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Victor vs. B50 #579058
01/02/15 9:44 am
01/02/15 9:44 am
Joined: Sep 2013
Posts: 745
Westminster, Colorado
stubbicatt R.I.P. Offline OP
In Remembrance
stubbicatt R.I.P.  Offline OP
In Remembrance

Joined: Sep 2013
Posts: 745
Westminster, Colorado
My first Brit bike was a 441 Victor with is porous fiberglass gas tank. I liked that bike quite a little bit, and learned how to set timing on it after it broke my foot. LOL.

Today I wonder when I look at the product range why would BSA offer the 441 and a B50 in the same product line? 50cc seems an insignificant difference between them. If any of you knows, I would be grateful to hear.

Also, if the Victor had a well deserved reputation as a hand grenade, did that same character afflict the B50?

Regards,
Stubb.

Happy New Year!


Hate is a poison which one consumes hoping for another to die.
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Re: Victor vs. B50 [Re: stubbicatt R.I.P.] #579061
01/02/15 10:28 am
01/02/15 10:28 am
Joined: Dec 2004
Posts: 9,500
Scotland
kommando Online content
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kommando  Online Content
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Joined: Dec 2004
Posts: 9,500
Scotland
The BSA comp dept developed the Unit singles with what ever was to hand and came up with 441 using old parts and dies, then as the top limit was 500cc for Euro Scrambles (well they called it the World Scrambles but all the events were in Europe) and there is no substitute for cubes they developed the B50. This took longer as the case were originally from the 250 C15. The main bearings got upgraded and the big end got a needle rollers but the cod rod stayed the same and suffered in anger but not too bad for the road. Not sure in the UK that the B44 ever got a reputation as a grenade as compared to the B25 it was a model of reliability but that's not difficult when the B25 was the learner favourite and suffered abuse from spotty faced 17 year olds.

Re: Victor vs. B50 [Re: stubbicatt R.I.P.] #579069
01/02/15 12:21 pm
01/02/15 12:21 pm
Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 3,884
Cape Carteret, NC
M
Mr Mike Offline
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Mr Mike  Offline
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Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 3,884
Cape Carteret, NC
I think for the US market, the B50 was a last ditch effort to save BSA. They capitalized on the Goldstar name, the magical 500 cc image, oil in frame (for what that is worth), and other improvements. To BSA,s credit the B50 is stronger, handles better, has better brakes, and has an improved bottom end, and a more comfortable riding position than the 441's. If BSA had started making these kinds of changes in the late fifties and focused on quality, maybe things would have been different. I don't think either the 441 or b50 were "hand grenades". Stock rods were a weak point especially for racers, both street and track, but for most moderate street riders they were not problematic. The bikes were good representation of older motorcycles. They had enough power for all but the super highways, were sometimes balky starters, sounded good, vibrated plenty and were "real motorcycles" with great low end torque of a big single. I had one in the sixties and still have a couple today and still enjoy the ride and allure these bikes gave me many years ago.

Mr Mike

Re: Victor vs. B50 [Re: stubbicatt R.I.P.] #579104
01/02/15 5:11 pm
01/02/15 5:11 pm
Joined: Sep 2013
Posts: 745
Westminster, Colorado
stubbicatt R.I.P. Offline OP
In Remembrance
stubbicatt R.I.P.  Offline OP
In Remembrance

Joined: Sep 2013
Posts: 745
Westminster, Colorado
Thanks guys. In the old days of the 70s I tried to buy a Gold Star, but those that were around weren't for sale. I always wondered why the "old guys" (in their 30's) didn't ride them but wouldn't sell them. I was happy with the Victor, but I must say I really like my Goldie that I have now. To my way of seeing things, maybe it is 1930s technology, but to me it is just such a high quality piece of engineering and workmanship. I can't say it is any faster than my old Victor, maybe it is. But (knock on wood) the gas tank is not porous and weepy, and there is nothing I can find wrong with it.

I remember once I busted a push rod on that Victor, the aluminum broke right at that little steel sleeve at the top, and I pushed it a few miles, all uphill of course, to get it home, and collapsed on the lawn. I think that the push rods on the Gold Star are better designed, and the valve adjustments seem easier. The magneto being separate from the electrical system is another plus, as the Victor would not run if the battery drained. I think the Victor probably handled a little quicker though.

Been contemplating maybe a B50 or something at some point in the near future. I am happy that you shared what I received as encouragement! wink In all then, I take it that the B50 is just a little bit better where it counts.

I wonder, in your opinion, were price the same, would you prefer a B50 or a Goldie?

Last edited by stubbicatt; 01/02/15 5:12 pm.

Hate is a poison which one consumes hoping for another to die.
Re: Victor vs. B50 [Re: stubbicatt R.I.P.] #579107
01/02/15 5:21 pm
01/02/15 5:21 pm
Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 4,272
North Carolina
G
Gordon Gray Offline
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Gordon Gray  Offline
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Posts: 4,272
North Carolina
Originally Posted By: stubbicatt
<snip> In all then, I take it that the B50 is just a little bit better where it counts.


stubbi, just my opinion and it's worth what you paid for it but I started riding BSA B44's back in 1969 and have put a LOT of road miles on them over the years (VR and VS). I've only put a couple of thousand miles on my B50...(just got it on the road last year) BUT.....the two bikes are as different to me as night and day.

I LOVE my B44s and will continue to ride them as much as I can but when it comes down to power and handling....my B50 wins hands down.

Proud to be one of the BSA unit single guys...BSAing ya....Pokey

Last edited by Gordon Gray; 01/02/15 6:46 pm.
Re: Victor vs. B50 [Re: stubbicatt R.I.P.] #579316
01/03/15 9:42 pm
01/03/15 9:42 pm
Joined: Aug 2006
Posts: 1,360
SE Ohio
No Name Man Offline

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No Name Man  Offline

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Posts: 1,360
SE Ohio
Stubbicat, I wonder if you already know this but the B50 would be the successor to the 441 as they were not part of the line at the same time. The last B44 in 70 and the first B50 in 71.

Bill E


69 A65T
71 B50T
85 K100RS
54/59 A10SR
69 B44VS
71 A65FS
95 Trident
Too much moderation is bad for you.

Re: Victor vs. B50 [Re: stubbicatt R.I.P.] #579380
01/04/15 11:36 am
01/04/15 11:36 am
Joined: Sep 2013
Posts: 745
Westminster, Colorado
stubbicatt R.I.P. Offline OP
In Remembrance
stubbicatt R.I.P.  Offline OP
In Remembrance

Joined: Sep 2013
Posts: 745
Westminster, Colorado
No, I didn't know that No Name Man. In some other posting hereabouts there was a product brochure, and IIRC, both were listed, which is what prompted my question. Perhaps I mis read it, or perhaps it was wrong. I don't have the energy to go search for it!

But if you are correct, that would make sense.


Hate is a poison which one consumes hoping for another to die.
Re: Victor vs. B50 [Re: stubbicatt R.I.P.] #579393
01/04/15 12:55 pm
01/04/15 12:55 pm
Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 3,884
Cape Carteret, NC
M
Mr Mike Offline
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Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 3,884
Cape Carteret, NC
Bill is correct. I read with envy the cycle mag reviews of the B50 and really wanted one in 1971. Got a B50 finally in about 2001. Gordon about says it. While the B44 and B50 are similar in many respects, the B50 is faster and performs noticeably better in most respects. I prefer both my b44 and b50 over my a65, but that is me. Most favor the twins. The B50 and B44 represent good examples of motorcycles in a different era.

Mr Mike

Re: Victor vs. B50 [Re: stubbicatt R.I.P.] #580234
01/10/15 5:02 pm
01/10/15 5:02 pm
Joined: Nov 2011
Posts: 186
Nova Scotia, Canada
K
koncretekid Offline
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Posts: 186
Nova Scotia, Canada
Hey Stubbicatt, I see you're in Colorado which is my spring and fall home (Lafayette) and I've only missed one "Old Bike Rides" since #8. Like you, my first bike (second, actually) was a B44 and I rode it in everything from a scrambles race, enduro, and a lot of back roads off the Peak to Peak highway. Fast forward 45 years and I now own a B50 road bike, road racer, and a land speed race bike.

A couple of years ago while returning from the Old Bike Ride, I was followed back to Lafayette by a couple of guys riding a Norton and a Triumph Triple going to the Phantom Canyon club meeting. When we got there, the guy on the Norton told me he couldn't catch me when we turned on 95th out of Niwot. My road bike is stock except for a JE piston. The B50 has three main bearings on the crank, bigger stud spacing to allow a larger cylinder, bigger head with bigger valves and much better breathing. The B44 probably commands a better resale price, but the B50 motor is worth at least twice as much, if you can find one.

I just recently completed a restoration of a B44 Victor Special which I hope to ride in the next Old Bike Ride. Hope to see you there.

"I wonder, in your opinion, were price the same, would you prefer a B50 or a Goldie?

Let me think....... I'll trade you my B50 for your Goldie, if that answers your question.
Tom



Life's uncertain - go fast now!
Re: Victor vs. B50 [Re: stubbicatt R.I.P.] #580476
01/11/15 9:16 pm
01/11/15 9:16 pm
Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 3,884
Cape Carteret, NC
M
Mr Mike Offline
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Mr Mike  Offline
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Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 3,884
Cape Carteret, NC
I don't have definitive data on performance but I believe the B50 would have an advantage over the GS in HP/weight ratio....whether that would translate to better track performance, I dunno. Would be nice to hear from someone that has tuned and ridden both machines. I never could figure out why the Goldstar was discontinued only to start development of the b44 shortly thereafter which eventually became the b50. Of course nothing that a failing company does seems to make sense.

Mr Mike

Re: Victor vs. B50 [Re: Mr Mike] #580512
01/12/15 5:40 am
01/12/15 5:40 am
Joined: Oct 2001
Posts: 1,162
Sydney, Oz
S
Shane in Oz Online content
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Joined: Oct 2001
Posts: 1,162
Sydney, Oz
Originally Posted By: Mr Mike
I don't have definitive data on performance but I believe the B50 would have an advantage over the GS in HP/weight ratio....whether that would translate to better track performance, I dunno. Would be nice to hear from someone that has tuned and ridden both machines. I never could figure out why the Goldstar was discontinued only to start development of the b44 shortly thereafter which eventually became the b50. Of course nothing that a failing company does seems to make sense.

Mr Mike


The B50 is more powerful and lighter. Track performance can't have been all that bad, because the Mead & Tomkinson B50 won a 24 hour endurance race in, I think, Barcelona.
The Gold Star was an extremely versatile competition bike for its time, but had lighter and more agile competition after being on top of the heap for a decade.

The official reason for retiring the Gold Star was that Lucas had stopped making magdynos, but BSA had also stopped making the B31/B33 so the DB32 and DBD34 wouldn't have been economical to produce once the factory parts backlog was used up.

The B44 was developed from the B40, which was developed from the C15S, and was based on the current production model range. The B44 GP was very closely based on the works bike. There are a *lot* of B44 VEs and VSs, and BSA didn't know it was a failing company in the early to mid 1960s. Only a company with deep pockets could spend the type of money BSA put into the Titanium scrambler.

The B50 is an interesting beast. The B50T and B50SS seem to be based on the B50MX rather than the other way around, so are very highly stressed and lacking flywheel effect compared to the B44. On top of that, the B50MX couldn't really compete with the Bultaco, Ossa, Maico, etc 2 strokes it was aimed at, so it was the worst of both worlds frown

Re: Victor vs. B50 [Re: stubbicatt R.I.P.] #580526
01/12/15 8:24 am
01/12/15 8:24 am
Joined: Sep 2013
Posts: 745
Westminster, Colorado
stubbicatt R.I.P. Offline OP
In Remembrance
stubbicatt R.I.P.  Offline OP
In Remembrance

Joined: Sep 2013
Posts: 745
Westminster, Colorado
In the BMS book I have here on the Gold Star, published by George Prew, on Page 25, there is a footnote after one of the articles that suggests that Edward Turner wanted the Gold Star killed off in 1958 as it threatened his darling Tiger 500. As I understand, BSA and Triumph were all sort of a conglomerate at that point. Perhaps that had something to do with it, though it took what, 3 model years to cease production?

I don't know.


Hate is a poison which one consumes hoping for another to die.
Re: Victor vs. B50 [Re: stubbicatt R.I.P.] #580540
01/12/15 10:08 am
01/12/15 10:08 am
Joined: Oct 2009
Posts: 495
new jersey usa
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pushrod tom Offline
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new jersey usa
Hi Tom, The time we get to see each other is usually filled with much more 'serious' stuff but I am also a BSA single fan. I have had my 1960 DBD since 1969 and since 1991 have ridden it all over (13,000 mile). A few years ago I 'won' a 1969 B44R on eBay, just like the one I had new back then. I fixed it up and have maybe 1,500 miles on it now. Both bikes are delightful it their own ways but the Goldie is my favorite bike of all time and has also been with me for some of the greatest riding experiences of my life!
Cheers and many more miles for all of us, PRT

Re: Victor vs. B50 [Re: pushrod tom] #580725
01/13/15 8:59 am
01/13/15 8:59 am
Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 3,884
Cape Carteret, NC
M
Mr Mike Offline
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Mr Mike  Offline
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Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 3,884
Cape Carteret, NC
I had my opportunity to own a Goldstar many years ago. I regret that missed opportunity as much as I regret the 57 corvette I let slip thru my fingers for $1300! Like Gordon and others I prefer the singles over twins. They do everything I need to do on a motorcycle better than a twin. Only one of everything to fail versus two on a twin. I always have felt that as motorcycles get heavier some of the joy of two wheels starts to disappear. I have no idea or any wish to learn what it is like to ride a 700 pound motorcycle. Maybe if I was 250 pounds and 6'3" tall or cruising the super highways I might feel different but most of my experience was before the superhighways when a 250 pound motorcycle in the dirt was big fun.

Mr Mike


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