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Complete newbie, just bought a BSA Starfire 250 #452706
09/04/12 2:01 am
09/04/12 2:01 am
Joined: Sep 2012
Posts: 29
Southern IL
L
Ludicrous Speed Offline OP
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Posts: 29
Southern IL
Hi everyone! New to the forum and British bikes.....

First a story of how I came to own this bike:

A couple friends invited me to go to one of their friends homes to look at a private motorcycle collection. I was expecting 15-20 bikes. NOPE! This guy had well over a hundred, ranging in year from a 1948 Indian to a 2004 Honda. There were many survivors, as well as restored bikes of all types. Some of the bikes were the only ones left in the world!

After three and a half hours of looking and talking (every bike had a story)I told him the story of my father, and the motorcycle he had purchased as a basket case back when I was around 7 years old. He put it back together, and got it running. I remember going to the department store (No Wal-marts back then!) and buying a Blue, bowling-ball helmet. No visor, no shield. Dad had a yellow one. When we moved from florida in '79 to Southern Illinois, the moving company would not allow him to ship the bike, so he sold it.

This bike has been something he always talks about wishing he had back, along with a couple other vehicles that are way out of my reach. This gentleman had two of these bikes; 1968 BSA Starfire 250's. I mentioned to the man that he did not look like the type of guy that ever sold anything, but if he ever decided to get rid of one of the Starfires, I would love to have the opportunity to purchase on for my father. He said he never sells his bikes, but since he has two, and one being identical to my dad's, that he never rode, he would sell it to me! I went home and discussed it with my wife, and three weeks later, I purchased it!

The bike appears to be a survivor, with the only obvious things replaced being the tires, grips, and the carburetor (it has a Mikuni). I brought it home and my daughter and I spent about three hours with Simple Green and toothbrushes cleaning the engine.

I am now onto trying to get the bike started.I have cleaned the carb, which wasn't bad, and I am trying to get a battery for it. Six volt, correct? What about changing the fluids? Three places to drain and refill? What oil goes where?

Any maintenance suggestions?

My plan is to get it running and take it to a local car show. I will enter it, and then go get my father to "Take a look around" when he sees the bike and goes over to look at it, I plan on having his name on the info card! Hopefully he does not have a heart attack, lol, since he is 78 years old!

Thanks in advance for any info! I figure I will have more questions once I get more into the bike....

Picture of it when I got it home:



1968 BSA Starfire
2009 Suzuki Hayabusa
2000 Suzuki Hayabusa project
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Re: Complete newbie, just bought a BSA Starfire 250 [Re: Ludicrous Speed] #452713
09/04/12 2:36 am
09/04/12 2:36 am
Joined: Sep 2012
Posts: 86
Maine
C
Caferacer3543 Offline
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Joined: Sep 2012
Posts: 86
Maine
Welcome to britbike Ludicrous Speed! I really like your new purchase, it looks to be all there! I also have a 1968 BSA starfire but its not as complete as yours :P if you take a look in the project forum you will see mine. Do you know how many miles the speedo says on it? There are alot of Unit Single Construction guys here so if you need help just ask smile


1961 Triumph TR6
Maine - USA
Re: Complete newbie, just bought a BSA Starfire 250 [Re: Ludicrous Speed] #452714
09/04/12 2:36 am
09/04/12 2:36 am
Joined: Sep 2012
Posts: 86
Maine
C
Caferacer3543 Offline
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Maine
Welcome to britbike Ludicrous Speed! I really like your new purchase, it looks to be all there! I also have a 1968 BSA starfire but its not as complete as yours :P if you take a look in the project forum you will see mine. Do you know how many miles the speedo says on it? There are alot of Unit Single Construction guys here so if you need help just ask smile


1961 Triumph TR6
Maine - USA
Re: Complete newbie, just bought a BSA Starfire 250 [Re: Ludicrous Speed] #452717
09/04/12 2:41 am
09/04/12 2:41 am
Joined: Sep 2012
Posts: 29
Southern IL
L
Ludicrous Speed Offline OP
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Southern IL
The numbers are faded on the odometer, but it appears to have around 12 thousand miles on it. I am sure some of the purists will be able to spot more, but the only thing I can find missing is the chain guard and mirrors....

I am sure I am going to have lots of questions, but at this point I am not sure what to ask, lol.


1968 BSA Starfire
2009 Suzuki Hayabusa
2000 Suzuki Hayabusa project
Re: Complete newbie, just bought a BSA Starfire 250 [Re: Ludicrous Speed] #452724
09/04/12 2:49 am
09/04/12 2:49 am
Joined: Sep 2012
Posts: 86
Maine
C
Caferacer3543 Offline
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Maine
Also that odometer could have been replaced so the milage is "unkown" for now lol I would read all about this motorcycle and purchase a haynes manual or factory workshop manual (If you can find one) do an all around check up, check compression, change oil etc, then once you start it you will then find out if all it needs is a good tune up or more


1961 Triumph TR6
Maine - USA
Re: Complete newbie, just bought a BSA Starfire 250 [Re: Ludicrous Speed] #452732
09/04/12 3:39 am
09/04/12 3:39 am
Joined: Sep 2012
Posts: 29
Southern IL
L
Ludicrous Speed Offline OP
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Posts: 29
Southern IL
Well, I will be the third registered owner, but the fourth owner. The guy I got it from bought it from the second owner. Put it in his heated storage and never rode it. I would not be surprised if the mileage is actual, but I do not really care if it isn't, lol.


1968 BSA Starfire
2009 Suzuki Hayabusa
2000 Suzuki Hayabusa project
Re: Complete newbie, just bought a BSA Starfire 250 [Re: Ludicrous Speed] #452741
09/04/12 4:54 am
09/04/12 4:54 am
Joined: Sep 2012
Posts: 86
Maine
C
Caferacer3543 Offline
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Maine
I think you got your self a real nice bike, especially since its been well preserved :p

Did the person you bought it from say when the last time he rode it or started it up? Does it have good compression?


1961 Triumph TR6
Maine - USA
Re: Complete newbie, just bought a BSA Starfire 250 [Re: Ludicrous Speed] #452753
09/04/12 7:18 am
09/04/12 7:18 am
Joined: Mar 2011
Posts: 836
derby england
wak Offline
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derby england
its 12volt , i would at lease change the oil in the oil tank, 20/50 will be ok,take your carb down to your friendly tatoo man and chuck it in his ultrasonic tank.


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Re: Complete newbie, just bought a BSA Starfire 250 [Re: Ludicrous Speed] #452766
09/04/12 12:25 pm
09/04/12 12:25 pm
Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 7,144
Vermont
Jon W. Whitley Offline

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Very nice bike and cool story. I bet your dad is going to be ecstatic!


Jon W.


1957 6T Thunderbird 650
1968 T100R Daytona 500
1971 TR6R Tiger 650
1970 BSA A65F 650
1955 Tiger 100 - Project

Re: Complete newbie, just bought a BSA Starfire 250 [Re: Ludicrous Speed] #452768
09/04/12 12:27 pm
09/04/12 12:27 pm
Joined: Sep 2012
Posts: 29
Southern IL
L
Ludicrous Speed Offline OP
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Posts: 29
Southern IL
The guy I bought it from said he never started it. The carb had a tiny amount of varnish in the bowl, which I cleaned using some seafoam. The jets looked clean. The bike seems to have good compression as you kick it over, but I have not tried to start it. I put some seamfoam and gasoline in the tank and swished it around to try and clean it out some. Surprisingly, the gas that was in the tank did not smell like varnish!

I have not even started looking for oil drains, etc... Where are they all located? How much oil goes in the tank?


1968 BSA Starfire
2009 Suzuki Hayabusa
2000 Suzuki Hayabusa project
Re: Complete newbie, just bought a BSA Starfire 250 [Re: Ludicrous Speed] #452815
09/04/12 4:03 pm
09/04/12 4:03 pm
Joined: Feb 2007
Posts: 586
California
Don M. Offline
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California
Do not put modern gas, with ethynol, in that tank without lining it first, the GRP will disolve in alcohol. Caswell resists alcohol & will bond to GRP, unlike some of the sealers, but the tank must be cleaned out first for a good bond. Coat the tank twice, including the top area. There are some tanks with the same shape, but made of steel. Temporarily, many other BSA tanks can be fitted. The 1968 originally had a Concentric carb with the removable pilot, easy to remove & clean. Cheers, Don.

Re: Complete newbie, just bought a BSA Starfire 250 [Re: Ludicrous Speed] #452820
09/04/12 5:13 pm
09/04/12 5:13 pm
Joined: Sep 2012
Posts: 29
Southern IL
L
Ludicrous Speed Offline OP
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Posts: 29
Southern IL
I was wondering about the fiberglass tank.... I know that the aftermarket race tanks they sell for my suzuki they recommend coating. I figured it would be the same way with this one.

I would like to keep this tank, as the paint and all is still original, and matches the side covers. I will have to look into the Caswell stuff, thanks!


1968 BSA Starfire
2009 Suzuki Hayabusa
2000 Suzuki Hayabusa project
Re: Complete newbie, just bought a BSA Starfire 250 [Re: Ludicrous Speed] #452823
09/04/12 5:44 pm
09/04/12 5:44 pm
Joined: Sep 2007
Posts: 446
S.E. Ohio
H
HillbillyBarr Offline
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S.E. Ohio
Nice bike! I've got a 67 B25 in my shop also along with several of it's bigger brothers the 441 Victors and B50s.Great idea fer yer dad! I'm sure he'll love it. You can find original shop manuals for the Starfires fairly easy and cheap also don't ferget Rupert Ratio's book, It's a great read too! I'm sure yer dad will love it. Enjoy the forum and just ask any ol question here as someone has an answer. Hillbilly

Re: Complete newbie, just bought a BSA Starfire 250 [Re: Ludicrous Speed] #452829
09/04/12 6:23 pm
09/04/12 6:23 pm
Joined: Sep 2012
Posts: 86
Maine
C
Caferacer3543 Offline
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Posts: 86
Maine
@HillbillyBarr--Does your 1967 B25 have the small front 18" wheel or does it have the large 19" wheel? I have a 1968 B25 like Ludicrous here and I am trying to figure out if the hub is off an early triumph? I know that the hub is stock to the B25 but the axle dosent line up on my forks which is weird because the bike is all stock and has stock BSA forks. The front hub looks to be the same as early triumph T100's


1961 Triumph TR6
Maine - USA
Re: Complete newbie, just bought a BSA Starfire 250 [Re: Ludicrous Speed] #452837
09/04/12 7:06 pm
09/04/12 7:06 pm
Joined: Dec 2004
Posts: 9,501
Scotland
kommando Online content
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B25's all had 18" front wheels, the TR25W and the B44 Victor Special had 19" wheels (except maybe for some odd TR25W that had the 7" TLS front brake mated to an 18 rim)

Re: Complete newbie, just bought a BSA Starfire 250 [Re: kommando] #452845
09/04/12 7:26 pm
09/04/12 7:26 pm
Joined: Sep 2012
Posts: 86
Maine
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Caferacer3543 Offline
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Maine
Wow I didn't know that I thought only the 1968 B25 model had the 18" front wheel. "you learn something new everyday" laugh


1961 Triumph TR6
Maine - USA
Re: Complete newbie, just bought a BSA Starfire 250 [Re: Ludicrous Speed] #453108
09/05/12 10:27 pm
09/05/12 10:27 pm
Joined: Sep 2007
Posts: 446
S.E. Ohio
H
HillbillyBarr Offline
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S.E. Ohio
AS I recall the early unit single forks were all BSA so yer front fork should have a screw in axle. The 69 model SS used a Triumph front fork and the axle is held on with caps. Also Ludicrous yer system is positive ground so don't go hookin up yer new batery wrong. Kommando's right my front wheel is 18" on my 67 B25.

Re: Complete newbie, just bought a BSA Starfire 250 [Re: Ludicrous Speed] #453159
09/06/12 5:00 am
09/06/12 5:00 am
Joined: Sep 2012
Posts: 29
Southern IL
L
Ludicrous Speed Offline OP
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Southern IL
OK, I am picking up the new battery tomorrow. What is the procedure for hooking up a positive ground? Hook up the neg first, then the positive?


1968 BSA Starfire
2009 Suzuki Hayabusa
2000 Suzuki Hayabusa project
Re: Complete newbie, just bought a BSA Starfire 250 [Re: Ludicrous Speed] #453165
09/06/12 7:16 am
09/06/12 7:16 am
Joined: Mar 2011
Posts: 836
derby england
wak Offline
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derby england
Forks are correct early clamp up type with 2 way damping,in fact the whole bike looks as it should what a nice find ,i love that year b25


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BSA B50MX
TRIUMPH TR6C
BSA BUSHMAN
BSA Gold Star Daytona
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Triumph T100 Daytona
Triumph 5TA Trials
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Re: Complete newbie, just bought a BSA Starfire 250 [Re: Ludicrous Speed] #453166
09/06/12 7:40 am
09/06/12 7:40 am
Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 1,799
Christchurch, NZ
Kevin (NZ). Offline
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Christchurch, NZ
Originally Posted By: Ludicrous Speed
hooking up a positive ground? Hook up the neg first, then the positive?


Yep, the safest way to connect and remove any battery is to remove the earth first and reconnect it last. That way if your tool contacts the frame it will not arc up and potentially cause a blow up. Obviously you have to avoid the other terminal still.

Regards the forks, the BSA forks are different.
The 1968 A65 has the interim between the rod dampened and the later Triumph style shuttle valve type.

I am not sure about the singles but the 1968 A65 has the rod dampened forks and with split clamp.... well at least on the twin carb models.
The Thunderbolt retained the older screw in axle.

The tail light housing is missing on your bike also, maybe the rear fender has been shortened.

Re: Complete newbie, just bought a BSA Starfire 250 [Re: Ludicrous Speed] #453187
09/06/12 10:57 am
09/06/12 10:57 am
Joined: Sep 2012
Posts: 86
Maine
C
Caferacer3543 Offline
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Maine
Yes the forks for this bike are correct bsa forks for this model, the 1967 b25 and c25 have the threaded front axle typetc. For 1969 and 1970 the b25 forks were triumph rather then bsa. I guess it would be easier to make the same parts for the triumph tr25w and bsa b25. Your rear fender looks to shorter, can you tell if it has been cut?


1961 Triumph TR6
Maine - USA
Re: Complete newbie, just bought a BSA Starfire 250 [Re: Ludicrous Speed] #453222
09/06/12 4:20 pm
09/06/12 4:20 pm
Joined: Dec 2004
Posts: 9,501
Scotland
kommando Online content
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Scotland
Read Kevins post again,forks with end caps does not always mean Triumph forks as there are interim forks with BSA rod damper internals that have end caps, they are 68 fitments to A65 and were also used on B44 Shooting stars and B25 Starfires for early part of 69 too as detailed in the parts books and on my 69 B44 Shooting Star. The B44 Victor Special had rod damper forks with screw in axle right to the end of its production in 70.

Re: Complete newbie, just bought a BSA Starfire 250 [Re: Ludicrous Speed] #453268
09/06/12 9:42 pm
09/06/12 9:42 pm
Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 1,799
Christchurch, NZ
Kevin (NZ). Offline
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Christchurch, NZ
And the 'Triumph' forks are not necessarily the same as those fitted to standard Triumph bikes.... for the TLS models.
The BSA forks are easily identified by the oil seal carrier.
The lower chamfer on the BSA legs is part of the slider itself.

Going by photos of some of the later model unit singles I am guessing Triumph forks were fitted to some of the 1969 and 1970 range.

Going by Kommando's comments and the photo of the 'new' purchase I would be saying it has BSA rod dampened forks fitted.


Why, Y, Dash Y..



Re: Complete newbie, just bought a BSA Starfire 250 [Re: Ludicrous Speed] #453287
09/07/12 12:00 am
09/07/12 12:00 am
Joined: Sep 2007
Posts: 446
S.E. Ohio
H
HillbillyBarr Offline
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S.E. Ohio
Wak I was referin to Caferacer311 about his forks and axle. Ludicrous Speed's bike looks correct. And my 67 has the screw in axle. I didn't think they changed to the Triumph Forks till 69.
Hillbilly

Re: Complete newbie, just bought a BSA Starfire 250 [Re: Ludicrous Speed] #453296
09/07/12 1:59 am
09/07/12 1:59 am
Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 1,799
Christchurch, NZ
Kevin (NZ). Offline
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Christchurch, NZ
That would be correct I think Hillbilly. The 1968 models seem to have the BSA rod internals but with the 'One year only' lower sliders.

My post of 23 August on this thread has some good relevant info on rod dampened forks.
http://www.britbike.com/forums/ubbthread...0519#Post450519


Why, Y, Dash Y..



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