Someone my age who was a teenager in the 1970's should be riding the bikes that were popular then like a Honda, Yamaha, Suzuki or Kawasaki like all my friends did, but instead I got into BSAs and all my friends thought I was nuts.
So when I'm chatting with other vintage bike nuts or when I'm giving talks to the VMCC here in Scotland, when people ask me how someone my age got into BSA motorcycles my answer is always that it's because of two guys - one you don't know and one you do.
The one they don't know was a Hell's Angel that lived near my parent's house. Most people thought he was a bit mean and forbidding but he would sometimes ride past me on an old BSA that I knew nothing about, but that nevertheless flicked a switch in my head in a way that Hondas didn't and I wanted to find out more.
So, with money given as a gift for my 17th birthday I went into Edinburgh and bought what was probably the only book about BSA available at the time. On the cover was a guy racing a Rocket 3 with a look of such effortless determination that I thought 'this guy looks cool as f*ck and I want to ride any bike he rides'.
He's the guy you do know - it was Dick Mann - and without him I'd never have been riding, breaking and fixing and riding BSAs for the next 45 years and counting.
He had NO idea what he started thousands of miles away in Scotland...
Last edited by Myles Raymond; 08/20/21 9:36 pm.