Author Topic: What year is it?  (Read 239 times)

Online WozzA

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What year is it?
« on: 12.11. 2019 09:18 »
BSA model Frame & Engine numbers..   *contract*
'51 Golden Flash Plunger
'57 Golden Flash Swingarm

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Online RoyC

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Re: What year is it?
« Reply #1 on: 12.11. 2019 09:43 »
BSA model Frame & Engine numbers..   *contract*


Something wrong here.
My bike is first reg 4 Nov 1958 but according to this list the engine number is a 1959  *eek*

My engine No CA7ss 5593

My bike is a 1958 A7SS
Stafford UK

Online duTch

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Re: What year is it?
« Reply #2 on: 12.11. 2019 09:49 »

 
Quote
....My bike is first reg 4 Nov 1958......

  I think that puts it in the '59 season
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
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Online RoyC

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Re: What year is it?
« Reply #3 on: 12.11. 2019 09:59 »

 
Quote
....My bike is first reg 4 Nov 1958......

  I think that puts it in the '59 season


So do I call it a 1958 or 1959 BSA ?
I have always said that it's a 1958 model.
My bike is a 1958 A7SS
Stafford UK

Offline Swarfcut

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Re: What year is it?
« Reply #4 on: 12.11. 2019 10:04 »
  Yes, the date of actual manufacture can be ahead of the model year or "season",  it appears the two do not coincide exactly. Next year's model production started after the summer shutdown, building stocks of new and updated variants for the motor show  and anticipated spring time demand.
    Roy,  buying in November probably got the first owner a good deal and the cachet of owning the latest model to use on the salted winter roads.

 Thanks woz...very useful.

Swarfy.

Online RoyC

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Re: What year is it?
« Reply #5 on: 12.11. 2019 10:50 »
  Yes, the date of actual manufacture can be ahead of the model year or "season",  it appears the two do not coincide exactly. Next year's model production started after the summer shutdown, building stocks of new and updated variants for the motor show  and anticipated spring time demand.
    Roy,  buying in November probably got the first owner a good deal and the cachet of owning the latest model to use on the salted winter roads.

 Thanks woz...very useful.

Swarfy.


When buying parts it will be best to refer to it as a 1959 model then ?
My bike is a 1958 A7SS
Stafford UK

Offline Swarfcut

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Re: What year is it?
« Reply #6 on: 12.11. 2019 11:27 »
Yes Roy, for catalogue and parts references it should be a '59, but as always, previous model parts may have been fitted around the changeover time. You may find some dating evidence on the crankcases, some carry an actual date, but this seems variable.  Lucas units  also carry a  simple coded date eg 7  58....July 1958 D.O.M.

Swarfy.

Online RichardL

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Re: What year is it?
« Reply #7 on: 12.11. 2019 13:05 »
Say a new "1957" Chevrolet Bel Air was bought in December of '56. I guarantee you, no one today is going to call it a '56.

Richard L.
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Online duTch

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Re: What year is it?
« Reply #8 on: 12.11. 2019 22:51 »

 The plate on my Gutzzi Model T is stamped August '74 so I've always called it a '74 even though I'm aware it's a ' '75 model' that I bought December '92 but don't call it a '92 either *smile*...I started with a BA10 ('53) engine stamped 23.12.52 but the frame I found to fit it is circa ~'56 (LJ crank/BF barrels, I usually just say it's mostly'50s- kinda)  so I reckon you got it easy *conf2* I say you can call it what you like  *beer* *beer*
 
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

Online WozzA

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Re: What year is it?
« Reply #9 on: 13.11. 2019 00:21 »
I once purchased a new Honda Civic car which was delivered the 15th December 1999,
The build plate said it was manufactured in Japan Frburary 2000..    *eek*
'51 Golden Flash Plunger
'57 Golden Flash Swingarm

Melbourne
The biggest lie I tell myself is
"I don't need to write that down, I'll remember it"

Offline muskrat

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Re: What year is it?
« Reply #10 on: 13.11. 2019 10:44 »
Grandad bought his first new car at the age of 61. A 1964 Holden EH in Dec 63 (I was 2). It's rego number was DEC-063
Cheers
'51 A7 plunger, '57 A7SS now A10CR, '76 XT500, '77 AG175 '83 CB1100F, '81 CB900F project.
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Online berger

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Re: What year is it?
« Reply #11 on: 13.11. 2019 13:31 »
you only have to see the millions of cars and vans parked up in fields and storage compounds to disbelieve your getting a brand new one. you just get a brand new registration plate. some I have seen on a walk to the pub *beer* have been there over two years with thistles growing round them and bird droppings plus tree sap eating into the paint. this is a perfect example of production being turned into profit---- not

Offline bikerbob

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Re: What year is it?
« Reply #12 on: 13.11. 2019 16:46 »
My 1963 BSA model A65 left the factory on 23rd October 1962 dispatched to a dealer in Bristol Kings Motors but was not first registered until 24th June 1963.

Offline Sluggo

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Re: What year is it?
« Reply #13 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.

 
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Online JulianS

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Re: What year is it?
« Reply #14 on: 14.11. 2019 10:09 »
Interesting bulletin from BSA in March 1954.

Note the numbers series for swinging arm Super Flash and swinging arm Star twin also listed.