1959 BSA Golden Flash

The British motorcycle industry before WWII, and directly after, was a very small world even though there were many different marquees. Triumph, Norton, BSA, Ariel and many others all had a market share before and after the war, but a major innovation that effected all makes was the development of the parallel twin by Edward Turner at Triumph. This new engine design doubled up the iconic British single, and soon most manufactures had their own twins. Bert Hopewell had worked with Edward, moved to Norton and then to BSA, and it is their parallel A-10 that powers this BSA Golden Flash offered on eBay.

With the arrival of Bert Hopewell at BSA in 1948, BSA expanded the A-7 500cc twin to 650cc and offered the first Golden Flash in 1950. The A-10 might have been developed to keep up with Triumph and their 650cc 6T Thunderbird, but the BSA engine offered its own incarnation on the concept. Were the Triumph separates the two intake and two exhaust push-rods, the BSA groups them all together at the rear of the engine. This opens up the front of the engine for better cooling, and offers fewer places for oil to leak, something most British bikes are known for. The Golden Flash was offered first in a rigid frame, then in the short lived and unpredictable plunger frame, and by 1954 a swing arm frame.

The person listing the bike is not only the friend of the seller, but the restorer:

            I took the bike completely apart and sandblasted all the parts re chrome all the chrome.. including the gas tank… The bike is painted with urethane paint PPG single stage. The bike has been converted to 12volts.

When they took the bike completely apart, why didn’t they re-chrome the header pipes? Why is the choke lever on the fame under the seat and not on the handlebar? Where are the cables? Why are there chips in the paint along the frame? Is that a drip tray under the Carb? How long ago was the restoration? This is another of many eBay listings were more questions are raised then answered. This is a classic example of a 20 ft. bike, one that looks good at first glance (and why I started this post) but when you get closer, not so good.

The A-10 engine found itself powering more then just one bike. Starting with the Golden Flash with matching gold color, in 1954 the Road Rocket, and finally in 1957 the Super Rocket all used the A-10 to move down the road. A great history of the A-10 engine and what can be done with it can be found here. So if you are able to look past some of the things that I saw, this BSA has the potential for someone looking for a British twin. BB

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