BSA 650L


Been Around the Block
So, got the exhaust on today. The two-into-one header is not well made as far as the left cylinder and the join between the two pipes is concerned. You can get any two, but not all three, connections made tightly:


I used tiedowns to pull the header into shape and into alignment with the mounting point on the frame:


Then on with a nice little angled piece:

And then on went a Dime City Cycles muffler I had from a previous project years ago:


I quite like the looks of the final exhaust. I made up a hanger for the muffler using an M8 bolt and some nuts:

for that 'fresh from the factory' look :cool: . Alignment with the shocks looks OK at this point:

But I'll know better when the swingarm is on and the wheel mounted. Worst-case I may need to increase the offset distance.


Over 10,000 Posts
That pipe is an accurate reproduction. There is no simple way to push the headers into/onto the head when the exhaust ports are splayed. Siamese pipes on A10's were just as bad and I see it came with an original exhaust spacer. That looks totally period too.

OK i'm being somewhat sarcastic, but those exhausts were always a PIA to fit. I seem to recall that there was a sequence that parts had to be fitted, but they were never easy. You did well.


Been Around the Block
Thanks Goldy. I'm pretty sure they're on as well as I can get 'em. Maybe once the engine's running and they get hot they can relax into the exact right position. Or maybe that's wishful thinking


Been Around the Block
Well, 2 and a half years later I'm back. Moved to San Diego from Seattle (and moved house twice down in San Diego) so I'm only now getting back into the swing of things.



I spent the day re-reading this thread and a longer one I keep on the Britbike forum to remember where I was, and going through all the bits and pieces I have, and getting them into some semblance of organized:


Now just thinking through my plan of attack


Been Around the Block
Well, so here's where I restarted today:


Got the kickstart return spring in place:



Got the gear lever return spring mechanism in place:

I offered up the electronic ignition stator and timing plate

and the wire is not quite long enough to reach the exit hole grommet, so I need to bring a wire in from outside, and connect it up. To do that I need to decide where the transistor box will go. I also refitted the clutch actuator pin, which will need to be shortened to accommodate the SRM clutch activator mechanism. I'll need to wait for the cover to come back from painting for that.

So this is where it all is right now:



Over 10,000 Posts
Agh.. I had forgotten this thread and it's a great reminder that I have a complete T140V restoration arriving soon that I suspect will be quite the challenge.

The old egg shaped A65 were a nice looking motor. That should be a fun bike when you are done.

BTW, the hairspring gear shift spring looks wrong. They legs are usually crossed and splayed to parallel when fitted. You have the spring "opening" as it shifts. I could be wrong of course. I thought I was wrong once but I was mistaken.....

How they look

The last A65 I looked at had the spring around the gearchange shaft with legs pointing forward. That one appears to be a slightly different design but I suspect that the spring still needs to be changed.


Been Around the Block
I described earlier how the drive side engine cover has a ding in it from a drop, and how the chrome is pitted:



I tried cleaning up and polishing the chrome, and was successful in getting rid of the rust spots, but the chrome is badly pitted and scratched, and it's not going to be that kind of restoration. So I hit it with some Rustoleum primer



followed by some VHT Black Appliance paint



Overall I've very pleased with the result. Whilst it's not what a professional would do, it made the cover look much better. I think my first coat was too thick, but this is the first time I've used this stuff. It certainly seems appropriate for my skill level :cool:


Been Around the Block
BTW, when I got the bike there was no switch on the front brake to light the rear brake light. The rear brake has one, and I guess you always use both with these bikes, but is there an approved way to add a warning switch onto the front brake?


Been Around the Block
Do you have good luck with the appliance paint? I destroyed my engine's finish, and short of putting a curly-haired wig on it, the paint is my only other option for covering my blunder.


Been Around the Block
It seems to have worked. The paint is VHT very high temperature appliance paint. I was certainly surprised and delighted at how big an improvement it made for the level of effort.

if you’re looking for a lustrous finish look elsewhere but it seems good enough for engine cases


Over 10,000 Posts
Looks much better. Just as another idea, when I paint engine casings, I try to use a low gloss paint for a semi-flat or satin finish. Cast iron barrels I do in gloss, just because that's what we always did back in the day. Not sure exactly what day, but you get my drift.


Over 1,000 Posts
I've used POR15 teice. Once, with solid color MG Maroon came out great. Once with silver (aluminum) came out poorly. The metallic looked very mottled.


Been Around the Block
OK, so today I got the steering stem back on:


The forks are by Betor, a Spanish brand that was considered quite the upgrade back in the day. Start with the bottom yoke, dust seal and bottom bearing:

Add ball bearings and grease:

Add ball bearings and grease to the top bearing:

Lots of grease on the top bearing surfaces:

Drop the top bearing in:

and then gently insert the steering stem from below (oo-err missus), and the dust cap and the top-hat adjuster nut

I nipped the top hat nut up with a pair of pliers and then felt the motion as I rotated the bottom yoke in the steering head. Feeling some notichiness I loosened the top hat slightly until motion was smooth. Then on with the top yoke:

and I got the fork tubes through both top and bottom yokes easily and just nipped them up to keep them in place.


Been Around the Block
I need some advice on the steering lock though. This is how it was implemented when I got the bike:

It's just a screw going up through the bottom yoke:

(I need a longer one) then some hose is placed over the threads:

That's it! Any suggestions for a better method?


Over 1,000 Posts
Just mount the tsnk temporarily to check that the stops prevent the bars from hitting it, and make sure when routing cables that they don't get pinched by the stops.


Over 1,000 Posts
That type of fork stop was pretty common on old fork conversions. Especially forks with alloy trees. I've seen the about the same on Betor and Ceriani forks. If it still works for your application I would not change it. It could be prettied up a bit but it is period correct. There is a process for setting up the triple trees to provide the correct steering resistance. The top clamp is tightened and then a spring scale is attached to the the end of the handlebar to "set" the correct turning resistance to the factory assembly manual specifications. It's a lot of work for something that probably has little value. I prefer to tighten until the turning resistance feels right to me. After a test ride I'll make adjustments if needed.


Over 10,000 Posts
BTW, when I got the bike there was no switch on the front brake to light the rear brake light. The rear brake has one, and I guess you always use both with these bikes, but is there an approved way to add a warning switch onto the front brake?
If you want to keep stock looking brake levers check Brit bike stores and see if someone offers one. If not ebay has a lot of levers for Hondas and so on that include a brake switch.

And it that doesn't work, all a small L shaped bracket to the underside of the lever to actuate a tiny microswitch from almost any modern bike and it should be almost invisible.

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