Attending the GB BSAOC Open Day and Rally recently, there was a lot of interesting stuff going on. Stephen Robert McFarlane (Mr S.R.M) was demonstrating his electric start A10, the kit is not cheap at £795, it cannot be seen unless you look under the engine, on test it did 200 starts on a fully charged battery with the charging system disconnected. The kit includes starter button, wiring, battery, starter motor, starter solenoid, gear reduction mechanism, mounting plates, nuts, bolts and studs, fits all pre-unit swing arm A10, A7, B33, B31 and Gold Star models, not plungers. Not to be confused with other starter systems for BSA's that require the starter motor to spin before engagement. Steve's skills are associated with BSA modifications, sadly not with website access, he is based in Cardiff and can be contacted on +44 02920 645045 or firstname.lastname@example.org A very nice person who I have known for many years, Steve attended the BSAOC International Rally on the IOM last year, he fixed problems on a few American bikes while they watched in awe at the Welsh Wizard at work.
Steve has informed me that the website listed below will be up and running very soon. www.startyourbsa.com At this moment in time this site is not up and running, please be patient.
Phil Pearson phoned me and asked me about my A10 electric starter. We spoke for a while about this subject. He said he was busy with the gold star starters, and gave me the impression that he isn’t going to do one for the A10 now
Mine is completely different to his!! From what I have seen he hasn’t got much of a reduction from the starter motor to the engine and has to use the decompressor lever to get the engine spinning for a few revs and then you let out the decompressor lever and the momentum gets the motor started. I have a reduction gear set similar to a modern bike, and you just press the button and it starts, on the web site will be a link to a u-tube video of it in action
I have been in contact with Stephen and it looks almost certain that he will be attending the September 2009 BSA International Rally in Holland on his Electric Start BSA A10. So this is the place to be if you wish to see first hand how this bike performs. Click on www.bsa-oc.com for rally information Around 50% of attendees will be Brits.
Mine also starts easely and I sometimes start it wearing soft sole slippers. Maybe the EI helps there... I never did that with my Ariel 350 single and with the BSA B-31 a friend owned in that era, even though my knees were 40 year younger then.
I have been getting quite a few peoples asking me if it will fit with a belt drive fitted, I have received a Tony Haywood belt drive kit and I am going to see if I can alter it to be able to fit. I was wondering how many peoples have a belt drive and what make it is?
I believe Person's system comes with a new reinforced inner primary (all holes drilled as needed) as the factory part is not very stout, which is why Pearson does not (yet) have a set up for the twins.
Also, I hesitate to think what any kick back by a big single would do to an electric starter NOT using the compression release. Some..? of the big Japanese singles have an automatic decompressor on their electric start bikes.. Any unit using a sprague clutch could easily break with kick back.
Does anyone know what has happened to Steve Macfarlanes electric start business? I have been trying to get my bike fitted with an electric starter for some while now. Today I went to look at his website and it is longer active. A sreen appears saying that the site is no longer active. Has he discontinued doing this conversion?
Some people have knee trouble that prevents them from kick starting. I have several people that bought my triple starters to convert R3s and T150s because of that. One person with a 1000cc Hyde triple racer uses one because he cannot push start it with his bad knees but still wants to race. I am working on an A65/T120 electric start but it needs a clutch to go with it. Stock clutches flop around when the pressure plate is lifted and would wear out the ring gear quickly.
John Edwards and Phil Pearson do a very nicely engineered electric start conversion for pre-unit singles - intended for Gold Stars, though I'm sure they would fit on a B31 or B33. The kit involves conversion to 12V. negative earth, and uses a new alloy inner primary chain case (as it has lugs cast in it for the starter kit), plus the starter, etc, etc.
Works very well and not hard on the battery. I've seen it in use on John's bike (which herecently sold). Cost is about GBP1200, though I suspect that includes the work to fitt it. If anyone wants Johns contact details, PM me.
No generalisation is wholly true, not even this one. Oliver Wendell Holmes