Hi guys/gals, New to the board and new to BSA bikes. I recently bought a 1970 A65L but was told by the owner the following One of about 600 built in 1967 for sale in USA during 1968 that were returned to UK (as result of poor sales) for upgrades. These BSA's were shipped back to USA for sale in 1969-1970. This particular BSA's VIN indicates it was fit with 1969 upgrades and returned to USA for sale in 1970.
The bikes numbers are A65LA11247Y, I have bought the Clymer manual and the BSA Twin Restoration book, which have both been helpful but I have a ton of questions.
So my first question is what year parts should I be buying? 67, 68, 69 or 70? Parts I know I need so far, seat, bas tank and battery box. I can post pictures of the bike if anyone is interested. Thanks in advance
That story goes around. As do some other versions. Not sure I totally believe it. One version of the "Y" suffix is change to electrics. I have seen original MSO paperwork for a 67 Hornet that was sold in March 1967 that was definitely a "Y" at the end of the 67 S/N.
A true 70 will have TLS front brake, Triumph style forks, revised swing arm pivot (bronze bush instead of silentblocs), piston type oil pressure regulator, 6CA points, etc.
A true 67 will have half width front brake, BSA damper rod forks, ball type regulator (get rid of it!), silentbloc swing arm pivot (hollow pivot bolt), 4CA points (get rid of htem too).
Which of the characteristics yours have will determine which books to get. Based on S/N I would lean towards 66 - 68 service book, 67 parts book. But let us know how the bike is equipped and pictures might give a better idea.
Life is too short to drink cheap, bad beer.
Re: A65L Which years parts to buy?#8458 02/27/064:40 pm02/27/064:40 pm
Pictures would definetly help us. Another story on the return to the works deal. Apparently some of the '66 Spitfires were also returned to the works as nobody could "detune" the GP carbs to run on the street. Story has it that they were returned to the works and fitted with concentrics and shipped back over here to the States. Three punches were put over the #'s to indicate MK III fitted instead of a II. I had a MK II that was titled as a '67 with these marks. After much hair pulling trying to sell this particular bike , I was told this story more than once. So who knows. Sounded legit. Sold!
,_o _ -\_<, (*)/'(*)
Re: A65L Which years parts to buy?#8459 02/27/066:31 pm02/27/066:31 pm
Hi THE TLS front brake is 68 up and motor is 1970. The motor has the late clutch mech and should also have thick flange barrels. The headlight with ammeter may be earlier, my 69 tbolt didnt have an ammeter. Clocks look 1970.
Nice find. Cheers pod
71 Devimead A65 750 56 Norbsa 68 Longstroke A65 Cagiva Raptor 650 MZ TS 250 The poster formerly known as Pod
Re: A65L Which years parts to buy?#8461 02/27/067:05 pm02/27/067:05 pm
I'd say 69 or 70. IMO, the Triumph forks were a retrograde step. Dual carb twins with 7" headlight have the ammeter. Fender braces say late also. Has the hollow axle pivot which says pre 70. BTW, what is the frame #. You may have a bitsa.
Life is too short to drink cheap, bad beer.
Re: A65L Which years parts to buy?#8463 02/27/067:28 pm02/27/067:28 pm
Dustin , My first BSA was a '70 Lightning , ran into the same situation and when I ordered a set of manuals for the bike I was told it was a '67 yadayada and they sent me a '67 manual , I was sure my bike must have had all sorts of incorrect parts on it until I found out it really was a '70 model . There ae several threads on this , and one fella down under has a whole lot of info dedicated to this subject , but basically , from these posts , a lot of the things mentioned could have been changed out over the years, but not likely al of the things that look like a '70 but there are a couple of things that wouldnt be chnaged that would make the bike a '70. First , the frame , a '70 would have two fairing mount tubes at the front of the headstock, earlier models didnt have this , and a '70 engine would have 3/8" cylinder mounting studs (and the spacing was slightly different with two of the forward studs , butthat isnt noticeable without comparison), earlier models were 5/16" from the pics it sure looks like a '70 to me .
Thank you all for the info, very helpful. Actually the paint tray is Home Depot 06, I waited for the new modle and I think it was worth it. My main concern at this point is finding a tank and battery box for this bike to start with. Will a late 60's tank work or do I have to use a 1970 specifically? The bike came with a peanut tank and it looks like the original mounting tab has been cut off. Here is a pic from the top, isn't there supposed to be a mounting hole on the backbone?
Re: A65L Which years parts to buy?#8467 02/27/068:59 pm02/27/068:59 pm
I have not had a good look at this bike yet but regarding the 'Y'; Two completely different cases;
1/. The machines with (-Y) as an engine number suffix only, have the diode and heatsink mounted under the fork yokes and are 1967 models in all other respects.
2/. A machine with a (Y) - note no dash stroke,. and stamped on both engine and frame numbers as a suffix, are 1970 ( sometimes 1969) models in ALL respects. Many examples of both exist, about 15% of the 1967 models appear to have the engine number suffix. Again, how all this came to come about is not yet agreed upon on this, or any, Forum. I am tempted to say that the photos show a 1970 bike, given what I said above. The swing arm pivot however is giving me some concerns. I'm with Rich B and Bonzo, does it have two horizontal tubes welded across the front of the steering head ? Does the frame number match the engine, - exactly and unaltered?
Why, Y, Dash Y..
Re: A65L Which years parts to buy?#8468 02/27/069:57 pm02/27/069:57 pm
From checking out what you posted, the swingarm pivot is the only thing that leads me to believe that it's a bitsa. I'm pretty sure that style pivot is 67ish, not 70. I agree with everyone else here that most of the other parts are 70.
Re: A65L Which years parts to buy?#8469 02/27/0610:23 pm02/27/0610:23 pm
The real 1970 had a heavy duty motor compared to a year earlier..You can spot it by many ways. The easist is the base studs are 3/8 and the engine numbers are on a raised part of the case with little bsa's stamped in it. 71,72 were the same only with oil in frame.
Always use the Golden Rule.
Re: A65L Which years parts to buy?#8471 02/27/0611:04 pm02/27/0611:04 pm
Well done Dustin, if the numbers match as you say then your bike will be a 1970. As the guys have pointed out it now has a number of earlier parts, not unusual and possibly as a result of this numbering confusion. If you treat the machine as a 1970 model you should not go too far wrong. Parts will be easy to come upon, and you have a good base to do what you desire with the machine.
Just remember that the A65LAxxxY numbers on your bike make it a 1970 model, don't ever be tempted to think it has anything to do with 1967. (Despite what published lists, dealers, and other 'experts' might have you believe). The writer of the article is more than a little confused about the manufacture of his bike. The truth is that the 1967 and 1970 bikes have very few parts in common. Re-engineering a 1967 bike into a 1970 model would probably be a very difficult exercise, I for one cannot imagine even the BSA factory attempting such a folly.
All the best with it.
Why, Y, Dash Y..
Re: A65L Which years parts to buy?#8472 02/28/061:34 am02/28/061:34 am
Kevin that article (story) was the most believable explanation of the "Y" phenomena yet.
True, turning a 67 into a 70 would not be cost effective by any means. I don't think BSA would even do that. Perhaps updating a 1967 frame into a 70 seems like a reasonable alternative twist to the tale. Makes a little more sense than electric upgrades or dock strikes.
1970 was the last year production for the pre oil in frame unit twins. Maybe they got behind on their frame assembly and decided to pull from old stock frames that were destined to become spares next year anyway...
Dustin if your engine numbers are stamped on top of little BSAs I'm reasonably sure you have a 1970, the 5 digits in the production number is a solid indicator. Another is the engines front head steady or stay, give us a description or post a photo of that for further consideration.
Theres a slotted keyway(boltway?) that is suppose to be welded to the frames toptube for center tank mounting. When you get your Factory Replacement parts list (Catalogue Number 00-5707)the assembly sequences and operations of all systems will be clearly detailed in an exploded mechanical fashion.
I would suggest that you buy one, I have a set for every vehicle I own.
Don in Nipomo
1970 BSA Lightning A65LA 10943 Y
Last edited by D.Bachtel; 08/05/0911:43 pm.
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
Re: A65L Which years parts to buy?#8473 02/28/067:11 am02/28/067:11 am
Don, Is your swing arm pivot hollow like Dustin's ?
I reckon Bob's bike in the article appears to be. I may have to have a bit of a rethink on the origins of these frames that being the case. Previously I would have sworn BSA were attempting to mislead ( Customs, Tax man, whoever) by trying to market 1970 bikes with 1967 numbers.
I have just checked my photos of the 1970 (Y) bikes and most have the later swing arm and pivot.
Why, Y, Dash Y..
Re: A65L Which years parts to buy?#8474 02/28/0611:42 am02/28/0611:42 am
I am a little confused by the hollow swing arm pivot also. 70's are supposed to have the solid pivot. But then, BSA seemed to have a penchant for using up exisitng stocks of parts. It is very possible they had some old inventory that needed to be gone. With BSA all things are possible.
Life is too short to drink cheap, bad beer.
Re: A65L Which years parts to buy?#8475 02/28/062:30 pm02/28/062:30 pm
As far as I know, fuel tank mounts and seat mounts did not change from 1967 to 1970. Yes, the top fuel tank mount is missing from your frame. It is a "box" with a slot in it to capture the square shank of a bolt (like a carriage bolt) and keep the bolt from turning as you tighten the nut that goes on the other end (along with the chrome cup, rubber bushing, etc. that hold the tank down on its rubber mounts).
There is also supposed to be a "pin" protruding down from the lower spine tube about 5/16" in diameter and about 2 inches long. This pin locates a bracket that is bolted to the bottom of the fuel tank and stabilizes the tank side-to-side at the bottom.
I had a welding shop recreate these mounts on a frame from which they had been cut off, but I had another frame to use as an example. It would be hard to recreate these mounts without blueprint or example; for instance, that "pin" on the underside is not perpendicular to the tubing. If you go this route and need further help, let me know; I'm not a draftsman, but I may be able to blueprint the pieces and their locations.
I've noticed some changes in battery holder mounts from one year to another; if you can supply a picture of the left side of the frame I can tell you what you have (or don't have; in one of the pictures, it looks like those mounts may have been cut off as well, but I can't tell for sure).
In a recent issue of one of the british classic bike rags, there is a descrption of a "Budget" A10 restoration. The tank bolt bracket had also been cut off, but instead of trying to recreate it, they drilled a hole in the frame tube and welded a nut to it. Seems like it's a whole lot easier to make and should make the tank easier to install. I thought that was kinda clever....
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: A65L Which years parts to buy?#8477 02/28/066:33 pm02/28/066:33 pm
Ok, I see one of the battery holder mounts, that loop sort of thing rear of the left carburator. There should be another loop just like that one further back; I can't make out from the picture if that one is there or not. The battery holder, which is just a U-shaped bracket, attaches to those loops in rubber bushings. '67s also had a piece of flat stock welded in horizontally to stabilize the bottom of the battery holder, but I've seen some other frames that did not have that piece of flat stock, and it didn't look like it had been cut off. I'm not sure what took the place of that flat stock to stabilize the battery holder; maybe it was deemed unnecessary.
I see also that the aforementioned "pin" to stabilize the bottom of the fuel tank is there. That's good, as this is the more difficult of the two mounts to recreate (location more critical). As far as the "box" on the top of the spine, I think you can see the outline of where the original piece was cut off. This would not be difficult to fabricate, or, follow Alex' suggestion of drilling a hole and welding on a nut.