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Re: A65L Which years parts to buy? #8506
03/06/06 3:21 am
03/06/06 3:21 am
Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 1,799
Christchurch, NZ
Kevin (NZ). Offline
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Christchurch, NZ
G'day team,

Well I have been talking to Lew about the BSA Service Bulletin he has come across. (Anyone else see the irony in broadcasting all around the world, seeking answers, and getting a vital clue from your own town ?).

I am now aware of the Bulletin contents and can state the following,

1/.The Bulletin is from BSA (USA).

2/.BSA accepted the (Y) models of 1970 existed. (At least in the USA). And it states clearly that THEY ARE 1970 MODELS !

3/. The various stories being circulated about the
(Y) and (-Y) bikes are obviously being blended into one confused mess. ( Dock strike, poor exchange rate, extended warranty, electric updates, surplus frames, stored motorcycles, etc.)

Although I am not too sure how to go about it, every effort will be made to correct the BSA model identification and dating lists. Especially in regard to the A65 models of 1966, '67, '69 and 1970. At the moment no list is 100% acccurate in the coverage of those years, at least.
You just need to browse a few of the Forum topics here to see the confusion being generated by the present incomplete listings. Really all that is required is a little footnote of clarification for each year. I can only imagine similar discrepancies exist within the listings for other models also. Do I need to repeat that Roy Bacon's books are excellent guides but it would be a very brave (?) man to quote them as gospel.

Perhaps with the combined knowledge currently being displayed on this, and other Forums, the time is now right to pick up from where his books left off. He did not have the massive advantage of the internet when his books were published.
I have seen so much valuable input in the past few months on A65 engines alone !

beerchug


Why, Y, Dash Y..



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Re: A65L Which years parts to buy? #8507
03/06/06 6:03 am
03/06/06 6:03 am
Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 3,348
Michigan, USA
BONZO R.I.P. Offline
In Remembrance
BONZO R.I.P.  Offline
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Posts: 3,348
Michigan, USA
Kevin , I applaud your perseverance with this . I have several '70 model engines/frames about with the "y" suffix (my current ride has the earlier swingarm , installed it myself just to see how I like it , I guess it isnt too uncommon for that to happen ) , and I have seen others with the genuine "-y" '67 models , and I have routinely listed quite a few differences that couldnt have been factory mods to existing machines on the '70 models , but it looks like this one wont die . One thing I will say , when I got my first BSA , a genuine '70 "y" bike , and I tried to order a parts book for it and the company I ordered from gave me this shpiel about it's a '67 and sent me a '67 parts book , and even after I explained to them it's a '70 when I saw the book and posted on here , they refused to refund the book purchase since I had thumbed through it . Many years ago , and many thousands of BSA dollars spent since , not a single order to that place again .Too may good outfits out there that I am more than willing to spend my dosh with .

-BONZO

Re: A65L Which years parts to buy? #8508
03/06/06 6:05 am
03/06/06 6:05 am
Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 2,402
SLO County, CA
D.Bachtel Offline
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SLO County, CA
Great, another facet of the Y factor. Good job! You've got my sequence number maybe you guys will figure it out.

In the meantime I'll continue to fly the 67 side cover transfers on the Flamboyant Blue, I like 'em better than the 70s anyway.

Don in Nipomo laugh
A65LA 10943 Y


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? #8509
03/06/06 12:00 pm
03/06/06 12:00 pm
Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 4,987
Stone Creek OH USA
R
Rich B Online happy

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Stone Creek OH USA
Nice one Kevin & Lew. I had always stayed out of the controversy over -Y & Y, but got into this one as I agree, the bike is definitely a 70. I also have access to the original MSO of a 67 Hornet, that was transferred to the orignal owner in March 1967. The S/N ends in "-Y".

Working in industry that uses S/N's, one thing I notice about the "Y" stamped 70 bikes is the amount of numbers. Where I work, we have been known to change S/N sequence by adding numbers when a significant change occurs. Looking at the S/N that started this, it starts A65LA then the numbers. Is it possible there was also a number sequenece change to go with the "Y"and this bike is actually a January 70 build?


Life is too short to drink cheap, bad beer.
Re: A65L Which years parts to buy? #8510
03/07/06 2:47 am
03/07/06 2:47 am
Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 2,402
SLO County, CA
D.Bachtel Offline
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SLO County, CA
I think the correct answers, or more questions, may come from either of two sources.

1.) The workers who were at the plant... got to be a few left, right?

-or-

2.) The Dispatch records!

From this moment on I am a firm proponent of full public access to all manufacturing data available with regards to BSA including the dispatch records.

We need the info... These are historical documents of great importance.

A full and tidy disclosure. Please

They must be covered under the Freedom Of Imformation Act or Homeland Security or The Patriot Act

Don in Nipomo wink


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? #8511
03/07/06 4:28 am
03/07/06 4:28 am
Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 1,799
Christchurch, NZ
Kevin (NZ). Offline
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Good call Don,

One of my intentions in pushing this along was to get some sort of answer from the guys who were at the factory, while we still can.

Other readers have probably guessed by now that this particular topic has been running for a while. I may have been a late starter but I have personal emails here from Don, Bonzo and others, going back more than three years now.

I wrote screeds about the Y and -Y bikes on the BSA Yahoo group site before Xmas, somehow I don't think it affects the guys in the UK so much. One chap, Alan Coates, has a '67 (-Y) A65 but I think it may have been re-imported back from the USA.

The chap in the article, Bob Downs, is probably still wondering how the 1970 model bike he rode in the '70's is now titled as a 1967 bike. The original papers said 1970, BSA SB General 5-70 says it is a 1970 model, - at what stage did it become re-titled as a 1967. Did he mention he applied for a dating certificate ?

I am with you regards the despatch records Don, I believe we need a full disclosure of these documents. You guys with the (Y) bikes really need a better answer.

Regarding the 'extended warranty' story on the (Y) machines, not much substance to it I'm afraid.
Truth is, BSA Service Bulletin (General) 2-70 advises of a new extended warranty for ALL BSA 1970 models sold retail (in the States at least) after 1 March 1970. Full stop end of story.

This Bulletin was dated June 23 1970. As the previous warranty was 90 days or 4000 miles it would appear it was a late notification , probably in true BSA fashion.

It must have caused some confusion, so on August 27 1970, a new Bulletin General 5-70 was issued.
This one page sheet spells out how the extended warranty is meant to be applied,
ie; not to 1969 models. With example, BC07563B25S sold on 13 April 1970. Old warranty due 1969 model.
It then re-iterates the frame codes, C=1969, D=1970 and then states as Lew wrote;
Certain A65's have numbers beginning with 'A65LA'or'A65TA' and ending with a 'Y' (A65LA3058Y ...A65TA12274Y). The 'Y'indicates the motorcycle is a 1970 model.

So ALL models of BSA bikes sold retail after 1 March 1970 were to get the extended warranty, provided they were 1970 model machines. 250cc, 500cc, 650cc, and 750cc etc.

Are we agreed then that the (Y) on certain A65 bikes has nothing to do with an extended warranty.

They were eligible for it naturally, but along with a multitude of other machines.

I believe Lew is talking about getting the Bulletins posted on the public domain here somehow. I don't think he would mind if I emailed a scanned copy to anyone interested now.


Why, Y, Dash Y..



Re: A65L Which years parts to buy? #8512
03/07/06 4:40 am
03/07/06 4:40 am
Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 2,402
SLO County, CA
D.Bachtel Offline
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SLO County, CA
Well somebody needs to fork this stuff over, I know it's out there. We're not talking national security or weapons secrets for Christs sake these are just documents of dispatch for some funky old motorcycles. It's not rocket science.

If we have to send pencils rubbings from every last "Y" model to get something this simple verified than heaven help us all.

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
Re: A65L Which years parts to buy? #8513
03/08/06 2:52 pm
03/08/06 2:52 pm
Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 4,254
Owego, NY, USA
Mark Z Online content
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Owego, NY, USA
I may have missed some contradictory evidence, but I have to ask again, what's wrong with the theory that BSA used some old frames that were already stamped to build some of the 1970 vehicles? (Not addressing the "-Y" cases here.) Working in this sort of business, it's entirely believable to me that they would do that, especially if they were already tooled up to make OIF frames; that is, they would not want to manufacture any more dry frames. Even if the old frames were NOT already stamped, they may have stamped them with the old numbers for internal purposes; that is, so the builders would know what parts go with what. In fact, they may have used the 1967 numbers on 1968 and 1969 frames in the interest of consistency. The only problem with this, as I see it, is causing confusion for future owners in sourcing spares, and this is a problem that would only manifest itself many years down the road. Engines would be stamped with the same numbers to meet the requirement that frame and engine numbers match. None of this would have any bearing on warranty issues, except to notify dealers and customers that these were indeed 1970 models (which they were!). I find this entirely more believable than the theory that complete bikes were shipped back to the factory and reworked - the cost of doing that would be horrendous, and more people would know about it (dealers and distributors, that is).

But I guess this thread is filled with enough speculation, and as some of you have said, the only way we will know more about this is to hear from someone who actually worked at Small Heath about 1970.


Mark Z

'65(lower)/'66(upper, wheels, front end, controls)/'67(seat, exhaust, fuel tank, headlamp)/'70(frame) A65 Bitsa.
Re: A65L Which years parts to buy? #8514
03/08/06 5:22 pm
03/08/06 5:22 pm
Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 1,799
Christchurch, NZ
Kevin (NZ). Offline
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Christchurch, NZ
Hi Mark,
You are correct in that one story circulating has that these were old frames, reworked and fitted with 1970 components.

I don't know the answers there, however I am with you in that I can't believe the complete bikes were returned to the factory and reworked.

Regarding the reworking of the frames, I see the following issues;

We know BSA stamped the frames with matching numbers (From the engine) when the bikes were assembled. If the engines are definitely 1970 ones ( raised boss engine stampings etc) then how could they possibly have matching numbers.

If the frames were stamped in 1967, against what I have just said, Why ? We believe any factory replacement frames delivered to the dealers were bare of numbers ( and that makes sense, - just as the engine cases were).

What about other models of BSA, did the 441's etc not need spare frames ? How about a frame for an A50, would you not have registration problems in having it fitted with a replacement frame bearing A65 numbers. ( If it was already stamped).

Why just Lightning and Thunderbolt spare frames, they made other models (A50, A65S, A65H) in 1967.
We are not having issues with any other models.

The 1967 frames were stamped with the model number first and then the number on a 2nd line below. Most 1970 frames are stamped the other way round, including the (Y) bikes. Makes sense, the engines had been stamped in that sequence since the introduction of the Triumph style numbers in early '69 production.

So if the frames were surplus ( presumably unstamped) and reworked to be 1970 in every respect, WHY then go and stamp it with a series of numbers resembling a sequence last used 2 years prior ? If the rework was as good as it appears to be ( If they were !) then by all means use them and then stamp them up to match the 1970 engines being fitted. Why draw unnecessary attention to yourself.

When BSA (Triumph, using the Small Heath factory) encountered a export law problem in 1973 the answer was to stamp the 'new' engines with old numbers. The X75 Hurricane engines made at Small Heath in Jan, Feb and March of 1973 were stamped with December numbers. This to get around a legislation problem applying to bikes made after Jan 1st. The engines were shipped to Triumph and the bikes made up with the frames stamped with the matching numbers.

You can guarantee few employees at the factory knew what was going on in '73 regarding that stamping exercise. Would anymore have known, or cared, if the same went on in 1970.

Is it possible that the Hurricane (misleading) stamping was conducted because someone at the Small Heath factory knew they had done it before and got away with it. Presumably a management type bloke. Norman Hyde (or was it Craig Vetter) has the details on the later events, HE may well know where the idea came from, perhaps even the chap involved...


Why, Y, Dash Y..



Re: A65L Which years parts to buy? #8515
03/08/06 5:31 pm
03/08/06 5:31 pm
Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 1,799
Christchurch, NZ
Kevin (NZ). Offline
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Kevin (NZ).  Offline
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It may have been Craig Vetter that mentioned the Hurricane engine number stamping exercise.

http://www.craigvetter.com/pages/Motorcycle_Designs/Hurricane_Pages/Database%20notes.html


Why, Y, Dash Y..



Re: A65L Which years parts to buy? #8516
03/08/06 9:51 pm
03/08/06 9:51 pm
Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 1,799
Christchurch, NZ
Kevin (NZ). Offline
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Christchurch, NZ
It would appear that the earlier (-Y) bikes of 1967 are pretty well accepted as 1967 models. As they all are of course.

A65SA13388-Y just fetched over $10,000. Obviously no doubt there.

web page; Ebay Spitfire


Why, Y, Dash Y..



Re: A65L Which years parts to buy? #8517
03/08/06 10:47 pm
03/08/06 10:47 pm
Joined: Aug 2003
Posts: 74
Sydney, Australia
M
Mebbo Offline
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Sydney, Australia
Kevin,
"We know BSA stamped the frames with matching numbers (From the engine) when the bikes were assembled. If the engines are definitely 1970 ones ( raised boss engine stampings etc) then how could they possibly have matching numbers."

Wouldn't that mean they WOULD have matching numbers?! And then, isn't the question of the frames irrelevant? -they are just ordinary '70 frames stamped with the (unusual)engine number.

The big question surely then is the engines-why did BSA stamp a number of obvious '70 motors with an old serial number sequence? Are they part of a "special" run? (odd homologation law? or meant for a different market with a particular tax regime??) which was aborted and the motors used for the US market, so requiring a letter Y to be added so as not to scare the US dealers? Were they just a factory stuff-up which was caught in time??
Then again, IKBA, just guessing.
Mebbo

Re: A65L Which years parts to buy? #8518
03/08/06 11:01 pm
03/08/06 11:01 pm
Joined: Aug 2003
Posts: 36
Mid North Coast, NSW, Australi...
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ozziebsa Offline
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Joined: Aug 2003
Posts: 36
Mid North Coast, NSW, Australi...
Hello,
I have been following this thread with interest. I am in Australia and have a 1967 MkIII Spitfire engine no. A65SA 9171-Y. I applied to the UK BSA Owners Club for a dating certificate for this bike in June 1998. It was despatched to "Bennett and Wood, Sidney(sic) on 22nd December 1966."
At the time of applying for this certificate I asked if they could tell me how many Spitfires were built. I was advised that all A65's are grouped together on the despatch records in no particular order and that in the future that they hope to put the despatch records in a database.
Well that was 1998 and some 8 years later it appears that the despatch records are still some closely guarded secret.
Whoever holds these records should allow some willing individual to tranfer these records to a database for all to see in case there is the accidental destruction (fire, theft, etc)of the paper records or is the issuing of dating certificates too lucrative for the club to freely give access??
This step would help us look at the "Y" problem.
Regards,
Ozziebsa.

Re: A65L Which years parts to buy? #8519
03/09/06 12:09 am
03/09/06 12:09 am
Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 1,799
Christchurch, NZ
Kevin (NZ). Offline
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Kevin (NZ).  Offline
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Christchurch, NZ
Thanks Ockers for your replies, I'm thankful I haven't 'bored off' too many readers.
Mebbo, I didn't get it quite clear did I ?.
I was trying to say;
1, okay the frames are made in 1967 and stamped with '67 numbers. (If we believe that).

2, Now the engines are stamped when made in 1970. Certainly with the raised boss etc, it would have been difficult to stamp them prior to 1969.

How then can we have matching numbers ? In a 1967 style (almost) sequence. The only answer is that the engines were stamped off the frame number, - unlikely. For that to happen we also have to explain why the 1970 engines were stamped in a 1967 style, and with a Y as a suffix to boot.

Mebbo, I am still struggling to get this correct. The theory is the frames are left over from 1967. Where did this story come from? Could it have arisen from the fact the frames are now stamped A65LA etc Y. We are to believe BSA had about 1000 frames stored about the factory and not used for the '68 model year (identical frame) but dragged out of storage in 1970 and reworked to upgrade them exactly to '70 specs. Then for all this to be true, we have this juggling to somehow get the engine numbers to match the frame. (At the same time effectively making a brand new bike 3 years old - if we believe the rest of the story). At least BSA (USA) said at the time they were '70 models. Why we are now trying to refer to them as 1967 model machines beats me completely.

Again Mebbo, your last paragraph contains the question....

Good one..

Ozziebsa, a nice bike to have. Thanks for advising details of your shipment. A (-Y) bike shipped so early in the model year....

Are you sure the certificate says Dec 1966 ??

Isn't this supposed to be one of the (-Y) bikes held back due (.........)!!!
Fill in the blanks.
Now, what did Rich B say...
''''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.''''

I think we have gone full circle on these earlier (-Y) bikes now. So the stories on their origin is now seriously in doubt also.
Were the 1967 (-Y) bikes all late being shipped ?
If not, what does that mean about all the other stories..

Excellent call on the factory despatch records !

As you say;
'''is the issuing of dating certificates too lucrative for the club to freely give access??'''


Why, Y, Dash Y..



Re: A65L Which years parts to buy? #8520
03/09/06 12:34 am
03/09/06 12:34 am
Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 1,799
Christchurch, NZ
Kevin (NZ). Offline
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Kevin (NZ).  Offline
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Christchurch, NZ
I have just gone through some of the copies of dating certificates I have here;
A65SA15490-Y sent to Sweden on April 25th 1967.
So some of the (-Y) bikes were shipped early in the model year.
Try this thread from last year and see how far we have come. Thread on 1967 (-Y) machines


Why, Y, Dash Y..



Re: A65L Which years parts to buy? #8521
03/09/06 4:56 am
03/09/06 4:56 am
Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 4,254
Owego, NY, USA
Mark Z Online content
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Owego, NY, USA
"We know BSA stamped the frames with matching numbers (From the engine) when the bikes were assembled. If the engines are definitely 1970 ones ( raised boss engine stampings etc) then how could they possibly have matching numbers."

Oh, I didn't know the frames were stamped to match the engines. That presents a major problem for my theory.

"Wouldn't that mean they WOULD have matching numbers?! And then, isn't the question of the frames irrelevant? -they are just ordinary '70 frames stamped with the (unusual)engine number."

Remember that we've identified more than one of these frames as having a BSC thread for the swingarm pivot stake bolt. The use of Silentbloc-type swingarms and pivots is also suspect, although either type swingarm will bolt up to the same frame. Just a bit of evidence that they are not "just ordinary '70 frames".


Mark Z

'65(lower)/'66(upper, wheels, front end, controls)/'67(seat, exhaust, fuel tank, headlamp)/'70(frame) A65 Bitsa.
Re: A65L Which years parts to buy? #8522
03/09/06 4:57 am
03/09/06 4:57 am
Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 1,799
Christchurch, NZ
Kevin (NZ). Offline
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Kevin (NZ).  Offline
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Christchurch, NZ
Ozziebsa, I'm completely intrigued by the despatch date of your bike. I know it ties up perfectly with Rich saying a A65Hxxx-Y sold in the States in March but they both appear to be from early in the '67 season production run.
I know we can't go too much by the numbers but 9000 is well up the order also. Nothing unusual there, 15490 was shipped in April and I have photos of eight bikes with numbers in the 17000's.
My question is;
Does your bike have the Zener diode and heatsink mounted up under the steering head ?


Why, Y, Dash Y..



Re: A65L Which years parts to buy? #8523
03/09/06 5:10 am
03/09/06 5:10 am
Joined: Aug 2003
Posts: 36
Mid North Coast, NSW, Australi...
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Hello Kevin,
Definitely says 22nd December 1966, which means they were hard at work shipping bikes to Australia on the Thursday before Christmas? Must be hard dock workers as well!!
Yes, the bike has the zener upfront under the steering head. I have owned this bike since 1972 so I'd say it was fairly original.
Regards,
Ozziebsa.

Re: A65L Which years parts to buy? #8524
03/09/06 5:30 am
03/09/06 5:30 am
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Posts: 1,799
Christchurch, NZ
Kevin (NZ). Offline
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Christchurch, NZ
The popular story on the Y bikes, Mark is that they did use stored frames or reworked the 1967 bikes leftover.
I believe this story is made up to try and explain the A65LA number sequence.
Sure Dustin's frame with the older threadform swingarm pivot stake bolt is unusual, but... , it appears to be in the minority as far as all the (Y) bikes go. Okay perhaps a small percentage were made up utilising older frames. But the frames now appear to be 1970 model in ALL other respects, and that INCLUDES the later style of engine number sequence. If you look at the photo of Dustin's bike you will see the frame number has 11247Y on the top line and A65LA on the line below.
That style of numbering was not introduced until 1969. I have never seen any example of a '67 or '68 model frame stamped in that style. The frames for those two years were stamped with A65TA, A65LB etc, on the top line and the number below, - no (Y) or (-Y)...

So, - was Dustin's frame really made, and stamped, in 1967 ? only to be majorly reworked a few years later.
I can now perhaps accept it was an earlier frame, unstamped, and utilised to build up a bike near the end of the dry frame production. Perhaps one of a few, not hundreds. That makes sense to me and I can feel Mark pushing me to agree with him there also. But I did say 'Unstamped', why then go and stamp it with an old number style, again presumably taken off the engine. I still can't see this being an answer to the (Y) bikes. Just a small part of it perhaps.


Why, Y, Dash Y..



Re: A65L Which years parts to buy? #8525
03/09/06 5:46 am
03/09/06 5:46 am
Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 1,799
Christchurch, NZ
Kevin (NZ). Offline
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Kevin (NZ).  Offline
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Ta Ozziebsa,

I expected you to say that. I have photos of A65SAxxx -Y bikes here in the 6000's, 5000's and even 4000's numbers with the Zener up front. (and TA, LA, RA etc).
Thanks for the quick reply.
I guess that completely blows the popular theory about the (-Y) bikes being made at the end of the '67 model year and being kept back due to exchange rate, dock strike, or whatever. We now even doubt the strike actually occurred, we know they, and BSA, were busy working right up to Xmas !
The story goes that the bikes that missed being shipped were updated with the 1968 model electrical upgrade, - including repositioning the Zener up front. (It was under the seat previously).
The engines were than re-stamped to reflect the change in wiring loom. I was perfectly happy with that story until your earlier post....

What are we supposed to believe,..... !

Dustin had a quote in his first post on this topic.
'''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'''

Or this one.
'''The Y in the engine number was put there because in 1967/68 the value of the pound was way below the Dollar and other foreign currencies and because of this it was not profitable to sell bikes abroad. Hundreds of bikes were stacked in any available place in the factory until the Pound improved. Some did not go until 1970. Because of this the bikes still had a years warranty and to show this they were stamped with a Y at the end of the engine number.'''

Or this one.
'''The bikes were definitely stored in the factory for a year or two
because of the exchange rate, we know that from Al Cave the factory
manager who keeps in touch. '''

They are all talking bikes, WHAT BIKES ??


Why, Y, Dash Y..



Re: A65L Which years parts to buy? #8526
03/09/06 5:58 am
03/09/06 5:58 am
Joined: Aug 2003
Posts: 36
Mid North Coast, NSW, Australi...
O
ozziebsa Offline
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ozziebsa  Offline
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O
Joined: Aug 2003
Posts: 36
Mid North Coast, NSW, Australi...
Hello Kevin,
Surely there must be US dealers who can confirm whole BSA's being sent back to the UK. This certainly sounds a bit far-fetched to me!!
Also the idea of hundreds of complete BSA's sitting all around the factory would seriously raise doubts about the capacity of the management of BSA as my 67 engine no. is 9171 and you mention numbers in the 17000. What was BSA thinking if they stored these bikes all around the factory?? Waiting for WWIII?
Surely there must still remain factory workers that can shed some light on the existence of 1970-Y bikes.
Cheers

Re: A65L Which years parts to buy? #8527
03/10/06 2:09 am
03/10/06 2:09 am
Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 1,799
Christchurch, NZ
Kevin (NZ). Offline
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Kevin (NZ).  Offline
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Christchurch, NZ
The following is what the BSAOC UK website has to say about the Y and -Y number saga.

'''Machines still in stock in the 1967 season (about 1000) were resold in the 1969 and 1970 season. These returned machines are shown with a cross at the beginning of the despatch book record, they then reappear at the end of the book with the revised despatch date. The 1969 models are identified by the adding of an extra 0 at the end of the frame marking putting the number series into the 100,000's.

Machines re-exported in 1970 were stamped with a 'Y' suffix to indicate that they were 1970 models and therefore eligible for the increased warranty.'''

Clears it up nicely I would have thought !!

BSAOC UK Web Site

Pretty obvious isn't it ? It wasn't worth selling A65 Thunderbolts and Lightnings in 1968. Clearly they didn't make any of those machines that year and employed most of the factory staff to dust off, and polish, the 1000 bikes in storage. No point in making a 1968 model twin anyway, the design called for a near identical specification, apart from a change to the front end for the twin carb models.(TLS front brake and fork sliders). A new tank could be a feature selling point tho'.


If a 1967 (-Y) A65T was parked alongside a 1968 model you would see there was not much difference.
Fuel tank and tail light housing are the easy ones. Lighting switch and a few minor engines changes (6CA points) basically completes it. The same applies to the A50RA also.
Why build, export and market the '68 model when 'supposedly' the factory had literally hundreds of near identical bikes in storage. Did the dealers return the '67 bikes to BSA while the 'new' models were on the water, only to cross mid-Atlantic ?


Why, Y, Dash Y..



Re: A65L Which years parts to buy? #8528
03/11/06 10:03 am
03/11/06 10:03 am
Joined: Oct 2001
Posts: 1,088
Sydney, Oz
S
Shane in Oz Online content
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Shane in Oz  Online Content
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Joined: Oct 2001
Posts: 1,088
Sydney, Oz
I haven't been following this thread, but I probably should have. My BSA time has been rather limited lately, and mostly spent on the new web sites (BSA Club and BSA National rally)

There are *lots* of things to think about here...

Lew's service bulletin certainly gives us something more to go on, and I'll add that to the "Which BSA is That?".
Kevin, do all your 'Y' bikes fall in that range?
That's potentially 9000 bikes, which is a large proportion of the 1970 models. I'd have to assume that only some of those numbers were used.

It would certainly be nice to get hold of the factory despatch records, but there are A LOT of them. BSA was by far the largest British motorcycle manufacturer for a long time. I know from speaking to the Pollitts that the records are all hand written. At least they're in numerical order, more or less, but the numbering ran for the entire model (eg B44, A65), not any particular variant. The Norton Owners Clubs apparently pooled together to transcribe the Commando records, which is a far smaller exercise, and this took them years. Perhaps the idea of transcribing the BSA A65 records for 1967 - 70 could be raised at the BSA International this year?

It's possible that A65 production was lower at times during 1969 - 71. The triple was introduced for the 1969 model year, which would require tooling up in 1968. Apparently there were a lot of unsold 1969 triples, so 1970 production was miniscule. All the triple engines were built at Small Heath, which could have disrupted the twin production.

As odd as it may seem, BSA moced a lot of bikes around the world at times. Australia received a lot of unsold Northern hemisphere bikes, presumably those which missed the selling season in their primary market. My 1973 Lightning is a 1972 model (October 1971 build) with a German compliance plate, resprayed by the local distributor.

A large proportion of the 1967 bikes I've seen are '-Y', and any less molested ones seem to have the zener under the fork yoke, so I think the uprated electrics are a very reasonable explanation.

I had a look at a couple of frames today. The only obvious difference I can see between the 1967, 1969 and 1970 frames is the fairing mounts on the 1970 models (apart from one without a steering lock tube, and the Hornet without a bracket for the ignition switch). The battery carrier mounts on the frame look the same to me - but I'm not very observant. I could well believe that BSA used up old stock 1966 - 69 frames and numbered them in the 1967 sequence to distinguish them from the 1970 frames. It's on the cards that the hole for the swinging arm security bolt wasn't tapped until assembly, so that' may well be UNF on all the 'Y' bikes. Swinging arms were probably a matter of whichever came out of stores on any given shift

Spare frames and crankcases were unstamped as far as I know, and re-stamped by the dealer to match the component which was replaced.

Overall, I suspect that most of the stories which are circulating cover part of the story (uprated electrical system, unsold bikes, using up inventory before the new model was introduced, chicanery). I have some very early issues of the Australian motorbike magazine "Two Wheels" which still list the Mk III Spitfire in the price guides early in 1970. I'm sure BSA dealers would have quite happily sold plunger A7s in 1970 if thay'd had any in stock :-)

Re: A65L Which years parts to buy? #8529
03/11/06 11:05 am
03/11/06 11:05 am
Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 1,799
Christchurch, NZ
Kevin (NZ). Offline
BritBike Forum member
Kevin (NZ).  Offline
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Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 1,799
Christchurch, NZ
G'day Shane,
By far the majority of the 1970 (Y) bikes have serial numbers with 5 digits and starting with a 1, ie 10,000 to 18,000. Some have numbers in the 7000 range. I only have a small sample to work with also of course.
One have missed until just now was this;
A50RA10144Y,
I checked the photos and it is a genuine later model. Problem is I have it down as a '69 due to the clutch cable entry. Regardless, it is certainly a (Y) machine and definitely not a '67.

Another strange one is this;
A65LA11105OY
It is actually a '67 model with a bit of creative stamping, perhaps they believed the story and it is masquerading as a 1969 bike.

Coincidentally ! ? the 1967 (-Y) bikes seem to fall into a very similar number range. What are the chances some of the numbers are actually repeated. For example the bike above would have been A65LA11105-Y originally. The 2nd last character is now an 'O' and not a zero.....(or a dash).

I agree about your statement regarding the use of leftover frames being utilised, but the only thing I have heard of that story was Bob Down's article.
All other versions talk of 'bikes' in storage.
Makes sense to have any spare frames unstamped, but then why would they want to stamp them up as A65LA etc in 1970.


Why, Y, Dash Y..



Re: A65L Which years parts to buy? #8530
02/26/07 2:27 pm
02/26/07 2:27 pm
Joined: Feb 2006
Posts: 40
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dt34 Offline OP
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dt34  Offline OP
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Posts: 40
Ok so I'm finally getting back to work on this project, thanks to everyone who replied previously. I have the bike completely stripped down and I am going to have the frame powder coated. One problem I am having is getting the swingarm off. I have concluded that there is know way for me to remove it other than a sawsall. Now I will need to get a new spacer tube, bushing and bolt but I am not sure which ones to order. From the information in this thread I think I have 1967 swingarm bits, but the rest of the bike is 1970. Should I order 1967 swingarm parts or can I use 1970 parts? Thanks in advance.

Dustin

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