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Thread: BSA A65

  1. #17
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    Spent most of my time as a baby in a double adult sidecar on the side of a BSA. Dads only transport at the time. Ma used to strap a suitcase on her back

  2. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by BillWright View Post
    Hi

    Ive just bought a 1970 A65 Thunderbolt. Its obviously been standing a long time, but the engine sounds quite solid.

    Can I ask where you get your spares/info from please.

    I'm undecided whether to make it usable or restore it like I did with a T140 & T160.

    SRM in Wales seem to be the most popular choice for a professional engine restoration, but prices start at about £2K, with around £5K the maximum.

    Unless someone has any other recommendations?

    Bill
    An engine overhaul is not that difficult. I'm restoring a 1967 triumph 650 engine and it's much easier than I thought. SRM may be good, they quoted me £2.5k just for the bottom end, but that IMHO is stupid money for basically a run around.

  3. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by BillWright View Post
    Hi

    Ive just bought a 1970 A65 Thunderbolt. Its obviously been standing a long time, but the engine sounds quite solid.

    Can I ask where you get your spares/info from please.

    I'm undecided whether to make it usable or restore it like I did with a T140 & T160.

    SRM in Wales seem to be the most popular choice for a professional engine restoration, but prices start at about £2K, with around £5K the maximum.

    Unless someone has any other recommendations?

    Bill
    For BSA I used Lightning Spares (now retired) and Burton Bike Bits http://www.burtonbikebits.net/

    For Triumph LP Williams http://www.triumph-spares.co.uk/index.php

    SRM are very good but bloody expensive, A65s are very easy to work on. All you need is a parts book, workshop manual and the internet

  4. #20
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    Update - The A65 is up and running and in daily use. Its an absolute blast and sounds fantastic. Ive left the original patina, but I changed seat, tank, silencers and a few other bits that were worn out or leaking, its huge fun....
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  5. #21
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    There is something about these old bikes that gets under the skin. Whenever I fancy a little ride on a nice day it's nearly always the BSA. Longer trips or going somewhere further the GS , a perfect pairing in my opinion .

  6. #22
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    That looks great. Leave it like that.

  7. #23
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    That Spitfire cut tank looks the dogs danglies

  8. #24
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    I agree, the Spitfire tank really sets it off, it was a cheapy Indian one. Not bad but a bit of a bastard to get to fit right. Its 2" taller than the standard tank, I had to get a mate to machine up a fitting to replace the original tank bolt set up, then gaffa tape thick foam on top of the top tube to bring it up into place.

    Its actually the sound of it I like most, it usually starts first kick, but it has to be a proper kick, a jump up on the kickstart job, but it fires up like rolling thunder. I'm not sure why they call these exhausts silencers, as they seem to actually magnify the sound if anything, its great.

    Real world quick enough too, its no slouch.

  9. #25
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    We were young bobbies, nineteen years old. I had the BSA A65 Lightning, my school buddy, we joined up together, bought the Velocette 500cc Thruxton. My 'Leetnin' would pull away and leave him standing, but about the 100mph mark, where my acceleration was petering off, still some left mind, but about 111mph was the road test max ....

    .... he would gain on me, come alongside .... bop bop bop ... snick it in to fourth (top gear to you younguns) and pull away

    Never did forgive him

    Adventure.GS
    Tours, training or custom made earplugs ... it's all here.

    "If you want the rainbow then you have to put up with a little rain" Dolly Parton

  10. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dozer View Post
    Update - The A65 is up and running and in daily use. Its an absolute blast and sounds fantastic. Ive left the original patina, but I changed seat, tank, silencers and a few other bits that were worn out or leaking, its huge fun....

    What a lovely old bike....No 'Garage Queen' just an up and running blast around sort of bike with masses of character....Loud, fast enough for what it's doing and so so so much fun.

    It's the sort of bike the got me into bikes in the first place......Great bike......

  11. #27
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    Lovely bike. Built a A65 hard tailed bobber a few years ago, great fun to ride and the TLS front brake was a peach. Shame the git that reground the crank managed to put 3 thou of taper on the main bearing journal...lasted all summer until it grenaded.

  12. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Micky View Post
    We were young bobbies, nineteen years old. I had the BSA A65 Lightning, my school buddy, we joined up together, bought the Velocette 500cc Thruxton. My 'Leetnin' would pull away and leave him standing, but about the 100mph mark, where my acceleration was petering off, still some left mind, but about 111mph was the road test max ....

    .... he would gain on me, come alongside .... bop bop bop ... snick it in to fourth (top gear to you younguns) and pull away

    Never did forgive him

    Funny you should say that Micky. I was struck by the similarity twixt Dozer's bike and and a Velo Thruxton in the tank / seat line.

  13. #29
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    I love it, its old, loud, a bit rusty but in full working order but people always stop and look at it. The only other bike I have ever had that stops people like that is my S7 Sunbeam, buts that's 1949 and a different era, more of a gentlemans carriage rather than a hooligan tool like the A65.
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  14. #30
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    Funny you should say that Micky. I was struck by the similarity twixt Dozer's bike and and a Velo Thruxton in the tank / seat line.

    As it happens I was using the chrome base of the seat as the start line for the underside of the tank, from the side, as it gives it flow, like a Commando 961. From a higher angle you can see how much wider the tank is tho.

  15. #31
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    Dozer, did you get the front brake sorted?
    I'm glad you're enjoying the bike, they are a lot better than most naysayers think. I remember when no one wanted them, that's when I bought mine for £180 and have had it ever since. I would run past (I can't actually run now) all my bikes to pull the Lightning out if the garage caught fire.

  16. #32
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    Yes front brake is now superb, new shoes and correct cable and adjustment. Id love to pick up another for £180, but even barn finds are 3k plus now.....

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