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#711927 - 10/18/17 8:59 pm Decals/Transfers for 71 BSA Thunderbolt  
Joined: Sep 2017
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VANDOLSON Online content
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VANDOLSON  Online Content
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Windsor, Virginia, USA
Besides the Thunderbolt 650 transfers for the air cleaner covers what other decals/transfers (and where on the bike) were on the stock bike (American model)? Was there a "Made in England"? Oil and or battery warnings? "Ask Me What BSA Stands For" or ?

Much appreciated,

"Van"

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#711937 - 10/18/17 10:23 pm Re: Decals/Transfers for 71 BSA Thunderbolt [Re: VANDOLSON]  
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Dana_twin Offline
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Oregon
Check this page

71-72 Thunderbolt decal

While the decal appears grey and white here, the decal when applied is white lettering on a clear background, so the sidecover paint colour shows through the clear

#711970 - 10/19/17 10:58 am Re: Decals/Transfers for 71 BSA Thunderbolt [Re: VANDOLSON]  
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BSA_WM20 Online content
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When you get to 71-72 seasons the whole decal thing is a total mess.
Firstly there were lots of ones that had to go on for local juristrictions helmet warnings , battery acid warnings, pillion warnings etc etc etc. These are not shown in the parts books because they were dealer fitted.
I don't think I have two period publications that show bikes with the same decals in the same positions.
Most of the catalogue photos are blurry but the pre season dove grey frame bikes have different decals to the latter season black framed bikes shown in the latter edition catalogues and glossy advertising usually in Playboy or Hustler.
One of my pet arguements with "catalogue correct concours judges" of which I am yet to find one who knows the change over frame number from Grey to Black.
The bikes I remember drooling over had 650 in solid white ( usually ) under the model name but I have seen the model name in both outline & solid colour with & without the capacity.
I would hazard a guess that the USA models had no capacity so as not to empathise the fact that they were smaller than the 750 Honda 4 and slower than the Honda 400 / 4
AFAIK the grey framed bike did not have the MIE decal on the frame tube while the Black ones did. No MIE on the front downtubes is visible in any of the publicity photographs of grey framed bikes
All of the offical BSA press & dealer photos show the bikes in 3/4 profile and I am fairly sure this was deliberate as the chief stylist Stephen Mettam & the BSA factory manager Allister Cave were at each others throats about the actual finish of the remodled range and it looks like no 2 batches were exactly the same.
Brad Jones seems to be the go to person for the 70 to 73 production years


Bike Beesa
Trevor
#712016 - 10/19/17 8:26 pm Re: Decals/Transfers for 71 BSA Thunderbolt [Re: Dana_twin]  
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VANDOLSON Online content
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VANDOLSON  Online Content
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Joined: Sep 2017
Posts: 9
Windsor, Virginia, USA
Tha
Originally Posted by Dana_twin
Check this page

71-72 Thunderbolt decal

While the decal appears grey and white here, the decal when applied is white lettering on a clear background, so the sidecover paint colour shows through the clear

Originally Posted by Dana_twin
Check this page

71-72 Thunderbolt decal

While the decal appears grey and white here, the decal when applied is white lettering on a clear background, so the sidecover paint colour shows through the clear


Thanks! Great!

#712018 - 10/19/17 8:55 pm Re: Decals/Transfers for 71 BSA Thunderbolt [Re: BSA_WM20]  
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VANDOLSON Online content
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VANDOLSON  Online Content
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Joined: Sep 2017
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Windsor, Virginia, USA
Originally Posted by BSA_WM20
When you get to 71-72 seasons the whole decal thing is a total mess.
Firstly there were lots of ones that had to go on for local juristrictions helmet warnings , battery acid warnings, pillion warnings etc etc etc. These are not shown in the parts books because they were dealer fitted.
I don't think I have two period publications that show bikes with the same decals in the same positions.
Most of the catalogue photos are blurry but the pre season dove grey frame bikes have different decals to the latter season black framed bikes shown in the latter edition catalogues and glossy advertising usually in Playboy or Hustler.
One of my pet arguements with "catalogue correct concours judges" of which I am yet to find one who knows the change over frame number from Grey to Black.
The bikes I remember drooling over had 650 in solid white ( usually ) under the model name but I have seen the model name in both outline & solid colour with & without the capacity.
I would hazard a guess that the USA models had no capacity so as not to empathise the fact that they were smaller than the 750 Honda 4 and slower than the Honda 400 / 4
AFAIK the grey framed bike did not have the MIE decal on the frame tube while the Black ones did. No MIE on the front downtubes is visible in any of the publicity photographs of grey framed bikes
All of the offical BSA press & dealer photos show the bikes in 3/4 profile and I am fairly sure this was deliberate as the chief stylist Stephen Mettam & the BSA factory manager Allister Cave were at each others throats about the actual finish of the remodled range and it looks like no 2 batches were exactly the same.
Brad Jones seems to be the go to person for the 70 to 73 production years

Originally Posted by BSA_WM20
When you get to 71-72 seasons the whole decal thing is a total mess.
Firstly there were lots of ones that had to go on for local juristrictions helmet warnings , battery acid warnings, pillion warnings etc etc etc. These are not shown in the parts books because they were dealer fitted.
I don't think I have two period publications that show bikes with the same decals in the same positions.
Most of the catalogue photos are blurry but the pre season dove grey frame bikes have different decals to the latter season black framed bikes shown in the latter edition catalogues and glossy advertising usually in Playboy or Hustler.
One of my pet arguements with "catalogue correct concours judges" of which I am yet to find one who knows the change over frame number from Grey to Black.
The bikes I remember drooling over had 650 in solid white ( usually ) under the model name but I have seen the model name in both outline & solid colour with & without the capacity.
I would hazard a guess that the USA models had no capacity so as not to empathise the fact that they were smaller than the 750 Honda 4 and slower than the Honda 400 / 4
AFAIK the grey framed bike did not have the MIE decal on the frame tube while the Black ones did. No MIE on the front downtubes is visible in any of the publicity photographs of grey framed bikes
All of the offical BSA press & dealer photos show the bikes in 3/4 profile and I am fairly sure this was deliberate as the chief stylist Stephen Mettam & the BSA factory manager Allister Cave were at each others throats about the actual finish of the remodled range and it looks like no 2 batches were exactly the same.
Brad Jones seems to be the go to person for the 70 to 73 production years


Thanks! My bike is "GE" so that is June 1971? The frame is black (definitely not dove gray
painted over black. The frame and engine numbers match. The rims are both Jones (both
totally rusted). The stock shocks are dove gray painted over with black and 12.9". The stock
seat is a narrow nose on the bike I think and lower (according to the guy I bought from).

I can't find a good picture of the 1971 (like you said just 3/4 views). I am starting to suspect
like you said that the bikes could be a mish-mash of various parts and decals. I want the
Bike to be as close to original as I can get it. Buying any NOS parts I can find. Don't want
A show bike but since This is also my hobby (restoring old bikes) for my pleasure I like to
Be as correct as possible. When I finish this I want to do a 1969 Triumph Bonniville like
my girlfriends Dad had in 1970. I had a new Honda SL100 and he occasionally let me
take her out on a date with it! What a big thrill for me. Loved that bike! It was scarlet and silver
Paint. Silver fenders with a scarlet stripe down the middle. Then who knows after that. This
Is my retirement hobby to keep me occupied.

If you know where exactly on the front frame the MIE transfer went I would appreciate
It.

Thanks again!

Best Regards,

Van

#712022 - 10/19/17 9:54 pm Re: Decals/Transfers for 71 BSA Thunderbolt [Re: VANDOLSON]  
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Posts: 1,059
Shane in Oz Online content
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Sydney, Oz
Originally Posted by VANDOLSON
My bike is "GE" so that is June 1971? The frame is black (definitely not dove gray
painted over black. The frame and engine numbers match. The rims are both Jones (both
totally rusted). The stock shocks are dove gray painted over with black and 12.9". The stock
seat is a narrow nose on the bike I think and lower (according to the guy I bought from).

As far as I can tell, the frames were painted black from around March or April 1971.
The shock absorbers may or may not have been painted black - it seems to depend on what was in the store room. 12.9" centres are correct.
1972 seats have about half the padding of the 1971 version, with all the comfort of an ironing board. They also have fake leather grain vinyl and a patterned top with ~ 2" squares. The 1971 seat covers were smooth.

#712090 - 10/21/17 4:55 am Re: Decals/Transfers for 71 BSA Thunderbolt [Re: VANDOLSON]  
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Dana_twin Offline
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Oregon
BSA_WM20 I was just going by what I remember working for the dealer in Arlington Va quite a few years ago. I uncrated and put together a bunch of BSA's in the day and wheeled them out on the showroom floor, in '72 and '73, at Cycles Inc, long out of biz now. Since they were not hot sellers I got plenty of chance to gaze at the bikes and ogle them, but kind of like girls (on my pay) I couldn;t afford to own one. Sorry if that's politically incorrect, just what I remember. On the west coast the transfers may have been different, all of the bikes I saw came from Nutley.

By the way, just as an aside I always find it interesting and sometimes amusing when folks from Oz and Blighty for that matter comment / pontificate on what they know about styling in the US market in them days, and sometimes know about technical differences too... smile Just saying.

#712229 - 10/22/17 1:00 pm Re: Decals/Transfers for 71 BSA Thunderbolt [Re: Dana_twin]  
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BSA_WM20 Online content
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BSA_WM20  Online Content
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Sydney Australia
We got bikes down here from 2 sources.
Direct imports from the BSA factory in the UK
These bikes tended to hit the showrooms in July to September.
Unsold bikes from the USA. these bikes tended to hit the showrooms in Dec & Jan and were usually a bit cheaper.
In OZ we ride most year round so there is no real "selling season" as there is in the USA.
Bike sales tend to be higher in Nov & Dec but that is simply the school kids finishing school and buying a bike.
Thus it was not uncommon to see 3 different variations of the same bike sitting side by side in the BSA dealers showrooms.

Then there are also weird BSA nutters like me who collect all this stuff.
From the age of 12 when I got a lift home on the back of David Jones A 10, I was hooked on BSA's.

Then we get all the used USA imports so there would be more USA spec BSA's in OZ than Aust spec bikes.

Your question is one that we get very often, what decals went where on which models and at one time we were considering doing diagrams to show this on the web page.
However it soon became obvious this was a total mine field and decal placement was all over the shop so that went into the "too hard" basket.
AFAIK or have seen , when fitted BSA usally placed 1 MIE on the left fork tube facing out to the left

Last edited by BSA_WM20; 10/22/17 1:09 pm.

Bike Beesa
Trevor
#712648 - 10/25/17 1:31 pm Re: Decals/Transfers for 71 BSA Thunderbolt [Re: VANDOLSON]  
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Ive just trawled the Bacon Resto book, the 71 images show decals 650 + model on side panels, a black "Made in England " over the dove grey frame ,below the headstock RHS downtube, and a speedo trip warning label . BSA on seat rear , No place for oil level decals on an OIF.


71 Devimead A65 750
56 Norbsa 68 Longstroke A65
Cagiva Raptor 650
MZ TS 250
The poster formerly known as Pod
#712703 - 10/25/17 8:21 pm Re: Decals/Transfers for 71 BSA Thunderbolt [Re: gavin eisler]  
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VANDOLSON Online content
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Windsor, Virginia, USA
Thanks! I've looked at as many pictures of a '71 I can find. I agree on the side decal as everyone with
A side decal has Thunderbolt with 650 underneath. But also agree with others here that what was on
The 1971 models could also be a variety of decals depending on market and/or dove frame or black
Frame model. Not cut and dry I am guessing but I don't know. I daw a picture of a dove gray lightning
With MIE sticker on left front downtube facing out so.....?! Confusing. Since this is not a show bike
Or going to be judged I am going to just slap on what I think based on everyone's great input.

#713055 - 10/29/17 2:49 am Re: Decals/Transfers for 71 BSA Thunderbolt [Re: VANDOLSON]  
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Dana_twin Offline
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pics are worth 1000 words ... maybe even in oz

[Linked Image]

The side decal is indeed Lightning with a large "650" beneath so no doubt the T'bolt was the same.

There is another sticker below that on the side panel, but cannot make it out.

Note the black outlined "Made in England" script decal on the frame tube.

#713111 - 10/29/17 7:40 pm Re: Decals/Transfers for 71 BSA Thunderbolt [Re: Dana_twin]  
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Shane in Oz Online content
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Originally Posted by Dana_twin
pics are worth 1000 words ... maybe even in oz


The side decal is indeed Lightning with a large "650" beneath so no doubt the T'bolt was the same.

There is another sticker below that on the side panel, but cannot make it out.

Note the black outlined "Made in England" script decal on the frame tube.

And therein lies the problem. That particular press bike had those decals in that arrangement. I think the article shows the instrument warning stickers as well. However, that's not to say that this was the standard setup.
As Gavin noted above, pictures in Roy Bacon's book show the "Made in England" on the other side of the frame.

I'm sure I've read that at least some of the decals were applied by the distributor or dealer, so locations are likely to vary.

It's a good guide for Van's request, though

#713126 - 10/29/17 9:41 pm Re: Decals/Transfers for 71 BSA Thunderbolt [Re: VANDOLSON]  
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argyll. scotland, uk
The Bacon book image is a "show" bike, given that all the long black things run up the RHS I am not surprised to see MIE script on the LHS , would be much easier to fit them in there on the production line if they were the last touches.


71 Devimead A65 750
56 Norbsa 68 Longstroke A65
Cagiva Raptor 650
MZ TS 250
The poster formerly known as Pod
#713188 - 10/30/17 12:22 pm Re: Decals/Transfers for 71 BSA Thunderbolt [Re: VANDOLSON]  
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Did a quick troll through the old BSA photos looking for some from the 70's or 80's that would be less likely to have been touched up.
So far we are back at the beginning some with MIE on the right some on the left and some with none at all.
FWIW there is no MIE decal listed in either the 71-72 parts book 00-5722 or the 72 parts book 00-5733 both of which cover the USA models.
Now as previously mentoned you can take that with a grain of salt as parts books are not 100% accurate either.
According the 00-5722 you should have decal part no 60-2375 on the side cover shown in the link below and that is the only decal listed for the entire bike.
60-2375 was used on both 70 & 71 models and is smaller version of 60-0839 used on 1969 models which is also what is shown on the bike on the magazine cover.
This is the only link I can find with BSA part numbers matched to the actual decal British Spares decals
However if sold in the USA the bike must have a frame compliance decal as shown here which I have seen on the headstock & on the frame rails in 2 different positions , assumption it was a dealer fitment. Note yours will read Jan 1971 but I could not find an image of one saying 71
As previously mentioned there should have been a trip meter warning on the speedo.
Not sure if they were 71 or 72 but the fork nuts had a printed alloy sticker with the grade & capacity of the fork oil
There is an eBay vendor who has been wreaking havoc for ages by selling full sheets of decals which in many cases do not belong together.
wrong decal sheets.
His 71-72 is for the OIF bikes but shows the 1972 USA side cover decal 60-3730 and not the 71 decal which is on the 69-70 page.
However the other decals, oil change, Trip meter, Pos earth may or may not have been fitted. I have never seen a mulit coloured winged BSA on any motorcycle nor a laurel wreath nor a Union Jack on any OIF bike
I have seen some bikes with some of them fitted but never all of them fitted to any bike.
And once again the numbers I have quoted come from parts books and the parts books were printed BEFORE the bikes were made so are not necessarily true to what came out of the factory or what the dealers sold to the riders.

Now if some one knows better then I ( and that won't be hard ) please speak up because I am here to learn stuff I do not know and get corrected on things I think I knew.

Last edited by BSA_WM20; 10/30/17 12:30 pm.

Bike Beesa
Trevor

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