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Posted By: Ragmanx #'s on my A65 - 01/31/21 10:21 pm
My '68 A65 Lightning has no numbers on the engine, but the frame has some faint numbers visible.

This is what I can make out.

A65 2 B

1666

Can anyone take a guess to identify this bike?

Thank you
SteveG
Posted By: MarcB Re: #'s on my A65 - 01/31/21 11:20 pm
Are you sure about that character after the A65? I would assume it's a L, for lightning.

Your options are
T - Thunderbolt
L - Lightning
S - Spitfire
H - Hornet
Posted By: NickL Re: #'s on my A65 - 01/31/21 11:36 pm
could be ......................A65 2 B or not 2 B eh?
Posted By: Ragmanx Re: #'s on my A65 - 02/01/21 1:30 am
The numbers & letters are very, very faint.
Those that are legible are;

A65 2B
1666

The Oregon Title shows the VIN as

A652B 1666

There is probably not enough information but I thought I'd Give it a Try here.
Nothing ventured...................

SteveG
Posted By: Gary E Re: #'s on my A65 - 02/01/21 2:30 pm
A65LB 1666 is what ought to show. If the "L" is a "2", then the factory worker grabbed the wrong stamp.

It might have been stamped just before lunch, just before quitting time on Friday, just before payday, just after factory start up on Monday, just after factory start up the day after a night at the local pub, or another "just".
Posted By: Jon W. Whitley Re: #'s on my A65 - 02/02/21 12:52 am
Originally Posted by Ragmanx
The numbers & letters are very, very faint.

Have you gone down to bare metal, or is this what you can make out through the paint...or even maybe powder coat?
Posted By: Ragmanx Re: #'s on my A65 - 02/02/21 4:02 am
Good point.

I did not go down to bare metal, but only sanded a little with fine sandpaper.

I did, however, look back through all the parts and repair bills going back to 1993 and wherever a vin. number was present either A65 2B 1666 or A65LB 1666 was shown.

I will take more paint off to see if it is more clearly apparent.

As Gary E. said it may be that the 2 is, or should be an L.

Will post the results.

SteveG
Posted By: Ragmanx Re: #'s on my A65 - 02/04/21 2:17 am
I removed the paint and it appears the #'s are;

A65LB
1666

Can you tell me what these #'s indicate or where I can go to research them?

Thank you,
SteveG
Posted By: Rusty Goose Re: #'s on my A65 - 02/04/21 3:37 am
650cc Lightning, 1968 #1666
Posted By: quinten Re: #'s on my A65 - 02/04/21 3:54 am
+1 rusty

there where various numbering schemes used over the years
one of patterns lasted from 1966 through 1969

L is for lightning ... ( the easy part )
B is a 1968 year mark ... for all the twin models .
so LB is a 1968 lightning

BSA started marking Lightnings with an
L in 1966
A65L
A65LA for 67
A65LB for 68
A65LC for 69
........
1968                    Eng. & Frame

A50 Royal Star        A50RB-101
A50 Wasp                A50WB-101
A65 Thunderbolt     A65TB-101

A65 Lightning         A65LB-101

A65 Firebird            A65FB-101
A65 Spitfire             A65SB-101
Posted By: Ragmanx Re: #'s on my A65 - 02/04/21 9:00 pm
Great information. Thank you!

"A65 Lightning         A65LB-101"

It appears that the frame serial number on my bike is A65LB 1666

Does the # 1666 in my serial number mean that it was the 1666th Lightening produced in 1968?

SteveG
Posted By: Ola Re: #'s on my A65 - 02/04/21 9:29 pm
No, the 1566th A65 I think. The first A65 frame of 68 had no 101, and on, regardless L T F or S. Perhaps the A50 shared the same number sequence also?

Regards
Posted By: Boomer Re: #'s on my A65 - 02/04/21 9:34 pm
Originally Posted by Ragmanx
Great information. Thank you!

"A65 Lightning         A65LB-101"

It appears that the frame serial number on my bike is A65LB 1666

Does the # 1666 in my serial number mean that it was the 1666th Lightening produced in 1968?

SteveG


In this case the 1566th A65. BSA almost always started a new model year at 101 and subsequent years at 1001 or 3001 or 100001.
Even if say your 1666 was the last one built in '68 they would usually start at 2001 the following year. Makes it difficult to count how many models were built in a given year unless you had access to the build books.


Bill B...
Posted By: Allan G Re: #'s on my A65 - 02/04/21 10:11 pm
Originally Posted by quinten
A65LC for 69

The 69 numbers are sketchy, they start off as LC but soon change to the later numbering system with the month/year letter designations, before the end of the 1968 manufacturing year.
Posted By: Gary E Re: #'s on my A65 - 02/05/21 5:07 pm
Originally Posted by quinten
+1 rusty

there where various numbering schemes used over the years
one of patterns lasted from 1966 through 1969

L is for lightning ... ( the easy part )
B is a 1968 year mark ... for all the twin models .
so LB is a 1968 lightning

BSA started marking Lightnings with an
L in 1966
A65L
A65LA for 67
A65LB for 68
A65LC for 69
........
1968                    Eng. & Frame

A50 Royal Star        A50RB-101
A50 Wasp                A50WB-101
A65 Thunderbolt     A65TB-101

A65 Lightning         A65LB-101

A65 Firebird            A65FB-101
A65 Spitfire             A65SB-101

There was no Wasp in 1968. I do not know why they continue to post that.
Posted By: Gary E Re: #'s on my A65 - 02/05/21 5:27 pm
Originally Posted by Boomer
...Does the # 1666 in my serial number mean that it was the 1666th Lightening produced in 1968?

SteveG
Originally Posted by Boomer
In this case the 1566th A65. BSA almost always started a new model year at 101 and subsequent years at 1001 or 3001 or 100001.
Even if say your 1666 was the last one built in '68 they would usually start at 2001 the following year. Makes it difficult to count how many models were built in a given year unless you had access to the build books.


Bill B...

"..you had access to the build books."

Which I did when I researched the original books in the UK in 2010.

Lightning number 1666 is the 1,566 A65/A50 machine built for the '68 model year regardless of which model, likely about September or October 1967. It is not the 1,666 Lightning built. Generally, but not always, the machines were built in model groups, sometimes in large quantities, sometimes in small quantities, throughout the model year. This applies to the 1965 thru 1968 model years for which I researched.

The exception was the 1967 model year which involved the "Y" machines. Those machines are at the end of the '67 model year in the books and on the inside front cover of the last model year book, as well after some blank pages in the last book. Enough said about that in this thread.

I cannot report on the singles, as I did not research those. Almost two days on the twins. By the end of the second day, my head was about to explode from information overload on this pea brain.
Posted By: Irish Swede Re: #'s on my A65 - 02/05/21 9:07 pm
"Built in batches" is similar to the Triumph situation.

The four, five, six or seven NUMBERS in the serial number of each bike DO NOT indicate the actual number of THAT "model" produced in any given year,
If you know the serial number of the FIRST "A65" of any model that was produced in that model year can you determine (or "guess) when your bike rolled down the assembly line.

The serial number determines WHEN in the sequence that engine was built. The model designation, such as "A65T" or A65L" informs you what is INSIDE that engine, such as it's compression ratio, and / or cams.

My study of Triumph serial numbers often shows when batches of some models were destined for the USA. An example is the large group of Triumph "Cubs" which appeared in the USA in mid-1961. About a dozen of close-sequenced serial numbers indicates to me that those were of one batch built for the U.S market.
Posted By: Andy Lorenz Re: #'s on my A65 - 02/05/21 11:33 pm
From the BSA Factory dispatch books, A65LB-1666 was built on 7th September 1967, and dispatched from the BSA factory on 8th March 1968 to the BSA New Jersey USA importer.
Posted By: NickL Re: #'s on my A65 - 02/05/21 11:52 pm
I am trying to trace the registration number of the truck that delivered my A65 to the docks.
Also the name of the ship that the old crate was loaded on and the captain's name?
Any help appreciated.
Posted By: Ragmanx Re: #'s on my A65 - 02/06/21 12:36 am
Originally Posted by NickL
I am trying to trace the registration number of the truck that delivered my A65 to the docks.
Also the name of the ship that the old crate was loaded on and the captain's name?
Any help appreciated.


Ha ha
Posted By: Ragmanx Re: #'s on my A65 - 02/06/21 12:39 am
Thanx to Andy and all for info. This site is the best!

Much appreciated.

SteveG
Posted By: Rusty Goose Re: #'s on my A65 - 02/07/21 2:55 am
My Lightning is A65LA-420, In retrospect, painting it green here in CA might not have been the best idea.
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