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Old 10-17-2012, 07:14 PM   #1
vicster OP
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Bsa sources?

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.
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Old 10-18-2012, 04:13 AM   #2
Rich B
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BSA bits are not that hard to find, just have to know where to look. The wet frames are unloved by the "purists", but they are a nice bike for the money. And a good handling bike.

By 71, BSA was largely changed over to SAE threads on the cycle parts, most of the engines stuff was still cycle thread. British Tools & Fasteners (do a web search) has CEI, BSC, etc taps and dies. A basic "Whitworth" set of wrenches and sockets for the engine can be had off fleaBay for a decent price. Koken makes a decent set of sockets, Acesa makes nice wrenches in Brit sizes.

If you end up with it, let me know, setting up the front brake needs to be done to get it to work right. And the forks can be made nicer with some minor changes. And check the engine mounts, front and bottom to see if they need shimmed to fit the frame. Does wonders for reducing vibration. Also make sure the head steady is installed.

My first 2 street bikes were 71 Lightnings...... I actually do miss them. Though my LC does wonders for making me forget them when looking at it or riding it
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Old 10-18-2012, 04:16 AM   #3
vicster OP
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Thanks!
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Old 10-18-2012, 08:03 AM   #4
Garbln
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Look up the web site of "British Only" they will have most every thing you need.
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Old 10-18-2012, 08:40 AM   #5
anotherguy
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These guys have been a tremendous resource while restoring the 1967 Triumph in the shop. Knowledgeable,easy to deal with and only ran into one backorder. Prices are reasonable,so far quality is top shelf and shipping isn't too bad.
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Old 10-18-2012, 09:51 AM   #6
caponerd
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You can get whitworth tools, nuts and bolts, etc. from many sources, both in the UK and the US.

Parts for almost any make of British bike are available from sources in the US, UK, Australia, New Zealand, and probably many other countries.
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Old 10-18-2012, 10:55 AM   #7
Steve G.
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This fellow is a true enthusiast with direct personal links to all the suppliers in England. His prices are fair, his inventory is great:
http://www.walridge.com/index.html

Steve
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Old 10-18-2012, 04:01 PM   #8
Mista Vern
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve G. View Post
This fellow is a true enthusiast with direct personal links to all the suppliers in England. His prices are fair, his inventory is great:
http://www.walridge.com/index.html

Steve
When I win the lottery I am going to buy every one of the bikes they have for sale - what a cool site!
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Old 10-18-2012, 04:42 PM   #9
CarlWheezer
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Don't forget our midwest friends:
http://www.baxtercycle.com/
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Old 10-18-2012, 06:49 PM   #10
vtwin
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How about Rabers?

http://www.rabers.com/
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Old 10-18-2012, 07:22 PM   #11
vicster OP
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Thank you, gentlemen, for all the feedback. Tonight's plans fell through, so tomorrow night it is.

Should engine and frame numbers match?
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Old 10-19-2012, 07:44 AM   #12
Rich B
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Engine & frame numbers started matching during the 66 model year, approxiamtely late Dec 1965. So yes they should match....doesn't mean they will 40+ years on though
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Old 10-19-2012, 08:18 PM   #13
vicster OP
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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.
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Old 10-20-2012, 06:40 AM   #14
ChrisC
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vicster View Post
Couldn't talk him off his $1500 asking price.
I would have herniated myself reaching for my wallet waaay too fast...
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Old 10-20-2012, 01:45 PM   #15
Euromad
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I'd think $1500 was a bit high with a frozen motor too. I picked up my non running motor turns over Triumph for $600.
Any nonrunner would need a teardown to clean the sludge trap, yadayada.
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