1971 BSA B50SS: The Other Gold Star — Classic British Motorcycles — Motorcycle…

19 Мар 2015 | Author: | Комментарии к записи 1971 BSA B50SS: The Other Gold Star — Classic British Motorcycles — Motorcycle… отключены
BSA 500 SS Gold Star
BSA 500 SS Gold Star

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on eBay: 1963 BSA Thunderbolt


Claimed power: @ 6,200rpm

Engine: 499cc OHV single, 84mm x 90mm and …, 10:1 compression

Top speed: 80mph (est.)

(dry): 310lb (141kg)

capacity/MPG: 2.5gal (9.5ltr)/45-55mpg

then/now: $1,300 (approx.)/$2,500-$4,500

BSA announced that its 1971 would include a new 500cc single called the “Gold it provoked outrage among British motorcyclists. How could sully the name of the mighty the most successful British race bike and favorite of the racer crowd by attaching it to an commuter bike?

Of course, BSA to capitalize on the first Goldie’s on racetracks in the U.K. and on the Grand circuit in the U.S. But the association was in only. The original Gold was developed from the 1930s Star into a potent AMA C racing package, with the versions sporting much of the bike’s performance potential. The bike had grown out of BSA’s 250cc Star, itself a of the Triumph Tiger Cub.

But the older Goldie’s fans being a little unfair. Smith won two world motocross (in 1964 and 1965) with the immediate predecessor, the BSA 441cc and John Banks narrowly giving BSA two more world titles in 1968 and 1969 the factory prepared 500cc So why was so much scorn heaped on the bike? Was it the humble origins?

Or BSA’s hubris in usurping the Gold Star name?


All BSA unit-construction singles can trace roots to Edward Turner’s Triumph Terrier of 1953. The grew into the 200cc Cub, and the basic design, with an upright cylinder of the Triumph’s forward tilt, was into the BSA C15 Star of 1959 cylinder dimensions of 67mm x Taking the bore out to 79mm, the C15 the 340cc B40 in 1961.

Meanwhile, in competition shop experiments with stretching the B40’s first to 85mm for 420cc and to 90mm for 441cc, with the that it would replace the and bulkier DBD34 Gold engine in the factory motocrossers. It was the 441 engine, when installed in a oil-bearing frame, that Jeff Smith’s two 500cc FIM World Championships.

A difficult season with a titanium-framed (the frames were to cracking, and the works team the equipment to repair them in the saw Smith finish third in the with a second place in 1967. New team member Banks took over the in 1968 and 1969, placing both years. But the main went to the new lightweight 2-… CZs in and Husqvarna in 1969.

It’s not exactly when, but during time BSA recognized that the Victor engine had reached the end of its They needed a full engine if they were to competitive.

The Victor clearly the design limits of the B40 bottom end end failures were common), so the was completely redesigned with a new crankshaft, larger crankpin and heftier needle roller rod big end. The crank was supported on no than three main a roller on the timing side, and and ball bearings on the drive in beefed-up cases.

A new iron-lined alloy cylinder the bore out to 84mm, which, with the 90mm …, 499cc. The distortion-prone alloy-bodied oil was ditched in favor of a steel-bodied from the unit-construction twins. breathing was completely revised, the now breathing into the primary with a half-inch diameter to air.

The crankshaft drove a wet clutch and strengthened 4-speed through a duplex chain.

The was now capable of handling the 38 horsepower a stock B50MX produced. comparison, a stock DBD34 Star Clubman made 40 horsepower in 1961.) However, by 2-strokes were totally in the FIM Championship, and BSA now running out of money its motocross shop in 1971. But the work was not for nothing, and a trio of B50-based bikes was announced for sale in 1971. These the offroad B50MX, the “dual B50T Victor Trail and the Gold Star street

The B50SS and B50T both an oil-bearing frame derived the factory motocross bikes, a tubular swingarm with a cam at the front needle-bearing pivot that BSA borrowed from the brothers, famous for their motocross frames. Both got the new BSA Group alloy front and “conical hub” drum an 8-inch diameter twin-leading-shoe on the B50SS, a 6-inch single-leading-shoe on the

Frames and painted ancillaries got unpopular Dove Grey scheme, though there’s evidence this reverted to during the model year. been said Dove was meant to replicate the fragile frame of the 1966 factory bikes in spite of the damage it did to Smith’s attempt at a third

A completely new electrical system major components in an alloy under the front of the fuel and also featured a quick-connect allowing the headlight to be removed. turn signals were by a switch on the right handlebar. cycle parts were with other 1971 bikes, like the Thunderbolt, and Bonneville. Most distinctive, was the massive black muffler with a perforated stainless heat shield.

The styling was and aggressive, even if the bikes weren’t!

Was it any good?

Well, yes and no. reliability was certainly an improvement the B44 (my 1969 Victor Special two big-end bearings and suffered a gearbox mainshaft during my thanks to the larger crankpin and bottom end. It was also than the last B44 Victor by 10 or so, and power was up from the Victor’s 29 horsepower at 5,750rpm to 34 horsepower at

The engine was tunable, too. fitting the B50MX cam and 32mm raised output to 38 horsepower, and was available with cylinder work. B50s were in endurance events at the time, and to be raced on the track today in events.

BSA 500 SS Gold Star

Author Steve owned a B50 back in the day, and his experience in BSA Motor Cycles 1950: “ for short stop-and-go motoring, the engine’s power characteristics made for an pant-kicking, arm-wrenching ride the engine clatter, plus the from such a powerful in a comparatively light frame did long-distance riding a bit of an ordeal.”

said, Wilson found the B50 to be a satisfying compromise” than the similarly positioned Yamaha But it was a “… to start,” not helped by the compression ratio and awkwardly decompressor lever. Accurate timing was critical in this a condition exacerbated by incorrect of the timing marks on some bikes.

The situation was compounded by the absence of a and the tendency of the 30mm Amal carburetor to flood the intake. some owners have noted that there are techniques that, if followed can make starting easier they don’t always on what they are!

Barnett’s Gold Star

Barnett found his B50SS in a barn. “I saw these two sticking out from under a of hay,” he says. “They rusty looking, so I asked ‘What’s that?’ and he told me. I ‘Well, I’ve been for a project is everything there?’”

It out Keith’s British-born neighbor had the B50 when it was almost new, and he had partly dismantled it, he claimed it to be much complete. “He me a box with the tank in it which was all and a few other bits that had been taken off the bike. It out the only thing that was was the left footpeg,” Keith “He said if he looked he’d probably find it. But been seven years now

In the end, Keith modified a footpeg so that it now looks and like the original. The only non-stock parts fitted are a Bransden electronic ignition “The previous owner that you’d be at a stop and it would just suddenly Then you’d have to and kick. The electronic ignition solved the issue.”

Keith much of his mechanical success to from local specialist Art who helped with freeing up the piston the spark plug had missing for 27 years, and the rings had to the cylinder liner. Keith got the loose after more 20 repeated cycles of adding then heating and cooling the “I took a block of and a rubber mallet, and I whacked the Keith says, “and it broke loose.”

Unfortunately, while easing the over the piston, the piston swollen with corrosion, the cylinder liner. A direct proved impossible to find, so Automotive in Vancouver bored out the cylinder to accept a modern sleeve, pinned it to the old cylinder, bored it to suit the old piston, had survived intact. New +0.020-inch were sourced and ground to fit the bore.

Alec’s also and installed new valves, guides, and springs.

Just about else Keith needed was by Vancouver, British Columbia’s, Import Motorcycles. who he also as being helpful in identifying that were common to British bikes of that Keith also bought a set of silicone gaskets from Dales at Britgaskets. “I think I waited more two weeks for anything,” Keith marveling at how quickly he was able to parts.

Living with a BSA

“BSA had a few of their really ideas in it,” Keith ‘The needle bearing it leans into corners, and the does not wobble on the back end at I put the Dunlop K70 replicas on there, and were quite a good in their time. Nice rubber and very sticky. The is very light, it’s maneuverable and I quite enjoy it as long as you don’t have to go 60mph.

Getting up to 60mph, it it no problem. It pulls really it’s got so much torque. The problem is other vehicles. 60, you get blown all over the place.

If I try to do 70mph, it’ll do it. But my mirrors are all over the place, my hands are Everything is jumping around: seeing three cars up behind you.”

The only problem still bugging is that the B50 is almost impossible to when hot. Keith a vapor lock in the carburetor and to try altering the carburetor intake Another niggling issue he to deal with soon is the for the compression release in the rocker “There’s no bearing in there, no Keith says. “They drilled a hole.

Well thing has worn elliptical and it pukes oil out of there.” Keith he’ll need another to Alec’s to get the hole over and fitted with an oil-impregnated

“I enjoy riding Keith says. “Whenever I it anywhere for any amount of time, always somebody who comes up to me had a few people say, ‘Hey, did BSA start making bikes It looks like brand Well, it kinda is. But it’s a ” MC

BSA 500 SS Gold Star
BSA 500 SS Gold Star
BSA 500 SS Gold Star
BSA 500 SS Gold Star
BSA 500 SS Gold Star
BSA 500 SS Gold Star

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