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#666916 - 09/08/16 1:41 pm 1970 Lightning "Y" Bike Project...  
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Kev. Online sick
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A 1970 BSA A65 Lightning. Originally found in a barn in Indiana over there in the US of A, and sold by the widow of the owner. it is in amazing unmolested condition, apart from those hideous bars! and the wrong front end, it has the original keys for both ignition and steering lock. no rust anywhere and the tank inside is all shiney and new looking. But the whole bike could really do with a good clean.
Yes there are a couple of things that need sorting, fork gaiters, bars, also the rear light lens, and guard were damaged in shipping. but with a battery connected, all the lights etc work, as does the ammeter, and when kicked over there is a good spark at the plugs, and a good oil return at the tank.













Nice clear matching numbers









Never seen these alloy clock surrounds before, standard fitting?



http://kevindean.zenfolio.com/

http://backstreetthunder.wordpress.com/

1950 Vincent Comet
1952 Norton Special
1963 BSA Super Rocket
1970 BSA A65 Lightning
1973 Moto Guzzi Eldorado x2
2009 Triumph Bonneville



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#666923 - 09/08/16 1:51 pm Re: 1970 Lightning "Y" Bike Project... [Re: Kev.]  
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Kev. Online sick
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Label on headstock says it all... February 1970 A65L.



So that is where I have started, and now I start sorting parts, finding what's good, and also what's bad. And ordering new parts as I start to get the bike back on the road where it belongs....

As I intend to pull the top end, I have started getting a few parts for that area, de-coke gasket set was first, and while looking at the SRM site, I saw these nice tappet adjusters, which arrived today...







http://kevindean.zenfolio.com/

http://backstreetthunder.wordpress.com/

1950 Vincent Comet
1952 Norton Special
1963 BSA Super Rocket
1970 BSA A65 Lightning
1973 Moto Guzzi Eldorado x2
2009 Triumph Bonneville



#666924 - 09/08/16 1:53 pm Re: 1970 Lightning "Y" Bike Project... [Re: Kev.]  
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They could be chromed mounts. The c1965 models had those types of mounts - painted black. You require the full rubber binnacle.

The front end could have been changed by someone thinking that they had a 67 bike. But that's a dead straight 70. Good find!!

Forks should be the triumph type. So don't forget to open your search. Stanchions up are the same, just the sliders and oil seal holders you'll need, plus some ancillary parts for that area. Wheel again, triumph/BSA. If you want to sell those bottom parts on, let me know.

If nothing else I have the correct front brake plate and TLS linkages for your bike.

Last edited by Allan Gill; 09/08/16 1:55 pm.

beerchug
#666978 - 09/09/16 1:19 am Re: 1970 Lightning "Y" Bike Project... [Re: Allan Gill]  
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Hi Allan, Kev,

Originally Posted By Allan Gill
Forks should be the triumph type.
Stanchions up are the same, just the sliders and oil seal holders you'll need,

Mmmm ... yes and no.

Stanchions are only the same as the '69/'70 Triumph T25 singles and T150 triple, not Triumph twins. Sliders are peculiar to BSA twins although, from a thread some years ago, apparently singles' sliders can be used with their mudguard mounting. Oil seal holders are the same as triples and Triumph twins but, for some reason, not the singles? shocked

Hth.

Regards,

#667019 - 09/09/16 11:36 am Re: 1970 Lightning "Y" Bike Project... [Re: Kev.]  
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KC in S.B. Offline
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Okay, besides the fact it's a very nice find!!..... Since we are focused on the fork, My $.02 is that it's a '67 in disguise! A65LA motor, no OP switch, with a late tank,T-lite, front brake stop switch. After all, the guys watching the new models come to the show room would certainly compare it to the Cycle World magazine ads for the new models and raise a howl! That DOES also apply to the brake I'd guess, but If the Y bikes were mfd in '67, which happens to be my favorite year BTW, isn't that a simple answer? It's an easy last second "fix" to slap a '70 sticker on the bike before it shipped out. Always fun to guess at this stuff. Nice Find !!

Last edited by KC in S.B.; 09/09/16 11:37 am.

Down to 1 BSA, 2 Triumphs, 2 '56 Chevys
#667021 - 09/09/16 11:43 am Re: 1970 Lightning "Y" Bike Project... [Re: Kev.]  
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".................. apart from those hideous bars!" I dunno, I kinda like'em........ ;~)


Down to 1 BSA, 2 Triumphs, 2 '56 Chevys
#667022 - 09/09/16 11:46 am Re: 1970 Lightning "Y" Bike Project... [Re: Kev.]  
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Its got the 70 clutch, ball ramp and barrels with 3/8th bi hex nuts, probably had a front end swap after a shunt.


71 Devimead A65 750
56 Norbsa 68 Longstroke A65
Cagiva Raptor 650
MZ TS 250
The poster formerly known as Pod
#667023 - 09/09/16 12:08 pm Re: 1970 Lightning "Y" Bike Project... [Re: gavin eisler]  
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Originally Posted By gavin eisler
Its got the 70 clutch, ball ramp and barrels with 3/8th bi hex nuts, probably had a front end swap after a shunt.


I agree completely, but was it a shunt or a poorly performed stunt?

Don in Nipomo


1956 Zundapp KS601EL
1960 Greeves Scottish/Hawkstone Velorex 560
1963 BSA Gold Star Spitfire
1964 Triumph T20SM
1965 BSA C15T
1966 BSA VE
1968 Bonham Tote Gote
1969 BSA VS
1970 BSA A65L (with a "Y")
1972 Husqvarna 450 WR
1986 Yamaha TT 225
1987 BMW K75C
#667044 - 09/09/16 4:45 pm Re: 1970 Lightning "Y" Bike Project... [Re: KC in S.B.]  
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Originally Posted By KC in S.B.
Okay, besides the fact it's a very nice find!!..... Since we are focused on the fork, My $.02 is that it's a '67 in disguise! A65LA motor, no OP switch, with a late tank,T-lite, front brake stop switch. After all, the guys watching the new models come to the show room would certainly compare it to the Cycle World magazine ads for the new models and raise a howl! That DOES also apply to the brake I'd guess, but If the Y bikes were mfd in '67, which happens to be my favorite year BTW, isn't that a simple answer? It's an easy last second "fix" to slap a '70 sticker on the bike before it shipped out. Always fun to guess at this stuff. Nice Find !!


No guessing needed KC, It has everything 1970 about it. Except the front end.


Apart from the forks there is nothing 67' about the bike. The LA Y serial number was issued with the 180 day warranty and only 1970 models received the 180 day warranty, not 69 or anything previous.



Last edited by Allan Gill; 09/09/16 4:49 pm.

beerchug
#667095 - 09/10/16 1:33 am Re: 1970 Lightning "Y" Bike Project... [Re: KC in S.B.]  
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Hi KC,

Originally Posted By KC in S.B.
no OP switch,

I agree that you can't see it in the first picture, but isn't that the port for it above the dome of the OPRV? I see there's only one idiot lamp in the headlamp shell; if that's a pre-'69 front end, could whoever fitted it have simply used the single idiot lamp for the high beam warning and left out all the oil warning parts?

Regards,

#667096 - 09/10/16 1:48 am Re: 1970 Lightning "Y" Bike Project... [Re: Kev.]  
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The cases have the casting for OP switch.



#667210 - 09/11/16 4:33 am Re: 1970 Lightning "Y" Bike Project... [Re: Kev.]  
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That they do. Even has the original domed oprv (1970 on)

The headlight looks to be for a triumph. The idiot lights on the BSA should be in line with the ammeter, not below.


beerchug
#667235 - 09/11/16 11:07 am Re: 1970 Lightning "Y" Bike Project... [Re: Allan Gill]  
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B44R and B models have the same 3 hole configuration as the headlight shown. The R has a rotary light switch and the B has a toggle switch as shown.

#667262 - 09/11/16 2:40 pm Re: 1970 Lightning "Y" Bike Project... [Re: Kev.]  
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Thanks for the input, very helpful...



http://kevindean.zenfolio.com/

http://backstreetthunder.wordpress.com/

1950 Vincent Comet
1952 Norton Special
1963 BSA Super Rocket
1970 BSA A65 Lightning
1973 Moto Guzzi Eldorado x2
2009 Triumph Bonneville



#667426 - 09/12/16 8:34 pm Re: 1970 Lightning "Y" Bike Project... [Re: Kev.]  
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And now you are faced with a problem.
What are you going to do with the bike ?
Catalogue correct ?
But what if it shipped with the B 40 / B 44 headlamp from the factory ?
BSA was a big company and lots of things went wrong.
To get better shipping rates, cargo space was booked a long way in advance so as the dispatch date became closer lots of bits that will "Fill the space " got tossed on to make the cut off date for delivery to the wharves .
So if it is a low mileage bike with no evidence of a smash then what is on it is most likely original, as supplied to the dealers and bought by th customer.
So do you cherish the history as is or convert it to match the book ?


Bike Beesa
Trevor
#667440 - 09/13/16 4:05 am Re: 1970 Lightning "Y" Bike Project... [Re: BSA_WM20]  
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Hi Trevor,

Originally Posted By BSA_WM20
BSA was a big company

Precisely. By February 1970, BSA and Triumph were well into their third season with common fork parts and brakes/wheels. The suggestion that production planners were so inept that stocks of the correct parts, and B25/T25 sliders, had run out - but piles of three-year-old fork and brake parts were kicking around - seems somewhat far-fetched?

I take it you never met Al Cave? I wouldn't like to claim any great insight but my distinct impression was that, if the above had happened, certain people would've had their heads displayed on stakes on the factory walls ...

Originally Posted By BSA_WM20
To get better shipping rates, cargo space was booked a long way in advance

In sailing ships to Australia, possibly. In 1970 to the US, with several competing shipping groups with big container ships to fill, any delay would've impacted more on the importer's distribution plans; if the choice was then between bikes the importer could simply shift in and out a few days later, or bikes they or the dealers had to fit front ends to, the latter would've caused far more grief than a few days' shipping delay.

Originally Posted By BSA_WM20
So if it is a low mileage bike with no evidence of a smash then what is on it is most likely original,

So it couldn't have been put to one side in favour of a Japanese bike in the early 1970's, stripped of its original front-end perhaps to fix another crashed '68/'69/'70 BSA (or Triumph) twin later - when we know spares were hard to come by - then had some crap old front end fitted to make it a 'runner' to flog in 2016, 'cos "they're werf summink, they are, mate"?

And, as the second decade of the 21st century heads rapidly for the third, you'd ride with some carp old front brake that was vintage when it was new half-a-century ago, when "catalogue" says you can fit one of the best motorcycle drum brakes? Mmmm ...

Regards, smile

#667443 - 09/13/16 6:18 am Re: 1970 Lightning "Y" Bike Project... [Re: Stuart]  
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Quote:
Precisely. By February 1970, BSA and Triumph were well into their third season with common fork parts and brakes/wheels. The suggestion that production planners were so inept that stocks of the correct parts, and B25/T25 sliders, had run out - but piles of three-year-old fork and brake parts were kicking around - seems somewhat far-fetched?


Apart from dealers at the time who are on this list regularly confirming that BSA regularly sent bikes over with the wrong parts fitted from the factory. Dealers down here who have verbally confirmed that they were lucky to the 20 bikes that were all correct , it also features in 2 of the thesis that have been written about the collapse of BSA and I think Hopewood's book that included a phrase to the effect that the spares department were always having troubles filling orders completely because the production department kept pinching parts.
I do have a Dealer Buletin kicking around somewhere with rates for retro fitting the correct parts, which from what I have been led to believe was rarely ever actually paid.

Back in the days of manual production scheduling keeping tabs on all the inventory required to fill an order was not an easy job. So all you needed to happen was a small batch of reject parts and your scheduling was down the toilet and the production line could not stop for a day or two till fresh stocks of the correct parts turned up.
There was also a comment somewhere about colour inconsistency occuring because black painted parts from the spares department had to be sprayed up in that years colour due to problems with production parts.

Quote:
To get better shipping rates, cargo space was booked a long way in advance
.
This was also in Koerner & Heaton as a factor that contributed to excessive production costs as scheduling was continually disrupted in order to get an export order out on time.
Koerner ( I think ) also mentioned that the prebooked freight had to be paid for regardless of weather the bikes actually shipped or not and missing slots doubled freight cost so some shipments were loss making before they were unloaded in the US.
I think Ryerson also mention something along these lines but I would have to reread him as it has been a few years since I last read his book.

And full containerization did not come in till well into the 70's
Certainly all of the images I have seen of exported BSA's had them loose packed or crated.
The very first shipping containers entered service in 1956 and that was for deck cargo only ( I went to a few 50th birthday bashes in 2005 & 2006 when I was in transport ) .However the standard sizes pallet did not come into being till 1968 and it was only after pallets had been standardized that shipping containers became standardised.

Now I am not going to speculate upon the history of this particular bike but we used to get a lot of very low mileage bikes imported from the USA down here with no evidence of accident damage but definately fitted with "wrong" parts.
Now you could very well be correct.
it could have had a front ender totalling the forks and got put away to be fixed latter on .


Bike Beesa
Trevor
#667452 - 09/13/16 8:11 am Re: 1970 Lightning "Y" Bike Project... [Re: BSA_WM20]  
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Hi Trevor,

Risking Mike's snippers ...

Originally Posted By BSA_WM20
Quote:
To get better shipping rates, cargo space was booked a long way in advance
.
full containerization did not come in till well into the 70's

Errrm ... I actually worked for P&O - then the largest shipping line in the world - through the 1970's. In those days, even companies like P&O couldn't afford the enormous investment needed for full containerisation and formed consortia. ACL (Atlantic Container Line) - originally a British consortium of shipping lines in the Europe-North America "shipping conference", began operating in 1967; P&O was major shareholder of OCL (Overseas Container Line), the British consortium in containerising Europe-Australia in 1971 and Europe-Japan in 1972. Smaller ships built from the late 1960's onwards were designed capable of accommodating what became standard ISO shipping container dimensions.

Originally Posted By BSA_WM20
Koerner & Heaton
Ryerson

I'm not suggesting I know everything better than the academics but, if academics are claiming that export shipping costs were a major factor in the decline of British motorcycle manufacturing, either they or whichever department in BSA handled export shipping missed very many tricks.

Originally Posted By BSA_WM20
the standard sizes pallet did not come into being till 1968 and it was only after pallets had been standardized that shipping containers became standardised.

Again, at least not in Europe; the 1.2m (note metric) pallet dimension derives from the internal width of the original 8' (note Imperial/US) standard ISO container outside width, allowing two pallets to be fitted side-by-side with relative ease but with minimal wasted space. In turn, the original ISO 8' x 8' end dimension likely derives from its use in US containerisation systems from the 1930's and worked well for intermodal as many countries already used that as a maximum vehicle width.

Regards,

#667455 - 09/13/16 9:01 am Re: 1970 Lightning "Y" Bike Project... [Re: Kev.]  
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One company I worked for tried to save money by pre booking container slots a year in advance direct with the shipping lines, fine if you have a steady business. On paper it worked but it failed badly come the first downturn, the shippers had their contract and goods or no goods they got paid for the containers. It was never renewed and they went back to using traditional forwarding agents.

#667494 - 09/13/16 5:04 pm Re: 1970 Lightning "Y" Bike Project... [Re: Kev.]  
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Pics of the fuel tank front LHS two dents, one from tope yoke, one from cable bracket, looks like a front end change. Have a lok at the lockstops for damage/repair.

Last edited by gavin eisler; 09/13/16 5:05 pm.

71 Devimead A65 750
56 Norbsa 68 Longstroke A65
Cagiva Raptor 650
MZ TS 250
The poster formerly known as Pod
#667501 - 09/13/16 6:01 pm Re: 1970 Lightning "Y" Bike Project... [Re: Kev.]  
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Until i lived here i wouldn't have believed some of the stuff that was sent out here, so using up old parts to fill the 'Colonial Bin' does not surprise me at all. It normally just meant retrieving it from the reject bins and transferring it.
Look at it from Beezers point of view.... Small market, long way away, etc. 'They are used to making do'



#667553 - 09/14/16 7:08 am Re: 1970 Lightning "Y" Bike Project... [Re: NickL]  
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Quote:
I'm not suggesting I know everything better than the academics but, if academics are claiming that export shipping costs were a major factor in the decline of British motorcycle manufacturing, either they or whichever department in BSA handled export shipping missed very many tricks.


And neither do I.
However I did not say it was MAJOR factor but it was a contributing factor.
Please do not put words into my mouth.
We have to remember that profit margins were quite slim on motorcycles.
BSA was under massive pressure from the USA to reduce prices to closer match those from Japan and doubling the shipping costs took a big slug out of profits.

While we can only speculate upon what production difficulties BSA was under it would be very safe to say that production scheduling and inventory control was a major problem.
So much of a problem that even when BSA was short of capital they thought it prudent to invest 100,000 in 1967 on the computerised production control system and that decision was made in the light of the failure to get the bikes to the USA in time to make the selling season.
According to Ryerson the groups profit for that year dropped ,500,000 so if the board was happy add 20% to that figure says a lot about the gravity production scheduling problems.
Perhaps Alister had run out of poles to mount heads upon.


Bike Beesa
Trevor
#667554 - 09/14/16 7:23 am Re: 1970 Lightning "Y" Bike Project... [Re: NickL]  
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Originally Posted By NickL
Until i lived here i wouldn't have believed some of the stuff that was sent out here, so using up old parts to fill the 'Colonial Bin' does not surprise me at all. It normally just meant retrieving it from the reject bins and transferring it.
Look at it from Beezers point of view.... Small market, long way away, etc. 'They are used to making do'


Most of the weird & wonderful factory original bitzas that were sold down here in the 60's were bikes that did not sell in the USA as our summer comes after the north.
Thus BSA were able to cut cost by filling Australian & New Zealand orders with unsold US stock and funny enough lots of these were the "despach panic specials " so the first orders that arrived came from the UK these were either the Home models or General Export models then the balance came from the USA mostly West Cost models but I can remember seeing what I now know to be East Coast on the floor as well.
This made buying things like throttle , clutch & brake cables a disaster as you can have 4 different ones but all of the spares we got were for whatever model we were supposed to get that year.
As you know we ride all year round so the factory could start on next seasons models earlier by supplying the balance orderss with surplus USA stock.
It was not uncommon to see the East Coast, West Coast & general export models all sitting on the showroom floor at the same time.
Up untill 1950 Australia was BSA's biggest export market.
There was some sort of political problems in 1950 so we got almost no 1951 models and then BSA hit the USA market big time.
However Australia remained the second largest export market for the BSA -Triumph group right until the bitter end.
So were were a big market , just not the biggest.

Last edited by BSA_WM20; 09/14/16 7:28 am.

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Trevor
#667636 - 09/15/16 5:50 am Re: 1970 Lightning "Y" Bike Project... [Re: Kev.]  
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this bike is not factory fresh,18K miles on the clocks if they are original, the head has been painted black, rear shocks dont look stock,clocks are scratched, new petrol pipes and clips, dents in the tank, missing clutch cable rubber,this has been used a fair bit. AFAIK all twin carbs after 68 got the TLS brake.
My money is on a front end prang, with new / old wheel, fork legs, lamp bucket to get it useable again.Even re using the old 70 brake cable with the switch, these older parts would have been easy to fit on to return the bike to the road.Nothing wrong with it the way it is, how does it run?


71 Devimead A65 750
56 Norbsa 68 Longstroke A65
Cagiva Raptor 650
MZ TS 250
The poster formerly known as Pod
#667648 - 09/15/16 7:49 am Re: 1970 Lightning "Y" Bike Project... [Re: Kev.]  
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Your right Gavin, 68' twin carbs all got the underslung TLS only the thunderbolt and royal star which did not, 69 on ALL A-series models received TLS of the cable following the fork type.


beerchug
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