1969 BSA 441 Victor Special — Classic British Motorcycles — Motorcycle Classics

20 Июн 2015 | Author: | Комментарии к записи 1969 BSA 441 Victor Special — Classic British Motorcycles — Motorcycle Classics отключены
BSA Victor

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I can still remember opening my of Motor Cycle News and BSA’s full page ad for its motorcycle range. I was 15, motorcycle and hot for motocross.

Jeff Smith had won his second successive world on the 441cc single-cylinder BSA Victor, and to in on its investment BSA introduced a street-scrambler of the Victor. It was chunky, aggressive and had a shiny, polished aluminum gas with a … swash of running across the tank. I one so badly I could scream.

By the I turned 16 and got my bike license, the I was interested in preferred scooters to — more chic, I guess, and likely to spray them oil — so that’s what I rode. I discovered the even more advantages of four wheels for la femme, so I traded my Vespa for a flathead Ford Anglia. But the for a BSA Victor never completely away.

It wasn’t long before I was into bikes, and after a of years commuting on a Honda I decided it was time to move up. I down a used 1969 BSA in the classifieds, parted with my and quickly became acquainted the concept of buyer’s remorse.


Actually riding the BSA after my Honda was a major disappointment. the Honda was slick, sophisticated and to ride, the Beezer was stark, and ornery. I pretty much had to look at the Honda and it would while I sweated away to kick the BSA into life. The ran like a Swiss watch; the BSA coughed and misfired.

Its favorite was stalling at traffic signals as the light turned green.

yet, I couldn’t find for it, nor could I find anyone who help with knowledge or And while Gold Stars and were becoming collectible, BSA singles were just so junk. The world had moved on, and the Victor was caught in the twilight between trash and treasure. I had I found out, a “victim.”

The story

All BSA unit-construction singles gearbox is cast with the instead of being attached trace their lineage to the Edward Turner-designed 150cc Terrier of 1953, a simple, 4-… single intended as a commuter that soon into the best-selling 200cc Cub. The BSA group, which had Triumph since 1951, Turner’s design, and for 1958 BSA the C15, a new 250cc 4-… based on the Cub with cylinder of 67mm by 70mm.

This proved a solid, little bike, and tens of of British teens cut their teeth on one. It was cheap, and tunable, too. Before the C15S scrambler was winning in motocross, especially when by BSA team rider Jeff

BSA next produced a 343cc of the single, the B40, by increasing the to an oversquare 79mm by 70mm. The B40 sold well, and became the army’s standard motorcycle being replaced in the 1970s by the Armstrong. A sports version for the SS90, soon developed a for fragility, perhaps indicating the limits of the design were approached.

This should been a clue.

Meanwhile, in competition shop, an even capacity version was being in the hope of gaining the 500cc motocross championship. Experimental of 420cc and finally 441cc a 90mm … to the B40’s bore) were produced. Smith rode a modified bike with the 441cc in 1964 and 1965, taking the world motocross championship years.

The bike was christened and the following year, 1966, BSA a production 441 Victor to the public.

BSA poured plenty of money the Victor program in 1966 in of taking a third championship the challenge of the new lightweight 2-strokes. An titanium frame reduced but it was prone to cracking and the special required to weld titanium it couldn’t be repaired in the field. The had also reached its reliable limit, and East German Friedrichs took the title on a CZ.

John Banks took up the for BSA in 1968 and 1969 with a 500cc machine, finishing in the championship both years, but it was the end of the for 4-strokes in motocross. Nevertheless, BSA had two 500cc world championships an engine that started as a 150cc “tiddler.”

Life a Victor

Though the Victor popular as an offroad bike in the 1960s, it had a number of fundamental that plagued it over the First, the earliest street-legal were little more motocrossers with lights. retained the 11:1 compression of the bikes and were fitted Lucas’ temperamental “Energy battery-less ignition system.

to kickstart a big, high-compression single with intermittent was, to say the least, a challenge.

the engine inherited its bottom end the 350. The big end bearing was somewhat for the job, leading to early failure, while the light meant power delivery was at low revs. All this was OK for a dirt but less so for the street.

The transmission, also from the suffered, too: Bearings had a life, clutch slip was a problem, and the engine’s torque bend the gearbox mainshaft.

By the Victor had become more oriented, with lower compression, battery/coil ignition and a heat shield for the waist-level For the purists it had sold out, but for the of us, it was a much better machine to with.

BSA Victor

Sadly, BSA finally got the big street bike formula but only when it was too late for the Based on John Banks’ competition bike, the 1971 500 had a full 499cc engine of by 90mm with a larger big three main bearings and a drivetrain. The B50 engine was powerful, and more user friendly.

But the couldn’t be said for BSA, went bust in 1973. the B50 engine was still being as the basis for the British-made CCM motocross and machines until the early

The knack

To make my 1969 even more streetable, fitted a Boyer electronic for a more reliable spark. also added a Norton inline oil filter to ensure a supply of oil, and a larger sprocket (19 tooth instead of 17, and available from British suppliers) to reduce engine at road speeds.

I also had my carburetor bored and with a brass sleeve on the slide. This significantly the life of the carburetor — the stock will start to “gall” in the body because both are made from the same alloy — and makes for much running by minimizing air leaks. with regular changes full-synthetic oil, the engine to be holding up well.

But I also long stretches of highway, as it the combination of hot oil and extended running at revs will trash the big end Ask me how I know.

There’s a trick to up a well-sorted 441 that makes it so I’m sure I could start it by The carburetor has to be “tickled” (shorthand for with raw fuel) and the engine over (using the decompression so that the piston is just top-…-center on the firing … is easier than it sounds). with a firm, committed at the kickstarter with the throttle a well-maintained 441 will almost start first time.

If I knew such things then.

With modern and the rebuilt carb, my Victor now easily and runs smoothly. light and nimble in traffic, quickly (up to about 40mph, and the torque and rearward weight will easily hoist the wheel. Fun. The brakes are and the handling is quick and secure: great fun.

Sadly, the stock suspension is way too for any serious off-highway riding, but it fine on gravel.

With gas rising and the Victor returning than 60mpg, its time may be yet to Victim? Not me. MC

Press Reports

Victor. has the weight and general usually associated with while it does have the of a 500.” — Cycle World . 1966

“The 441 single is a jewel of simplicity and a masterpiece of — Cycle . April 1968

those of us who like to potter with old bikes, motorcycles the Victor still deliver in spades.” — Cycle World . 1989

“Bash it, thrash it, trash it, the 441 Victor was proof that the British could a highly stressed, reliable unit.” — Rider . July

Resources BSA Owners Club

BSA Victor
BSA Victor
BSA Victor
BSA Victor


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