Author Topic: My A10 - A story of 28 years of alternating neglect, abuse and restoration...  (Read 4708 times)

Offline t20racerman

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Hi All

Just joined the forum and like what I see so far.  *smile*

I thought I'd share some photos and memories... I bought my A10 in bits in mid 1983 and built it up whilst an impoverished student at College in Coventry. I kept it first in my bedroom:

https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/_R1ON3dzeQqU/TQEnP_N_YBI/AAAAAAAADG0/ClbGqFXFtXk/s720/Irving%20%282%29.jpg


Here's another view that is more in focus:

https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/_R1ON3dzeQqU/TQEnQjPeuCI/AAAAAAAADG8/N74PofRgj4s/s720/Irving%20%284%29.jpg


When it was partly built, 5 or 6 of us carried it down the stairs and parked it in the back yard:

https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/_R1ON3dzeQqU/TQEnZaLKaxI/AAAAAAAADIo/ABhQzfr46To/s720/Irving%20%2824%29.jpg


Where, with a Trials Triumph tank bodged on I tried to get it started...

https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/_R1ON3dzeQqU/TQEnR9LNmJI/AAAAAAAADHM/Nsodm0EJ_Wo/s720/Irving%20%2823%29.jpg


I had spent a lot of time over the months of the rebuild walking back and forwards to the local Brit bike shop buying bits. I always looked very young and they honestly thought I was about 15-16 (I was 21!). When they realised I was 21 and actually going to ride it on the road, they bought me a stick-on beard so that I would look the part! Here's me modelling it:

https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/_R1ON3dzeQqU/TQEnC5etRQI/AAAAAAAADEc/awvhlZ_p4aw/s512/Irving%20%2829%29.jpg


Finally, a lovely shot of my beloved BSA and cat Zappa parked up in the back yard, circa 1984:

https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/_R1ON3dzeQqU/TQEnK6AB0GI/AAAAAAAADF4/yfYJHnR4vKY/s720/Irving%20%2837%29.jpg


Hope you like my pics.

I went on to use the bike for despatch riding in London, general transport for years, numerous bike rallies etc. Meanwhile I stripped it, rebuilt it, thrashed it, abused it, stripped it, restored it, abused and thrashed it, stripped it and am currently rebuilding it again!

More pics to follow if you want some..
Adrian


adm edit: images set to loading from forum server
1961 A10 - somewhat modified :-)
1980 TZ350 - lunatic Classic Race machine
1967 T20 Suzuki - heavily modified Classic Racer
1967 T20 Suzuki - pretty standard road bike
2007 KTM 660 SMC - fast and furious supermoto
Triumph 675 Speed triple
Ossa 250 and yet another T20 racer in bits both being built up

"If I had all the money back that I've spent on motorcycles... I'd spend it all on motorcycles!"

Offline jfligg

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Hey cool pics.  I dont know if I like the beard or the cat better.  The beard pic gave me a good laugh.  Cheers.  Jeff

Offline LJ.

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Sounds like a very well used A10! well done, BSA would be very proud of you. As for a bike in a bedroom well... lol that is dedication. (Don't think Mother would be proud though) Good to have you with us and thanks for sharing those memories, great stuff.
Ride Safely Lads! LJ.
**********************
1940 BSA M20 500cc Girder/Rigid- (SOLD)
1947 BSA M21 600cc Girder/Rigid-Green
1949 BSA A7   500cc Girder/Plunger Star Twin-(SOLD)
1953 BSA B33  500cc Teles/Plunger-Maroon
1961 BSA A10  650cc Golden Flash-Blue
1961 BSA A10  650cc Golden Flash-Red

Offline fido

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Yes, being in a student house had it's advantages. I wasn't in a student house but my first place I bought when I was 21 was a similar 2 up 2 down with the front door straight onto the street. I also didn't have a shed or any room for one so my A7SS and a few other bikes were rebuilt in the front room. At least it was warmer than the tiny garden shed I shared with my brothers bike, the mower etc when I lived with my parents. My dad was the inconsiderate sort who insisted on keeping his car in the garage.  ;)

Offline t20racerman

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I remember that house Fido - we had bikes in our downstairs too! The joy of student houses...  *smile*

Anyway, back to the story of neglect and abuse...
My BSA was my only transport through much of my student years and over time the tank cracked to be replaced by an unpainted one, the rust set in, bits were bodged on as and when until it looked a right mess. After my student days I started Despatch riding in London on it! It took some abuse, but never let me down in the 2-3 months that I used it every day before buying a cheap japanese bike. Here's me going to work on it one morning in 1986:

https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/_R1ON3dzeQqU/TVMUAXscWNI/AAAAAAAADpI/yVhMYIVh7g8/s720/8-29-2010%2015-3-46_025.jpg


The bikes last big trip out in that neglected state was the 1987 Dragon Rally. The silencer snapped off on the way up to N Wales and can be seen on this pic bungeed to the rack whilst parked up on the Dragon Rally site... It sounded great!

https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/_R1ON3dzeQqU/TORTdEi5U1I/AAAAAAAABVE/27VyM3Fv_uE/s720/1986%20pic%20%287%29.jpg


I restored it back to something like during 1987/88 and it looked pretty nice when done. Nothing like original, but certainly a lot lighter on the eyes!:

https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/_R1ON3dzeQqU/TOWed1WjxUI/AAAAAAAABvw/_88dSjPzhO4/s720/pic%20130.jpg


After that, it was sadly back to the usual thrashing, abuse and neglect....  *sad2*


adm edit: images set to loading from forum server
1961 A10 - somewhat modified :-)
1980 TZ350 - lunatic Classic Race machine
1967 T20 Suzuki - heavily modified Classic Racer
1967 T20 Suzuki - pretty standard road bike
2007 KTM 660 SMC - fast and furious supermoto
Triumph 675 Speed triple
Ossa 250 and yet another T20 racer in bits both being built up

"If I had all the money back that I've spent on motorcycles... I'd spend it all on motorcycles!"

Offline Stu55Flash

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Racer man

Great pics. I hope the Morris Marina and Mini Clubman are still well and our UK Top Gear team haven't got there hands on them! I am a native of North Wales - never fancied the Dragon Rally usually too much snow for me. I think your pics are on the Horseshoe pass?

Stu
"Keep a distance from lady "L" drivers in cars. Some are not mechanically minded, are slow to acquire road sense, an are apt to panic..." The Pitman Book of the BSA Twins.
Golden Flash Plunger 1955, Francis Barnett Falcon 67 1954, Ferguson TEA Tractor 1951. Looking for another project!

Offline fido

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I went through one winter with my rigid A7 as my only transport when the engine of my car blew up. The bike never missed a beat but the salt took its toll.  *sad2*

Offline t20racerman

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Back to the story.....

Poor old BSA was used and abused, taken to more Dragon rallies, ridden in salt etc and it slowly started to look rough again. (You may gather I'm not much of a bike cleaner and polisher!)

Around 1999 the trusty old bike was making a funny squeaking noise from the head when warmed up. I suspected a loose valve guide (I was right) and so I stripped the top end down. The guide was really loose, and the valves and seats pretty worn. Time to get the head done I thought.
I took it to Wimbledon Cylinder head shop and had the works done - gas flowing, new seats, valves guides etc. However, the rest of the bike looked quite bad and the frame in particular was rusting bad... so I stripped the whole thing down ready to rebuild it from the bottom up....

Firstly though, I decided to get my 1967 Suzuki T20 back on the road after a 19 year lay-up. So, I spent all my time and money on this, and left the BSA in bits spread around my garage...
Finished the T20 (see my site - www.t20suzuki.com) and then decided to do something I'd wanted to do since I was 17 - build a T20 based Classic Race bike to go racing on. I spent the next two years on this project before going racing for the first time in Sept 2002, and won the 250cc twins Championship in 2004! Meanwhile, the BSA stayed in bits spread around my garage....

The t20 needed constant rebuilding, constant money and I slowly developed it into the rocket-ship it is today (TZ350 crank, revs to 12,500rpm, CR125 pistons, nicasil on Ally liners, 60bhp...). Meanwhile, the BSA stayed in bits spread around my garage.... although I did get the frame powder coated and bought a few bits every now and again.

I loved racing, saved up and bought myself a 1980 TZ350 Yamaha. The most awesome bike I've ever ridden. Now though racing cost twice as much and the maintenance time doubled too. Great fun, but costly and time consuming and meanwhile, the BSA stayed in bits spread around my garage....

Finally, 2011 comes around and I'm really missing the old BSA. I keep looking at it and saying to myself "next year I'll do it..." (as I've said for the past 5-6 years) but then a good friend has a go at me and says "rather than keep saying you'll do it when you can afford the time and money, just assemble it as it is and get the thing going again!" Damned good advice!

I've started working on it quite a bit and finally it has pride of place on my bike workbench and I'm spending as many hours on it as I can. I WILL get it back on the road this summer.  *smile*

http://www.t20suzuki.com/cz/BSA1.jpg

and from the other side...

http://www.t20suzuki.com/cz/BSA2.jpg


It won't be the prettiest or best restoration you've seen, but it will be back to being used and loved again. I can't wait.
 *smile* *smile*


1961 A10 - somewhat modified :-)
1980 TZ350 - lunatic Classic Race machine
1967 T20 Suzuki - heavily modified Classic Racer
1967 T20 Suzuki - pretty standard road bike
2007 KTM 660 SMC - fast and furious supermoto
Triumph 675 Speed triple
Ossa 250 and yet another T20 racer in bits both being built up

"If I had all the money back that I've spent on motorcycles... I'd spend it all on motorcycles!"

Online muskrat

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G'day Adrian,
                  Good to see your love affair has returned.
That front wheel looks out of place. My place would do. You will bend the forks with a big handful of brakes.
Cheers
'51 A7 plunger, '57 A7SS now A10CR,  '83 CB1100F, 88 FXST .
Australia
Muskys Plunger A7

Offline t20racerman

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G'day Adrian,
                  Good to see your love affair has returned.
That front wheel looks out of place. My place would do. You will bend the forks with a big handful of brakes.
Cheers

It is an awesome brake, but to cope with this, I fitted GT750 front forks too - so no fork bending!  *smile*
It took a bit of modifying to get them in the BSA yokes - I had to get some new fork top bolts made up with a taper fitting to fit the BSA yokes, with a metric thread to suit the Suzuki forks. It also makes the forks 1.5" longer, but I quite like the look that gives, and the extra ground clearance comes in very useful too  *smile*
1961 A10 - somewhat modified :-)
1980 TZ350 - lunatic Classic Race machine
1967 T20 Suzuki - heavily modified Classic Racer
1967 T20 Suzuki - pretty standard road bike
2007 KTM 660 SMC - fast and furious supermoto
Triumph 675 Speed triple
Ossa 250 and yet another T20 racer in bits both being built up

"If I had all the money back that I've spent on motorcycles... I'd spend it all on motorcycles!"

Offline t20racerman

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Just had two more full days in the garage working on the BSA. It is such fun getting it back together. It is like meeting your best mate mate from years ago and remembering how much fun you used to have.  *smile*

Every single bracket, bolt and part has to be found from the depths of my garage, cleaned up and fitted. It can take ages just to find and fit something simple! I'm really hoping to be away on it the weekend after next... but still a lot to do, especially so as I'm racing this weekend at Brands Hatch and still haven't got the race bikes fully prepared!

Here is how it looks today:
1961 A10 - somewhat modified :-)
1980 TZ350 - lunatic Classic Race machine
1967 T20 Suzuki - heavily modified Classic Racer
1967 T20 Suzuki - pretty standard road bike
2007 KTM 660 SMC - fast and furious supermoto
Triumph 675 Speed triple
Ossa 250 and yet another T20 racer in bits both being built up

"If I had all the money back that I've spent on motorcycles... I'd spend it all on motorcycles!"

Offline t20racerman

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It is finished!!!

Finally, after 11 years off the road my BSA once again roared around the roads of Hertfordshire.  *smile*

It fired up first kick and sounded brilliant. I had a whole lot of cylinder head work done on it and it flies - even though I'm taking it steady until it all beds down. I just can't believe how much 'grunt' it has low down now.

Ok, it leaked oil from all the 'normal' places but I did 80 miles on it yesterday afternoon and the smile never left my face. I'm so pleased to have got it back on the road just two weeks before its 50th Birthday.

Can I just say a BIG thanks to you forum members - You have been so much help. Despite having this bike for years, and rebuilding it at least twice before, it is amazing what you forget, and also how much new stuff you can learn too! Thanks guys.

Right, off for another ride-out. Catch you later!
1961 A10 - somewhat modified :-)
1980 TZ350 - lunatic Classic Race machine
1967 T20 Suzuki - heavily modified Classic Racer
1967 T20 Suzuki - pretty standard road bike
2007 KTM 660 SMC - fast and furious supermoto
Triumph 675 Speed triple
Ossa 250 and yet another T20 racer in bits both being built up

"If I had all the money back that I've spent on motorcycles... I'd spend it all on motorcycles!"

Online bsa-bill

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Well done t20racerman, I'm four years ahead of you, hoping to be riding regular before I get to eleven years though

Quote
it is amazing what you forget
oh yes I do agree
All the best - Bill
1961 Flash - stock, reliable, steady, fantastic for shopping
1959 Rocket Gold Flash - blinged and tarted up  would have seizure if taken to  Tesco

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Well done mate. Smart looking bike. ENJOY.
Cheers
'51 A7 plunger, '57 A7SS now A10CR,  '83 CB1100F, 88 FXST .
Australia
Muskys Plunger A7

Offline MG

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Great job! Looks fantastic.
Don't start that abuse- and neglect-thing again now!  ;)
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1956 A10 Golden Flash
1961 Matchless G12 CSR

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