The BSA A7-A10 Forum

Bikes, Pictures, Stories & more => Introductions, Stories & Pictures => Topic started by: t20racerman on 07.02. 2011 22:40

Title: My A10 - A story of 28 years of alternating neglect, abuse and restoration...
Post by: t20racerman on 07.02. 2011 22:40
Hi All

Just joined the forum and like what I see so far.  *smile*

I thought I'd share some photos and memories... I bought my A10 in bits in mid 1983 and built it up whilst an impoverished student at College in Coventry. I kept it first in my bedroom:

https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/_R1ON3dzeQqU/TQEnP_N_YBI/AAAAAAAADG0/ClbGqFXFtXk/s720/Irving%20%282%29.jpg
(https://www.a7a10.net/forum/extimagebackup/Irving(2).jpg)

Here's another view that is more in focus:

https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/_R1ON3dzeQqU/TQEnQjPeuCI/AAAAAAAADG8/N74PofRgj4s/s720/Irving%20%284%29.jpg
(https://www.a7a10.net/forum/extimagebackup/Irving(3).jpg)

When it was partly built, 5 or 6 of us carried it down the stairs and parked it in the back yard:

https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/_R1ON3dzeQqU/TQEnZaLKaxI/AAAAAAAADIo/ABhQzfr46To/s720/Irving%20%2824%29.jpg
(https://www.a7a10.net/forum/extimagebackup/Irving(4).jpg)

Where, with a Trials Triumph tank bodged on I tried to get it started...

https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/_R1ON3dzeQqU/TQEnR9LNmJI/AAAAAAAADHM/Nsodm0EJ_Wo/s720/Irving%20%2823%29.jpg
(https://www.a7a10.net/forum/extimagebackup/Irving(5).jpg)

I had spent a lot of time over the months of the rebuild walking back and forwards to the local Brit bike shop buying bits. I always looked very young and they honestly thought I was about 15-16 (I was 21!). When they realised I was 21 and actually going to ride it on the road, they bought me a stick-on beard so that I would look the part! Here's me modelling it:

https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/_R1ON3dzeQqU/TQEnC5etRQI/AAAAAAAADEc/awvhlZ_p4aw/s512/Irving%20%2829%29.jpg
(https://www.a7a10.net/forum/extimagebackup/Irving(6).jpg)

Finally, a lovely shot of my beloved BSA and cat Zappa parked up in the back yard, circa 1984:

https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/_R1ON3dzeQqU/TQEnK6AB0GI/AAAAAAAADF4/yfYJHnR4vKY/s720/Irving%20%2837%29.jpg
(https://www.a7a10.net/forum/extimagebackup/Irving(7).jpg)

Hope you like my pics.

I went on to use the bike for despatch riding in London, general transport for years, numerous bike rallies etc. Meanwhile I stripped it, rebuilt it, thrashed it, abused it, stripped it, restored it, abused and thrashed it, stripped it and am currently rebuilding it again!

More pics to follow if you want some..
Adrian


adm edit: images set to loading from forum server
Title: Re: My A10 - A story of 28 years of alternating neglect, abuse and restoration...
Post by: jfligg on 08.02. 2011 00:45
Hey cool pics.  I dont know if I like the beard or the cat better.  The beard pic gave me a good laugh.  Cheers.  Jeff
Title: Re: My A10 - A story of 28 years of alternating neglect, abuse and restoration...
Post by: LJ. on 08.02. 2011 09:05
Sounds like a very well used A10! well done, BSA would be very proud of you. As for a bike in a bedroom well... lol that is dedication. (Don't think Mother would be proud though) Good to have you with us and thanks for sharing those memories, great stuff.
Title: Re: My A10 - A story of 28 years of alternating neglect, abuse and restoration...
Post by: fido on 08.02. 2011 22:20
Yes, being in a student house had it's advantages. I wasn't in a student house but my first place I bought when I was 21 was a similar 2 up 2 down with the front door straight onto the street. I also didn't have a shed or any room for one so my A7SS and a few other bikes were rebuilt in the front room. At least it was warmer than the tiny garden shed I shared with my brothers bike, the mower etc when I lived with my parents. My dad was the inconsiderate sort who insisted on keeping his car in the garage.  ;)
Title: Re: My A10 - A story of 28 years of alternating neglect, abuse and restoration...
Post by: t20racerman on 09.02. 2011 22:36
I remember that house Fido - we had bikes in our downstairs too! The joy of student houses...  *smile*

Anyway, back to the story of neglect and abuse...
My BSA was my only transport through much of my student years and over time the tank cracked to be replaced by an unpainted one, the rust set in, bits were bodged on as and when until it looked a right mess. After my student days I started Despatch riding in London on it! It took some abuse, but never let me down in the 2-3 months that I used it every day before buying a cheap japanese bike. Here's me going to work on it one morning in 1986:

https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/_R1ON3dzeQqU/TVMUAXscWNI/AAAAAAAADpI/yVhMYIVh7g8/s720/8-29-2010%2015-3-46_025.jpg
(https://www.a7a10.net/forum/extimagebackup/Irving(8).jpg)

The bikes last big trip out in that neglected state was the 1987 Dragon Rally. The silencer snapped off on the way up to N Wales and can be seen on this pic bungeed to the rack whilst parked up on the Dragon Rally site... It sounded great!

https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/_R1ON3dzeQqU/TORTdEi5U1I/AAAAAAAABVE/27VyM3Fv_uE/s720/1986%20pic%20%287%29.jpg
(https://www.a7a10.net/forum/extimagebackup/Irving(9).jpg)

I restored it back to something like during 1987/88 and it looked pretty nice when done. Nothing like original, but certainly a lot lighter on the eyes!:

https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/_R1ON3dzeQqU/TOWed1WjxUI/AAAAAAAABvw/_88dSjPzhO4/s720/pic%20130.jpg
(https://www.a7a10.net/forum/extimagebackup/Irving(10).jpg)

After that, it was sadly back to the usual thrashing, abuse and neglect....  *sad2*


adm edit: images set to loading from forum server
Title: Re: My A10 - A story of 28 years of alternating neglect, abuse and restoration..
Post by: Stu55Flash on 10.02. 2011 00:01
Racer man

Great pics. I hope the Morris Marina and Mini Clubman are still well and our UK Top Gear team haven't got there hands on them! I am a native of North Wales - never fancied the Dragon Rally usually too much snow for me. I think your pics are on the Horseshoe pass?

Stu
Title: Re: My A10 - A story of 28 years of alternating neglect, abuse and restoration...
Post by: fido on 10.02. 2011 10:39
I went through one winter with my rigid A7 as my only transport when the engine of my car blew up. The bike never missed a beat but the salt took its toll.  *sad2*
Title: Re: My A10 - A story of 28 years of alternating neglect, abuse and restoration...
Post by: t20racerman on 31.05. 2011 21:39
Back to the story.....

Poor old BSA was used and abused, taken to more Dragon rallies, ridden in salt etc and it slowly started to look rough again. (You may gather I'm not much of a bike cleaner and polisher!)

Around 1999 the trusty old bike was making a funny squeaking noise from the head when warmed up. I suspected a loose valve guide (I was right) and so I stripped the top end down. The guide was really loose, and the valves and seats pretty worn. Time to get the head done I thought.
I took it to Wimbledon Cylinder head shop and had the works done - gas flowing, new seats, valves guides etc. However, the rest of the bike looked quite bad and the frame in particular was rusting bad... so I stripped the whole thing down ready to rebuild it from the bottom up....

Firstly though, I decided to get my 1967 Suzuki T20 back on the road after a 19 year lay-up. So, I spent all my time and money on this, and left the BSA in bits spread around my garage...
Finished the T20 (see my site - www.t20suzuki.com) and then decided to do something I'd wanted to do since I was 17 - build a T20 based Classic Race bike to go racing on. I spent the next two years on this project before going racing for the first time in Sept 2002, and won the 250cc twins Championship in 2004! Meanwhile, the BSA stayed in bits spread around my garage....

The t20 needed constant rebuilding, constant money and I slowly developed it into the rocket-ship it is today (TZ350 crank, revs to 12,500rpm, CR125 pistons, nicasil on Ally liners, 60bhp...). Meanwhile, the BSA stayed in bits spread around my garage.... although I did get the frame powder coated and bought a few bits every now and again.

I loved racing, saved up and bought myself a 1980 TZ350 Yamaha. The most awesome bike I've ever ridden. Now though racing cost twice as much and the maintenance time doubled too. Great fun, but costly and time consuming and meanwhile, the BSA stayed in bits spread around my garage....

Finally, 2011 comes around and I'm really missing the old BSA. I keep looking at it and saying to myself "next year I'll do it..." (as I've said for the past 5-6 years) but then a good friend has a go at me and says "rather than keep saying you'll do it when you can afford the time and money, just assemble it as it is and get the thing going again!" Damned good advice!

I've started working on it quite a bit and finally it has pride of place on my bike workbench and I'm spending as many hours on it as I can. I WILL get it back on the road this summer.  *smile*

http://www.t20suzuki.com/cz/BSA1.jpg
(https://www.a7a10.net/forum/extimagebackup/Irving(11).jpg)
and from the other side...

http://www.t20suzuki.com/cz/BSA2.jpg
(https://www.a7a10.net/forum/extimagebackup/Irving(12).jpg)

It won't be the prettiest or best restoration you've seen, but it will be back to being used and loved again. I can't wait.
 *smile* *smile*


Title: Re: My A10 - A story of 28 years of alternating neglect, abuse and restoration...
Post by: muskrat on 31.05. 2011 22:08
G'day Adrian,
                  Good to see your love affair has returned.
That front wheel looks out of place. My place would do. You will bend the forks with a big handful of brakes.
Cheers
Title: Re: My A10 - A story of 28 years of alternating neglect, abuse and restoration...
Post by: t20racerman on 01.06. 2011 08:52
G'day Adrian,
                  Good to see your love affair has returned.
That front wheel looks out of place. My place would do. You will bend the forks with a big handful of brakes.
Cheers

It is an awesome brake, but to cope with this, I fitted GT750 front forks too - so no fork bending!  *smile*
It took a bit of modifying to get them in the BSA yokes - I had to get some new fork top bolts made up with a taper fitting to fit the BSA yokes, with a metric thread to suit the Suzuki forks. It also makes the forks 1.5" longer, but I quite like the look that gives, and the extra ground clearance comes in very useful too  *smile*
Title: Re: My A10 - A story of 28 years of alternating neglect, abuse and restoration...
Post by: t20racerman on 05.07. 2011 18:36
Just had two more full days in the garage working on the BSA. It is such fun getting it back together. It is like meeting your best mate mate from years ago and remembering how much fun you used to have.  *smile*

Every single bracket, bolt and part has to be found from the depths of my garage, cleaned up and fitted. It can take ages just to find and fit something simple! I'm really hoping to be away on it the weekend after next... but still a lot to do, especially so as I'm racing this weekend at Brands Hatch and still haven't got the race bikes fully prepared!

Here is how it looks today:
Title: Re: My A10 - A story of 28 years of alternating neglect, abuse and restoration...
Post by: t20racerman on 15.07. 2011 09:10
It is finished!!!

Finally, after 11 years off the road my BSA once again roared around the roads of Hertfordshire.  *smile*

It fired up first kick and sounded brilliant. I had a whole lot of cylinder head work done on it and it flies - even though I'm taking it steady until it all beds down. I just can't believe how much 'grunt' it has low down now.

Ok, it leaked oil from all the 'normal' places but I did 80 miles on it yesterday afternoon and the smile never left my face. I'm so pleased to have got it back on the road just two weeks before its 50th Birthday.

Can I just say a BIG thanks to you forum members - You have been so much help. Despite having this bike for years, and rebuilding it at least twice before, it is amazing what you forget, and also how much new stuff you can learn too! Thanks guys.

Right, off for another ride-out. Catch you later!
Title: Re: My A10 - A story of 28 years of alternating neglect, abuse and restoration...
Post by: bsa-bill on 15.07. 2011 09:24
Well done t20racerman, I'm four years ahead of you, hoping to be riding regular before I get to eleven years though

Quote
it is amazing what you forget
oh yes I do agree
Title: Re: My A10 - A story of 28 years of alternating neglect, abuse and restoration...
Post by: muskrat on 15.07. 2011 09:51
Well done mate. Smart looking bike. ENJOY.
Cheers
Title: Re: My A10 - A story of 28 years of alternating neglect, abuse and restoration...
Post by: MG on 15.07. 2011 09:54
Great job! Looks fantastic.
Don't start that abuse- and neglect-thing again now!  ;)
Title: Re: My A10 - A story of 28 years of alternating neglect, abuse and restoration...
Post by: Topdad on 15.07. 2011 10:17
Good morning t20racerman, Green with envy,I've enjoyed reading this post ,brings back so many memories! The guy who verbally kicked you up the a*** ,was He by any chance called Bruce ?  I had exactly the same scenario , bike stolen when returned (after 4 mths ) stripped it down ,then had the frame nicked and moved the rest into shed. Left it there from from'78 til 2001 (hang head in shame ) we had just returned from a holiday and in the post was an advertisement for a '59A10 frame forks and goldie 8" brake for £250 with a note from Bruce who's a biker buddie since 1965  , saying buy this or I don't ever want to hear "I'll get it back on the road next soon" He also promised to insert certain parts into me which would have made sitting down pretty difficult as well so what can a guy do. Soon the bits were bought and the shed became the centre of my world for 18 mthsframe  chrome guards rebuilt wheels etc ,engine done by SRM crank balanced cleaned out ground and the end feed converted ,the head worked on RGS valves and gas flowed and spitfire cam and followers rebored and pistons ,they did the engineering I put all back together ,boy I really enjoyed it . had the wheels rebuilt ,the front and back tyres still had air in them from the last time I rode it, Anyway after the fiasco of relicencing her she fired up after I 'd kicked her over  with plugs out for 1/2 an hour to get the oil back and then she started what a beauiful noise , the neighbours loved it to !! Well at least one of them still talks to the wife .that was 2003 .The first ride after MOT was simply great ,same grin you had I bet and bonus followed the very same route I took back in 1965 when I did the same thing with my very first bike ,pure indulgence. Only prob I had was sticking valve which kissed a piston which once replaced has behaved without a hitch. Anyway I've had to sorn her this month due to house move and family prob's and probably next year too so I'll do my best to keep sane by reading what you guys get up to and polishing the bike.....so keep the posts coming, hope you get as much enjoyment out of yours as I do mine best wishes Bob H  
Title: Re: My A10 - A story of 28 years of alternating neglect, abuse and restoration...
Post by: a10gf on 16.07. 2011 09:35
Quote
once again roared around the roads of Hertfordshire
 *smile*

Very nice, thanks for posting the story (should inspire me to continue with my heap (http://www.thefreedictionary.com/heap) of parts, and get it back on the road one day).
Title: Re: My A10 - A story of 28 years of alternating neglect, abuse and restoration...
Post by: Hubie on 17.07. 2011 08:30
Great story mate,

I just finished doing the motor on mine and it was only laid up for about 6 months and I was going crazy!  I can't imagine surviging with my BSA off the road for 11 years!  Great job on the resto  *smile*

I'm now hankering for a fourth bike and am thinking of an A65 to complete a nice twin set  ;)
Title: Re: My A10 - A story of 28 years of alternating neglect, abuse and restoration...
Post by: Brian on 18.07. 2011 07:34
Well done T20, it looks good and most importantly its back on the road.

Hubie, before you buy a A65 I suggest you go for a ride on one, not around town but out on the road and sit it on 65-70mph for a few k's and then decide if you want one.
Title: Re: My A10 - A story of 28 years of alternating neglect, abuse and restoration...
Post by: Hubie on 18.07. 2011 08:56
Is there something you're not telling me Brian?   ;D
Title: Re: My A10 - A story of 28 years of alternating neglect, abuse and restoration...
Post by: Brian on 18.07. 2011 10:33
There are probably some members who own A65's also and they might disagree but, vibration. I mean shake your teeth out type vibration. I have had A65's and a A50. The A50 was a nice bike but the A65 was horrible over about 60mph. Its best you go for a ride on one and make up your own mind.
Title: Re: My A10 - A story of 28 years of alternating neglect, abuse and restoration...
Post by: muskrat on 18.07. 2011 10:40
But the wife will probably luv it  ;)
Title: Re: My A10 - A story of 28 years of alternating neglect, abuse and restoration...
Post by: t20racerman on 18.07. 2011 22:13
Agree with that Muskrat...   *smile* *eek*

Anyway, back to my trip. Here's me and my bike, down in lovely South Wales:

The second pic is my trying to trace some of the oil leaks!
Title: Re: My A10 - A story of 28 years of alternating neglect, abuse and restoration...
Post by: t20racerman on 01.08. 2011 21:39
And another pic...(Sorry guys, love this pic and had to share....)

Quick repairs to gearbox cover which was leaking a little oil.
Title: Re: My A10 - A story of 28 years of alternating neglect, abuse and restoration...
Post by: BSA John on 26.11. 2017 19:15
Hi, great story and like your Suzuki front end I've got a super rocket on going project rode it this year and got the same Suzuki front end to fit over winter. I was going to fit Suzuki yokes but like your idea and wondered were you got your tapers made? Any help would be greatly appreciated.  Cheers John
Title: Re: My A10 - A story of 28 years of alternating neglect, abuse and restoration...
Post by: edboy on 26.11. 2017 23:17
nice story racer man. but back to the crux of the matter.
are you using a standard wm2 rear wheel rim with that tt100 ?