Tagged: Catalina

1960 BSA Gold Star Catalina

The BSA Gold Star was first offered before WWII as a celebration of BSA sending a 500cc bike around Brooklands track at over 100mph. By the end of its nearly 30yr Gold Star run, BSA celebrated another victory on a island of the coast of California with a Gold Star Catalina model, and a 1960 model is offered on eBay now.

Throughout American racing history, riders have had to take their motorcycles off the beaten path to compete. Races staged through the woods, across the desert and on dirt tracks have always been part of the AMA schedule. One rider who excelled on all surfaces was Chuck Minor, and during the 1950’s he rode for BSA.  But to compete, he made changes to the DBD34 Gold Star they handed him. The engine would originally produce 42hp at 7000rpm with a top speed of 116mph with its huge Amal GP carb. But for races like those held on Catalina island, some work had to be done.

Chuck added a larger tank so that he could complete the 100 mile race without stopping for gas. He also added a front brake plate with a scoop for better braking, and a smaller 19” front wheel for better control. With these changes he was able to win the 1956 Catalina Grand Prix. The West Coast distributer for BSA, Hap Alzina, asked BSA to build a replica to commemorate Minor’s victory, and in 1959 the BSA Gold Star Catalina’s were shipped.

This BSA offered up on eBay looks to have had some additional modifications made. I see an oil cooler plumbed up front. The GP carb has been replaced by a later Amal, and a large air filter attached. As the seller stats lights have been added, and possibly an aftermarket muffler. Catalina’s were offered as race ready bikes and would not have had lights, and would have had either straight through exhaust, or a megaphone of some type.

From the seller

1960 BSA GOLDSTAR CATALINA  500cc, I LAST RODE THIS BIKE IN APRIL AND IT RAN PERFECT,DUE TO A BACK INJURY I CAN NO LONGER KICK THIS BIKE OVER THAT IS THE ONLY REASON I AM SELLING IT, AS YOU CAN SEE FROM THE PHOTOS SOMEONE PUT LIGHTS ON IT FOR STREET USE IN THE PAST,THE FRONT MUDGUARD IS FROM A CB 750 OTHERWISE EVERYTHING ELSE SEEMS TO BE ORIGINAL ON THIS BIKE, I CAN SHIP WORLDWIDE AT BUYERS COST. THIS IS AN EASY RESTORATION PROJECT,

 

I think the seller will have interest from all over the World. The Gold Star name does have value, and being a Catalina, the value  is going to increase. With the Catalina GP being reenacted in the last few years, and hopefully in the future, this bike will have a place to run. But if you only want to look like a Catalina there are stickers available if you cannot afford the whole bike. BB

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