Author Topic: How to Evaluate an A7/A10 For Purchase  (Read 926 times)

Online RichardL

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How to Evaluate an A7/A10 For Purchase
« on: 13.01. 2009 19:52 »
I've copied over my comments from another post as yeast to start a discussion of what to do and how to evaluate an A7 or A10 when considering it for purchase. This is all I can contribute at this moment (taking a mind break at work), but I hope to add to the discussion.

Richard L.

Correct me if I'm wrong, we're talking near-original classic BSA motorcycles, not rat-rod choppers that might be sold by more questionalble types. If there is concern about being robbed for cash, don't carry it to the first meeting. If you're not comfortable evaluating the motorcycle on your own, take one of those friends from the club along with you; buy the lunch and beer, including for the seller. Also, this would help to allay any concerns of robbery (I think no more likely than daily life). Finally, my assumption completely without substantiation, is that the likelihood of running into thieves or, even, persons of unscrupulous sales intentions may be less in the UK than the US.

No doubt this will bring a flurry of "oh, you naive lad"s from my friends on the forum, but I am taking the "think positive" side of this discussion.

Richard L.
Plan on signing up for the world-wide 2020 DISTINGUISHED GENTLEMAN'S RIDEon September 27, 2020. This year it's a solo or pillion ride in dapper attire. Watch website at for details.

Online groily

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Re: How to Evaluate an A7/A10 For Purchase
« Reply #1 on: 13.01. 2009 20:47 »
It is so good that there are 'glass half-full' people like you Richard. Having lived both sides of the pond, I'm not sure about the intrinsic qualities of either of our English speaking races! I think on balance I may fall for the blandishments of our friends your side more easily than our friends this. It's your charm, you know. Even on a mind-break!

Personally, I think the important things when looking at 'buys' are these:

1. if you want a machine that is per original spec for its year, pay serious attention to the tinware, the fittings and fixtures and colours and chrome, wheels, forks and brakes and be sure to have done your homework re frame and engine numbers. Has it got the brakes it should have, the right carb, the right instruments, the right bars and levers in the right combinations, stands, whatever whatever? Are all the little bits there? How much of it is pattern parts, or worse still plastic? The small parts are often the hardest to find - eg air filter parts, correct headlamp ears, etc etc.
I say at once that this largely excludes me as I have no idea what goes with what in terms of chronology or what colour it should be. But I know these things can cost money to sort out if they are wrong and the info is all out there, or here, or somewhere. All sellers make light of these things, of course . . .

2. if, on top of the right bits in the right places, you want working mechanicals and electrics etc, then I have to say I believe we're in lottery territory if it's not a known bike. It might be great, it might be horrible. If it starts and runs and makes no horrible noises, it could be fine for years . . . or days. Or minutes. While I'm happy to run stuff 'as bought' - if it runs at all - I always expect to have to pull the oily bits apart sooner rather than later. For most of us with As - I exclude variants with funny strokes, special parts or other sorts of unobtainium - the basic bits are actually available and cheap. If originality is important, far better to buy a correct machine with the right mix of bits but with honestly-tired mechanicals than to do the other thing. Although we focus on them here a lot, the oily bits are the cheap ones. Maybe that's why I like them . . . .

My problem, of course, is that I don't really give a stuff about the shiny bits, nor for 'originality' in all things. I always fall for things that run right and handle right (for a day at least!) and can be made into mile-eaters that don't break down too often. Natch, it's a bonus if they look semi-right too.

However, the difference between the things that I have and the better things a lot of people prefer to own can be a lot of $$$, £££ or Euros. Good 'oily rag' is, though, often better than 'shiny but shame about the trailer'.