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#28974 - 09/08/07 12:37 am Restoring a ‘69 Lightning with "Y" vin #  
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Posts: 252
Atlanta Bonnie Offline
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Atlanta, Georgia
Greetings.

Recently picked this 69 Lightning up with vin# A65LA77**Y. As prior posts here have indicated, as well as what the BSAOC states on their site, this is one of a group of 69-70 models that used 1967 numbering that had their vin #s end in Y. The stamping on this bike is identical in font/size with another Y vin posted in another thread here.

Over the next year, I hope to bring her back into standard form. Most of her is there (some parts are in a box not shown). I’ll do teardown, prep,painting, polishing & reassembly. Locally, I’ll use Joel Levine for the instruments(had good success there), Beno Rodi's shop for engine rebuild (great shop) , and some local chrome shops TBD. Fortunately wheels have excellent chrome, hidden by years of grime. Will be a good learning experience.

Have only owned Triumphs prior. Looking forward to a BSA! The apehangers have to go though.



Bruce


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#28975 - 09/08/07 1:07 am Re: Restoring a ‘69 Lightning with "Y" vin #  
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66 Bonny Offline
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NJ
Atlanta Bonnie,
Welcome to the house of fun!!!!! Good luck with the bike and if you need any pics, e-mail me. My '69 Lightning is all original except for the tires. Tons of great info and knowledgeable people always willing to help.
beerchug Good luck,
Bob

#28976 - 09/08/07 1:18 am Re: Restoring a ‘69 Lightning with "Y" vin #  
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Atlanta Bonnie Offline
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Atlanta, Georgia
Thanks 66 Bonny. Looks like I have original tires!!! You're welcome to em!!!! LOL

Hope to restore as much as possible, but clearly all new rubber parts, tires, wiring, pipes, seat cover, engine bits, etc, etc. Hmmm.starting to talk myself out of it.

You can bet I'll have questions down the road.


Bruce


#28977 - 09/08/07 2:18 am Re: Restoring a ‘69 Lightning with "Y" vin #  
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Semper Gumby Offline
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Semper Gumby  Offline
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Atlanta, GA USA
Your in good hands. Looks like Beno's shop!! smile

TTFN,


Gaggle of BSAs
a Honda
an old BMW
and a Montesa
Parking lot Elf in training
#28978 - 09/08/07 2:25 am Re: Restoring a ‘69 Lightning with "Y" vin #  
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A.k.a Homer Offline
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A.k.a Homer  Offline
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Ponoka ,Alberta,Canada
is there something about bing built in 67 and sold in 69 on them pesky Y's

Aka homer


A day with out learning something new is a bad day indeed.
#28979 - 09/08/07 9:37 am Re: Restoring a ‘69 Lightning with "Y" vin #  
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Kevin (NZ). Offline
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Kevin (NZ).  Offline
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Christchurch, NZ
Nope, - not one part of that machine would have been built in 1967. Very few parts interchange between those two years.
Bruce is certainly on the right track, - it is all 1969 and looks like a fine candidate for restoration. I'm looking forward to seeing the progress report photos.


Why, Y, Dash Y..



#28980 - 09/08/07 12:24 pm Re: Restoring a ‘69 Lightning with "Y" vin #  
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Mike Carter R.I.P. Offline
In Remembrance
Mike Carter R.I.P.  Offline
In Remembrance

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Altoona, Florida
The Y in the vin was for updated electrics..some harness changes and the like. So be careful when you order or replace the harness as diod and such are in different places on the bike..Cheers and good luck with your project..I am kinda partial to the BSA'S smile


Mike Carter

#28981 - 09/08/07 1:22 pm Re: Restoring a ‘69 Lightning with "Y" vin #  
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A.k.a Homer Offline
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A.k.a Homer  Offline
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Ponoka ,Alberta,Canada
How about the -Y MY 67 HAS A65TA#####-Y

Aka Homer


A day with out learning something new is a bad day indeed.
#28982 - 09/08/07 2:34 pm Re: Restoring a ‘69 Lightning with "Y" vin #  
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Atlanta Bonnie Offline
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Atlanta, Georgia
Yes, it is Beno's shop. Beno confirmed engine, swingarm, etc are all 69 items.


Y & -Y are totally unrelated events, but don't much about -Y.

Have ordered 69 parts book to check things out.


Bruce


#28983 - 09/08/07 2:39 pm Re: Restoring a ‘69 Lightning with "Y" vin #  
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Mike Carter R.I.P. Offline
In Remembrance
Mike Carter R.I.P.  Offline
In Remembrance

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Posts: 1,182
Altoona, Florida
Same thing Homer...Lot of stuff put out on the "y" deal but if you have a 67 with y in vin it came with updated electric for that year. Not a dock strike or any of that although I believe strike did delay some deliveries and dealers played some games with what was what in years..Heck if someone wanted a Lightning and all they had was a T-bolt they changed tin ware and head ....I have a 67 with "Y" great bike titled as a Lightning has a T in vin...supposedly from original owner when I got it, mine is up on the lift right now...Doh. (Carbby deal)

Cheers man

Mike Carter

#28984 - 09/08/07 2:53 pm Re: Restoring a ‘69 Lightning with "Y" vin #  
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Kevin (NZ). Offline
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Christchurch, NZ
You guys are all on to it.... It is the A65 models with the -Y, on the engine number only, that are the 1967 models.
The 1969 and 1970 models are true to their model year (exactly) and have the Y suffix stamped on both engine and frame numbers.
Many of the 1967 bikes have the -Y, a few 1970 models have the Y suffix, even fewer 1969 models sport the Y suffix. I know of about five 1969 models like the one in Bruce's photo. Apart from the number there is basically no difference from any other machine in their model year. As Mike mentions, the majority of the 1967 bikes with the -Y have the revised electrics. (I have a feeling we have to ignore the A65HAxxxx-Y machines in this tho'.)
Beno and Bruce seem to have this one all sorted. 1969 model throughout..


Why, Y, Dash Y..



#28985 - 09/08/07 3:00 pm Re: Restoring a ‘69 Lightning with "Y" vin #  
Joined: Jan 2006
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JD Offline
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JD  Offline

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Maryland
I have a 70 Lightning with the Y suffix. At first I thought it was a 67 engine, so I bought the parts book and ordered new studs, bolts, and the like, but some of the illustrations didn't match up with what my engine actually looked like. After spending about $100 in parts, I realized none of them fitted. I found this forum by searching google and found Kevin's original post several years ago on this subject. I purchased a 70 book and the illustrations looked the same as my engine. I bought the same parts, but with the 1970 numbers and voila, they all fit. I agree with Kevin...this is a 1969 model.


Josh
#28986 - 09/10/07 1:49 am Re: Restoring a ‘69 Lightning with "Y" vin #  
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RF Whatley Online content
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RF Whatley  Online Content
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North Georgia, USA
Bruce -
First thing I saw was that stuffed-in rag and I thought it was a molotov cocktail on wheels. Then I saw the BSA emblem, so I knew we were talking about a different kind of bomb!

beerchug


Don't hide 'em, Ride 'em !!

RF Whatley
Cornelia, GA

"Shop Boy" at Rodi British Bikes
#28987 - 09/11/07 12:00 am Re: Restoring a ‘69 Lightning with "Y" vin #  
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Kevin (NZ). Offline
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Probably quite timely, - another one of these 1969 model Y bikes featuring on this site at the moment.
Although rarely mentioned in any of the dating lists we more commonly use, BSA appear to have used one of at least three different numbering systems on the 1969 model A65's.
This (Y) one is probably the less common option but the BSAOC site prefers the second most popular option.
I would have thought the Triumph style introduced a few months into the model year would have been far more common.


Ebay Lightning

Selling my 69 Lightning


Why, Y, Dash Y..



#28988 - 09/11/07 1:38 am Re: Restoring a ‘69 Lightning with "Y" vin #  
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A.k.a Homer Offline
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A.k.a Homer  Offline
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Ponoka ,Alberta,Canada
so what is the up date on the 67?

Aka Homer eek


A day with out learning something new is a bad day indeed.
#28989 - 09/11/07 11:01 am Re: Restoring a ‘69 Lightning with "Y" vin #  
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Rich B Online happy
Rich B  Online Happy



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Posts: 4,956
Stone Creek OH USA
What update on the 67? -Y serial numbers are failry common on 67's. Ex-factory people say it has to do with the diode moving from under the seat to under the steering head like a 68. But even Hornet's got the -Y serial number.


Life is too short to drink cheap, bad beer.
#28990 - 09/11/07 2:46 pm Re: Restoring a ‘69 Lightning with "Y" vin #  
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Kevin (NZ). Offline
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Thanks Rich, sorry I can't really add too much more on the -Y bikes at this stage.
We are agreed that they are (very) common, in the 1967 model year.
What really surprised me was that these bikes started appearing so early in the model year. I have details of two bikes that were in the showrooms by April 1967. One in Sweden, the other in the US at that. Could it be that the entire last few months production of 1967 A65 machines were all -Y bikes ?

Mk III Spitfire

Mk IV Spitfire

The second bike here is another one of the BSAism's. A number of the -Y Spitfires appear in Mk IV trim, basically a complete MkIV. Were these machines made toward the end of the '67 run or at the start of the '68 production and using engines from stock ?
I do know that Mk III models with the -Y are very common. I have one, - and Morgan's bike in Sweden was the one delivered in April 1967. The UK BSAOC even issued a dating certificate stating all the relevant details. Seems to me dead strange that the certificate gives the shipping date as April 1967 when the BSAOC site still gives conflicting info. I still get a headache trying to make sense of the A range 'explanatory' notes on the post 1960 model page.

Is it possible the entire production run of 1967 A65 bikes, made after say March of 1967, were stamped with the -Y engine suffix ?
That could explain why these bikes popped up all over the place between March 1967 and 1969. One Forum member got his bike off the showroom floor in 1969. Then again I have seen NEW A65 bikes for sale here (in NZ) two years after their model year also.

'''''''Is it possible the entire production run of 1967 A65 bikes, made after say March of 1967, were stamped with the -Y engine suffix ? ''''''

Sorry guys, seemed worth repeating.......
confused
beerchug


Why, Y, Dash Y..



#28991 - 09/11/07 3:07 pm Re: Restoring a ‘69 Lightning with "Y" vin #  
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Kevin (NZ). Offline
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Christchurch, NZ
I have just realised we have hijacked this thread somewhat.
The original posts are about the 1969 and 1970 model 'Y' bikes. As some of the guys posting here have indicated, - two completely different cases.

The later model bikes are true '69 or '70 bikes in every respect, - for whatever reason the factory chose to stamp both the engine and frame with a sequence of numbers that resembled an earlier scheme.
I don't know if I can add too much more to that one at this stage. I would give any owner of one of these (Y bike) One Dollar for any part of the bike he can prove was made in 1967 though. ( And I am not at all made of money, .......). Tail light lenses, headlight reflectors and light bulbs are not included in the above offer.


Why, Y, Dash Y..



#28992 - 09/11/07 3:39 pm Re: Restoring a ‘69 Lightning with "Y" vin #  
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Rich B Online happy
Rich B  Online Happy



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Posts: 4,956
Stone Creek OH USA
Kevin

I suspect -Y started earlier than March/April 67. There is a local guy that still has the original MSO paperwork for his 67 Hornet. IT is clearly marked -Y for the S/N, he bought the bike from the local dealer in Ohio in March, 1967. A 2nd person has a Spitfire, he has owned it since new, purchased early April, 1967, also a -Y bike. Both had to have been built earlier to get to Ohio by March 1967. And knowing the old BSA dealer around here, he had those bikes in his shop around January/early February at the latest to make sure they were ready for the selling season.


Life is too short to drink cheap, bad beer.
#28993 - 09/11/07 7:43 pm Re: Restoring a ‘69 Lightning with "Y" vin #  
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Atlanta Bonnie Offline
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Atlanta, Georgia
Kevin,

I began this post to further collaborate your prior findings.

In researching this mystery “Y”, a prior post on this subject in 2006, and reference to the BSAOC comments, gave me peace of mind in this acquisition. The Silver Jubilee Triumph Bonnevilles are labeled “1 in a 1000”. I’m beginning to think these Y bikes should get the same sticker!


Bruce


#28994 - 09/11/07 7:44 pm Re: Restoring a ‘69 Lightning with "Y" vin #  
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Atlanta Bonnie Offline
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Atlanta, Georgia
RF,

“Under the 1/4 inch of dust are some real possibilities.”

…..and a lot of other “possibilities” are currently laying on Beno’s shelves!!!! I wanted a bike with opportunities….looks like I got it. Parts book should arrive today.


Bruce


#28995 - 09/17/07 3:37 am Re: Restoring a ‘69 Lightning with "Y" vin #  
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Gary E Offline
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Gary E  Offline
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Medford, Oregon
Kevin,

To further the -Y issue to an earlier date than about March 1967, I have a matching number -Y '67 Hornet (East Coast model) that has a BSAOC dating certificate of December 16, 1966 (not a typo). My other matching number -Y '67 Hornet (West Coast model) has a dating certificate of March 3, 1967.

Since the Hornets have an ET coil electric system, I am not convinced about the change in electrics as the reason for the -Y stamping.


1967 BSA Wasp
1967 BSA Hornet (West Coast Model)
1967 BSA Hornet (East Coast Model)
1968 BSA Firebird Scrambler
1968 BSA Spitfire Mark IV
#28996 - 09/17/07 11:07 am Re: Restoring a ‘69 Lightning with "Y" vin #  
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Kevin (NZ). Offline
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Kevin (NZ).  Offline
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Christchurch, NZ
Thanks Gary, - most interesting. I wasn't convinced myself when I speculated about the entire latter part of the run being -Y bikes. From memory I think they start at around 42xx and extend randomly through to the big numbers 17xxx or more.

I'm guessing you are not exactly a believer in the 'dock strike' myth where legend has it these bikes were held back for a year or so before being released as 1970 models.....

If the reason for the suffix being stamped on the engine number is not related to any electrical related changes then what ?? Basically we have any number of theories why BSA stamped these bikes so, - but then we have gone around and debunked the lot of them.

And I thought the 1967 -Y bikes were easy to explain away compared to the scheming, or whatever, behind the misleading 1969 & 1970 twins with the Y suffix.


Why, Y, Dash Y..



#28997 - 09/19/07 3:04 am Re: Restoring a ‘69 Lightning with "Y" vin #  
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Gary E Offline
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Medford, Oregon
Kevin,

It would be interesting to hear from early '67 owners with -Y stampings to see how far back they start in the number sequence. Although you may already have that with the 42xx info.

My East Coast model Hornet with the 12/66 date is a 97xx number. The other Hornet (West Coast model) with the 3/67 date has a 137xx number.

As you say, I'm not convinced about the dock strike theory either. I have no opinion of which theory seems to be the most relevant. And that dang '69, '70 Y stamping has me stumped too.

If I can every remember to do it, I'll run the subject up the flag pole with my long time family friend here that was the local BSA dealer in the '50, 60's, and on until the end. He is in his '80's now and has had a stroke, but maybe that subject is still in the memory banks. He is a wealth of information on British bikes. He probably has forgotten more than I will ever know about them.


1967 BSA Wasp
1967 BSA Hornet (West Coast Model)
1967 BSA Hornet (East Coast Model)
1968 BSA Firebird Scrambler
1968 BSA Spitfire Mark IV
#28998 - 09/20/07 3:52 pm Re: Restoring a ‘69 Lightning with "Y" vin #  
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Curmudgeon Offline
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Texas Gulf Coast
Might as well join in. I have a '69 Hornet with a Y after the A65HA serial number. It looks just like a '69 Lightning and no ET ignition.
About the -y, I read somewhere that this was added by the factory some time in the '67 production run to indicate that these machines would qualify for a new warantee that BSA put into service.


reliccycles.com
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