Author Topic: 1938 DOHC BSA  (Read 518 times)

Offline Greybeard

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1938 DOHC BSA
« on: 24.07. 2022 09:45 »
I believe this is a BSA 1938 DOHC prototype.
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Online Klaus

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Re: 1938 DOHC BSA
« Reply #1 on: 24.07. 2022 10:50 »
They have tested this prototype, and there was some problems with the oilfeed and overheating. The outbreake stopped all tries to slove this problems, war produktions comes first. After the war the Goldy was the top range and the A7 Longstrocke come to light. Cammys are a expensive construktion, and BSA throw an eye to feed the a big crow of publik with reliable bikes.

60 years later  Kawasaki introduced the W650, and if you compare the engines you will see, they look very simillar.

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Offline BSA_54A10

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Re: 1938 DOHC BSA
« Reply #2 on: 25.07. 2022 05:43 »
Go back a few years and remembe a thing called "the great depression" and look at how many motor vehicle companies failed to survive.
During that time BSA realised that the days of high profits were gone as were the days of specialist motorcycles .
They also realised that they were marketing up to 20 models with little other than the gearbox hub retainer common to the range so they set off on the rationalization path.
The OHC was one of the designs that made it into metal for evaluation .
The idea was to use as many common parts as possible across the range.
Thus the commuter C range in 250 & 350 , the sports B range from 250 to 500 & the M heavyweight range from 350 to 600 .
Pre war sales showed that the 350 C 12 was too expensive for the commuters , the 350 M 19 too underpowered for the chair haulers & the 250 B 20 21 & 22 not  competative so all of them got dropped from the post WWII line up
The M24 Gold star was untouchable pre WWII so became the B 34 post war.
There was no way the board would authorise making an OHC 500 to challenge their own very successful push rod 500 as a stand alone engine at a substantially higher price and a 350 version would have been uneconomic .
Tooling for a new model was (and still is ) very expensive and the predicted market sales would not have covered the tooling costs let alone developement cost plus make a profit.
Remember in the UK it was "production racing" that generated the sales not exocit one off factory race bikes .
The same logic was applied to the decision to recommence production of the already obsolete C range rather than the cut down A 7 and in that case the A 2.5 & 3.125 would have been quicker & cheaper to make than the C range but the board could not wear tossing the C tooling out at a loss .
They were making C's as fast as they could and were selling them all every season plus the tooling was not due for replacement & had not covered it's developement costs .
Add to that while BSA was flush with cash, the UK was bankrupt
As such the UK government did two things
1) introduced a massive tax on undistributed profits , designed to get more money flowing in the internal economy
2) retained the ministry of supply dsigned to restrict materials , much of which was imported so it could have been diverted into export goods marketed into the USA as the UK had a massive debt  to the USA  that had to be paid off
So every pound of iron, steel, copper & aluminium had to be authorised by the goverment .
And from memory the ministry of supply remained there till the Thatcher government.
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Offline a10 gf

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Re: 1938 DOHC BSA
« Reply #3 on: 25.07. 2022 20:30 »
The looks of motorcycles of that time period is fabulous.


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Online Joolstacho

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Re: 1938 DOHC BSA
« Reply #4 on: 27.07. 2022 02:01 »
"I still don't understand why BSA did not pursue this engine after the war."

Most likely the same thing that killed off the excellent KSS Velocette. Cost.
It was before OHC cam drive chains were reliable enough, so they, like this Beezer had a vertical shaft drive for the cams, involving all those intricate pinions, shimming, - lots of machining costs, not to mention many more hours assembly costs. I heard that the OHC Ducati single engines typically took a skilled fitter a whole shift to assemble properly.

Online Rex

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Re: 1938 DOHC BSA
« Reply #5 on: 27.07. 2022 08:44 »
Alternatively, the demand for ordinary every-day motorcycles post-War was so high that the company could make lots of money solely from the bread-and-butter models and not bother with anything high-end.
V-twins were seen as crude side-car luggers from a by-gone era rather than an engine design to persist with, so BSA etc were unlikely to offer those in the 1940s/50s either.
Singles and parallel twins....they couldn't sell enough of them back then.

Offline BSA_54A10

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Re: 1938 DOHC BSA
« Reply #6 on: 28.07. 2022 07:20 »
Much of Europe was in a mess many countries put a capacity limit on car & motorcycle engines made locally and far more restrictions on impotrts  to conserve dwindleing fuel supplies.
Thus Europe went into cycle motors & sub 200cc motorcycles big time
Petrol was not particulary good in the UK either and the demob money quickly ran out so again it was the grey porridge that caried most motorcycle companies forward .
It is easy to forget just how well off we are today and even harder to see history through contemporary eyes.
I had a neighbour who was a todler durning the carpet bombing of Dresden.
She came to Australia when she was 28 and that was the first timeshe actually saw an orange let alone ate one.As she used to say, Germans ore often depicted as being "sour pusses". you try living for 5 years on nothng more then Whey porridge , powderd eggs & powdered milk with the odd high protein biscuit as a treat  see how jovial you become .
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Online Rex

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Re: 1938 DOHC BSA
« Reply #7 on: 28.07. 2022 08:24 »
So say she was born in 1940 then, so that would make it 1968 when she first saw an orange?
I take it this was the Communist Utopia of East Germany, as I recall West German fruit and veg shops having the same produce as we did back in the 1960s.

Offline BSA_54A10

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Re: 1938 DOHC BSA
« Reply #8 on: 29.07. 2022 11:46 »
No Idea
Like a lot of Germans & Japanese she did not talk much about the "old country"
The Orange story cam about when we were having a cuppa in her place and there was some clot bemoaning a first world food dilema
It was just some thing that stuck in my head and of course living down here we never really think about how difficult it must have been in totally bombed out German cities.
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Trevor