I think it's because us people who like the idea of a "Gold Star" and might buy a "Gold Star" replica are too few and far between to support a production line of any kind.
We prefer to build our own, or work through a very few specialty builders.
The great mass of people who buy Suzuki Intruders and Honda Shadows and Harley Low Riders have less than zero interest in a nice, sporting, historically interesting bike like the BSA-Regal.
That's one explanation, anyway. Might also have been a badly run business? I've seen I don't know how many people who had a good product that people were willing to pay for, go out of business because they didn't pay attention to customer service or cash flow.
Hi Lannis , you got it spot on, I met the sales director of BSA-Regal at the Ace cafe once on a demo day, he is nobodyies fool ; very nice bikes but too pricey for most, the Tempest although widely reported in the bike press of the time never got any further than prototype stage because market reserch showed there just was'nt a viable market for it . I think the new owner of the Kenny Dreer and Rotary Nortons is going to come up against the same problems, he might be a brilliant business man but I cant see him selling shed loads of bikes, unless they are VERY competively priced, which is unlikely as he wants to sell in the $20k "niche" markets. Johnny.
What d'ya mean it won't rev to 10? 1965 BSA A65D Lightning Rocket 1976 K*w*s*ki Z900. 1978 Triumph Bonn3ville (930 T160 Powered T140) 1988 H*nd* RC30 1990 Moto Guzzi California 3 1993 Y*m*h* TDM 850
Yes there were a couple of them running around down here. Why did it fail ? Because I can buy a second hand SR 500 and every thing to make it look identical to the Gold SR without the decals for around 1/3 the asking price of the Gold SR. There is a massive SR 500 cult in Japan with almost as many bolt on shinny bits as there are for Harleys.
Honda brought out their TT version of their FT ? 500 which was a classic looking bike and had an electric boot so it got the "old fart with dodgy knees" section of the market that probably would have bought the Gold SR if they could have started it.
SR's were very popular down here with the older single riders at a lot of historic race meetings some thing like 10% of the paddock bikes were SR 500's and we used to call them the Jap-Beesas ( what BSA probably would have been making if they were still alive). When the F variant came out with the revised colours ( red tank ) and rear drums they lost a lot of their popularity the original black & gold being such a beautiful and very nostalgic looking bike.
Why did the Regal fail? heh In '78-'79 I rode a hot rodded, lightened, looking good SR500 Yamaha with 'all the right stuff'. So I've BTDT got the tee shirt.
Open the throttle on the SR at 90 per and uuuhhh not much happens. Cornering and brakes OK per 'our' standards (with good Metzlers). But .. On my Goldie I can shift into 4th at 95 per, stretch the wire and go for a ride! No comparison.
I must admit it may of appeared I was trying to break the SR (not really) riding it to the max all the time... but it never broke. This is a good thing. I liked that.
Joined: Dec 2006 Posts: 51nisse
BritBike Forum member
BritBike Forum member
Joined: Dec 2006
I sold my SR500 a year ago and itīs not only big in Japan all over europe there is a lot of them. And I understand it. the bike is small light reliable and of course very fun to ride and easy to repair/cusomize if you want to with lotīs of go faster parts.Iīve seen up to 750 but here itīs more common with 650.
so the srgold was an nice bike but as said above you could go with a regular sr and some custom parts and itīs much cheaper
PS and the sound of 15 SR:s with straight pipes is great
Dave, Seems we are always at odds with each other. My SR500E did 90 mph no problems straight off the showroom floor. Admittedly numbers after 6000 on the tacho were just there to fill the empty space as were those below 2000. Ivan Tighe did me some "special cams" which gave it a lot more grunt in the lower end 1500 to 3000 which is where I spent most time as I was couriering on them.
My B50 would leave it for dead from a standing start but could not keep up when the throttles were approaching WFO and as for braking, well the disc actually worked ( except in the rain), the twin disc set up was really good which I made better by fitting cast iron discs ( they work in the rain) then later a pair of CI discs and calipers from an RD 400 which ended the tendency to walk when breaking hard on the single disc. Then there was the lights, that 9" QI just about melted the tar and never gave a stick of problems. The hot start throttle stop worked wonders and even when really tired the motor was always a one easy kick starter. I had 7 of them over a 12 year period did about 200000km on each of them with not much in the way of problems considering the torture I put them through. It was the SR that drove home the effect of heavy oils. I had a 85 km trip in to work each morning ( then 500km of city riding) and used to put in coarse 50 ( what I used in the B50) in summer and on the freeway lost nearly 20kph when compared to the 15W 30 that I ran in winter. They would eat cams and rockers till Ivan Stellited them for me and every one needed to have the low speed ignition power coils rewound at least twice. I used a tuneable Decibel copy muffler on all of them and Ducati 750 foam air filters ( one on the carb and one on the breather), yes that phlem chamber really strangled the engine but it did muffle the induction roar. But at least we agree on the tyres great with Metzlers, even better with a Phantom rear but used way too many for my pocket. All in all a bike built in the tradition of BSA, 100% reliable just a little above average but can be made to go fast if you are willing to spend the time & effort.
So that pretty much covers the single, a 'Yamaha' called a BSA. The twin? What should it be? This is my opinion: Last time BSA were building their own bikes and engines they had some of the most high performance bikes on the road or track. If you are bringing back BSA maybe it should be with a bike that aims for that same target, not overly difficult provided you aren't aimed somewhere else and you have some budget. What Triumph did was to persue this, they still have retro models for that 'niche' market but they established bikes comparable to the best sports bikes as well. If a bike is going to be expensive there has to be a reason for buyers to spend the extra. If its aimed at being sporty why the drum brake? BSA were one of the first to use triple discs, it seems like they don't know what target they need to aim at. Enfield could probably do well marketing a V twin like the lovely 700cc featured in some posts on this site, because of how sweet such a twin can be and it would augment their singles range and likely be done at a reasonable price, while being genuinely retro. But the BSA Tempest is sports orientated and to me would need to be comparable to Ducati to be hitting the target it needed to hit, so young buyers who knew nothing of BSA's history would still choose a BSA. I'm sure a very light modern engined twin (and if you were doing it today with say 850cc it would need about 140HP)with a steel tube frame very neatly finished in every detail with a resemblance going back to the Rob North 3s with modern brakes suspension wheel sizes and tyres might have been a more viable proposition, and that's what I would have aimed at if it were me. Having said that it would be interesting to know how the Tempest performed was it just a mockup or underdeveloped prototype or did someone do the work to get it working well?