The BSA A7-A10 Forum

Technical => A7 & A10 Engine => Topic started by: JDFitz on 06.12. 2008 18:24

Title: New member needing help
Post by: JDFitz on 06.12. 2008 18:24
Hello everybody. New member from Louisiana, USA. I have, according to the frame and engine numbers, what used to be a 1956 Road Rocket. By "used to be" I mean that I have a frame with an engine, transmission, swing arm and rear wheel/brake attached. Sorry, no pictures yet. This will not be a restoration. I have used the search function (I've been lurking here for a while) and haven't found what I was looking for. I need a front end for my bike and wondering if any Japanese front ends could fit my frame, such as an XS650, CB750, ect... I have not been able to very much info on BSA A10s online other than mostly restoration related info, so hopefully someone here will be able to help me along with my project. Thanks.
Title: Re: New member needing help
Post by: Richard on 06.12. 2008 19:18
Hi JD Fitz
Glad to hear from you
As to your question   anything is possible
I would think that if you measure the steering head on the BSA frame and then find a front end from another bike with a shaft from the lower yolk to the top yolk that is long enough then bushes could be made to fit the bearings.
even then a new steering head shaft could be made and stepped up (most Japanese ones i think are smaller diameter than the BSa)and then grafted onto the bottom yolk.
I hope this makes some sense, as in my head I know what I mean but it is difficult to explain.
Look for a local engineering company or individual and I am sure it will be an easy project.
Richard
Title: Re: New member needing help
Post by: dpaddock on 06.12. 2008 23:06
No offense, JD, but why not put it up for sale on this forum, give it a decent home, and go buy an oriental bike instead of bodging this RR?
David
Title: Re: New member needing help
Post by: RichardL on 07.12. 2008 01:08
JD,

I'm not exactly sure why you want or need to go Japanese with a front end. I think it is reasonable to assume that the ride could be better with modern Japanese engineering, but I cannot say that I know that to be true. I believe there are other aftermarket front-end adaptations for A10's, but I could not locate one immediately. Ceriani comes to mind (though I don't know if they still make one for A10s). If it is just parts or inexpensive you are looking for, I think you could do an A10 front end fairly cheaply from parts bought on ebay or from other sources.

With no offense to David, whose expertise I respect and, in a couple of circumstaces, have followed, not every bike can, must or should be wholly original. I think I have rightly used my own bike ( http://www.a7a10.net/forum/index.php?topic=166.0 ) as an example of a respectable A10 that does not closely resemble its original model. There is some question as to at what point does non-stock become a "bodge job." Is it the tiniest infraction with respect to decals or is it the use of a Japanese front end? We could drive ourselves crazy with such questions of quality, as one author and motorcycle enthusiast, Robert Persig (Zen and the Art of Motorcyle Maintenance ) did to the point of requiring shock therapy. 

Regards,

Richard L.
Title: Re: New member needing help
Post by: LJ. on 07.12. 2008 11:25
Although I disagree with fitting other makes and alien parts to bikes, I have to accept that if one wants to do that then they are quite entitled to do so. However I disagree strongly to having a bike machined to the point where the next owner cannot refit an original part again if he should want to. It's at this stage then I'd have to agree with David and ask JD (or anyone else for that matter) if he had thought of purchasing a much more modern bike.

By the way... Good of you to join us JD, Keep with us we might even be able to puesuade you to change your mind yet...  *smile*

[I must get out to replace those hex bolts on the primary case with the 'proper' cheese head types!]  ;D
Title: Re: New member needing help
Post by: JDFitz on 07.12. 2008 16:48
Thanks for the info folks.  What I am planning to do with this bike is make somewhat of a cafe/street tracker style bike. I have every intention of putting a lot of miles on this thing once I finish it. The reason for wanting a Japanese or maybe HD front end is because they are much more common around here. British stuff is as rare as chicken's lips in these parts, hence much more expensive IF you could find some parts. If I could pick up an A10 front end cheap enough, I'll probably use that. At least I've decided not to use an XS650 engine for this build. As far as an oriental bike, I have an '08 suzuki GSXF 650 which I commute on. Its a great bike, but can't even come close to the coolness of an old BSA. 
Title: Re: New member needing help
Post by: RichardL on 07.12. 2008 17:30
JD,

If you don't already have one, you need a parts book for your year and model bike, regardless, I think, if you plan a custom bike or not. British Only or Domiracer should be able to sell you one of these at a reasonable cost. The lack of parts in LA should not present a problem, if you are willing to do some searching online and pay some shipping.  There are plenty of stock original and replica front-end parts out there. I have owned my
A10 since '73, crashed in '79 and started rebuild in '03. As I often tell people, the rebuild would have been near impossible in the '80s or early '90s, but there are so many online sources now that it is not that much of a problem. Below are just a few of the links you might want to look at. The first three are in Europe and will take you directly to their fork parts page.  The second four are in the U.S. and will take you to the home page of each company. I believe that others on this forum will be more than happy to steer you to other good parts sources, especially if they think they can convince you to go with an A10 front end.

Sorry, but I must go now, as I believe I here my chicken whistling.

Richard L.


http://www.basmotor.se/eng/index.html
http://www.draganfly.co.uk/shop/pi-1639534984.htm?categoryId=590
http://www.vintage-motorcycle.com/index.php?language=en&site=9&suchtext=fork
www.domiracer.com
www.britishonly.com
www.britcycle.com
www.klempfs.com
Title: Re: New member needing help
Post by: LJ. on 07.12. 2008 17:40
... and consider the day when you sell it... An original front end may well hold a better selling price for you than a Japanese front, not matter how good the handling is.

Just my tuppence worth...  *smile*
Title: Re: New member needing help
Post by: fido on 07.12. 2008 18:02
I put a Honda front end on my B31 and it was good fun winding up the purists. I put the BSA bits back on before I sold the bike. The brakes fitted to our bikes were adequate in their era since nobody else had good brakes. These days you are likely to be behind a hot hatch with 8 pot calipers or whatever and nearly everyone else on the road can out-brake an old BSA.I therefore have no argument with those riders who modernise parts of the bike concerned with safety.
Title: Re: New member needing help
Post by: JDFitz on 07.12. 2008 20:04
Thanks for the links manosound. They should be helpful with this project. I have already ordered a Haynes repair manual and will be ordering others as well. I have no plans on selling this bike. I also have no plans on chopping up the frame or making any mods that could not be easily converted back to stock. Upgrades for safety, reliability, good handling, and reliability are top priority. Remember, this thing was abandoned in the woods, with small trees growing around it and vines through it. Had it been a nice original, I doubt I'd consider anything but a factory original resto to it. Since its not in great original condition, I have the opportunity to build it to fit my preferences. Hopefully, there will be at least one more BSA on the road in the future.
BTW, does anybody here read The Horse magazine? The Nov. issue has a really cool '58 A10, a Norton cafe and Triumph street tracker in it. Here's a link..

http://www.thehorsemag.com/
Title: Re: New member needing help
Post by: RichardL on 09.12. 2008 12:35
JD,

Have you seen this?

 http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/CERIANI-MOTOCROSS-FORKS-TRIUMPH-RICKMAN-BSA-DUCATI-AJS_W0QQitemZ260327187590QQcmdZViewItemQQptZMotorcycles_Parts_Accessories?hash=item260327187590&_trksid=p4506.c0.m245&_trkparms=65%3A3%7C39%3A1%7C240%3A1318

I have no idea if it is a correct physical (not, emotional) fit. Ceriani sitll exists, so I suppose you could call them.

Richard L.


Title: Re: New member needing help
Post by: A10Boy on 11.12. 2008 17:18
I'm not a thread counter, and Ive got nothing against Safety modifications, but I tend to agree with David, what makes a bike a BSA is that its a BSA in its entirety, with all the character [and faults] that comes with a BSA and if you stick a Japanese front end on it, it wont be a BSA.

I would say to the Gentleman, don't take the easy option, do your best to find a BSA front end and use that and you will love it. Failing that, I'll buy a 250 honda off ebay and swap you for it.
Title: Re: New member needing help
Post by: JDFitz on 11.12. 2008 17:58
I bought a set of triple trees for an A10 off Ebay a couple of days ago. Those Ceriani forks look sweet, the price on those is a bit much for me. I understand those who wish to keep their bike as original as possible, but remember, I'm not going for a stock restoration. A10Boy, I have no desire to have a Honda 250 but thanks all the same A10Boy.
Title: Re: New member needing help
Post by: snowbeard on 11.12. 2008 19:45
sweet. glad you found the forks!  I'm far from a purist, but I do appreciate a custom being left unmolested so someone in the future can put all the right bits on it, even if you can't find them or afford them now.  its fun to mess with things, and if it can be reversed and gets a bike back on the road, I say go for it.

now the big thing is you gotta get some pictures up!! :-)
Title: Re: New member needing help
Post by: A10Boy on 12.12. 2008 16:46
JD, you said it had been abandoned in the woods.

That is an interesting story, did you just find it, or are they your woods. Do you know when / who / how it was abandoned, what sort of condition is it in ? I can imagine a bike being out in the woods for a long time would be in real bad condition. Can you tell us anymore about it, does the engine turn over etc etc ?

Regards
Title: Re: New member needing help
Post by: JDFitz on 12.12. 2008 17:39
JD, you said it had been abandoned in the woods.

That is an interesting story, did you just find it, or are they your woods. Do you know when / who / how it was abandoned, what sort of condition is it in ? I can imagine a bike being out in the woods for a long time would be in real bad condition. Can you tell us anymore about it, does the engine turn over etc etc ?

Regards

The wooded area is not mine, it is near a good friend's home.  My Dad was a Deputy Sheriff so I gave all of the info on the bike (year, make, model, engine and frame numbers) to him and the bike was definately not stolen, just abandoned and for how long, I don't know. The frame isn't in bad condition at all, the paint is shiny black and really thick, though it will be getting stripped and repainted later on. The 19" rear wheel's chrome is flaking off badly, but the old goodyear grasshopper is still holding air. The engine and trans are in unknown condition. I have removed the rocker box, and stripped down the head - looks like someone had done a top end rebuild as the combustion chamber is clean and valves look new. The tops of the pistons are fairly clean but so far, thats as far as I've gotten. I cannot turn the engine over. The engine may be toast (good reason for tossing it out). I'll have to make an engine stand to put it in so I can finish tearing it down to find out what's hiding inside. I'll be removing the trans and tearing it down also.
Title: Re: New member needing help
Post by: RichardL on 12.12. 2008 20:06
Not that I normally use this term, but, "Saints protect us!"

Throw nothing away. One of the themes in this forum is that there is a limited pool of parts out there and that which might be restored by someone else should be sold to or given to such a person to keep the parts pool alive.

Richard L.
Title: Re: New member needing help
Post by: JDFitz on 12.12. 2008 20:53
Not that I normally use this term, but, "Saints protect us!"

Throw nothing away. One of the themes in this forum is that there is a limited pool of parts out there and that which might be restored by someone else should be sold to or given to such a person to keep the parts pool alive.

Richard L.

Whoa there manosound, I didn't mean that I would ever throw it away, not a hardcore packrat like me. I meant that engine damage MAY have been the reason for it having been discarded in the woods in the first place. Believe me, if there's something I don't want/need, I'll offer to others, either for a reasonable price, trade or even sometimes free.
Title: Re: New member needing help
Post by: scotty on 13.12. 2008 16:48
Greetings JD and welcome to the forum

I came across these pics on the web and it looks a bit like what you're contemplating doing.
This rig has Ceriani forks and Yamaha racing hubs/brakes.

As much as I appreciate the work and ingenuity of mods like this I couldn't do it...largely  due to the fact that if I go faster than 40mph I get a nose bleed thus the factory front end and brakes on my 55gf will do just fine !...
 
..but hey....it's whatever floats your boat...I see nothing wrong with improving your ability to brake and having a smoother front end.

I second what the learned fellows on this forum have already mentioned.....keep all the original stuff...you may need them some day.

Good luck with the re build and safe riding !

Cheers

Scotty
Title: Re: New member needing help
Post by: A10Boy on 14.12. 2008 20:19
JD, Thanks for your story, by the sounds of it, you have a long way to go before you have to worry about what forks and front wheel to run.. Good luck with it.
Title: Re: New member needing help
Post by: JDFitz on 23.12. 2008 10:14
JD, Thanks for your story, by the sounds of it, you have a long way to go before you have to worry about what forks and front wheel to run.. Good luck with it.

Yeah, I do have a long way to go. I'd like to get a front end on this thing soon so I can move it around easier and so it can start to look like a motorcycle. I have already picked up a set of triple trees for an A10, so I'll be using BSA forks, probably.
Thanks for the pic Scotty, a front brake like that is something along the lines of what I'd like.