong there)

Also, haven't we already established that the Y bikes were 67 bikes which received the 68 features - as fitted by the retailer to gain a redemption on upon completion of work.


67 was about one of the best financial years for BSA - despite that 5 years later they went bust.
Posted By: Kevin (NZ).

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 07/10/13 9:08 am

Hmmm. almost 100% fail.

1967 was a good year though.
Posted By: Kevin (NZ).

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 07/10/13 9:50 am

I think we are more than happy with the bikes and their numbers.
No problems there.

What we don't know is why the 1968 Hybrid Spitfires were made and likewise we know little about why the Y model 1969 and 1970 bikes were made and entered into the earlier books.

We have made some tremendous advances on the bikes and what they are.
That is easy;
A 1967 Dash Y bike is a 1967 with the oil and ign cam mods done.
The 1968 Hybrid Spitfires are 1968 bikes in all respects apart from S/N.

Likewise the 1969/70 Y bikes are all true to their model year apart from the number sequence.
All very easy and understood now.
Posted By: Two Alpha

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 07/10/13 4:36 pm

Originally Posted By: Kevin (NZ).
I think we are more than happy with the bikes and their numbers.
No problems there.


Originally Posted By: Kevin (NZ).
We have made some tremendous advances on the bikes and what they are.
That is easy;
A 1967 Dash Y bike is a 1967 with the oil and ign cam mods done.
The 1968 Hybrid Spitfires are 1968 bikes in all respects apart from S/N.

Likewise the 1969/70 Y bikes are all true to their model year apart from the number sequence.
All very easy and understood now.


I completely agree with you on all of the above Kevin, we are so close to having this all sorted out now.

Originally Posted By: Kevin (NZ).
What we don't know is why the 1968 Hybrid Spitfires were made and likewise we know little about why the Y model 1969 and 1970 bikes were made and entered into the earlier books.


I've tried over the last few days/posts to lay out a solid case that all of the "Y" bikes were replacements for defunct 1967 bikes.
- BSA kept the range of numbers for the "Y" bikes separate from the range of numbers for the regular production machines in each of the three later years.
- In 1969, they went so far as starting the regular range at 11101 so that they could produce lower numbered "Y" bikes without interfering.
- All of the "Y" serial numbers are within the full range of 1967 serial numbers.
- The second, and sometimes third, entries in the 1967 books that show "Y" serial numbers paired up with the original bikes numbers.
- How BSA continued to dispatch 1967 bikes through at least April 24th, 1968!

One of the larger roadblocks has been the position that all of the later "Y" bikes were "refurbished". It seems that no one from BSA denied this, they let it stand. My suspicion is that full on replacement bikes probably didn't quite fit with somebody's understanding of what BSA's export obligations were.
Feeding all this was the fact that initially they really were trying to refurbish all those ill-fated 1967 bikes.

Information from 1967 explaining the extent of the problems is very sparse, yet we know they had to be extreme. When you consider that approx. 1500 of the bikes had to be completely replaced, how many more were refurbished and re-sold? Whatever the problems were, they had gotten themselves in deep.

I think we're at the point now where we need to straighten out the various stories we do have of the 1967 production and despatch. Let's thrash them into something believable.
Posted By: Two Alpha

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 07/12/13 4:30 am

I've been feeling a little reluctant to post all these bits and pieces as we've already discussed most of this to death.
There are a number of errors mixed in here, not surprising since we're dealing with memories and evaluations of events from 40 plus years ago. Even when we have solid hard evidence such as the factory records, and personal interviews with people who were highly involved, correct interpretation is apparently not as easy as we would like.
Since these were mostly export bikes, very few people in Britain would have been aware of the situation. The production workers, other than the person stamping the numbers, wouldn't have a clue. The service guys trying to salvage and refurbish the multitude of damaged bikes, they would have known, that's for sure!
We can pick away at the errors, I believe there's enough of the truth mixed in here that we can understand what happened, and why BSA had to replace the bikes that were beyond refurbishment.

1967/68 Facts or Fiction?

1) Lionel Jofeh replaces an ailing Harry Sturgeon as Managing Director in late 1966.

2) New R&D facility opens at Umberslade Hall.

3) Total twin production for the 1967 season was approx. 18,500 with bikes being dispatched as late as April 24th, 1968.

4) “The first warning signs of an imminent collapse came in 1968, when a combination of labour troubles and missed production deadlines by a host of subcontractors caused BSA and Triumph to ship motorcycles to America late in the spring, which meant the firm missed much of the “selling season,” as the British always called it. This is likely why the new triples weren’t seen in American showrooms until June that year. The company was forced to buy back several thousand machines, mostly twins, and dump them on European markets at a loss.” (Aamidor, 2009, 115/116)

5) “Large stocks of BSA motorcycles, which had missed the US selling season, which generated 90% plus of the division’s annual income and profits, were brought back
from America and had to be sold off at a substantial loss. This was due to late design changes delaying completion of the urgently required motorcycles” (Heaton, 2007, 128 )

6) Now the resale of 1967 machines in 1969 and 1970. This was brought about by BSA missing the very short buying season in the USA and at this time approximately 60-70% of production went to the USA. There were a series of strikes within the automotive component industries at that time and also a dock strike which delayed shipment of machines to the USA past the deadline to arrive in American dealers to meet the peak selling period. This left the factory and its American main agents with a glut of unsold machines. The factory had already received from the UK government export sales credit guarantees for these machines therefore they could not write them off without having to pay back the guarantee. This is to enable the factory to draw down finance to keep a constant production going. Approx 90% of sales happen within a three month period so for a nine month period there is very little return. Therefore they had to be exported. Many to the home market were sold in 1969 but there had to be some way of identifying these machines for warranty so an extra 0 was added to the engine number. Many of the machines were refurbished and then sold at a discount in the USA.

7) A shipment of 4,000 BSAs land in the USA but prove damaged by salt water en route, and are returned to the factory. BSA USA is charged with the cost.

8) The 67 season machines had a -Y stamped on the crankcase to indicate some upgrade. This I think was in response to the ignition cam dwell angle which caused seizures caused by a rogue spark on some but not all of previous years models. Therefore adding a -Y would have indicated that the revised long dwell cam had been fitted. They were late leaving the factory and subsequently missed the East Coast main sales period of April, May, June. They were delayed not by a dock strike as I first thought but a combination of factors such as component short supply, a seaman's strike and the time taken to solve the points cam with Lucas Industries.

9)There was also a resistance to the new models in the East Coast dealerships, they not only had to wait for the new stock but also had to deal with the warranty claims from the previous year. that is why Wilf Harrison ( Sales manager) and Peter Glover ( his assistant) from the factory made the trip on the new models from Nutley, New Jersey down to South Carolina calling in on all the local dealers on the way, not only to boost morale but also to train them in the tuning of the GP carbs ( the instruction leaflet which Wilf wrote.) and also to prove that the seizure problem had been cured.

10) Therefore the factory were left with a load of unsold stock. This is recorded in the 1968 AGM address given by Lord Shallcross BSA Chairman, 'our motorcycle production programmes had to be held back in the latter part of the year because of the introduction of new machines in both the BSA and Triumph ranges had to be put off into the current year, mainly through the incorporation of later design improvements. High stocks of motor cycles, mostly in the USA, were either brought back to the UK or sold at a substantial discount.

11) These machines were not kept at the factory as there would not have been sufficient warehouse space for them so they were probably probably kept in a dock warehouse either in Southampton or Liverpool docks. Wilf told me he could have sold the majority to Africa or other Commonwealth countries but the idea was turned down by Lionel Jofeh then Managing director of the Group motorcycle division, however when they were resold they made a nominal profit which Jofeh was very proud of!

12) Speaking to people who worked at the factory at that time, what they did was bring them out of storage in batches, they were assessed as to corrosion and deterioration after being in packing cases in a damp ships hold and in the warehouse and then set about upgrading them to the equivalent year model.

13) 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.
Posted By: Kevin (NZ).

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 07/12/13 5:03 am

I have issues with almost all of that. Nothing like what my research revealed.
I am thinking now that some of the seeds of the myth were planted much earlier than we expected.

Some of the referenced material cannot possibly be true and the stories simply do not add up.

That entire post may be best removed as it really is misleading.
Posted By: Gary E

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 07/12/13 4:05 pm

Originally Posted By: Kevin (NZ).
...Hybrid Spitfire details.
Were the numbers used twice in the shipping books Gary ?
ie, shipped during 1967 and then again in mid-1968...

That I cannot answer. A big gap in my research notes.
Posted By: Kevin (NZ).

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 07/12/13 5:01 pm

Thanks Gary.
I can see John is trying to interpret what the books are saying and come up with some possible answers.

I am more inclined to take the practical approach and put more emphasis on the physical evidence.
I have travelled to the UK something like 13 times and lived and worked there for almost 3 years.
I have seen no evidence of any mass numbers of BSA unit twins being dumped on the local market. Actually I have only ever heard of two Y bikes in the UK, one is a 1967 Dash Y and the other a 1970 Y bike. Both have been re-imported from the States in recent years.

I have also never seen a 'refurbished' 1967 bike. (In any country).
We also know from Rich B and his dealer friend that the 1967 models sold very well in the States.

I have major issues with any of this returned bike, refurbished and dumped on the local market.
Firstly I have never seen evidence of any of that.... the other being why did it only affect particular models ?
Did the unit singles not deteriorate the same ?

I believe the cover story is for the Hybrid Spitfires, someone is trying to explain away why they had 1967 numbers and yet 1968 looks.
Much of what John has referenced above does not pertain to the A65 at all. There were no major design changes introduced in 1968.... not to the unit twins anyway.
The triples would have all kinds of issues, design, supply and then finally the dock strikes backlog. You can easily see how they missed the market and cost the company big time.

To suggest 4000 bikes made their way back across the Atlantic is non-sensical... especially when we then add in the suggestion that no Hornets or singles including Bantams were affected.

If there was a cover-up going on then the story may well have been fed to the authors of some of those reports.

Likewise the reports of the refurbishment exercise has been attributed to the factory workers, - really ?
None that I know of that worked there knew about it.

I find it all too convenient that we have 478 new looking Spitfires all stamped in 1967 numbers and then shipped through the 1967 books just as this story of the refurbished bikes is being put about.
Again this is about the same time as normal service has been resumed with the ports and shipping, the backlog extended through to March 1968.
I always thought the last 'true' 1967 bike was shipped in July 1967. The Hybrids were made and shipped around March/April 1968.

If we ignore what the stories are trying to tell us and look at the bikes themselves then we can see the discrepancies. This is how we stumbled onto the Hybrid Spitfires in the first place.
They are not 1967 bikes and they are not refurbished.... so what then are they and where are they mentioned.

Recorded in the 1967 books at the very same time as we have the dockstrike/returned/refurbished story being fed to everyone.
I believe that was the start of the lying or deceit.





Posted By: John Healy

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 07/12/13 5:39 pm

I have "no dog in this fight", but one should consider that in the same period Triumph was re-titling 1969 Tridents, still on dealers floor, as 1970 models. This is documented in a 1970 Triumph Service Bulletin. If you sent them back the original Manufacturer Statement of Origin (MSO) they would send you one with a 1970 model year date. So there are a lot of 1969 Tridents that are registered as 1970 models. At the same time the dealers were supplied with a re-styling kit free of charge.

There was no dictated change to the numbers to be made by the dealers to make it look like a new model year bike.

All this got complicated, due to the fact that in several states this was not legal. They were caught with their "hands in the cookie jar." This could explain the need to make changes to the numbers in an attempt to make it look to the authorities that it was something it wasn't.

So BSA, in the case of the Tridents, were making it clear to dealers that they were playing with model years...
Posted By: Kevin (NZ).

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 07/12/13 5:56 pm

Thanks for the input John.

I realise you were about in the day and will have intimate knowledge of some of the dealings going on.

I am afraid we are making this all sound like some kind of conspiracy theory but it is true we have had to resort to guessing.

This Y suffix thing all started when I few of us owned Dash Y 1967 model bikes and started asking questions. As our numbers grew so indeed did the confusion.
It all became very clear when we realised that the Y bikes of 1970 were completely different to the 1967 Dash Y models.

Shortly after that we stumbled upon the 478 Spitfires that are 1968 models in all respects and shipped at the end of the 1968 season. 1968 in every respect but stamped in 1967 style numbers (with the 1968 stamp set). These bikes have been entered in the 1967 books as sent during March/April 1968.

At the moment we seem to be agreed on the suggestion that BSA has used the Y suffix on three distinct and independent occasions.

Not only are we having to guess about the various possibilities as to how it came about we don't have enough background material to give us the clues.


What we do know though is that the despatch books are difficult to read and that the current dating lists for the 1967 to 1970 models are inaccurate. Well at least in that the S/N on the bike does not guarantee it is indeed that model year.
There is a big difference between a 1967 A65 and a 1970 one stamped in 1967 style numbering.
We have approx 1000 unit twins made in 1970 made out to be 1967 bikes and shipped through the 1967 books.
Not one part of those bikes has anything to do with 1967, - well apart from the style of numbering.
The engine castings are 1970 and the stamps used were first used in Sept 1968 for the 1969 model twins.

Strange goings-on..
Posted By: Kevin (NZ).

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 07/13/13 4:37 am

John Healy was a Triumph dealer in the States during the demise of BSA and may have other similar stories.
He is saying Triumph could change the model year by the use of a Bulletin.
Triumph would also have had to issue an increased warranty bulletin along the lines of SB (Gen) 2-70 that BSA produced.
Triumph would have also had exactly the same shipping strike, delays etc with their '68 bikes and the Tridents.

I have heard also that a batch of Hurricanes was deliberately stamped with the wrong date code numbers to get around some new law change.

Talk of the Hybrid Spitfires got me wondering about the 1968 Firebirds.
We have has a rumour circulating for many years that only 202 of the model was made and shipped.
Once again we can surmise from the mere number of bikes that are about that this figure could not possibly be accurate.

We seem to be getting any number of inconsistencies starting to appear from the 1968 season onwards.
BSA and Triumph had been exporting bikes for decades and the routine must have been very similar every year.
Strikes and shortages were nothing new. The big difference about 1968 is that it is perhaps the turning point, when many things starting turning to custard... and all at once.

Was it a case of panic stations ?? !!

Do you have any other experiences from the Triumph side in those days John ?
Were bikes received in poor condition ? Did any ever get returned to the factory ?
It may just give us a feel for what the climate was like at the time. Economic and political as well.
Posted By: Magnetoman

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 07/13/13 8:00 am

Originally Posted By: Kevin (NZ).
I have heard also that a batch of Hurricanes was deliberately stamped with the wrong date code numbers to get around some new law change.
Although I don't have a Y bike I find this topic interesting anyway. I tried to read the thread from the start but gave up because the mix of facts and speculation in individual posts is too hard to follow. While waiting for a definitive summary, another element is that as of the 1975 model year all bikes sold in the U.S. were required by the Department of Transportation to have the gearshift on the left. I bought my 1974 Trident (date code JJ, i.e. August 1973) twenty years ago and before buying it I spent some months looking at ads in Walneck's and Hemmings Motor News while thinking about whether I should try to find a Rocket 3, a T160, or 5-speed T150. I remember quite clearly at the time being struck by the unusually large percentage of Tridents that were from 1974, i.e. just in time to beat the change in the law. Complicating this are the sit-ins and workers' cooperative of the time.
Posted By: Kevin (NZ).

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 07/13/13 9:47 am

http://www.craigvetter.com/pages/Motorcycle_Designs/Hurricane_Pages/Database%20of%20Hurricanes.html

Quote:
Craig Vetter's visit to Meriden in 1972
I was at the Meriden plant in Nov 27 thru Dec 2, 1972 and saw many of the above Hurricanes under construction
There were lots of incomplete Hurricanes lined up in rows, all without their seat tanks.
Somewhere along the way, at a much later date, I have picked up the story that because the seat tank units were not delivered in time,
production went along anyway, squeezing all the Hurricane production they could in 1972.
Apparently, the Hurricane, as it was being made, could not be produced in 1973 because it did not meet noise standards.
I have heard that maybe they were produced into January of 1973 anyway. If so, there will be a huge number of "XH" Hurricanes showing up here.

For more Triple information, visit my friend, Kim Rowden at:
www.triplesonline.com


I believe this is the story I alluded to. It seems that all the last Hurricanes were date stamped XH regardless of when they were made. I had it in mind that the production continued into the new year but because of the Jan 1st law change, in this case noise restrictions, they were all 'made' before the effective date of the new law.


We have had no suspicion of any numbering tampering up to 1966. Nothing out of the ordinary at all.
We have a couple of mentions here now of the Triumph camp moving things about to get around calendar date law changes. John said he knows of a 1970 bulletin and we have Craig Vetter say the Jan 1973 bikes were stamped and recorded as December bikes.

I am of the opinion that the BSA despatch books of 1967 through to 1970 don't accurately state the details of the unit twins and when some of them were made.
Further to this I am also of belief that some of the dating certificates for the Y bikes cannot possibly be correct either. A bike that is 1970 model in all respects should never be getting retitled as a 1967 model 30 to 40 years later.

This all because of a Serial Number that we know was stamped on the engine sometime after September 1968. In most instances the engine has castings made some time after January 1970.

It is easy to make a standard bike and then stamp whatever number you please on it and then squeeze it into whatever shipping book suits you.

There is nothing special in the making of the Hybrid Spitfires and the later Y model Lightnings etc.

Just the same as the 1973 Hurricanes became Dec 1972 models.



Posted By: Magnetoman

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 07/13/13 11:17 am

Originally Posted By: Kevin (NZ).
We have had no suspicion of any numbering tampering up to 1966. Nothing out of the ordinary at all.
I'm not sure if you would consider the following as number tampering or out of the ordinary, but there are 5 bikes toward the end of the despatch records for 1957 A10 Spitfires that are crossed out and that have unusual despatch dates. One record is mostly illegible but shows a shipping date of Feb. 16, 1960 (remember, these are 1957 bikes of which there are ~450 of this model). This one comes between the next-to-last bike shipped in September 1957 and the final one shipped May 1958. There are four more crossed-out bikes in the records after the May '58 one, all with 10/10/61 despatch dates. The Tally No. and the Consignment Note No. for these four also are well outside the range of any of the bikes shipped in '57 (the fifth is illegible). Specifically, tally numbers in the 11-thousands whereas the bikes shipped in '57 are much higher, in the range 25- 27-thousand.

The above might be relevant for your thoughts on this, since it shows even a decade before the Y bikes you're looking into that the despatch records aren't as "clean" as one might hope.
Posted By: Stuart

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 07/13/13 11:32 am

Hi,

I've followed the threads on this subject with great interest, not because of any specific interest in late 1960's BSA twins (sorry) but because I love a good detective story. smile However, before they take hold and muddy the water even further (if that's possible), I'll correct some general fallacies:-

Originally Posted By: Two Alpha
This is likely why the new triples weren’t seen in American showrooms until June that year.

Triples weren't seen in American showrooms in "June that year" (1968) 'cos assembly had only just started then - that's a matter of record. Assembly was planned around a September 1968 launch date in the US because the first triples were 1969 models.

Originally Posted By: Two Alpha
7) A shipment of 4,000 BSAs land in the USA but prove damaged by salt water en route,
they were assessed as to corrosion and deterioration after being in packing cases in a damp ships hold

From qualification and first-hand experience, this is simply nonsense. We aren't talking about the Mayflower taking weeks to cross the Atlantic here; at worst, they travelled in 10,000-ton steel ships (at best, they travelled in considerably-bigger container ships); such ships do not have "damp holds". While it isn't impossible for salt-water to have got in because of a particularly-bad North Atlantic storm, BSA would've been paid by the shipping company or insurer for any damage.

Originally Posted By: Two Alpha
and in the warehouse

A similar principle applies if the bikes were stored improperly - perhaps outside when the cases weren't sealed for outside storage - because their shipping was delayed by a strike.

The only way that bikes could have been "damaged by salt water" and BSA had to bear the cost was if they'd been shipped as 'deck cargo' (which is cheaper) but the packing cases hadn't been sealed. BSA had been shipping bikes around the world for years, you'd struggle to fit 4,000 bikes on the deck of a 10,000-ton cargo ship, can't see it without evidence.

Originally Posted By: Two Alpha
so they were probably probably kept in a dock warehouse either in Southampton or Liverpool docks.

Unlikely, especially with "what they did was bring them out of storage in batches". Warehousing on the docks is expensive, only a little less so away from the docks in any port city (and the shipping port could equally have been London, Glasgow, Hull or several others). If you've got to put 'em on a truck, and you're planning to work on 'em, you don't haul 'em a few miles from the docks to unload 'em again a hundred or more miles from where you're going to assess and work on 'em. Otoh, the Birmingham area was industrial, so warehouse space wouldn't have been a problem, and the bikes wouldn't have been far from Small Heath for any employee to visit for assessment and, if necessary, movement for refurbishing.

Originally Posted By: Two Alpha
Lord Shallcross BSA Chairman,

Shawcross.

Hth.

Regards,
Posted By: kommando

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 07/13/13 12:21 pm

I used to ship clad steel around the world in wooden packing cases which were then put in containers, very similar to the BSA/Triumph type of shipping but with bare steel. Its not the moisture allow that causes the rust but rapid changes in temps, the cold followed by hot followed by cold again draws the moisture out of the air and it condenses on cold surfaces eg metal and you can see the rust form before your eyes, wrapping in plastic makes it worse. In the end we solvved the problem with anti corrosion oils and vacuum aluminium sealed bags.

As for the rest of the thread from experience in car making I can see a solution to a genuine problem being used later for more nefarious purposes wink plus any info given at a shareholders meeting should be take with a pound of salt wink.

I am afraid the real reason is by now lost never to be revealed, when you consider the greater export output from Triumph at the same time why are there no Y Triumphs.
Posted By: Kevin (NZ).

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 07/13/13 12:34 pm

Hi Stuart and Magnetoman.

Welcome to the discussion and it all helps. What you guys have said combined with John Healy's comments may just give us the small clue we are currently missing.

Some of the guys reading here will remember some of the really positive gains we have made and some just in recent months at that.

Two Alpha (John) wrote a large post here which he titled 'Fact or Fiction'.

In it he combined some of the stories put forward by others in the UK and by some researchers of how the industry floundered and eventually failed.

I had major issues with some of the figures which I could not possibly see being correct.
John was just collating comments and trying to put them in some order so that we may be able to follow a trend.

If anything it did perhaps reveal to me that the refurbished bike story is older and more deep seated than I perhaps realised.

The thing is that if BSA make a statement in the End of Season report then it is obviously going to get believed and accepted.

What still worries me is that we have not seen any 'formal' report of how the 478 Hybrid Spitfires came to be. Nor for that matter how almost 10% of the 1970 twin production ends up getting assigned 1967 numbers and shipped through the 1967 books.

These are not just odd bikes, - we are talking sizeable numbers that must have a bearing on the bottom line of the sales figures.

How come Bacon and/or other researchers have not picked up on these.
I should also ask about the Dash Y bikes. We have BSA published bulletins stating why the suffix was used and what it denoted.

Again the researchers never mention this and yet possibly 12,000 of the 1967 season bikes were stamped in such a manner.
The suffix in itself is rather innocuous, at least in the Dash Y context.

Was the subject quietly ignored as it may have unearthed a pandora's box ?

If John is correct about those bikes being re-imported for whatever reason then we have to ask what became of them.
They most certainly were not rebuild as Y bikes.
It could potentially mean 1,000 to 1,500 bikes being completely stripped and disappearing. This could only have happened between the ports and factory.

The despatch books seem to indicate that some 1967 bikes shipped out in 1967 or 1968 were despatched again in 1970.
I know the 1970 bike was a new build..... what then happened to the first bike shipped ?

Were they phantom bikes, ie never did exist in 1967.
Did they get sold in the States and the S/N was selected to be reused for the bikes getting built 2 or 3 years later.
Did the bikes arrive badly damaged and get shipped back to the UK, only to disappear requiring a brand new bike to replace them.

There are not that many options there. I personally prefer option 2 but at this stage I have no proof either way.

Time to put your hat on Inspector Stuart !

Posted By: Stuart

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 07/13/13 2:36 pm

Hi Kevin,

Originally Posted By: Kevin (NZ).
Time to put your hat on Inspector Stuart !

Kind of you to say so but people like you, Gary, "TwoAlpha" John know a hell of a lot more about this subject than I ever will, I just like reading about the new stuff you guys find out. smile

Originally Posted By: Kevin (NZ).
It could potentially mean 1,000 to 1,500 bikes being completely stripped and disappearing.

The numbers are nothing like as great but, potentially, something similar happened to nearly a hundred '70-season Rocket 3 engines.

A little over 500 triple engines were produced in 1970, between April and July. Initially, most were T150's, with DD and ED date codes; 240 R3 engines followed with GD and HD codes. However, while Meriden seems to have had its T150 engines into bikes and dispatched in fairly short order, some bright spark at Small Heath decided that none of the R3's would be sent to the US. eek Cue hordes of R3 engines pushed into storage ... crazy

147 of those engines did get built into bikes, albeit there were a lot of freebies - to managers like Doug Hele, celebrities like Mike Hailwood and (I think) Ralph Richardson, police test machines, etc. But the last '1970' R3 didn't leave Small Heath 'til November (the first engine, GD00101, didn't leave in a bike 'til October!). shocked By which time Small Heath was well into building '71-season engines ...

I like to hope most, if not all, of the 90-odd '70 engines simply got '71 crankcases ... the thought that they all went for scrap is too cry

Originally Posted By: Kevin (NZ).
The despatch books seem to indicate that some 1967 bikes shipped out in 1967 or 1968 were despatched again in 1970.
I know the 1970 bike was a new build..... what then happened to the first bike shipped ?
Were they phantom bikes, ie never did exist in 1967.

It isn't anything but a conspiracy theory but ... 1967 was when BSA got its second Queen's Award for Exports ... at a late stage, did it look like they hadn't exported enough to qualify?

Originally Posted By: Kevin (NZ).
Did they get sold in the States and the S/N was selected to be reused for the bikes getting built 2 or 3 years later.

Don't I remember a story from only a few years ago of two Suzukis with exactly the same numbers? Would BSA have avoided import taxes in certain countries by ostensibly shipping in 'replacements' for three-year-old 'damaged/returned' bikes?

Regards,
Posted By: Two Alpha

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 07/14/13 3:49 am

This almost feels like the part in the movie where the Cavalry has arrived to save the day, welcome to the fray gents!

In response to a couple of items over the last two days...
Originally Posted By: Gary E
Originally Posted By: Kevin (NZ).
...Hybrid Spitfire details.
Were the numbers used twice in the shipping books Gary ?
ie, shipped during 1967 and then again in mid-1968...

That I cannot answer. A big gap in my research notes.

I have this one in my notes,

"here are the 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)"

My take, first bike was beyond refurbishment, the second bike was the replacement.
Originally Posted By: Kevin (NZ).
I have also never seen a 'refurbished' 1967 bike. (In any country).
Well mine would be one, A65LA 105590Y (note the "-" had been over-stamped with a "0"), initial dispatch Jan. 4th, 1967, second and final dispatch April 12th, 1968. Mal Sealy's is likely another, A65TA 1??58-Y, dispatched June 21st, 1968!
Gary has posted that the books show real 1967 bikes being dispatched until at least April 24th, 1968, many of those 1967 bikes dispatched during the 1968 season would have been refurbished. Any actual 1967 bike, with two dispatch dates, would have likely been refurbished. There had to be a substantial number of them, and I should point out that a refurbishing, in some cases, might be as little as a clean up and polish.
Originally Posted By: Kevin (NZ).
I have major issues with any of this returned bike, refurbished and dumped on the local market.
The "refurbished and dumped on the local market" bit is very doubtful all right. As you allude to in another post, far more likely that the ones that couldn't be salvaged were parted out. Maybe it was the parts that were dumped on the local market. The refurbished bikes and the "Y" bikes were exported mostly to North America.
Originally Posted By: Magnetoman
I tried to read the thread from the start but gave up because the mix of facts and speculation in individual posts is too hard to follow.
I'll be one of the ones pleading guilty here. If this had been one of the lost threads, it would have been tempting to let the first six or so pages remain lost!
Originally Posted By: Kevin (NZ).
I am of the opinion that the BSA despatch books of 1967 through to 1970 don't accurately state the details of the unit twins and when some of them were made.
Further to this I am also of belief that some of the dating certificates for the Y bikes cannot possibly be correct either. A bike that is 1970 model in all respects should never be getting retitled as a 1967 model 30 to 40 years later.
The entries probably made perfect sense at the time, it's too bad they didn't write up a bit of a guide so that it wouldn't be so difficult for anybody else to figure it out. The folks doing the dating certificates didn't really understand the entries for 1967, plus they never got to see the actual "Y" bikes, never got to see that they couldn't have ever been 1967 bikes.
Originally Posted By: Stuart
I've followed the threads on this subject with great interest, not because of any specific interest in late 1960's BSA twins (sorry) but because I love a good detective story. smile However, before they take hold and muddy the water even further (if that's possible), I'll correct some general fallacies:-
Thanks Stuart. Once I finish with this post I will do a "defrag" on all those bits and pieces. Unfortunately, the bad info amongst those bits and pieces are part of what's out there for information to the general public. Some of the worst comes from places it really shouldn't, a few good folks here are trying to improve that situation.
Originally Posted By: Kevin (NZ).
How come Bacon and/or other researchers have not picked up on these.
I should also ask about the Dash Y bikes. We have BSA published bulletins stating why the suffix was used and what it denoted.
Again the researchers never mention this and yet possibly 12,000 of the 1967 season bikes were stamped in such a manner.
The suffix in itself is rather innocuous, at least in the Dash Y context.
Was the subject quietly ignored as it may have unearthed a pandora's box ?
Lack of press at the time had to be due to advertising revenue, and perhaps other fringe benefits. Lack of press at the time translates out to lack of information later on for the researchers. It's hard to believe that all the problems BSA had in 1966, followed by the aftermath in 1967, went unnoticed by the press!
Originally Posted By: Stuart
It isn't anything but a conspiracy theory but ... 1967 was when BSA got its second Queen's Award for Exports ... at a late stage, did it look like they hadn't exported enough to qualify?
I'm sure the Queen's award for Exports played into it, no way could Triumph get one and BSA didn't! I doubt it was the 478 SA/Y Spitfires that put them over the top for the award, they had already long since built over 18,000 twins with a large percentage being exported. The push to get all those exports out probably helped create the problems that, in the end, required the "Y" bikes to be built.


Posted By: Kevin (NZ).

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 07/14/13 5:48 am

Quote:
I have this one in my notes,

"here are the 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)"


My take, first bike was beyond refurbishment, the second bike was the replacement.


Ok, we can perhaps work with this for a while.
This is a Hybrid Spitfire that is a 1968 in all respects.

It does have two shipping dates, well at least according to the Dating Officer that issued the certificates.

I guess for now we can assume that there are two entries for the shipping of this number, serial number that is.

The book would indicate the bike left the factory twice.
We can assume for the meantime that all the 478 Hybrid Spitfires have the two entries as we know from Gary that they were sent in Feb, March and April of 1968. That lines up perfectly with the April 12th date of our example here.

What we know, and are happy to agree with, is that a batch of Mk IV styled Spitfires was shipped in April 1968. These bikes were 1968 models in every respect but bore 1967 style numbers.
The numbers were then entered into the 1967 despatch books.

The engine number is now slightly different in that it has the Y suffix but generally without the hyphen or dash.

I have no problems with any of this. We know the bikes are new builds as in 1968 and that they have no 1967 parts. They are not the refurbished version of the earlier bike. The engine castings for example are 1968 and this involves both crankcase halves and the inner timing cover.

The styling has all 1968 parts, tail light, headlight switch and front end are now all different to the bikes that left the factory a year earlier.

This is now the point where my imagination dries up.

Let us believe the story from the Dating Certificates.
The bike left a year earlier as Mk III Spitfires.
They arrived in the States and are damaged so badly that rather than be stripped for spares they are returned to the UK.
The batch is then refurbished and towards the end of the 1968 season are re-shipped as amongst the last ever Spitfires shipped. The revised shipping date is recorded in the despatch log and as it is a refurbished bike they remain 1967 models.


These are my issues with this viewpoint.
In all the years of bikes going to the States we have a problem in the bikes sent in April/May 1967.
There were no shipping strikes then and other manufacturers did not have a problem.

The ONLY bikes affected are Spitfires, unless of course the others were stripped for spares in the States.
We have not heard from anyone about this damage and why the insurance was not involved.
Spitfire parts would be sought after and parting them out would have been welcomed by the dealers.


Nope instead they were lost to the world for 12 months while they were shipped back to England.
The 1968 models were being made by now and some months later, in October and November we have massive shipping issues that seriously disrupts the shipping (and sale) of some of the 1968 production.

BSA would have worked on regardless and continued assembling 1968 models finally getting them away at Xmas but with backlog problems.

Not deterred they now turn their attention to the bikes returned from the states.
The bikes are deemed not salvageable, indeed what has happened to these bikes means the bikes cannot be repaired.
Possibly the frame but they have to remove and replace the front end, headlight, fenders, and engine crankcases and other engine parts.
Basically the decision has been made that the bikes would be rebuilt rather than refurbished.

If the bikes were that bad then why were they sent back across from the States ?

Anyway.. All the initial batch is now either parted out or scrapped.

That means BSA now have a host of spares, 190mm brakes, rod dampened forks and engine parts.

The bikes are now shipped back to the States as new MK IV styled bikes but as 1967 models.

Hold on ...

BSA just made 478 brand new bikes. Why wouldn't they stamp them in A65SB numbers and send them along with the others they just made ?

You scrap the 1967 bikes (as they did). You claim insurance and make replacements.

Nope, we are supposed to believe that just the Spitfire arrived so badly damaged that they needed to be returned to the factory.
They were then shipped (at expense) across the Atlantic.
After one year they are ready to be shipped back again (at expense) but as new bikes bearing 1967 numbers so then likely to be sold at discounted prices (at expense).

BSA then kept quiet about this and led the owners to believe they had 1967 bikes but which many parts simply would not fit.
Was a bulletin issued ? How about the Parts Book ?
Nope, nothing appears to have been said.
I think something had to have been circulated, afterall the engines were now 1968 models and the stamping had the Y suffix. It must have been stamped for a reason.
BSA thought it important that the 1967 bikes with the different oil manifold and points should be identified.
Here we have a batch of 1967 numbered bikes but with completely different engine and cycle parts.
The Y suffix must communicate something to the dealers and workshops.

And presumably the parts gained by parting out the original bikes can now be shipped back across to the States as well..... back to where the market is.

What a complete waste of time and less than marginal exercise.
It would have cost a bomb and achieved very little.

I can't bring myself to believe any of it.

I need to be convinced and want to know what really became of the first batch that was 'supposedly' sent during 1967.
This grumpy old man cannot believe they were shipped back to England.




Posted By: Two Alpha

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 07/14/13 8:13 am

There's no guarantee the problem bikes in 1967 even made it out of England. Only one of those stories has the bikes arriving in the USA and then being shipped back, and it's far-fetched at best.

And of course, with as many bikes involved in this as there appears to be, it wouldn't just be confined to one model, the Spitfires.

So why would they just build replacement Spitfires and not the rest? Because the Spitfire model was being dropped, they only had a few months left in which to make and sell the replacements.
They could replace the other models later, and they did.
Posted By: Kevin (NZ).

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 07/14/13 12:44 pm

Quote:
So why would they just build replacement Spitfires and not the rest? Because the Spitfire model was being dropped, they only had a few months left in which to make and sell the replacements.
They could replace the other models later, and they did.



They didn't make any Hornets again. Not in 1968 as they couldn't. The 1968 Firebird was already being made.

John, you mentioned the Lightnings and Thunderbolts. You are right.

Not only was the shipment of 1967 Spitfires so badly damaged we also have the story telling us the damaged bikes included Lightnings and Thunderbolts.
These bikes are even more farcical, - the story has them returned to the factory in 1967,
Nothing is done to them for over two years.
Indeed it is close to 3 years before some of them are refurbished and sent back. This time the bikes are brand new 1970 bikes... exactly the same as the bikes built in 1970.

The story is just so full of holes.
I have Steve Foden write and explain to me about the refurishing and how they know guys that polished the engine cases etc.

I can believe that. The problem is I don't think he realised that these Y bikes received so much more. They were built from scratch.

That is the big difference.

I can imagine with all the bikes that BSA and Triumph shipped over the years many may well have been required to have some treatment back at the factory and been reshipped.
Yes, that part of the story is believable and no doubt truthful.
It is just that it was not the Y bikes we are talking about here.

Someone has rolled several stories into one confused mess, all trying to explain away this S/N issue we are now seeing.

The books indicate something.
The bikes are telling a completely different story.

How can a Hybrid Spitfire receive a Dating Certificate stating it is a 1967 model ?
We know it is a new bike and not the one sent in 1967.
It may possibly be made to replace one shipped earlier but it is not the same bike.
We have a problem.

What then happened to the first bike shipped in the first few months of 1967 ?

We have close to 1500 bikes that were shipped in 1967 and no idea of what happened to them.
If they were returned to the UK where were they stored ?
How did they get parted out or scrapped ?

Why didn't the board get advised that about 10% of the twins shipped in 1967 were returned to the UK ?
Why didn't they insist on immediate repair and order them sent back immediately ?

Why does Gen 5-70 refer to the Y Lightnings as 1970 models ?
Why do the BSAOC UK refer to the same bike as 1967 models ?

We are back to the same 3 options.
a) The 1967 bikes shipped in 1967 did not exist. Entries in the despatch register only.
b) The bikes were sold in the USA and the S/N reused at a later date.
c) The bikes were sent back to the factory, sat for 12 to 30 months before a whole new bike was made and shipped back at the later date.
The whereabouts of the original 1500 bikes has never been disclosed. (We do have rumours of a large number of BSA marked wooden boxes in a warehouse in Plume St, Aston though).




Posted By: Two Alpha

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 07/14/13 6:09 pm

Originally Posted By: Kevin (NZ).
The books indicate something. The bikes are telling a completely different story.
The books may contain the exact same story as the bikes are telling us, it's people misinterpreting what the books are saying that has created the difference.
Originally Posted By: Kevin (NZ).
How can a Hybrid Spitfire receive a Dating Certificate stating it is a 1967 model ?
Again, the folks doing up the dating certificates have been misinterpreting the books. That's obvious, we need to accept that as fact.
Originally Posted By: Kevin (NZ).
What then happened to the first bike shipped in the first few months of 1967 ?
We have close to 1500 bikes that were shipped in 1967 and no idea of what happened to them.
If they were returned to the UK where were they stored ?
How did they get parted out or scrapped ?
We've discounted the story that 4000 salt water ravaged bikes were shipped back to England from the USA. The fact is that we don't know that the ill fated bikes, that were dispatched in 1967, ever actually made it out of England. Some of the stories say they didn't.
Originally Posted By: Kevin (NZ).
Why does Gen 5-70 refer to the Y Lightnings as 1970 models ?Why do the BSAOC UK refer to the same bike as 1967 models ?
We need to accept the fact that the BSAOC UK has been misinterpreting the books, they're wrong, we know it.
Originally Posted By: Kevin (NZ).
We are back to the same 3 options.
a) The 1967 bikes shipped in 1967 did not exist. Entries in the despatch register only.
Way too far-fetched, just think of the logistics of trying to keep this scheme together initially on the production line, never mind over the course of the next three plus years.
Originally Posted By: Kevin (NZ).
b) The bikes were sold in the USA and the S/N reused at a later date.
Way too far-fetched as well, 1500 duplicate serial numbers (!), intentionally (!), no chance.
Originally Posted By: Kevin (NZ).
c) The bikes were sent back to the factory, sat for 12 to 30 months before a whole new bike was made and shipped back at the later date.
Now this one has merit, except, why would the bikes sit for 12 to 30 months? If they were determined to be beyond refurbishment, the parting out would begin straight away.
Posted By: Kevin (NZ).

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 07/14/13 11:54 pm

John, you seem to be backing option c) whilst I am finding myself wavering between a) and b).

Have we ever heard of a story of complete bikes being parted out ?

(I have, from John Healy about Triumphs being stripped in the States to support the warranty program).

I have been told they were in storage at the factory but again that was from Al Cave's version of events. Well the BSAOC interpretation of his recollections.

The story I heard was that 1000 bikes were in storage, again no-one seems to have seen them and it has never been mentioned in any publication.

I have no doubt bikes found their way back to the factory for repair but we are talking decades of production and literally hundreds of thousands of bikes.

To me it is inconceivable to have complete shipping batches of one particular model sitting about for so long.

The truth is the story we have been getting fed has had the ability to morph itself into a slightly different version every time a valid point is raised.

I have been receiving emails for over a decade and they are always from the same small group of individuals all quoting the same source.

I think those particular guys will be much more surprised than the rest of us to see how this Y bike story has developed, or unravelled.

We have to remember that the despatch logs are just a hand written journal and probably only accessed by a small number of staff.

There would be numerous other records but naturally with the passing of time it would be difficult to access and interpret them.

We would have shipping company consignment notes, Customs documentation and The US Distributors receipts and sales info.
Company returns and Tax records may also still exist possibly.

I have a feeling that whatever happened was in 1967 and those problem S/N bikes had to be made to re-appear.
My thinking was reinforced when I realised that the cover-up was earlier and deeper from reading your post of a few days ago.

It is perhaps pertinent that what has not been said and recorded is very telling also. This really should be in management records.
Bert Hopwood wrote a very good book about the mismanagement and misfortune that befell the various factories.
He was a smart man with a good memory and he would have written a chapter on this damaged bike, rebuilt bike episode. He knew, - either way.


I have to admit also that the committee of the BSAOC UK have been reluctant to add anything constructive to the issue. Invariably every query has either been replied to with silence or yet another excuse.

They may have a very good reason for doing that of course.

This will get sorted out though and it is just a matter of time before we stumble upon the missing clues.


Posted By: Two Alpha

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 07/15/13 6:06 am

Terrific post Kevin. For all of our to and fros, we really have managed to better our understanding of the mystery behind these bikes.
Originally Posted By: Kevin (NZ).
I have a feeling that whatever happened was in 1967 and those problem S/N bikes had to be made to re-appear.
Yes indeed!
Originally Posted By: Kevin (NZ).
It is perhaps pertinent that what has not been said and recorded is very telling also. This really should be in management records.
Bert Hopwood wrote a very good book about the mismanagement and misfortune that befell the various factories.
He was a smart man with a good memory and he would have written a chapter on this damaged bike, rebuilt bike episode. He knew, - either way.
I'm not even sure he made a specific reference to it!
The book is at hand and I will give it a good look again for any relevant info.
Posted By: Magnetoman

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 07/15/13 9:21 am

Originally Posted By: Kevin (NZ).
John, you seem to be backing option c) whilst I am finding myself wavering between a) and b).

I have been told they were in storage ...

The story I heard was that 1000 bikes were in storage,...

To me it is inconceivable to have ...

I have a feeling that whatever happened was ...
Kevin, as a friendly suggestion, you've reached the point where you have enough data, clues, stories, etc. to have developed a hypothesis (or three). However, a great deal of what you've written seems to rely on things like "I heard that..." To go forward toward the truth requires refining your hypothesis, and the way that is done in the scientific world is to explore testable consequences of it. For example, if one hypothesis requires shipping 1000 bikes back and forth across the Atlantic, shipping records could be consulted to confirm that happened. Difficult, certainly, but without testable facts everything remains just a story. Based on what new information turns up, the hypothesis is either revised, or discarded if totally inconsistent with the facts.
Originally Posted By: Kevin (NZ).
Bert Hopwood wrote a very good book about the mismanagement and misfortune that befell the various factories.
He was a smart man with a good memory and he would have written a chapter on this damaged bike, rebuilt bike episode. He knew, - either way.
Bert Hopwood was also someone who was trying to establish his own place in history. The sub-text of his book is "My ideas were great and would have saved the industry, but everyone else was an idiot." Because of this, if 1000 bikes really were badly crated, shipped back and forth across the Atlantic as rusty hulks, then sat in expensive storage for three years, and if this all was done under his direction, you certainly wouldn't expect to find a chapter about it in his book. That doesn't mean it did or didn't happen, but each insider account has to be weighed against all other information and not necessarily taken at face value.
Posted By: Shane in Oz

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 07/15/13 9:34 am

Originally Posted By: Kevin (NZ).
We are back to the same 3 options.
a) The 1967 bikes shipped in 1967 did not exist. Entries in the despatch register only.
b) The bikes were sold in the USA and the S/N reused at a later date.
c) The bikes were sent back to the factory, sat for 12 to 30 months before a whole new bike was made and shipped back at the later date.
The whereabouts of the original 1500 bikes has never been disclosed. (We do have rumours of a large number of BSA marked wooden boxes in a warehouse in Plume St, Aston though).


I tend towards some variation on a)

1) BSA intended to manufacture and ship the bikes in 1967 and had submitted paperwork to that effect. Something went wrong so that the machines weren't manufactures. The later 'Y' bikes were manufactured and shipped as a "true up".

2) The bikes were manufactured and shipped to the US, but were too late for the selling season and were on-shipped to southern hemisphere markets. The authorities thought that this "wasn't cricket, old chap", so the later 'Y' bikes were built and shipped as a "true up".

3) The bikes were manufactured but were shipped directly to other markets. As above, the authorities thought that this "wasn't cricket, old chap", so the later 'Y' bikes were built and shipped as a "true up".

We did receive quite a few US spec BSAs in Australia, so sending the bikes to another market is quite plausible.

I can see why a "true up" would be required if the bikes weren't shipped, but II'm only guessing about shipping to the wrong market being a problem. The UK was desperate for US dollars at the time, so there may have been preferential treatment for sales to the US.

It does give another avenue to explore if any records exist and can be checked in the likely alternative destinations (Argentina, NZ, Australia, South Africa)

Big companies and government departments prefer things to happen quietly without a fuss. If big company A is using more IBM, Microsoft or Oracle licences than they have records for, the usual arrangement is for a "true up" every year or two. I could well imagine a similar gentlemen's agreement having been in place between the UK Civil Service and one of the nation's largest manufacturers.
Posted By: Kevin (NZ).

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 07/15/13 10:49 am

Thanks again for the fresh input, and from Kommando the other day also.
There is one pronounced factor in this current thread and I am very pleased to see it. A similar trend is obvious on the concurrent Firebird thread we had going.

I am not seeing the disbelieve or negativity we had in the early days. Readers are now following this and coming up with ideas and suggestions that are taking us forwards..... great to see and feel.
Thanks to everyone that is following all this.


For those that are struggling with it all we can recap by saying that we have made some real breakthroughs in the past two years.
Finding the Bulletins on the Dash Y bikes was tremendous.

We have to be so close to cracking the Y bikes now.

I like Magnetoman's suggestions about how we can elimiate some of the myths.
I did that with the shipping strikes and soon came to see that there was no major strike during the 1967 season. They were indeed in 1967 but in the months leading up to Xmas, ie it was the 1968 models that would have been affected.

I guess that once the myths can be dispelled you could expect the rest of the house of cards to get shaky.

In my eyes I am seeing the myths blown out of the water, - I can't see any facts left at all.
The problem I am having is communicating all this which I am finding frustrating..... especially when I have nothing at all to support an alternative viewpoint.
Basically I am just waffling and trying to garner support in the hope of discovering the truth.

I thought the comments on Bert Hopwood's book were spot on.

Bert and Doug Hele were longtime friends. Did he have other friendships that prevented him mentioning this saga or was he involved directly himself even.

If he was away from it all, and aware of the shambles, then he could have used it as a great example of waste and yet another chance to put the boot in.

I am convinced he knew of the BSA goings on, - even if he was with Norton or where-ever at the time.
I work with airlines and we hear every small rumour from our competitors. Unfortunate events or cock-ups get heard faster and louder.

Again we have yet another example of what was not said.

Apart from that one paragraph in BSA SB (Gen) 5-70 we have never seen any mention in writing of the 1970 Y bikes.

The BSAOC website is of no help and indeed all the Dating Certificates are going to get the bikes titled as 1967 models.... something they never were. Not then and not now.

Has anyone here ever seen any other articles about the 1970 Y bikes ? By this I mean something along different lines to the old myth, - refurbished 1967 bikes, dockstrikes, exchange rate, water damaged. All the old stories we have all been hearing for years and yet we know make no sense whatsoever.

What I find amazing is that John gave references to reports from very knowledgeable and creditable firms and yet they never mentioned any of this.

Be it evasion, fraud, insurance fraud, deceit, packing blunder, mis-handling or whatever this Y drama resulted in BSA having to make 1500 new bikes and then make-out that they were 1967 models.

That is not normal practice in anyone's language.

Of all the BSA Unit Twin experts that published missives and restoration books in the past two decades they have all missed this part of BSA history.

It is hardly insignificant.... I am thinking almost 10% of the twins that we believe to have made in 1967 weren't.

We know almost 500 were made in 1968 and approx 1000 made in 1970 (with a few of those in 1969 season).

What we don't know is whether indeed 1500 similar S/N bikes were made in 1967.
The shipping books indicates they were but as we can see some of the entries in the 1967 books were not there by Dec 1967.
Entries were still being added months later, years later even. Some bikes were being made/shipped in March 1970 and yet still had their details getting entered into the 1967 books.


I still cannot believe that the Y bikes of 1970 were being stamped in blatantly obvious incorrect 1967 style numbers and yet we are still debating the issue almost 45 years later.

Even worse, many who should know better are just in denial mode.

The missing clues are all about us, some perhaps are just too afraid to look or ask.

The main problem is that few in the UK are prepared to follow up on any of this.
Posted By: Two Alpha

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 07/15/13 3:23 pm

From "Whatever Happened to the British Motorcycle Industry?".

Pg. 203 - "In mid-1964 Harry Sturgeon was appointed Chief Executive of the BSA Motorcycle Division".

Pg. 203 - "I was appointed Engineering Director and Deputy Managing Director".

Pg. 204 - "for BSA products were suffering on a mounting scale from extremely bad quality".

Pg. 206 - "the turnover of the motorcycle group increased by something like 40% between the years 1964 and 1966."

Pg. 208 - "We had agreed that a new engineering department be formed and that this should be located preferably, though not essentially, at a point other than within the Small Heath or Meriden plants. This matter was delayed as my work load had greatly increased with additional responsibility, particularly at Small Heath, where the product range was passing through a bad spell. It was many months before we were able to solve some of the problems which were now causing serious difficulties, particularly in the USA."

Pg. 208 - The greatest headache, which kept us occupied for a long time, was a piston seizure problem with the twin cylinder machines. It was not until a great deal of damage had been done to the BSA reputation that the problem was solved and we were able to give the machines a clean bill of health.
Pete Colman, our Technical Director in the USA, contributed a great deal towards the clearing of the trouble which was caused, in the main, by a 'rogue' spark which roved and re-ignited the mixture, causing over-heating and consequent piston seizure. This did not happen with every machine but nonetheless the problem was serious enough to warrant substantial payments to dealers for the purpose of fitting new parts to every machine sold or in the warehouse."

Pg. 208/209 - "The panic at certain top level meetings had to be seen to be believed! I am ashamed that on one occasion I was blamed for the whole of BSAs unfortunate product mishaps, a strange but disgusting statement to make and one which was an indication of the internal bickering that was going on.
Fortunately, by this stage of my career, I had become case-hardened against this sort of treatment. Someone had to keep their cool, and by making use of the rolling road equipment which had been designed and installed by Triumph a year or so previously, we were able to simulate user conditions.
I think that history was being made in a small way, at last, in combining the resources of both factories. This equipment was the Triumph answer to rusting problems, which were becoming a curse and were costing the company large sums of money in compensating dealers abroad for their expenses in coping with the problem which was evident at the unpacking stage.
We had installed eight test cubicles in which complete motorcycles could be tested with the rear wheel driving rollers which registered engine power, road speed and braking characteristics, etc. This was programmed to a reasonable simulation of rider usage and we were able to discontinue road testing with its attendant fouling problems, particularly those caused by salt-laden roads during the winter months. From then on, Triumph machines were put straight into their packing cases, clean and dry."
Posted By: Kevin (NZ).

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 07/15/13 3:45 pm

Thanks for the excerpts from the book.


The rogue spark issues of the 1966 bikes was well known and we all knew about it back in the day. Just as we were aware of the limitations of the 4CA points setup. The later 6CA were just so much better for those of us that did high mileages.

I just never associated the cure of the problem with the Dash Y until Shane mentioned it the other day.
Hard to believe but I was completely distracted by all the other stories which seemed to include everything else but.

Reading between the lines it may be possible that BSA thought that the Dash Y engine suffix denoted those bikes that had been 'immunised' against the top end overheating issues.
That would tie the points cam and rocker oil feed mod together.

It is hard to believe BSA were putting bikes still wet off riding on salty winter roads into the containers. I bet the guys unpacking them weeks later were impressed with that.

It makes you wonder what planet those factory workers were really on.

The dealers in the States would be wiping rust off wheel rims and mufflers and not been enjoying it at all.


Page 1 of this link talks about the personalities and relationships of management during the late '60's. Interestingly enough they mention closed secrets and deceit a few times there.
Some of those characters didn't get along well at all and there is some personal agenda stuff going down as well.

http://www.motohistory.net/featuredstory/vetter-story1.html


I am sure Bert Hopwood knew of the Y bikes alright, it just did not suit him to include mention of it in his book.
Posted By: Two Alpha

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 07/17/13 4:39 pm

Originally Posted By: Kevin (NZ).
Reading between the lines it may be possible that BSA thought that the Dash Y engine suffix denoted those bikes that had been 'immunised' against the top end overheating issues.
That would tie the points cam and rocker oil feed mod together.
Yes indeed. We have thought recently that the "-Y" and the "Y" were unrelated, but I'm leaning in the other direction now. With the focus more squarely on 1967, there would seem to be a very good possibility that the "Y" bikes may have been necessary because of fallout from the problems that required the "-Y" modifications. Difficulties in implementing the "-Y" modifications could easily have played a big part in it.
Originally Posted By: Kevin (NZ).
I am sure Bert Hopwood knew of the Y bikes alright, it just did not suit him to include mention of it in his book.
That is for sure. This had to reach his desk so he was probably the decision maker here. If it had gone any higher it would have been in the book. smile
A couple more quotes from his book come to mind, I'm running late so will post them later.
Posted By: kommando

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 07/17/13 4:58 pm

Both BSA and Triumph were test riding finished bikes on salty roads, I helped arrange the storage of 8000 Metro's missing an ashtray in a field. When the ashtrays finally arrived the last 300 cars were wreaks with broken windscreens and wiring harnesses eaten by mice.
Posted By: Stuart

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 07/20/13 11:12 pm

Hi guys,

Originally Posted By: Kevin (NZ).
For those that are struggling with it all we can recap
approx 1000 made in 1970 (with a few of those in 1969 season).

While I suspect I've misquoted that first line, grin what's the situation with the '70 (and '69) engine build and dispatch books?

1000 bikes is something like three weeks' production so I'm guessing there must be some sort of corresponding gap somewhere in the normal '70 'D'- (and '69 'C'-)year-code sequences, if not in the number sequence then in the engine build and dispatch dates? Or did they build the Y/-Y bikes between the 'end' of normal '69-year production and the summer holiday, then between the end of the summer holiday and the 'beginning' of normal '70-year production?

Regards,
Posted By: Kevin (NZ).

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 07/21/13 2:54 pm

The Y bikes of 1970 were the third grouping that we have identified as using the Y engine suffix.

Of the other two, - the Dash Y bikes were normal 1967 bikes, the Y Spitfires were the hybrid Mk IV's produced at the end of the 1968 season production run.

The 1969 and 1970 Y bikes were A65TA, LA and RA models built on the same assembly line as the 'normal' bikes. Indeed they are identical and appeared to have interspersed with normal production. Going by the physical features such as casting marks etc we can probably assume a few bikes each week were designated to be stamped with the earlier markings.
We are assuming that approx 1000 bikes are involved. If you are suggesting about 330 twins per week were coming of the line then possibly 30 of those would have been stamped and recorded in the 1967 books.

I am confident they were not made in a batch, unlike the previous uses of the suffix. Gary will say the shipping books suggest this 'trickling through' as well.
Posted By: Allan Gill

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 07/21/13 7:19 pm

Thought I'd add this A50R 67' I and (ian aka) Frank saw today, Frank has asked me to point out that he noticed the dash Y! grin

It's a true 67 in all its form, however I looked for the oil return union etc to see which one it had, but the grass was a little long and the underside was caked up in oil ( it was a wrecker being sold at the founders day)

Posted By: Kevin (NZ).

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 07/21/13 9:41 pm

Yep, a 1967 Dash Y engine. Well spotted. Alan Coates has a Dash Y Lightning and this is the second I know of in Britain.

The funny thing though is that they are as common as. We all have them. I have two Dash Y bikes.

Compare that against what the BSAOC website says about them.
The only place they seem to be rare is in the UK.

Alan had his bike re-imported from the States and what are the chances this engine is a recent import also ?
Posted By: Kevin (NZ).

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 07/22/13 4:54 am




I found this certificate to be very interesting. It is attached to an Ebay auction for a 'Dealer new' Hurricane.

What we are seeing is a Certificate issued by the USA Distributors to the dealer they had just despatched the bike to.
Note this is Revision 4 (or 6?) to the Form 001 and is dated 1971.
From this i assume the Form had been in use for several years prior.
John Healy mentioned on one of these threads just the other day that the 1969 Tridents had been slow selling. To help things along Triumph provided the dealers with a 'Beauty Kit' which was a restyling kit for several new parts. Tank and side covers etc. To also help the cause a little more a new Manufacturer's Statement came with the kit now listing the machine as a 1970 model. I believe he mentioned that all this was detailed on a Service Bulletin as well.

Ok, so what do we have.
A certificate signed by the Treasurer of the BSA Corp at Verona, NJ.
We can safely assume this form accompanied all BSA motorcycles delivered by that Corporation to the dealers.
This is in the days before photocopiers so we can't see if an original was retained. The forms themselves are not serial numbered but do have the Invoice number.

We have to be able to strike it lucky here soon.
What I would love to see is some more of these Certificates, they must be in storage somewhere.
Are there any BSA Dealerships still running that may have these in the archives somewhere ?

It gets a little more difficult in that we are really only interested in the 1970 Y bikes.

I mentioned the other day that we must have other documentation available to us. Invoices, Tax returns, Shipping documents and Customs declarations etc must have survived somewhere.

While I don't hold much chance of ever getting the missing pieces from within the UK surely we must have some chance from within the States.

The various State Licensing Authorities and dealerships would have details.
We need to see proof of a 1970 Y bike serial number being in use prior to 1970.
In my mind I know the bikes were made in 1970.... what I am unsure about is what happened to the previous bike that bore that S/N. I am talking about the bikes that show in the 1967 despatch books with the earlier shipping date as well as the 1970 date.

At the moment we have no evidence that the bike existed, or was shipped.
The current book suggests it was shipped. With the story about it being returned to the factory being so flawed and unbelievable then what indeed is the truth ?

The funny thing is that the proof is in the pudding.
The bikes themselves. We do have them and surprisingly they are still largely intact and tell their story so strongly.
The bikes are adamant, - they were not made in 1967.

What became of that S/N of bike that was supposedly shipped in 1967.... at this stage we cannot prove any of them made it to the Distributors.
Posted By: Stuart

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 07/22/13 2:06 pm

Hi Kevin,

Originally Posted By: Kevin (NZ).
The 1969 and 1970 Y bikes were A65TA, LA and RA models built on the same assembly line as the 'normal' bikes. Indeed they are identical and appeared to have interspersed with normal production. Going by the physical features such as casting marks etc we can probably assume a few bikes each week were designated to be stamped with the earlier markings.
We are assuming that approx 1000 bikes are involved. If you are suggesting about 330 twins per week were coming of the line then possibly 30 of those would have been stamped and recorded in the 1967 books.

Gary will say the shipping books suggest this 'trickling through' as well.

So the whole scheme must've run for about six or seven months?

And how bizarre! shocked Shades of Roman army punishment - every tenth engine that passes test, the engine number stamping guy stamps a completely different serial on it from the other nine, that have normal 1970 month and year letters ...

By that, I'm assuming that the twins were built the same way as the triples - the engine gets the 'number' when it passes test at the end of assembly then the frame has the engine number copied on to it when the engine's installed?

The initial conversation with the engine number stamping guy must've been surreal - manager or foreman claps him on the shoulder, there's a bit of small talk, the engine number stamping guy wonders wtf's coming then the manager or foreman pulls a bit of paper from his pocket and says, "Every tenth engine that passes test, I want you to stamp a number from this piece of paper" ... grin It's possible one guy might've kept quiet if asked ... but the engine number stamping guy, the frame number stamping guy, the guys in dispatch, not to mention the foremen and managers involved ... then I can't see 1969/1970 British union reps. not wanting a special piece-work rate for it ... shocked

Ok, sane(?) question - has anyone pored long enough over the engine-build books to see if there's any pattern between the crankcase numbers and subsequent engine/frame numbers, and whether that highlights the engines given -Y numbers?

Regards,
Posted By: Kevin (NZ).

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 07/22/13 5:08 pm

Thanks for the continued interest and input Stuart.
I will need to edit this again but a few points at this stage.

I have seen a video clip of Triples getting assembled at Small Heath, I think. The chap with the stamps was sitting as the near complete bikes passed him. I will have to look to see it he was stamping engine or frame.

From memory I was assuming engine bit I tend to agree with your observations. I will have to dig it out.
I included it on one of these threads.

As for the confusion that stamping one in every ten with a different style, yep we have an example.
A65TA 1900 XD.



There will be a pic of it here somewhere. Rather than stamp the Y at the end he obviously used the XD that he had been using all day on the other bikes.
Dec 1969 calendar is unique as we see an unusual engine pad over the Xmas/ New Year period. Sure enough the Y bike has that casting. From that we can deduce the Y bike was indeed made during that period. It ties in with all our other observations and we have examples of 'true' Y bikes with the same casting features.

As for the slip of paper with the numbers. That is an interesting one. They had to be the same as the Dash Y bike they share the number with. And the numbers are completely random within that limitation though, Again we have the 1900 as a very low number and yet stamped in December 1969 Calendar year.

We have not seen the despatch books. There is no denying that the Y bikes have both the 1970 date as well as an earlier date recorded. I am not even convinced the 1967 date was recorded in the log during 1967.
Could both entries have been squeezed in during 1970, giving the impression that particular bike had been shipped out 3 years earlier.
You last question mentions Dash Y engines. There were thousands of them and they are not so bad, there is sequence of sorts. Basically anything over 4000 ended up with the Dash Y suffix.
Posted By: Stuart

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 07/23/13 10:47 pm

Hi Kevin,

Originally Posted By: Kevin (NZ).
I have seen a video clip of Triples getting assembled at Small Heath, I think. The chap with the stamps was sitting as the near complete bikes passed him. I will have to look to see it he was stamping engine or frame.

The procedure of stamping the number on the engine, then copying it on to the frame was definitely done by Meriden, Small Heath definitely did it on the triples because all triple engines were built there, I assumed SH also did it on the twins and singles?

That said, the procedure did cause BSA problems during '71 and the procedure was changed certainly for A75 engines. You recall I posted earlier that all the '70 A75 engines had been stamped with GD or HD date codes, when they had been assembled, but that Small Heath was still dispatching completed '70-season bikes in October and November 1970? By that time, assembly and stockpiling of '71-season engines had started - with NE, PE, etc. date codes - which weren't then assembled into bikes and dispatched until the early months of 1971. At some point, this caused trouble, whether with dealers or customers, or both, I don't know - it could look like a bike had been assembled for months when in fact it was just the engine, the complete 'number' had just been copied on to the frame when the engine was installed.

So Small Heath took to just stamping the actual number (and model code) when an engine passed test after assembly, the date code was added to an engine and then the whole lot was copied on the frame when the engine was installed.

But this in turn caused problems in '72! clap Officially, the highest '72 number is 641, but there are a bunch of '72 A75's, with JG date codes and numbers in the 1000's and 1100's; these were engines numbered (but not date-coded) in the '71 season but not built into bikes until after the start of the '72 season. eek

Originally Posted By: Kevin (NZ).
We have not seen the despatch books.

Uh-uh, I was thinking of the engine-build books. Again extrapolating from my experience of the triples and Triumph twins, engines only got the model-code-date-code-number when they passed test at the end of assembly; during assembly, once a set of crankcase sections (and inner main bearing caps on the triples) had been machined together, each section (and cap) was stamped with a small number. This small number not only helped engine assemblers to keep machined sets together, it was also the identification in the engine-build book; so, even if a set was scrapped before final test, it could be identified. But also you should be able to link crankcases to eventual engine (and therefore frame) numbers?

Meriden used that system on the Triumph twin crankcases; e.g. my T100 crankcases have the small number stamped on both crankcase halves on the bottom engine mounting. Did Small Heath use that system on the BSA twins?

Hth, if apologies for another digression about triples ... whistle

Regards,
Posted By: Gary E

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 07/24/13 12:22 am

I've never seen any engine build books. Hard telling where those would be now.

The '67 factory production books had 8 columns per page:

1. Frame Number (hand written entries)
2. Engine Number (a stamped date)
3. Tally Number (hand written 5 digit number)
4. Consignee (hand written distibutor, name, or country where it went)
5. Equipment (hand written model designation)
6. Transport (no entries)
7. Consignment Note Number (hand written 2 sets of 4 numbers)
8. Date Dispatched (hand written date)

No indication in there about engine information. Column 2 (engine number) has dates usually within a few days of the dispatch date.
Posted By: Two Alpha

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 07/24/13 2:35 am

Originally Posted By: Kevin (NZ).

There will be a pic of it here somewhere. Rather than stamp the Y at the end he obviously used the XD that he had been using all day on the other bikes.

The stamper certainly did make a mess of this one. The 1900 number should have been used on a regular 1970 bike, it would have read "XD 01900 A65T" if it had been correctly done.
My guess is that he had just previously stamped one or more 1970 "Y" numbers before he got to this one.
The one example I have, of a 1970 "Y" serial number on that particular December 1969 style casting, reads "A65 TA 12215 Y".

I agree with Kevin, the 1970 "Y" bikes weren't done all in one batch, they were interspersed amongst the regular serial numbers. No wonder errors like the one in the picture occurred.

Let's put ourselves in the shoes of the stamper. If he gets a list of "Y" numbers, at the beginning of the day, that he has to work in, he would just make a note of the last regular number stamped, proceed with all of the "Y" numbers he had to do, and then continue with the next regular number.
Looking at the picture, it seems as if he must have thought that he still had more "Y" numbers to do. Except he didn't, so he finished it off as best he could.
Posted By: Kevin (NZ).

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 07/24/13 3:01 am

Yes, I see that as a good explanation as well.

You would have to imagine that many more mistakes were made as i agree that he must have been working off two lists of numbers. Tricky stuff and again there must have been a very good reason for it.

I have been looking for the video clip I posted on one of these threads. It showed some politicians touring one of the factories and clearly depicted a worker sitting at the assembly line with the stamps at his side and the near completed bikes trundling past.

I can't remember what factory, what bikes and even if he was using the stamps at the time.
Any clues as to how to locate that clip again ?
Posted By: Kevin (NZ).

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 07/24/13 3:09 am

Originally Posted By: Stuart

Meriden used that system on the Triumph twin crankcases; e.g. my T100 crankcases have the small number stamped on both crankcase halves on the bottom engine mounting. Did Small Heath use that system on the BSA twins?



Yes, they did stamp both crankcase halves with a series of digits. The number was matched and was part of a calculation to determine the crankshaft shimming required.
Typically of 3 digits it would not have been unique but chances are it may have been different enough for some initial form of identification.

I am still working on finding a link to the video clip.
Posted By: Two Alpha

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 07/24/13 3:31 am

Here's a link to my spreadsheet of relevant serial numbered bikes I've stumbled across on the internet.

BSA Twin Serial Numbers 1967-1970

Pictures of the serial numbers have been saved for all but a few of the entries.
For 1967, all twin serial numbers are entered.
For 1968, 1969 and 1970, only the "Y" serial numbers, and a very few special others, are entered.
All dispatch dates are entered, where available.

So far, there isn't a 1967 serial number that is seen again as a "Y" number in a later year.
High "Y" numbers in 1968, low in 1969, high again in 1970.





Posted By: Two Alpha

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 07/24/13 3:45 am

This might be it Kevin, at about the 14 minute mark.

Bits Stuck Anywhere
Posted By: Kevin (NZ).

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 07/24/13 4:28 am

Brilliant, that is the clip I was thinking of. Thanks for posting that again. I am travelling this month and my computer is so slow here. I could barely see it but I did see at least one number (letter) going onto the engine.

I guess that had to be Meriden and going by Stuart eas saying it may have been the date code being applied to the Triples engines.
Posted By: Two Alpha

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 07/24/13 6:06 pm

According to the video, it's April, 1974 at Small Heath. They're building Tridents.
The guy doing the stamping looks old enough that he might have been doing it for a few years, anybody recognize him?
Posted By: Kevin (NZ).

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 07/26/13 1:52 am

I still can't see more than a few seconds of the video clip but that does seem familiar now.

Can we all see the jigsaw pieces falling into place now ?

I am sure input from the likes of John Healy, Stuart and Magnetoman may even provide the missing pieces. I never really thought about what was stamped and when. I didn't for one minute think the date was applied sometime after the S/N but of course it does make some sense also.

I guess we now need to put some thought into how this could have been managed at Small Heath in 1970 and how the 'two slips of paper' would fit into it.

I have also managed to open John's spreadsheet with the various Y numbers laid out in such fine fashion.

I think that is going to be extremely valuable as we pad it out further. I am sure I can provide many more numbers, certainly for the 1967 Dash Y bikes.

A65TA6031Y is a 1969.

Before we forget why the dating info is all over the place I have posted a pic of a page out of the 1969 books.
This one is pretty easy to read and is relatively straightforward.
(Well as far as the chap who did the entries of 30 July 1969 is concerned).
Many are much more complicated.


Of interest is the bike that shows as being returned S/N 22561.

The book shows it being returned on 11 August 1969. Now while that is fair enough and to be expected we don't see any mention of a new (ie a second) despatch date. Nor do we see any ticks or crosses that we were are supposed to believe signify such things in the earlier books.
We cannot deny that the chap writing these entries in July 1969 would have been the very same man that was delving into the 1967 books and entering the various 'later' despatch dates.
His handwriting is relatively neat and distictive, it would be easily spotted in the 1967 books.







Let us now think about what Stuart said.
These bikes were actually built as Firebirds, the whole batch was. The serial numbers were already on the engine from when the engine was made. All ok, and it would have just been the 5 digits of the S/N at this point.

We now have the near complete or even complete bikes trundling down the assembly line. These are getting towards the very last Firebirds made that year and I am surmising the call came back from the States. Sorry chaps we have enough of these, please send us more Rocket III's.
Easily fixed, it is a simple matter of reworking (notice that word) the bikes back to Lightning configuration.

What does that entail ? Exhaust system, headlight, front fender, Tank ? and then back down the line again.

This time the man with the stamps can see it is a Lightning and plonks the model and date codes onto the engine and then the frame.

EC 22561 A65L for example was one stamped that day.

(I have pics of a Firebird engine EC 225XX A65F but the number can't be read).


Whatever paperwork accompanied the bike down the line shows all this. The chap with the despatch book can see this history when the bike is crated and consigned with the entries then being transferred to the despatch books.

No-one beyond that point is ever to know the bike was actually a Firebird for a few days.

I think that explains how we have never seen a bike with the numbers restamped when we discussed this change of model mentioned previously.
Well done Stuart ..... bigt
Posted By: Gary E

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 07/26/13 3:59 am

I've got over 500 '67 numbers recorded thus far. Some don't have much info for them.
Posted By: Two Alpha

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 07/26/13 4:45 am

As Stuart's last post suggests, and it makes a lot of sense that they would do it this way, the A65 or A50 and the serial number would be stamped on the engine as it was completed. The engines serial number would then be transferred to the frame once the two were mated up. One more stamp would be still required on the engine at that time though, the model designation.

If the above is true, then the first stage of stamping would have had to apply the entire serial number on the engine as it was completed, including the "Y" and the LA, TA or RA. The guy doing the second stage of stamping, when the engines and frames had come together, would just transfer the whole thing over to the frame.
More than just one or two people on the production line would have known about, or noticed, those unusual serial numbers.

Originally Posted By: Kevin (NZ).
I have also managed to open John's spreadsheet with the various Y numbers laid out in such fine fashion.
I think that is going to be extremely valuable as we pad it out further. I am sure I can provide many more numbers, certainly for the 1967 Dash Y bikes.

I should have put that together a lot further back than just a few days ago. As the old saying goes, a picture is worth a thousand words.
Posted By: Two Alpha

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 07/26/13 5:05 am

Originally Posted By: Kevin (NZ).
A65TA6031Y is a 1969.

Thanks Kevin, I've added that one.
Posted By: Two Alpha

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 07/26/13 5:12 am

Originally Posted By: Gary E
I've got over 500 '67 numbers recorded thus far. Some don't have much info for them.


Are these all for bikes that exist, or once did, out in the wild, not just as the initial 1967 numbers in the books?
Posted By: Kevin (NZ).

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 07/26/13 5:16 am

I am liking that spreadsheet. What I am looking for of course is the double use of the same number.

Did you notice I edited my earlier post with the photo of the 1969 shipping log page ?

It referred to the batch of bikes converted from Firebirds to Lightnings.
I think what Stuart said about only the numbers being stamped on the engine after assembly makes perfect sense.
It may also explain a few more of the numbering peculiarities.
Posted By: Two Alpha

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 07/26/13 5:32 am

Originally Posted By: Kevin (NZ).
What I am looking for of course is the double use of the same number.

Yes, that's where we need the pictures.

Originally Posted By: Kevin (NZ).
Did you notice I edited my earlier post with the photo of the 1969 shipping log page ?
It referred to the batch of bikes converted from Firebirds to Lightnings.
I think what Stuart said about only the numbers being stamped on the engine after assembly makes perfect sense.

Yes, it sure does.
It seems as if somebody jumped the gun in the book though, I'm assuming those entries were made before the "F" was stamped on the engine. They didn't do a re-stamp there on that batch did they?

(edit) Just checked, I don't have a serial number image for anything on that list.

Posted By: Two Alpha

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 07/26/13 6:10 am

Originally Posted By: Kevin (NZ).
A65TA6031Y is a 1969.


Kevin, could you confirm that is actually A65TA7031Y?
Posted By: Kevin (NZ).

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 07/26/13 8:28 am

Yep, it will be.

Quote:
My serialnumber is: A65 TA 7031Y
Both on engine and frame.
The original color is black.
By the way, is it true that only the US models was black?
So, it's a 4 digit number serie before the "Y", not 5.
It's not a dash before the "Y".

So maybe it's a 1967 that is upgraded to 1970 model spec if
I understand you right.
The papers say -69, but maybe I shouldn't trust them :-)

I have searched the internet for pictures on other -69 models,
and they I found is identical to my model, with all that
things that's don't is the same on the -68 model pictures.

As soon as I can borrow a digital camera, I will take some pictures
and put on my website, so you can look at it.

The tank badges is metal I think.

The front brake is "the big one" with a little intake for air-cooling.

The rear suspension shows the springs on my BSA, on the -68 model pictures
they are not visible.

Tonight I will meet a couple of bsaoc-sweden people, one of them
owns a -69 Thunderbolt too, so I'm gonna have a chat with him :
-)



I had it on file since 2004 and I also have a pic of 7041, it is just a bare frame.

I am worried about those two Lightnings you have as 1968 models. A65LA111050 is actually a restamped 1967 engine in a 1969 frame, DC20846 A65T. That last zero is really dodgy and I think it has already been discussed here as been stamped over the 'dash' hyphen. I have photos of the complete bike as well as the engine numbers. The frame numbers can be clearly seen as non-matching.



Anther frame pic I have is of A65TA7579Y which I presume is a 1969. It is either 1969 or 1970 definitely.
Posted By: Kevin (NZ).

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 07/26/13 8:34 am

cycarmark
Sr BritBiker
Member # 441

Icon 1 posted December 21, 2004 06:28December 21, 2004 06:28 Profile for cycarmark Email cycarmark Send New Private Message Edit/Delete Post Reply With Quote
I've got a '70 Thunderbolt and it has the BSA stamped all over the engine number boss.
Posts: 316 | From: florida | Registered: Aug 2001 | IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
BONZO
Golden BritBiker
Member # 330

Icon 1 posted December 22, 2004 19:40December 22, 2004 19:40 Profile for BONZO Email BONZO Send New Private Message Edit/Delete Post Reply With Quote
'70 or later . If these are new old stock , they would be a great start for a project engine , even a good used set of that era are usually in very good condition . If you're looking to swap them off , let me know , I'd love to have 'em.

-BONZO
Posts: 1736 | From: Michigan, USA | Registered: Aug 2001 | IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
JonH
Sr BritBiker
Member # 16

Icon 1 posted December 23, 2004 03:49December 23, 2004 03:49 Profile for JonH Author's Homepage Email JonH Send New Private Message Edit/Delete Post Reply With Quote
I have a (registered as, I never checked the number)'69 Lighning waiting its turn that has not only the stamped boss, but the dreaded "-Y" suffix as well. We'll see how that turns out...
Posts: 166 | From: NY, USA | Registered: Aug 2001 | IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Kevin (NZ).
Avatar Image
Avatar Image
Sr BritBiker
Member # 53

Icon 1 posted December 23, 2004 05:10December 23, 2004 05:10 Profile for Kevin (NZ). Email Kevin (NZ). Send New Private Message Edit/Delete Post Reply With Quote
Yes Jon you are right, the later 1969 models appear to have the raised boss with the little BSA logos also.
Your bike will be a 'Y' model however, - without the dash, and both engine and frame will bear the 'Y' suffix.

I have photos of similar engine numbers on 1969 and 1970 twins;
All have the raised boss, and some are embossed, just like yours.

Interesting enough, of the two other number schemes used during 1969 they all seem to have the raised boss but the logos only appear after January 1969.

A65LC11559 without logos.
A65TC12246 without
A65TC1249 without
CC 19796 A65T with logos.
AC 17826 A65F with

Does that mean the 1969 'Y' bikes possibly came right at the end of that year's production run. It may be why some bikes with 1970 features also had the similar numbers.

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.

Not to be confusing but the '-Y' are all 1967 models. A completely different story,- with the dash, no boss, no logos. Also the frame will not carry the matching '-Y' suffix.

Now Jon, you must have known you would start this one up again......!!
[Wink]
Posts: 179 | From: Christchurch, NZ | Registered: Aug 2001 | IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
black13
Sr BritBiker
Member # 2381

Icon 1 posted December 27, 2004 12:23December 27, 2004 12:23 Profile for black13 Email black13 Send New Private Message Edit/Delete Post Reply With Quote
john h why is the y suffix bad , is it because it is a reimport?.....thanks
Posts: 124 | From: vancouver,b.c. | Registered: Jan 2004 | IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Shane in Oz
BritBiker
Member # 670

Icon 1 posted December 27, 2004 14:48December 27, 2004 14:48 Profile for Shane in Oz Author's Homepage Email Shane in Oz Send New Private Message Edit/Delete Post Reply With Quote
black13,
The y and -y suffixes aren't bad in and of themselves, it's just that it's been an ongoing debate topic here for a l-o-o-o-n-g time and it leads to the "dreaded y debate", somewhat akin to "the dreaded monogrades vs multigrade" or "dreaded Boyer vs points" threads [Smile]

Kevin has covered our current state of info on the subject above, but missed out that the -y suffix on 1967 bikes seems to be related to an electrical system upgrade. The 1969-70 y is still a mystery. Kevin's engine/frame numbers above seem to indicate that the BSA logos on the engine number boss came in at the same time as the month/year letter scheme in January 1969.
Why BSA would use 1967 numbers (A65xAnnn) rather than 1970 numbering (A65xyDnnnnn) on 1970 spec machines is a mystery. It could have been some sort of workaround of UK or US laws, similar to all Hurricanes having December 1972 numbers to beat the US 1973 noise, etc regulations.

The UK BSA Owners Club also has some info on this topic gleaned from the factory dispatch records, but the 1970-spec bikes with 1967 numbers hint at some sort of BSA shenanigans in 1970. It's possible that there was some sort of government subsidy or rebate for selling the "unsold 1967 models", so a batch of 1970 models were given 1967 numbers.
Posts: 96 | From: Oz | Registered: Oct 2001 | IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Justaname
BritBiker
Member # 1146

Icon 1 posted December 27, 2004 16:30December 27, 2004 16:30 Profile for Justaname Email Justaname Send New Private Message Edit/Delete Post Reply With Quote
Black13,

Try a search on the "Y" suffix. Having started an ugly thread on the subject (my 70 Lightning has it), I know from feedback that there are several threads on the subject.
Posts: 32 | From: Cincinnati, OH | Registered: Mar 2002 | IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Shane in Oz
BritBiker
Member # 670

Icon 1 posted December 27, 2004 19:03December 27, 2004 19:03 Profile for Shane in Oz Author's Homepage Email Shane in Oz Send New Private Message Edit/Delete Post Reply With Quote
Kevin,

I've got another one for you. A65LA10481Y.
It has the raised boss with the BSA logos, but the earlier clutch lift lever.

http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/ws/eBayIS...023068&rd=1
Posts: 96 | From: Oz | Registered: Oct 2001 | IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Kevin (NZ).
Avatar Image
Avatar Image
Sr BritBiker
Member # 53

Icon 1 posted December 27, 2004 19:28December 27, 2004 19:28 Profile for Kevin (NZ). Email Kevin (NZ). Send New Private Message Edit/Delete Post Reply With Quote
Thanks Shane for filling in some gaps.

' Kevin has covered our current state of info on the subject above, but missed out that the -y suffix on 1967 bikes seems to be related to an electrical system upgrade. '

Ok, yes, - the 1967 Dash Y bikes all appear to have the Zener diode mounted below the steering head in 1968 style. One line of thinking is that the '-Y' may signify that these bikes have the modified main wiring loom.

' the 1970-spec bikes with 1967 numbers hint at some sort of BSA shenanigans in 1970. It's possible that there was some sort of government subsidy or rebate for selling the "unsold 1967 models", so a batch of 1970 models were given 1967 numbers. '
Excellent... This is the first time I have seen any form of explaination for the later 'Y' bikes, and. - Completely plausible.!
Something has to explain why these bikes are not mentioned in any numbering listing or any BSA publication.
I am not too sure that the BSAOC note on the website mentioning the existance of these later 'Y' bikes tells much of a story.

' 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
'.
Ok, trying to interpret this;..
Could the 1000 bikes mentioned in the first sentence be the 1967 '-Y' bikes, Maybe, but 1000 may be on the light side, I can list 30 or more Serial Numbers. I have photos of the engine numbers about 15 of those with probably photos of more than 30 bikes themselves. All 1967 bikes, with the Zener but normal '67 models.
Good, I believe this may tie up with the stories of dock strike, exchange rate, etc and the bikes were unsold and returned to the factory. Possibly the wiring mods were done then the bikes were re-exported a couple of seasons later.
Ok, now the 1969 models with the extra '0'.
I have a photo of A65LA111050Y which is a 1967 engine. It has the piled arms logo under, and between, the 6 and 5 numbers, - just like all other 1967 numbers. Interestingly enough it sits in a frame that is 1969 in all respects.
A good close look shows that the number may have been changed from a Dash and stamped over with the '0'. The two zeros in the number are most definitely not from the same stamp.
Confusingly the frame the engine is in wears the number DC20846 A65T. Ok, we have a good 1969 frame with a 1967 engine supposedly wearing 1969? engine stampings if we agree with the note above.
This is the only A65 twin I know of that has the 6 digit engine number. Someone please prove me wrong... ( I know there must be more around)

Now for the final part of the BSAOC note. Machines stamped with a 'Y' suffix were eligible for increased warranty. I don't know about this one either. Would that refer to the 1967 '-Y' bikes that were being re-exported ? Does it refer to the 'Y' bikes (1970 models) ? if so, why do they get an extended warranty?

What did Shane suggest ?
' numbers hint at some sort of BSA shenanigans '

NICELY PUT..
Posts: 179 | From: Christchurch, NZ | Registered: Aug 2001 | IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Kevin (NZ).
Avatar Image
Avatar Image
Sr BritBiker
Member # 53

Icon 1 posted December 27, 2004 19:40December 27, 2004 19:40 Profile for Kevin (NZ). Email Kevin (NZ). Send New Private Message Edit/Delete Post Reply With Quote
Now Shane, you are not trying to wind me up here.... are you?

I think you were pretty close with your previous post. I would put my money on BSA trying to fool someone that those bikes were earlier (1967) models.
Well done.
As for the engine, yes another 1969 'Y' engine. A close relative to the one JonH has I imagine.
A65LA10481Y. with boss, with logos.
Posts: 179 | From: Christchurch, NZ | Registered: Aug 2001 | IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Shane in Oz
BritBiker
Member # 670

Icon 1 posted December 28, 2004 05:50December 28, 2004 05:50 Profile for Shane in Oz Author's Homepage Email Shane in Oz Send New Private Message Edit/Delete Post Reply With Quote
I don't have any 1969 models (or parts books), so I'd assumed BSA changed the clutch lift mechanism to the ball & ramp arrangement for the 1969 model year, which was the reason for the 1969-on Firebirds having the exhausts on the left.
The 1969 brochure shows the low clutch cable run as per the earlier models, so the eBay engine is probably mostly original.

It looks like we're getting omewhere with this, but it's a pity the BSAOC couldn't track down anything more.
Posts: 96 | From: Oz | Registered: Oct 2001 | IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Kevin (NZ).
Avatar Image
Avatar Image
Sr BritBiker
Member # 53

Icon 1 posted December 28, 2004 06:29December 28, 2004 06:29 Profile for Kevin (NZ). Email Kevin (NZ). Send New Private Message Edit/Delete Post Reply With Quote
I agree that some progress is being made here. Again,- thanks for your help. [Beerchug]

I too don't know when the clutch lift lever change occurred. I have been assuming it was for the 1970 model year. Your 1969 exhaust theory has more thought put into it than I can offer.
This one can't be too difficult to work out, - I am sure someone will know exactly when.
Posts: 179 | From: Christchurch, NZ | Registered: Aug 2001 | IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
leon bee
Sr BritBiker
Member # 1707

Icon 1 posted December 28, 2004 12:08December 28, 2004 12:08 Profile for leon bee Email leon bee Send New Private Message Edit/Delete Post Reply With Quote
My all original 69 Firebird has the old clutch mechanism.
Posts: 351 | From: arkansas | Registered: Dec 2002 | IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Kevin (NZ).
Avatar Image
Avatar Image
Sr BritBiker
Member # 53

Icon 1 posted December 28, 2004 16:39December 28, 2004 16:39 Profile for Kevin (NZ). Email Kevin (NZ). Send New Private Message Edit/Delete Post Reply With Quote
Thanks Leon, My 1969 Parts Catalogue 00-5145 printed June 1969 shows the older lever type also. Also, for what it is worth, Roy Bacon mentions in a couple of his books that the three-ball ramp was introduced in 1970.

I still like Shane's Firebird left side exhaust theory, - could it be that the BSA engineers were just planning ahead.

Then again maybe someone in the styling Dept. just preferred them down the left side.

I should add that I was determining if a twin was a '70 model or not mainly by the clutch cable entry.

Also came across another pic of a 1969 engine with the boss, NOT stamped with the BSA logos; PC14598 A65F. Where does that fit into the numbering sequence we were getting on top of ?
Ah, just looked it up, - Nov 1968 so that is still ok. (Still a 1969 model bike). We were thinking the Triumph style numbering system and stamped logos both started in Jan 1969.
It may well be that the Triumph numbering system started a little earlier (Nov'68) and the BSA logos started getting stamped on Jan '69 and later machines.
Of course being BSA, it won't be so definite as this. I guess it depends on what cases were about at the time, who was doing the stamping, who won the soccer matches over the weekend etc.
[Wink]
Posts: 179 | From: Christchurch, NZ | Registered: Aug 2001 | IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Kevin (NZ).
Avatar Image
Avatar Image
Sr BritBiker
Member # 53

Icon 1 posted December 28, 2004 17:29December 28, 2004 17:29 Profile for Kevin (NZ). Email Kevin (NZ). Send New Private Message Edit/Delete Post Reply With Quote
If that 1969 numbering sequence of A65 (L,T,R, etc)C only ran for a few months, the engine numbers all seem very high. This style continued on from the '67 and '68 'A' and 'B' respectively.

A65LC11559 without logos.
A65TC12246 without
A65TC12490 without (Can now make out a misplaced zero at the end)
A65TC12329 (I think this hasn't the raised boss !)
A65LC11860 Without logos ? Page 58 Bacon's Twin Restoration.
Also XC16377 A50R , A high number for Dec 1968 (1969 model), fits the Triumph style numbering system ... but... also appears to have the raised boss.
Perhaps the boss did start appearing before Xmas.

Was there a reason for the 1969 bikes having such high numbers? Bacon's books indicate That they should all start normally with 101. at least for the earlier number style
Posted By: jamie weeks

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 07/26/13 9:46 am

I have a 1967 - y and will help if I can
Posted By: Kevin (NZ).

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 07/26/13 10:09 am

Originally Posted By: jamie weeks
I have a 1967 - y and will help if I can


Hi Jamie, yes I see you are progressing well with your A65.
I think we have your Dash Y engine on the register already, it was a mid season 9XXX one.

We were not sure about the frame number though as the description in the Ebay auction mysteriously changed in the last few days. Some story about a one owner bike pulled apart and then the 'restorer' somehow got all the parts in the tub completely mixed up with '69 stuff.
I guess the frame is a 1969 in that case ?


I guess we would probably be concentrating on the Lightning, Thunderbolts and Royal Star's. At least they are the models where we think the duplication is going to be.

The Owner's Club in the UK is making out that the same bike was exported twice. We all know they can't possibly be the same bike but the quest is now on to find out what really went on with the first bike. We must have over 100 numbers for the Y bikes of 1969 and 1970. We are trying to find any earlier bikes that may have possibly used the same numbers.


Something is about to happen here. Watch this space...
smile

Posted By: Kevin (NZ).

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 07/26/13 12:27 pm

Just thinking about the 'two slips of paper'.

They would have have to be given to the chap stamping the numbers on the engine.

The engines were all numbered basically in sequence, it didn't matter if they were 500cc or 650cc. He would just stamp them as the finished engine popped of the various engine assembly lines.
We know there was only the one set of stamps for the unit twins.

However for the assembly of the normal bikes they must have had an idea of what batch they were going to built that day. Obviously just prior to July 31 they were going to produce a run of Firebirds.
They would need 650 engines so would obviously divert them over to the line to be fitted.
The frames would not run in exact sequence because there would be gaps in the engine sequence, for example none of the 500cc would be there.





The frame would have a tag indicating what it was to be built up as and they would have a batch of frames ready to be assembled. On the day the engines are brought over and they may be in no particular order.

So on that day in January 1970 the chap with the stamps is just getting over his Friday morning hangover when he is confronted with engine number 1900.

This is a Y bike though. So how does he know it was different?
It is a Thunderbolt so the engine stamper could have already put the A65TA quite safely. And the Y for that matter. All are unique to a 650cc single carb 4 digit model of that year.
He stamped the previous engine LOST TRAIN OF THOUGHT< TO BE EDITED




This is an engine that was fitted to a frame in about Sept 1968.
We know that the 1969 model unit twins started at A65LC 11101 so this engine should have been one of the fist stamped for that years production. It is just 400 into the sequence of numbers.
We know the first numbers were stamped onto cases without pads though so presumably the left-overs that were about got stamped first as they were completed earlier.
The interesting thing here is we have the pad but with the old stamp sets... before the new font started being used just weeks later.

I am not sure where I am going with this but we can see all numbers have been stamped with the same set, we have never seen the A65 and the numbers stamped in different fonts at this the changeover point.

This has to be telling us something, just as I have a nagging doubt that the matching numbers on the 1968 bikes with the enlarged F and enlarged 8 are indeed matching,, ie on both engine and frame. WRONG< ENGINE ONLY

Do we have just the one set of stamps used in the engine line and also at the end of the assembly line ? NO
Unlikely I would have thought.


.


A50R A10139Y 1969 possibly
A50 RA9877-Y 1967
A50RA 5342-Y 1967
A50RA14606-Y 1967
A50RA9922Y 1969 probably
A65 LA 14295-Y 1967
A65 SA 17732 Y 1968 Hybrid
A65 SA 17856Y, 1968 Hybrid with big 8 on engine
A65 SA 17890-Y 1968 Hybrid with big 8 on engine
A65TA6950Y, 1969
A65 SA 4272 -Y 1967
A-65 TA 6794Y 1969
A65 TA 6815-Y 1967
A65HA5499-Y 1967
A65HA5802 -Y
A65 TA 6815-Y
A65LA 11243 Y Eng number 1970 I think
A65LA 15824Y ' ''' ''
A65LA 15826-Y 1967
A65LA10481Y, 1969
A65LA11435-Y 1967
A65LA1455-Y 1967
A65LA15126Y 1970
A65LA15824Y 1970
A65LA16496-Y 1967
A65LA254-Y 1967
A65LA2720 - Y 1967
A65LA3359-X 1967
A65LA6422-Y 1967
A65LA6521-Y 1967
A65LA7879Y 1969 I think, 12 point nuts...
A65LA7886-Y 1967
A65S16835-Y Hmm, 1967 I think but with enlarged 8.
A65SA 17642Y Seems to be a hybrid of 1968. Dash may be faint. No trans filler on crank case.
A65SA 13418-Y 1967
A65SA 17874Y Mk IV hybrid with enlarged 8
A65SA 4940-Y 1967
A65SA13388-Y 1967 with enlarged 8's
A65SA13414-Y 1967
A65SA16835-Y , 1967 I think but with enlarged 8 AND ON ENG ONLY, FRAME NORMAL SIZED

A65SA13482-Y 1967
A65SA16837-Y 1967 Big 8
A65SA17365Y Hybrid 1968
A65 SA 17858Y, ,, big 8's
A65SA17513-Y Unknown if Dash or Hybrid
A65SA17698Y Hybrid big 8
A65SA17890-Y Hybrid big 8

A65L A 11446Y, 1969
A65LA17142Y,. 1970
A65LA7230Y ,1969
A50R A10139Y 1970 or 69
A65L11277Y ,1970]
A65LA 10626Y 1970
A65LA 11243 Y 1970
A65LA10587Y 1970
A65LA10849Y .,1970
A65LA10971Y,, 1970
A65LA11186Y,, 1970
A65LA11247Y,,,1970
A65LA11530Y, 1970
A65LA13107Y,, 1970
A65LA15126Y 1970
A65LA15824Y 1970
A65LA16444Y, 1970
A65LA7867Y,, 1969
A65LA7230Y.. 1969
A65TA12318Y '' ''
A65TA12493Y '' ''

A65LA10520Y 1970 or 69
A65SA13482-Y 1967 big 8
A65SA16837-Y,,1967
Posted By: Kevin (NZ).

Eleven years ago we had a frustrated owner... - 07/26/13 1:03 pm

Quote:

Re: BSA 1967 and 1970 A65 'Y' Machines - again. < Prev Next >
Posted By:
Wed Dec 18, 2002 7:12 pm |
Options
Thanks again for your reply John but although I am aware of the existence of the
despatch books I would have thought the better way to go would be to have the
error corrected once and for all.

I know the English way is just to cobble things together, God only knows I have
worked on Dart engines and BN Islander aircraft for many years now. I guess this
is how these poor unfortunates got into this predicament in the first place. I
have received mail from one chap in the States that after being forced to buy
the incorrect Parts Book for his 70 'Y' bike decided it was too far off original
and parted it out. Now he has realised that if had used the 70 listing his
machine was basically complete and original.

I don't know if the guys really need the exact delivery dates and destinations
so much, sure they can pay and possibly get that info - will it still tell them
what model they have ?
I would have thought that as it appears that as much as 5% of the 1970 ( A65 L &
T ) production run may have a completely different numbering system then perhaps
these so called ID listings should mention it.
Likewise I am starting to wonder just how much of the 1967 A65 production run
has a '-Y' stamped on the engine number. In NZ, and the States, it seems like at
least 20%.
We have two completely different types of machine, both with 1967 sequence, both
with a 'Y' at the end and no real mention of this in Roy Bacon's books or the
BSAOC site.
I know there is a disclaimer, stating the difficulties in accuracy, but these
guys are in fact being fed this info as gospel.
I have been sensing the frustration in some of the postings from these guys, and
they don't know at all why their bikes don't conform to the books. Worst still
there are suggestion that their bikes are not original - basically bitza's.

My point is that we as a body, with the wealth of experience and knowledge these
boards have, should be able to now correct this anomaly. I guess that in the
past this form of instant and accessible international communication was not
available but really now we are running out of excuses.

Sorry to ramble on but again I, and others, really would like to see this sorted
out.

----- Original Message -----
From: The John who Yawns a Lot
To: bsa@yahoogroups.com
Sent: Thursday, December 19, 2002 6:03 AM
Subject: Re: BSA 1967 and 1970 A65 'Y' Machines - again.


The lists published in books like Roy Bacon's are simplicity in themselves.
The real despatch books contain the real delivery dates
and destinations. If the owners get a dating certificate from the BSAOC this
will be extracted from the despatch books and will
state the exact date it was despatched to the Colonies or wherever regardless
of what anyone else thinks.


Posted By: Two Alpha

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 07/26/13 3:00 pm

Originally Posted By: Kevin (NZ).
I am worried about those two Lightnings you have as 1968 models. A65LA111050 is actually a restamped 1967 engine in a 1969 frame, DC20846 A65T. That last zero is really dodgy and I think it has already been discussed here as been stamped over the 'dash' hyphen.

I'm giving that A65LA 11050Y engine serial number some respect as it is so similar to one of my bikes, A65LA 105590Y, which has the matching frame with the same number but no Y.
Yes, the hyphen on both these engines has been over stamped with a zero, very high odds this was done at the factory though as they entered it in their books, dodgy as it may be!
I've listed the two of them in the 1968 column as the second dispatch date for mine is April 12th, 1968. Six days later they started dispatching the hybrid Spitfires.

Thanks for all those numbers Kevin, I'll get them into the spreadsheet.
Posted By: Stuart

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 07/26/13 5:19 pm

Hi Kevin,

Originally Posted By: Kevin (NZ).
Well done Stuart ..... bigt

blush Errrm ... koff ... shuffle ... Thanks.

Originally Posted By: Two Alpha

Originally Posted By: Kevin (NZ).
The chap with the stamps was sitting as the near complete bikes passed him. I will have to look to see it he was stamping engine or frame.

He was stamping on the engine. Triumph triple frames remained tube-'n'-lug and 'dry' 'til the end, even after they started building complete triples at Small Heath from March 1974. On all '69-on Triumph 'dry' frames, the number was stamped on a 'pad' cast as part of the steering head lug, on the part of the lug that takes the top of the front down tube. Given the stamper's sitting down and the bike's on the assembly track, the frame number 'pad' would be above his head.

Hth.

Regards,
Posted By: Two Alpha

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 07/27/13 2:14 am

The spreadsheet has been updated with all the serial numbers Kevin supplied.

BSA Twin Serial Numbers 1967-1970
Posted By: Kevin (NZ).

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 07/27/13 2:54 am

Well done John. It certainly makes the pattern much more obvious.

What I am seeing;

The 1969 bikes in particular seem to be in 'blocks'
We have several areas of possible overlap/duplication
So far no Royal Stars of 1970
The Hybrid Spitfires seem to be in a number group of their own

I think that a very telling feature is that of the two years of Y bikes there is simply no overlap whatsoever. The lower numbers in 1969 and then the higher numbers having the 1970 features.
That is very pronounced and it almost as bold as the 1968 Hybrid block. Simply no overlap, nothing random and no confusion.



It is now easy to target the Blocks of 1967 Dash Y bikes to seek duplicated numbers ie all 7000 numbers and 10, 11 and 12 thousands. For Lightnings and Thunderbolts.

It is obvious to see the Spitfires made in March and April of 1968 were just added to the end of the last of the Mk III's (made 8 months earlier) and made out as though they were indeed left over bikes restyled.

The 1969 Y bikes ran the very real chance of duplication and I feel our best chances lie there. It is obviously a very defined batch of bikes we have a 10 in 1000 chance of hitting the jackpot. 1% at this stage.
It is worth me now checking all Dash Y bikes in the 7000 block.
I have a feeling they are going to be Spitfires and Hornets.. !
Come on in Gary help

Ok, I am onto it now

***************
EDITED

A65HA7986-Y
A65SA7218-Y
A65TA7401-Y
A65LA7886-Y
A65TA7460
A65HA7968-Y,,



WTF !!

I am speechless

GOBSMACKED

That is all I can find of the 1000 bikes made in the 7000 block of 1967 !!!!


How can we have 10 1969 models using that block and yet only 6 of the real 1967 models that should have been stamped with those numbers.

This is very telling.
We know those bikes were to be sent out during November 1966 and presumably to BSA East, NJ.

I have a pic of A65LA7886-Y and it is a fine looking example. What happened to the rest of the batch ?

It took almost 3 years for one of them to be shipped again and the second bike was not the first bike at all. Ie not rebuilt in any conceivable way.
The BSAOC interpretation of the books will try telling us the batch was MIA for those 3 years,

Unless Gary can come up with hundreds of Hornets that used that 7000 series of numbers I think we may have some form of clue here.

Note,
I may be just me.
I have little info on the 5000 and 6000 blocks as well as the 7000 series. It is possible I ignored looking at them as they may have been Hornets or similar.

Obviously I paid more attention to the Y bikes and made sure that I paid attention to them.

That could explain why we have more Y numbers than the original Dash Y in that block.

All the following are 1967 bikes;
A65LA11435-Y
A65LA12041 ,
A65LA11357,.
A65LA10940-Y
A65LA 15267
A65LA 15061-Y
A65LA 12937-Y
A65LA 10625-Y
A65LA12076
A65LA13250-Y
a65la14848-y .
A65LA15115-Y ..
a65la15343,.
A65LA16496-Y ..
A65LA16579-Y ,,
A65LA6099.'
A65LA6087-Y
A65LA6422-Y.
A65LA6279-Y
A65LA903C-Y,'
A65LA6521-Y,
A65LA11435-Y
A65LA16496-Y
A50RA8807-Y
A50RA9832-Y
A50RA9845-Y,
A5ORA12753-Y ,
A65TA 6771-Y
A65 SA13328-Y
A655A15675-Y ,,
A65HA 8780
A65HA 8843-Y
A65HA14028-Y
A65HA14128-Y ,,,
A65HA5631-Y,
A65HA5802 -Y,,
A65HA8049-Y,,
A65HA8106-Y
A65HA8780-Y ,,
A65HA8964-Y,.
A65HA8964-Y,.
A65HA9764-Y..,
A65LA 12937-Y
A65LA 15061-Y
A65LA 15267 ,
A65LA10940-Y
A65LA11357
A50RA14606-Y
A65 LA 14295-Y
A65 TA 6815-Y
A65HA13775-Y
A65HA8132-Y
A65HA9425-Y,.
A65LA 15826-Y
A50RA8807


Wow, close

10625 a 1967 bike and 10626 a 1970. Both Lightnings
Looked at the pics, unfortunately both bikes are little more than wrecks. I now think 10625 could be a 1970 engine, I can make out the number pad but someone has tried fitting 1967 parts to it. Similar story to 10626.... I think both are casualties of this mess.

A65LA15824Y 1970
A65LA10530Y 1970

A65SA17365Y Hybrid 1968
Posted By: Two Alpha

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 07/27/13 6:42 am

Just when I think I've caught up, you've gone and edited it again! smile

The first 7000 bikes appear to have gotten out with no real problem, the next 1000 bikes don't seem to have fared as well.

And almost 8000 bikes produced in just over two months, they were really pumping them out at a high rate.

By the time they started producing the hybrids, they would have had over a year to decide what they were going to do about the large batches of the 1967 bikes that had problems.
I don't know if their plan initially was to spread the solution over three years, but that sure seems to be what happened in the end.
Looking at the spreadsheet, unless we start to see some regular production 67's showing up amongst the hybrid serial numbers, it does appear that they decided to add a batch of Spitfires on to the end of the 1967 production numbers.
It makes some sense, at that point they might not have known the full extent of the damage, and Spitfires would have been a hot seller, especially the last ones available.
Never the less, my expectations are that we will see the hybrid Spitfires were built as replacements for previously existing 1967 bikes. Perhaps Gary has some multiple dispatch date info in his notes that would shed a little light on this.
Posted By: Kevin (NZ).

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 07/27/13 7:12 am

It won't take you a second to whistle through and check you have them all. I didn't realise you were lurking.
This is all pretty hit and miss but we will get a result. We have been so close already.. there are a couple there that have had to been in the same batch.

It does not look good for the replacement bike theory.

Those 1969 and 1970 models were specifically selected from a book, not from the bikes that were supposedly lined up waiting.
The ONLY way that could happen is like the Hybrids, the numbers were specifically chosen and then the bike was made.

Just the same applies to the Spitfires and Hornets, there do not feature at all in 1969 because they could not be replaced for one. They could not be made in 1969. And they were not remade in 1968.

The same applies to the Royal Stars, There will be a very slim chance we will be seeing any A50RA bike numbered after 10500.

You have 14606 in the 1967 column wrong, it is a RA as is 9922... A50RA

The other point we have to consider is that is a duplicate number the same number but a different model ?
I would suggest it would be.

That is one possibility but while it may be impossible for two 1967 bikes to share the number 7777 for example we are not going to see a 1967 Hornet reappear as a 1969 Lightning.

This is going to be interesting watching that table fill in. I can see some trends there for sure.
Posted By: Two Alpha

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 07/27/13 8:16 am

Originally Posted By: Kevin (NZ).
You have 14606 in the 1967 column wrong, it is a RA as is 9922... A50RA
Fixed on my copy, I'll update the online one in a bit.

Originally Posted By: Kevin (NZ).
The other point we have to consider is that is a duplicate number the same number but a different model ?
I would suggest it would be.
I've thought this might be a possibility for a while now.
Posted By: Kevin (NZ).

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 07/27/13 11:22 am

Quote:
BTW...the BSAOC had also told me the original despatch date of my Spit
was May 12th 1967(but not actually despatched until April 15th,
1968).....where does that fit in as far as the actual manufacturing
period. When did the factory actually build the bikes?



Many years ago I received this email from the owner of one of the last hybrid Spitfires.
I am sure I gave him an incorrect reply as at the time I believed the Hybrids were 1967 engines.

We now know that the entire bike, including engine, was made towards the end of the 1968 production run. While I can accept that, and especially now given the previous comments from Gary and what we are seeing on the spreadsheet. The problem I am seeing is the date the BSAOC gave the owner. Where could that have come from ?

The bike was not even made, certainly no way did it exist in May 12th 1967. The forks and front brake had not even been developed by that date, let alone the engine with the right case half missing the trans filler hole.


If the bike didn't exist then what did ?

This is a similar dilemma we have with the later Y bikes.
We still can't find out what actually existed in 1967.

In the case of the Hybrids it is clear cut, no bike ever existed in 1967.
There is never going to be any chance of duplicated numbers there.
I am sure the BSAOC Dating Officer did not just make the May 1967 date up.
Either BSA shipped out a bike in May 1967 that did not exist, or the books show they intended to ship that number out.
I don't see either of those as real possibilities.

That leaves me with this, and I think it important.

There had to be some real advantage from shipping a bike through the 1967 books.
Why would you make a brand new 1968 model bike and then devalue it by stamping the previous year's date stamps onto it ?
Nothing to be gained there at all.

Something had to make this exercise worthwhile. The making of almost 500 bikes, pretending they were 1967 models and entering the shipping details into the 1967 books.

Strangely enough the following year BSA made another 500 bikes and repeated the exercise. (the 1969 Y bikes)

AND
The very next year they made another 500 bikes and did the same thing. Opened the 1967 books and squeezed the (1970 Y) bikes into the pages yet again.

I don't know if they were replacing missing bikes at all.
The 500 Hybrids were just added at the end of the previous entries.
Is it possible that they 'found' gaps in the pages of the despatch books... I am sure that not every number was used anyway, they are just all over the place.

The process I have in mind goes like this.
Find an available number from the shipping log and add it to the slip of paper. Make an entry in the book (bogus entry) showing the bike had been shipped out. And returned ..... !!
Now the 'new replacement' bike rolls off the assembly line and is presented to be despatched. The line is available in the book, it is just a matter of entering the new shipping details for this '1967' bike and off it goes....

NO NEED TO PAY 1970 DUTY !!
This is a 1967 bike that has been rebuilt from one that was previously returned.
(Or so goes the new story).








Posted By: BrizzoBrit

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 07/27/13 12:08 pm

Kevin et al.

Found some suff on a quick web search I did (been thinking about my A65F engine # again). These define numbers not listed in the latest version of the spreadsheet two alpha posted

Heres a thread (I presume it's you, cant be to many Kenins in NZ interested in this) you were involved in in 2000, has a couple more -Y numbers to add to the the list (A65LA18242-Y, A65SA4470-Y) and an interesting snippet about ticks against the numbers in the despatch books.

HMMM! I think it adds to your feelings about the BSAOC situation?

http://autos.groups.yahoo.com/group/bsa/message/3507


An ebay auction:
http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/BSA-A65-Spitfire-MK3-Matching-numbers-running-project-/181138405939

Siverstone Auction:
http://www.silverstoneauctions.com/1967--bsa-lightning-cafe-racer

All -Y and these fit with the number sequence (greater than about 4000) mentioned for '67.

A rather crappy image and I dont think you can discern the whole # but another Y. Maybe it's the 12215 you have listed.




I understand these are mostly unverified and mostly -Y but might be useful.

Gotta find that duplicate number to finalise this!! But it's like Einstein said "No amount of experimentation can ever prove me right; a single experiment can prove me wrong." One duplicate number here would be very telling.

Fascinating story really.
Posted By: Kevin (NZ).

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 07/27/13 12:25 pm

Haha, 13 years ago !!!

Can't have been me I am just a youngster.

Hmmm, well I was when I started trying to sort this mess out.
The problem has been there are a lot of stubborn old men about in this hobby. Many are not exactly free thinkers either.

Glad we have a few members here following all this. Yep it is a slow patch at the mo while we do this mundane job of searching numbers but it will soon speed up once we find someting.

I am now going to publicly announce that I doubt we will find any of those first bikes.
I don't think they existed.
Posted By: Kevin (NZ).

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 07/27/13 2:02 pm

Hi BrizzoBrit, I find it extremely relevant that you have posted that pic.
It is of 12215Y a 1970 Y bike we can tell was made shortly after New Year 1970. Nothing surer as it has distinctive engine castings the same as the normal bikes of that 2 month period.
I also have over 10 photos of it and it is a 1970 in every respect, - just as you would expect of a bike made during that period.

Now just to make it sure we have it all sorted..

This is what the BSAOC Dating people say about that machine;

Quote:
A65TA12215Y 1970
This bike has two entries so should be one of those that was despatched and returned then despatched again. But it looks like one bike was shipped to BSA West on 21 June 1967 then another with an extra zero on 28 March 1968.


Pretty straightforward. confused
For a few pounds they will sit down and prepare a certificate with that wording and dating your bike as a 1967 model.

I am not jesting, this is what is going on.

The bike was made in Dec 1969 or Jan 1970.
They say it was sent on 21 June 1967.
Then another with an extra zero on 28 March 1968. ?????

Say what, what zeros ? The number is normal Y bike stamping using 1969 season and later stamps. There is no zero in 12215 !!!

If the bike was made in Jan 1970 then surely you would expect to see it despatched at a latter date...

What a shambles.

Every single one of all those Y bikes you see on the spreadsheet will receive a half a*sed certificate or reply just like that.
Many of the owners reading this here have them. Worthless scraps of paper basically.



> >Hi
> >looked up some of these numbers for you. First of
all here is an extract
> >from the frame and parts page on our website.
>
>************************************************************************
> >UNIT A-SERIES
> >
> >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.
> >
> >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.
>
>*********************************************************************
> >
> >We know from the above that some bikes were
despatched then returned
> >because the pound to dollar situation at the time
was not good for
> >exports as no profit would be made. the situation
deteriorated so
> >rapidly over here that some bikes actually got to
the docks and were
> >given export certificates. They had to be
reimported then later re-
> >exported even though they had not left the country
but had merely passed
> >through customs. Who would have liked to work in
the despatch division
> >at BSA at this time?
> >Some of the bikes are duplicated it seems as there
are three despatch
> >dates for some bikes and one of the bikes will then
have an extra zero
> >added onto the number as above. So it seems that
there are actually two
> >bikes despatched for about 1000 entries. I have
checked some numbers you
> >gave me.
> >
> >>A65TA12215Y 1970
> >This bike has two entries so should be one of those
that was despatched
> >and returned then despatched again. But it looks
like one bike was
> >shipped to BSA West on 21 June 1967 then another
with an extra zero on
> >28 March 1968.
> >>A65 TA 70341Y 1969
> >There are 3 entries for this one.
> >The bike was first shipped 31 Oct 1968 then 25 4 68
with an extra 0 then
> >19 4 69.
> >BSAing you

> >
Posted By: Two Alpha

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 07/27/13 3:03 pm

Quote:

> >>A65TA12215Y 1970
> >This bike has two entries so should be one of those
that was despatched
> >and returned then despatched again. But it looks
like one bike was
> >shipped to BSA West on 21 June 1967 then another
with an extra zero on
> >28 March 1968.
> >>A65 TA 70341Y 1969
> >There are 3 entries for this one.
> >The bike was first shipped 31 Oct 1968 then 25 4 68
with an extra 0 then
> >19 4 69.
> >BSAing you[/i]
> >



Kevin, what's that serial number at the end, A65 TA 70341Y 1969? I gather that's an error in his reply, what was the actual number that you inquired about?

The dates he gives for it are a mess as well.If(!) the number is 7031Y, which I have in my database, then the first date would make more sense if it were Oct 31st, 1966.
Posted By: Two Alpha

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 07/27/13 3:09 pm

Thanks for posting that BrizzoBrit.

I find the A65LA 18242-Y number particularly interesting.
Posted By: Two Alpha

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 07/27/13 4:41 pm

Originally Posted By: Kevin (NZ).
Quote:
BTW...the BSAOC had also told me the original despatch date of my Spit
was May 12th 1967(but not actually despatched until April 15th,
1968).....where does that fit in as far as the actual manufacturing
period. When did the factory actually build the bikes?


Which serial number is referenced by the dates in the quote?
While BSAOC UK has reached some poor conclusions based on the dates in the books, I believe that those dates are very important evidence for us.

Originally Posted By: Kevin (NZ).
In the case of the Hybrids it is clear cut, no bike ever existed in 1967.

I don't think that's the case at all, think of the implications of 18242-Y A65LA. If there are 1967 season dispatch dates for any of those hybrid numbers, that's serious proof that there was an earlier bike for each of those numbers.

As the engines were being completed, in the 1967 season, do you really think that they were skipping numbers here and there, skipping large blocks of numbers, so that they could avoid paying duty on a number of bikes in each of the following three years?
As I've pointed out before, anything they may have gained would have been more than offset by the discounts they would have had to give for selling new bikes with 1967 serial numbers! Why would they risk their reputation, risk possible legal problems, for very little if any gain?
There's no meat in that sandwich.
Posted By: Kevin (NZ).

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 07/27/13 5:51 pm

Originally Posted By: Two Alpha
Quote:

> >>A65TA12215Y 1970
> >This bike has two entries so should be one of those
that was despatched
> >and returned then despatched again. But it looks
like one bike was
> >shipped to BSA West on 21 June 1967 then another
with an extra zero on
> >28 March 1968.
> >>A65 TA 70341Y 1969
> >There are 3 entries for this one.
> >The bike was first shipped 31 Oct 1968 then 25 4 68
with an extra 0 then
> >19 4 69.
> >BSAing you[/i]
> >



Kevin, what's that serial number at the end, A65 TA 70341Y 1969? I gather that's an error in his reply, what was the actual number that you inquired about?

Following are some numbers of 1969 or 1970 bikes
sporting the (Y)
suffix.
> >>A65TA12215Y 1970
> >>A65TA6950Y 1969
> >>A65LA7041Y Not sure - frame only photo. 69 or 70
> >>A65 TA 7031Y 1969
> >>
> >>A65LA11202Y
> >>A65LA10963Y Both sound like 1970 machines


The dates he gives for it are a mess as well.If(!) the number is 7031Y, which I have in my database, then the first date would make more sense if it were Oct 31st, 1966.


I have most of their replies on other hard drives that I can't access for a few weeks. Not that it matters, - the quality of the replies never got any better than this.
Some were absolutely shocking... very unprofessional and completely incorrect.
Posted By: Kevin (NZ).

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 07/27/13 6:14 pm

Originally Posted By: Two Alpha
Thanks for posting that BrizzoBrit.

I find the A65LA 18242-Y number particularly interesting.


Well you may remember how I said I only knew of a couple of Dash Y bikes in the UK. That is one of them. It was an new import in the late 1980's and belongs to one of our members here. Alan Coates up in Yorkshire has it.

Like the rest of the Englishmen we have on this forum they seem reluctant to join in the discussion.

If I am correct with my memory the bike can be seen as Bike of the Month for Nov 2001. Alan has a little story about the purchase and restoration. It can be accessed with the drop down menu at the top of the page.

I can't find any mention of that S/N on this computer.
Posted By: Kevin (NZ).

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 07/27/13 6:35 pm

The Hybrid Spitfire that was in that quote with the shipping dates was probably A65SA17874Y. I don't have copies of the correspondence with Eric but I did receive pics from him and I believe they were the ones of that bike.

I still can't see where you are coming from when you mention the earlier Mk III using those Hybrid numbers.
How could BSA 'lose' a complete batch of nearly 500 Spitfires in the space of 6 to 8 months ?
That is the time taken to produce a batch of completely different, and brand new machines, nothing at all like a Mk III.
I see so many flaws there, from why only Spitfires and nothing else, where did the original bikes go ? and no mention at all in any Bacon book or magazines of the day.

I think it is quite clear what happened.

And yes, I believe there were chunks missing in the numbers assigned to the engines.
It will be interesting to what Gary can come up with his notes on the 7000 series numbers.


Here is another gem from the UK....
Quote:
The bikes were definitely stored in the factory for a year or two
because of the exchange rate, we know that from Al Cave the factory
manager who keeps in touch. I know Harris Turner well and he has been
throwing the electric's theory at me for some time. I have been doing
some research myself and have come to the humbling conclusion that he
may be right. There is a n Asterisk against all the bikes of this period
in the despatch books. This starts in September 1966 for the A65 and A50
models. Originally these bikes were thought to be those which were kept
in the factory until the situation got better and there are references
at the end of each set of microfiches which show thousands of bikes re-
despatched in 1970. I have also found some B44s with ticks against them
from June 67 until July 67. Could these also have had a similar change
in the wiring and were ticked to show that?


Do you think they are confused ?
At least we know and admit we are guessing....

Did they bother to ask Al where Triumph and Norton stored all their bikes they deemed not suitable to ship because of the exchange rate?

Al Cave had the BSAOC believing that those Y bikes that were shipped during 1970 were the same bikes that had the asterisk against them at the start of the 1967 books. We know that was probably depicting the use of the Dash Y engine suffix and the new points cam/ oil manifold.

We know the Dash Y bikes were selling before Xmas 1966 so the asterisk has nothing at all to do with storage.
I would suggest the asterisk could possibly depict those 7000 series numbers that were being re-used for the 1969 Y bikes.

They are talking thousands of bikes being re-despatched in 1970.... oh really ?

Surely someone must have realised that he story was pure fantasy given that a company experiencing financial issues does not sit on thousands of stored bikes, and for 3 years.
That is just the cover story to explain away how 1967 numbered bikes were being 're-exported' through the 1967 books in 1970.

Posted By: Two Alpha

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 07/27/13 7:31 pm

Originally Posted By: Kevin (NZ).
The Hybrid Spitfire that was in that quote with the shipping dates was probably A65SA17874Y.
Thanks Kevin, I've added the dates to that number, same with the 7031Y. While there may be some errors entered on the list, I'm making sure we can track them back should there be an issue with any of them.

Originally Posted By: Kevin (NZ).
I still can't see where you are coming from when you mention the earlier Mk III using those Hybrid numbers.
How could BSA 'lose' a complete batch of nearly 500 Spitfires in the space of 6 to 8 months ?
And it's not just the Spitfires, it's most of the 7000 series Lightnings, many of the 10,000 and 11,000 series Lightnings, quite a few Lightnings from the 15,000 and 16,000 series as well. And of course there were a few Royal Stars, Thunderbolts, and probably Hornets in there as well.


Originally Posted By: Kevin (NZ).
I see so many flaws there, from why only Spitfires and nothing else, where did the original bikes go ? and no mention at all in any Bacon book or magazines of the day.
As mentioned above, it wasn't just the 1967 Spitfires that were the victim of some major malfunction. It's understandable why BSA would only reproduce the Spitfires in 1968. It was the last year for them and the Hornets. Why didn't they rebuild any Hornets? The total number affected was probably very low compared to the Spitfires. As for the Lightnings, Thunderbolts and Royal Stars, they would have known that they would have opportunity to reproduce them beyond 1968.

Originally Posted By: Kevin (NZ).
And yes, I believe there were chunks missing in the numbers assigned to the engines.

For what purpose? I think I've shown that it couldn't have been so that they could use those numbers later to lose profits.

Wife is calling, to be continued later... smile
Posted By: Kevin (NZ).

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 07/27/13 8:14 pm

I am sure we must have more people reading here apart from John and myself.

What do you guys think ?

How about some quick Yes and No questionnaires...
With reference to the Y suffix twins of 1968 - 1970.

Can I ask you guys for your views. Five quick questions.
1/. Did BSA store over 1000 bikes during 1967 to 1970 ?
2/. Do you think there were two bikes for each duplicate entry in the shipping log ?
3/. Do you think there was only ever one bike ?
4/. Do you think the 'first' bike existed ?
5/. Were the BSAOC right to accept Al Cave's story and is it feasible ?


I will give my reply'

NNYNN

ie;
No
No
Yes
No
No
Posted By: D.Bachtel

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 07/27/13 10:09 pm

1 no
2 no
3 yes
4 no
5 what was the story?
Posted By: Kevin (NZ).

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 07/27/13 10:38 pm

Oh, No 5 the story. Basically the version of events we have on their website with the notes referring to the dating info on the 1966 to 1970 models.
Posted By: Gary E

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 07/27/13 11:27 pm

Originally Posted By: Kevin (NZ).
...The same applies to the Royal Stars, There will be a very slim chance we will be seeing any A50RA bike numbered after 10500.

You have 14606 in the 1967 column wrong, it is a RA as is...

So many posts. I can't keep up after being gone for a few days. I have in my notes:

RA 12753-Y
RA 14606-Y
RA 14715-Y


Originally Posted By: Kevin (NZ).
...It will be interesting to what Gary can come up with his notes on the 7000 series numbers...

In the books the 7000 series numbers in '67 have 4 different models:
LA
SA
TA
HA

Some of HA's (Hornets) were sent to the west coast distributor (BSA West).

Originally Posted By: Kevin (NZ).
...I would suggest the asterisk could possibly depict those 7000 series numbers that were being re-used for the 1969 Y bikes...

In the production books I researched, there were NO asterisks NOR ticks anywhere on the pages from page 1 to the last page in any of the 3 '67 books. There is an 'X' on every line item on every page, at the far left edge of the page before the production number from page 1 to the last page in each book.
Posted By: Kevin (NZ).

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 07/27/13 11:39 pm

Thanks Gary. Yes, with so much going on there will be some ambiguity and confusion.

It was my fault re the Royal Star numbers, I did expect to see higher Dash Y numbers. I was trying to interpret the spreadsheet at the time and I was surmising that of the Y bikes I was expecting no further production of RA bikes in 1970 ie after about S/N 10500.

Did you want to have a crack at the questionnaire ?
I am pleased to see Don had a go at it. Thanks Don.
Posted By: Gary E

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 07/28/13 12:18 am

Originally Posted By: Kevin (NZ).


Can I ask you guys for your views. Five quick questions.
1/. Did BSA store over 1000 bikes during 1967 to 1970 ?
2/. Do you think there were two bikes for each duplicate entry in the shipping log ?
3/. Do you think there was only ever one bike ?
4/. Do you think the 'first' bike existed ?
5/. Were the BSAOC right to accept Al Cave's story and is it feasible ?

No
No
Yes
No
No
Posted By: D.Bachtel

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 07/28/13 12:45 am

There's only one thing more annoying than the "Y" thing,
and I did go thru all of that in 1988 when I purchased my 1970 Lightning.

When I traveled to Butte, MT in 1994 to pick up my Dealer Race Bike 1963 Gold Star Spitfire basketcase.
(Which incidentaly may be the first one produced on New Years Day 1963!)
Anyway... I stopped along the way home at Steamboat Springs, CO during their AHRMA week.

At the swap that day (I'm always looking for pieces or orphans) I was told by numerous experts that my GA10 framed A10 was a bastardized Rocket Gold Star.
They expressed their sincere condolences. They all felt it was so unfortunate that someone had cut the rear loops off. Took a couple of years to sort that BS out.

Don in Nipomo
Posted By: Kevin (NZ).

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 07/28/13 4:29 am

Originally Posted By: D.Bachtel
I did go thru all of that in 1988 when I purchased my 1970 Lightning.


Ummm, wouldn't that be 25 years ago ?

About time we got the satisfaction of seeing some of the books corrected.
Posted By: D.Bachtel

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 07/28/13 4:53 am

Originally Posted By: Kevin (NZ).
Originally Posted By: D.Bachtel
I did go thru all of that in 1988 when I purchased my 1970 Lightning.


Ummm, wouldn't that be 25 years ago ?

About time we got the satisfaction of seeing some of the books corrected.


Wow.. the decades do fly by.
I need to enjoy the 3 or 4 I may have left.
Posted By: Kevin (NZ).

Please have a go at this quick quiz - 07/28/13 4:57 am

Quote:
Can I ask you guys for your views. Five quick questions.
1/. Did BSA store over 1000 bikes during 1967 to 1970 ?
2/. Do you think there were two bikes for each duplicate entry in the shipping log ?
3/. Do you think there was only ever one bike ?
4/. Do you think the 'first' bike existed ?
5/. Were the BSAOC right to accept Al Cave's story and is it feasible ?






Are you ready kids ?
"Aye Aye Captain"
I Can't hear you
"AYE AYE CAPTAIN"
Ohh Who lives in a pineapple under the sea ?

Yep, this is another pearler from the depths.
We are talking 1967 season here, one of BSA's best years.
The shipping strike was at the end of the year, about 3 months after the 1967 bikes had left the factory.

In April 1968 BSA was awarded a Queens Award to Industry presumably for the export sales of the 1967 season.

Quote:
Now the resale of 1967 machines in 1969 and 1970. This was brought about by BSA missing the very short buying season in the USA and at this time approximately 60-70% of production went to the USA. There were a series of strikes within the automotive component industries at that time and also a dock strike which delayed shipment of machines to the USA past the deadline to arrive in American dealers to meet the peak selling period. This left the factory and its American main agents with a glut of unsold machines. The factory had already received from the UK government export sales credit guarantees for these machines therefore they could not write them off without having to pay back the guarantee. This is to enable the factory to draw down finance to keep a constant production going. Approx 90% of sales happen within a three month period so for a nine month period there is very little return. Therefore they had to be exported. Many to the home market were sold in 1969 but there had to be some way of identifying these machines for warranty so an extra 0 was added to the engine number. Many of the machines were refurbished and then sold at a discount in the USA however the warranty arrangements changed in 1970 so some form of identifier was needed to identify which machines would obtain the extra warranty. This was solved by adding a Y for 1970 although this may also mean they have an uprated alternator which would have been added as part of the refurbishment. A dealer notification was sent out to this effect which I have attached. All the machines and new despatch dates are recorded at the beginning and end of the despatch books. I discussed this at length with Alistair who said that in order to maintain production the whole of the factory was filled with incomplete bikes while waiting for the electrical parts and retro fitting when the components arrived cost a large amount of finance which the company could ill afford.


Have we noticed how the detail changes about a theme ?

The story is not big on consistency at all.
As for facts..... yes it struggles a little there as well.

I am sure Al Cave would have explained at length how the Lucas electrical components fitted to Triumphs came in a different coloured box so they could not possibly be used on BSA machines.
There was no shortage of blue boxes so Triumph did not need to worry about storing bikes throughout the factory while waiting for the green boxes to start filtering through again.

This truly is kiddies hour, are we supposed to believe that the management allowed every other British bike to be exported, - including the B25's while we had Lightnings sitting scattered about awaiting alternators or rectifiers ?

Even Patrick is brighter than this. smirk laugh


1968 Queen's Award to Industry for Export Achievement.
Link
Posted By: Two Alpha

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 07/28/13 6:28 am

What the heck, I'll play. You'll want to take a look at the notes that follow though.

Originally Posted By: Kevin (NZ).

Can I ask you guys for your views. Five quick questions.
1/. Did BSA store over 1000 bikes during 1967 to 1970 ?
2/. Do you think there were two bikes for each duplicate entry in the shipping log ?
3/. Do you think there was only ever one bike ?
4/. Do you think the 'first' bike existed ?
5/. Were the BSAOC right to accept Al Cave's story and is it feasible ?


1) Yes
2) Probably
3) No
4) Yes
5) Yes/Don't know.


1) If you meant to ask if BSA had stored 1000 1967 bikes until 1970, the answer would have been no.
2) Assuming you mean a 1967 bike and a later Y bike with the same number.
3) Not two at one time though.
4) I have one in my basement! It also happens to be the second bike as well. Wouldn't be possible if there was a third bike.
5) What's on the BSAOC website isn't feasible, Having them tell us their version of what he said without actually quoting him doesn't cut it.
Posted By: Kevin (NZ).

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 07/28/13 6:48 am

I am about to ring a guy in the UK who worked at Small Heath.

http://www.advancedmotorcyclists.org.uk/index.php?option=com_k2&view=item&id=101:bsa-the-glory-years-and-beyond&Itemid=100026

Quote:
I didn't mind as my job took me to every department in the factory, although this could sometimes be like traveling in a time machine; I well remember a visit to a lathe shop, rows and rows of lathes all driven via leather belts from spinning shafts in the roof. In turn these shafts were driven by a large electric motor around which could still be seen the foot-print of the steam engine that had proceeded it, and so the sixty year old lathes span into the seventies trying their best to compete with more modern factories on the other side of the world which were already using CNC technology. In another part of the factory ladies sat in rows painting white or gold lining on mudguards and petrol tanks. My own 650cc Thunderbolt still proudly wears its hand-painted gold-lined tank 33 years on; those forgotten ladies did their work well. To go to the forge, casting area or polishing shops was like visiting the world of George Orwell's 1984. It has to be said that opposite my lab was Export Packing where bikes were being shipped to over 120 countries so it could not be all bad, could it?


He still has a strong interest in motorbikes and rides in a group.
We mentioned him a couple of years ago but no-one followed up on him.

It is 8am UK time as I write here so a little too early for him yet.
Posted By: Two Alpha

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 07/28/13 7:06 am

Updated with a few more numbers.

BSA Twin Serial Numbers 1967-1970
Posted By: Kevin (NZ).

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 07/28/13 7:33 am

Thanks John.
Looking really good now.

I see you have Spitfire 17890 as a Dash Y bike of 1967. I actually make that to be a Hybrid 1968. It has had a few mods to make it look more like a 1967 by some confused owner.
It has all the 1968 features of a Hybrid though.
The 1968 clamp end forks have had a 190mm brake fitted.
The headlight is 1968 and the frame has the diagonal condensor bracket. It also has 1968 rear shocks and there is no crankcase trans fill cap.

It is most certainly a Hybrid.

Somehow I also have a feeling Alan Coates bike is going to be A65LA 8242-Y.
He may just need to check that one for us.

9922 is A50RA

I hope the forum members reading this can open that spreadsheet ok. The last few pages would be gobbledegook otherwise.
I am convinced that your spreadsheet is about to reveal some long lost secrets though.

I never thought there could be so many 1969 bikes for example.

Oh, and my own Thunderbolt
A65TA 6771-Y that I bought in 2001 and have been asking questions ever since. I am surprised to see it just 21 numbers away from the first 1969 Y bike we have recorded so far.
I have a Spitfire number yet to find.
Posted By: Two Alpha

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 07/28/13 8:05 am

So you think the first bike didn't exist?

Take a good look at these two pictures, you should be able to see how these help to validate the entries in the 1967 books. This is the bike that is sitting in my basement, it's not a phony set of numbers entered in the books so that BSA could pull off some hair-brained scheme that would cost them nothing but money over the next three years.




Now, take another good look at what Gary had posted back in December of 2011. Realize that if my bike had not made the cut for that second dispatch, it's serial number would have ended up on the inside covers with a "Y" attached to it!
You say it doesn't exist and yet I can walk right over and touch it.

Originally Posted By: Gary E
Referring to the '67 production books with the hand entries on the inside of the front and rear covers with dispatch dates in January, February and May 1970, I can now verify the following information regarding those "Y" production numbers.

The numbers listed in the inside covers also appear in the body of the book. The numbers in the normal pages of the books had dispatch dates already amended one or more times so there was no room for further entries. Those specific production numbers in the normal pages, which are also listed on the inside front and back covers, are not blank lines.

As an example: LA 12212 had despatch dates in 1967 and 1968 on the normal pages in the book, then again in 1970 on the inside front cover.

As a result, it suggests that there are NOT two machines out there with the same number (ie. one with '67 features and one with '70 features).
Posted By: Two Alpha

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 07/28/13 8:11 am

Thanks Kevin, it sure does look better as we add more info to it.

Originally Posted By: Kevin (NZ).
I see you have Spitfire 17890 as a Dash Y bike of 1967. I actually make that to be a Hybrid 1968.


It does look a little odd over there, all the numbers around it are in 1968, I'll move it over.
Posted By: Kevin (NZ).

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 07/28/13 8:41 am

We may be talking cross purposes here.

I have not looked into that example yet although I did see the mass of dates alongside it.

That is also an engine number, the BSAOC talks about the frame number getting the extra zero. I realise they may just be extracting that from the despatch logs though.


The bikes I have trouble accepting exist are the ones where the number has been reassigned to a Y bike that was getting made a few years later.

My Thunderbolt is A65TA6771-Y. It is a normal bike and no doubt was shipped out before Xmas 1966.
I am suggesting A65TA 6794-Y was never a bike made the same day as mine. I am thinking that there was a gap in the book and that bike was entered at a later date.
I am betting if we saw a page of the book the two bikes would be in different handwriting.

I think the 6794 number was chosen, there was a blank line in the book available, and the 'first' shipping details (including the return) were entered. I am suggesting the details may have been best guess material.

Meantime the number is on a slip of paper about to be handed to the chap punching the numbers on the engines.
The bike can then be 're-exported' when it plops off the assembly line a few days later. The number now being A65TA6794Y
and possibly the first time that 6794 number has been seen on a twin of the 1967 season. (Nevermind the bike itself bears a 100% resemblance to a 1969 bike).

The whole scheme may have even been part of obtaining that export award. I am convinced the BSAOC version of events has shades of the truth but also a lot of errors.

The same applies to the 'zero' being stamped denoting whatever. What faith can we have in whatever they say about that ?
All the rest of the statement is completely cocked up.
I can see your engine has a zero, I can see the despatch log has a zero.
There is a lot I am not seeing.

It could be the next challenge for you, - I am sure there could just as easily be a few years in working though the how's, where's and why there.




Quote:
This is noted within the factory despatch books which were filled in in the despatch department at Small Heath. Book 272 (A50C.101-8298 Nov 65- March 66 ) page 77 there is a note to the effect that from this point on all machines would have matching engine and frame numbers. Talking to the last factory manager Alistair Cave now sadly no longer with us, about this he said it was brought about by a change in the USA registration regulations coming in in January 1966 which required machines to have matching frame and engine numbers. The last non matching machine was frame number 2519 then there is a gap in numbers with the first matching number being 3180 which was despatched in November 1965.



A gap in numbers between 2519 and 3180.
I am not sure how the numbers were assigned but I believe the unit twins were in a sequence of their own. The same for the singles.

We have seen one despatch log page for 1969, there are gaps everywhere. I mean in the number sequence.
Gary has seen some of the 1967 pages and I believe he described some of these entries as being squeezed in.
Posted By: Ola

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 07/28/13 9:10 am

Y T-bolt on ebay, A65TA17964Y: http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/1970-Bsa-Thunderbolt-Nice-/161074910654?ViewItem=&ssPageName=ADME:B:SS:US:1123&item=161074910654&forcev4exp=true

This is most interesting. There are some hybrid spitfires in Norway. I will try to get some information about them.

Regards
Posted By: Kevin (NZ).

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 07/28/13 9:17 am

Well spotted Ola,

At least these guys know it is a 1970 model. I think we all know what is about to happen next.

I am glad you are enjoying the thread.
Would you like to have a crack at the questions to give us all an idea of what we are thinking about it all.


http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/1970-Bsa-Thunderbolt-Nice-/161074910654?ViewItem=&ssPageName=ADME:B:SS:US:1123&item=161074910654&forcev4exp=true

Ebay Y Thunderbolt 1970

A65TA17964Y
Posted By: Kevin (NZ).

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 07/28/13 1:33 pm

Info from a Dating Certificate just come to hand.

Actually the owner did have this to say.

Quote:
Theses are marked up in the BSA despatch records as such. I know this to be true, since I have spent many hours pawing through them at the VMCC library.


He may have self researched it but in conjunction with the BSAOC notes.

He may well have easy access to the VMCC library so may become a valuable chap to know about these parts. beerchug


MODEL FRAME NUMBER ENGINE NUMBER DATE TALLY NUMBER CONSIGNED TO CONSIGNMENT NOTE NUMBER


BSA A65L A65LA 8416 A65LA 8416 18.11.66 5829 BSA NEW JERSEY 1564 691

A65LA 8416Y A65LA 8416Y 26.02.69 5893 BSA NEW JERSEY 1104L 1846

From the spreadsheets I can now see that we have three seperate shipping dates of bikes that were shipped before Xmas 1966.
Those three bikes then went on to 're-appear' as 1969 models two years later.

This is getting good !!

EDIT

I have received an email from Roger. He is in the States and does not have ready access to the VMCC records.
He is of the view that his bike is a 1967 but I have a feeling that has based that more on what he saw in the book rather than what the bike is saying.

He has carefully recorded the shipping dates and consignment details. He won't remember if the 1966 entry was in the same writing as the other entries about it.

What is missing from his notes is the 'returned' details. Presumably they were not recorded on the page.

I think many guys have looked at the books and just taken the various figures at face value.
I would give anything to see a few pages and compare the details of these few Y bikes that wre shipped before Xmas.

Did the consignment dates and numbers look the same as others about. ie a number of bikes on the same date. Did the notes look comparable and more importantly was the handwriting and style consistent. Was the pen and hand doing those '1966' dates similar throughout ?

If the Y bike details were entered at a later date (as a few here may be suspecting) then chances are there would be a pattern emerging.

Roger is adamant his bike is a 1967. How does he know ?
He saw a handwritten entry in a big red book with his own eyes.

The power of suggestion can be very strong.

It is possible he does have a 1967 model bike but I just can't see it.
The shipping date of Nov 1966 is good. The bike should have been in America before Xmas.
The details he recorded are now changed, - he has put a Y against the engine and AND FRAME numbers.
Where was that bike for the two year 1967 and 1968 ?
The number is consistent with early season Y bike of 1969.
Those factors would have me betting my car on his bike being a 1969 model.

I think he will be looking at that bike in a new light within a few days.



Posted By: Two Alpha

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 07/28/13 6:36 pm

Originally Posted By: Kevin (NZ).
The bikes I have trouble accepting exist are the ones where the number has been reassigned to a Y bike that was getting made a few years later.

It's important to point out that by the time the later Y bike was made, the earlier bike didn't/couldn't exist.
As your questionnaire asked, "Do you think the 'first' bike existed ?". I'm sure that they did exist in 1967, and I've laid out hard evidence, in the form of the two pictures and Gary's eyewitness account of what's in the 1967 books, to prove it.

I've shown that the entries in the book are legit for the bike that really does exist in my basement.
So how many of the other entries in the book with multiple dispatch dates are legit? The truth is, they probably all are legit.

And yet, some of us still think the "first" bike didn't exist?

Further examples of surviving 1967 bikes with dual dispatch help prove my point.
Mal Sealy's for instance, built in January 1967, dispatched to Saudi on June 21st, 1968. He's probably out riding the thing right now, tell him the first bike doesn't exist!

Originally Posted By: Kevin (NZ).
My Thunderbolt is A65TA6771-Y. It is a normal bike and no doubt was shipped out before Xmas 1966.
I am suggesting A65TA 6794-Y was never a bike made the same day as mine. I am thinking that there was a gap in the book and that bike was entered at a later date.
I am betting if we saw a page of the book the two bikes would be in different handwriting.

I think the 6794 number was chosen, there was a blank line in the book available, and the 'first' shipping details (including the return) were entered. I am suggesting the details may have been best guess material.

Meantime the number is on a slip of paper about to be handed to the chap punching the numbers on the engines.
The bike can then be 're-exported' when it plops off the assembly line a few days later. The number now being A65TA6794Y
and possibly the first time that 6794 number has been seen on a twin of the 1967 season. (Nevermind the bike itself bears a 100% resemblance to a 1969 bike).

The whole scheme may have even been part of obtaining that export award. I am convinced the BSAOC version of events has shades of the truth but also a lot of errors.

The same applies to the 'zero' being stamped denoting whatever. What faith can we have in whatever they say about that ?
All the rest of the statement is completely cocked up.
I can see your engine has a zero, I can see the despatch log has a zero.
There is a lot I am not seeing.

Conspiracy theories are fine until hard evidence and solid logic make them unworkable. Perhaps we're not all the way there yet, but I'm working on it.

Originally Posted By: Kevin (NZ).
It could be the next challenge for you, - I am sure there could just as easily be a few years in working though the how's, where's and why there.
Isn't that what we've been doing? smile

For how messed up the info on the BSAOC site is, and isn't that entirely what this is about, there is a little bit of truth about the 100,000 series bikes that can be jackhammered out. When I combine that with the relevant line out of the dispatch books, I have most of the story of my bike sorted.

On with the dissection of the 1967 season.
Posted By: Two Alpha

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 07/28/13 7:13 pm

The bike on Ebay that Ola posted about is very interesting, built in December of 1969, it's the highest numbered Y bike we've come across so far.

A65TA 17964Y

Posted By: Gary E

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 07/28/13 11:00 pm

Originally Posted By: Kevin (NZ).
...Did the consignment dates and numbers look the same as others about. ie a number of bikes on the same date. Did the notes look comparable and more importantly was the handwriting and style consistent. Was the pen and hand doing those '1966' dates similar throughout ?

There are no consignment dates in the '67 books. The column is labeled "Consignment Note No." It doesn't have dates in it. There are 2 sets of 4 numbers in it for each line entry, like this:

1725
2314



The hand writing is not consistent, it is all over the place using black ink and blue ink on the same page all thru the books.

Originally Posted By: Kevin (NZ).
...
Quote:
...The last non matching machine was frame number 2519 then there is a gap in numbers with the first matching number being 3180 which was despatched in November 1965.
...

I've always had a problem with that. My notes indicate the first matching number was #3217, also in November 1965.
Posted By: Two Alpha

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 07/28/13 11:40 pm

Originally Posted By: Kevin (NZ).
I would give anything to see a few pages and compare the details of these few Y bikes that wre shipped before Xmas.
You said it, what a story there is in those 1967 books.

Look at A65SA 4300, dispatched on Sept 21st, 1966! A65TA 7031-Y appears to have been dispatched on Oct. 31st, 1966.
Production was happening at a blistering pace!
So there's your scheme to win the export award right there, build and sell as many bikes in the 1967 model year as possible!

And then, right around number 6900, the wheels fell off. How many of those 7000 series bikes are still out and about? We know that it looks like a high percentage of those numbers were re-used on brand new bikes in the 1969 season.

Perhaps Roger would be willing to spend a little more time in the VMCC for us. My wish list would require a fair bit of work, I would want a list of all the multiple dispatch bikes, with their dates. Also, a list of all of the Y bikes and their dispatch dates as well. Poor Roger might be suffering from eye strain and writers cramp by the time he'd finished all that.

Even though Roger had plenty of access to the BSA books, the "information" posted on the BSAOC site made it impossible for him to determine the correct year of his bike. And it's not just Roger, it's anybody who comes into possession of a Y bike and thinks that the BSAOC should be the place to look for correct information.

Originally Posted By: Kevin (NZ).
I think he will be looking at that bike in a new light within a few days.

Yes indeed. BritBike forum members, working feverishly to repair the damages caused by the misinformation on the BSAOC website!
Posted By: Kevin (NZ).

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 07/28/13 11:59 pm

I sense a red herring. There are many bikes like Mat's that have been re-despatched.
They are all across the board and cover all models. Every bike that ever returned to the factory will have duplicated entries in the shipping logs. We saw two example on the page in 1969.

Roger has researched the VMCC records for his Lightning. He did not mention seeing any receipt for the bike that was supposedly shipped in Nov 1966.
He has the bike, and a shipping date for the Y bike shipped in 1969 and he is riding about on that.

None of this explains what happened to the first bike.
As far as I can tell it is in America, am I missing something ?

You seem to know it doesn't exist anymore and indeed did not exist by Feb 1969.
A65LA7752 has remarkably similar details to Roger's 8416. The despatch dates are just weeks apart, both of them.
If there were two bikes of each number then all could be assumed to be in order.

The attached dating certificate doesn't really indicate what happened to the first bike either. If anything it could imply the bike never left the factory. We know the second bike is a 1969, it is being ridden this summer.



What then happened to the 1967 model bike ?
I don't think any of us believe that it languished in the factory for over 2 years awaiting an electrical upgrade.
Strangely enough that is the version Al Cave, the Works Manager has given the BSAOC.

So if the first bike was not shipped, did not get completely remanufactured, then what did happen to it ?

You seem to be suggesting it somehow vanished. At what point did these bikes no longer exist ?

In the case of the Hybrid Spitfires the two shipping dates are just months apart.
We have almost 500 Mk III bikes in June 1967 and by April 1968 they all been replaced by new 1968 models wearing the same S/N.
In the space of 8 months, 500 bikes have disappeared, basically without any signs of their existence.
Well the only 'proof' they ever existed is a scrawled handwritten entry in a shipping clerks daily diary.

Should we be looking for more proof that those 478 MK III Spitfires existed ?

We know the S/N and have been looking amongst pics for signs of them. Just as we have been for the 7000 series 1967 bikes.

I seriously doubt the Hybrid Spitfires obtained their numbers from bikes that actually existed.
They may have existed on paper but that is about it.
Perhaps we should be searching amongst the paper trail for these 'missing' first bikes.

I still think that is the most likely place for them.
Let us not forget that no-one has ever seen any trace of these 'first' bikes.

Al Cave, and the BSAOC, had previously indicated they were stored at the factory.
I did phone Geoff but have not got past the answerphone yet. He worked all about the factory from 1966 until the closure in 1972.

He has written about life and the factory and the various eccentricities of the place. No-one has mentioned these bikes sitting about for those two years.

Are we so gullible to believe that a scrawled entry in a shipping ledger is proof of existence ?
I will take some convincing here.



Posted By: Two Alpha

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 07/29/13 12:13 am

Lovely picture Gary!
I've added those numbers and dates to the spreadsheet. Initially I had been thinking that it should just be bikes that we knew had made it out into public hands. After a little more thought, it seems we would be better served if it included as much information as we can get from the 1967 books.

Originally Posted By: Gary E
The hand writing is not consistent, it is all over the place using black ink and blue ink on the same page all thru the books.

That would be expected when they had to add second dispatch dates later on.
It looks like they were pumping out about 200 bikes per day for the first couple of months there, surely that's more than one line running?
How many different people would be making the entries over the course of a single day?
Guaranteed there were multiple pens/pencils at hand!
Posted By: Magnetoman

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 07/29/13 12:41 am

While on the subject of frame numbers, and in case it hasn't already been mentioned earlier in this lengthy thread...

A little while ago I quickly flipped through my book of BSA service bulletins and found a "Special Bulletin" dated September 29, 1971 that might be of interest. It says:

Inspect frame numbers on all new BSA motorcycle when received. If any discrepancies are found, such as "double stamping" of the entire number (or any part of the number), the dealer MUST report these discrepancies to the California Highway Patrol BEFORE the motorcycle is sold...

The Highway Patrol will inspect and restamp the number, adding the letters "CA" to the end of the frame number, and Issue Form #124 to the dealer.

When the motorcycle is sold, the dealer must use the restamped frame number, including the letters "CA", on the Report of Sale...

IMPORTANT NUMBERS MUST NOT BE RESTAMPED BY THE DEALER!


So, if you guys come across frames ending in "CA", this is the reason why. (hmm, now that I think of it, maybe a similar bulletin was sent to dealers in Yalta, which would explain everything...)

Presumably this bulletin only went out to dealers in California. My guess is it was because enough "funny" frame numbers had appeared during inspections at the Department of Motor Vehicles that the authorities dropped by BSA's office in Duarte to have a word with management.
Posted By: Kevin (NZ).

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 07/29/13 1:04 am

Wow, I have just seen that pic of Ola's Ebay 1970 model, the pic John has posted.
How cool is that ? Not only a distinct large number but it has the engine stamping pad we have been associating with the XD and AD models.
This engine has that same unique pad, not only that but there is a pic of a transfer on the steering neck.
It shows the DOM as Jan 1970 and has the S/N also.
I reckon that transfer was affixed sometime after arrival in the States. I have never seen one like it before.

John can you manage to post a pic of that transfer ?

I have been trying but can't save it.

It brings much of what we have been saying into perspective, nothing out of place there at all.

We know when the bike was made.
What do you think the despatch book will have to say about it ?
Shipped in Nov 66 and again June 1968 ??!!
Actually with such a high S/N we may be struggling to find a comparable 1967 number.
Posted By: Two Alpha

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 07/29/13 1:17 am

Originally Posted By: Kevin (NZ).
None of this explains what happened to the first bike.
As far as I can tell it is in America, am I missing something ?
You seem to know it doesn't exist anymore and indeed did not exist by Feb 1969.

It is most definitely not in America, or any where else for that matter. This is down to basic common sense, they wouldn't re-use those serial numbers if the original bikes with those serial numbers were still out there.

Originally Posted By: Kevin (NZ).
A65LA7752 has remarkably similar details to Roger's 8416. The despatch dates are just weeks apart, both of them.
If there were two bikes of each number then all could be assumed to be in order.

The attached dating certificate doesn't really indicate what happened to the first bike either. If anything it could imply the bike never left the factory. We know the second bike is a 1969, it is being ridden this summer.



Hey, he's got a new dating certificate! Credit to Stephen Foden, and to you Kevin for forcing the change, this certificate is a whole lot better than what we've seen in the past.

Originally Posted By: Kevin (NZ).
What then happened to the 1967 model bike ?
I don't think any of us believe that it languished in the factory for over 2 years awaiting an electrical upgrade.
Strangely enough that is the version Al Cave, the Works Manager has given the BSAOC.
Perhaps he did actually give that info to BSAOC, I'm having a difficult time accepting it as it's so obviously untrue. Al Cave was getting on though..., my preferred version here is that something was lost in the translation. I do have another birthday coming up, the older I get the more sympathy I have for old pharts!

Originally Posted By: Kevin (NZ).
So if the first bike was not shipped, did not get completely remanufactured, then what did happen to it ?
You seem to be suggesting it somehow vanished. At what point did these bikes no longer exist ?
Well, they didn't just vanish. BSA had to be in possession of them, that's the only way they could be sure that they weren't duplicating a 1967 serial number that was still out there. They could have parted them out, the simplest way to do it might have been to destroy the drive side case and flog them out the back door to the highest bidder.

Originally Posted By: Kevin (NZ).
In the case of the Hybrid Spitfires the two shipping dates are just months apart.
We have almost 500 Mk III bikes in June 1967 and by April 1968 they all been replaced by new 1968 models wearing the same S/N.
In the space of 8 months, 500 bikes have disappeared, basically without any signs of their existence.
Well the only 'proof' they ever existed is a scrawled handwritten entry in a shipping clerks daily diary.

Should we be looking for more proof that those 478 MK III Spitfires existed ?

We know the S/N and have been looking amongst pics for signs of them. Just as we have been for the 7000 series 1967 bikes.

I seriously doubt the Hybrid Spitfires obtained their numbers from bikes that actually existed.
They may have existed on paper but that is about it.

We do need to see some more 1967 bikes near that number range, at the moment we only have the three, A65LA 17151-Y, A65SA 17513-Y and A65LA 18242-Y. A few more and we will be able to say for sure that the 1968 Hybrids weren't just a complete block of fresh numbers added on to the end of the 1967 production numbers.


Originally Posted By: Kevin (NZ).
Perhaps we should be searching amongst the paper trail for these 'missing' first bikes.

I still think that is the most likely place for them.

Let us not forget that no-one has ever seen any trace of these 'first' bikes.

But that's no proof that they didn't exist back in 1967. In order to produce new bikes with those serial numbers, BSA absolutely had to know that the original bikes were no longer in existence. Take that to the bank.

Originally Posted By: Kevin (NZ).
Are we so gullible to believe that a scrawled entry in a shipping ledger is proof of existence ?
I will take some convincing here.

Just ask yourself how many bikes BSA sold over the years that holds true for, it might be measured in millions!

I wonder if the folks at BSAOC are starting to think we're playing good cop/bad cop here? wink
Posted By: Gary E

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 07/29/13 1:28 am

Originally Posted By: Kevin (NZ).
...Actually with such a high S/N we may be struggling to find a comparable 1967 number.

John has LA 18242-Y on the list
Posted By: Two Alpha

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 07/29/13 1:29 am

Impressive bike, seems to be in really good shape. We do have a higher 1967 number though, A65LA 18242-Y.

edit, Gary's a bit faster on the trigger than I am!

Posted By: Gary E

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 07/29/13 1:45 am

John,

Some 17000 series numbers to add to the list.

LA 17142Y
SA 17246Y
SA 17382Y
SA 17509
SA 17570Y
SA 17670Y
SA 17695Y
SA 17773Y
SA 17718Y
SA 17780Y
SA 17873Y
SA 17904Y
Posted By: Gary E

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 07/29/13 1:49 am

And some 7000 series numbers to add.

HA 7307-Y
LA 7238Y (1970)
LA 7335Y (1970)
HA 7977-Y
Posted By: Kevin (NZ).

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 07/29/13 1:49 am

Originally Posted By: Two Alpha

Hey, he's got a new dating certificate! Credit to Stephen Foden, and to you Kevin for forcing the change, this certificate is a whole lot better than what we've seen in the past.


Yes, it is whole lot better. In this case the credit belongs with the owner of the bike. He paid for a dating certificate and was not entirely happy with the wording.
I agree Stephen has done very well to produce this which more accurately portrays the position.

Of course the BSAOC are no wiser than we are as to what became of the first bikes.
They are in a terrible situation as they never for one minute realised the complexity of the Y suffix deal.

They had no reason to doubt what they had been told but their problem now is that they have been believing the story for so long.
It is very difficult to now accept a different mindset.

I hope they can do a test case on the latest Ebay bike and see if their method does indeed confirm it is a 1970 Lightning made in Jan 1970 and probably shipped a month or two later.

It is in Colorado now so would that make it more likely to have come from NJ ?
Posted By: Gary E

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 07/29/13 2:00 am

And some 11000 series numbers to add

LA 11241-Y
LA 11257-Y
LA 11526Y (1970)
SA 11597-Y
SA 11668-Y
LA 11836Y
LA 11954Y
Posted By: Kevin (NZ).

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 07/29/13 2:04 am

Originally Posted By: Gary E
Originally Posted By: Kevin (NZ).
...Actually with such a high S/N we may be struggling to find a comparable 1967 number.

John has LA 18242-Y on the list


Yes, it is on the list.
I have photos of the bike and the number did not come from me. I can't say for sure but I had a feeling it was 8242.

That number came from an email Alan sent to a Yahoo forum.

It was only ever written the once and had nothing else to substantiate it.
I could be wrong but it could possibly be a typo.

I appreciate that the number may be of high importance and Alan is a member here. We should really be seeking confirmation.
At the moment it is very much 3rd hand stuff.
Posted By: Kevin (NZ).

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 07/29/13 2:29 am

I think we can all see the pattern with the Hybrid Spitfires.

Quote:
BTW...the BSAOC had also told me the original despatch date of my Spit
was May 12th 1967 (but not actually despatched until April 15th,
1968).....where does that fit in as far as the actual manufacturing
period. When did the factory actually build the bikes?


I mentioned this in my post #499215 a few days ago.

I see this as being extremely relevant.

It is looking likely that the batch of Hybrid Spitfires was made in early 1968 and given 1967 numbers.
WHY ?

They were then included into the 1967 books... AND WITH A PREVIOUS SHIPPING DATE OF 8 OR 9 MONTHS BEFORE THEY WERE MADE... as well as the genuine dates.

Oh, those bikes... well they were shipped in 1967 but we had to bring them back for a few months while we were waiting for the new electrical components. No matter, here they are again now ..!

Just how important was that Queen's Certificate for export excellence ?
Is it a coincidence that the factory was seeking record sales in 1967 to qualify for that award and of all the years BSA produced motorcycles we have only one problem year.
1967 !!

I have seen Pilots add turbine hours to their logbooks.
Easy, open the book and squeeze new entries in.
Rewrite the entire log if necessary.
When the hours cost around $500 for each one and the new employer says he will give you a job if you can 'find' 50 hours overnight.... well there is the incentive to get creative.

John has already indicated that the dispatch books may have entries by several men.
It only takes one with that 'creative talent' to make the difference.

1967 was a good year for BSA, one of their best. wink




Posted By: Two Alpha

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 07/29/13 2:46 am

Just updated to add all the numbers Gary provided, thanks for those!

BSA Twin Serial Numbers 1967-1970
Posted By: Kevin (NZ).

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 07/29/13 3:17 am

Hi John, I have just noticed the relevance of 17685 sitting there.

Do you have any more photos or details of that bike please ?

I think it is about to become very important in our understanding of the Hybrid Spitfires.
Posted By: Gary E

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 07/29/13 3:25 am

Originally Posted By: Kevin (NZ).
Originally Posted By: Gary E
John has LA 18242-Y on the list


Yes, it is on the list.
I have photos of the bike and the number did not come from me. I can't say for sure but I had a feeling it was 8242...

LA 18242 is possible as I have notes that the last number in the last book (276) is 18601 (4/24/68); and that's the date I have, another anomaly.
Posted By: Kevin (NZ).

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 07/29/13 4:05 am

I think there is a good chance I am confusing my stories with that bike then.
Perhaps I am getting mixed up, - I may be thinking of another import into the UK. Alan has a big Home market tank and 1968 reg plates on his bike so there is even a chance it was UK new...

I am thinking that the Firebird A65F 17685 may have evolved out of a Hybrid, possibly for studio or publicity shots and as a PR bike.
We have bikes made right at the end of the 1967 season (from your notes) and they may have been used to prepare for the forthcoming model publicity.
The Firebird may have been one of the very first 1968 models, possibly even a 1967 Firebird
!

Alan mentioned that he had a bike that had later forks fitted, I am wondering whether that may have been 18242 and been caught up in the changeover.
It is unusual in that we don't know of too many Y or Dash Y bikes in the UK.

I think that is partly the reason why the Dating Team didn't click that the machines they were dating as 1967 looked nothing like a 1967 bike. I mean the Y bikes (1969 and 1970) as they were used to seeing any number of enquiries from Dash Y bike owners anyway.

You would have thought they must have suspected when many of the Dash Y certificates showing the bikes exported during 1966.
The website describes the Y designated the bikes as been held back, well, as far as they were concerned. When Harris got involved and mentioned the Zener placement well it was all swept under the table again.
When someone found SB 5-70 the story managed to evolve again and of course the facts, and truth, had long gone at that point.
Posted By: Two Alpha

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 07/29/13 5:15 am

Sorry guys, went for a ride.

17685 is the Firebird from this thread...

Firebird thread



Posted By: Kevin (NZ).

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 07/29/13 7:20 am

Thanks for that link John.

Can you save some of those pics please and then post the engine S/N here.

I am ashamed to admit but I made heaps of errors in some of my comments there. I mentioned just a few hours ago about how difficult it is to change a mindset.

Mine was based on my interpretation of some features in those pics.

If I look at the bike as being a Hybrid Spitfire and then reviewing the pics I come up with completely different answers.

The engine has 1968 features.
It was not built in 1967, then again nor were the Hybrid Spitfires.
THE FIRST USE OF THE HYBRID SPITFIRE S/N WAS HOWEVER.

If this was a Hybrid Spitfire then we would be expecting to see an entry in the 1967 book though. The first bike !
Eric's 17365 has an entry of 12th May 1967.
This bike (17685) has a date of 22nd May.

Quote:
The ebay bike A65F.17685
It was built in the factory on 22nd May 1967 and dispatched to Canada on 31st May 1967 to Bert Peyo dealership.
Model is listed as A65S, not A65F, which could be a mistake in the dispatch book.


So we now have a link between the Hybrid bikes and this one.
Eric's Hybrid was despatched 14 April 1968, remember it was built just 2 months earlier.
If the Hybrids were made in March/April and this Firebird was one of them then it could be shipped in May 68.

Andy can we get you to recheck those dates please ?

It may well be the 31 May 1967 date is still the first despatch date. Those are the bikes we are trying to track down of course.
There should be a correct despatch date for this bike all the same.
Where did the info come from to enter those details in the shipping books and on which date were the entries made ?

I think this Firebird was assigned a number from the shipping book and an entry made for it, When I don't know.
The bike was going to be a Spitfire so that is how the S got to be in the book. Why not SA I don't know.

Again none of these bikes existed in May 1967.
The numbers were in the book before the engines were stamped or at least there had to be a system of allocating vacant numbers.



I think John was correct with his thinking throughout that Firebird thread.



I misread the engine bolt head shape and the S/N stamps in that particular photo.
Convex head = 1967
Flat head = 1968, in between possibilities.
Concave head = 1969
I can accept that engine was probably made and stamped in May 1968.

That is just a few months before 1969 Firebird production so the bike may have then been styled accordingly.
The front end is obviously more 1969 than 1968 though.
The Hybrids all had 1968 forks and brake.
Posted By: Kevin (NZ).

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 07/29/13 9:54 am

Sorry John, but I gave you some duff gen on one of the Hybrids.

The shipping detail for Eric's bike will need amending.

Quote:
Hi out there from the Netherlands,
I own a A65 Spitfire and on the engine it is stamped...
A65SA17365Y
What in bloody hell does the "Y" stand for?
Also the bike which is technically a 1967, it is loaded with all the 1968 mods.
Is there any connection to this and the "Y" suffix?
ALSO, anyone know how many Spitfires were produced in total and per
year?
Thanks and feel free to email me directly if want.

Eric


I told you those dates should be against 17874 the other day.

Sorry to trouble you but I think the dates will fit onto the spreadsheet much better now.



And from Alan..
Quote:
I bought one new in the 60s and have another now, both have the -Y engine number
suffix and numbers in the 18000s (later than your 16581) as well as the other
differences I mentioned, the numbers for 1967 started A65LA 101.



Quote:
Hello, I have a 1970 BSA A65L. I have some questions about my
registration. I have the bike currently registered in Canada as a 1967.
The vin # from my registration, and engine is
A65LA7758Y.


Quote:
> I had a friend call me tonight and ask what a "Y" at the end of the
> frame numbers on a 1970 A65 lightning meant. The whole serial number
> is: A65LA11248Y. He thinks it may be a "limited edition".


A65LA 15061, Engine # is A65LA 15061-Y

A65HA14128-Y

A65TA8519Y 1969 Unverified

Quote:
The serial numbers are certainly a bit confusing. Mine is
A50RA9913Y. From A50RA it suggests that it is a 1967 model. However
the styling etc certainly is not
This is a 1969.
Posted By: Bob E

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 07/29/13 11:30 pm

want to add my numbers to your list
1967 Thunderbolt - A65TA 12628-Y
1968 Spitfire - A65SB 7601
Posted By: Gary E

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 07/30/13 12:47 am

John,

Some '67 6000 and 8000 series numbers to add to the list. I do not see the need to add any that are below the 6000's, nor the lower to mid 9000's.

LA 6002-Y
TA 6031Y (1969)
LA 6102-Y
SA 6158-Y
LA 6398-Y
TA 6509-Y
TA 6512-Y
TA 6562-Y
TA 6807-Y

HA 8007-Y
HA 8071-Y
HA 8092-Y
TA 8519-Y
HA 8742-Y
HA 8777-Y
RA 8781-Y
HA 8884-Y
HA 8898-Y
HA 8926-Y
HA 8955-Y



Posted By: Kevin (NZ).

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 07/30/13 1:50 am

It will come as no surprise to the readers here that I am doubting those first bikes existed.

As the table fills in more I expect to see some duplication of shipping dates and possibly consignment details. The easiest way to do this of course is to check the details of known numbers that went on to become 69/70 Y bikes.
Having access to the shipping logs would really help here.

I was looking at 8416 for example.

I expect to see some trends.
My 'theory' at this point is that some lines in the 1967 despatch books were 'retrofitted' with new entries.
The bikes chosen would have to meet certain criteria.

Ok, I am seeking suitable numbers to make up a batch of Y bikes here.
First up, I must be able to squeeze my (bogus) entry into the despatch book.
I am checking for a vacant number and line.
Now it has to be an export, preferably to the States.
(it is an export incentive and I want to hide my tracks also). I am looking for bikes about me that are in that shipment and I chose the same date, possibly even the same tally/consignment details.
I don't need to invent too many entries per shipment, so I can spread them about a bit.
I have to be amongst Lightning and Thunderbolt (a few RA) production runs. So you will not see me choosing numbers from the day when Spitfires/Hornets were produced.

Don't ask me how I decided on numbers below 10500 for 1969.
It is pretty clear that either I drew a line or that we started at the beginning (6000) and worked through the books in chronological order. In that case I had reached 10500 by the time we were now making 1970 models on the line.

Just surmising of course but I am seeing some strange trends.

Again first up, the Hybrid Spitfires appear to 'replace' or adopt the numbers of a sequential batch of bikes. Ie BATCH.
Against that we are seeing the exact opposite in 1969 and 1970 numbers.
Sure, they are in groupings, but so of course were the production runs of the initial use of the numbers.
Also the numbers are spread amongst a large variety of shipments.
SCATTERED. Yes, but not random.

If we are to believe the damaged/returned bike version of events isn't is strange that;
No Spitfires or Hornets were returned.
Only LA, TA,and RA were made in some form of order.
Only some bikes per shipment were returned, or recorded as returned.
Even that is not true, we are not seeing returned details in the logs, not like those we see for EC22561 and EC22403. They both have the date and consignment note recorded.

Not one Dating Certificate mentions the bike being returned, they will tell you the various dates when it was 'sent'.

Even the Hybrids that were only lost for a few months, Eric was never told when his bike came back to the factory for it's 'upgrade'.
Wouldn't the shipping department keep records of bikes both going and coming ? They obviously have for some.... just not those bikes that were going on to become Y bikes though it appears.

Indeed do we even have one record of any bike being returned that was going on to become a Y bike ?

Isn't that strange ?

Posted By: Gary E

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 07/30/13 2:38 am

Originally Posted By: Kevin (NZ).
...As the table fills in more I expect to see some duplication of shipping dates and possibly consignment details...

What do you mean with the term 'consignment'?
Posted By: Kevin (NZ).

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 07/30/13 2:53 am

I am not sure what to expect Gary,
I don't want to use a specific bike as an example but one owner managed to come up with this info when he did his research.


TALLY NUMBER, CONSIGNED TO, CONSIGNMENT NOTE
5829, BSA NEW JERSEY, 1564 691
5893, BSA NEW JERSEY, 1104L 1846

Posted By: Two Alpha

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 07/30/13 3:28 am

Freshly updated.

BSA Twin Serial Numbers 1967-1970

Thanks for all the numbers and updates guy's, it sure seems like we are making good progress here.

There is a bit of a "situation" though, 8519-Y and 8519Y are both on the list. I don't have any real information for either version, just who submitted them, can we verify where these originally came from?


Posted By: Kevin (NZ).

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 07/30/13 3:46 am

Hi John, I don't think 8519 is one of mine.

I can't see it here.

I do have some more though
Hybrid A65SA17256Y
and some 67's
A65LA8425-Y
A65TA8555-Y
A65TA8616-Y


Do we need to check on those two Spitfires also ?
17509 and 17513 look out of place over there.
Posted By: Kevin (NZ).

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 07/30/13 4:20 am

Actually I see Gary gave it as a Dash Y bike.

The word Unverified sounds like me.

Checked up and will have to say it will be a Dash Y of 1967.
I called it unverified as I didn't like the context of the source.

www.britbike.com › ... › BSA Bulletin Board
2 days ago - 21 posts
A65TA8519Y 1969 Unverified. Quote

Quote:
What should my BSA Look like ???
Posted By:
straightline...
Mon Apr 14, 2003 3:05 am

The engine No is A65TP10164 and the frame No is A65TA8519Y

Posted By: Two Alpha

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 07/30/13 4:27 am

That Firebird brings a few more things to mind.

It wasn't just Spitfires they built in 1968 using 1967 numbers, now we know they built at least one Firebird that way as well, right in the middle of building the hybrids.

This is also an example of BSA building a same numbered replacement as a different model, for those 1967 numbers.

Quote:
The ebay bike A65F.17685
It was built in the factory on 22nd May 1967 and dispatched to Canada on 31st May 1967 to Bert Peyo dealership.
Model is listed as A65S, not A65F, which could be a mistake in the dispatch book.


Take a good look at that quote, there is too much information there for that to be bogus, it would have been too easy to verify at the time! Those dates, and the dispatch to Bert Peyo, had to be true, and must have been entered in the books on those dates.

Now who knows if the bike ever actually made it to Bert Peyo or not, it had to be back in the possession of BSA, and unidentifiable as 17685, before the 1968 Firebird with that number was made.


Originally Posted By: Kevin (NZ).
Where did the info come from to enter those details in the shipping books and on which date were the entries made ?

See above, I think those were legitimate and timely entries for the bike they had right at hand.

Originally Posted By: Kevin (NZ).
Again none of these bikes existed in May 1967.
That's a leap too far Kevin. It's fine to think that is a possibility, but you/we need to prove it, there is a plenty of evidence that says they did exist.
Posted By: Two Alpha

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 07/30/13 5:00 am

Originally Posted By: Kevin (NZ).
Do we need to check on those two Spitfires also ? 17509 and 17513 look out of place over there.


They both came with the -Y, 17509 from Gary, 17513 from you. You had "unsure if dash or hybrid" beside it so I put that right in there with the number.

The hybrid numbers were actually spread out over a range of about 6000 numbers, I'll put up a post covering that in a bit, just have to dig up the quote.
Posted By: Kevin (NZ).

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 07/30/13 5:09 am

Originally Posted By: Two Alpha
there is a plenty of evidence that says they did exist.


Well this is what we are now pursuing. But have I missed something ?

Quote:
It was built in the factory on 22nd May 1967 and dispatched to Canada on 31st May 1967 to Bert Peyo dealership.


And the bike is now in Canada ?
So it was sent to Bert as a Spitfire, he didn't like it. just like the entire batch was no good, so Bert sent it back. Make it into one of those new Firebirds and I think I have a buyer prepared to wait for it.
A year later the bike gets sold. That is one keen buyer. he could have bought a brand new Firebird off the shop floor at any time for most of that year.
Indeed the bike that Bert sends back is beyond redemption so it is reduced to spares and a whole new one is made at the factory.

I think it is Feb/March 1968 and the ledger is opened, the numbers entered basically reserving the slot.
The bike is made in April/May 1968 along with the other Hybrids.

Let us not forget the Firebird is the second use of these numbers.
The Spitfire A65S (A)? 17685 is still missing as are all the others.

The ONLY evidence of these bikes ever existing, that I can see, is an entry in that despatch book.

Am I missing something ?

All the Hybrid Spitfired have second despatch dates. May 1968.
Where is the correct despatch date for the Firebird ?
It was at the factory to get all the 1968/69 parts and then what ?

I agree with you. I think it was made at the same time as the Hybrids.
It was at the factory in 1968, I am sure of that.

The despatch books don't show that, or do we need to look in the 1969 books for this one ?
It has to be in the books somewhere.

Perhaps it was sent to Bert in 1968... possibly that is when the first entry in the book was modified a little. Some detail added to the number.

I don't know of course but we have to be working towards the missing link here. Something could happen at any time.

As far as i am aware we still have not seen any trace of a 'first' use of a Y bike number beyond that series of red books.

I doubt the first Spitfire batch left the UK.
They could not possibly all be shipped, arrived and turned around (as a batch) and been received back at Small Heath to then be reduced to spares and replaced by fresh 1968 bikes stamped up in their numbers.

What is the benefit there ?

Would you ask the US distributor to strip them for spares ?

If they were at the Factory..
What is the point in taking nearly 500 new Spitfires and reducing them to spares only to be replaced by the same number of brand new bikes ?

I think the export figures for 1967 were 'inflated', possibly for the Queen's award.
They were caught out and either added bikes into the despatch logs quickly, or had to embark on a programme of catching up.
Posted By: Two Alpha

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 07/30/13 5:09 am

Originally Posted By: Kevin (NZ).
Actually I see Gary gave it as a Dash Y bike.

The word Unverified sounds like me.

Checked up and will have to say it will be a Dash Y of 1967.
I called it unverified as I didn't like the context of the source.

www.britbike.com › ... › BSA Bulletin Board
2 days ago - 21 posts
A65TA8519Y 1969 Unverified. Quote

Quote:
What should my BSA Look like ???
Posted By:
straightline...
Mon Apr 14, 2003 3:05 am

The engine No is A65TP10164 and the frame No is A65TA8519Y



Now there's a case where pictures of the numbers would sure be helpful.
That frame number is straight out of 1969 though.

Maybe Gary has a bit more info on the number.
Posted By: Kevin (NZ).

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 07/30/13 6:18 am

The photo of 17513 is clipped but shows the entire engine number clearly.... but the suffix is out of frame.
I would call it a Hybrid all the same, it has a 1968 look about it.
Posted By: Two Alpha

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 07/30/13 6:31 am

Originally Posted By: Kevin (NZ).
Originally Posted By: Two Alpha
there is a plenty of evidence that says they did exist.
Well this is what we are now pursuing. But have I missed something ?

No, as you mention a few times through the post, the primary source of evidence we have are those dispatch books.

Quote:
It was built in the factory on 22nd May 1967 and dispatched to Canada on 31st May 1967 to Bert Peyo dealership.

Originally Posted By: Kevin (NZ).
And the bike is now in Canada ?

Assume for a second that the initial entries in the book are legitimate, we don't have anything concrete to show just how far past the guy writing the info into the book that bike got. One thing is for sure though, assuming the initial entries in the book are legitimate, BSA had that bike back in their possession before stamping the replacement bike.


Originally Posted By: Kevin (NZ).
Where is the correct despatch date for the Firebird ?
It was at the factory to get all the 1968/69 parts and then what ?
I wonder if it's in amongst the hybrids, "in a separate section of one of the production books". I would really like to know where exactly it is in the books, it's an especially interesting case.

Originally Posted By: Kevin (NZ).
As far as i am aware we still have not seen any trace of a 'first' use of a Y bike number beyond that series of red books.
Yes indeed, that's all that's left that's traceable to them. Plus there are all the Y bikes acting like a giant arrow pointing straight back at them.

Originally Posted By: Kevin (NZ).
If they were at the Factory..
What is the point in taking nearly 500 new Spitfires and reducing them to spares only to be replaced by the same number of brand new bikes ?

If the original bikes existed, as I believe, the ones that ended up being replaced had to be in pretty poor shape.
We know for a fact that a number were refurbished, I have one of those.
edit: oops, mines one of the Lightnings, same deal though.

Originally Posted By: Kevin (NZ).
I think the export figures for 1967 were 'inflated', possibly for the Queen's award.
They were caught out and either added bikes into the despatch logs quickly, or had to embark on a programme of catching up.

And, of course, I don't think so. Look at the rate they were pumping bikes out for the first stretch, 7000 bikes in less than two months (!), and we're not seeing any replacement bikes from those serial numbers.
They would have had the Queen's export award in the bag, why screw around with phony numbers or blank lines in the book? Just keep building and selling bikes, that was their business!

Now here's a juicy quote from a few years back, another gem from Gary...
"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."
So that's 478 numbers used for the hybrids, spread over and interspersed amongst a range of 6326 numbers!
Pre-planned so that they could add on an extra 478 bikes after the season was over and receive a Queens export award?

I believe it went something like the following. They ran into some difficulties during the 1967 season that damaged large numbers of bikes, mainly in the 7000, 10,000, 11,000 and 17,000 ranges. The only scenario that would make rebuilding the specific serial numbers necessary would be if the damaged bikes were in an exported status.
So, the most pressing are the Spitfires, there's only one year left in which they can replace those. I think they knew that their regular production would be around 10,000 so they replaced all of the high numbered Spitfires, 478 of them, from sn11577 to sn17892.
1969 season rolls around, they have a bunch of lower 1967 numbers they need to replace so they start the regular production at sn11101 so as not to interfere.
1970 season rolls around, they switch regular production back to starting at sn00101, and build replacement bikes for the remaining high numbered 1967 Lightnings and Thunderbirds.

A costly and embarrassing exercise.

Sure the Queen's export award probably played into this, but not that they had to cheat to get it. I think they just ramped their production up too much and created a mess.
Posted By: Two Alpha

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 07/30/13 6:33 am

Originally Posted By: Kevin (NZ).
The photo of 17513 is clipped but shows the entire engine number clearly.... but the suffix is out of frame.
I would call it a Hybrid all the same, it has a 1968 look about it.


Good enough for me!
Posted By: Kevin (NZ).

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 07/30/13 7:45 am

Ok, let us now assume all these bikes did exist.

The problems I have with that are;
Why go through this exercise of building 1500 new bikes... as replacements.
Why just 1967 ? Was the quality so much better in other years ?
No-one has mentioned these bikes leaving and being returned. Nothing in the magazines of the day.
BSA got an export award for making bikes in April 1967, shipping them, bringing them back to the factory, destroying them and then making a fresh batch at the very minute they were receiving the award.. April 1968.
That is 500 bikes out of say 25,000 of all kinds.
If the bikes did exist where are the returned entries in the despatch books. They are there for other bikes that were returned.
How come all the 1969 Y bikes have numbers less than 10500. Did someone go through all these returned bikes and carefully sort them out for rebuild.
Or did they just record all the numbers and then do away with them.
Geoff Danher was at the factory at the time. He worked in the quality section in 1967. He talks of the problems with the B25's being returned. No mention of the A65 at all. Not once.
He talks of problems at Umberslade, the B25, the A70, the OIF and the T120, and even the Rocket III.
He also never saw the bikes in storage scattered about the factory by Al Cave.
Bert Hopwood wrote a book, he never mentioned this debacle. He didn't mention the Lucas supply problems beyond normal.
Why were only the A65 affected by this.
Were the B25 and B44 built so much better.
What about Triumph, how did they avoid this disaster ?
Why has this been so well hushed up ? Why has Al Cave mislead the BSAOC ? This will be a great shock to his 'mates'.
Why did the board never mention this in any of the reports ?
If they had over 1000 bikes returned and then stored before being completely remade wouldn't there be questions ?
There was back-stabbing going on at the time, wouldn't this innocent parties love to be throwing this in someone's face.

What we have here is a conspiracy. People knew and kept quiet.

It had to be for the good of the company.

Where are the 478 Spitfire tanks ?
They were removed from the Mk III's and used for spares ?
What tanks were fitted to the Hybrids waiting on the line ?

Do we think for one second that a Hybrid fuel tank is going to have a date code of May 1967 or earlier ? I doubt they reused the tanks even though the story says they were there and available.

And the Lucas components, are we to believe these were removed, packaged and used as warranty spares. They were not fitted to new bikes on the line. (I believe.)
What about all the rest of the spares, did the US market receive a shipment of much needed spares ?
The engines must have been reduced to component form.
What part of the factory did all that work ?
The US dealers never mentioned it.
BSA had problems in 1968, the shipping strikes did play havoc. Did they keep the staff employed by stripping out the bikes.
Al Cave has been reported as saying they were there for the two years.

Until recently we believed the 69/70 Y bikes were rebuilt 1967 models.
The guys in Britain knew no better. That is why the website and Dating Certificates are worded as they are.

Al Cave, and others, knew this was not the case. Why didn't they speak up, ever ...

Al Cave gave the BSAOC many documents, do they contain clues as to the whereabouts of these missing bikes?

Do some Committee members know more than they are admitting ?

All we have to show these bikes existed in some entries in a ledger.

I have visited two British aircraft factories, I have friends who worked in them.
I have witnessed, and heard about, the goings on......
While they may be inefficient to the extreme I can image shenanigans but not wanton waste.


Posted By: Gary E

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 07/30/13 3:36 pm

Originally Posted By: Kevin (NZ).
...I don't want to use a specific bike as an example but one owner managed to come up with this info when he did his research.


TALLY NUMBER, CONSIGNED TO, CONSIGNMENT NOTE
5829, BSA NEW JERSEY, 1564 691
5893, BSA NEW JERSEY, 1104L 1846


I do not see any significance to the tally number or the consignment note numbers to what we are trying to accomplish. I don't know what they even mean.

Originally Posted By: Two Alpha
They both came with the -Y, 17509 from Gary, 17513 from you. You had "unsure if dash or hybrid" beside it so I put that right in there with the number....

The info on 8519 that I have is only from what Kevin had previously posted.

17509 is legit. It is a frame with a '68 front end and engine number SA 5582-Y in it. It was on ebay in 2/13.
Posted By: Kevin (NZ).

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 07/30/13 4:14 pm

Hi Gary,
I was thinking out aloud, yet again. You must have an idea of what you favour as a possible sequence of events.
I was thinking of the possibilities with that first shipping date. Andy managed to find some detail on that Firebird we were discussing.

As everyone has seen I have no idea what actually occurred back then. I do however see that those first shipping dates are causing us some issues, - and rightly so.

We have all been attaching so much importance to them in the past. The Dating Certificates have been issued based solely on that first date.

What if the date is incorrect ?
I suspect it is and I see I am not alone.

How can we prove it one way or the other.
As well as a date we had a tally number and a shipping con notes.
The tally number was an internal thing and probably contained the works record. I am guessing anything associated with them is now long gone.
The con not though may have been recognised by Customs or the shipping companies.
I was looking for a link between bikes we know that were shipped and the others we are not so sure about.
If the numbers were to be a fabrication then they must have a pattern to them. You would not want them to stand out in the crowd.

Naturally the two similar tally numbers in the example I gave do catch the eye. The tally number could be used to date the machine, it may well have been a continuous sequence assigned to the frame or engine ?
Either way we must have 1969 models coming down the like with Month/Year codes stamped on completion.
I would be really looking at the 1967 numbers to see how the 'first' numbers all compare. Perhaps there is a code there.


I think we are all agreeing that 17509 is a legit Hybrid number. It can be in the 1968 column as well.

http://motorcycleslog.com/asp/Item.asp?soldid=151949&make=BSA&theday=3%2F2%2F2013
Posted By: Two Alpha

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 07/30/13 5:05 pm

Tremendous post Kevin, and I am with you for almost all of it. (referring to post 499691 )


Originally Posted By: Kevin (NZ).
Ok, let us now assume all these bikes did exist.
The problems I have with that are;
Why go through this exercise of building 1500 new bikes... as replacements.

Whether the bikes were for replacements or not, they had to have been forced by a government agency to re-use those serial numbers, it's the only possible reason why they would have done that.

Originally Posted By: Kevin (NZ).
Why just 1967 ? Was the quality so much better in other years ?
They were at the tipping point, where performance had gotten beyond reliability, but that high production rate must have factored into it.

Originally Posted By: Kevin (NZ).
No-one has mentioned these bikes leaving and being returned. Nothing in the magazines of the day.
This was obviously not a good situation, little wonder they didn't want to advertise it.

Originally Posted By: Kevin (NZ).
BSA got an export award for making bikes in April 1967, shipping them, bringing them back to the factory, destroying them and then making a fresh batch at the very minute they were receiving the award.. April 1968.
That is 500 bikes out of say 25,000 of all kinds.

So 2%, maybe this just wasn't that big a deal to them.
What raises the red flag is re-using those serial numbers in the following years.

Originally Posted By: Kevin (NZ).
If the bikes did exist where are the returned entries in the despatch books. They are there for other bikes that were returned.

I think we've only ever seen this on one page in the book, were these home market bikes? I'm not sure where this information is.

Originally Posted By: Kevin (NZ).
How come all the 1969 Y bikes have numbers less than 10500. Did someone go through all these returned bikes and carefully sort them out for rebuild.
Yes, of course.
Originally Posted By: Kevin (NZ).
Or did they just record all the numbers and then do away with them.
This would have been done with the ones that were beyond being refurbished.
Originally Posted By: Kevin (NZ).
Geoff Danher was at the factory at the time. He worked in the quality section in 1967. He talks of the problems with the B25's being returned. No mention of the A65 at all. Not once.
Hope you get to chat with him, he must have some knowledge of the situation with the twins.

Originally Posted By: Kevin (NZ).
Bert Hopwood wrote a book, he never mentioned this debacle. He didn't mention the Lucas supply problems beyond normal.
We know this would have gone straight to his desk, little wonder he didn't write in any detail on it! Here's a quote from page 218, "On reflection, very little went amiss during a period of great change, when production figures had risen by almost 40%." smile
Originally Posted By: Kevin (NZ).
Why were only the A65 affected by this.
Were the B25 and B44 built so much better.
We know this revolves around export bikes, both in 1967 and later. A very high percentage of these bikes were A65's, the amount of "others" would be negligible.
Originally Posted By: Kevin (NZ).
What about Triumph, how did they avoid this disaster ?
The "rolling road" for one, plus we're talking about two completely separate factories here. Triumph's reputation for quality was much better than BSA's, at that time.
Originally Posted By: Kevin (NZ).
Why has this been so well hushed up ? Why has Al Cave mislead the BSAOC ? This will be a great shock to his 'mates'.
The BSAOC has bungled the story all right, they need to get it right.
Originally Posted By: Kevin (NZ).
Why did the board never mention this in any of the reports ?
If they had over 1000 bikes returned and then stored before being completely remade wouldn't there be questions ?
There was back-stabbing going on at the time, wouldn't this innocent parties love to be throwing this in someone's face.
All the more reason to quietly clean up the mess, get it under the carpet as quickly as possible.

Originally Posted By: Kevin (NZ).
What we have here is a conspiracy. People knew and kept quiet.
Let's see the background papers for Heaton's thesis, let's see Al Cave's papers, let's see the production books.

Originally Posted By: Kevin (NZ).
It had to be for the good of the company.
Of course, let's remember that when we think that the company may have been putting bogus numbers or leaving empty lines in the 1967 books, in an attempt to cheat their way to the Queen's Export Award.

Originally Posted By: Kevin (NZ).
Where are the 478 Spitfire tanks ?
They were removed from the Mk III's and used for spares ?
What tanks were fitted to the Hybrids waiting on the line ?

Do we think for one second that a Hybrid fuel tank is going to have a date code of May 1967 or earlier ? I doubt they reused the tanks even though the story says they were there and available.

And the Lucas components, are we to believe these were removed, packaged and used as warranty spares. They were not fitted to new bikes on the line. (I believe.)
What about all the rest of the spares, did the US market receive a shipment of much needed spares ?
The engines must have been reduced to component form.
What part of the factory did all that work ?
The US dealers never mentioned it.
BSA had problems in 1968, the shipping strikes did play havoc. Did they keep the staff employed by stripping out the bikes.
Al Cave has been reported as saying they were there for the two years.
The most likely scenario is that, after destroying the drive side case, they flogged the bikes off in a fairly whole condition to a larger shop in England. Probably to someone that had previously worked at BSA of course. Get what they could, get the scrap out of the way.

Originally Posted By: Kevin (NZ).
Until recently we believed the 69/70 Y bikes were rebuilt 1967 models.
The guys in Britain knew no better. That is why the website and Dating Certificates are worded as they are.
Yes, indeed.

Originally Posted By: Kevin (NZ).
Al Cave, and others, knew this was not the case. Why didn't they speak up, ever ...
How old was Al when that story was posted on the BSAOC website? Did Al ever even see it on the website?

Originally Posted By: Kevin (NZ).
Al Cave gave the BSAOC many documents, do they contain clues as to the whereabouts of these missing bikes?
Let's hope so, and let's have a look please.

Originally Posted By: Kevin (NZ).
Do some Committee members know more than they are admitting ?
I think the chances of that are quite good. Speak up gents, history deserves the truth here.

Originally Posted By: Kevin (NZ).
All we have to show these bikes existed in some entries in a ledger.
The BSAOC has maintained that the first bikes existed all along, their problem was with the later ones!

Slowly, but surely, we're getting there.
Posted By: Two Alpha

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 07/30/13 5:10 pm

I'll move 17509 over, the 1968 front end points to it being a hybrid all right.
Posted By: lemans

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 07/30/13 7:52 pm

I have a A65 SA 13576, matching engine number with -Y
first registered march '68.
polyester tank, 190mm goldstar frontbrake, borrani rims

I'll have a look at the tank dating code

reg A
Posted By: Gary E

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 07/31/13 12:12 am

Originally Posted By: Kevin (NZ).
...As well as a date we had a tally number and a shipping con notes.
The tally number was an internal thing and probably contained the works record. I am guessing anything associated with them is now long gone.
The con not though may have been recognised by Customs or the shipping companies.
I was looking for a link between bikes we know that were shipped and the others we are not so sure about.
If the numbers were to be a fabrication then they must have a pattern to them. You would not want them to stand out in the crowd.

Naturally the two similar tally numbers in the example I gave do catch the eye. The tally number could be used to date the machine, it may well have been a continuous sequence assigned to the frame or engine ?

I see no correlation with the Tally Numbers nor the Consignment Note Numbers as shown in this image. An earlier Engine Number stamp date has a later Tally Number, and both machines were dispatched the same date.

Posted By: Kevin (NZ).

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 07/31/13 1:58 am

I am probably clutching at straws though Gary. We simply don't have enough to work with here.

The guys in the UK do though. The VMCC library is there and the BSAOC have their own copies of the fiche I believe.
There was talk of transferring the records on to some database but I think we can all appreciate the enormity of that task.

You have kindly provided a pic showing shipping details of a couple of early 1967 season Hornets.


In the shipping columns we have 5426 and the date 15 Sept 1966.
The C number is the consignment note for that particular machine and is obviously unique.
They would have been issued in sequence as would the tally numbers I am guessing.
The order we are seeing in the books is just the chronological order the bikes arrive at the despatch office.
It appears the shipping ledger is more like a diary and primarily is a day by day record.
By the time the bikes arrive at the office some of the earlier 'order' could be days out of whack.

When I look at the 1969 page I see exactly that.

872, 873, 874, 875 and 876 are all quickly discernible.
If there was going to be some hijinks or irregularities in the earlier 'despatch' dates we may have to be a little more studious than previous pairs of eyes.

I can't say for sure if there is a trend, and I have no idea if the any of theses sequences were being used for other models in the range. So apart from the B44 etc we may even have a second line producing the twins.

I have been ringing someone who worked at the factory, still can't get past the answerphone.
Someone should be able to fill in the gaps for us.

This is only difficult to solve because it has been left far too long. Roy Bacon and his team could have had all this answered 20 years ago, as could the BSAOC I would suggest.

I would think we are trying to convince ourselves that either the first bikes existed or they didn't.
It is as simple as that.

Once we have worked out where we stand there then we may also be a step closer to the how's and why's.
Posted By: Two Alpha

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 07/31/13 4:04 am

Originally Posted By: Kevin (NZ).
I would think we are trying to convince ourselves that either the first bikes existed or they didn't.
It is as simple as that.

Once we have worked out where we stand there then we may also be a step closer to the how's and why's.

Agreed.
The correct answer might be self evident if we had decent access to the books.
We've had a few great guys on this forum provide snippets of the books for us, what we really need is someone who lives near a copy of the books and is willing to do a few days of fairly intense research for us.
Surely there's someone reading this who lives near enough, and obviously there would be expenses involved. I'll be glad to chip in the amount of a BSAOC dating certificate! That's got to cover at least a few refreshments.
Posted By: Kevin (NZ).

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 07/31/13 4:49 am

We should thank Lemans for his post. It is a Dash Y Spitfire of 1967 but something like the date codes in the tanks may end up being relevant.

While it would be nothing definitive if the Hybrid tanks were made with the SB tanks (SB outnumber Hybrids 3 or 4 to 1).
We could say that the Hybrids were then just MkIV's as we currently suspect.
If however..... the Hybrids all have tanks made a year or more earlier than the SB Spitfires we would have good reason to suspect that an earlier bike did exist.
If the Hybrids all had tanks coded April 1967 and earlier I would be very easily convinced the 478 earlier Mk III bikes existed.
Especially if the 1968 SB bikes had later calendar date codes, ie after June 1967.
Given the Hybrids were the last Spitfires ever made we would expect them to have the last of the tanks.

We still have no physical connection between those first shipping dates and any of the bikes they purport to belong to.

How difficult can this be ?

1500 bikes and not a trace of them.

At what stage do we accept that there is a slim chance of two bikes in circulation with the same S/N sequence.

We should know about it by now and perhaps can stop looking.

I am corresponding with a chap in America at the moment who is adamant he has a 1967 bike that shows in our database as a Y bike.

While it could well be the missing link I think we all now the likely outcome there.
Much as we saw with Phil about 8 weeks ago.
The bikes tell the true story.

EDIT *****
I have a bit of a pucker factor running at the moment.
His numbers ARE indeed right amongst a large group of 1967 Dash Y bikes.
What makes it worse for me is that it is sitting smack between the two blocks of 1969 Y bikes. AND ALONE !!

The spreadsheet should indicate his bike is a 1967 Dash Y bike.
He is adamant it is.
Then again he can't remember what the bike looks like and I think he determined the model PURELY from what he saw in the red books.
If it is a 1967 then he is positive he saw a 1969 entry for the same number.
He may well own the missing link. Good news for some and I will have a lot of sucking back in.

*******


We have to agree the bikes don't exist and then look at the various possibilities and options.

All the pages covering those Hybrids and 1969 Y bikes must hold some clues. It will be between 4 and 10 photocopies or scans.
We have to be at that point now..
Posted By: Two Alpha

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 07/31/13 6:02 am

Originally Posted By: Kevin (NZ).
At what stage do we accept that there is a slim chance of two bikes in circulation with the same S/N sequence.

I realized this had to be the case a long while back, the two bikes could never have been intentionally in circulation at the same time.

Trying to find the early bike, the one that originally carried the number that was assigned to a later Y bike,
would have been an absolute waste of time. Surely no one has been seriously expecting to find one.

If we're going to accept anything let's accept that BSA would not put a 1967 number on a 1968 or later bike while the original bike with that number was still in circulation.

Having accepted that, please don't think that it has any bearing on whether or not the first bike existed in the first place, it surely does not.

Suggesting that we should expect to find a "physical connection between those first shipping dates and any of the bikes they purport to belong to" really is a red herring.

Originally Posted By: Kevin (NZ).
All the pages covering those Hybrids and 1969 Y bikes must hold some clues. It will be between 4 and 10 photocopies or scans.
We have to be at that point now..
I really don't think the 1967 bikes that were refurbished, have two dispatch dates and are still in circulation should be excluded from the conversation.
They are part and parcel of the same problem, just with a different solution.

I think bikes like mine prove the existence of the earlier bikes, I also think that you are beginning to suspect that I might be right.
Posted By: Two Alpha

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 07/31/13 6:12 am

Check this one out!

A65SA 4999Y
edit: Ignore the link, the original listing is long gone now.

I've asked him for clarification on that engine number.
Posted By: Two Alpha

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 07/31/13 7:15 am

Just a few additions and a little housekeeping, thanks for the numbers guys!

BSA Twin Serial Numbers 1967-1970
Posted By: lemans

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 07/31/13 7:37 am

Originally Posted By: Kevin (NZ).
We should thank Lemans for his post. It is a Dash Y Spitfire of 1967 but something like the date codes in the tanks may end up being relevant.


I'm so sorry. way back in the early days, when repairs had to be easy and quick (I have the bike 34 years now) I applied some layers of glass-fibre and so on to repair a pair of broken bolts and general leakage. So the autograph, which is definitely there has been covered up.

blush
Posted By: Shane in Oz

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 07/31/13 9:51 am

Originally Posted By: Two Alpha
Check this one out!

A65SA 4999Y

I've asked him for clarification on that engine number.


Yes, that one could be interesting.

It looks like it has a 1969 motor with a pre-1966 rocker cover.
I doubt the seller knows if the engine was original to the bike, though.
Posted By: Kevin (NZ).

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 07/31/13 10:26 am

Ah, so Shane is lurking...

I agree with that 1966 cycle and 68/69 engine. Difficult to see what the Spitfire parts are there.

What do you make of the spreadsheet Shane ?

You are normally so opinionated as well. ;

Good to hear you reporting in

Cheers
Posted By: Two Alpha

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 07/31/13 9:23 pm

Regarding A65SA 4999Y

That really is what's stamped on the raised pad!

Don't think it was stamped there by BSA though.

The seller was kind enough to provide a picture.
Posted By: Gary E

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 08/01/13 3:02 am

Originally Posted By: Kevin (NZ).
...You have kindly provided a pic showing shipping details of a couple of early 1967 season Hornets.


In the shipping columns we have 5426 and the date 15 Sept 1966.
The C number is the consignment note for that particular machine and is obviously unique.
They would have been issued in sequence as would the tally numbers I am guessing....

No, the tally numbers are not in sequence, nor are the consignment numbers.

Originally Posted By: Kevin (NZ).
...The order we are seeing in the books is just the chronological order the bikes arrive at the despatch office.
It appears the shipping ledger is more like a diary and primarily is a day by day record.
By the time the bikes arrive at the office some of the earlier 'order' could be days out of whack...

I disagree. The machines were built in number order. The dispatch dates are what are out of date order.
Posted By: Two Alpha

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 08/01/13 3:59 am

Just added another batch of numbers, thanks to Gary and Kevin.

BSA Twin Serial Numbers 1967-1970
Posted By: Kevin (NZ).

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 08/01/13 9:29 am

Originally Posted By: Gary E
Originally Posted By: Kevin (NZ).
...You have kindly provided a pic showing shipping details of a couple of early 1967 season Hornets.



[quote=Kevin (NZ).]...The order we are seeing in the books is just the chronological order the bikes arrive at the despatch office.
It appears the shipping ledger is more like a diary and primarily is a day by day record.
By the time the bikes arrive at the office some of the earlier 'order' could be days out of whack...

I disagree. The machines were built in number order. The dispatch dates are what are out of date order.



I don't agree Gary,

The only order I am seeing is Tally order.
The engine serial numbers may be assigned in sequence but the engines are not fitted to the frames in any particular order.


This has always been my understanding of the twin production, it was Stuart the other day that helped my understanding with the date and model codes being added at a later date.

If we look at the Y bikes of Dec 1969 / Jan 1970 construction then we have 3 examples.

12215, 12192, 12318, 17964 are all Y bikes and those numbers would have been stamped on the casing.
Similarly XD03441, AD04586, AD04722 are normal bikes with that large pad.
AD04364 does not have that casting.

Another distinctive casting feature is the 'ringworm' that was cast over the old trans oil filler early in the 1969 season. This is normally associated with PC numbers and appears at the same time as the first of the raised pads.
I have a pic here of an end of season bike with that feature, a GC number I think.

I understood the engines were set aside to 'cure' (possibly the cases, either was) we see two examples where later numbers have been stamped. There has to be a clue there.

When I look at the 1969 despatch page I see the Tally numbers run in much better sequence on a day to day basis than the engine/frame numbers.

If we look at 17915, it is an AC bike where all others about it are EC models.
The others are all S/N 22000 series.

The Tally numbers at this point are not far out of whack.

All 970 series are on that page. They are the last of the 1969 models finally being cleared out in Sept 1969.

The Tally numbers are roughly in some kind of order until about 930 and then it jumps to 970'ish.

We can see the tally number is unique to each bike.

This is 1969 calendar year and we know the Y bikes are coming off those same lines during this period.

I would be expecting them to have the same Tally sequence, the difference this time being they are squeezed into the 1967 books. Not as we see here as an add-on to the 1969 season run.

We do have an example of a Tally number for a 1969 bike.
5893 for a bike shipped at the end of February.

The Tally number we are seeing in 1969 is 'last three' format, a common practice in Britain. The fuller number should very likely be indicated every so often in the logs.

We have a despatch date, that is pretty well established as one set point.
The tally number must have been assigned a little upstream of that, not too far. The good think with this though is that it is sequential.
The engine serial number sequencing was was back upon completion of engine build.
The S/N date coding was done on the engine and frame as they were coming off the line and it basically set, it is just very broad at 30 day intervals.

There is plenty of info there to be able to crack the code of missing bikes and whether the tally numbers were allocated to Y models coming down the line. I would be surprised if they were not.

The Y bike allocation of S/N was down way back at engine build.

If we look at the spreadsheet and the last of the 1969 Y bikes.
Ok, they are in S/N sequence at this point but we can surmise which bikes were the last to produced before the 1970 features appear.

What are the odds that 10139Y, 10144 and 10481 were coming down the line at the same time as the EC 22000 series.

Of those columns in the shipping ledger we can work by the dates.
1969 Y bike shipping date against comparable 1969 book with normal bike.

I expect the tally numbers to be shared between the two types of bike on the line.
The bikes, on this page, were all trucked so the shipping details are different.
A Feb 1969 despatch had details of 1104L 1846.

Now, what we are really seeking is the 'missing' 1967 bikes.
A similar exercise of comparing numbers should produce similar results.
This time I would be looking for a discrepancy rather than a similarity.
Ie. Do the tally numbers of the Y bikes run in sequence with the Dash Y bikes that should have been getting produced about them.
we know from the 1969 books that all the numbers kind of line up on the same calendar date.
If the Y bikes stand out as being different then perhaps we have our answer. This is from books 274 and 275 this time.

I would suggest that 7886-Y would be a good example here.
We know that bike was made as it still exists.
How about those Y bikes of 1969 with very similar numbers ?
When we look in the book we would expect to see dates, tally numbers and possibly consignment details to be similar as well.



Posted By: Gary E

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 08/01/13 3:46 pm

Kevin,

We will never agree here. Your information is all based on the 1969 books. My information comes from the 1967 books which is the subject of our concern, at least I think or maybe thought it was. There is no rhythm to the sequence of tally numbers in the '67 books other than they eventally do get bigger.
Posted By: Kevin (NZ).

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 08/01/13 4:04 pm

Yes, you may be right Gary. I will put some more thought into that one.
I was thinking the 1967 sequence would be in a rough and haphazard style but with standout strange numbers.
If those numbers were then seen to match the same dates from the 69 batch being at exactly the same time and shipped through the same books then I may have had something.
We won't see a good sequence on each page, there are only 41 lines per page and many more bikes than that being produced each day.

In this case the 200 pages were filled in a little over 100 days I imagine.

Thanks again for the insight and guidance. Cheers.
Posted By: Two Alpha

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 08/01/13 4:25 pm

Originally Posted By: Kevin (NZ).
we see two examples where later numbers have been stamped. There has to be a clue there.

Note where the engine date on the line for my bike has been changed, that would be to the date when the extra zero was added on the engine serial number.
Perhaps those engines, with the extra zero added, were then put back on the production line and went into the later chassis, in the case of my bike that would be 1968. It's quite possible, otherwise why change the engine number?

We can see how the tally and consignment columns seem to function in close to the same manner in 1969 as they did in 1967.
Gary, would you know if those 1969 dates in the consignment column of this image would be for the Y bike replacements? I don't believe they are but you may know know for sure.

We should try to gather as much of the multiple dispatch date information as we can now.


Posted By: Two Alpha

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 08/01/13 4:30 pm

Originally Posted By: Gary E
There is no rhythm to the sequence of tally numbers in the '67 books other than they eventally do get bigger.

Is that because of all the later dispatch dates being squeezed in, would the rhythm make more sense if those later dates weren't in there?
Posted By: Kevin (NZ).

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 08/01/13 4:47 pm

Why is that page such a mess compared to the 1969 example I posted earlier. I believe from Gary's descriptions that some of the 1967 pages are very orderly also.

How can anyone possibly make sense out of that entry as it stands.
Is there any order or sequence to any of those entries ?
Crazy stuff really.
Posted By: Two Alpha

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 08/01/13 8:27 pm

Kevin, you are putting far too much effort into ignoring the obvious.

There was no "conspiracy" back in 1967, numbers were entered in the books as they usually were, they did not leave extra space, or blank lines, to facilitate later entries.

As the refurbished bikes were being dispatched for the second time, they tried to squeeze the new information in with the initial entry.

Please give what I've posted here a good think, to me it seems quite obvious.
Posted By: Kevin (NZ).

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 08/01/13 10:52 pm

Yes, it is all looking ok at the despatch date of late 1966 and possibly into 1967.

The problem is we still have not seen entries for the receipt of the bike coming back along with it's associated con note.
We also don't have trace (physically) of the bike or any mention of them in any book.
The BSAOC seem to be the only people mentioning the returned bikes.
They also thought the 1970 bike was the same one....
At least their version is easy in that they don't need to cover the bike disappearing without trace.

That is the next issue I have here.


I am also at a loss to explain the absence of any Hornets being involved in this 'return' process.
I am assuming at this point that no Spitfires were returned either.

Gary has studied these pages and never mentioned any Hornet coming back and going back out again.
I am sure we may have the odd one or two as possibilities. That would be great as we could use them as examples.
I suspect we would see a return receipt for them.

At this stage it looks like the Y bikes may have been derived from a number of shipments. It was not a particular batch that had the problems.

We have all the clues now, especially with the spreadsheet showing clearly the bikes in question.


If there were no shenanigans at a later date is it possible we are looking at a phantom bike scenario ?
The numbers were being made up at he despatch point... the tally numbers should (could) give a clue there though.

In that case the later bikes had to be made, and produced, to even the ledger.

I have mentioned before that this may have all started in 1967.
I am also having Queen's Award thoughts when I think of 1967 despatches as well.

I accept that is a very big call though. Indeed a massive call.

Being creative with figures a couple of years down the track could be a possibility, - shipping phantom bikes is unimaginable really.

What is a reality is that we have not yet seen any survivor, or parts, from the initial shipments of nearly 1500 unit twins.

We have to agree the second bike has no trace of the first bike anywhere near it.
Posted By: Gary E

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 08/01/13 11:51 pm

Originally Posted By: Two Alpha
...Gary, would you know if those 1969 dates in the consignment column of this image would be for the Y bike replacements? I don't believe they are but you may know know for sure...

You no doubt mean the Date Despatched column. I assume so, can't verify though. One of the dates their is '68.

Originally Posted By: Two Alpha
Originally Posted By: Gary E
There is no rhythm to the sequence of tally numbers in the '67 books other than they eventally do get bigger.

Is that because of all the later dispatch dates being squeezed in, would the rhythm make more sense if those later dates weren't in there?

I see no correlation with Tally Numbers and the Date Despatched with or without the added dates.

Originally Posted By: Kevin (NZ).
I am also at a loss to explain the absence of any Hornets being involved in this 'return' process.
I am assuming at this point that no Spitfires were returned either.

Gary has studied these pages and never mentioned any Hornet coming back and going back out again...

I did not observe any double dates with the Hornets, or at least groups of double dates. But, I did not study ever Hornet entry either. Once in a while, but seldom, there might be a date crossed out with another date added in above it.
Posted By: Tridentman

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 08/02/13 1:16 am

You guys are very deep into this matter--which I respect enormously.
I cant add anything to the -Y saga.
However as someone who was working in the UK automotive engineering industry in the Birmingham/Coventry area from 1966 on I can say with clear conviction that the Queens Award for Industry, especially exporting, was a really big thing. And something which a company might well cut a few corners in order to attain/retain.
HTH
Posted By: Two Alpha

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 08/02/13 2:02 am

Thanks for that Tridentman.
Everything points to BSA putting the pedal to the metal in an effort to get the Queens Award. Looks like they ran it off the track a few times over the course of the year!
Posted By: Two Alpha

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 08/02/13 2:23 am

Added another batch of numbers from Gary and Kevin, even found a few old ones myself.

BSA Twin Serial Numbers 1967-1970

One thing that is a little more apparent, we now have two dispatch dates for bikes from the 100,000 series on the spreadsheet. The dates are 1968-03-28 and 1968-04-12.

The dispatch dates we have for the hybrid Spitfires are from 1968-04-12 to 1968-04-24.

Interesting.
Posted By: Kevin (NZ).

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 08/02/13 4:28 am

Originally Posted By: Tridentman
You guys are very deep into this matter--which I respect enormously.
I can't add anything to the -Y saga.
However as someone who was working in the UK automotive engineering industry in the Birmingham/Coventry area from 1966 on I can say with clear conviction that the Queens Award for Industry, especially exporting, was a really big thing. And something which a company might well cut a few corners in order to attain/retain.
HTH


Thanks for the comments Tridentman.

As you can see there are many unanswered questions.

I think each of us doing the research here could easily be swayed into Queen's Awards qualifying associations.
The award was newly announced in 1965 and BSA must have recognised the merit in gaining such a Certificate.

From my research I was unable to determine who was awarded the recognition. Was it BSA or the BSA/Triumph group ?
Has anyone got access to the citation that accompanied the award ?
Can we confirm it was for export excellence, - the name varied a little over the years.

If you were going to get 'creative' with the export logs then why weren't the singles affected.
Is now an appropriate time to mention that I have seen mention of annotations in the despatch books for a number of B44.
We have also seen photos of B44 with the Y stamping on the number area. Not a Dash Y but more of an isolated 'Y'.
I have seen two pics of bikes with it.
Whether they were 1967 models I don't know. I thought a little later.
B44B 3019 B is one of them. Would that make it a 1968 model ?


As John keeps reminding me, we have the very real possibility these bikes were made.

The riddle remains however.
Why no Hornets
Why the Hybrid Spitfires (in a block at that)
Why is there no sign or mention of these bikes ?

We should not forget that Al Cave and the BSAOC do mention these bikes.
The problem we have with that is they were supposed to be in storage for a period before being rebuilt in 1969 and 1970.
The reality there is that none of us here know anything about the physical existence of any of those bikes.

No press articles, company reports, photographs or mention in any book.
The 'Complete and Absolutely Accurate Uncensored Historical Publication on All Things BSA' doesn't even mention them. wink

Has anyone ever read any book by Don Brown or quoting him ?

Don Brown: Vice President, General Manager and Director BSA, Inc. 1967 to 1969; reassigned as Vice President, National BSA Sales; resigned Jan 8, 1970; formerly, General Sales Manager Johnson Motors (JoMo) 1956-1965

Quote:
Don Brown was a stickler for accuracy. Because of that, you could bank on his numbers. Often stories about our work together would contain some errors. Don was the first to let me know. The smallest inaccuracies had to be corrected
.

http://www.craigvetter.com/pages/motorcycle_designs/Hurricane_Pages/Main%20Hurricane%20page.html

Quote:
....by 1967 I was back with the Brits, being hired by Lionel Jofeh to be VP/GM of BSA, Inc., .......

I accepted the position at BSA because Jofeh convinced me the BSA Group was making the commitments necessary to compete with the Japanese


http://www.craigvetter.com/pages/motorcy...20Chap%201.html

I really do believe some of these guys must have known about it and with the in-fighting they talk about I am surprised it has never been mentioned.

We still have the same issue...

The bikes are there in the books for all to see.

No sign or word of them however.
Look at the Hybrid Spitfires, almost 500 bikes disappear in less than a year,- only to be replaced by the last bikes off the production line.
(Where were those bikes for those months ?)

And yes, this was the year of the Queens Award.
I believe it was awarded in April 1968.
Posted By: Kevin (NZ).

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 08/02/13 4:41 am

http://www.london-gazette.co.uk/issues/44568/supplements/4521/page.pdf

Quote:
SUPPLEMENT TO The London Gazette of Thursday, i8th April 1968

SUNDAY, 21ST APRIL 1968

THE QUEEN'S AWARD TO INDUSTRY, 1968

HER MAJESTY THE QUEEN has been graciously pleased to confer Her Award in 1968 upon the following industrial
concerns in recognition of their efficiency as demonstrated by outstanding achievement by them, or by the industrial
units cited, in increasing exports or in technological innovation, or in both:

The Birmingham Small Arms Co. Ltd., Birmingham for export achievement by B.S.A. Motor Cycles Ltd., and
by Triumph Engineering Co. Ltd., Coventry.


John has just reminded us the Hybrids were being despatched in mid April that year. 12th to the 24th are the dates we have at the moment.
Posted By: Two Alpha

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 08/02/13 5:03 am

" By 1966 both BSA and Triumph had been awarded the Queen’s Award for Export Achievement, awards that were repeated
the following year." Heaton's thesis, Page 120.

I don't believe the dispatch of the hybrids was nearly soon enough to be a factor in the Queens Award for 1967.
Posted By: Two Alpha

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 08/02/13 5:26 am

Just found another gem in Heaton's thesis, page 130, something that hadn't registered with me previously.

Quote:
While the cost of disposing 1967 bikes was £729,000, it was even higher, £843,000, for getting rid of the 1970 machines, excluding return transport costs’. (BSA Accounts, 1967/68 and 1970/71).


I think we know the big picture now.

Posted By: Kevin (NZ).

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 08/02/13 5:47 am

http://etheses.bham.ac.uk/77/1/Heaton07PhD.pdf

Looking for Page 130 now. You may well be on to something.

'Getting rid of' is not a term you would associate with export excellence.

Post-event Statement to the Shareholders
(7th October 1971, MRC/MSS/19B/TB2).

‘The loss was due to the dislocation of production in the motorcycle division,
which led to low output prior to the U.S. selling season. This was attributable
to delays in completing the design and development of new models. It would
be idle to deny that errors in management contributed to this situation. Present
indications are that the original estimates of a Group loss of approximately
£3m for the year ending 31st July 1971, to which would be added an
exceptional provision of £1m in respect of product rationalisation measures,
will not be exceeded’.
The cash implications of the delays were horrendous. The statement went on:
‘In terms of cash the shortfall against plan last year in the motorcycle division
was £7m. The Group’s bank indebtedness currently amounts to some £10m’.
While the cost of disposing 1967 bikes was £729,000, it was even higher,
£843,000, for getting rid of the 1970 machines, excluding return transport
costs’. (BSA Accounts, 1967/68 and 1970/71).

Hmm,

All part of the blame game isn't it.

The new models would be the Rocket III, the Fury and the Ariel 3. The A70 would have to be read in there somewhere also.

I saw mention of engine development earlier in the report as well. Again that would not be A65 related as they only did minor minor model changes as indeed the A65 engine evolved year by year.

Were they also saying the market was bigger than they could supply ?
That seems strange, especially if they had surplus bikes sitting around.

I can see writing off the loses of the Fury and Ariel 3 as being disposal costs in 1971.

What disposal costs were involved in 1967, and what does the word mean.... in accounts lingo ?

EDIT

Oh they are talking about disposing of 1970 models..
Well what bikes would they be then ?


Is that disguised talk for having to produce bikes at an additional expense.

Like having to make 1000 bikes in 1969/1970. But you would go on to sell them surely.

We are still not seeing the words, 'reduce to spares' or 'scrap'.

I did see mention of return transport however.

Hmm, plot thickens.

Could the mystery of the 1500 missing 1967 twins be somewhere in that document ?

Further EDIT

I think that getting rid of cost could possibly be the hit taken in selling bikes at a discounted rate.
It is accountant talk after all. If they expected to sell a bike for $1500 and had to discount it to $1100 to sell then an accountant would see that as a $400 loss.
'
I can't see it being 'dispose of' or 'getting rid off' in sensible language. Heads would be rolling surely if a cash-strapped company carried on like that.

We still have another unanswered question, - Why would you make any brand new bike in 1970 and then stamp 1967 numbers onto it ?

Perhaps we should be starting at that point...

Posted By: Kevin (NZ).

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 08/02/13 7:05 am

Originally Posted By: Two Alpha
" By 1966 both BSA and Triumph had been awarded the Queen’s Award for Export Achievement, awards that were repeated
the following year." Heaton's thesis, Page 120.

I don't believe the dispatch of the hybrids was nearly soon enough to be a factor in the Queens Award for 1967.


This was all new sounding and I can see many errors in his thesis. The errors are mainly in selective quotes and quoting out of context.

http://www.london-gazette.co.uk/issues/44294/supplements/4471/page.pdf

Well there it is. Awarded an Export Certificate in 1966.
That was the very first year it was offered.
86 Companies gained the award so it must have been quite something. 48 companies scored it in 1967, a sizeable decrease in numbers.

EDIT
http://www.billymegawatt.com/uploads/6/8...le-industry.pdf

Some good reading here also. Pages about P160.
Posted By: Stuart

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 08/02/13 7:57 am

Hi Kevin,

Originally Posted By: Kevin (NZ).
Quote:
Post-event Statement to the Shareholders
(7th October 1971, MRC/MSS/19B/TB2).

‘The loss was due to the dislocation of production in the motorcycle division,
which led to low output prior to the U.S. selling season. This was attributable
to delays in completing the design and development of new models.

The new models would be the Rocket III, the Fury and the Ariel 3. The A70 would have to be read in there somewhere also.

Bandit/Fury yes, Ariel 3 possibly, A70 I doubt, R3 no - A70 was essentially a long-stroke A65, which shouldn't have cost much to develop; the differences between '70 and '71 R3's were cosmetic, along with the rest of the BSA and Triumph ranges.

The "new models" were the oif twins, particularly the Triumph 650's, where allegedly line workers sat around for weeks playing draughts with valve springs while they waited for Umberslade Hall to come up with a way of fitting the engine in the oif. shocked

Originally Posted By: Kevin (NZ).
I saw mention of engine development earlier in the report as well. Again that would not be A65 related as they only did minor minor model changes as indeed the A65 engine evolved year by year.

I believe most, if not all of that would be Bandit/Fury.

Originally Posted By: Kevin (NZ).
Were they also saying the market was bigger than they could supply ?
That seems strange, especially if they had surplus bikes sitting around.

Uh-uh, they'd just simply failed to supply the US, particularly Triumph, 650 market. None of these "sitting around" and 500's and triples, or BSA's, couldn't be substituted at short notice, even if the oif problems hadn't affected the A65/A50.

Originally Posted By: Kevin (NZ).
disposal costs
We are still not seeing the words, 'reduce to spares' or 'scrap'.

Ime, you wouldn't. If bikes were being dismantled, a 'net disposal cost' would be, say, the wages of the staff doing the dismantling, less a price for the parts recovered and the scrap value of the other parts.

Originally Posted By: Kevin (NZ).
I think that getting rid of cost could possibly be the hit taken in selling bikes at a discounted rate.
If they expected to sell a bike for $1500 and had to discount it to $1100 to sell then an accountant would see that as a $400 loss.

In accountancy terms, BSA in GB is selling the bikes to a separate company, even though it's BSA in the US; whatever US BSA sold a bike for (and they in turn are selling it to the dealer) is nothing to do with the accounts of GB BSA.

That said, I can see, if US BSA couldn't sell a lot of bikes at a projected price, depending where the reason for that failure lay, GB BSA might 'support' any discount US BSA might make ...

Hth.

Regards,
Posted By: Kevin (NZ).

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 08/02/13 8:42 am

Thanks again for that clarification Stuart.
We know you have a knowledge of Triumph and the issues there.

Did they have any similar issues around 1967 ?

I can see BSA had a bad year in 1968 but that was for a variety of reasons. I think the Rocket III being late into the market plus the shipping strikes before Xmas 1967 delayed many of the bikes arriving at the peak selling season, early Spring 1968.
Surely Triumph had similar electrical supply issues, shipping and Trident problems.

What were Triumph total sales 1967 and 1968 ?
Someone here will have BSA figures to hand, possibly 30,000 for 1967

I did read that USA made up 90% of the market by 1969 and that sales had quadrupled since 1963 (probably in Dollar terms).
The problem there being the Japs had done even better.

Have you any idea why BSA would build batches of brand new bikes and punch old S/N onto them.

I mean that in the context of your knowledge of Triumph and the export trade.

BSA really do seem to have misplaced 1500 bikes. Some owners of the replacement bikes think their bike evolved from the earlier bike.
No way can I accept that.
There is nothing at all from the earlier bike that we can see on the later bikes.
I am convinced they were scratch built brand new jobs.
The 1969 frame is different from the earlier one, yes, but not so much it couldn't be modified.

Just the fairing lugs and condensor bridge would have it looking similar. There are a couple of UNF tapped threads and different swing-arm.
We have seen examples of earlier swing-arms but they may not have been on Y bikes. That could just be a BSA'ism.
The big thing with the frame really is the number pad.
The new frame looks similar, the number is the same, but now stamped using the latter stamp set. They all have the new font used from Sept 1968 onwards.


You have to wonder about the market for 1000 stamped frames.
The Hybrid Spitfires could have conceivably used the same frame but with new engine and forks etc.
Posted By: Tridentman

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 08/02/13 1:16 pm

I would surmise that BSA USA was a wholly owned subsidiary of BSA UK.
As such the accounts of BSA USA would be consolidated (included) in the BSA Group accounts.
So discounts from BSA UK to BSA USA or from BSA USA to US dealers would all be included in the BSA Group accounts (it would all come out in the wash).
HTH
Posted By: MotoMike

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 08/02/13 2:45 pm

another Y bike

http://s106.photobucket.com/user/eldomike/library/1967%20BSA%20Spitfire?sort=3&page=1
Posted By: Kevin (NZ).

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 08/02/13 3:21 pm



I can't quite make out the frame number but it appears to be 16xxx. The bike is a MkIII and will be a Dash Y bike probably.

It does not have Mk IV features of the Hybrids. They have a new 1968 engine along with the tls front wheel. They are a Mk IV in every respect indeed.

This would look exactly like the first use of the numbers, the bikes that are no longer about.

I think the number is right up there with the first use of the hybrid numbers. Can anyone read it ?

Thanks for the link. Cheers.
Posted By: Two Alpha

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 08/02/13 4:32 pm

The other pictures show the engine number to be A65SA 15471-Y.
Posted By: Kevin (NZ).

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 08/02/13 4:56 pm

Oh, ok. Thanks John.
That is outside the range of interest at the moment then.

How many more days of this have we got before you crack it ? wink

Something must be about to happen...
Posted By: Two Alpha

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 08/02/13 5:58 pm

It's not me Kevin, it's all of us who chip away at it from every direction, all of us who contribute. You are the one who has really pushed the search for the answers, you're the one that's been trying to solve this for longer than anyone else.

We're pretty much there now, we just have to round up as many of the multiple dispatch date entries, from those 1967 books, as we can. It's not so much the serial numbers now.
The picture is getting clearer by the day!
Posted By: Magnetoman

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 08/02/13 7:33 pm

Originally Posted By: Tridentman
So discounts from BSA UK to BSA USA or from BSA USA to US dealers would all be included in the BSA Group accounts (it would all come out in the wash).
Not really. By manipulating the accounts so the profits appeared on the books in the country with the lower tax rate significant savings would result. The same for losses (real or apparent), which could be used to offset profits from previous years and reduce the current year's tax burden in whichever country it was most convenient to record those losses. Closing these sorts of "tax loopholes" are what many economic plans put forward during political campaigns for as long as I can remember rely on to balance national budgets.
Posted By: Tridentman

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 08/02/13 8:19 pm

Yes--shifting the profits/losses around from country to country is what most multinational companies do in order to reduce taxes.And as you say it is a favorite target of the politicians as elections loom.
But on consolidation in Group accounts all of the shuffling around in terms of transfer prices and profits cancels each other out ---theoretically leaving the "real" result in terms of sales and profits.
Having said that , in the first company I ran, after the end of the Financial Year I asked the CFO what the profit line was looking like. He replied" whatever you want it to be".
So all profits/losses IMHO need to be treated with more than a pinch of salt.
The most reliable number to gage how a company is doing is not profit/loss but cash.
Posted By: Magnetoman

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 08/02/13 9:14 pm

Originally Posted By: Tridentman
after the end of the Financial Year I asked the CFO what the profit line was looking like. He replied" whatever you want it to be".
A now-retired friend who was a university president for a number of years told me that whenever a dean or professor came to his office to ask him for money for some worthwhile activity he had two choices. If he turned to his business manager and asked "do we have money for this?," the answer always would be "no" because there never was enough money to do everything that needed doing. However, if he wanted it to happen he would turn to the business manager and say "I need you to find the money for this," because it was a huge university so money always could be shifted from something to something else.
Posted By: kommando

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 08/03/13 11:23 am

Found this interview with John Nelson here

http://www.triumph-tiger-90.com/index.shtml#notes

It details how the build process worked at Meriden, no doubt a similar regime operated at Small Heath with some changes.

Between March 1957 and 1973 Triumph at Meriden produced some 75,000 ‘C’ range machines along with the numerous other Machines in the Triumph range. I have been fortunate to interview John Nelson who wrote the following article.

I am always amazed by the vast range of questions that are asked regarding the production of motorcycles from the original factory in Meriden. Most can only be answered from the ‘incomplete’ records made at the time, and the memories of the dwindling few that worked there, and still exist (and retain their memories)!
My first statement is that there was no one at the factory who was detailed to study and record each individual machine and function so that he could recall precisely sixty years later. What records that were kept were for business and legal purposes.
Secondly, Triumph was not just a motorcycle assembly shop from bought in finished components as were many other makes. When I joined in nineteen fifty, they made their own pistons, frames, gears, shafts, clutches, wheel hubs-polished and plated their wheel rims, handlebars, silencers in modern paint, polishing and plating shops. The machine shops manufactured almost every part for engines and gearboxes, and all was subject to very strict inspection and quality procedures.

So! How did it all work? In the nineteen fifties and sixties, Edward Turner was in charge. Each year he approved design changes, and new models down to every nut and bolt. Most proposed changes were submitted by Sales for acceptance following market trends and Distributor and Dealer requests. Once agreed, the new seasons models were specified by the Design Department, and a specification issued for each model, by part number detailing quantity, material, etc. indicating ‘new’ where appropriate. When these were issued, Sales issued a programme of forthcoming sales requirements which went to the Purchase and Production departments. Purchase had to schedule deliveries of raw materials to cover manufacturing requirements in time for Production to commence at the proposed date. Tallies were issued to each section in the factory detailing quantities for each individual component in scheduled batches for delivery in time for inspection, and transfer to the central ‘finished ‘ stores. The finished stores was in a central position in the assembly area, midway between the engine and gearbox assembly tracks, and the motorcycle final assembly line.

By this time, the Sales departments (Home and Export) had collected the forward orders for the forthcoming season, and converted these into coloured cardboard Tallies (White for Home and General Export, and Pink for Overseas Markets), detailing individual model, destination, Distributor or Dealer, additions to specification, packing and despatch etc. All these Tallies were collected in single model and destination batches and passed down to Production and Planning to be attached to the bare assembled frames, forks and wheels and handlebars, as the machine was placed on the final assembly track. By this time the Engine Assembly track, on the other side of the finished stores, was commencing build of the new seasons specification engines. Nothing had a frame or engine number at this point. As the engine ‘grew’, and after the pistons and barrels had been fitted, the designated operator sequentially stamped each individual letter and number on the crankcase, whilst standing by the engine at waist height, (not easy!) and then recorded it in the build book. Passed on to the next operators, the engine was then completed, collected in a batch at the end of the track, and then shipped in batches round to the final assembly track, and fitted into the next frame going down the line. The engines were picked from the engine bench supply in random order and it was not until the last operation on the finished motorcycle, just before it was passed down to the testers that the frame number (taken from the engine number) was stamped by hand, using individual stamps on the headlug -(later an adhesive label), and the number entered on the Tally, and then into the build register. On rare occasions, due to frame hold-ups, large stocks of engines gathered awaiting build, and no attempt was made to ensure they were segregated and then fitted in chronological order. An engine was a bike; which was an invoice, and an income.

When passed test, (or rectification, and then re-test) the machines were delivered to the Despatch department, stripped as required for shipment, packed, crated - or delivered by truck, as specified. A dispatch record of every machine was also logged by the despatch department, the completed Tallies were then returned to the Sales departments, and the final records completed….and the invoices dispatched. During every stage of the above procedures, there were a large complement of progress chasers, based in the production department whose sole job was to ensure the material from the ‘rough stores’ was presented to the various machining sections in time for each batch manufacture, heat treatment, plating/polishing in accordance with the schedule, and available in time in the central stores for each day’s supply to the tracks in accordance with the day’s model build programme, (and as you will appreciate, the constant supply of finished material for the Spares Department).. Everyone knew the programme, and what they were building, normally starting with 650 6T’s TR6, T110, and T120, in those days, and eventually 750’s TR7 and T140’s. In the early days 350/500’s and Police and military were usually at the end of the sequence. Then it was all round again and no going back to earlier models.

New models were usually introduced immediately following the Annual Works Holiday, when a skeleton staff had been retained to install the new jigs and fixtures to be used for subsequent production, and a number of dummy runs made to solidify any new installation procedures required for the return and start-up when the operators returned- so all was ready to go! This was the time when the routine changed to supply the U.S. with early consignments of the new models, so they could be shipped and distributed and displayed across the USA in time for the spring selling season. Imagine what happened when the new frame from Umberslade was introduced three months late, and then the engine couldn’t be installed. The entire selling season was lost, and the decline set in.
Posted By: Kevin (NZ).

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 08/03/13 12:09 pm

Thanks so much for that Kommando.

I am sure we can now draw parallels to the Small Heath production system.

Now we can see mention of where in the production sequence the various numbers were allocated.

I think it is very timely post and is about to be read and digested every which way.

It will give us much to discuss.

Thanks again.
Posted By: kommando

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 08/03/13 12:31 pm

Based on the various Unit Single crankcase sets I have seen over the years for 69/70 at least the engines had the date and number sequence stamped first eg BC11001 B44, then later in bigger letters the SS or VS was added to make BC11001 VS or BC11001 SS depending on whether the model was a Victor Special or a Shooting Star. So there were some extra wrinkles which are governed by whether the frame and/or engine defined the model, for the B44 the frame said whether the B44 being built was a VS or SS as bracketry and the lugs for the centre stand defined the model.
Posted By: Kevin (NZ).

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 08/03/13 4:16 pm

My observations of A65 engines and the stamping would suggest the engine was stamped A65 12345, A50 12346, at the first juncture.
The second lot of stampings would be the model code and Date/Year code.
I am thinking the frame was stamped with the complete number at this point as well.
ie A65LA7041Y or DC 20846 A65T
Posted By: Two Alpha

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 08/03/13 5:30 pm

Originally Posted By: Kevin (NZ).
My observations of A65 engines and the stamping would suggest the engine was stamped A65 12345, A50 12346, at the first juncture.
The second lot of stampings would be the model code and Date/Year code.
I am thinking the frame was stamped with the complete number at this point as well.
ie A65LA7041Y or DC 20846 A65T

Perhaps the Y engines were handled in a slightly different manner.
When the engine stamping guy was squeezing in his Y numbers for the day, he may have put the whole works on the engine at the one time.
He would be handed a list of Y numbers in the morning, say TA Y's when Thunderbolts were on the main production line. By stamping the whole thing at once, it would certainly make things easier for the second guy that was stamping the dates, models, and the frames.
You would know better if this was a possibility Kevin, can you see that based on the style of stamps?
Posted By: Gary E

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 08/03/13 6:04 pm

Originally Posted By: Kevin (NZ).
My observations of A65 engines and the stamping would suggest the engine was stamped A65 12345, A50 12346, at the first juncture.
The second lot of stampings would be the model code and Date/Year code...

It would have had to be early on in the engine build process with the Hornet and Spitfire having different pistons, the Royal Star having a different cam, and the 3 different heads and valve train that was used.
Posted By: Kevin (NZ).

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 08/03/13 6:06 pm

I think I agree that the Y bikes were probably handled differently as far as the first stampings were concerned. I mean when the engine number was first placed on.
I would need to look into it a little further but I think it gave complete flexibility as far as what the model was going to be.

Going from Kommando, and Rich B in an email to me, I can see the bike is made from the Tally Card. It has all the build specifications and customer requirements on it. At this stage the bike does not have a serial number. We don't have an engine for it yet.

As the bike is built up the engine (with S/N) is added. The engine does not know what model it is at this point. Those details are on the tally card. Likewise the bike has now just discovered it's Serial Number as it was derived from the engine.

Once the almost completed bike is nearing the end of the line the final numbers are added. The Frame gets the whole shebang while the engine gets the Month/Year and Model codes.

I have seen a Royal Star engine where the RC date code was completely different font.

I realise there were different styles and sequences used over the years in question. What Stuart said did make perfect sense though.

We may remember the pic of the last few despatches of the EC A65 bikes. It was possible to convert them from Firebirds to Lightnings because the model had not been added to the engine at that point.
Similarly with the Firebird engine which we suspect may have been originally intended to be a Hybrid Spitfire.
A65F 17685


This is a Y model Royal Star made sometime after Nov 1968. There is not much else I can add to that at this stage. All relatively normal and nothing unusual there.










This is an early season normal A50 Royal Star. I think probably Sept 1968.
We have the raised pad and the new font stamps. The pad has not been machined yet and we still have the very early model year designators.
We can see the RC are of a different stamp set than the new set in use.




This is the 1968 engined Firebird.
Posted By: kommando

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 08/03/13 6:19 pm

The Tally card sounds like the build card we used at Longbridge, there was a room with 3 weeks worth of build cards and each build car specified a Sales order and the vehicle specification. Every week one weeks worth was sent up to the end of the track and as each body dropped on the track a VIN was generated, first operation on the track was to stamp the VIN plate and the body. The trick was to match the painted bodies in the body store with an engine in the engine store and the parts on the line which matched a build card specification. If you did not have a build car that matched all the available parts the line stopped. The body store held up to 300 bodies but things got interesting when the paint shop on a Monday morning took 3 hours to sign off the first good body with all the dirt in the air, 100 bodies were in Forestry Commission green with no matching low compression engines to fit them so no joy there. Suddenly it was hand to mouth with chess game like tactics to get to the end of the shift without the line stopping.
Posted By: Kevin (NZ).

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 08/03/13 7:15 pm

Thanks again, You and Stuart will have a much better idea of how the assembly sequence flowed than me.

I was sure the engine was never fitted to BSA frames in a sequence.
That for a number of reasons.

For example if they were building Royal Stars that day someone would sort out a batch of 500cc engines. They would not appear in any particular order.

[img]http://www.webpagescreenshot.info/img/51fd57efa04c21-62239812[/img]
The caption may well be unnecessary.

http://www.webpagescreenshot.info/img/51fd57efa04c21-62239812
Posted By: Two Alpha

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 08/03/13 7:32 pm

Originally Posted By: Gary E
It would have had to be early on in the engine build process with the Hornet and Spitfire having different pistons, the Royal Star having a different cam, and the 3 different heads and valve train that was used.

Yes, it would have to be identifiable, as an A50 at least, from the point the cam was installed.

So, he's stamping A50 or A65, and the number, on the left side case just before the cam goes in, or he's doing the stamping just after the two cases come together.
Stamping the case half on it's own, just prior to the cam etc., would be the simplest.
Anybody know for sure?
Posted By: Two Alpha

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 08/03/13 7:58 pm

Originally Posted By: Kevin (NZ).
Similarly with the Firebird engine which we suspect may have been originally intended to be a Hybrid Spitfire.
A65F 17685

This is the number that just keeps giving and giving!

If my theory is correct about the engine stamper applying the complete number/model to the Y engines, he would have fully applied this one as well.
We know this number, 17685, was in the Y bike range for 1968, it was not in the regular range which ran from 101 to 10918.
So he stamps it, but doesn't apply the B or the Y?

I can understand not stamping the Y, there were no Firebirds in 1967 and the Y is certainly an indicator of a 1967 number.*
And not applying the B is not really unusual, it wasn't used on any of the other 1967 numbered bikes produced in the 1968 season.
Stamping an A for the year wouldn't make sense of course, there were no Firebirds in 1967.

It would seem that the most likely scenario was that "A65F 17685" was decided upon before the engine stamper got his list of Y numbers, it was stamped on the engine, and then the second stamp person just transferred that over to the frame. Guess they needed one more Firebird.

* This is a weird one though, the need for a Firebird appears to have trumped the need for a Y bike. I'm not sure what to make of that.
Posted By: Two Alpha

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 08/03/13 8:43 pm

Originally Posted By: Two Alpha

* This is a weird one though, the need for a Firebird appears to have trumped the need for a Y bike. I'm not sure what to make of that.

Having thought about this for a bit, they would still be able to claim that this was a replacement for the 1967 bike, the number portion is still the same. The only thing they're missing without the Y is the identifier that it's a later year, and the F kinda takes care of that.
Posted By: Gary E

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 08/03/13 9:12 pm


Originally Posted By: Two Alpha
...Yes, it would have to be identifiable, as an A50 at least, from the point the cam was installed.

So, he's stamping A50 or A65, and the number, on the left side case just before the cam goes in, or he's doing the stamping just after the two cases come together.
Stamping the case half on it's own, just prior to the cam etc., would be the simplest...

After reading his post, I do not think Kevin is buying in to this.

In regards to the '67 F machine, maybe it was just a matter of the stamping guy grabbing the wrong stamp. "Oh well, I'll just let it go on down the line like that, it's almost quitting time anyway."
Posted By: Two Alpha

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 08/03/13 10:40 pm

Ha! That's another possibility, at least he wouldn't be scratching his head for very long, the next bike would be upon him soon enough.
Posted By: Kevin (NZ).

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 08/04/13 1:09 am

I haven't done enough work on any of this.

That RC number caught my eye the other day though and That was just after Stuart had told us what Triumph did.
I had doubts when I posted those pics last night. I have just woken now.
The RC bike is one of the very first to receive the new font.
When I compare the letters RC to the letter A I think all are a smaller size.
What I took to be the RC being stamped later may indeed just be a mismatch in size in the original use of the small (changeover) stamps.


As for the F Firebird.
It is a 1968 engine, very likely identical to the Hybrids.
It does have the big F associated with 1968 stamps.
My thinking was that Hybrid block of numbers may have had the model designator stamped at a later stage of the assembly. ie towards the very end of the line.

I have just been forwarded pics of a Dash Y Spitfire. 13500.

It fits in well and shows us something as that table is very full about it.
The numbers are as mix of models, A65T and A65H.
I hear what Gary has had to say about the engine physical difference and also wondered how that was going to work.

There has to be a way of deciphering all this. Perhaps close groupings of numbers are going to be a good thing
Posted By: Kevin (NZ).

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 08/04/13 6:58 am

Oh, and I have just seen some rather good photos of a Mk III Spitfire A65SA13500-Y. The pics show a nice clean example looking very pretty indeed.

It is interesting in where this Spitfire sits on our spreadsheet, or rather is it 13495 that stands out. At the moment we have one Thunderbolt sitting amongst a whole batch of Spitfires.

A65TA13495-Y is not one of my numbers.
Do we need to check that to see if it may be a Spitfire number ?
If it is a Thunderbolt engine then that may be trying to tell us something also
Posted By: Gary E

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 08/04/13 5:34 pm

13495-Y is a Spitfire.
Posted By: Two Alpha

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 08/04/13 8:52 pm

Originally Posted By: Kevin (NZ).
A65TA13495-Y is not one of my numbers.
Do we need to check that to see if it may be a Spitfire number ?
Well spotted Kevin, it's A65SA in my records, must have had TA on the brain when I entered it on the spreadsheet.

Updated.
BSA Twin Serial Numbers 1967-1970
Posted By: Two Alpha

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 08/04/13 11:42 pm

Here are three engine stampings from 1969, one Y and two regular.

This one, the Y bike, has a dispatch date of 1969-02-20. To me, it looks like everything but the first A was applied by the first stamper. The two A's are different, and the L has a rounded lower left corner.


This one is from a bit earlier, October of 1968. The A is the same as the first A in the previous picture. The L has a squared lower left corner. In this case, it appears that the engine stamper applied the NC 13690 65, and the second stamper applied the A and the L.


The dispatch date for this one would be close to that of the one in the first picture, February of 1969. The A is the same as in the second picture, the same as the first A in the first picture. Here, in a similar manner to the second photo, it appears that the engine stamper has applied the BC 18005 65, and the second stamper has applied the A and the F.


It makes sense to me that the engine stamper would apply almost all of the Y number, he would be the one with the list of Y numbers to squeeze in. The second stamper wouldn't need a list, he's just going by what the first stamper has sent his way, and whatever model they're doing at that particular time.

The second stamper really doesn't need to stamp much on the engine, just one or two letters. It almost seems that they left the first A off on the Y engine just so that the second stamper would have to stamp at least one letter on those engines.
Posted By: AlZ

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 08/05/13 2:37 am

Here is my -Y bike to add to the database:
A65HA13970-Y. Frame # is A50B90xx.Titled as 1966 Hornet.

Posted By: Two Alpha

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 08/05/13 4:39 am

Thanks for the picture AlZ, I've added it to the spreadsheet.
Posted By: Gary E

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 08/08/13 12:51 am

Don't remember if this was ever posted.



Posted By: Kevin (NZ).

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 08/08/13 3:56 am

Thanks Gary.
That really blows the BSAOC version out of the water.
The increased warranty was the brainchild of Peter Thornton. It would appear it may not have been thought through and of course the extra cost of doubling the warranty period had a crippling effect.

We should remember the first Y bikes on our spreadsheet were being shipped in Feb 1969, a full year before this warranty document.
Peter Thornton did not even join BSA until Aug 1969, ie, six months after the Y bikes were being shipped.

You don't need to read the Bulletin too carefully to see that th 180 day warranty applies to ALL BSA (and Triumph also) models that were 1970 models and sold after 1 March 1970.

This would be B25, B44 as well as the unit twins.

What we have there is an admission by BSA that the Y bikes did exist and were indeed 1970 models.

We are smart enough to know that any unsold 1969 model Y bike would also be covered if it was still in the showroom by March 1970. I am guessing there may have only been a small chance of that anyway. They should have been in the showrooms well before Xmas 1969.

I have also heard from Alan in the UK.

we spoke about his Dash Y bikes the other day.

Quote:
I see the list includes my 1967 -Y Lightning, A65LA18242-Y.
Although a 1967 model it was registered in London on 1st of May 1968.
My original Lightning also a 1967 -Y machine A65LA 18322-Y bought "new" by me was registered in Manchester on 1st of March 1968 and I know this to be still on the road.
The above may be of interest to you.
Cheers
Alan


Just like we saw the left-over 1969 bikes being trucked to UK dealers that may have been the case in 1967 also.I think there is a chance that his first bike may have had the later sliders and TLS front wheel.
Posted By: Kevin (NZ).

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 08/08/13 6:44 am

I think the documents for the Dash Y bikes have been posted earlier on in this thread. That should be compulsory reading for those with the 1967 Dash Y unit twins. Their bikes have the newer 3 pipe oil manifold and revised points cam.

This SB5-70 is an add-on to 2-70 and is announcing the new 180 day warranty to be applied to ALL BSA/Triumph bikes sold after 1 March 1970. This would cover the OIF ranges as well.
There was a clause that the bike had to be a 1970 model and that older models were only subject to the 90 day warranty still.

We are still researching, and seeking an answer to, how the later two groupings of Y bikes came to be.
The Hybrid Spitfires of 1968 have 1968 features, including engines, but are still stamped with the 1967 style numbering.

The last group we are researching is the Y bikes of 1969 and 1970.

The despatch books show two dates for all of these bikes. The 1967 date has to be suspect as not one part of any of those bikes appears to have been made in 1967.

We are undecided whether the bikes actually did ever exist and if they did then what became of them. All a little bit of a mystery.
Posted By: Keith Miller

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 08/08/13 12:25 pm

Hi,
I've been following this thread with some interest since it started. One area which interested me was the Queens award to industry. The award was started for 1966 and to achieve it the companies had to submit full proof - ledgers, build documents, audit accounts, shipping details etc. So the companies had to submit all of these for the previous year. BSA achieved this award in 1967 and 1968, so the information was from 1966 and 1967. It was announce in the autumn of 1969 that a major review of the awards was to be undertaken starting in December 1969 (this information is available on the National Archive site). BSA management may have been worried that their books/ documentation would come under review especially if those 1967 Y bikes had not been built and could have their Award taken from them and a scandal follow. This may be a reason for the bikes having a 67 serial number applied and the books altered to say they had been returned/rebuilt etc.
This is just speculation but you never know......

Keith.
Posted By: Kevin (NZ).

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 08/08/13 1:24 pm

Welcome Keith, I am glad other forum members are getting some enjoyment out of the reading here.
As you can see it is full of speculation, unfortunately we are a little light on factual info in many places.

We do have plenty to play with though.
The Y bikes do exist, we even have shipping dates and probably a wealth of other background info.

We have many clues... 1967 really does stand out and yet only for the twins (so far at least).

You mentioned the Queens Awards and I am sure everything you said is factual and accurate as well.

It may well be possible we have in our possession all the clues required to crack this one.

Maybe we just need to string all the clues together.
I, personally, feel the Queen's Awards may feature in the answer as well.
Mention of an audit may have forced someone's hand. The dates may not line up so well but that is not to say that word wasn't leaked much earlier. It may have even 'allowed' the books to be in order. The audit then being confirmation that all was in order.... (By then !)

It is gratifying seeing some new blood having an input here.

As one of the main protagonists here it is pleasing to see what others are making of the various submissions being presented on this thread.
I am sure we would all be keen to hear from others that may be reading this also.

http://www.labour-history.org.uk/support_files/Meriden1.PDF


Some serious reading here but with a handy list of references at the end of it all.
Posted By: Two Alpha

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 08/08/13 5:44 pm

Originally Posted By: Keith Miller
Hi,
I've been following this thread with some interest since it started. One area which interested me was the Queens award to industry. The award was started for 1966 and to achieve it the companies had to submit full proof - ledgers, build documents, audit accounts, shipping details etc. So the companies had to submit all of these for the previous year. BSA achieved this award in 1967 and 1968, so the information was from 1966 and 1967. It was announce in the autumn of 1969 that a major review of the awards was to be undertaken starting in December 1969 (this information is available on the National Archive site).

Hi Keith, welcome aboard, it's good to have your input here!

Following your tip, I managed to get this far on the National Archive site...
National Archives U.K. BT-25 , there's a decent summary of the Queen's Export Awards near the bottom of the page.
A person could spend a lot of time digging around in there!
If you have it, would you be able to post a link to where you found this bit, "to achieve it the companies had to submit full proof - ledgers, build documents, audit accounts, shipping details etc"?

Originally Posted By: Keith Miller
BSA management may have been worried that their books/ documentation would come under review especially if those 1967 Y bikes had not been built and could have their Award taken from them and a scandal follow. This may be a reason for the bikes having a 67 serial number applied and the books altered to say they had been returned/rebuilt etc.
This is just speculation but you never know......

It's fine to suspect, and investigate for, wrongdoing. When there's no proof to support it, and in fact proof to the contrary is found, it's time to move on.

If, as you say, "to achieve it the companies had to submit full proof - ledgers, build documents, audit accounts, shipping details etc", BSA would have known this up front.
Why would they bother falsifying their books to show that they had built, and exported, 1500 more bikes than they really had? The downside would have been absolutely huge, with the potential upside being negligible in comparison. I just don't see adequate motivation there, too many negatives and not enough positives.

Other important factors to consider,
- the affected numbers are spread randomly throughout the entire years production,
- "the cost of disposing 1967 bikes was £729,000" (BSA Accounts, 1967/68 and 1970/71),
- BSA could not have re-used those 1967 serial numbers on the later Y bikes if the original bikes were still in circulation. BSA must have had possession of the original bikes, and they must have known that those original complete bikes would never be back in circulation.
- and the following...
Quote:
Referring to the '67 production books with the hand entries on the inside of the front and rear covers with dispatch dates in January, February and May 1970, I can now verify the following information regarding those "Y" production numbers.
The numbers listed in the inside covers also appear in the body of the book. The numbers in the normal pages of the books had dispatch dates already amended one or more times so there was no room for further entries. Those specific production numbers in the normal pages, which are also listed on the inside front and back covers, are not blank lines.
As an example: LA 12212 had despatch dates in 1967 and 1968 on the normal pages in the book, then again in 1970 on the inside front cover.

As I see it, the odds are extremely lopsided against the phantom bike theory.

If anyone really believes those 1967 bikes, that the later Y bikes were based on, were never built, show us the proof.

If there's no proof, just suspicion, let's move forward in our discussion of these 1967 bikes. There's much more to work on.
Posted By: Kevin (NZ).

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 08/08/13 10:31 pm

I think you are right to be insisting on proof John.
Either those 'first' 1500 bikes existed or they didn't.

I thought that was what we were trying to establish here. Somewhere amongst all this we are going to stumble upon a clue that will tell us one way or the other.

At this stage we are still really surmising and possibly even guessing.
I am trying to keep an open mind but at the moment have seen nothing to convince me those 478 Spitfires ever existed.
I agree the Hybrids could have possibly used the frames from the Mk III that is showing as despatched in May 1967.
Only a minor mod needed to be made and that was for the condensor bracket under the seat.
But to strip a bike to just a bare frame and completely rebuilding it just does not register as being feasible to me.
I think others are struggling with the same thoughts.
Nothing else has been reused from the original bike.
Odds are then that the frame was not reused from the original bike. Why would BSA want to take a sizeable batch of bikes and completely rebuild them to end up with what they already had. ie a bike with 1967 markings.

We have never seen mention of an exercise such as this ever been undertaken. They talk of reworking 'corrosion aged' bikes but that was in relation to buffing the cases etc. Nowhere have we ever heard of removing 1967 engines and fitting brand new 1968 engines.

As for facts, well we don't have any.
Indeed we are missing over 1600 bikes still.
There is no trace of 478 + 380 + 768 (original use) Y suffix bikes.

Until we find one, or even someone that has seen one, then naturally we have to wonder if they ever existed.

Whatever the truth,- it is going to be stranger than fiction.
We have many possibilities but not one seems logical or even imaginable at this point.

If that is the case then little wonder our surmising here is a little out of left field.

To date all the workers and management at Small Heath appear to have kept silent on this.
Those comments on the BSAOC website have been there a long time.
No-one at the factory has ever come forward and said that something similar, but different, actually occurred.

Steve Foden has interviewed Small Heath staff and they mention containers, buffing covers etc.

Steve also interviewed Al Cave, Al was Patron of the BSAOC at the time.
He had been Works Manager at Small Heath back in the day and would have known what went on.
Alistair has been quoted as saying the bikes were the missing bikes 'rebuilt'. He has also been quoted as saying the bikes were stored throughout the factory in any available space.(presumably for some months between 1967 and 1970)
I think we can agree that we can't see that.
That has to be the very least likely possibility at this point.

Did Al Cave mislead the BSAOC and if he did then he must have had some very real reasons for doing so.

If those bikes had existed and required replacement then he may have just mentioned it. It is not such a big deal (35 years after the event) and only a relatively minor change from his original stance. Did he ever mention the Hybrid Spitfires though ?


If there was fiddling of books, and other shenanigans, going on then perhaps he would be less likely to speak-up.

In all the books on the decline of the motorcycle industry and the wasted money, we have never seen mention of 1600 motorcycles being returned, stripped and rebuilt with original numbers to be then sold at a discount.

Circumstantial I admit but then that is all there is to even suggest those bikes existed in the first place.

And yes, BSA were awarded the Queen's Award in 1967 and 1968.
Several comments, from Englishmen, have alluded to just how important that would have been at the time.

This could have even been a very high level conspiracy, dreamt up over a sherry, to have been an effort to assist an ailing industry.
If Lionel Jofeh wanted to see those bikes in the despatch books for example,- then the system may have just been modified to accommodate that.

The bikes were not chosen randomly over the 1967 year at all. The first use of the Y bike S/N seems to be sometime after S/N 6000.
Let's say 40% of the twins despatched were Spitfires and Hornets.
The rest being Lightning, Thunderbolt and Royal Star machines.

The missing bikes of the 1969/70 era are only A65LA, TA and RA bikes. Oh, and not one single was ever affected.
That is far from random.

So we have selected S/N, selected models and selected shipments in which these bikes needed to be replaced. Over a few month period of 1967.
Say from Xmas 1966 through to June 1967. Seven months of bikes... Of all the hundreds of thousands that factory made and exported only 1600 ever needed rebuilding on this scale.

We had shipping strikes in 1968 season. Chadwick talks of 4,000 bikes returned. BSA said 1968 was a bad year.

Why not say that in 1968 they had to dismantle 1600 Twins from the previous season and completely remake them ?
Indeed no-one has mentioned that yet....

Wouldn't the problem have been more apparent in the 1968 models ? That is when the shipping strikes delayed exports.

The BSAOC story seems to be more based on '1000 bikes leftover at the end of the 1967 season'.

Quote:
Machines still in stock in the 1967 season (about 1000) were resold in the 1969 and 1970 season


I know the story changes but weren't these supposed to be complete bikes missing electrical components, or similar ?

Yep, I am sceptical.


Posted By: Two Alpha

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 08/09/13 4:31 am

Originally Posted By: Kevin (NZ).
Somewhere amongst all this we are going to stumble upon a clue that will tell us one way or the other.
We have clues, it's just a little difficult digging them out from the pile of hearsay and speculation they're buried under!

Originally Posted By: Kevin (NZ).
As for facts, well we don't have any.
Oh yes we do.
1) All those initial 1967 numbers are entered in the books, the serial numbers are there, the engine dates are there, the dispatch dates are there.
2) Some of the 1967 numbers show altered serial numbers (zero added) and second engine and dispatch dates.
3) Some of the 1967 numbers show two dispatch dates, followed by a third dispatch date for a Y bike with the same number!
4) According to the BSA bookkeepers, the cost of disposing of the 1967 bikes was £729,000!
5) For the 1970 Y bikes, "the entries are in '67 number sequence, small to large, but in random number order, ie, with many number gaps."
6) In the 1967 production books, "as an example, an entry may indicate a SA but next to it in the margin is a LA in different hand writing."
And of course there's more, let's not choose to ignore all the facts we do have.

Originally Posted By: Kevin (NZ).
Alistair has been quoted as saying the bikes were the missing bikes 'rebuilt'. He has also been quoted as saying the bikes were stored throughout the factory in any available space.
I don't believe the BSAOC, or Steve Foden/Brian Pollitt etc., ever claimed to be providing a direct quote from Alistair Cave.
Based on what they have on their website, I wouldn't trust that they've relayed correctly to us any of what he said to them.

Originally Posted By: Kevin (NZ).
In all the books on the decline of the motorcycle industry and the wasted money, we have never seen mention of 1600 motorcycles being returned, stripped and rebuilt with original numbers to be then sold at a discount.
So how much of this would be covered by "the cost of disposing of the 1967 bikes was £729,000", which was found in the Heaton thesis?
For perspective, how many brand new Spitfires could BSA manufacture for £729,000 in 1968?
Here's a hint, it's more than 2000!

The facts do not support a phantom bike theory. They do support something catastrophic happening to a large number of the 1967 bikes, something bad enough that approx. 1500 of them required outright replacement, something so bad that the total cost was £729,000. You don't get there with phantom bikes.

Fact or fiction, what's it going to be? smile
Posted By: Kevin (NZ).

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 08/09/13 2:48 pm

I really don't see any connection between the accounts dept figures for the costs of 'disposing of' the 1967 bikes and what really happened to the 'original' Dash Y bikes of 1967.

That is just an accountants figure, being reported by a third party at that.
That info fed to Heaton was very much sanitised and that thesis is full of discrepancies. I would struggle to rate that effort as an authoritative source.

I can't make any sense of those comments but I can't see any link to the missing A65 machines there.

That is the very same report that Steve Foden has selectively used excerpts from to support the BSAOC case.

He has mixed up the 1967 and 1968 years also.



I know we are back to the added zeros, in all this I have never ever seen an added zero on the frame number of any 1969 model bike. I can't even find a source for that comment.

The way I am seeing the scoreboard here we have the phantom bikes well and truly ahead.

We know the original 1967 bikes ceased to exist very early in the piece. The question is just how far past an entry in a book did they get ?

By my reasoning we have yet to actually find someone who saw them. The facts are we have photos of the Y bikes, both Hybrid Spitfires and 1969/70 models. Many photos at that.

I have yet to see any photo or mention of the 1967 version of those Y bikes. No photos = no proof..
We are talking over 1600 bikes here.

I can't believe BSA ever reduced 478 Spitfires to spares and then replaced them with almost identical new build bikes.
That would be financial suicide.

Where are the facts showing those bike physically existed ?
Posted By: Keith Miller

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 08/09/13 2:50 pm

Hi again,
Looking at this again it would seem that we have either a fairly large number of twins built for the 67 market which were 'scrapped' for some reason or they weren't built originally. If they were built originally and sold then why would BSA build bikes at a later date with the same numbers. If this was done 'knowingly' then this would have been illegal. If they weren't sold and the dealers returned them due to faults etc. and the company 'scrapped' them, they would not have to reuse the numbers. They would have just used the next numbers in line for that new season. A plausible reason is that the original bikes were built and sold but were returned due to faults etc. BSA could not rectify those faults (due to cost or whatever) and so returned/dispatched new season bikes in their place but having the old original number stamped on them making life easier for the dealers and owners and not having to pay import duty on a new bike.
With regards to the Queens Award to Industry, my father was a senior design engineer for a company called Liner Concrete Machinery (Gateshead England). They applied for the award (and got it)but to do so they had to submit records of their achievements, ledgers, shipping docs. audits of their books etc. to the award committee, for the previous couple of years as well as a plan for the future. Once given such an award the company could advertise this as such for the next 5 years. It was seen as very important for companies to have this award and it was not unknown (hearsay from my father) that some companies liked to blow their own trumpet and claim they were a bit better than they were. Liner went out of business a few years after the award..........
I personally believe that there were never knowingly more than one bike with the serial number at any one time.

Thanks
Keith.
Posted By: Gary E

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 08/09/13 3:13 pm

Originally Posted By: Keith Miller
...If this was done 'knowingly' then this would have been illegal...

Why would it be illegal to use a previous number 3 years later?
Posted By: Keith Miller

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 08/09/13 3:37 pm

Gary,
In Britain, the frame number(bike),chassis number (car/truck) (serial number) is the unique identifier for that vehicle. It is illegal to change/alter/duplicate/remove that number (although many naughty people do). As the bikes were made in Britain they would have followed that law.

Thanks
Keith.
Posted By: Rich B

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 08/09/13 4:50 pm

In dealing with serial numbers, just remember, if it is clearly documented on the MSO, it will be accepted for registration and title. And (also helps that I work with vehicle S/N's), A65LA12345-Y will be viewed as a distinctly different S/N as A65LA12345Y. While similar, the missing "-" does change the number.

I don't believe the original bikes were made. Maybe scheduled and paperwork made, but not iron. Or if it was made, it was incomplete and never saw the end of the production line.

Like Keith, I think the Export Award and potential audits have something to do with this mystery. No hard proof, just a suspicion.
Posted By: Two Alpha

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 08/09/13 5:42 pm

Thanks for that info Keith. bigt
Yours as well Rich.

Right, so it's not a Motor Vehicle Branch issue.

By process of elimination, I think we're down to an Exports issue as the primary reason for the use of those Y numbers post 1967.

Without an Exports issue, they would have just kept stamping regular numbers.

I can certainly accept that the Queen's Export Awards played a part, along with a desire to cash in on the booming North American market. They overcooked production in 1967, resulting in some serious problems before all the bikes got to market.

Posted By: Andy Lorenz

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 08/09/13 10:30 pm

Hello there, I have just been looking at a Norwegian 1967 A65S mk3 with a Y engine number, it was dispatched directly from the factory to the current owner in Norway, and I have seen the date of Norwegian registration, which is 8 days after the date dispatched in the factory records.

The factory record also shows an 'X' at the beginning of the line.

Therefore, this bike did not go to the USA, and then get returned, it was sold in 1967

I have a copy of the original factory dispatch books as my reference.
Posted By: Shane in Oz

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 08/09/13 11:01 pm

Originally Posted By: Andy Lorenz
Hello there, I have just been looking at a Norwegian 1967 A65S mk3 with a Y engine number, it was dispatched directly from the factory to the current owner in Norway, and I have seen the date of Norwegian registration, which is 8 days after the date dispatched in the factory records.


That's interesting. Do you know if it's a 'Y' or a '-Y'?

Most of the 1967 twins seem to have had the '-Y' ignition and oil feed upgrades
Posted By: Steve Erickson

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 08/09/13 11:23 pm

http://www.liveauctioneers.com/item/10058416

So how do these fit in with all of the Y theories?
Posted By: Two Alpha

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 08/10/13 12:08 am

Originally Posted By: Andy Lorenz
I have a copy of the original factory dispatch books as my reference.

BSA Twin Serial Numbers 1967-1970

Andy, if you were willing to share a few dispatch dates, for bikes in the 1968 column, it would be a great help in firming up our understanding of this whole mess.

I think all of those A65SA Y Spitfires will show two dispatch dates, those would be of the most interest to us at present.

Thanks!!!
Posted By: Steve Erickson

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 08/10/13 2:33 am

For some reason I can't post this ebay link, but another one is ebay item # 130922313552 ...
Posted By: Gary E

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 08/10/13 2:56 am

Originally Posted By: Andy Lorenz
...The factory record also shows an 'X' at the beginning of the line...

All of the entries and pages have an X at the begining of each line item?

Originally Posted By: Andy Lorenz
...I have a copy of the original factory dispatch books as my reference.

Jackpot! Andy can answer all of our questions without having anyone make a trip to VMCC at Burton on Trent to study the production books. I've got a few questions of my own to ask.
Posted By: Kevin (NZ).

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 08/10/13 3:27 am






Posted By: Steve Erickson

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 08/10/13 3:33 am

Thanks Kevin... don't know why I couldn't do that!

Here's yet another- ebay item # 350852473102

Sooo...??
Posted By: Kevin (NZ).

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 08/10/13 4:11 am

Hi Steve, I really know little about the B44 but I am sure we can all see that they have a Y stamped on the engine.

Normally it is a different stamp (Font) to that we have been seeing on the twins.

I can't draw any parallels at this stage, I simply don't know enough about the singles of that era.

I believe the engine is a 1968 but again I am only going by the numbers. Does anyone here know if there is anything strange about those bikes beyond having that peculiar engine stamping.
I guess I am referring to the despatch dates as well as the physical appearance of the bike.
As a comparison a 1968 Mk IV Spitfire made in April 1968 could come with one of two number sequences.
One would be A65SB xxxx whereas an identical bike may be stamped A65SA xxxxxY.
Two exactly identical bikes but one stamped with 1967 style numbers, and the Y of course.

The other thing we have with those Hybrid Spitfires is that all have two despatch dates in the shipping logs. The first date in May 1967 is a worry as the bikes simply don't have any 1967 features.

Maybe if we could understand the B44 Y bikes a little more it may just provide a clue that we are seeking to be able with the A65 mystery.

At the moment none of us can prove the bikes either did, or did not exist.

Have you any ideas on the B44 situation ,especially in light of the 3 distinct groupings of the use of the Y suffix in the unit twins.

One is to simply denote the engine has had a bulletin incorporated, some engine upgrades basically.
Nothing too out of the ordinary and the B44 may have been stamped for similar reasons.
For the twins it would have been the normal 1967 model bikes that were stamped. They are the Dash Y bikes.

I am sure it is there for a reason.
Posted By: Steve Erickson

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 08/10/13 4:26 am

If you remember Kevin, I originally brought these B44 Y bikes up some time ago, and since then have been watching this thread to see if I could draw any clues from it that would apply. So far, I really can't find any.

What I have seen is that all the B44 Y bikes seem to be 1968 (B) models. They all have the stamp located in the same place, and same font. The stamp apparently was used on both the VS and SS models. The only one I could have examined mechanically was one I had years ago, but I acquired and disposed of it without ever having to do anything to it... and nothing different from the norm seems to jump out from looking at these.

I kinda hoped that the answers you come up with on this thread would offer an explanation for these also, and I will keep perusing what you guys come up with... but as far as the B44 goes, I think there may well be an entirely different answer than the twins.

But I revived the B44 issue in hopes that it may help in your search, especially if there is a commonality.
Posted By: Two Alpha

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 08/10/13 5:56 pm

Originally Posted By: Kevin (NZ).
I really don't see any connection between the accounts dept figures for the costs of 'disposing of' the 1967 bikes and what really happened to the 'original' Dash Y bikes of 1967.
That is just an accountants figure, being reported by a third party at that.
That info fed to Heaton was very much sanitised and that thesis is full of discrepancies. I would struggle to rate that effort as an authoritative source.
I can't make any sense of those comments but I can't see any link to the missing A65 machines there.

Originally Posted By: Kevin (NZ).
I can't believe BSA ever reduced 478 Spitfires to spares and then replaced them with almost identical new build bikes.
That would be financial suicide.

Can't see any link there, are you sure?

Originally Posted By: Kevin (NZ).
The way I am seeing the scoreboard here we have the phantom bikes well and truly ahead.

You are giving far too much credit to what your imagination is telling you. There are no facts to support the phantom bike theory, it's based on a poorly written blurb on the BSAOC UK website, and haphazard comments from a few BSAOC UK executives, nothing more.

Originally Posted By: Kevin (NZ).
I have yet to see any photo or mention of the 1967 version of those Y bikes. No photos = no proof.

Originally Posted By: Kevin (NZ).
Where are the facts showing those bike physically existed ?

Ask yourself what BSA did for every bike they built.
They entered the details in the book!
An engine gets stamped with the serial number, it's entered in the book!
The bike gets dispatched, it's entered in the book!
A number of items, for each and every bike, they're all entered in the book!

And how many times did they do this? They may have done it a million times.

Here we have, at that point in time, probably the most successful motorcycle manufacturer the world had yet seen, and we're supposed to believe that they entered all those random numbers in the 1967 books without bothering to make the bikes. And all so that they could improve their chances of winning the Queen's Exports Award? What do you think the chances already were of their winning one? Probably 100%!

The phantom bike theory was extremely weak to begin with, and now that we know the extent of the costs of disposing of the 1967 bikes, there's no point in flogging it any longer, it's dead.

Posted By: Kevin (NZ).

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 08/10/13 9:16 pm

I did say that I had problems with that Heaton report.
In one place there were several comments made and then after turning the page there was a note.... The reality was different !!

If you read and quoted off the first page then it was all going to be inaccurate.

Selective quoted text tells very little.

You seem to be drawing a conclusion about a couple of sentences meaning proof that brand new bikes were disposed of (wrecked, destroyed, parted out) so BSA could then turn about and rebuild that exact same bike as a later model.

This has never been mentioned before, - by anyone.

We are saying here that a complete assembly line batch of almost 500 bikes, brand new at that, were then turned around and completely pulled apart just so those numbers could be re-used !!
I think those Hybrid Spitfires are the key to this.
Whatever happened to them in those 8 months should also indicate the fate of the other 1967 bikes that had their numbers re-used as Y bikes.

It is very easy to fake a book. I could rewrite a complete shipping log in a fraction of the time it takes to make just one motor cycle.

People see a date in a book and assume the entry was made on that date. It happens all the time.

I get to see many aircraft logbooks. Now I am not suggesting that there are any fraudulent entries but it is common to see some maintenance not included. The work has been carried out and certified elsewhere, in worksheets or on a Tech Log or whatever.

It is not uncommon to then see mistakes in the tidy-up or catch-up. Often they have written a screed of work against the wrong aircraft, not realising that they have a different log opened.

The books are very good, possibly 99.9% accurate but we would never assume. A log entry would give you a clue where to go looking to check, often it will be the workpack with the original signatures. ie the guy that did the work. Not the fellow in the office that made the book entries.

Rich B did mention something similar here the other day. The chap writing those entries in the shipping logs may not have even seen the bikes.


You seem to be thinking that you have seen proof the bikes were destroyed, many here are still grappling with the thought that they were even made.

We perhaps need to imagine what physically happened to those bikes as they came off the lines.
Some were tested and probably ridden to either the Export Packing area or to a holding area.
Others perhaps pushed around. Whatever.
In one place the bikes are lined up in batches ready to be pushed on to the back of a truck. A loading bay.

Others require partial dismantling, packing and crating.
The crates would then be forklifted or craned over to the storage area for trucking to the ports. Another large bay with loading areas.

Other bikes from other parts of the factory were being lined up in these areas as well.

Somewhere amongst all of this would be the office where the despatch books were kept. One book does both, records the twins that were going from both the Export area and also from the 'domestic' freight bay.

Two completely different areas I would imagine. One has boxes and the other bikes.

The Tally number comes off the card attached to the bike. The consignment number comes from the shipping detail right at the very end of the process.
Basically as the box is leaving to go out the door.
That could be days after it was rolling off the assembly line as a new bike.

If you look at the logs you will see the whole line is in the same hand. Whoever has assigned the shipping number has also filled in those preceding columns, all the way across to S/N.

We are talking export bikes here. Well, a wooden box. The despatch clerk is entering details for a wooden box... nothing else.
He may not even see that, the paper work could be attached to a series of clipboards which are then entered into the book at the very last step of the process... after the shipping consignment details are known.

These guys are storemen. Dealing with a wooden box. Even then they may not even know the difference between a Spitfire and a Hornet.

They are more interested in the final parts of those columns. The earlier stuff like model and S/N are not so important. They have been recorded and collated in production logs.

I see the despatch books as a low level source of info on production processes and records.
It is all we have to work with however.

The lists are not a record of how the bikes plopped off the line, There will be no sequence there. In both S/N and Tally order.

The order is more a record of how the boxes are lined up in that holding bay.
As I say it is very telling to me that the entire line in that shipping despatch book has been done in the same hand every single time.

The clerk entering those lines in that book has probably seen little more that a box, if that.

Did those 478 bikes exist ?
Ask the man that knows for sure.... the chap that put the entry into 'his' book.

He will say he saw some numbers on a clipboard.

And there are people about that are thinking his records are gospel. Surely we are all wiser than that.
Posted By: Shane in Oz

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 08/10/13 9:17 pm

Big D in Texas has a 1969 'Y' Royal Star on eBay listed as a 1967.
Item 261262018003

Those guys know their stuff on British bikes, especially Triumph, so if they're relying on the published numbers it's no wonder others get caught out.

I've told them about the later build 'Y' bikes and referred them to this thread, so it would be counter-productive for anybody else to get in touch.
Posted By: Gary E

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 08/10/13 11:47 pm

Originally Posted By: Kevin (NZ).
...If you look at the logs you will see the whole line is in the same hand. Who ever has assigned the shipping number has also filled in those preceding columns, all the way across to S/N...

The '67 (and '68) books I studied have different hand writing on the same line entries.
Posted By: Kevin (NZ).

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 08/11/13 12:31 am

Thanks for the link to the Texas Y bike Shane.
Some nice pics there also.

http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/BSA-1967-...ht_12817wt_1165



The engine has the 'ringworm' casting that was only about for a few months and is normally seen on bikes made just before Xmas 1968.
Credit to the seller for showing your question and their reply.

I am pretty confident this bike will show on the spreadsheet as a Feb 1969 despatch.

Unfortunately we can also see some wrong parts have been added already as the previous owner may have had no idea of the model. It makes you wonder what the title says and how it can 'become' a 1967.

Chances are the advert will be corrected I feel. Word is slowly getting about.

Did I mention that I believe the dating lists should be corrected ?
Posted By: Two Alpha

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 08/11/13 2:37 am

Yes, nice catch Shane, another one added to our spreadsheet.

And on it goes.
Posted By: Kevin (NZ).

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 08/11/13 2:41 am

Originally Posted By: Gary E

The '67 (and '68) books I studied have different hand writing on the same line entries.


Thanks Gary.
I have just managed to open a pic I have here of an early 1967 season despatch. Just the top two lines are visible but I can see what you mean.

The same applies though. We should be able to work through the flow patterns to determine at what points those various entries were placed in the book.

Bikes were being despatched almost daily (I imagine). That would have to indicate the books never left the loading bay office area.

If I am tracking a Service Bulletin entry for an aircraft I would be looking at all leads.
I mean this in the context that a Modification or Bulletin should have been done but we can find no mention of it in the logs.

This often happens when the original bulletin is just 'recommended'. Years later it may become Mandatory or even an AD issued against that bulletin.
We obviously don't want to pull the aircraft apart to determine compliance.
We may have a starting point, the initial date of release of the bulletin.
We then can determine the likely hangar inputs when it may have been embodied.
We would can the records looking for any clue. If parts were required we could go to the stores records and check over those periods. In many cases we would know the probable supplier.

Anyway this is all normal practice. It happens often and just a little detective work saves on wasted expense and downtime.
I should add that it almost always pays off. The entry is there but just not recorded where it really should have been.

I have also seen the reverse, an aircraft being moved into the hangar 'felt' different. The tradesman knew a mod had been carried out across the fleet many years before and they should have all been done. He went to the log and there was no record.
OK, so he got the log for the sister aircraft.... there was an entry there with dates etc. He went to the Work Sheets for that job and got the relevant stores details. The part numbers and supplier etc.
When he went to the store and looked for the P/N, - there it was.... Still in the plastic bag on a store's shelf.

They thought the fleet had all been done. However it was not mandatory and was overlooked for something like 10 years.

We soon learn that an entry in a book does not guarantee that the job was done, or the entry was done on that date.

The despatch books are not going to be an accurate reflection of went on at all.
There would have been much better record keeping going on.

The shipping books are all we have been left with though. They should be good enough to work with but a little thought is going to be required to get any sort of accuracy from the contents. They should be good enough for our purposes.

Blindly accepting what the books have said and then working backwards from them has caused this Y and Dash Y grief in the first place.

The Dash Y oil manifold bulletin is dated 1966. The 180 Day warranty bulletin has been about since 1970.
Both are quite clear.
Neither mentions dock strikes, exchange rates, electrical parts shortages, returned bikes, stored bikes or even increased warranty.
They were all inventions to try and explain what the despatch books quite clearly stated. Afterall they had S/N and dates.... How could they be wrong ?
Or even misread, what is hard about that ?
Even a librarian can read those dates and issue a certificate.

Our problem really is that people did know the books had been misread. They seemed to prefer the mistake to be continued and repeated to the point where we have BSA folklore on the story.

I lived with cr*p stories about the Dash Y bikes for 10 years.

The owners of the Y bikes still don't know how their bikes came about.
We even have a reputable bike shop in Dallas trying to sell a 1969 bike as a 1967 model.
People are still being inconvenienced by all of this. It is the owners, the sellers and people who are paying money on a daily basis.

This could have been sorted out much more easily 10 or 15 years ago.
You have to wonder why it is proving so difficult to get the books corrected.
Posted By: Two Alpha

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 08/11/13 5:29 am

Originally Posted By: Kevin (NZ).
You seem to be drawing a conclusion about a couple of sentences meaning proof that brand new bikes were disposed of (wrecked, destroyed, parted out) so BSA could then turn about and rebuild that exact same bike as a later model.
Originally Posted By: Kevin (NZ).
We are saying here that a complete assembly line batch of almost 500 bikes, brand new at that, were then turned around and completely pulled apart just so those numbers could be re-used !!
You're building straw men here Kevin. You know, as we all do, that by the time those bikes would have been deemed too far gone to refurbish, they also would have been a long long way from being in "brand new bike" condition. Also, that "complete assembly line batch" you mention, real evidence shows that those 478 numbers come randomly from a much larger group of approx. 6300! Less than one in thirteen, spread randomly across 6300 numbers!
Look at the spreadsheet, while it looks like a solid block of hybrids, the reality is that there are only 27 hybrids covering a span of 659 numbers, less than 1 in 24!

Originally Posted By: Kevin (NZ).
I think those Hybrid Spitfires are the key to this.
Whatever happened to them in those 8 months should also indicate the fate of the other 1967 bikes that had their numbers re-used as Y bikes.
Sure, I'll go along with that. It's likely that all three years of Y bikes came about for basically the same reason.

Originally Posted By: Kevin (NZ).
You seem to be thinking that you have seen proof the bikes were destroyed
Based on what we know for sure, it's easily the most logical conclusion.
Originally Posted By: Kevin (NZ).
many here are still grappling with the thought that they were even made.
That can happen when you try to work backwards from the wrong answer. smile

Originally Posted By: Kevin (NZ).
I see the despatch books as a low level source of info on production processes and records.
It is all we have to work with however.

Let me guess, the best evidence we have isn't particularly helpful for the phantom bike/fraud/conspiracy theory.
Posted By: Kevin (NZ).

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 08/11/13 6:45 am

Originally Posted By: Two Alpha
You know, as we all do, that by the time those bikes would have been deemed too far gone to refurbish, they also would have been a long long way from being in "brand new bike" condition. Also, that "complete assembly line batch" you mention, real evidence shows that those 478 numbers come randomly from a much larger group of approx. 6300! Less than one in thirteen, spread randomly across 6300 numbers!
Look at the spreadsheet, while it looks like a solid block of hybrids, the reality is that there are only 27 hybrids covering a span of 659 numbers, less than 1 in 24!

Originally Posted By: Kevin (NZ).
I think those Hybrid Spitfires are the key to this.
Whatever happened to them in those 8 months should also indicate the fate of the other 1967 bikes that had their numbers re-used as Y bikes.
Sure, I'll go along with that. It's likely that all three years of Y bikes came about for basically the same reason.


Originally Posted By: Kevin (NZ).
I see the despatch books as a low level source of info on production processes and records.
It is all we have to work with however.

Let me guess, the best evidence we have isn't particularly helpful for the phantom bike/fraud/conspiracy theory.


I have had to cut a lot out John. I have limited time here at the minute.
You are correct about that larger block that the Hybrid Spitfires could have been drawn from.
I have always been considering them as a production run, that is how I have been imagining them.
The spreadsheet will be helpful here.

If we look at the numbers we have now most are falling into 17246 to 17900 area. That is possibly a block of 650 numbers.

We have another block around the mid to late 16,000 series. Ok so another 500 or so bikes there.

Mention of 11577Y is misleading. We have never seen that bike and it is only on the list because of a comment derived from the Despatch Books.
I have doubts it is a Hybrid, I think it more likely it was a leftover and included with the very last of the MK IV's exported. Either way it is more than likely going to be a straggler. It could even be a typo... it is just so obvious sitting there by itself we should really put a question mark against it.
You mentioned the Hybrids coming randomly from a sequence of 6300 bikes.
I see an unconfirmed straggler, put that to one side for a moment.
I then see two distinct blocks of numbers.
We now have about 1200 or fewer numbers and that is assuming everyone was originally assigned to a Mk III Spitfire.
The 478 figure came from Gary also, from book research. It may well be we may find more once we start looking.
We seem to have pics of many already, and most are survivors.

Anyway we now have closer to one in three of these bikes that were shipped in late 1967 season (supposedly) requiring all this work.
We need to see what shipment dates and what else could have been despatched at the same time, ie other models including singles.

What really worries me is that all these numbers are far from random.
The 1968 bikes are Spitfires. The 1969 LA, TA and RA bikes. 1970 models 'rebuilt' were LA and TA only.

To me this means the numbers were driven from the later year's production possibilities (Capabilities). The last year for the Spitfire was 1968. Ooops, no coincidence only MK IV Spitfires were made in 1968.
Perhaps the same could be said of 1969 and 1970 production. Were there plans to drop the Royal Star for 1970 possibly ?

Anyway it is all far from random and we don't see any Hornets or singles tied up in all this.

I think we can agree that it is likely that the 'replacement' bikes of 1968, 69 and 70 all came about for the same reasons. Or rather, we can probably assume that for now.

Another non-random feature is the numbers of bikes involved.
We have approx 500 bikes being made during each of those three years. 500 bikes that are identical to their neighbours on the line in every conceivable way. That is apart from what the chap with the number punches does to them.

As for the despatch books, yes they are low level.
It is not the perfect way to date a machine but it was brand new when it was despatched on that date and that is what the motor vehicle regulatory authorities would like to work with.

We can work with the books, there should be enough info in them for us. We can't just blindly assume they have no errors and are correct though. As I mentioned earlier the storemen are more interested in the box than the S/N of the bike inside.
Was 11577 a typo from them back in the day ?

We would certainly want to recheck that entry. (It is only 20 numbers off 11597 that is a Dash Y bike).

The shipping logs would be far more believable in my eyes if we saw receipt entries for some of these bikes that were supposedly being returned.

The big issue for me though is why is all this new to the world after 45 years. Why all the myths and all the versions of stories we as owners have had to contend with ?

Why is Shane having to write to an EBay seller saying he would get far more from his auction if that bike sold as a 1969 with proof of it being a 1969 bike ?

How hard is it to amend a website, or rather what is the problem with getting the books corrected ?

You have to imagine that the very reason these bikes came to be is the answer to that question also.

Not good at all....

Someone owes Big D Motorcycles a big apology....!!



EDIT ****

If I were Big D Motorcycles I would pop a finned rocker cover on that bike, put a brand new pair of unshrouded rear shocks on it. Perhaps a grab-bar also.

Take new photos including copies of SB 5-70, then possibly a link to this site.

So restore the bike to it's 1969 roots and then update the auction. The next action would be to get the title amended, if necessary, and that could even involve a 'please explain' letter to whoever provided the misleading dating info.

Posted By: Ola

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 08/11/13 12:39 pm

Andy mentioned a Norwegian Spitfire. I have pictures of it here, together with some other interesting cases.

http://oseose.webs.com/Y/Y.htm

Regards
Posted By: Kevin (NZ).

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 08/11/13 4:00 pm

Thanks Ola. There are a couple of good Dash Y numbers in there for John's spreadsheet.
I think we can all see the value in getting some of those higher numbers in place.

Alan gave us two the other day, one of which is already on the database.

I can see the issues the Dating Certificate chaps have as well.
You would really want to see some photos of bike and engine with some of those numbers.
I suspect it would take some searching for a few of them.
Posted By: Magnetoman

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 08/11/13 6:11 pm

This thread is over 450 posts long, with many of those posts lengthy with wide-ranging content that makes it difficult for me to assimilate. As an outsider to all of this (i.e. I don't own a Y-bike, but still am interested in knowing the final answer) it seems to me a correct understanding of the origin/reasons/disposition/etc. of Y-bikes only will come from studying actual evidence. Speculation is good for motivating people to see the importance of taking the time to provide that evidence, but once that has been achieved further speculation based on inadequate evidence only clouds the process.

Physical evidence:
-- Despatch records
-- Other BSA documents (e.g. bulletins issued by the factory, distributors, or dealers)
-- Photographs of engine and frame numbers
-- Scans of registration documents issued at the time of the initial purchase ("titles" in U.S. terminology)

None of these will be100% accurate, but all should be at least 95% accurate. Additional tangible evidence includes:

-- Scans and reports of current registration documents
-- reports of engine and frame numbers without supporting photographs

Because of transcription errors and the like, each of these will be less accurate than the first category, but still will be more valuable than anecdotal "evidence," hearsay and speculation.

Again, I confess I have not even attempted to read this entire thread. However, the bits and pieces I have read leave me confused. I'm not even sure what specific years and models of machines are relevant for understanding the question(s) about the Y-bikes (all BSAs? only A65s? only certain models of A65s and, even then, only certain years for some of them and other years for others?, ...). No doubt this information is contained in the thread; I'm just saying it's way too much work for someone like me to read 450+ posts to try to extract it.

As a friendly suggestion, it would be very helpful if the evidence in hand were succinctly summarized (i.e. actual evidence, not analysis or conclusions no matter how plausible they may seem to someone who is deeply involved in this thread) so that other people who might have additional evidence to contribute will know where things stand. As an example, I have a very large collection of BSA literature but lack the motivation to search it for something that might be relevant since whatever I find already might be in post 257 of this thread.
Posted By: Gary E

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 08/11/13 7:01 pm

I concur completely. Narratives of imagination, speculation, hearsay, etc., when taken out of context by a reader not familiar with the subjects detail, with respect to the overall larger picture, will give rise to more misinformation and rumors that we already are trying to correct.

Originally Posted By: Magnetoman

Physical evidence:
-- Despatch records
-- Other BSA documents (e.g. bulletins issued by the factory, distributors, or dealers)
-- Photographs of engine and frame numbers
-- Scans of registration documents issued at the time of the initial purchase ("titles" in U.S. terminology)

To that list I would add:
--Original production books
Posted By: Two Alpha

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 08/11/13 7:52 pm

Updated!
BSA Twin Serial Numbers 1967-1970

Thanks for capturing those bikes for us Ola, nice to see that the Y bikes were in the conversations at the Norway rally.

Originally Posted By: Kevin (NZ).
Mention of 11577Y is misleading. We have never seen that bike and it is only on the list because of a comment derived from the Despatch Books.

Originally Posted By: Kevin (NZ).
I see an unconfirmed straggler, put that to one side for a moment.

11577Y is an important piece of the puzzle. As far as we know, it is the very first of these Y bikes!

Gary posted this, back in 2011.
Originally Posted By: Gary E
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.

I don't know just how many of these numbers Gary captured in his notes.
Ideally we would have all those hybrid numbers, and all their associated dispatch dates.

Andy has the information, but is he able to share it with us?

Originally Posted By: Kevin (NZ).
What really worries me is that all these numbers are far from random.
The 1968 bikes are Spitfires. The 1969 LA, TA and RA bikes. 1970 models 'rebuilt' were LA and TA only.

The numbers in 1967 were most definitely random, we can see that the problems began before the end of October 1966, and continued right out to nearly the end of production for the 1967 season.
After that, the production of the Y bikes was not what I would call random, they had a three year plan to replace those 1967 bikes and proceeded with it.

I do wonder about 1969 though, why was Y bike production spread out over a number of months, why didn't they just pump them all out in one week and be done with it?
Were they still scrapping some of the bikes they had tried to refurbish at that point?

Originally Posted By: Kevin (NZ).
We can work with the books, there should be enough info in them for us. We can't just blindly assume they have no errors and are correct though.
Any errors are going to be very minor, and most likely irrelevant to the overall picture. As I see it, a big part of this issue has been the miss-reading of the information in the books for those dating certificates the BSAOC has been selling. By assuming that the Y bike is the same bike as the -Y bike, they've balled things up rather badly!

Originally Posted By: Kevin (NZ).
Was 11577 a typo from them back in the day ?
We would certainly want to recheck that entry. (It is only 20 numbers off 11597 that is a Dash Y bike).
There's nothing special about the proximity of those two numbers. As the spreadsheet fills in, or we get a look at the actual pages in the books, we're going to see Y numbers side by side with -Y numbers through out most of 1967.

Originally Posted By: Kevin (NZ).
The big issue for me though is why is all this new to the world after 45 years. Why all the myths and all the versions of stories we as owners have had to contend with?
It would have been of little interest to anybody other than BSA or the dealers who were affected. Perhaps the media may have paid a little attention to the issues in 1967,
perhaps not. The only people, outside BSA and their dealers, who would have had any interest, would have been the initial purchasers of those 1500 Y bikes. All it meant to them was a great deal on a brand new bike.
Once we get down the road a piece, the Y bikes are changing hands, new owners are ordering 1967 parts and running into some difficulties. Still a very low number of people, with little if any communication amongst them.
BSAOC could have issued a very low number of those wonky dating certificates for the Y bikes, with an even lower number of the folks receiving them realizing that anything was off kilter. And again, only if they're ordering parts.
Without the arrival of the internet, this is a non-story, hardly anybody outside of BSA and their dealers knows about it. For BSA, and most of their dealers, the last time they may have thought about it was over 40 years ago!

Originally Posted By: Kevin (NZ).
How hard is it to amend a website, or rather what is the problem with getting the books corrected ?
Amending the website appears to be monumentally difficult for the BSAOC. They are damaging their brand by not bothering to repair the website.

Which books are you planning to get corrected Kevin? You're not hoping to do a little erasing in the dispatch books are you? smile




Posted By: Two Alpha

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 08/11/13 8:22 pm

Magnetoman and Gary E...

clap

Just took a look at the space available on my server, there should be room to host items that fit your list.

Then it's just one click back to reality!
Posted By: Ola

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 08/11/13 8:22 pm

A friend of mine has a spitfire with frame number A65SA 73430. Old Norwegian registration documents also have an Y added to the number. Likely the original engine had this. The dispatch book says it was first exported to Australia, came back to the factory for refurbish, and then in march 68 re-exported to Norway (maybe with an extra zero added).

Regards
Posted By: Gary E

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 08/12/13 12:10 am

John,

To get some dispatch dates in areas of the list that have few, here are two:

A65HA 13762-Y, 3-03-1967
A65HA 13775-Y, 2-27-1967

Also for A65HA 9764-Y, 12-16-66
Posted By: Two Alpha

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 08/12/13 12:54 am

Thanks Guys.

Ola, I'm curious about that Spitfire, wonder how much it's been modified, other than the engine of course. How much of the rest of it is 1968?
Posted By: Kevin (NZ).

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 08/12/13 2:11 am

I thought mention of the extra zero on the frame number would get your attention John.

This could be a most interesting one.

I have yet to see any document mentioning that frame zero, it would now seem the despatch books may contain some form of note. The BSAOC obviously saw reference somewhere.


It is a long way from UK to Oz and then back to Norway.
The bike would have plenty of time to do all that though. It may have been made well before Xmas 1966.

It will be interesting to see the level of refurbishment, it was at the factory just before the Hybrid bikes.

Perhaps this could be another clue.


Quote:
Originally Posted By: Gary E
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.


This is where I worry a little about these comments.
Gary obtained these from his notes but he was not researching the Spitfires.

We can see we have bikes on the spreadsheet outside the higher limit already. 17898 and 17904Y are Hybrids we know do exist.

I have already mentioned 11577, it is just so far removed from the other Hybrid numbers.
All we have is a comment from Gary's notes.
Do we even know if it is a Dash Y or Y stamped engine. Indeed is it a 1967 bike or a 1968 model ?

I believe we are going by the numbers grouped together in that middle portion of the log.
I am thinking there may be MK III's in there also.

It was one area of the books that we wanted to see more of.

That bike is a straggler, - it is 5000 numbers different to the next in the Hybrid block and they are already formed into two distinct groups.

As I say, we have not seen a pic of that bike or even know if it exists. It should have a question mark against it at the very least. I would be happier with it off the spreadsheet as we may end up introducing errors and cheapening the value of info derived from it.

Posted By: Two Alpha

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 08/12/13 7:38 am

Ok Magnetoman, here you go. Most of what I think I know for sure about these Y bikes, all in one easy to access location.

BSA A50 and A65 Y Bike Evidence Collection

There's more in my notes for the Tangible Evidence folder, hopefully get that added in sometime tomorrow.


Originally Posted By: Kevin (NZ).
I thought mention of the extra zero on the frame number would get your attention John.
This could be a most interesting one.
I glossed over it a bit on first read, was definitely smiling as it sunk in.
Originally Posted By: Kevin (NZ).
I have yet to see any document mentioning that frame zero, it would now seem the despatch books may contain some form of note. The BSAOC obviously saw reference somewhere.
As far as I can tell, the only information we've seen on these bikes originates from the BSAOC website, and it reads like they picked it up in a conversation. Their understanding of them would be reinforced by the zero added numbers they were seeing in the despatch books.

Originally Posted By: Kevin (NZ).
It may have been made well before Xmas 1966.
Yes, looks like the first week of November.

Originally Posted By: Kevin (NZ).
It will be interesting to see the level of refurbishment, it was at the factory just before the Hybrid bikes.
Hopefully it hasn't had too many other changes over the years. I'm anxiously waiting for pictures!

Originally Posted By: Kevin (NZ).
I have already mentioned 11577, it is just so far removed from the other Hybrid numbers.
Originally Posted By: Kevin (NZ).
As I say, we have not seen a pic of that bike or even know if it exists. It should have a question mark against it at the very least. I would be happier with it off the spreadsheet as we may end up introducing errors and cheapening the value of info derived from it.

I'll put a question mark on it for you. Gary should get the benefit of the doubt here though. Also, we're not going to forget that it's there, it sticks out like a sore thumb! If you look over in the 1967 column, there are batches of Spitfires in the 13000's and the 15000's. We should see hybrids showing up in those ranges as well, I'll be amazed if we don't.

Posted By: KevRasen

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 08/12/13 9:25 am

Hello Kevin,

I follow this post, casually !, and I must say I am impressed with your tenacity on this subject.
I have had a set of cases on the shelf for a couple of years now.
Came from the states, Florida area, that's as much as I know.
I see the number is on your spreadsheet - has someone got the frame ?
I bought em $53 plus carriage to UK , so it was purely a good buy for me to have a spare set of cases.
Here's a few photos for your records and maybe info on details.










Posted By: Kevin (NZ).

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 08/12/13 12:12 pm

C'mon now Kev,


Tenacity.....

Is that the best you can do. I had beers in Perth, Australia with Rich B about 3 or 4 years ago.

The guys were joking about my problem 'obsession' then.
I was only 8 years into it at that point.

I can see I am not alone though. There is quite a group of buccaneers wanting to see this one through.

Perhaps we can welcome you to the throng. It is always good to hear from our closet readers.

I can't help with your frame. That number didn't come from me but I do know John has been monitoring the Ebay auctions over the years.

Wouldn't it be great if we could find your frame. I am sure stranger things have happened.
You will know by now that it will be a Mk IV bike and thanks to John's spreadsheet we can see it is one of the last of the Spitfires ever made.

I suggested you were a closet reader, incorrectly of course.
You are a Hybrid bike owner, of sorts. The rarest of the rare.
You have a vested interest in the outcome here.

Gary has already sorted my Dash Y bikes out for me, a year or so ago. Oh, and with Shane of course. Thanks again guys.
Posted By: Ola

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 08/12/13 12:30 pm

Regarding the Norwegian A65SA 73430. The owner is occasionally following this thread, and will hopefully fill in the details.
It has a modified front end, but the TLS brake is original, so is the zener mount. The original engine is long gone... Are there any other differences between a 67 and a 68 frame?
Regards.

http://oseose.webs.com/arnst1.jpg

http://oseose.webs.com/arnst2.jpg

Posted By: Rich B

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 08/12/13 12:38 pm

Originally Posted By: Kevin (NZ).
C'mon now Kev,


Tenacity.....

Is that the best you can do. I had beers in Perth, Australia with Rich B about 3 or 4 years ago.

The guys were joking about my problem 'obsession' then.
I was only 8 years into it at that point.



laughing

I remember that evening well Kevin....Mark, Bill, Kevin, and myself trying to solve all of the mysteries of all things BSA over dinner and pints in Perth. And I was in a fog from jet lag! laughing

Hoping to get back to Oz soon, tho this time it will probably be east coast
Posted By: Kevin (NZ).

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 08/12/13 1:08 pm

The frame differences are subtle but there are a few of them. Compared to a 1967 frame the 1970 differs in that it has;
Fairing tubes at the front of the headstock.
A diagonal bridge for the condensor under the seat.
UNF threadforms. This can be easiest seen at the bolt above the swingarm pivot on the left side of the bike. If the bolt is there and a UNF (SAE) spanner (wrench) fits then it is 1969 or 1970.
The swing arm is different if it is place,
The forks are different, the later bikes have the Triumph style shuttle valve. Look at the chrome oil seal holder. On the pre 1969 forks only the parallel portion is chromed. The chamfer is machined into the fork slider. On the 1969 and 1970 models the whole area is chromed.
The 1967 has a screw in axle. 1968 and later have bolted on end caps for the 2ls brake.

The battery holder is different on the 1970 but I could not describe that now.

Telling the bikes apart is much easier with a complete bike.
All of the 1969/70 Y bikes have the features associated with the later year.
That is why we cannot believe they have been reworked or rebuilt.
Modifying the frame and engine to the extent they did would be far easier and economical by starting afresh.
If they were rebuilt many of those features would probably never be incorporated.

**********
EDIT

Now to answer Ola's question.

There is just the one difference to the frame itself. We use the forks and other items to indicate if it a 1968.

*********

The hybrid Spitfire frames are much the same as the Mk III it is supposedly derived from, just the condensor bridge to be added.

At this stage we don't know what happened to the 'first' use of the serial number. Those Mk III's are the one's that have disappeared on us.


Posted By: Kevin (NZ).

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 08/12/13 1:18 pm

Originally Posted By: Rich B

I remember that evening well Kevin....Mark, Bill, Kevin, and myself trying to solve all of the mysteries of all things BSA over dinner and pints in Perth. And I was in a fog from jet lag! laughing

Hoping to get back to Oz soon, tho this time it will probably be east coast


Hi Rich, I am in Darwin at the moment but I am leaving to team up with Tappet in Singapore again on Wednesday.
I think he is taking me back through Vietnam again, probably later in the week.

He reckons he has changed his ways and he has clean forgotten Shaun and the 'ladyboys', even the Gin Slings.
We may do the photo op at Raffles just for old time's sake.
It will be good meeting the young fella again. He has been MIA for a while now.
Posted By: Arnstein

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 08/12/13 4:54 pm

Ola.
When checking the framenumber on my Spitfire A65 SA 73430 (the Y is only in the old document and it had engine cases from a -69 Lightning) during the BSA international last week I think we might have had one number wrong (because of Ola`s very strong drinks?),so the "tour" to Australia must have been done by another bike.
Anyway,last night I talked to the 74years old man whom I thought was the owner from new (documents showing his name when it was registrated by him in mid may -68.He said he bought it from the presumably first owner..so it might have been registrated in -67. When I bought it it was in boxes and with some parts missing.Engine parts except the cases seems to be from the old cases and for sure the head with its 32mm early concentrics. The front fork is the BSA type with clamps (not Triumph) and wheels are Borranis with the first tls brake.
Posted By: Gary E

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 08/13/13 12:41 am

Originally Posted By: Two Alpha
[quote=Kevin (NZ).]I have already mentioned 11577, it is just so far removed from the other Hybrid numbers.
Originally Posted By: Kevin (NZ).
As I say, we have not seen a pic of that bike or even know if it exists. It should have a question mark against it at the very least. I would be happier with it off the spreadsheet as we may end up introducing errors and cheapening the value of info derived from it.

Originally Posted By: Two Alpha
...I'll put a question mark on it for you. Gary should get the benefit of the doubt here though. Also, we're not going to forget that it's there, it sticks out like a sore thumb!...


If you're going to question that number, which came from the books, then you may as well question all of my information, because it all came from the books.

Originally Posted By: Two Alpha
...If you look over in the 1967 column, there are batches of Spitfires in the 13000's and the 15000's. We should see hybrids showing up in those ranges as well, I'll be amazed if we don't.


Don't count on seeing a multitude of Spitfires in the 13000 series. From about 13300 to about 13600 are Spitfires, from about 13600 to about 14000 are Hornets.
Posted By: Kevin (NZ).

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 08/13/13 1:12 am

Hi Gary, I was not saying we have any problems with your information. You did extremely well and we would never have got to this point without it.

I do worry about that number however, especially in light of the spreadsheet layout.

If you look back to earlier in this thread, - about 20 Nov 2011, you will see two guys mocking the phantom bike theory.

Now look where we are at.
This whole situation is fluid and dynamic with new info arriving all the time. The spreadsheet has prompted us to reassess certain points within that data.

I do have doubts over that number and of course we never realised it's importance before.
I am not suggesting the error, if any, lies with you. That is a possibility though.

You have seen those log pages, we have not.
Our spreadsheet has that bike as a Hybrid ie a 1968 model with 1967 style numbers.

Do we know for sure this is indeed the case with that particular bike ?
Is it just in that section because it was included in the same shipment ?
It is also obvious there are Hybrids about that were not in those pages. They have to be recorded somewhere.

You have admitted that you were rushed for time. You were also researching Hornets. I cannot believe just how much you managed to record in the time available to you, truly an extraordinary effort.

We are now about to revisit those logs.
I thought we are looking for questions or particular bikes to research. I would have thought we have 3 candidates straight-up.

None of us have seen that bike as a Hybrid. It worries me that we may be drawing conclusions from rogue entries on the spreadsheet.
I can see a few errors on it already.

John was saying that the Hybrids came from a potential range of something like 6300 machines.
If we doubt that 11577 number then the range becomes just 1250 bikes. That is a massive difference.

There may be a reason why 11577 is included in that middle section of book 276. I am suggesting it could be a straggler, a returned bike from a dealer, or a typo.
I see those possibilities more likely than saying the original numbers that the hybrid bikes came from was over 6000 numbers.

Yes we are guessing. We should be dealing with facts but for various reasons we can't. What we can do is identify possible problem areas and revisit them.

Andy could possibly advise us one way or the other within minutes. Brendan could possibly do the same but we need to give these guys something to look at.

Are we at all clear on why the Hybrids are included as they are ?

I have a lot of catching up to do with the layout of those despatch books.
Hopefully this will all be sorted out before I get back to the UK next.


I know one thing for sure.... those books will contain errors.
I suspect many of them.
Posted By: Kevin (NZ).

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 08/13/13 2:48 am

Originally Posted By: Gary E

Originally Posted By: Two Alpha
...If you look over in the 1967 column, there are batches of Spitfires in the 13000's and the 15000's. We should see hybrids showing up in those ranges as well, I'll be amazed if we don't.


Don't count on seeing a multitude of Spitfires in the 13000 series. From about 13300 to about 13600 are Spitfires, from about 13600 to about 14000 are Hornets.


That is a very good point.

I see those tables pretty lined up with the data base we have.

We still have the big question that John has not managed to answer.

Why are there no Hybrid Hornets ?

John would be amazed if there were not any Hybrid Spitfires of the 13000 series.
OK, if it had half Spitfires and half the series were Hornets then what made the Hornets so much better ?

Also what we are seeing is that from the 12,000 series all the way through to midway 16,000 is a complete lack of Hybrids. Indeed not a one.

This is like election night, with 10% of the votes counted we do see a trend.

If we look at the 15,000 series for example.
It is a very good example at that.
Why ?
We have almost identical numbers of Lightnings and Spitfires made in batches. We can use our imagine to fill in the blanks there.
We can see some of the sequence has been used for 'replacement' Lightnings... so far no Spitfires. We can keep an eye on that one.

Even a flick through the 'Hybrid' pages of the log will show how many, if any, were made in the 15,000 series.
The Lightning column will grow though, we will see more 1970 Y Lightnings.

Ok, We now look at the 7,000 and 8,000 series.

First the 7,000 bikes.
We see SA, HA, TA and LA bikes in the left hand column.

So whatever happened to those bikes affected only the Thunderbolts and Lightnings.
The Spitfires and Hornets were 'unaffected'.

Now the 8,000 Series.

Mostly Hornets we can agree.

Guess what ? Again no Hornets succumbed.
Just 400 bikes in the middle of the series. We already have one 1969 Y bike in there.
Will we get more ?

Well I don't know. The owner of that bike can't even describe it so we don't know if is a Dash Y or a Y model. He did check the numbers at the VMCC himself though and he thought it had the two shipping dates.

At the moment that bike does stand out as being alone there.
I am sure it has a 1969 shipping date though.


So to recap..

We had Spitfires, Hornets, Thunderbolts, Royal Stars and Lightnings made throughout the 1967 season.

Some of these bikes have disappeared and their numbers are now on newly made later models. (same model at that).

Of all the Hornets made in 1967 none required remaking.
Of all the Spitfires it was just those towards the end of the season. The last few months indeed. The 17,000 series in particular.
Of all the Royal Star's it was just a few and they had numbers less than 10500.. ie earlier in the season.
Of all the Thunderbolts and Lightnings...
hmmm, well.
It was a bad run for them. Even worse if they were in the 7000, 10,000, 11,000 and 12,000 series.


None of this is random. Far from it.

These bikes were being shipped from before Xmas 1966. We have October and November dates for first despatch.

If these bikes met with some form of 'catastrophic' event then wouldn't the factory have reacted immediately. Not continue sending shipment after shipment.

There was nothing special about 1967, the bikes were very similar to the 1966 models.
Nearly identical bikes, similar numbers.
Indeed same, same, same.

So what made 1967 so prone to this catastrophe ?

I think nothing....

There was no catastrophe, we have never heard about it. If the initial bikes had a problem it would have been sorted.

BSA would never had gained that second Queen's Award with all this going on.
Bikes exported, returned, and stored for future rebuild, hmmm, possibly parted out on the spot.

Actually, what parts of that sentence can we believe ?

I can sense a case building..


Edit..

And the reason for me writing.
Do we need to check 17776 as a possible Hybrid ?
It is also looking out of place at the moment.




Posted By: Two Alpha

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 08/13/13 5:27 am

Originally Posted By: Kevin (NZ).
We still have the big question that John has not managed to answer.

Why are there no Hybrid Hornets ?

Well it's an easy answer, Husqvarna.

"In the 1960s, their lightweight, two-stroke engined off-road bikes helped make the once dominant British four-stroke motorcycles obsolete."
Building Hybrid Hornets in 1968 would have been utterly pointless, why build a bike that nobody is going to buy?
My expectation is that the books will show that Hornets were just as susceptible as the other models in 1967, a close look at the books will probably reveal that any replacements for them would be as a different model.

Originally Posted By: Kevin (NZ).
John would be amazed if there were not any Hybrid Spitfires of the 13000 series.
OK, if it had half Spitfires and half the series were Hornets then what made the Hornets so much better ?
Better to ask why it made so much more sense to be selling Spitfires than Hornets in 1968.

Originally Posted By: Kevin (NZ).
None of this is random. Far from it.

Right, 1500 numbers spread across a range of 12000, but "None of this is random, Far from it."? You're wrong, but if you admit to the numbers being random, your theory goes down the drain, doesn't it?

Originally Posted By: Kevin (NZ).
So what made 1967 so prone to this catastrophe ?

I think nothing....

There was no catastrophe, we have never heard about it. If the initial bikes had a problem it would have been sorted.

So what was the new oil manifold and points cam/backing plate all about? It was important enough to BSA that they stamped an indicator on the engine of every 1967 machine they modified, basically every machine from late September to the end of the season! But, nothing?

Originally Posted By: Kevin (NZ).
And the reason for me writing.
Do we need to check 17776 as a possible Hybrid ?
It is also looking out of place at the moment.

Looks like it's in the right place to me, 1967.


Posted By: Kevin (NZ).

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 08/13/13 5:46 am

I am rushed for time again but that 17776 may be a good one to look at.
I have too much on just now and forget what happened yesterday.

The owner is unsure about the dates unfortunately but he did say it had the later brake or similar.
Something else different is that it was despatched to Norway, possibly in 1967.
It may give us a clue as to what happened to the other S/N bikes about it.
It is certainly different.... and obviously a Dash Y number and engine config.
Posted By: Ola

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 09/07/13 5:16 am

Another -Y engine:


Posted By: Two Alpha

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 09/07/13 9:06 pm

Thanks Ola, added it to the spreadsheet.

BSA Twin Serial Numbers 1967-1970
Posted By: KevRasen

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 09/08/13 6:17 pm

Hello Mate,

Another one here FYI

cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/BSA-1967-bsa-spitfire-mk-iii-650-a-65-s-running-project-numbers-match-no-reserve-/200961286079?pt=US_motorcycles&hash=item2eca39dfbf&vxp=mtr#ht_5113wt_882
Posted By: Kevin (NZ).

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 09/08/13 8:10 pm



A 1967 Spifire 16811. It is late season and has the enlarged '8' stamp that we see used throughout the 1968 season.
It was made at about the same time as the 'missing' Spitfires that then became hybrid models built a year later.


Ebay Spitfire
Posted By: Gary E

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 09/08/13 8:26 pm

Sad looking bike. It'll take a lot of money to get that bike back running and looking decent.
Posted By: Allan Gill

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 09/09/13 8:31 am

Once a barrel is sourced it shouldn't be too big of a deal - it is mostly complete. Whats money when your having fun! grin

Did anyone notice the interesting place to mount the key switch? right next to the rear shock absorber..

Clicky!
Posted By: Ola

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 09/09/13 10:43 am

No TLS brake??
Posted By: Allan Gill

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 09/09/13 10:46 am

you could buy at least 3 TLS brakes for what that 190 hub is worth. The TLS is also a lot more common. However if it is a true 1967, then the 190mm is correct. I'd like to know what advantage (read braking efficiency) that 190mm has over say a 8" full width hub brake (190mm is aprox 7.5")

ps. from what I have seen that bike is no later than 67! as a quickie the steering lock/damper plate change for 68'
Posted By: Gary E

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 09/09/13 11:00 am

The frame/engine numbers do verify it is a '67, and it has '67 parts. Nothing shows '68.

Too make it nice, I see over $5,000 being spent. It's missing a lot of bits and everything needs refurbishing.
Posted By: Two Alpha

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 09/09/13 11:35 am

Thanks for the heads up on this one, I've added it to the spreadsheet.
Posted By: KC in S.B.

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 09/12/13 11:13 am

I almost hate to add to this thread......... but here's a Spit Y bike for you guys.......
eBay ID# 200961286079
Posted By: Gary E

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 09/12/13 2:01 pm

It's the same one as above.
Posted By: Two Alpha

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 09/18/13 1:37 pm

Updated the spreadsheet with a couple more numbers, thanks to Gary E.
LA 13826-Y
SA 17337Y

BSA Twin Serial Numbers 1967-1970
Posted By: KevRasen

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 10/14/13 5:42 pm

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/BSA-mk3-Spitfi...=item27d954c130

another one resurfaces
Posted By: Dave T

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 10/14/13 7:33 pm

I have the following engine fitted:

A65TA 12428-Y
Posted By: Two Alpha

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 11/22/13 1:39 pm

Thanks guys, got those two added along with another from Gary E, A65SA 16619Y.

KevRasen's ebay number has been entered as A65SA 13569-Y, at least that's what I make it out to be.

edit: another one from Gary added, A65SA 15735Y ('68 Hybrid Spitfire)

BSA Twin Serial Numbers 1967-1970

Posted By: Two Alpha

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 11/23/13 11:31 pm

And another one on ebay at the moment. This particular case style tells us the bike came off the line in either December 1969 or January 1970.

This is the highest numbered 1970 "Y" bike we've seen to this point, within a few hundred of the highest numbered 1967 "-Y" bike.

1970 17993Y A65TA

Posted By: MarcB

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 11/30/13 11:02 pm

I'm not sure if this has been listed already, but there is a Y frame on eBay right now. No descriptions, but appears to be A65 LA11836Y:

Posted By: Two Alpha

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 12/02/13 8:21 pm

Thanks for that Marc, had the serial number on the spreadsheet but didn't have a picture to go with it. We do now!
Posted By: Gary E

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 12/02/13 8:29 pm

Looks like a re-stamping.
Posted By: Two Alpha

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 12/02/13 9:18 pm

Gary's right, can't believe I had to rotate the picture to see that! smile
Posted By: pokie

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 12/04/13 11:46 pm

I`ve been AWOL for a stretch, but found this gem of an esoteric thread upon my return. I don`t where this might or might not apply to the investigation, but I have a Hornet in the old "someday" projects shed that has the moniker A65HA5865-Y. Is this out of the ordinary, or is it just a common as pig tracks -Y rather than a Y ? Had it for 20 years and the numbers (et al) appear to be original.
Posted By: Two Alpha

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 12/06/13 3:11 am

Not really very common at all as 1967 was the last year for the Hornets. They haven't been making those for 46 years now!
My guess would be that there were less than 1000 Hornets made in 1967.

The "Y" bikes didn't appear until 1968 so it's very unlikely that there ever was a "Y" Hornet.

I did stumble across this while searching for the total number of Hornets for 1967 though, A65SA 17902Y , despatch dates and all!
Posted By: Gary E

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 12/06/13 11:14 am

Originally Posted By: pokie
...A65HA5865-Y...

Peter,

I assume it is an east coast model Hornet? I'll add it to the '67 Hornet registry database I maintain.

Originally Posted By: Two Alpha
...My guess would be that there were less than 1000 Hornets made in 1967...

Double that number would be closer to the number of '67 Hornet produced. They produced 764 west coast model Hornets.
Posted By: Kevin (NZ).

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 12/09/13 6:54 am

I thought we were going to have this sorted by Xmas.

I have been away a while but have little to add at this stage.

Seems like more and more people are getting exposure to the truth now though... that has to be progress in itself.
Posted By: ChrisX

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 12/17/13 4:15 am

I've been trying to follow all the nuances of this thread but I don't recall any "-X" crankcases. These look very '67 to my untrained eye, seperate stator housing etc . Anybody know what the "-X" means?



Chris
Posted By: Kevin (NZ).

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 12/17/13 4:30 am

Hi Chris, we have seen a few Dash X engines of 1967 much like yours. I personally think they are the same as the Dash Y but possibly done at the dealership. I will see if I can dig some pics out and see if we can compare anything.
Your number is quite low so it may well be possible the bike was retrofitted with the pipe and in accordance with the Bulletin.

Thanks for the pic. Cheers.
Posted By: Phil R

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 12/17/13 7:09 pm

In response to Chris's question regarding -X engines, I can verify for sure that there's at least one other -X out there still carrying the Flag: bigt

Posted By: ChrisX

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 12/17/13 7:43 pm

Thats a really early number too. Could be somehting in that. The stamper chap dropped his "X" behind the bench and used "Y" instead whistle
Posted By: Two Alpha

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 12/17/13 9:46 pm

Here's a few more...






The 4008-X Royal Star is the highest 1967 "-X" number I've seen so far.
The highest 1967 numbers that I have knowledge of, with neither a "-X" or a "-Y", are 4300 and 4302.

Seeing that 4300 was despatched to BSA USA West on the 21st of September, 1966, these bikes were all very early in the 1967 season.
Kevin's thought, that the "-X" may have been how a dealer indicated that they had done the oil manifold upgrade, makes a lot of sense. The applications seem quite consistent, perhaps these "-X" bikes were only from the one distributor.
Posted By: Gary E

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 12/17/13 10:03 pm

The October 18, 1966 bulletin mentions X or Y for the upgrades.
Posted By: Kevin (NZ).

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 12/17/13 10:31 pm

Thanks Gary, I did think I had read it but was not sure where.
I am on my spare laptop at the mo' and struggling to find pics etc.

Do you think there is a chance the X stamping was done in the States ?
Posted By: craigw

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 12/17/13 10:47 pm

Two Alpha here is another -X

Posted By: Gary E

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 12/17/13 11:55 pm

Originally Posted By: Kevin (NZ).
Thanks Gary, I did think I had read it but was not sure where.
I am on my spare laptop at the mo' and struggling to find pics etc.

Do you think there is a chance the X stamping was done in the States ?

Kevin,
All but one of the images have the same font with the 'legs' on all 4 points of the X. All of the images have the wide deep dash. So, they look like they were all done by the same stamp/stamper, or nearly so. Long odds that it was the same dealer in the US for all these machines. Can't imagine either coast distributor (east or west) opening up the crates to stamp the engines.
Posted By: Kevin (NZ).

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 12/18/13 12:18 am

So where does that leave us ?

I agree about the 'X' stamp being common to the pics but it is unusual in that it is the same font we see on the early unit singles as opposed to the unit twins.

All the Dash Y stamps we have seen have been the one font. One of the 'X' (15%) or so have been of the same font as all the Dash Y engines.
Not only do we have an X being used rather than the more common 'Y' we also have two distinct X stamps.

We are also seeing a relatively narrow range of serial numbers.
We should be able to work out where these bikes were in the two weeks either side of the bulletin release.


I have not read the bulletin recently so please bear with me if I have some facts wrong.

Some bikes must have been in limbo at the factory between their assembly and the introduction (production line) of the new manifold.
Those bikes would have needed a minor level or rework, as required by the bulletin. Is it possible someone was given a cardboard box full of pipes (3 pipe) and some tools and told to head off down to despatch.
"Oh, you can't use our 'Y' stamp, we are using that on the line. 'ere, take a 'X' stamp instead".
Posted By: Two Alpha

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 12/18/13 2:43 am

Originally Posted By: craigw
Two Alpha here is another -X

Thanks Craig, that one's new to me.

Gary, I've only got info on 29 of the first 4500 bikes for 1967, not quite two thirds of one percent. Perhaps you have a few more on your S/H/W list? It would be interesting to see what your percentages are.

Out of the 29 I have...
6 "-X" (21%),
8 "-Y" (28%),
15 with neither (52%).

Reading through the Service Bulletin from BSA New Jersey, I don't see that the dealers are being instructed to make any alterations to the serial numbers, they are to do the upgrades if there is no "-X" or "-Y" present on the existing serial number.
Looks like the "-X" was all the factories doing.
Posted By: Two Alpha

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 12/18/13 3:17 am

Originally Posted By: Kevin (NZ).
Some bikes must have been in limbo at the factory between their assembly and the introduction (production line) of the new manifold.
Those bikes would have needed a minor level or rework, as required by the bulletin. Is it possible someone was given a cardboard box full of pipes (3 pipe) and some tools and told to head off down to despatch.
"Oh, you can't use our 'Y' stamp, we are using that on the line. 'ere, take a 'X' stamp instead".


The guy on the engine assembly line had to have a Y stamp from 4144 on according to the service bulletin.
So while one guy is down at despatch, upgrading the completed bikes that haven't left yet, and adding the "-X" to verify the job's been done, there's another guy over in the completed engine storage area doing the same thing, but he's using the only extra Y stamp they had! Or vice versa.
Posted By: craigw

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 12/18/13 9:01 am

Here is another low number 67 without a -X or -Y. A50RA 3606

Posted By: Gary E

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 12/18/13 12:37 pm

Originally Posted By: Kevin (NZ).
...We are also seeing a relatively narrow range of serial numbers.
We should be able to work out where these bikes were in the two weeks either side of the bulletin release...

Except that LA 119-X does not fit in with the narrow window of numbers.

Originally Posted By: Kevin (NZ).
..."Oh, you can't use our 'Y' stamp, we are using that on the line. 'ere, take a 'X' stamp instead".


Originally Posted By: Two Alpha
...The guy on the engine assembly line had to have a Y stamp from 4144 on according to the service bulletin.
So while one guy is down at despatch, upgrading the completed bikes that haven't left yet, and adding the "-X" to verify the job's been done, there's another guy over in the completed engine storage area doing the same thing, but he's using the only extra Y stamp they had! Or vice versa.

Both very plausible possibilities.

Originally Posted By: Two Alpha
...Gary, I've only got info on 29 of the first 4500 bikes for 1967, not quite two thirds of one percent. Perhaps you have a few more on your S/H/W list? It would be interesting to see what your percentages are...

John, If you would like them, I can send you all of the numbers below 4500 to add to the list. I haven't previously provided them since it wasn't relevant to the subject at hand at the time while we've been investigating the mid-range to high-range numbers.
Posted By: Two Alpha

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 12/18/13 3:21 pm

Originally Posted By: Gary E
John, If you would like them, I can send you all of the numbers below 4500 to add to the list. I haven't previously provided them since it wasn't relevant to the subject at hand at the time while we've been investigating the mid-range to high-range numbers.

Sounds good Gary, I'll be glad to add them in, should help to improve our understanding of the "X" stamping.
It's very interesting to see, with an admittedly small sample so far, that the upgrades made by the factory (not the full on implementation of those upgrades on the engine production line) appear to have been fairly evenly split between "X" and "Y" stampings.
Posted By: craigw

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 12/18/13 7:21 pm

Could the difference -Y versus -X just be two different workers?
I know where I worked in a power plant the guys had their own tool boxes. The company bought the tools so everyone's tools were similar but everyone had their own set that was assigned to them.
When the fellow who stamped the -Y was sick or off could his replacement stamping the engines possibly be missing the - and the Y from his set so he used a 1 sideways for the dash and the X in his set since it is close to Y in the alphabet and looks like a Y with a extra leg?
The other thing is there is nothing to say that the person who stamped the serial numbers was the same person who checked the engine to see that it had the modifications and then stamped the X or Y.
Just a thought.
Posted By: Gary E

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 12/18/13 8:00 pm

Not likely. The - stamping is very unlike the number 1 stamp. The randomness of the X and Y throughout the large range of numbers make it also unlikely that it was one worker with the Y stamp one day or shift and one worker with the X stamp another day or shift.
Posted By: Two Alpha

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 12/19/13 3:03 am

Thanks to another large contribution by Gary we now have info for 76 of the first 4500 twins for 1967.

Out of the 76 we have...
6 "-X" (8%),
13 "-Y" (17%),
57 with neither (75%).

According to the service bulletin, the new improvements were built into all 1967 twin models after engine number 4144. We know a few higher numbered engines had already gone down the motorcycle assembly line, we have 4275, 4300, 4302, and 4458-X that show that.
I had thought previously that the "-Y" had been applied after 4144 on the engine assembly line, but these higher numbers without the "-Y" make that doubtful. More likely that the person copying the engine numbers onto the frames was also applying the "-Y" to the engines after 4144. I'm thinking that the oil manifold and the ignition cam wouldn't be attached to the engine on the engine assembly line, that would happen over on the motorcycle assembly line.
If what I imagine here is true, they wouldn't have had to worry about upgrading the assembled engines before they were brought over to the motorcycle assembly line.
Those engines would be getting their upgraded pieces attached, and "-Y" applied, after they were brought over to the line.

Between engines numbered lower than 4144 that were brought over to the motorcycle assembly line later, and bikes that were completed (or nearly so) but not yet despatched, our percentages above suggest that the total would be somewhere near 1000!
As Kevin had suggested a few posts back, the X stamp must have been used on the completed, or perhaps nearly so, bikes that had already come off the assembly line but still hadn't been despatched.
The Y stamp would have been in steady use at the assembly line, where it would account for approx. 700 of the 1000.

The spreadsheet has been upgraded with all of these recent additions.
BSA Twin Serial Numbers 1967-1970

Posted By: Kevin (NZ).

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 12/19/13 4:02 am

The engines were never really stamped sequentially. Well not in an order that makes sense to us.

The engines were all over the show and there can be no natural flow.
The as-cast cases were left to cure outside before they came back in for machining. As the engine was being built up it was stamped with some of the numbers. The capacity and model, ie A65TA.
We have discussed this before but the serial number may have been added now also. ie 4055.
That engine then sat about waiting for the batch of frames to be made.
The next week they made Hornets on the line so A65HA4278-Y would have gone into a Hornet. They picked all the Hornet engines out of the batch outside the engine shop. The frame was now stamped with the same as the engine. A65HA4278

A65TA4055 is left until the Thunderbolts are getting assembled on a line.

The bikes appearing at despatch would be a variety of models but again many would have been assembled to order. ie the UK dealers would be getting their A65TA and A65LA bikes, in home market spec, put on a lorry for delivery to Elite or wherever.

For these reasons you are not going to see a regular sequence of machines popping off the line. They will be in the same ball park though.

The early engine we saw is obviously a very early 1967. It has carry over 1966 markings with the 'dot' code.
I suspect that engine was still at the factory when the bulletin was being mooted. We are only talking about a couple months from the very first 1967 engine to when the bulletin was being drafted. That engine may have even been on a test bike to evaluate the new points and rocker cooling modifications.

I believe we will see most of those Dash X suffix bikes all being shipped in about Nov 1966. I know the Dash Y bikes were being shipped in December.
We know this because the original BSAOC story was trying to have us believe the bikes were delayed and stored etc.... Not at all the case at all with any of the Dash Y machines.

I think the bikes down at despatch were the ones hit with the Dash and X once the mods had been done to the engine.
Posted By: Two Alpha

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 12/19/13 2:44 pm

Originally Posted By: Kevin (NZ).
The engines were never really stamped sequentially. Well not in an order that makes sense to us.

They would have been numbered sequentially on the engine assembly line, see Kommando's great post from a few pages back.
Once they got off the end of the engine assembly line, sequential order was out the window!

It looks like there would have only been about 300 bikes getting the upgrades and the "-X". Not very many really, less than two days production.
Posted By: kommando

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 12/19/13 4:37 pm

Remember my post referred to Meriden, knowing the differences between Longbridge and Cowley factories when I worked for Austin Rover then all you can say is that Small Heath will have followed a similar pattern but not exact. Meriden stamped the engines with the sequential number and the frame was stamped after, Small Heath may have taken the frame hitting the assembly line as the point the sequential number was controlled, currently we can only guess.

Found this interview with John Nelson here

http://www.triumph-tiger-90.com/index.shtml#notes

It details how the build process worked at Meriden, no doubt a similar regime operated at Small Heath with some changes.
Posted By: Kevin (NZ).

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 12/19/13 7:58 pm

I sold a few motorbikes some months back. Japanese jobs and of them three were the same model. All very similar, indeed they almost had identical serial numbers.

We had number 10, 12 and 17. Admittedly there was a bunch of number before that.

You could imagine that batch of bikes being conceived, assembled, despatched, shipped and even sold all together. They all ended up in the same province here anyway.

The same could not be said of the British method in vogue back in the sixties. I have seen pics of a pile of crankcase halves sitting in the open at one of the factories.They would weather, or stress relieve, for a period before being picked up and taken through for machining and matching, stamping and assembly etc.

If this was the practice then we also know from that unique casting on the Dec 1969, Jan 1970 bikes that there must have been some form of order. Well in that the castings were not necessarily lost or forgotten.

Again with the assembled engines being put to one side before being fitted into a frame almost guarantees that bikes dropping off the assembly line would be numbers apart rather than in sequence. We see this from the shipping or despatch logs. Sequential numbers could end up being shipped a couple of weeks apart.

If we apply this to out Dash X situation here we are seeing exactly that. I think it quite likely that they only stamped a few days production as John has mentioned.

Perhaps they managed to find a few bikes in other areas of the factory that the modded and stamped that week. I could just imagine Jack and Bob walking about with their spare manifold pipes, ignition cam and tools (including the two stamps) looking for bikes that needed dealt to.
Posted By: craigw

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 12/19/13 10:09 pm

Two Alpha here are two more serial numbers:

A65LA 7081-Y

A65LA 10841 stamped on the motor and A65SA 10841 stamped on the frame with a L stamped over the S.
Posted By: Two Alpha

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 12/19/13 10:31 pm

Thanks Craig, I must have picked up 10841-Y from an earlier post of yours, already have a few pictures of the stampings.
Posted By: Two Alpha

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 12/22/13 3:36 am

Here's another interesting one from Ebay UK, A65LA 15995-Y

"According to the factory records the bike was despatched to Elite Motors on 22nd January 1968, having original left the production line in April 1967."

So it spent nine months in the twilight zone?
Posted By: Kevin (NZ).

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 12/22/13 4:10 am

Interesting example. It has gone MIA for a similar length of time as the missing 'original' Hybrid Spitfires.

This one has all the 1967 features though and has popped up in January, little earlier than the Spitfires.

It does have some obvious 1968 additions, shocks and side cover decals. Against that it has most 1967 bits, even the sls front brake.

I do not doubt those dates. They all seem to tally. The only thing is where was this particular machine physically from the time it popped off the line to the time it appeared on the back of the truck ?
It may have been packed in a crate for an export market that failed to materialise. Possibly an overseas Govt contract.

I am sure others here will have thoughts on the matter.
Posted By: Stuart

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 12/22/13 5:17 am

Hi All,

Originally Posted By: Two Alpha
A65LA 15995-Y

"According to the factory records the bike was despatched to Elite Motors on 22nd January 1968, having original left the production line in April 1967."

Originally Posted By: Kevin (NZ).
It has gone MIA for a similar length of time as the missing 'original' Hybrid Spitfires.

where was this particular machine physically from the time it popped off the line to the time it appeared on the back of the truck ?

Firstly, apologies for failing to contribute since the summer - being saving the world elsewhere ... grin However, I have been reading the thread.

Without something more on this bike, I wouldn't get too excited about it. By the time it was dispatched to Elite (in Tooting, south London) it was 'previous season'; Elite was one of a favoured handful of dealers who were sold 'old stock' at a knockdown price and would then retail it at a discount. Elite was one of the sources of many of the 1975-registered T150's - they had lorry-loads of the things after the T160 was launched.

Pending any more information, I'll speculate this bike was put to one side for a reason - failed final test? - and gradually robbed of original parts like shocks and sidepanels. Then, around Christmas/New Year '67/'68, when things were a bit slow, someone said, "Right, let's get this crap either fixed or broken up"; whatever was wrong on that bike was fixed, it got current-season ('68) shocks., sidepanels and stickers from stock and was sold to Elite.

Hth.

Regards,
Posted By: craigw

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 12/22/13 11:48 am

Two Alpha
Another low number frame with no X or Y.
If this has not been restamped, then it indicates that the model was probably stamped on some time after initial serial number stamping on the assembly line (quality assurance aside).

Posted By: Gary E

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 12/22/13 1:05 pm

Originally Posted By: Two Alpha
..."According to the factory records the bike was despatched to Elite Motors on 22nd January 1968, having original left the production line in April 1967."

So it spent nine months in the twilight zone?

And a -Y bike at that. Too strange to believe the double dates.

Originally Posted By: Stuart
...speculate this bike was put to one side for a reason - failed final test? - and gradually robbed of original parts like shocks and sidepanels. Then, around Christmas/New Year '67/'68, when things were a bit slow, someone said, "Right, let's get this crap either fixed or broken up"; whatever was wrong on that bike was fixed, it got current-season ('68) shocks., sidepanels and stickers from stock...

I'm more inclined to believe previous owners made the changes with the '68 parts. The front fender looks aftermarket.
Posted By: Gary E

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 12/22/13 1:29 pm

Originally Posted By: craigw
...Another low number frame with no X or Y...

The -X and -Y are only stamped on the engine.

This one looks like the factory stamper forgot to stamp the model letter, ie S,L,T,H,R,W. I think the missing letter would be 'S' since 4302 and 4332 that I have are Spitfires.
Posted By: Thunderman

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 12/22/13 2:27 pm

After reading this post I went out and looked at the numbers on my 1969 BSA Thunderbolt and the frame and the engine were both stamped A65TA 8391 Y .
I think that i remember a post that said you could send your frame and engine vin. numbers in and have them verify the date of manufacture and receive some kind of certificate.
Could someone fill me in on this ?
Posted By: Two Alpha

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 12/22/13 6:34 pm

Here you go Thunderman!

VMCC dating service smile
Posted By: Gary E

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 12/22/13 7:01 pm

BSAOC UK also provides a "Dating Certificate"
Posted By: Kevin (NZ).

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 12/22/13 7:28 pm

Oh Gary, you are so naughty.
Posted By: Two Alpha

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 12/22/13 7:29 pm

Originally Posted By: craigw
Two Alpha
Another low number frame with no X or Y.
If this has not been restamped, then it indicates that the model was probably stamped on some time after initial serial number stamping on the assembly line (quality assurance aside).

Thanks again Craig, I gather you're working your way through your personal horde!
That serial number is from Sept. 1966, the engine should already have the model designation before it was mated to a frame. As Gary has mentioned, the person doing the frame stamping got everything but the model. I would expect that he would apply the two A's, then the 65 in between followed by the model letter and the serial numbers. He must have done the 65 and then gone straight to the serial numbers.
Posted By: Two Alpha

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 12/22/13 7:33 pm

Originally Posted By: Kevin (NZ).
Oh Gary, you are so naughty.

bigt
Posted By: Gary E

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 12/22/13 8:18 pm

Originally Posted By: Kevin (NZ).
Oh Gary, you are so naughty.

I believe the information for the dating certificates from both organizations comes from the same source: original production records. BSAOC UK has a copy, VMCC has the original books which were given to them by the London Science Museum.
Posted By: Kevin (NZ).

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 12/22/13 8:42 pm

Naughty but nice.

Place your bets gentlemen please....
Posted By: Two Alpha

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 12/22/13 8:50 pm

Originally Posted By: Gary E
Originally Posted By: Two Alpha
..."According to the factory records the bike was despatched to Elite Motors on 22nd January 1968, having original left the production line in April 1967."

So it spent nine months in the twilight zone?

And a -Y bike at that. Too strange to believe the double dates.

The double dates don't really surprise me, this is just another case where the original bike survived. For every later "Y" bike, I think that there was an original bike that BSA determined wasn't good enough to survive.
To summarize a bit...
The "Y" bikes will all show at least two dates in the books, sometimes three.
The 100,000/added zero bikes will all show two dates.
We don't know yet how many of the 1967 bikes, with normal serial numbers, will show two dates, there are probably quite a few.

With the despatch dates that we currently have, it looks like they were still despatching 1967 models with normal serial numbers into March of 1968, even though some of these bikes had initially rolled off the production line as much as 16 months earlier!
For a short period of time, March/April 1968, the level of refurbishing to some of these bikes got to the point that they felt it necessary to change the serial numbers by adding a zero to both the engine and the frame.
In early April 1968, BSA must have had enough of trying to refurbish these original bikes and switched to applying the 1967 serial numbers, with a "Y", to then current production 1968 bikes.

The picture will continue to improve as we round up despatch information, especially for those bikes with multiple dates.
Posted By: Kevin (NZ).

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 12/22/13 9:22 pm

We need to see the books.

Hopefully Thunderman will apply to the BSAOC UK for a dating certificate.

He knows it is a 1969 model. We can all see from the pic that it is a 1969 model. We can see from John's spreadsheet that it sits amongst other 1969 models.

To my knowledge, only one 'Y' bike of 1969/1970 has received a correct dating certificate.

Hopefully the situation has improved but up to about two years ago that bike would have been called a 1967 model.

It would be interesting to see what the certificate for A65TA8391Y comes back as.

I can think of 4 or 5 members here that would dearly love to see the reply.

For those that were wondering about my comments about 'naughty' Gary. He is thinking exactly the same as me...
We both suspect the reply would try dating that bike as a 1967.

I personally think it would be a 60/40 chance.
For the VMCC dating service I could not comment. I don't have any personal knowledge or experience there.
Posted By: Thunderman

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 12/22/13 10:05 pm

Thanks for the info. Two Alpha. I went to the site and it looks like it would cost about 16 British pounds to get a certificate since I am not a member . If my GED math is close to correct it would be about $27 to $28 US dollars.
It also said that you can call them and if it takes less than 5 min. the verbal info. is free.
Since free is better to me I will try and call.
If I get any info. I will post.
Thanks Again !
Posted By: Gary E

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 12/22/13 11:10 pm

Having been to the VMCC library in Burton on Trent, I believe it will take longer than 5 minutes to get the correct book out and look up the number. It is a '67 looking number on a '69 model year machine, so they will be confused in which book to look in. And since there are several books for each year, they will likely have 6+ books spread out on the libraries big table.

For them it may seem like:

Posted By: Kevin (NZ).

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 12/22/13 11:21 pm

Thanks for the feedback Thunderman.
I can only imagine it was the VMCC you were speaking to. Free info is great.

I wonder who exactly is paying for that service.

We know the answers for your bike. Perhaps that would be better expressed as we know the wrong answers for that bike.
For the past 13 years I have seen many wrong answers.

I can't tell you where your bike was despatched to. I think you will get that answer from the phone call.
You will also get given a date from early 1967 calendar year.
Indeed it would generally be expected that all the info for your bike will be coming from one of the 1967 despatch books.

The 1967 date is not your bike. It is another.
Don't ask where it is now because none of us know. It did not have any of the 1969 features your bike has..... if indeed it had any features at all.

Your bike would have been despatched about Feb 1969 after having been made in the weeks earlier. It is a 1969 and would have trundled along the line with all the other 1969 models being made at the time.

The phone call with give you a date in early 1967, another in early 1969, some despatch info and perhaps a little more.
It will help us all if you can record all that is given to you.
Prompt a little and you may get a tally number and invoice number, or similar.

Don't forget the time zone difference. The UK will be something like 5 or 6 hours ahead of you.

Thanks again for the update.
Posted By: timbo

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 12/23/13 3:16 pm

Hi, just thought i should post my dating certificate that shows my "Y" engine.

Timbo

Posted By: Kevin (NZ).

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 12/23/13 5:51 pm

Thanks for posting Timbo.
A lot of information there.

As you know you have an OIF bike and the VIN details refer to the chassis or frame number. At least in most regulatory states.

Steve had an easy job looking up the frame details, as we know the later numbers have the month/Year code included anyway.

The engine number involved a lot more work for him.
It would appear you have a 1969 engine. It will have the older type cylinder base bolts and 'side' clutch cable entry.
If you look at the spreadsheet you will see any number of similar bikes.

Here we have an example of a two year old certificate and the BSAOC UK are still implying the engine was made in 1967 season and reworked.... !!

These guys had no idea, honestly.
Hopefully they are now a little better informed and can see that your engine has nothing whatsoever to do with 1967.

Many here will feel strongly about that middle paragraph of the certificate.
I would like to ask the BSAOC for more details of the 'returned' bike.
No-one I know of has ever seen one. Can Steve provide details of when it was returned and where it was stored over that three year period ?
That certificate is a legal document..... you would expect it to be correct !

John has plenty there to add to that number on his spreadsheet. Those dates are a little later than I would have expected to see but it will go on to tell us a little more of the picture.
Posted By: Kevin (NZ).

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 12/23/13 6:27 pm

This thread has been running for a while and we are attracting new readers along the way.

For those that are not following some of my comments I can confuse them even further.
These last few examples we have been chatting about are serial numbers of the last groupings of the various 'Y' suffixed machines.
These are the 1969/70 bikes that have the Y suffix on both engine and frame numbers.
We know 100% that they were made in 1969 and 1970 model years. There can be no confusion there. We can even tell what month some were made going by physical characteristics.

For whatever reason these bikes are showing in the 1967 despatch books. They also have a style of number sequence that was used in the 1967 season.
They are not 1967 bikes, and never were.

That said, we do have another issue...
The very same despatch books list that same number as being despatched during the 1967 season.

If it is not the 1969/70 bike then where is the first bike that was despatched ?

All we have is a date... (like Timbo's 10th Nov 1966) then pooof

MIA
Zilch

Gone burger...

If the bikes did come back to the factory, then how & when ?
Where were they for those 3 years ?
The BSAOC states that they were reworked, - okay where are the parts that were removed to make way for the new parts?
Almost every part of the 'older' bike would have had to been replaced. We are talking about 90% of the machine here, it would be easier to make a new bike.

Which is of course what they did.

The question remains...
Where is the first bike ?

When I started this thread I mentioned that the new A65 Tech Specialist for the BSAOC was interested in reviewing our comments. He was also suggesting the website could be revised.

I was hoping to get this resolved before Christmas.

We still have 12 hours (in my neck of the woods) to get this finalised.

Am I to get any Xmas present at all ?

Posted By: Two Alpha

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 12/24/13 12:31 am

Originally Posted By: timbo
Hi, just thought i should post my dating certificate that shows my "Y" engine.
As some of my fellow Canadians might put it, that's a beauty eh! Thanks so much for posting your certificate timbo.
Originally Posted By: Kevin (NZ).
Those dates are a little later than I would have expected to see but it will go on to tell us a little more of the picture.
Yes, that despatch of Feb. 13, 1970 is very surprising, a bit mind boggling really.

In all likelihood, Timbo's engine was built in January or early February of 1969. We do have info on others built in that period, also with the 1967 style numbers.
A65TA 7031Y shows a despatch date of April 19, 1969, A65LA 7752Y shows a despatch date of Feb. 20, 1969, and A65LA 8146Y shows a despatch date of Feb. 26, 1969, so how did Timbo's A65TA 7894Y not get despatched until Feb. 13, 1970?
I would really like to get a look at the line in the book for your engine, it would make much more sense as Feb. 13, 1969.

Edit: We realized a bit later on that Timbo's engine, as well as a couple other 7000 series "Y" bikes, were actually 1970 models. They were somehow missed in 1969 and it was necessary for BSA to add them to the 1970 production.

One thing the despatch info for Timbo's bike has highlighted, we don't have any despatch information for the 1970 "Y" bikes, not a single date, only Timbo's in 1970! Is there anyone out there with a 1970 "Y" bike who would care to post their certificate?

Originally Posted By: Kevin (NZ).
If the bikes did come back to the factory, then how & when ?
Where were they for those 3 years ?
I think our twilight zone period is "only" about a year and a half. It looks like they had salvaged all they could by the end of March/early April 1968, and then started putting the 1967 serial numbers, from the ones that couldn't be salvaged, onto new production bikes. The earliest despatch date we have for a 1968 SA "Y" bike is April 12, 1968.
My sense is that those 1967 bikes, the ones that couldn't be salvaged, were all gone before they started stamping the SA "Y" numbers onto 1968 engines.
Posted By: Stuart

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 12/24/13 2:32 am

Hi Kevin,

Thanks for the summary. The only thing I would suggest adding is a link to the numbers spreadsheet, to save hunting for the last time it was posted?

Originally Posted By: Kevin (NZ).
These last few examples we have been chatting about are serial numbers of the last groupings of the various 'Y' suffixed machines.
These are the 1969/70 bikes that have the Y suffix on both engine and frame numbers.

This bit I understand (sort-of smile ).

However, I don't understand linking A65LA 15995-Y, when you posted, "This one has all the 1967 features"; what's its link to "the 1969/70 bikes that have the Y suffix"?

Regards,
Posted By: Two Alpha

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 12/24/13 3:09 am

Hey guys, it's down to just a few hours for Kevin and the others in NZ, time to wish you all a very Merry Christmas!

Just checked the BSAOC UK website, looks like the same old lump of coal for the Unit A-Series blurb.
Posted By: Two Alpha

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 12/24/13 3:32 am

BSA Twin Serial Numbers 1967 to 1970

Hi Stuart,

The significance of A65LA 15995-Y is that it is one of the original 1967 bikes that had some kind of an issue. In it's particular case, the issue was able to be resolved and the bike was finally despatched on Jan. 22, 1968.
If the issue was unable to be resolved, that serial number may very well have ended up on a 1970 Lightning as A65LA 15995Y.
Of course Kevin may have a slightly different take on it. wink
Posted By: Kevin (NZ).

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 12/24/13 4:46 am

Originally Posted By: Stuart


However, I don't understand linking A65LA 15995-Y, when you posted, "This one has all the 1967 features"; what's its link to "the 1969/70 bikes that have the Y suffix"?

Regards,


Hi Stuart..
Thanks for trying to keep up. I realise it can be confusing as we now have many bikes appearing on the spreadsheet.

This Dash Y Lightning is really just a normal Dash Y bike of 1967. What does make it a little different is that it came off the line and sat about for a while. Well, in at least what we are being told.

The common features of all the various Y suffixed machines, 3 distinct groupings, is the suffix and the fact they all appear in the 1967 despatch books.

The first group is the normal Dash Y. (And Dash X)..
These are the 1967 bikes that have the 3 pipe oil manifold and new points cam.
We seem to have that sorted now.
They were generally despatched on time, and during the 1967 season.

The second group is the Hybrid Spitfires.
These bikes were made at the end of the 1968 season. One whole year after the last of the 1967 Dash Y bikes.

We know they were made in 1968 as the engines are completely different and they are identical to other 1968 SB Spitfires.
The issue here is that now seeing two despatch dates.
The second date is obviously some time after they were made getting towards the middle of 1968 calendar year.

We have a despatch date of 1967 season in the books also though...
And that had to be a completely different looking bike. It should have been a Dash Y MkIII Spitfire.
Nearly 500 of these bikes have disappeared without trace.
We don't know what was going on (with that number) from mid 1967 Calendar year until 1968.

The Ebay Spitfire Lightning appears to have been 'missing' over the same period. That is why it is of interest to us.
It still has 1967 features so if it was 'upgraded' as the BSAOC are so keen to believe then any such work was minor.

IT IS THE ONLY BIKE THAT WAS AT THE FACTORY OVER THE PERIOD THAT LOOKS AT ALL MODIFIED.
One, just one. And even then we doubt the shocks and side covers were changed at the factory.

Now we have the third and last grouping of bikes.
These are the 1969/'70 Y bikes.
They were made in the 1969 and 1970 season as I have mentioned above.

Now, the ''official'' story.
Well read the BSAOC website and try and make some sense of it.

The dating officer was obviously under the impression all these various Y suffix bikes were all brought back to the factory for repair/upgrade.
The story tends to be a bit flexible as it often could contradict itself.
That is the problem when you publish hearsay and not look at the facts.
The end result is we have been seeing non-sensical dating certificates like Timbos'.

The problem John, Gary and myself is having is that we can't agree on what happened in the period June 1967 to June 1968.
We don't know a thing about those bikes that were supposedly despatched, returned, rebuilt and then redespatched.
All we can agree on is the final shipping date and details.

These are the Hybrid Spitfires of 1968 and the Y bikes of 1969/70.
We are more than happy with the second use of the number. We have the bikes on the spreadsheets and have seen them, have photos, or know the owners even.

The whereabouts, or fate, of the first issue of the number (the bikes despatched ?) in 1967 is unknown to us.

We are talking almost 2,500 bikes here.
BSA records show they were shipped.
The BSAOC say they were received back at the factory... BSA RECORDS DO NOT SHOW THIS.
BSAOC, say the bikes were reworked and shipped some years later.
The BSA despatch records do show this second despatch date.
HOWEVER, the bike that went out a couple of years later was a brand new bike. It shows no sign of rework/repair. There was nothing in the way of 1967 features on them.

What happened to those 2,500 bikes ?

Why is the BSAOC story so horribly flawed?
Posted By: Gary E

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 12/24/13 12:39 pm

Referring to the posted dating certificate, and although a bit trivial, Steve is adding dots to all of the numbers and a dash before the first A which is inconsistent with actual stampings after 1966. It doesn't help with the BSAOC UK and the dating certificates credibility for accuracy.
Posted By: Kevin (NZ).

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 12/24/13 4:00 pm

A good point Gary. The last use of the 'dots' on unit twin engine numbers must have been early in the 1967 season.

Perhaps he is hedging his bets with the Dot Y engine number on the certificate as he may be unsure whether it is a 'Y' engine or a 'Dash Y' engine.

Either way it does not look correct, I agree.

EDIT...
Just thinking about it.
That engine number could have conceivably been used twice as it is.
The first A65LA7894-Y built in 1966
Then A65LA7894Y which is the engine Timbo has. The engine made in 1969.

Is the 'Dot Y' engine just a tidy way of referring to the two of them ? A legal 'out' if you please..
Posted By: timbo

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 12/24/13 5:33 pm

Just to hopefully clear up issues a little, here is a pic of my engine number, sorry its a bit blurred, i can take another or more later

Timbo

Posted By: Kevin (NZ).

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 12/24/13 5:56 pm

A good pic Timbo, and exactly what we expected to see.
There are at least 4 distinguishing features there that say it is impossible for that engine to have anything to do with 1967.

Your engine is a 1969 built engine and very little of 1967 will even go close to fitting on it.

If the BSAOC dating officer has been receiving pics, or pencil rubbings, of those numbers then how could they possibly be confusing it with an engine built two years earlier.

The new style font never appeared until September 1968 for starters. Then we have the raised pad and the background icons.

We still have the casting marks and studs that are different also.

Again just to repeat.
If you have a 'Y' engine and the number is like this then it is a 1969 or 1970 model.
Although the raised pad appeared early in the 1969 model season we have yet to see a 1969 Y bike without the raised pad.


Conversely if you have a Y engine without the raised pad then it will be a 1967 or 68 engine.
The Dash Y bikes of 1967 had the hyphen preceding the Y and came in all twin models. A65LA, TA, HA, SA, RA.
All the bikes with the Dash Y suffix arrangement are 1967 models. Please be aware of the following A65SA bikes though..



If you have a Spitire and it has the Y, without the Dash, then it may be a 1968 built engine. If the transmission filler is plastic and located on the outer timing cover then it definitely is. We have been referring to them as the Hybrid Mk IV's here.
ie, Built in 1968 and a MkIV in every respect, well apart from the engine number.


Three distinct uses of the suffix.

Dash Y bikes of 1967

Hybrid Spitfires of 1968

Y Bikes of 1969/70. Lightning, Thunderbolt and Royal Star's.

Posted By: timbo

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 12/24/13 6:26 pm

Kevin, thanks for the info. I have been re-reading this post from the beginning and must admit am getting a little lost in places. You have mentioned a spreadsheet a few times, could that be posted at some time so others can see in "black and white" how our "Y" machines fit in the grand scheme of things?

Timbo
Posted By: Kevin (NZ).

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 12/24/13 7:00 pm

John has been looking after the spreadsheet.
It is just a few days out of date as we have had a little more input recently.
If you look under 'Two Alpha's posts you should see a link to his Excel spreadsheet.
I don't think any of us realised that there were so may Y bikes of 1969 about until John did this. It is roughly 50/50 spread between 1969 and 1970. We thought about 10% of the 1970 A65 production run may have been Y bikes.

With the way he has set the page out you will soon see how the 3 distinct groupings feature.

A big step forward into sorting the mess out.

The link to the spreadsheet may open from the address I have posted below.

http://69.176.176.62/BritBike_Salvaged_T...201967-1970.xls

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?...amp;usp=sharing

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/fm?i...ttachment=false
Posted By: Kevin (NZ).

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 12/24/13 7:43 pm

Could someone let me know of any of those links work please.
I know many people do not have the capability of opening an Excel document so I tried the Google version of it.

Timbo, I know Bishops Stortford. Spent a night there about 14 years ago after playing pool in the Red Lion I think it was.

It is not so far up to Burton-upon-Trent. A nice place to visit this time of year.

We are still hoping someone with some investigative skills can pop into the library at the VMCC and answer a few questions.
It is a case of the more we are learning then we are also discovering uncertainties.
We know the questions, we just don't know the answers.
Posted By: Gary E

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 12/24/13 7:52 pm

Originally Posted By: timbo
...You have mentioned a spreadsheet a few times, could that be posted at some time so others can see in "black and white" how our "Y" machines fit in the grand scheme of things?

The link is in John's (Two Alpha) last post (#519896) above.
Posted By: Gary E

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 12/24/13 7:57 pm

Originally Posted By: Kevin (NZ).
...Conversely if you have a Y engine without the raised pad then it will be a 1967 engine. It would be expected to have a hyphen, or Dash before the Y suffix....

Clarification: The SA Spitfires with the 'Y' will not have a raised pad and they are '68 machines. Example: A65SA 17654 Y.
Posted By: Kevin (NZ).

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 12/24/13 8:00 pm

Ok Gary, I will see if I can word that a little differently.

I can see I have introduced a little confusion there.
Posted By: Two Alpha

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 12/24/13 8:02 pm

Nice work on the links Kevin, the first two are fine.

The spreadsheet on the server has just been updated, added in the numbers from the last couple of days.
BSA Twin Serial Numbers 1967-1970

For anyone who can't open an Excel document, installing the Open Office software suite will solve that problem, and it's free!
Open Office website
Posted By: Kevin (NZ).

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 12/24/13 8:13 pm

Haven't finished my Xmas dinner yet team. You still have a few minutes yet to get this all resolved in time.
Actually, it will be a barbecue so will extend into the evening somewhat... plenty of time.

Perhaps I should be out eating and drinking rather than sitting here.
Posted By: Two Alpha

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 12/24/13 8:17 pm

Depends Kevin, what would you rather be doing? smile
Posted By: Kevin (NZ).

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 12/25/13 5:30 am

Ok, my Xmas has been and gone. Did nothing, got nothing, achieved nothing.

I did however do a little reading here.

Many here will be waking up to Xmas day in a few hours time.




For the other sad sacks here....

http://www.britbike.com/forums/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=425607&page=1

This is a thread from last year and although mainly about the Hybrid Spitfires does fit in very nicely with our chat here of past days.
Posted By: Arnstein

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 12/25/13 7:08 am

I do`nt know that much about this matter,but would like to know where my Spitfire will fit in regarding year of production.I have a copy of one old Norwegian registration document saying A65SA 73430Y (I do`nt have the original crankcases but the framenumber says the same but without the Y). I managed to find the, what seemed to be, the first owner and he says he bought it secondhand in early may -68..So the first owner must have bought it in -67 (?),keeping it through the (long) Norwegian winter and then selling it in the early start of the motorcycle season.
Posted By: Kevin (NZ).

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 12/25/13 7:27 am

That would have been a Dash Y Mk III Spitfire and the number would be A65SA 13430-Y on the engine number.

We have a few of that batch of Spitfires showing on the spreadsheet with 13436 being the closest.

Some of the later bikes in that batch were despatched in Feb/Mar 1967 so your bike may have been shipped about then also.
Posted By: Stuart

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 12/25/13 7:27 am

Hi Kevin,

Originally Posted By: Kevin (NZ).
Did nothing,
achieved nothing.

Oh, I dunno ... thanks for your summary of the story so far ... bigt

I'm still in Christmas morning (just, the BritBike clock is on GMT+1). The sun and blue skies we started with have gone and it's raining again mad ... I suspect "Noah" and "boat building" are climbing the Google subject count ...

Today, I intend to achieve nothing more than getting on the outside of the dinner cooked by my Cordon Bleu-trained o.h. laughing

Regards,
Posted By: Arnstein

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 12/25/13 8:16 am

Thanks for answering. Framenumber SA73430 and enginenumber SA13430..no matching number??
Posted By: Kevin (NZ).

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 12/25/13 8:23 am

No, it would have been a matching number bike but the frame has either been mis-stamped or misread at some point. Both are reasonably common.
As frame number 73430 makes no sense it has to be something else. No unit BSA twin ever had a number higher than 25,000.
(The 1969 season started at 11101 and got up into the 23,000 Series.)

I think the number has been misread, the '1' could look like a '7'.



Your bike will be a normal Mk III Spitfire, does it have all the original parts still ?

They are nice bikes.
Posted By: Arnstein

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 12/25/13 9:26 am

The framenumber starts with 7 without doubt..so it might have been mis-stamped. When I bought it (in boxes) 30years ago it had the BSA front fork with endcaps (not the Triumph type) and the tls brake,Concentrics and the fibreglass tank/sidecovers.
The registration document says Spitfire mk4 by the way..So it might have been rebadged? It also says year (-68 regarding owner number 2) of registration / model year and the "model year" have been scribbled over.
Posted By: Kevin (NZ).

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 12/25/13 9:37 am

This sounds very interesting. I am sure John will be reading with interest here.
It would not have had those components when first made in Feb 1967.
You do think it was registered in 1967 though and the later style forks and brake were available from July onwards.

It would be difficult to tell now if the engine was a 1967 or 1968 though.

Does the frame have a small diagonal bracket under the seat for the condensor mounting ?

The thread I linked to a few posts ago may be of some interest to you.
Posted By: Arnstein

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 12/25/13 10:08 am

Yes,there is a bracet under the seat probably for the condensers. This will indicate -68 (?)..But since owner nr.2 bought it in early may -68 it must have been bought by owner nr.1 before winter -67 -68 i guess.
Anyway,it is now badged MK3 because when restoring it I saw the SA on the frame telling me 1967 (The old reg.documents was found many years later).
Posted By: Kevin (NZ).

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 12/25/13 10:22 am

This is a seriously interesting bike.

It could be a good example to check the despatch book entries on....
To me, at least, it does not seem like it left the factory in early 1967 as it should have. Possibly it did and then came back.
It had many Mk IV features and they may well have been done at the factory in mid- 1967.


Does it have a toggle light switch or a rotary knob ?
Big or small tail light ?
Posted By: Two Alpha

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 12/25/13 11:02 am

Originally Posted By: Arnstein
I have a copy of one old Norwegian registration document saying A65SA 73430Y (I do`nt have the original crankcases but the framenumber says the same but without the Y).

Originally Posted By: Kevin (NZ).
That would have been a Dash Y Mk III Spitfire and the number would be A65SA 13430-Y on the engine number.

I can see I'm falling behind here so will try to get this in quickly.
Arnstein's bike is on the spreadsheet in the 1968 column, 7343 row. It is one of the survivors where the "-" on the engine was overstamped with a "0", and a "0" was added on the end of the frame number. So, on the engine, A65SA 7343-Y became A65SA 73430Y.
edit: The frame went from A65SA 7343 to A65SA 73430.
Posted By: Kevin (NZ).

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 12/25/13 11:09 am

ok, so it is obviously of interest then.

We haven't delved into these bikes so much yet and they may be yet another case altogether.

Unfortunately there is no engine to work with here but the frame status may give us a clue as to what was done. In this case we have to imagine the frame was modified slightly. In this case just the condensor bracket.

I was thinking the Hybrid Spitfires could have been holding the key.
If these 'survivors', or 'leftovers' possibly, were shipped before March 1968 then they would have preceded the manufacture of the hybrid bikes.


Posted By: Two Alpha

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 12/25/13 11:17 am

Arnstein, what is the serial number on your engine?

Is it A65SA 13430Y?

edit: Ok, I see where, back in August, Arnstein had mentioned that his bike had engine cases from a 1969 Lightning. We don't really have 13430 yet.
It would appear that Arnstein's bike was refurbished, perhaps to Mark IV spec, and re-despatched from the factory, just before the hybrids started coming off the line.
This might fit with what the previous owner had said, that he bought it second hand in May, 1968.
Posted By: Two Alpha

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 12/25/13 12:06 pm

Originally Posted By: Kevin (NZ).
If these 'survivors', or 'leftovers' possibly, were shipped before March 1968 then they would have preceded the manufacture of the hybrid bikes.


My added zero bike, 105590Y, shows a despatch date of April 12, 1968. That also happens to be the same date as the earliest despatched hybrid that we have on the spreadsheet.

The hybrids were already coming down the line as they were reaching the end of the real refurb jobs.
Posted By: Kevin (NZ).

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 12/25/13 12:15 pm

I was adding a comment on a similar thread but it should be here also.


Do we need to regroup and rethink our understanding of the process ?

We have been missing something here.

For two years we have been treading water.... Gary gave us the 'Dash Y' bulletin over two years ago.

We have the spread sheet, we have put the hours in, we have the networking, the brainpower...
The answers have to be there, before our eyes..!

What are we not seeing here ?

My biggest question has been what happened to the original bikes ?
Where are the first bikes that were replaced ?
What happened to the first bike to have that serial number, that we know was replaced by a Hybrid or Y bike ?

ALL ONE QUESTION....

If we now look into these smaller clues then perhaps we may be able to pickup on something.
We must have been making a mistake, or assuming something incorrectly, to not be able to crack this.

Can we look into all the other bikes that don't fit the mould that were despatched from say April 1967 to April 1968.

I believe the shipping strikes were from Oct 1967 onwards.
What else was going on ?

The various BSAOC stories must have some foundation..

Do we need to look at the Unit singles of that same period as well ?

We know the Hybrid Spitfires started getting made in March 1968.... what happened in those 8 months before that ?
Posted By: Arnstein

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 12/25/13 1:52 pm

Kevin..The tail light and lightswitch was missing together with the chainguard and some other parts.
The engine was missing the crankcases but had the Spitfire cyl.head / 32mm concentrics (worn out) and most other engine parts. All of the transfers was missing and it was painted in Blue flake included the frame (!!).
Posted By: Arnstein

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 12/25/13 2:13 pm



This is the Spitfire as it is today. 800cc
Posted By: Two Alpha

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 12/25/13 2:32 pm

Nice job turning those boxes of old parts into such a beautiful British road burner, love to see that!
Posted By: Two Alpha

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 12/25/13 3:45 pm

Originally Posted By: Kevin (NZ).
My biggest question has been what happened to the original bikes ?
Where are the first bikes that were replaced ?
What happened to the first bike to have that serial number, that we know was replaced by a Hybrid or Y bike ?
Originally Posted By: Kevin (NZ).
The various BSAOC stories must have some foundation..

Here's a comment from somewhere, approx. 20 months ago.
Quote:
I was at the factory site last Sunday and met several former workers. They said that the machines were stored in sea containers and were pretty rough when they were brought back to the factory especially the alloy parts so a small production line was set up stripping them down and refurbishing them.
Let's keep in mind that the high pace of production for the 1967 season could very easily have overwhelmed the actual shipping of the export bikes. Regarding the alloy parts, if the engine cases were too far gone to be refurbished economically, that may have been the seed for all of the "Y" bikes to follow.

Originally Posted By: Kevin (NZ).
Can we look into all the other bikes that don't fit the mould that were despatched from say April 1967 to April 1968.
Originally Posted By: Kevin (NZ).
We know the Hybrid Spitfires started getting made in March 1968.... what happened in those 8 months before that ?
As we can see on the spreadsheet, Oct. 31, 1966 is the earliest despatch date we have for a number which was eventually used on a "Y" bike.
We may find that the problems started even before that.

It looks like they spent nearly 17 months(!), refurbishing as many of the damaged bikes as they could, before finally resorting to re-despatching the remaining serial numbers by applying them to new production bikes.

From here on out, every new piece of multiple dispatch date information we can uncover will improve our understanding of this mess. The other 1967 multiple despatch bikes are just as informative as the later "Y" bike despatch dates.


Posted By: Kevin (NZ).

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 12/25/13 4:32 pm

.
Quote:
I was at the factory site last Sunday and met several former workers. They said that the machines were stored in sea containers and were pretty rough when they were brought back to the factory especially the alloy parts so a small production line was set up stripping them down and refurbishing them.


I have no faith in this statement whatsoever. It is part of the BSAOC cover story and I have dozens of emails here suggesting the same thing.
The problems I have with these statements is that many are completely without foundation and obvious fabrications. We have no idea what machines they refer to, what date, and now I have to be selective who is telling the story.

That is the issue we now have. So much is obviously just made-up nonsense to cover the original story.
We will just have to ignore it until we get some better facts to work with.

Unfortunately I have lost many of the emails of 2000 to 2003 but I can perhaps retrieve some excerpts I did forward on in about 2005.
From what we now know it is probably better we don't ever read them. Just a waste of time and misleading.

Any 'refurbished' bikes were the exception. Just like Triumph quickly modified their road test procedures and packing when they encountered corrosion problems.

I think the high production rate of 1967 was actually because several thousand of those bikes were not made in that year at all.

Over 18,000 unit twins in 1967 against an average of 12,000 in the other years about it.
They did not have time to be stripping, cleaning, and rebuilding bikes within that 1967 figure.

If they did it in 1968 season then fine. The problem there is that the bikes were not getting shipped until after Xmas due the strikes. Bikes were being placed directly into storage as it was.

It is the period about the shipping strikes when things started happening.
The BSAOC story mentions this also.
They tried to say all the Dash Y bikes were affected and shipped in 1969/70 though...
WRONG !!!!

All this early 1968 season saga started about the time of the port strikes.

What occurred ?
Posted By: Kevin (NZ).

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 12/25/13 8:11 pm

I am looking for the older correspondence we had with the BSAOC UK.
It has to be said that very little helpful info has come from that quarter and if anything you could almost think some were running subterfuge.

I am loathe to quote some of the replies because I now know it is worse than inaccurate. Most of it is a mismatch of hearsay and myth. The chaps commenting had obviously done very little homework and knew little of the subject. That didn't stop them making 'authoritative' comments all the same.

While I realise that some of the story we have been getting fed for the past 15 years has to have been based on something we have to tread carefully. Filtering out what actually happened from what could just be an over-active imagination is not going to be easy.

I will find some facts though when I spend a wet Boxing Day going through my archives.

Here is one for starters.

Quote:
Don't know if you have a list/database going, but the numbers on my frame and engine are: A65 LA 10935 Y. The clutch is definitely a 70 model and it has a finned rocker cover. There are a number of studs that I had to buy 70 parts for, since the 67 studs were the wrong size and/or pitch.


Quote:
the number stamped on my rotor. It says 12 69. I assume this means December of 1969...?
Posted By: Kevin (NZ).

Re: Calling all Dash Y and Y bike owners.. - 12/25/13 8:40 pm

Ok, it has to be indoors weather elsewhere in the world.

I am reluctant to quote this as I know some here will end up getting more confused.

I will colour code what I believe to be dubious information so at least you can see my personal take on it.

Quote:
Now the resale of 1967 machines in 1969 and 1970. This was brought about by BSA missing the very short buying season in the USA and at this time approximately 60-70% of production went to the USA. There were a series of strikes within the automotive component industries at that time and also a dock strike which delayed shipment of machines to the USA past the deadline to arrive in American dealers to meet the peak selling period. This left the factory and its American main agents with a glut of unsold machines. The factory had already received from the UK government export sales credit guarantees for these machines therefore they could not write them off without having to pay back the guarantee. This is to enable the factory to draw down finance to keep a constant production going. Approx 90% of sales happen within a three month period so for a nine month period there is very little return. Therefore they had to be exported. Many to the home market were sold in 1969 but there had to be some way of identifying these machines for warranty so an extra 0 was added to the engine number. Many of the machines were refurbished and then sold at a discount in the USA however the warranty arrangements changed in 1970 so some form of identifier was needed to identify which machines would obtain the extra warranty. This was solved by adding a Y for 1970 although this may also mean they have an uprated alternator which would have been added as part of the refurbishment. A dealer notification was sent out to this effect which I have attached. All the machines and new despatch dates are recorded at the beginning and end of the despatch books. I discussed this at length with Alistair who said that in order to maintain production the whole of the factory was filled with incomplete bikes while waiting for the electrical parts and retro fitting when the components arrived cost a large amount of finance which the company could ill afford.



Our topic I know, - but what 1967 bikes were sold in 1969/1970 ?
Not the Dash Y bikes. They were all sold a couple of years earlier.
Not the hybrid Spitfires. They were shipped before June 1968.

So he is talking about the Y bikes of 1969/70. The ones we know we made on the production lines during those years.



The strikes were in late 1967 calendar year. We have no evidence that any 1967 season bike was affected by it. They had all been shipped months earlier.

This is where the Warranty bulletins SB Gen 2-70 and 5-70 get misquoted in the worst possible fashion. They actually say nothing of the kind.

The alternator myth is introduced at this point, just for good measure.


This is quoting Alistair Cave. Al Cave was the Works Manager and would have known exactly what happened and why.

Al Cave has had a whole host of quotes attributed to him, most don't fit in with what we now know. This is the core of the problem. Either he was misquoted, misheard or even intentionally mislead we may never know. The problem is that his remarks are being taken at biblical levels.



Thinking aloud again here.
If the strikes started in Oct 1967 then possibly that would affect imports also.

We have between 1500 and 2500 unit twins that are showing as having been despatched twice. Some have initial shipping dates as late as May 1967.

These bikes include the 'zero' engine stamp bikes, a sizeable number of the last Mk III Spitfires made, and an assorted selection of S/N A65T, L and R bikes.

These bikes were supposedly shipped, received and then sent back to the facto