1971 BSA Motorcycle
1970 BSA “Lightning” Motorcycle
BSA motorcycles were built in England from 1906 until the early 1970s by the Birmingham Small Arms Company Limited (BSA), which was a major British industrial combine that manufactured military and sporting firearms, bicycles, motorcycles, cars, buses and other commodities.
At its peak, BSA (including Triumph) was the largest motorcycle producer in the world, but in the late 1950s and early 1960s poor management and a failure to develop new products in the motorcycle division led to a dramatic decline of sales to its major USA market. The management did not appreciate the importance of the resurgent Japanese motorcycle industry, leading to problems for the entire BSA group. During the 1950s and 1960s BSA motorcycles enjoyed considerable racing success.
The bike on display is a 648 cc twin carbureted A65 motorcycle known as the “Lightning”, manufactured from 1965-72. The A65s had a top speed of 112 mph, and were popular in the U.S. in the 1960s. This motorcycle has the original frame, engine and transmission, but been upgraded with Brembo disc brakes, Ohlins front and rear suspension, a dry clutch and an after-market oil tank. This custom motorcycle is appraised at $17,500.