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71
Service Literature, Scans, Links, Documents / Re: What year is it?
« Last post by Sluggo on 14.11. 2019 08:24 »
This can be confusing to many people especially since the BSA ID charts are not as easily deciphered and parsed as some other models.   I often evaluate or end up offering advice to new people, either new to vintage bikes or the peculiarities of British Bikes.

Adding to the dilemma is that in the US the rules vary so much by city, county, State and Federal and seem constantly evolving.

For example, In some states they wont issue a title for a vehicle before a certain date. IE: some its 20 years and older, some 30.   So if you sell or relocate to one that does title it can be a sticky wicket.

I have found that exporting a motorcycle out of the US if its vintage has its own variables depending on the Port of departure and most definitely the Port of destination.  (While In the military going in & out of Germany with a 1963 Chevrolet Nova was traumatic with German laws & rules.  I have several friends in Germany who import vintage motorcycles and while I am no expert, it seems like a headache)

But, it seems that with many countries they dont care about US Titles.  All they want is some official govt document and it does not seem to matter what.  So in several cases I sold bikes with a Notarized (Legal Doc.) Bill of sale, and a local DMV inspection of VIN Number and they cover it with official stampings and those sail right thru.  No title needed.

But BSA is confusing.  I have several Goldstars  2 of which are titled as the wrong year.  Its not worth arguing about and if I try to explain at the local DMV their eyes glass over and become agitated and annoyed.  They simply dont care.   IE: CB vs DB and then the DBD.  Throw in a ZB in a CB frame and just go crazy.  ( i have a winter project big fin DBD going into a early ZB Rigid frame, whole thing is a Bitsa- Bts of this and that.)

The later unit twins (A50 & A65) is especially vexing, especially to disinterested Govt employees seemingly hired absent any concept of motor vehicles.   In our local club, years ago 2 BSA owners were talking about their similar A65s and discovered both were sold by a local dealer and these were 68-69s so on those the numbers on the engine matched the frame, but each person had the others motors.  A engine swap was proposed but fell apart in negotiations.  One had paid a local shop to overhaul his and felt it carried a premium, However the other owner had a low opinion of that shop and considered it a liability, not an asset.
The conclusion was arrived at by discussing with the now elderly shop owner who admitted he often swapped out motors if there was a service problem or warranty issue.  Took them years to sort it out and complete the swap.

Here on the US west coast some dealers had more customers than machines to sell for certain models while other dealers had trouble moving inventory.   Factor in the changing policies and politics of BSA & Triumph and dealers who once competed against each other as in BSA vs Triumph were forced to homogenize and sell both brands in the early 1970s.

There is several models that were common here in the Pacific NW and unheard of elsewhere.  For example on Brit Bike John Healey, who has forgotten more about British motorcycles than most mortals will ever know, And While I greatly respect him, Occasionally John is wrong.  I have seen several posts where someone one will ask about a small production model, John, who was a East Coast New England dealer never saw certain models that were common here in PNW.

Case in Point, Triumph SR models, both 500 unit twins and 650.  (IE: T100SR, TR6SR, T120SR) So many of these were built for western Canadian dealers, circa 65-66 they had some sort of recession or economic distress that didnt seem to impact the US that much.

Dealers pay whats called "Flooring costs" as in most seek commercial financing to qualify for ordering vehicles and pay interest on it until sold.  Generally not a problem & CODB.  But if you had stagnant inventory the regional sales mgr becomes worried.  You might undercut other dealers and you might not order next years production. (Some dealers have to move X amount of units to be a dealer or qualify for best prices).

So US dealers were clamoring for more bikes and a deal was brokered by my local guy, Eldon Wright who at the time was the regional western US sales mgr. He arranged to take the bikes off the Canadian dealers, as well as facilitate new orders for next years bikes as well as back fill some US Dealers inventories who were selling as fast as they appeared on the sales floor. Win-Win right?

So heres where things got complicated.  So some of these bikes were manufactured well into the prev year for the next years production. (Made in late 64 for a 65 production bike) sat unsold, and then cycled to the US and sold in the 67 or 68 calendar year.

Many US DMVs title the vehicle in year sold so not unusual to see a bike titled as a 68 when it was a 65 model bike. Title and regis says its a 68.   VIN number says otherwise.
So, some DMVs leave it alone, some will correct it if you show them the evidence and books on the topic. However you often run into some owner who does not understand the issue.  Or a crusty old shop owner who never heard of that model on a internet forum.

Speaking of Crusty curmudgeon motorcycle shop owners, My old Friend Cliff "The Sandy Bandit" Mahjor owned Cycle hub here locally.  Cliff loved mixing things up.   I have photos of bikes he pulled out of crates and reconfigured with aftermarket or accy parts, or often swapped year specific parts onto other years & models.   Cliff sold many unsold old inventories from other dealers and in many cases repainted them as the current year models and few were the wiser.  In some cases, He simply didnt like the factory paints, colors or styling so redid them to his tastes and would argue all day with any one who pointed it out.

I have a few old NOS tanks and fender sets he sent out to area painters and were never installed on bikes.  Decades later, this confuses people.

I also have a 1974 Triumph B50 unit single and the original sales receipt says so.   It was purchased by my friend Lee who worked in South America, He had to spend 30 days in the US every year but was unaware that BSA had gone out of business.  He wanted to purchase a 500 cc BSA Unit twin (A50) But was distressed to find out BSA had cratered 2 years prior.
Tricorp had some unsold BSA B50 500cc singles that were MX bikes and many were sold as Triumphs and the tanks say Triumph right on them.  A persuasive sales pitch sent him down the road with a MX 500 thumper and cobbled on Bates headlight and accy tail light crudely added on and a new helmet as they would let him leave without one.   He rode the bike to Seattle and back to and parked it in his barn.  Been sitting since.

Another fun one is many US DMV employees, who again have no basis of understanding of manuf. & Mtr Vehicles freak out over old VIN numbers.

I currently have an ex customers bike and Washington State titled it as the casting number on the frame neck. (Not the VIN)   A fun one is, 3 digit Vin #s of which I have several of those.  Its best to explain
"Add 14 zeros and its all good"  Some are on board with that, some not.   I have seen BSA Titles where they think the Model and letters are part of the VIN # and even some add the HHC thats stamped on some models. 
Some states and US Jurisdictions title off the frame, some the motor, some both.  But try and explain a Y code BSA and have fun with that.

But cars are just as confusing.  I have a 1939 Plymouth Coupe and its got a 3 digit frame VIn and a seperate Body tag thats 3 digits as well.  Both are cow tags riveted on. (Small plain medallions also used for Livestock ID)  I have a Datsun/Nissan Pickup.  Technically its a King Cab 1972 Datsun 720 but no such thing exists.  Its actually a 1979  but I built it out of 2 trucks into one as I thought they should have made a king cab version and its roomier than the early 70s models.
Its easy to title it as the VIN tag is held on by 4 cheese head screws.

 
72
Clutch, Primary, Gearbox / Re: Speedometer driveshaft
« Last post by Swarfcut on 14.11. 2019 08:23 »
'58,  While the drive gear and carrier are removed, check how the small top hat spindle support bush is looking. If worn enough to need replacement, a nut and bolt plus spacer draw bolt arrangement and the good old hot air gun on the casting trick will get it out without drama. Try not to use any violence on that thin web of the casting.

Swarfy.
73
A7 & A10 Engine / Re: More problems starting.
« Last post by AdrianJ on 14.11. 2019 07:49 »
Yes it is a cheap tester, but the readings are consistent.
Adrian
74
Introductions, Stories & Pictures / Re: Sixty years on.
« Last post by RoyC on 14.11. 2019 07:04 »
aaahhh, the good old days eh, amazing how we so fondly remember the (actually!) bad old days lol, however, the biggest remembering of my BSA 1961 A7 days was thinking (a) will it start? ...after it had been parked in the rain while I was in college and (b) will I reach home tonight...in the rain? Countless times I had to leave the bike somewhere "safe" because it would stop when it rained, then later go back and pick it up, when it would start and drive perfectly gggrrr!
Something to do with the magneto and I tried EVERYTHING to seal it, to no avail, used to wrap a plastic bag around it if I thought it was going to rain that day, didn't help!!

I was 17 and went everywhere at full throttle.
I can remember changing the oil once in all the time I owned my 1961 BSA A7ss. I didn't have a hand book for the bike and , apart from the one oil change, never did any maintenance on it.
It NEVER failed to start.
It NEVER let me down.
75
Welcome Owen...  it looks like it's a early long stroke motor, with '56-'57 Ariel type hubs,
everything you need to complete her should be available, & I'm sure you'll get plenty of good advice from our experts on this forum.  *wink2*
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Introductions, Stories & Pictures / Re: Sixty years on.
« Last post by Jules on 14.11. 2019 01:09 »
aaahhh, the good old days eh, amazing how we so fondly remember the (actually!) bad old days lol, however, the biggest remembering of my BSA 1961 A7 days was thinking (a) will it start? ...after it had been parked in the rain while I was in college and (b) will I reach home tonight...in the rain? Countless times I had to leave the bike somewhere "safe" because it would stop when it rained, then later go back and pick it up, when it would start and drive perfectly gggrrr!
Something to do with the magneto and I tried EVERYTHING to seal it, to no avail, used to wrap a plastic bag around it if I thought it was going to rain that day, didn't help!!
77
Hi Owen, should be a great looking machine when done, please post up when finished, but I reckon you'll need ear muffs with the megaphones so close to your head lol  *lol* *lol*
78
Clutch, Primary, Gearbox / Re: Speedometer driveshaft
« Last post by Gerry on 14.11. 2019 00:24 »
Yep that was the same problem I had.....didn't realize there was media in the vapor blast. Put every thing together and buggered the bottom end!! Also tightened the big end bolts and then slackened them off to fit the split pins, luckily a friend who has a wealth of BSA experience noticed the side play in the rods (before it blew up) and re did the bottom end for me at extra big bucks...groan. Cheers Gerry
79
A7 & A10 Engine / Re: More problems starting.
« Last post by Duncan R on 13.11. 2019 22:50 »
Starting to get somewhere. Compression tester arrived.
LH cylinder 100psi, RH cylinder 20psi.
Got to find time now to get the head off and see what's happening.
I lost the nipple off the throttle cable a while ago, thought it came out the bell.
I'll find out early next week.
Adrian.
Careful with that tester, is a cheapo one of EBAY? I used one and it gave random readings leading me to believe that one cylinder was way down on compression and there was nothing wrong. This is quite common with these cheap testers
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