I have recently acquired a 1971 A65 Oil-in-Frame Lightning (originally grey frame then painted over with yellow and then black!), which is in reasonable condition mechanically but will require cosmetic rebuild. The engine number, which I believe to be a 1970 to 71 unit, is A65L/JE12838. The frame unfortunately, does not have an ident in the specified place i.e. left side of the steering head, all that I can find is a single ‘X’ stamped on the steering head, albeit rather vaguely.
Can anyone offer any advise as to whether the frame number is stamped elsewhere on the bike for that year, or that it may never have been stamped at all?
I had a '72 A65T with the same problem. Since it was apart I chemically stripped the paint from the frame where I thought the number should be (so as not to obliterate and traces of grinding or sanding if that had occurred.) I found no trace of tampering, no thinning of the metal, and no numbers. I did learn that quite a few of these frames had been replaced in warranty by dealers for leak problems where the swingarm pivot connects to the frame spine. The dealers were then supposed to re stamp the frames, but that didn't always happen. I dont know how the law treats it where you live, but it seems to me if you had the right stamps, you'd just be finishing up the service work the dealer should have performed. No alteration and no intent to defraud.
Assorted Harleys Pre Unit Triumphs Unit BSA twins and a Matchless Pinto
I too removed the paint carefully with paint stripper, didn't want to damage the frame number if it was lightly stamped.
Interesting to know about the warranty issues and dealer not re-stamping the frame. I know of one other person who has been in the same situation and they have re-stamped the frame. What alternative is there if the bike is to be registered with the owners club.
With regards to the rebuild, I will endeavour to take the bike back to original colour frame - grey. I haven't yet made my mind up about the tank and side panel colours although, I do quite like the bronze colour (not actually sure what the correct colours are but will find out in due course).
The first task though, is to get the engine started; hopefully this won't require a complete overhaul. I will find out what needs doing to the engine over the next month or so.
Hi,just had a second look at this post,my own 1971 Thunderbolt has an X,but also a frame number of GE 10006,but with an unmatched engine. I found the original remains of the dove grey under the black topcoat. Does any folk now know for sure why the X has been added,and isnt that frame number a little odd? The bike was re-imported to UK in around 1979,but a tale going about says it was sold new in China.i Didnt know BSA sold in China? Timbo
I have a 71 Lightening with the same problem, no frame number, but again it's likely due to a frame swap as most of the early 71 got their frames change on warranty. I will satmp the number next time I am painting the frame (in 20 years time or something)
Per Goldi Clubmans Goldi Scrambler Rob North R3 OIF A65