Author Topic: Which Bike For Me  (Read 335 times)

Offline Mick Parry

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Which Bike For Me
« on: 16.08. 2019 13:51 »
Hi

I have been riding British bikes since 1967 and I tend to hold onto them for years before changing for something else. I would say 8 years is a typical time span for me and I only ran one bike at a time. This means I knew each bike well but don't have much experience of that many bikes.

Last year I sold my 1960 BSA GoldenFlash and have been cursing the day I did it ever since.  Basically the wife kept saying I was getting too old (I am now 70) and it was time to call it quits.

My last two bikes were BSA's, a 1960 B31 and finally the GoldenFlash.  I liked both of them and want to return to either of them which brings me to my question.

I would like a fairly light weight bike and was wondering if a rigid bike from the 50s is lighter than a bike from the 60s or are they the same.

At the moment I an angling towards a 1950s B31 but if anyone has any better ideas, I am open to suggestions.

If I can cruise at 45-50mph, I will be happy.


Online RDfella

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Re: Which Bike For Me
« Reply #1 on: 16.08. 2019 17:28 »
B31 would be good - and rigid is definitely lighter - but how's your back? As for age, Lee Onslow was still riding at 100 yrs old. Mate of mine is just selling his big Harley, having toured the States with it last year. He's 81.
'49 B31, '49 M21, '53 DOT, '58 Flash, '00 Firestorm, Weslake sprint bike.

Offline a10gf

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Re: Which Bike For Me
« Reply #2 on: 16.08. 2019 18:08 »
A twin of course *smile* but anything that makes you happy.

Easy kickstarting may be important, singles can be hard work? Decompression lever? Someone with B experience, opinions?

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Online edboy

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Re: Which Bike For Me
« Reply #3 on: 16.08. 2019 19:49 »
mick, how about an fs1e moped. 45 -50mph flat out, and virtually industructable.

Online muskrat

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Re: Which Bike For Me
« Reply #4 on: 16.08. 2019 20:54 »
G'day Mick.
A7 plunger with std/low comp pistons. Light and easy to kickstart. I'll keep mine till the day I die.
Cheers
'51 A7 plunger, '57 A7SS now A10CR, '76 XT500, '77 AG175 '83 CB1100F, '81 CB900F project.
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Online KiwiGF

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Re: Which Bike For Me
« Reply #5 on: 16.08. 2019 22:17 »
The bsa pre unit singles are a fair bit lighter than equivalent twins, I’ve a b31 rigid and a10 s/a, you can get an unexpected thump in the rear from rigids from time to time, but I find it’s only really a BIG thump above 50. You do need to dodge pot holes at low speed of course.

A viable alternative could be a c11? I’ve got a c11 rigid one I’m “re-commissioning” as a sideline project (saw it at auction selling FAR too cheaply, attending auctions to “just look” is dangerous!  *whistle* ). I’ve noticed the c11 shares quite a few parts with the b series, is very similar design, and is lighter still, and it’s easier to kick start. Another advantage is the coil ignition so no potentially pricy magneto issues  *problem* to deal with.
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Last had an A10 in 1976, in 2011 it was time for my 2nd one.

1956 Flash Frame EA7-168x Eng. CA10 913x, left BSA together for Liverpool, 5th Dec 1955.

B31 “hot rod” (yeah right)

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Online Brian

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Re: Which Bike For Me
« Reply #6 on: 17.08. 2019 07:08 »
I'm with Muskrat on this one, a plunger A7 would be ideal plus you would have more performance than you want (just in case!).

About the only downside I can think of is they can take a bit of lifting onto the centre stand so you would need a side stand unless you can find one of the later ones that has a side stand.

Online Angus

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Re: Which Bike For Me
« Reply #7 on: 17.08. 2019 08:55 »
a7a10.net/forum/index.php?topic=14524.msg121047;topicseen#msg121047  *smile*
1961 A7 since 1976
1960 A10 Gold Flash Super Profile Bike
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1952 Norton Model 7 Plunger (becoming a project)

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Re: Which Bike For Me
« Reply #8 on: 17.08. 2019 09:07 »
Twins take less effort to kick.

A7 is a bit lighter than the A10 and less effort to start. At 72 I'm reconditioning mine for an easier ride than the A10 and easier start than my single with the decompressor.

There are other smaller twin non BSA alternatives such as a Tiger 90.
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Online duTch

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Re: Which Bike For Me
« Reply #9 on: 17.08. 2019 09:42 »

 Angus, I'll repaste it into the readable hyperlink thingymajig for you ........

 a7a10.net/forum/index.php?topic=14524.msg121047;topicseen#msg121047

  *smile*
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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Offline Mick Parry

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Re: Which Bike For Me
« Reply #10 on: 17.08. 2019 09:56 »
Thanks for the responses, very much appreciated.

At the moment everything is pointing to a rigid B31 or A7.

Please keep the ideas coming.

Online Brian

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Re: Which Bike For Me
« Reply #11 on: 18.08. 2019 00:48 »
One small misconception that needs clearing up here is that a single is harder to kick over than a twin, its the opposite. A B33 for example is a lot easier to kick over than a A10. With a twin you have to actually kick the engine through compression, with a single you dont. Once shown how a six year old could start a B33.


Online KiwiGF

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Re: Which Bike For Me
« Reply #12 on: 18.08. 2019 01:39 »
One small misconception that needs clearing up here is that a single is harder to kick over than a twin, its the opposite. A B33 for example is a lot easier to kick over than a A10. With a twin you have to actually kick the engine through compression, with a single you dont. Once shown how a six year old could start a B33.

I have to agree with that, the b series have a de-compression lever arrangement, and manual retard, provided that is all working and the correct technique used (only kick on the piston down stroke) the flywheel does the rest by carrying the piston over the “next” compression stroke. It takes a while to learn the technique and you do need a good spark from yr ignition system.....but it’s very satisfying when you get it right.

There is also little (possibly zero) danger of “kickback” provided the retard lever is set correctly.

New Zealand

Last had an A10 in 1976, in 2011 it was time for my 2nd one.

1956 Flash Frame EA7-168x Eng. CA10 913x, left BSA together for Liverpool, 5th Dec 1955.

B31 “hot rod” (yeah right)

Armstrong Siddeley Whitley for rainy days (with wife).

GL1800 Goldwing not sure why yet

Online Black Sheep

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Re: Which Bike For Me
« Reply #13 on: 18.08. 2019 09:41 »
I had massive surgery some years ago which left me debilitated. The only bike I could start and ride was the B31. The A7 and A10 had to wait a good while until I was up to riding them. A lot to be said for an easy starting 350 single.
2 twins, 2 singles, lots of sheep

Offline Rocket Racer

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Re: Which Bike For Me
« Reply #14 on: 20.08. 2019 06:45 »
personally at 70 I wouldnt touch a rigid as they are hard on the kidneys unless you wear a kidney belt or like peeing blood  *sad2*
but the plungers are all lighter and nice and low.

these days electric leg conversions available for the bigger engines.

If you are concerned with stands and balance it has to be a sidecar  ;)

a nice cooking plunger beesa is a lovely thing, a good honest workhorse

budget is everything... a c11 is a slightly different option to a vincent outfit with an electric start
A good rider periodically checks all nuts and bolts with a spanner to see that they are tight - Instruction Manual for BSA B series, p46, para 2.
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