Author Topic: HELP! Frame and Model ID, Rigid A7 Frame w/Super flash dogleg?  (Read 1556 times)

Offline Sluggo

  • Serial Hoarder, or Eccentric Collector depending on viewpoint
  • Resident Legend
  • *****
  • Join Date: Jun 2017
  • Posts: 639
  • Karma: 11
okay, besides my other BSA twins, THIS frame is my primary reason for finally signing up on here.
This site and the BritBike forum seem to have the highest concentration of BSA nutters out there.
I plan on trying to contact Myles Raymond of Scotland shortly as well, his new websites are GREAT resources and we used to exchange emails many years ago when I was first researching early BSA stuff.   I have a number of BSAs I need to get dating certificates on as well and plan to send the BSAOC a nice donation and a list of machines to date and get info on, so that is on the agenda as well.

So, this is my new acquisition and highly ironic that I am in downsize mode and selling off stuff and I ended up getting a new project at the same time.  That in itself is a story all of its own.
But the short version is I often end up offering advice to others or asked to consult.  I only know enough to be dangerous, and whenever you THINK you might be an expert you end up humbled at a new mystery. 

So, Many years ago in early 1990s I ran into a genuine Super Flash A10 locally. Resources were thin on the ground and few people even know what they were.  I also over time collected 2 Plunger early 50s A10s.  The plan was one restored with a few sensible mods, (For the Mrs..) and the other as a "Hot Flash" with alloy head, hi-comp pistons, cam, and other bits. so basically a Him & hers pair.  At one point I hosted an Ozzie who gifted me a genuine Super flash tank (Slight differences between a std golden flash).  But I mentioned this story in another thread in response to a WTB SuperFlash in the classifieds so see it there about what happened to that tank.

But now.. I am wondering if I made a mistake as possibly need it.

So, back on track. I got an email from a young gentleman who likes custom bobbers and does some nice work.  (he has skills)  I about fell out of my chair.  I have never heard of a rigid frame A7/A10 frame with the Dogleg down tube. My understanding was they only were on a limited number of Super Flash frames.  I have poked around all of my resources and cannot find any evidence of anything other than the limited prod run (52-53) of Super flashs having this dog leg.   The Frame stampings are also baffling, but BSA numberings were not all that cut and dried.  The frame is stamped ZA7R 698X (You have a 1 in 10 chance of figuring out the last digit, I am not posting the full 4 digits online)

Based on my research the ZA7R signifies a 1949 A7.  Star Twins were ZA7S or SS, Based on what I see the R was only used in 49.The 4 digit Vin falls in what I think should be a 53? Correct me if I am wrong.. the BSA resources say 1949 Bikes start at 101 and I doubt they built nearly 7000 machines that year. (* maybe wrong?).

So, I made the guy a offer of a trade. He ended up with a 52 Triumph frame from my stash. I now own this and saved it from being a chopper-bobber. I figured its way more rare and needed saving. (Please Mom! It followed me home! Can we keep it? Ill take care of it and love it and squeeze it,,please please Mom!).

So, as I told the guy, A) Somebody had a Superflash or? and swapped rear sections from the Spring frame to rigid B) Somebody modded a stock A7 rigid (I doubt it) C) This is a rare variant I can find no info on D) This (Extreme Long shot) could be a factory race frame??

So, a bit of a stretch, Oregon is home to one of the BSA wrecking crew alumni, Kenny Eggers.  Wouldnt it be cool/amazing/unbelievable this was connected to him and the infamous BSA race team who kicked Harley Ass at Daytona?

So heres a few pix, please tell me what you think.  As to my plans?
#1) Find out what it is and should be
#2) If culturally significant restore to as correct as possible
#3) If marginally significant then I plan to have some gearhead fun.  I Will then build it as a streetable BSA hotrod tribute to the BSA Wrecking crew.
I have just like the 6 mllion dollar man the parts to make it faster, better and date farrah fawcett.  Alloy head w/ dual carb mods, hi comp pistons, cams, and possibly use one of my stash of late Super rocket cranks and other bits.
As a serial hoarder...scratch that, eccentric collector I have the bits to build this. Forks, wheels, sheetmetal, motors and trans. etc etc..

(pictured is the frame in question and my plunger A10 in the shop I am mocking up)

Good Advice
0
No reactions
Remember that any advice received on a free internet forum is generally worth about 1/2 of what you paid for it.
We overcharge every 3rd customer to pass the savings onto you.
You can have High Quality, Low price, and fast turnaround. Pick any 2, Never all 3 at the same time.

Offline Sluggo

  • Serial Hoarder, or Eccentric Collector depending on viewpoint
  • Resident Legend
  • *****
  • Join Date: Jun 2017
  • Posts: 639
  • Karma: 11
Here is a few more to illustrate the discussion, I dont have all my paper copies scanned so slurped these from other discussions and websites, pardon their use but illustrate my issues.

2 of these I borrowed from Myles Raymonds website so he deserves credit for those,,,

( Kenny Eggers and his wife at Portland meadows, and Portland Meadows, Oregon 1954. No. 83 is Dick Mann on Kenny's 1952 A7 and no. 59 is Kenny on his 1954 A7. Dick won the ameatur and Kenny the expert. The gentlemen standing behind are Ang & Don Rossi, dealers & tuners from Santa Rosa.)
---------------------------------------------------------
BSA pit stop discussions on early BSA frames and especially Plunger model frames, but touches on the BSA Star twins and some competition models.  One of 6000 thread topics that cover BSA on that page.  Some of these people actually know what they are talking about and correct 80% of the time on any given subject. But tons of links and leads for research.
See: http://www.britbike.com/forums/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=534389


Good Advice
0
No reactions
Remember that any advice received on a free internet forum is generally worth about 1/2 of what you paid for it.
We overcharge every 3rd customer to pass the savings onto you.
You can have High Quality, Low price, and fast turnaround. Pick any 2, Never all 3 at the same time.

Offline Sluggo

  • Serial Hoarder, or Eccentric Collector depending on viewpoint
  • Resident Legend
  • *****
  • Join Date: Jun 2017
  • Posts: 639
  • Karma: 11
Ooops, One more..
Good Advice
0
No reactions
Remember that any advice received on a free internet forum is generally worth about 1/2 of what you paid for it.
We overcharge every 3rd customer to pass the savings onto you.
You can have High Quality, Low price, and fast turnaround. Pick any 2, Never all 3 at the same time.

Offline trevinoz

  • Newcastle, N.S.W. Australia.
  • Wise & Enlightened
  • *
  • Join Date: Jul 2006
  • Posts: 2922
  • Karma: 67
When the plunger frame was introduced it had the "S" suffix to denote "spring frame".

From that time the rigid frames gained an "R".
ZA7 frames are from 1949 - 52.
BA7 from 1953 to the end of production.
Good Advice
0
No reactions

Offline Sluggo

  • Serial Hoarder, or Eccentric Collector depending on viewpoint
  • Resident Legend
  • *****
  • Join Date: Jun 2017
  • Posts: 639
  • Karma: 11
Okay Trevinoz,,,Ill submit there is some logic to that, I did not see that in the BSAOC website ID page but you are probably correct.  So, more specific to my neediness and issues,, What do you think about this frame?
A) Would you agree this is PROBABLY a 51 frame based on the 4 digit vin of #698x?
B) Any idea how many rigids were made in 1951- 52 range? I was under the impression they are not common.
C) Most importantly,, What, dear lord WHAT is up with that Dog Leg downtube?

According to Draganfly and their chart.. They dont show an R suffix for rigid frames, but that does not mean they dont have them stamped.  But if you are correct, then it might appear its a 1951 A7 as they have this for A7 with a rigid frame...

See: https://www.draganfly.co.uk/data/pdf/bsa_vin.pdf

Md YR    Eng#     Eng#     Frame Rigid   Vin#start         Spring       Spring start       CC
A7 1951   AA7    101       ZA7                  6001            ZA7S        14001               500

It does not appear to line up with any possible A10 for the early 1950s, but I submit I could be wrong on that as well..

I am having fun playing with my new toy, and getting out parts and starting a mock up of it, But as you might surmise, I am VERY keen on getting a fix on what this thing is.  I would appreciate any input, opinions and suggestions.
Thanks for looking at my project.
Good Advice
0
No reactions
Remember that any advice received on a free internet forum is generally worth about 1/2 of what you paid for it.
We overcharge every 3rd customer to pass the savings onto you.
You can have High Quality, Low price, and fast turnaround. Pick any 2, Never all 3 at the same time.

Online beesa71

  • A's Best Friend
  • ***
  • Join Date: Sep 2015
  • Posts: 33
  • Karma: 1
Sorry if I've missed it in the thread but what does the Despatch Book say against this specific frame number?

Paul.
Good Advice
0
No reactions

Offline Sluggo

  • Serial Hoarder, or Eccentric Collector depending on viewpoint
  • Resident Legend
  • *****
  • Join Date: Jun 2017
  • Posts: 639
  • Karma: 11
I would be interested to know, I will be sending off for the BSAOC and see what they have to say.
I figure they would be the final authority.  (Dispatch records-Dating certificate)

But that might be some time yet before I/we have an answer back unless someone here has access.  I am hoping that someone can tell me soon.  (I did get a pm from a member here who said in a email they have info but have not spoken to them yet, so hopefully soon.

I have been digging in my books and looked up a digital version of the A7-A10 parts book on the BSA Kim the CD man compilation.  The book on my version leaves a bit to be desired..In the back of that version on page 50 is the factory version of the numbering system.  While they use S and SS for A7 versions, They dont show R models for rigid except for 49. So being a prbably 51 it seems reasonable the R would denote a rigid but thats not annotated in any of the numbering charts I have consulted.  (Multiple websites either)
Good Advice
0
No reactions
Remember that any advice received on a free internet forum is generally worth about 1/2 of what you paid for it.
We overcharge every 3rd customer to pass the savings onto you.
You can have High Quality, Low price, and fast turnaround. Pick any 2, Never all 3 at the same time.

Online olev

  • Brisbane, Australia
  • Resident Legend
  • *****
  • Join Date: Sep 2008
  • Posts: 518
  • Karma: 3
Gday Sluggo,
Don't want to rain on your parade but that dogleg downtube looks modified to me.
It looks like its welded to the back of the cast fitting rather than go in a hole like the one in the frame diagram.
Hope I'm wrong.      cheers
Good Advice
0
No reactions

Offline spanersc

  • A's Best Friend
  • ***
  • Join Date: Dec 2008
  • Posts: 169
  • Karma: 1
  • Cambridgeshire. UK
Hi. I'm with Olev on this one.   I have a 1950 2 piece type rigid frame stamped from the factory as 'ZA7R' as have all the other late rigid frames that I've looked at.  I think this one started as a standard 'R' frame but someone has been 'at it'  The vertical tube should enter into the top junction not be tagged on to the rear face. I can also see some non-standard lugs below where the engine would sit. It could well have been modified to suit a totally different engine.
Good Advice
0
No reactions
Peter C    Cambridgeshire. UK   1935 Blue Star. 1937 B24 Empire-Star, 1950 A7 Rigid.  1952 A7ST.  1953 A7ST.  1953 A10 Super Flash.  1954 A7ST.  1955 A7SS.  1955 A10.  1956 A10RR.  1962 RGS.  1962 DBD34

Offline Sluggo

  • Serial Hoarder, or Eccentric Collector depending on viewpoint
  • Resident Legend
  • *****
  • Join Date: Jun 2017
  • Posts: 639
  • Karma: 11
Thank you gentleman for your attention to this matter and your insights.  And THANK YOU as well as confirmation of the R stamping for years other than the 49 for rigid models. That is important first hand knowledge that I was seeking.  (We are getting closer!!)  I know of only one other rigid frame twin in my area (Its down near the California border last I heard) so dont have many examples in the flesh to compare to.
My first thoughts when I was emailed the pix of the frame was it was a modified frame, and it is possible it is. (I am not ruling that out) But I am leaning AWAY from that conclusion for a few reasons.  #1) Most people dont know or care about this obscure detail especially here in the US
#2) I have closely examined it, and I dont think its a NON Factory bodge or modification.  If it is,, somebody went to a LOT of trouble to make it look factory.  It has a certain crudeness that speaks factory production.  which is not easy to replicate.

I looked closely and took 4 more detailed close ups and hopefully this clears up a few things.  I also turned the frame over and looked down inside the frame tube with a bright LED light. (Down the rabbit hole with a nod to Lewis Carroll).   Looks pretty stock factory to me and no evidence of mods.  The downtube fits cleaning into the lower casting just like my other A10 frame, has the thru bolt securing it, and that part appears in good nick. There is tell tale braze around the casting features but nothing out of place.
Sadly, the rear tab for the top trans mount was crudely removed and sawed off which I will repair.  And YES.. as noted, there IS some non standard other tabs welded to the frame.  As I mentioned before,, when found at a powdercoating shop in Portland, it had a A65 motor sitting in the frame along with non standard BSA B50 Forks, and wheels.  Until I intervened it ALMOST became a Triumph Bobber.

Take a look at these 4 photos and let me know your thoughts. If any other details needed please let me know.  I will be mocking the bike up with parts I have on hand. (Cant help myself,, new toy)
Good Advice
0
No reactions
Remember that any advice received on a free internet forum is generally worth about 1/2 of what you paid for it.
We overcharge every 3rd customer to pass the savings onto you.
You can have High Quality, Low price, and fast turnaround. Pick any 2, Never all 3 at the same time.

Online chaterlea25

  • Wise & Enlightened
  • *
  • Join Date: Jun 2009
  • Posts: 3347
  • Karma: 47
Hi Sluggo,
The question seems to be about the top end of the dogleg tube ??
Photos from underneath and above  please

John
Good Advice
0
No reactions
1961 Super Rocket
1963 RGS (ongoing)

Offline Beeza

  • A's Best Friend
  • ***
  • Join Date: Oct 2014
  • Posts: 127
  • Karma: 3
Hi Sluggo, here's a couple photo's of a SF frame.
Cheers Thomas
Good Advice
0
No reactions

Offline duTch

  • Ricketty Rocketty Golden Flashback
  • Wise & Enlightened
  • *
  • Join Date: Oct 2011
  • Posts: 4540
  • Karma: 41

 I don't like to jump on bandwagons, but looks like time for credit to whoever did a good bodgy job on that  *beer*...having had another look at my Plunger frame- good spotting Olev.

 I've looked at that chart in my Kim the CD man CD, and thought I remembered an 'R' suffix
Good Advice
0
No reactions
Started building in about 1977/8 a on average '52 A10 -built from bits 'n pieces never resto intended -maybe 'personalised'
Have a '74 850T Moto Guzzi since '92-best thing I ever bought doesn't need a kickstart 'cos it bump starts sooooooooo(mostly) easy
Australia

Offline coater87

  • Wise & Enlightened
  • *
  • Join Date: Jul 2008
  • Posts: 1181
  • Karma: 6
 Yes some definite discrepancies. *conf*
Good Advice
0
No reactions
Central Wisconsin in the U.S.

Offline Sluggo

  • Serial Hoarder, or Eccentric Collector depending on viewpoint
  • Resident Legend
  • *****
  • Join Date: Jun 2017
  • Posts: 639
  • Karma: 11
It would appear in light of those pictures, that this is not a factory frame Dogleg, And we can put the issue to rest.  I want to thank everyone who weighed in as very helpful. 

At the moment I have some paint stripper on the downtube and in the process of taking that area down to bare metal in order to properly inspect the whole shebang and will update with pix tonight or in the AM.   I got a fair head of steam and did not immediately pick up on the top area and focused in on the bottom (my mistake) When i get carried away like that feel free to be more forceful. 

So, I am feeling a mix of disappointment and relief.  *IF* it was a culturally/historically significant bike (Still could be, but thats not as likely at this point) then there is a great deal of responsibility to not screw it up.  (I WILL add that I saved it from being cut up and being a custom bobber with a Triumph engine).   But had it been Daytona bike #5 it would have been very challenging to restore with all the right bits.

I AM feeling pretty happy about building a hot rod tribute bike using period BSA parts in the scheme of a street version of the BSA race bikes.  So, thats where I am headed at the moment.
I will be mocking it up and update with pix of that as well, and some of my other BSA preunit twins projects. 

Does anyone know the total number of Rigid frame twins (A7 & A10 ) Bikes built in 1951?

After many years not doing much wrenching and building, looking fwd to quality time in the workshop.
Thanks again to everyone. Very much appreciated!
Good Advice
0
No reactions
Remember that any advice received on a free internet forum is generally worth about 1/2 of what you paid for it.
We overcharge every 3rd customer to pass the savings onto you.
You can have High Quality, Low price, and fast turnaround. Pick any 2, Never all 3 at the same time.