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#40633 07/11/08 10:25 am
Joined: Nov 2006
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Everyday I wake and think about riding my BSA, whether to work or just on a fun ride. I know that the work thing sounds really sad but I just love riding my A10.

I rebuilt my 54 A10 Golden Flash about 2 years ago after purchasing the bike from a 72 year old gentleman that had trouble starting the bike. At the time I didn’t feel concerned for him but now I do. He was really down the day I took the bike and I now know why. The positive was that he used the money to buy an electric start bike and still rides today,
I spent the next 18 months rebuilding (not restoring) the bike to allow me to commute to and from work every day. After I finished the rebuild, I completed 2 trips of around 4000Klms each and have continued to commute everyday since.
When I first bought the A10, I owned a BMW R1100GS, but after I put the BSA back on the road I found that the BMW was a very boring bike to ride and have since sold it.
What really gets me about the BSA is that every day is different. Whilst the bike is very reliable, I constantly find new noises and characteristics every day. Sometimes I worry, other times I don’t. The thing is that every day it looks after me and I feel like we are connected in some way.

Long live the British Motorcycle and the people that support them.


Graeme
1954 A10 Golden Flash
BSA on eBay
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Fine story and great sentiment, Graeme!

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I feel the same way about my 68 Thunderbolt. It's a true pleasure to ride...smooth shifting, handles well, and sounds amazing. It has had it's problems, but nothing that I haven't been able to work out....I'm glad to have it.


Jer

http://www.caferacer.ca

1968 BSA Lightning Cafe
1968 BSA Thunderbolt
1969 BSA Royal Star
1972 BSA Thunderbolt
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I hear ya loud and clear, Graeme. I've been riding my A10 to work regularly and it's almost made me forget about my modern bike (the royal star).


A smattering:
'53 Gold Flash
'67 Royal Star
'71 Rickman Metisse
'40 Silver Star
'37 Rudge Special
sixtyseventy Lightboltrocket road racer...and many more.
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Well'ard Rocker
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And who doesn't sort of like the feeling of knowing that some folks see you go by and say "Hey, look at THAT guy" or "What kind of old bike WAS that anyway?"

We may not admit it, but it's there ....

Lannis (whose A65 is one of the best-handling bikes he's ever ridden)


Be guided by facts that you can observe yourself, along with knowledge of how people have behaved during similar periods in history.
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hear hear!! I concur, and with no small thanks to yourself for helping me get my A10 into the "tip top" wink shape it is so far!! she starts reliably, often first kick now that I'm more familiar with her habits, and even tho there's always more to be rebuilt, she still pulls hard and runs well, and happy to do it. she sat for ten years unregistered, likely due to the carb fire, before I got her running and legal on her 50th anniversary.

I had to take my first bike ever, the 81 suzi, to a vintage meet, since I was too late to register and afraid I'd arrive to an empty lot if I dottered, but I was then entirely disappointed to not have the grizzled rider BSA to put up next to the pristine goldie that took the prize.

I like to see the old guys come up to me and start the conversation "wow, I remember..." before their wife has a chance to even grab them and steer them clear of the hairy dirty biker guy. I feel like I'm doing a public service to remind, and maybe rekindle, the spirit for some who may have lost their way, or given it up I suppose...

here's to ridin' 'em as what they're made for!!!
beerchug


=================
/1957 BSA A10 Spitfire Scrambler (in a friend's shed)
/1960 BSA Super Rocket Basket Case (in the attic!)
/1987 BMW K100LT nekkid
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Nice post... I can relate to that very well. Now try owning Two A10s! Both although are almost identical, but both ride 'Completely' different to each other. One of them that I rode yesterday (Blue one) runs on Castrol R and has open Campbell Silencers. My lad who on his push bike heard and smelt the bike as I went past, his school mates who were with him were in awe. I tell you what if feels good to hear from a 16 year old that his old man is a 'cool' guy cool these bikes will live on...


LJ.
*******
1940 BSA M20 500cc Girder/Rigid- In Bits!
1947 BSA M21 600cc Girder/Rigid-Green
1949 BSA A7 500cc Girder/Plunger Star Twin-Black
1953 BSA B33 500cc Teles/Plunger-Maroon
1961 BSA A10 650cc Golden Flash-Blue
1961 BSA A10 650cc Golden Flash-Red
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Hi Guys
Well it goes with out saying, I love A10s and A7s. I have a 49 A7ST that I ride and I too alternate about worring about riding and just enjoying it. It only ever let me down once and that was a loose spark wire. I just screwed it back on and away we go. I have never long distance toured on it but i would love to. I almost always have someone ask about it everytime I am out. I don't know what it is about the A7 but every time I ride it I have more enjoyment on it than my modern Triumph. Right know I am working the bugs out of a 59 A10SR. Talk to you later Jeff

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I posted in the pub about a mere morning commute. It was special. Riding an A65 as a commuter bike is a treat. Sweet sounding, responsive motor, 50 - 53 mpg laugh , And the handling...sweet.

Lannis,

I am glad someone else is mentioning the handling besides moi. A sorted A65 is special on the road. I have ridden A10's and think they are sweet, but there is something about the late A65's and their handling. I am going through my annual throes of thinking of a modern bike for a commuter, but I while I have ridden modern bikes that handle great, it is still special to get back on the A65. It is just so natural through the corners.

But I have to admit, a Ducati Monster is pretty special in the handling department too....But not exactly what I want as a daily beater appliance.


Never underestimate the human ability to elevate stupid to a whole new level!.
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Rich B -

I suppose there's some question as to whether, in strictly objective and measurable terms, an A65 is a great-handling bike compared to all others. Come to think of it, I'm not sure how you'd measure it.

I do know that when I have to do things like change my line in a turn, or brake unexpectedly while laid over, or do some slow manuever, my Firebird acts in a very steady and predictable fashion which I like very much.

When I talk about tires, and say that I use old-fashioned K70s and K81s and it handles very well, I'm always deluged with an avalanche of posts saying that if I were to just use a modern sticky, low-profile tire on the bike, the handling would be 1000 times as good, and I just don't know what I'm missing.

I can only say that it suits me so well now, that I'm not about to do anything that might screw it up in some way. What feels "good" to other people might not feel good to me.

Although it's time to do something about the front fork seals, they're spewing so much oil that it's spattering on my pants in the morning and my wife says that whatever it is I'm using in those forks, it won't come out in the wash, so it costs me 1 pair gent's trouserings every time I ride it to work. I'll check the bushings while I'm in there ....

Lannis


Be guided by facts that you can observe yourself, along with knowledge of how people have behaved during similar periods in history.
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I have been riding bikes since the early sixties tried them all, bought a Triumph T120C which I thought was a great handling cycle, my friend had a 1965 Lightening, he offered me a ride on it. The BSA was so smooth in comparison to the Triumph and I was hooked. I ride a 1970 Firebird at present, I also have an XS650 but somehow the BSA gets more use than the Yamaha, it feels as if I am riding a bicycle so easy and so responsive.

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Here here!!! Mine is now on a ship to England and I feel like I have lost my right arm. I need another bike or two or three. They might all be BSAs when I am ready to buy. I was thinking about an OIF but I never see them for sale?? Some say they handle even better. I used to not like the way they looked but they are growing on me a little . for a city bike maybe


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It’s nice to hear these very positive comments about BSA handling, especially the unit 650s from the mid to late sixties.

Seems I read some “comments” about their handling not being as sweet as a Triumph due to their steering geometry and higher center of gravity....if I remember correct.

Any difference between a Lightning and Firebird in the handling department? Know carbs are different, and guessing cam is also.


Bruce


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Nope, bruce, Lightning and firebird are the same motor wise.

Wade, there's a certain irony in your missing your bike. If you hadn't sent it on the trip, you'd have enough cash to buy another...of course, then you wouldn't really need one.

As far as the handling, IME, the only stock vintage bike I've ridden that tops the dry frame unit twins' handling is the featherbed frame. Having spent some time on an Atlas recently, I must say the rumors are true. OIF's don't turn in as quickly due to excessive rake, but that can be fixed, too. But all this quick turn-in and finesse fails in comparison to the pleasure I get from wrangling my un-damped plunger frame A10 around. I haven't touched my A50 in weeks.


A smattering:
'53 Gold Flash
'67 Royal Star
'71 Rickman Metisse
'40 Silver Star
'37 Rudge Special
sixtyseventy Lightboltrocket road racer...and many more.
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Like many out there, I too have had other fine machines over the years. A 1968 T120, a 1970 T100-C, 1974 Ducati 750GT, 1972 Norton Combat, all fine machines in their own right. But, when push came down to shove, the only one that fits my frame and soul is a BSA. A unit single B50 Gold Star BSA.

The best way to describe the simpatico of it all is to recall a sentiment that was in a motorcycle magazine from about 1971 that said something to the effect that, "When you're on a motorcycle, life is different. You're no longer in a cocoon of steel, you're out there engaged with Mother nature. The sights, the sounds, the smells, the beating of weather on your face and hands, the heat off the pavement, the chill through your shirt. You're out there. You're in it. You're there."

On my BSA, this rings true from the moment it's wheeled from the garage. In my head the voices are stilled and the trumpets fanfare echoes as the ancient ritual commences. Gas...Ignition...press the carburetor tickler... pedal folds out.

WHOMP! If the Gods of combustion are happy, from between my legs bursts forth the miracle of combustion rising in a crescendo of clattering and a sort of muffled roar.

If the Gods are cranky, then another and more WHOMP! takes place.

This BSA fits me. It always has. In spite of quicker or cheaper or alleged more reliable bikes, this one fits my frame. It is an extension of my body as our souls meld to become as one. People with horses have remarked in a similar vein, that they become at one with the horse. That is why after all these years, I retain my strong loyalty and patience with this old machine. As it and I chug on thru the decades
past the rusted debris of the mechanical toys of other men, we are one.

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NICE!


https://wadeschields.tumblr.com/

Jack of all trades . Master of fun! wink

Beer is not the Answer.... Its the Question..... The answer is YES

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I am just back from a 9am - 12pm ride on my A10. Warm summer day, cruising on secondary roads, stopping in nice little country-side restaurants, old-bike talking with friends, stopping at interesting places, driving home in the sunset, and the A10 runs smooth and without any problem. Can't get that smile away from my face...

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