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The BSA that Wasn't ??? #333
01/14/05 3:06 am
01/14/05 3:06 am
Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 35
Billings,Mt
Steve m Offline OP
BritBike Forum
Steve m  Offline OP
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Billings,Mt
This is a Pic of my friend Sid from Houston,Texas(House of Wheels)sitting on a very rare Prototype BSA FURY 350. Only a handful of these and the Triumph counterpart BANDIT ever made it State side. The bikes came about right at the Time when both BSA & TRI were in Financial Woes so the FURY/BANDIT Project was axed in 1972. I still wonder why they chose a 350 engine verses a 500, but I think they wanted to market something that would compete again Honda's CL/SL350 in the early 70's. The 350 DOHC twin was quite sophisicated and a departure from the Traditional British OHV Vertical Twin...If you had one in this Condition Today it would probably bring a Tidy Sum...


BSA 350cc Fury 1971

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Re: The BSA that Wasn't ??? #334
01/14/05 12:39 pm
01/14/05 12:39 pm
Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 319
Hesperia, CA
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LDBennett Offline
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LDBennett  Offline
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Posts: 319
Hesperia, CA
steve:

The engine was designed by Edward Turner (the father of Triumph motorcycles) after his retirement. During development it had so many problems that it had to be redesigned in house before it was good enough to sell. They got all set up to produce it and ran out of money. There were prototypes show all over the world, some wooden mockups, I think, others actually running machines. I saw one of the prototypes at the Los Angeles area Cycle World Motorcycle Show back in the time. But the bike never got beyound the protype stage. It really was too little too late.

LDBennett

Re: The BSA that Wasn't ??? #335
01/14/05 6:09 pm
01/14/05 6:09 pm
Joined: May 2002
Posts: 687
Winston-Salem N.C.
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D.W.R. Offline
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Winston-Salem N.C.
One of the reasons they came up with a 350 was that after Yamaha showed up at Daytona and kicked butt with the RD based 350, the AMA seriously debated limiting road racing to 350cc. The overhead cam was part of it, Turner had once said that there was no good reason to go to OHC unless you were going for all the horsepower you could find. I've been told that the developmental problems are well documented, someone here could give more particulars. The whole deal was a stop-gap measure, much like the triples, to tide them over till they had capital to re-design good stuff. Never happened though.
Don


71 Rocket 3
72 B50 MX
66-71 A 65 Bitsa
96 Trident 900
Re: The BSA that Wasn't ??? #336
01/14/05 9:15 pm
01/14/05 9:15 pm
Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 1,182
Altoona, Florida
Mike Carter R.I.P. Offline
In Remembrance
Mike Carter R.I.P.  Offline
In Remembrance
Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 1,182
Altoona, Florida
Steve, I am lucky enough to have a friend who has one in that condition and I have been up close on several occassions. Kinda cool but to late for the BSA boys to do anything about their financial woes. I think maybe twelve where manufactured for show and that was it. Neat Pic. Thanks for posting it. here is a link to the one my friend owns http://community.webshots.com/photo/39731832/39733796dVZtxW Not a good pic but ....

Later beerchug

Mike Carter

Re: The BSA that Wasn't ??? #337
01/14/05 11:43 pm
01/14/05 11:43 pm
Joined: Jun 2002
Posts: 9,463
Scotland
S
Stuart Online content
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Stuart  Online Content
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Joined: Jun 2002
Posts: 9,463
Scotland
Hi All,

Quote:
Originally posted by Steve m:
Prototype
Dunno if you meant 'prototype' in the usual sense, but this is actually one of the 'closer to production' bikes; i.e. when the plug was pulled, the cycle parts were being stockpiled ready for production but development work was still being done on the engine. Early (i.e. closer to the original 'prototype') bikes had much 'boxier' styling - certainly one used to reside in long-time GB Triumph dealer Charlies of Bristol though, since he closed down, I dunno where it went (can probably find out tho').

Quote:
Originally posted by Steve m:
I still wonder why they chose a 350 engine
Triumph's pov (correct or not) was that 350 was an 'entry-level' size in the US - that's also the reason the first unit engine (the 1957 '21' 3TA) was also a 350.

Quote:
Originally posted by LDBennett:
During development it had so many problems that it had to be redesigned in house
Hmmm - it was *said* to have a lot of problems by Bert Hopwood who, with Doug Hele, were responsible for the redesign. But then it's well-known that Hopwood didn't like Turner, and resented that the BSA main Board allowed Turner access to Motorcycle Division resources (I've read that Turner had a BSA-paid draughtsman) long after he'd retired (in 1964!)). And Hopwood wrote his autobiography while Turner didn't ... wink

Quote:
Originally posted by LDBennett:
But the bike never got beyound the protype stage.
Actually not strictly correct. One of the huge costs when the plug was pulled was that production stockpile of mainly cycle parts. For a while, BSA toyed with the idea of putting Daytona engines in these cycle parts and, certainly prior to the fire, there was a prototype in the National Motorcycle Museum. I believe that was abandoned after the BSA Group finally went t*ts-up financially, NVT was formed and the stuff was sold to realise some ready cash. Certainly until well into the 1980's, Bandit/Fury frames, swinging arms, tanks, etc. were widely available in GB and several specials were around. Fitted with 650 and 750 twin engines, they were a particular favourite of the hillclimbers (sort of sprinting up a narrow, windy track against the clock), where handling and acceleration are the primary criteria.

Quote:
Originally posted by D.W.R.:
The whole deal was a stop-gap measure,
Uh-uh, not this one - this was going to be a long-term model - certainly until it could be replaced by the smaller-engined bikes in Hopwood's modular range (which were SOHC in original form): the whole idea was to compete head-on with Honda (certainly, dunno about the RD350) for the 'entry-level' riders.

Quote:
Originally posted by Mike Carter:
I think maybe twelve where manufactured for show and that was it.
Weirdly coincidentally, I've been corresponding recently with someone from Triples On Line about these bikes, because I've a long-time friend who's well-known in both triple and Bandit/Fury circles. Iirc (the last conversation was about three months ago wink ), I believe he said that nineteen complete bikes are known to exist around the world, plus a few piles of bits.

All that said, with this bike, I have doubts that the major decision-makers still had hold of the plot. The gearbox was obviously turned over - final drive on the right's ok, but a left-side kickstart? And standing on the right side of the bike to put it on the centrestand? One can't help thinking that something more than ordinary tobacco was in the roll-ups at some of the high-level meetings ... laugh

Regards,

Re: The BSA that Wasn't ??? #338
01/14/05 11:43 pm
01/14/05 11:43 pm
Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 1,105
Kansas City, USA
J in KC Offline
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Kansas City, USA
Actually, here's the prototype, notice the differences, external fork springs, mechanical cable operated disc brake, single downtube frame, points on the intake cam, etc., etc.



The dozen or so that made it over here, would more properly be referred to as early production models, unfortunately that's as far as it went.


Re: The BSA that Wasn't ??? #339
01/14/05 11:54 pm
01/14/05 11:54 pm
Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 1,182
Altoona, Florida
Mike Carter R.I.P. Offline
In Remembrance
Mike Carter R.I.P.  Offline
In Remembrance
Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 1,182
Altoona, Florida
Stuart, Thanks for the heads up on these rare machines, I was going on an eduacted guess on the number but I doubt it could be over twenty as I read somewhere they made enough to make the shows and then the stockbrokers laugh moved in.

I heard there is a bloke in the England that actually rides one of these around on special outings...I'd be afraid to crank it up eek

Cheers man g

Mike Carter

Re: The BSA that Wasn't ??? #340
01/15/05 12:27 am
01/15/05 12:27 am
Joined: Jun 2002
Posts: 9,463
Scotland
S
Stuart Online content
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Stuart  Online Content
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Joined: Jun 2002
Posts: 9,463
Scotland
Hi Mike,

Quote:
Originally posted by Mike Carter:
as I read somewhere they made enough to make the shows and then the stockbrokers laugh moved in.

I heard there is a bloke in the England that actually rides one of these around on special outings...
Could well be my friend, as he does, although he's got one of each.

According to him, there are still quite a lot of bits for these bikes and, although most are now in the hands of people who are interested in the bikes, he says stuff does turn up at auto-jumbles.

He says the biggest problem is with engine parts. Because engine development work hadn't been completed when the plug was pulled, most existing engines are slightly different to each other, so bits aren't always interchangeable. Thus, while you might get a bit (say a cover of some sort) at an autojumble or from another owner, the bolt holes might not line up with whatever it's supposed to cover, 'cos one engine's later or earlier than the other. :rolleyes:

Regards,

Re: The BSA that Wasn't ??? #341
01/15/05 10:41 am
01/15/05 10:41 am
Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 7,026
scotland
triton thrasher Online content
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triton thrasher  Online Content
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scotland
And the colour was...?

Let's hear it!


Amateur Loctite enthusiast.
Re: The BSA that Wasn't ??? #342
01/15/05 3:45 pm
01/15/05 3:45 pm
Joined: Aug 2004
Posts: 346
Iowa
Pender Offline

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Pender  Offline

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Posts: 346
Iowa
...Green, of course!


Furies and Apaches and Interceptors, oh my!
Re: The BSA that Wasn't ??? #343
01/15/05 10:03 pm
01/15/05 10:03 pm
Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 35
Billings,Mt
Steve m Offline OP
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Steve m  Offline OP
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Posts: 35
Billings,Mt
Yep, The Bandit was Green/Black....Motor assembly below was a Running unit,not a machup!


1971 350cc Bandit engine assembly

prototype(running)71 Triumph Bandit

Re: The BSA that Wasn't ??? #344
01/16/05 7:08 pm
01/16/05 7:08 pm
Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 155
Glasgow, Scotland
M
Myles Raymond Offline
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Posts: 155
Glasgow, Scotland
Hey Mike,

I wonder what it would take to persuade 'our friend' to start his up?


Myles Raymond, Glasgow, Scotland.

1932 BSA L32, 1934 BSA R34, 1955 BSA A7ss, 1961 BSA Gold Star, 1954 BSA Daytona twin, 1959 NSU Quickly, 1975 Morini 3 1/2 Sport.

"A tidy workshop is a workshop where no work is ever done" - my Dad.
Re: The BSA that Wasn't ??? #345
01/17/05 3:44 am
01/17/05 3:44 am
Joined: Jan 2003
Posts: 175
Benton, AR USA
Jeff Covert Offline
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Jeff Covert  Offline
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Benton, AR USA
Ted Hubbard told me that as early as 1971 that BSA engineers had a Dual Overhead Cam 4 Valve Per Cylinder 650 Twin that had been put through it's paces and was ready to go into production.

BSA Management never made the move to put it into production. I wonder where those motors wound up?

Ted said he has never seen someone try so hard to go out of business.


Jeff Covert

Re: The BSA that Wasn't ??? #346
01/17/05 1:21 pm
01/17/05 1:21 pm
Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 4,987
Stone Creek OH USA
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Rich B Online happy

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Stone Creek OH USA
Jeff, from your post:

>>BSA Management never made the move to put it into production. I wonder where those motors wound up?

Ted said he has never seen someone try so hard to go out of business. <<

Inept or maybe even completely incompetent management, a government somewhat hostile to business, and militant work force, not a good combination. But it was not an industry that failed due to lack of talent. They had plenty of design talent. Unfortunately, the other 3 issues made sure that talent was never properly used.


Life is too short to drink cheap, bad beer.
Re: The BSA that Wasn't ??? #347
07/16/08 7:35 pm
07/16/08 7:35 pm
Joined: Jun 2008
Posts: 75
Phoenix, Arizona USA
T
TheRC30Guy Offline
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Joined: Jun 2008
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Phoenix, Arizona USA
I'm getting old and the memory is going but I have this vague memory of reading an article in Cycle World or Cycle at the time that the engine was designed in a way that made it difficult to mass produce. Easy enough for the skilled machinist to make the parts one at a time but too complex to make a bunch of them for the production line.
This made sense to me when I was 18 but I wonder if it wasn't just some journalist blowing smoke. Any ideas? I worked at General Electric in Schenectady NY at the time as an apprentice machinist and that was about the time I saw my first CNC milling machine. If each head had to be machined instead of cast it would have made the project impossible.


TheRC30Guy
1958 AJS Model 18s
Ducati Cafe Racer
Honda RC30
Re: The BSA that Wasn't ??? #348
07/16/08 8:33 pm
07/16/08 8:33 pm
Joined: Sep 2002
Posts: 7,812
Seattle
Alex Offline

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I had heard that, without pushrod tubes, they couldn't figure out how to make 'em leak. Hence the frames rusted and failed prematurely.


A smattering:
'53 Gold Flash
'67 Royal Star
'71 Rickman Metisse
'40 Silver Star
'37 Rudge Special
sixtyseventy Lightboltrocket road racer...and many more.
Re: The BSA that Wasn't ??? #349
07/16/08 9:40 pm
07/16/08 9:40 pm
Joined: Jan 2003
Posts: 522
San Diego, CA
Will S. Offline
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San Diego, CA
Some really nice BSA Bandit photos here:

http://www.classic-motorbikes.com/stock.asp?Ref=DZ75&Lang=en


Will S.
BSAs: '66 & '69 Lightning
Triumphs: '68 TR6R, '68 Bonneville, '73 TR7, '55 6T
'71 Norton Commando

www.britironsd.com
Re: The BSA that Wasn't ??? #350
07/17/08 8:11 am
07/17/08 8:11 am
Joined: May 2004
Posts: 3,569
Sydney Australia
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BSA_WM20 Online content
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Sydney Australia
Quote:
Inept or maybe even completely incompetent management, a government somewhat hostile to business, and militant work force, not a good combination. But it was not an industry that failed due to lack of talent. They had plenty of design talent. Unfortunately, the other 3 issues made sure that talent was never properly used.
By the 70's the board were nearly all from the finance industry in order to "protect their financial positions" so it had no hope of survival when being bleed of profits by the financial leeches.

The seeds of the collapse had been sowed immediatly post WW II when it was decided to run the company on borrowed money rather than on retained profits. But like any grand old tree it just took a long time to die.

Government was hostile because for 40 years BSA had been structured to pay just about no tax so the reasoning that the government was not there to socialise the debt of privatised profits is actually quite understandable.

Most BSA workers were loyal company men and quite complient, not millitant in any way shape or form. The Triumph workers were a bit different, particularly at the Coventry plant.

Suggest to have a read of ;-
Giants of Small Heath &
Whatever Happened to the British Motorcycle Industry


Bike Beesa
Trevor
Re: The BSA that Wasn't ??? #351
07/21/08 8:03 pm
07/21/08 8:03 pm
Joined: Jul 2007
Posts: 13
Somerset, UK
bsajohnnyboy Offline
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Always liked these bikes especially the street scrambler. Photographs taken at the National motorcycle museum Birmingham.

Re: The BSA that Wasn't ??? #352
07/21/08 11:41 pm
07/21/08 11:41 pm
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Posts: 1,397
New Zealand
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johnm Offline
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New Zealand
There is an article on the motor in one of Vic Willerbies Classic motorcycle engines books. Including interviews with Doug Hele.


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