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Old 10-20-2012, 04:02 PM   #16
concours
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Location: Kensington, NH USA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vicster View Post
I'm going to look at a '71 BSA Thunderbolt tomorrow night and wanted to make certain things like manuals and whitworth tools/taps/dies are still readily available. Had a '70 Lightning from '71 to '73 and still have kind of a soft spot for BSAs and figure an oil-in-frame Thunderbolt might be the cheapest way to get back into the 650s.
The story told to me is it's a one owner, complete, stored in his house for the last however many years non running example with 16K miles on it. Apparently the guy is a doomsday prepper and the bike no longer fung shues with his armegeddon. Or something. We'll see. Smart money says it's a half there rust bucket, but a guy's gotta look, ya know?
Thanks in advance.
Where on the planet are you? www.britbike.com is a great resource, formerly an all BSA site. You can get pretty much any damn thing you need. How much of a mechanic are you? The prices have risen some..
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Old 10-20-2012, 11:32 PM   #17
ricochetrider
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Quote:
Originally Posted by concours View Post
Where on the planet are you? www.britbike.com is a great resource, formerly an all BSA site. You can get pretty much any damn thing you need. How much of a mechanic are you? The prices have risen some..
I'd be interested to hear RichB's opinion of 1500.00 for the bike but it does seem a bit high for a froze up OIF BSA with no title. I'd hold out if I were you. They're not exactly a dime-a-dozen but not all that rare. 60s and 70 Brit Bikes were made by the thousands, so there's plenty of bikes around. As was already mentioned, OIF (oil in frame) models aren't as "sought after" as mid 60s or pre unit models. Parts are indeed readily available, both new and vintage after market, as well as original. BritBike.com is absolutely a fantastic resource, THE resource in fact. There, you'll find not only just about all available vendors, but also plenty of knowledgeable (AND FRIENDLY) people, as well as manuals, unlimited info, etc. Here is their BSA page:

http://www.britbike.com/forums/ubbth...Board=1&page=1

There is a huge USA community to be tapped into at this website, and the majority of the other members are in the UK, tho there are also European, Australian, and New Zealand members.

WTF is the title anyway? As far as I'm concerned, that is a bigger issue than the motor being frozen.
Offer him 500.00 and leave him your number. If he won't budge offa his 1500.00 then let the bike rot in his living room, or where ever. This ain't no Brough Superior here. For 1500.00 you could buy a titled OIF BSA that runs, if you're lucky. (or diligent)

ricochetrider screwed with this post 10-20-2012 at 11:39 PM
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Old 10-21-2012, 05:54 AM   #18
vicster OP
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Concours - I'm an ok, slow and careful mechanic in western Washington. I do all my own vehicle maintenance and repair (so far), I've done a couple ground up bike builds, doing everything but the bottom end rebuild. I'm confident of my abilities to do everything the BSA needs that I have the tools to do. Crankshaft endplay? Probably not.

RichohetRider, I agree, the price just seems a little too high. The bike is very complere and unmolested, but it's not rare and it's not a "must have to relive my youth" situation as it's way too different from the '70 Lightning I had as a kid. I offered him 800 cash and he wasn't at all interested.
The motor is frozen up, and there's no oil on the dipstick. I was told it was running when parked, but who really knows.
Apparently it's a lost title situation. The owner parked it in his dad's barn and moved away, leaving it there. The family died off and the bike was sold to the current owner after it didn't sell at the estate sale. Washington has a lost title system that is effectively a 3 year probation, after which the title is official.
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Old 10-21-2012, 10:42 AM   #19
Steve G.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vicster View Post
Finally got to see the bike tonight and talk to the very, uh, interesting, owner.
First the bad news, Motor's frozen. No title.
The original owner bought the bike when he came home from Viet Nam, rode it for 3 years/16K miles. Parked in the family barn in '74 at his new bride's insistence where it sat in the dry, out of the sun until the present owner bought it from the estate sale and parked it in his house in 2005. Everything's there except for the front turn signals and the mufflers. Unmolested. No dents or dings that I saw. Light surface rust. Some inside tank rust, but not that bad. Centerstand, side stand, original switches, side covers, tool kit, etc. No evidence it's ever even so much as tipped over. Seat's mint.Looks kinda like a time capsule. Unusual, IMO, that a returning soldier just used it for travel and didn't get caught up in the whole chopper craze or the era.
Couldn't talk him off his $1500 asking price.
Thanks, Rich B, numbers match and appear unmolested.
Not that financial sense is ever taken into consideration when taking on a "rescue mission" of an old motorcycle in need of help,,,but the fact that the 71 BSA's are not currently an expensive club to get into: http://www.britcycle.com/bikes/forsa...hunderbolt.htm taking on a BSA like the one you are looking at, with a stuck engine, should really be avoided unless you realy REALLY want this particular machine.
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Old 10-21-2012, 10:54 AM   #20
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Yeah, but see, that bike is cosmetically not that much nicer than the bike in question would be after some elbow grease is applied, and it doen't have a title either.

Where I am at a disadvantage is that between not knowing internal damage or parts costs, I have NO idea what a rebuild would cost.
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Old 10-21-2012, 05:37 PM   #21
Steve G.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vicster View Post
Yeah, but see, that bike is cosmetically not that much nicer than the bike in question would be after some elbow grease is applied, and it doen't have a title either.

Where I am at a disadvantage is that between not knowing internal damage or parts costs, I have NO idea what a rebuild would cost.
\

Yes, the unknown,,,,internal damage from corrosion.
A buddy of mine found a Royal Enfield 750 Mk11 Interceptor with frozen pistons. He poured transmission fluid in there and let it soak for a month. Then he rolled it down a hill and dropped it into 2nd gear and the 'unstuck'. Still running fine 10 yrs after, never taken apart.
Then again, my brother went nuts on his 72 Norton,,,,full race cam, sodium cooled valves, balance, blueprint, Carillo rods, forged pistons. 3k later, it was a very angry 750 Combat that only wants aviation fuel.
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Old 10-24-2012, 07:25 PM   #22
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Well, now he's saying he'll take a grand...
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Old 10-24-2012, 10:31 PM   #23
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'71 is kinda the worst of the A65 line... too tall & has an icky gray frame. the 72 was slightly better but dry frame bikes are way prettier. sorry, but 16,000 miles can be a lot for that engine... the crank main bearings need to be kept tight or the bottom end loses oil pressure. it has to do with the timing side crank bushing being key to the oil supply. Ed (see below) does an endfeed conversion which greatly improves bottom end oiling. He also has a few A70 cranks (750cc)

the good news is that the A65 is the best looking engine of the the times and BSAs are pretty cheap compared to other vintage rides. and BTW... they are a great ride.

get rid of the points and put in a Boyer Bransden ignition.... way good response and eliminates other potential headaches. for a voltage regulator go Podtronics & be done with it.

As mentioned above British Cycle Supply in Nova Scotia is the best & most reliable (they have a branch in NJ). my second choice is Wallridge and last is British Only. Domiracer is in the mix too.

by 1970 all the fasteners on BSA are British Standard Cycle which is SAE with the exception of some parts deep in the engine

for engine work and parts talk to Ed...
http://www.shopevengineering.com/index.htm

he really knows the ol BSA & does a lot of work for the vintage racer crowd. nice guy too

P.S. yes, nothing works better than leaded fuel in old bikes. I used to put in at least 1/4 tank Avgas after leaded fuel dissapeared from the pumps. 100LL (low lead) is available at any airport., LL is not very low in lead.

also be aware that quite a few Brit bikes had fiberglass fuel tanks. these tanks do NOT like modern gas and will dissolve. your choices are: avoid glass tanks, line the glass tank, use 100% avgas.

I spent a lot of time on the BritBike site (member #130)... there are some really good guys that will help out with problems

Beezer screwed with this post 10-24-2012 at 10:40 PM
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Old 11-03-2012, 08:51 PM   #24
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Thanks all, for the information on sources. This particular deal didn't work out (too many $$$ IMO), but I'll keep looking.

Beezer, the gray frame '71 works for me, as my intent is to use the oil-in-frame for a cafe bike anyway.
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Old 11-04-2012, 12:27 AM   #25
HighwayChile
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i have a resto' 71' T-bolt, 5 gal euro tank, and it's for sale ! in western Wa too. probably want to sell out right but there are a few bikes I need to ride before I croak, rickman etc..
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Old 11-04-2012, 11:29 AM   #26
JRP
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Al's Cycle Shop

1235 Thorndike St, Palmer, MA 01069

(413) 283-8233

They are technically closed but still have tons of BSA parts.
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