1955 BSA Gold Star

In the world of Classic Motorcycles it can sometimes feel like and exclusive club.  Those in the club can have the bike that is coveted, but often times they have the knowledge of the make or its history. This lack of knowledge may keep some from joining the Classic Motorcycle circle by intimidation. Reading the description of this 1955 BSA Gold Star offered for sale here on ebay is a case in point.

From the seller

Originally dispatched to the USA in scrambles trim and now repatriated and rebuilt in Clubmans trim. Original DB crank cases, flywheels and rod. Original barrel, bore +40 (I think, may be + 20, can’t remember) Clubmans cams, 2442, 2446. DBD head fitted with Thruxton inlet valve, even bigger than Goldie inlet

Most people who have worked on a motorcycle would understand that they seller is telling us something about the motor. But there are also some secret clues as to what else you are getting. What I can decipher is that this motorcycle was originally sent to the US as an off-road bike, but when it returned to the UK, someone took off the knobbies and high handle bars and put clip-ons and rear sets. One of the more famous Scramblers offered to the US Market was the Catalina, which commemorated the Grand Prix of Catalina which has just has a revival.

The seller throws in some suffixes, and these can tell you which year and state of development you are getting. In the case of Gold Star’s the DBD head was the from the final development of the Gold Star line, and would be considered the hot sh!%. The Clubman was the factory race ready bike, so the Clubman cams added to an original Scrambler would wake up your day.

From the beginning in 1938 until the final incarnation the suffexes are YB, ZB, BB, CB, DB, and finally DBD. See a pattern?  Each suffix received a new modification, sometimes insignificant, other time a game changer. An interesting accessory that came with each Gold Star when new, was a print out of the Dyno sheet, which allowed you to show what you had when you got it.

More from the seller

Gearbox RRT2 main case, lay shaft fitted with needle roller bearings, reverse cam plate, std ratios. Wheels rebuilt using Dunlop original chrome rims and new tyres. New reproduction petrol tank. Speedo and Rev Counter both restored original items.

The seller of this bike is targeting knowing BSA owners and in therefore forgetting about the masses. I am a firm believer that doing a little research and following that up with lots of questions is the best way to gain knowledge. And if this new knowledge leads you to become the new owner of this Classic Classic, all the better. BB

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