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I'm trying to help a fellow ID a front end on one of his 1967 B44Rs. The front end is not the typical stock front end for the roadster. He has what looks like ( all this is going on long distance) a 1968 SS brake on an 18" wheel. What looks odd is that the axle doesn't come out flush with the caps like the 69-70 pictured.

Is that correct?



Gordon

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The first photo ( on the original post) is my 69-70 SS front end. Here's what he has. He made the grooves line up......but I can't say that's what it does when mounted to the bike??? The only thing '68 I have in the shop are VS front ends......completely different. We need some one with a 68 SS to help out here please. I know it would only be "another" example but I'd feel better with something to compare to.

Gordon

IMG_3803.jpg IMG_3804.jpg IMG_3805.jpg
Last edited by Gordon Gray; 06/19/21 1:36 pm.

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I've been down this rabbit hole before. Swapping wheels and front ends, it can get confusing.

Gordon

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Gordon,

Those axle caps are for the earlier full-width hub models both Unit and Pre-Unit.


[Linked Image]


Jon W.


1957 6T Thunderbird 650
1968 T100R Daytona 500
1971 TR6R Tiger 650
1970 BSA A65F 650
1955 Tiger 100 - Project
1971 BSA A65 650 - Project
1972 Norton Commando 750 "Combat"


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Here's a couple of pics of my 1968 B44SS front end, as can be seen the axle is not flush with the end caps.

The Frame prefix is B44B so as far as I'm aware the front end is correct.

20210619_173046.jpg 20210619_174504.jpg

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1967 B44 Shooting Star
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There are 3 versions of that axle with 3 different lengths, couple that with at least 2 versions of the shuttle valve fork lowers and the 2 rod damper fork lower versions who can tell.

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Originally Posted by Jon W. Whitley
Gordon,

Those axle caps are for the earlier full-width hub models both Unit and Pre-Unit.


[Linked Image]

I don’t think so Jon, those caps have the squared off shoulder for the outer side as per Gunners image. I believe this was a c1968 feature only for both A65 and B series. These caps are a little wider than the earlier type (Or offset differently - I cannot remember which) than the earlier ones which have the semi-circular shoulder on both sides of the clamp.

I’ve found the ones with the squared off shoulder to be quite hard to find. So should anyone want to let a pair go id be glad to grease your Throat with ale or ale tokens


Now let’s all have a beer beerchug

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71’ A65 823 Thunderbolt (now rebuilt)
67’ D10 sportsman (undergoing restoration)
68’ D14 trials (undergoing transformation)

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Gunner........thank you sir. That is exactly what I was looking for....not absolute proof but IF the fellow makes sure he's NOT forcing the legs into the slots AND the backing plate fits the lug. It should look and work like yours.

kommando.......yes sir, it is confusing and I have no clue how you would ever be 100% sure. I have what I believe are the early 67 and late 69-70 front ends on my Roadsters and C25 but the only thing I have that's 68 are Victor Special.

Thank you all again for taking the time to reply, Gordon

Last edited by Gordon Gray; 06/20/21 12:14 am.

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Originally Posted by Allan G
I don’t think so Jon, those caps have the squared-off shoulder for the outer side as per Gunners' image. I believe this was a c1968 feature only for both A65 and B series. These caps are a little wider than the earlier type (Or offset differently - I cannot remember which) than the earlier ones which have the semi-circular shoulder on both sides of the clamp.


Allan,

I am not surprised if that is the case. I look forward to a definitive answer.


Jon W.


1957 6T Thunderbird 650
1968 T100R Daytona 500
1971 TR6R Tiger 650
1970 BSA A65F 650
1955 Tiger 100 - Project
1971 BSA A65 650 - Project
1972 Norton Commando 750 "Combat"


"Every time I listen to AC/DC, so do my neighbors"

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I think the fellow feels pretty good about what he has.....thanks again for the help.

One of the things that I can't shake is.......I thought I read ( in a popular, current paperback) that BSA only produced around 2500 1967 B44Rs.

This one we're talking about has a 27xx number.......gota be the highest I've seen. My runners are 204 and 820.....wonder if that 1968 front end actually came with the bike? Stranger things happened at the factory.

Thanks again for the help......Gordon

Last edited by Gordon Gray; 06/20/21 3:36 am.

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My 69 Shooting Star came with 68 damper rod forks and the proper 69 7" TLS brakeplate so mixing and matching at the factory is not unknown..

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Originally Posted by Gordon Gray
I think the fellow feels pretty good about what he has.....thanks again for the help.

One of the things that I can't shake is.......I thought I read ( in a popular, current paperback) that BSA only produced around 2500 1967 B44Rs.

This one we're talking about has a 27xx number.......gota be the highest I've seen. My runners are 204 and 820.....wonder if that 1968 front end actually came with the bike? Stranger things happened at the factory.

Thanks again for the help......Gordon

One for Andy Lorenz, but I believe the serial numbers were sequential across all unit singles.

So b44b 0002
B25b 0003

And so on.


Now let’s all have a beer beerchug

68’ A65 Lightning “clubman”
71’ A65 823 Thunderbolt (now rebuilt)
67’ D10 sportsman (undergoing restoration)
68’ D14 trials (undergoing transformation)

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Good morning,

I am a new member on your wonderful forum. (just registered yesterday)
Your commitment to helping fellow members is evident by all these posts. A special thank you to Gordon, who got me moving in the right direction with
"just the facts" and is so generous with his time to a person he is just starting to know. Gordon is amazing .

I am the fellow with the 1967 Roadster that has a 1968 front end on it. I have two 1967 Roadsters and love them both.

Thank you for all your help - I will be back ( alot).

Cheers.
Tommy Thomas

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Welcome to the fold Tommy. clap beerchug thumbsup

You're going to find that this is just like having a shop full of experts willing to help with any problem any time.

We asked about comparing front ends and a fellow ( thank you gunner) from the UK sent us exactly what we were looking for.

BSA unit singles.......not the biggest following, you have to be a bit twisted to love them. It was my first bike (1965 B40ES) and I've loved them ever since. Maybe not the most popular but there are lots of unit single owners on here despite of it.

Folks......I don't know this fellow personally ( yet) we met off another board but I can tell you he is very handy with a wrench and camera.......he'll do just fine here.

Always good to see a new face........welcome aboard Tommy.

Gordon


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Originally Posted by Allan G
One for Andy Lorenz, but I believe the serial numbers were sequential across all unit singles.

So b44b 0002
B25b 0003

And so on.

Allan my friend.......I do believe you're right. The Roadster was a one year only bike in 67. It was the road model and had a square barrel while the others had a round barrel. That all changed in 68......still the road model but with some different bits.

B44R 101 is what I thought they started numbering them for the Roadster ( Shooting Star in the US)
C25 101 for the 250. My highest numbered 67 is 1775.

I believe Tommy's bike could be one of the last of the 67s........I'd be interested to know for sure.

HAPPY FATHER'S DAY to all the dads out there, Gordon in NC


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According Mr Ratio; last of the B44R model was B44R 2611 (8/67)...though the Roadster continued into the 68 season as B44RB, up until 9/67, ending at B44RB 2816.

So is Tommy's frame B44RB?

Which may explain the fork, brake, and other items yet to be encountered?

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Originally Posted by Steve Erickson
According Mr Ratio; last of the B44R model was B44R 2611 (8/67)...though the Roadster continued into the 68 season as B44RB, up until 9/67, ending at B44RB 2816.

So is Tommy's frame B44RB?

Which may explain the fork, brake, and other items yet to be encountered?

Steve, we’ll have to wait for Tommy to chime in. I can’t say I’ve ever seen a RB stamped frame. Only 205 of them?

Tommy…….I told you about experts. I’m NOT one of them…..just a fellow who loves BSA unit singles. I told you I knew a fellow who was the best at this ID stuff….now you just met him. Steve is about as good as it gets. kommando is also one of the fellows you need to listen to about the singles.

Be interesting to see if Tommy actually has one of the 205.

I’m hoping someone will post a photo of the different caps that my friend Allan’s talking about. I’m fighting the urge to purchase a 68 SF that is close to me just so I’ll have an example for next time.

BSAing ya……….Gordon

Last edited by Gordon Gray; 06/21/21 11:06 am.

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I've never seen one either... odd deal, with only one month of production.

It is logical, adding the suffix B date stamp, so why complicate things by changing to SS one month in?

Unless there are some actual differences between the RB and the SS? Enough to warrant a name change?

Rupert's been wrong before, and if Tommy's bike frame is just R, then he is again. But with quoting actual numbers I'd think he has some pretty good substantiation.

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Well…..there could be differences and it’d be interesting to see if he actually has one. I saw a pic of the engine number……looked legit. Never seen one that high before.

Another chapter in the never ending saga of the Small Heath factory.

I know that to some folks the unit single doesn’t even count as a motorcycle…but some of us enjoy the little bastards.

I got waylaid for a few years now……trying my best to get back on track.

Proud to be one of the BSA unit single guys…Gordon Gray in NC, USA


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From Rupert again... he shows Roadster engine stamp as B44R for 67 and 68. In another book, he calls out the Roadster frame stamp for 68 as B44RB.

(B44B engine stamp for 68 Shooting Star, SS frame stamp)

Oy....

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I will have to look back into my notes but from memory they messed up the 68 model year stamping and some 68 R's did not get the B stamped when they should as B stood for 68.

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I'm knee deep in my non Brit Bike purge and covered up right now. AND THEN>>>> I notice the cooler bags don't look "right" (is there a right with cooler bags?)........damnit, last bike I mounted them on I had to re-fab the mounts.....then when I swore I would never mount them again, I completely forgot how I mounted them to a BSA. Got it wrong and boy is the garage a nasty place to work right now.......but Friday is rally day and work must go on.

Tommy checked in.......He's on his learning curve so he isn't posting photos yet but he did send me a pic of his frame numbers. I'm not going to post it but it clearly shows B44R 27xx SS. ( with the SS below it all) Kinda odd looking....

Could have been at a point where they really didn't know what to do but kept the line running. I still think there's a chance the front end came with it.

Gordon in NC


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I agree Gordon... I think the bike is probably an early 68, which gives the forks a good chance of being original. There are a couple other frame items we could check to confirm 67 vs 68, but those still wouldn't really prove anything.

The party never ends...

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Originally Posted by Jon W. Whitley
Originally Posted by Allan G
I don’t think so Jon, those caps have the squared-off shoulder for the outer side as per Gunners' image. I believe this was a c1968 feature only for both A65 and B series. These caps are a little wider than the earlier type (Or offset differently - I cannot remember which) than the earlier ones which have the semi-circular shoulder on both sides of the clamp.

Allan,

I am not surprised if that is the case. I look forward to a definitive answer.

For what it's worth, this is a shot from my '68 B25 Starfire.
[Linked Image from i.postimg.cc]


1968 BSA B25 Starfire
Parked in 1978
Restored in 2021
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