Those of you who have followed my past builds know me for picking up a dirt cheap bike, destined for the scrap yard, and tearing it completely down then building it back up MY way, the finished product resembling very little what came from the factory but what I can do with the shit pile I'm handed cheap as possible.
This bike is going a new route. Plans are a long term, no holds barred top notch redoux of the bike of my dreams... Literally. My first road bike was a BSA Thunderbolt and the A-65's have held a place in my heart every since. When a Mate told me he had found one sitting in a widows barn, I knew it HAD to be mine. The month long saga of what and how is here Found a BSA
so I won't be rehashing it here, we will start with the day she arrived.
Now even though I've been a Beezah fan for 30 years, I wasn't exactly
sure of what I had found but thanks to the BritBike forum we have determined it started life as a '67 BSA Spitfire MkIII.
The A65 Spitfire was positioned as a road racer for the street. To aid performance, two large-bore Amal GP carburetors were fitted, complete with velocity stacks.
As it turned out, these carbs made the Spitfire difficult to start when hot and were often replaced with Amal concentrics with round air filters; in light of this, the factory reverted back to the concentric carburetors in '67.
The small two-gallon fuel tank seen on the example featured here was designed for the U.S. market in response to the popularity of the Harley Sportster's "peanut" gas tank.
*EDIT* Broken link, similar photo added in below post.
If I were to have found THAT I would have suffered a heart attack and not be able to post here today
Here is what mine currently looks like after her first bath in a LOOOOOONG time yesterday.
*EDIT* Huh, more broken links here too... see below post for the imbedded pics
Now this particular bike has had it's engine swapped at some point with a A65L Lightning lump, with it's compression down to a more manageable 9:1 than the Spitfires original 10:1 unit. Meaning I can run todays standard fuel instead of feeding it only premium, also the head now has a single carb intake manifold. So the twin Amals have been replaced with a single 930 Concentric unit. Again, easier to keep a tune and suitable for a "rider" status. I also found it has a Boyer-Bransden contactless ignition installed adding it's reliability but defiantly not OEM. It is still sporting the factory Borrani aluminum rwheels.
With the tank and side covers being fiberglass, it has it plus and minuses. The PO repainted them but the original red and white scheme was a thick gel-coat. The "Star" logo on the tank is actually recessed and still apparent on mine. So I have hopes that the original finish is intact and salvageable on all pieces. I'll source some fiberglass safe stripper and see if I can restore them.
Now there is a tricky word... "restore"... with this bike NOT being a numbers matching original and with the above mentioned changes, it makes it a little easier on my decision to Cafe' this bike. HOWEVER there will be no cutting or chopping of ANY salvagable parts. Instead I am going for a period correct Clubman version. The way I feel would please not only our tastes, yet not have a mob of descriminating purests outside my shop with torches, pitchforks and axe-handles.
The rear fender is cracked at the bottom so I will be trimming that, yet still be able to retain the beautiful Lucas tail light. I would like to find a front fender either with, or add a "pedestrian slicer" plate bracket. I've begun sourcing a larger UK spec Spitfire tank complete with knee dents in the original red and will add the ivory coves of the original paint scheme, then a simple set of cluban bars. I have always loved the shape of the stock seat, but have seen there is a factory style clubman bum-stop being reproduced that may very well be in the future. But top on the list is being able to swap back to run the original for two up riding.
Here is my vision straight from the BSA archives.
*EDIT* GODDAMNIT! I think this is the one that screwed them all... Nothing to see here either!
If you've stayed with me this long, in keeping with my trend of Motorhead titles, but wanting this to be a serious attempt at a period correct Café I and naming it "Stay Clean".
*EDIT* Should be a YOU-TUBE link here... WTF! PFFFT I guess "See below" one last time