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#871905 02/12/22 11:41 pm
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Found matched cases stamped A65LC. Guessed the C meant Competition which made me want to know more. Found out here at BritBike on the Serial Number pages that it means Clubman. Were A65 Lightning Clubmans only produced for one year? The left case has a casting number 70-0999 The case has the trans and cam.
More questions:
1) The serial number script varies. Bogus?
2) The casting number on the left case is 70-099. Bogus confirmed?

[Linked Image from live.staticflickr.com]

[Linked Image from live.staticflickr.com]

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Bustednukel #871907 02/12/22 11:59 pm
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Suspect numbers there........ later cases but who cares.
If you don't like the number, just stamp another one.

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Bustednukel #871909 02/13/22 12:14 am
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A65LC are early 1969 serial number.

Lightning Clubman were A65DC - 1964/1965


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Bustednukel #871910 02/13/22 12:18 am
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The C indicates 1969 model year. For that year BSA used a new typeface for stamping all engines (as well as all Triumph triple engines as they were made at Small Heath). And serial #s were on the raised pad as on your cases though the pad did change a couple of times during the 1970 model production.

Oddly they didn't use the same typeface on frames as far as I can recall.

This looks like a replacement crankcase (the 70-9099 is legit as is the serial # pad). When I worked in the Brit bike business (in Texas USA) the area service manager would bring stamps & stamp replacement cases with new #s. This looks like the case here as a few are not correct: 5,6, 8 & possibly A. The others look correct. Maybe whoever stamped it lost part of the set & used others. Then it may have come off the line this way. The 5,6, & 8 may have been lost or swapped for a beer.

Frankly, I'd take it as a novelty & not worry about it.

As an aside I have read in several places that BSA stamped completed engines then later stamped frames to match. Maybe. In the video Bits Stuck Anywhere there is a clip of the Triple assembly line. One worker is stamping the engine #s at the end of the line. Perhaps he was trying to correct a badly stamped #. I have seen one serial number with a 4 stamped over with a 1 to match the frame.

When T160s were on the market I had to replace a few crankcases. The last time I saw the SM he came to stamp some replacement cases. He left his stamps at the shop. Only a few days later NVT announced liquidation & I never saw the fellow again. Over the years I lost most of the set. I can stamp any serial # as long as it uses B, L, T, 1, 2, 0 only.

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Rich B #871921 02/13/22 2:16 am
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The BritBike serial number data also shows 1966 with A65LC as a Clubman. But it makes more sense that it is 1969 because of the case casting number, as well as Rays idea that it was a replacement case

Oh well, passing on this one. Perhaps the SM lost his 8 and got a new one.

Hey Ray, I do own a 1971 A65L basket case that has no serial number on the frame. The anecdote from the fellow I bought it from was that it was a replacement frame. The dealer never got around to stamping it, or so his uncle told him when he got it. This basket case sat in a warehouse for a decade if not decades. When I pulled the cases apart there was a weld on the inside of the case right where the motor mounts to the front legs. No evidence of weld on the outside; the guy was good.

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@ Bustednukel - Exactly right. BSA operated differently on E & W coasts & barely operated at all in Texas. But we were asked to hold a customer's motorcycle until the service rep could come by & stamp the frame or cases, but in practice they were often returned to the customer out without frame or engine #s. Stamping frames or engines correctly is not an easy task and it's a wonder that there were not more errors.

That welder was good. I practice my welding at least weekly & after all these years pitch my work into the trash so that no one sees it!


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Those are early 69 cases before they introduced the month/year number system which was around at least November time, the machines finish with the BSA background stamp came later in 69.

Interestingly I have a later set of cases (1970 on) with similar stamping. I assumed they were replacement cases but seeing this, perhaps not.

They may have been some LC cases in 66, though the C would always have meant close ratio and not clubman.

Last edited by Allan G; 02/15/22 8:52 pm. Reason: Should have proof read before posting

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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Bustednukel #871945 02/13/22 11:16 am
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never seen one .
the lightning clubman was a limited production racer for 1965 and
maybe into early 66 production , in the fall of 65
... with somewhere aroud 200 made . . ( dont have source )

as an example ,
heres a pic-link for a 1965 clubmans engine numbers . prefix A65DC
pic is upsidedown and not in the best of light .
good number , punched on (pre-boss) cases

http://suprememotos.com/uploads/postfotos/bsa-a65-lightning-clubman-6.JPG

Bustednukel #871951 02/13/22 12:43 pm
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There are a number of serial number lists that claim Lightning Clubman’s were built in 1966 and used the A65LC engine code. I have researched that model a lot, IMO any bikes dispatched in the 66 model year as Lightning Clubman’s were left over bikes.

There were 190 Lightning Clubman’s built in 64/65 using A65DC engine code. Allegedly, 29 more were assembled in 66 model year. Note that A65DC does not clearly define a Lightning Clubman. Any road model dual carb 650 twin of 64/65 model years with a close ratio gearbox got that engine code. The close ratio gear set was available in 66 and those engines would have been stamped LC. The odd Spitfire Hornet cases from 64/65 show up stamped EC as well.


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NickL #871961 02/13/22 2:25 pm
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NOT VERY ETHICAL ADVICE


I APOLOGIZE FOR THE USE OF CAPS. I CAN ONLY TYPE WITH MY RIGHT HAND SO USING THE SHIFT KEY IS BEYOND MY CAPABILITES.

The Devil is in the details.

1957 BSA A10 Spitfire Scrambler (numbers matching, very correct, very nice condition)
1965 BSA A65 Lightning Rocket "Clubman" (restored)
1966 BSA A65 Spitfire MK-II (restored)
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According to Peter Crawfords wonderful book Thunderbolts and Lightning, 178 Lightning Clubmans were produced in 1965, and a further 29 in 1966, total 207.
The first was made on the 2nd of March 1965, the last on 10th September 1965 ( presumably the last 29 made in 1965 were sold as 66 models.)

The motor in the pic , is certainly later than the Lightning Clubmans. As Allan said , the raised boss did not appear until 1969, The C indicates it is a Lightning with a close ratio gearbox ( if its genuine)., the stamps do look dodgy.
in 1969 the numbers should show two letters after the model number for year and month, this is not the way the pic motor is stamped.


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I believe those number stampings could very well be original factory work.

I have a fairly large collection of engine number stamping images from multiple years. All manner of letter and number fonts were used at the factory and in different combinations. Here is a sample of an "8" being of a different font than the rest.

[Linked Image from i.postimg.cc]


1967 BSA Wasp
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I'm with you, Gary.

We see this in the Triumph numbers, too.An example is the larger letter "S" in 1964-66 Triumph "TR6SR" lead-in to the serial numbers.

There need be NO rhyme or reason in how the factories stamped serial numbers, just so long as they are consistent from bike-to-bike in any model year.

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Bustednukel #872076 02/14/22 10:40 pm
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From a purely practical point of view, the later the cases. the better they are.
Like most motors that have been in production for several years, various
developments are included into the later ones and certainly with the A65,
there were several improvements and the strengthening of the cases generally.
If the machine is going to be used as a motorbike rather than an exhibit, then
the latest cases were better.

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Bustednukel #872079 02/14/22 11:11 pm
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I think the explanation of the engine number is quite clear if you look at the sequencing of the A65 Lightning over the years.

There are multiple websites with BSA engine numbers on them including one on this site Here

Starting in 1966, engine no A65LC indicated a Lightning Clubman, this is the bike everyone gets excited about, but the stock Lightning was A65L in the same year.

Then in 1967, engine no A65LA appeared but was for the stock Lightning, there was no Clubman.

In 1968, the engine no progressed to A65LB and in 1969 became A65LC, together with the raised pad, again no Clubman models in these years.

So based on the raised pad and an engine no of A65LC, these cases are simply stock A65 Lightning from 1969.

That's my theory and I could be wrong.

Regarding the casting no 70-9099, this is very close to the actual part no for matched crankcases which in the 1969 parts list was 70-9097. Casting no's are often similar to the actual part no but aren't a definitive guide. The 1970 parts list shows 71-1108 for the crankcases, so I guess that BSA had made more changes to the cases.

Last edited by gunner; 02/14/22 11:21 pm.

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Looks like my '69 Thunderbolt. The 8 is a little wonky, but I don't have anything to compare it to.
Here's mine.

Nice double stamp on the 5!
[Linked Image from live.staticflickr.com]

Case Stamp
[Linked Image from live.staticflickr.com]

And the chainring, just because I found it entertaining. I wonder if someone actually counted the teeth before they realized their mistake?
[Linked Image from live.staticflickr.com]

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Ok, I've been convinced to set aside my adult beverage, go to the garage to investigate. I have A65s from 67~72 as well as many frames & crankcases. I do have a complete '69 whose provenance I know. That one is A65TCnnnnn. It uses the old stamps as do other '69 crankcases.

The old stamps used a larger 8 as a rule, so the OP's #s may be 100% legitimate.

The A65x/MYnnnnnn scheme was introduced in 1970 as far as I can tell. All '69s are A65xCnnnnn.
Of course this brings us to '70 where it may be A65x/MYnnnnn or a '67 serial # with -Y.

Then in '71 some where MYnnnnnA65x OR A65x/MYnnnnn.

I think that I'll go back to my AB before I think about this more.


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Had a look through my collection of images

I had a particular interest in 1969 year stamps at one stage. My early 69 A65F has some different fonts to that. But sits about 3000 down the number series and the order of the individual elements has changed to the later style format with the letters indicating month & year and the model last. Bacon's books state numbering system changed during 1969. I know he gets things wrong but mine is consistent with that.


I found 2 others with the A65LC XXXXX format. Some similarities noted. Interestingly these all sit in the 11xxx number range. Looks like its anything goes on the stamp fonts. That 8 looks consistent though.

I'd say my bike has genuine numbers. The others look OK to me.



Ray

P1000848 (2).JPG 1969earlyengineA65LC11368.jpg 69A65LC11559.jpg
Last edited by BrizzoBrit; 02/15/22 10:14 am. Reason: to correct a couple of things

BSA 1969 A65F
BSA 1966 A65H
Triumph 1968 T120
Kawasaki A1R
& too many projects!
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Bustednukel #872116 02/15/22 10:25 am
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The casting surface is as original behind the stamps, so regardless of when it was stamped ie at the factory or at a dealer the current numbers are the first numbers stamped. So very extremely unlikely to have be parted out from a stolen bike and then restamped.

Bustednukel #872119 02/15/22 12:34 pm
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Thanks for the photos, everyone.

I am glad to know that I'm not the ONLY eccentric who photographs and collects images of serial numbers.

It really "P.O.s" some owners when a show judge presents photos proving their bike doesn't have factory-stamped numbers!

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Originally Posted by Irish Swede
Thanks for the photos, everyone.

I am glad to know that I'm not the ONLY eccentric who photographs and collects images of serial numbers.

It really "P.O.s" some owners when a show judge presents photos proving their bike doesn't have factory-stamped numbers!

I've never seen or done that in the shows I've been involved in being a judge.


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Originally Posted by Allan G
Those are early 69 cases before they introduced the month/year number system which was around at least November time, the machines finish with the BSA background stamp came later in 69.
This is a quite pertinent point, which is often overlooked. BSA changed the numbering scheme early in the season a couple of times. Numbering guides often show 1966 A65 frames as A50xxx, but that was just for the start of the season (and is in the workshop manual as "starting from"), but changed to matching A65 numbers a bit later. Gary has posted the cutover number info at some stage

Originally Posted by Allan G
They may have been some LC cases in 66, though the C would always have meant close ratio and clubman.
I think the 'C' was intended to indicate the close ratio gear cluster. The Lightning Clubman would have come with the CR gear cluster, so being stamped LC may just be a happy coincidence.


Originally Posted by Ray Elliott
The old stamps used a larger 8 as a rule, so the OP's #s may be 100% legitimate.
I've seen the larger '8' quite a few times as well. There were some other "odd man out" letters or numbers used at times, such as the 'T' in pre-unit needle roller gearboxes.

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Originally Posted by Shane in Oz
Originally Posted by Allan G
They may have been some LC cases in 66, though the C would always have meant close ratio and clubman.
I think the 'C' was intended to indicate the close ratio gear cluster. The Lightning Clubman would have come with the CR gear cluster, so being stamped LC may just be a happy coincidence.

I’ve actually Amended my text to “not clubman”(I should proof read before clicking post)

A bit like the DC casings, all clubmans (least from 65) had DC motors, but not all DC motors went into Lightning clubmans.

Bikes with close ratio boxes could be ordered (or at least in theory) right until the end, however whether the factory continued to stamp the engines accordingly is beyond me.

I believe spitfire (maybe only mk2/3??) engines had the little piled arms stamp near the number, just like the one on the GP carbs. Though I don’t know if they did this on clubman motors. AIUI it was something that was done to signify motors being assembled in the competition shop. Maybe Gary could confirm?


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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To Gary E:

I began checking serial numbers when those AMCA members who judge "Indian" bikes advised the rest of us that some bikes have higher values in auctions if they have the ORIGINAL, FACTORY-STAMPED numbers. This is why I study Triumph, BSA, AJS, Matchless, Norton and Ariel serial numbers, so I can easily spot fakes when I see them.

Some sellers who want to make the big money will attempt to fake the numbers. There is even one swap meet vendor who openly sells duplicates of factory stamps for Indian and Harley at the Davenport, Iowa meet every year.

I can't speak for other states, but in my home state of Illinois, fraudulent or altered serial numbers can land you in jail, and to confiscation of the bike.
This doesn't appear to be the case in England where many frames and engine cases listed on Ebay.co.uk have had original numbers ground off
and have been re-stamped. Maybe that is permitted there, but I wouldn't touch any of those.

Allan G #872210 02/16/22 2:43 pm
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>"...I believe spitfire (maybe only mk2/3??) engines had the little piled arms stamp near the number, just like the one on the GP carbs. Though I don’t know if they did this on clubman motors. AIUI it was something that was done to signify motors being assembled in the competition shop. Maybe Gary could confirm?"

That little stamp was typical on multiple models. I know of no information to indicate it was anything special.

[Linked Image from i.postimg.cc]


1967 BSA Wasp
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