The BSA 441 Shooting Star — Classic British Motorcycles — Motorcycle Classics

5 Май 2015 | Author: | Комментарии к записи The BSA 441 Shooting Star — Classic British Motorcycles — Motorcycle Classics отключены
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Classic Bike Shows and March/April 2014

Years  1968-1970

Claimed power: @ 6,000rpm

Top speed:  95mph

type:  441cc OHV air-cooled vertical

Transmission:  4-speed/chain final

Weight (wet): 320lb

Price  $945 (1968)

Price  $2,500-$4,000

In these days of — and bigger — road machines, hard to believe the single-cylinder BSA 441 Star was actually described by a magazine as a “touring mount.” On a 441cc single? My, how times changed.

The truth is, by 1968, the most committed Anglophile or fan thought of BSA’s trusty as a touring machine. Even if you did get it up toward its potential top speed of a velocity much higher you’d expect out of such a bike, the tingle from single piston beating up and at high revs would wear you out before you made it than a few hundred miles.

But even so, 441cc was enough for a lot of and the BSA 441 Shooting Star single was one of the better machines to roll out BSA’s Small Heath, factory.

The singles scene

many collectors today BSA with its 1960s road-going like the 500cc BSA Wasp and BSA Lightning, singles were to BSA’s early successes in the most famously with the BSA Gold Star single in 1938 and steadily improved until it was phased out in 1963. a string of wins that from one side of the globe to the the Gold Star’s prominence buoy sales of other BSA

In 1958, BSA launched a smaller, unit construction (combined single called the C15. evolutionary than revolutionary, the C15 was quite contemporary, with point ignition instead of a a brushless alternator instead of a and of course the unit construction vertical single.

Although the C15 got a reception here, it sold in England and Europe. This was an era of interest in trials and motocross and the little single quickly itself a competent machine in racing. Jeff Smith, one of great motocross racers of the and 1960s, was a star rider for and his connection to the brand helped sales of the C15, and BSA’s 2-… singles, as well.

It was, in fact, Smith’s popularity that helped the BSA 441 Victor and, a few years the BSA 441 Shooting Star.

In 1964 and Smith rode a specially 420cc single based on the C15 to 500cc World Motocross wins. BSA decided to cash in on success by offering a version of his to the public. This was offered in as the race-replica B44GP Victor Prix Scrambler (complete special oil-in-frame made of tubing, as on Smith’s machine).

a further enlarged version of the old 250 now pushed out to 441cc, it was quickly by the more sedate B44VE Enduro, which we came to stateside as simply the 441 Victor.

more opportunity, in 1967 BSA expanded the model line by a road version, the B44VR Roadster. U.S. dealers get the Roadster at first, however.

the 441 Victor Enduro was exported to the immediately upon its introduction, it be another year, 1968, the Roadster would find its way U.S. dealer showrooms, by point it had become the B44SS Star.

Although singles already becoming an anomaly in a new age of bikes, the BSA was greeted with enthusiasm. In its April 1968 Cycle couldn’t say enough things about the bike, it “one of the best motorcycles by anybody, for anything.” And that’s after writing at great about the bike’s refusal to blamed on the BSA’s “singularly device,” its Amal carburetor.

So why did the motorcycling press like the BSA 441 Star? In large measure of its simplicity. In an era of rapid change, the BSA was a stable reminder of a simpler But to be fair, the bike also a number of tangible assets in its with a level of performance belied its sub-500cc status.

Top approached 95mph, and it was no slouch there, posting quarter-mile in the mid 15-second range. Its transmission, a but simple 4-speed, was described a word rarely applied to any regardless of price or sophistication: Cycle said. “Neutral is there every time. And so are all the perfectly spaced.”

And while riders conjure up images of vibration when they of British singles, the BSA’s was lauded for its smoothness. “If the Shooting vibrated, we didn’t notice,” ’s editors wrote, calling the “among the smoothest we’ve tested.”

The BSA 441 Shooting Star’s capacity didn’t garner so much enthusiasm. The 8-inch and 7-inch rear drums described as simply “fully of locking the wheel.” By the standards of the day — weren’t particularly high — were no better or worse the brakes on a dozen other

Yet as perfect as Cycle’s editors the BSA 441 Shooting Star, there was no it was a model with a limited Its companion Victor was under from a growing horde of dirt bikes, and the street was increasingly dominated by twins, and fours. The model was dropped 1970, replaced for 1971 by a dirt-only 499cc Victor.

A later, BSA closed its doors MC

Single-cylinder contenders to the BSA 441 Shooting

1989 Honda GB500 Trophy

— 38hp @ 7,500rpm

— Air-cooled, 498cc OHC single

— Disc front, drum

— 395lb (wet)

— 55-65mpg

The Honda GB500 Tourist had been available in Japan for years (alongside the GB400MkII, a Smart-ish version complete fairing) when Honda it stateside for 1989.

Like with the SR500, Honda to its dirt bikes to power its thumper, choosing a sleeved-down of the 589cc single from the But where Yamaha was content to evoke images of yesteryear, was bent on recreating the Old British (OBS).

Honda publicly to the GB (for “Great Britain”) as a bike, and if its looks made you of the Isle of Man, so much the Draped in a rich layer of Green” paint, the GB perfectly and updated the OBS. From its D.I.D. alloy rims to its footpeg brackets and real side covers, the Honda was the past brought to life, but any of the past’s niggling issues leaking oil.

Electric starting made over the big single easy the GB did feature a kickstarter, as well), and ignition and a Keihin CV carb it ran perfectly every time.

the GB’s high $4,198 kept sales disappointingly so Honda pulled the GB from the after 1990.

More today than when they keep rising in Great classic looks, build quality and rarity the GB a solid bet.

1978-1981 SR500

— 33hp @ 6,500rpm/

— Air-cooled, 499cc OHC single

— Disc front, drum

— 353lb (dry)

— 45-60mpg

Developed as a street-wise offshoot to hugely successful XT/TT500 dirt bike, the Yamaha was the spiritual successor to the 500cc singles of yore.

Neither dirt bikes nor competent bikes, the XT/TT (the XT was the version, with lights and range introduced for 1976 was an hit for Yamaha, and proved there was a viable market for big singles. The success prompted Yamaha to a street version, resulting in the SR500.

Like its British forebears, the SR500 was a straight-forward proposition. The goal favored simplicity and low so the SR eschewed such modern as electric start. To make it always started, however, the SR electronic ignition and a nifty system even a novice follow; big singles have a of kicking back — sometimes — when prodded at the wrong in their spin cycle.

valves let the Yamaha SR500 a bit more than its dirt-bound and bigger cooling fins it keep its composure in city an environment where the SR excelled. it was a perfectly capable road its smallish size and moderate (33hp) meant most used them for urban or as errand bikes.

Bullet-proof allied with great and great handling make the SR500 a perfect entry-level and a bargain, to boot. MC


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