Tagged: Gold Star

Brooklands Bomber: 1960 BSA Gold Star for Sale

1960 BSA Gold Star R Front

In the past twenty years, we’ve gotten so used to artificially-condensed product life cycles that it’s easy to forget how durable modern machines can be. That’s one of the things that makes vintage bikes so popular: manufacturing and technology didn’t really allow for things to be as reliable as they are today, but they were built to last, and to be owned and maintained by normal people. Just look at the BSA Gold Star: built between 1938 and 1963, it had a life span that would make a Yamaha R6 blush.

1960 BSA Gold Star L Rear

Simple, reliable, and powerful, the 500cc overhead-valve single weighed under 400lbs dry and put power through a four-speed gearbox. Named for the award given to bikes that could lap the famous Brooklands circuit at over 100mph. A smaller, 350cc version was also built and both were campaigned in both on and offroad competition.

1960 BSA Gold Star R Engine

Today’s Gold Star is obviously from later in the production run, but not much changed between the 1950 and 1960 models.

From the original eBay listing: 1960 BSA Gold Star for Sale

BSA Gold Star 1960 very original and clean has been stored for years and cannot verify mileage but I would not be surprised if it is the correct mileage. Starts second kick cold and first kick warm very quiet engine no smoke sounds very tight. the front fender has some peeling chrome and the horn is missing. Pick up from Prescott AZ will help with loading if commercial carrier is used. The motorcycle is super clean and I hate to part with it as it will be very difficult to replace.

1960 BSA Gold Star R Rear

As the seller indicates, the chrome on the front fender is peeling pretty badly, but this is otherwise a very nice example. While modern instruments may be very functional, accurate, and reliable, but those Smiths clocks are works of art! And that chrome and blue tank is a combination I can’t remember seeing and is very classy.


1960 BSA Gold Star Clocks

Brooklands Bomber: 1954 BSA Gold Star for Sale

1954 BSA Gold Star R Front

Built between 1938 and 1963, the BSA Gold Star is the classic British single and one of the most desirable classic sportbikes of all time. Displacing approximately 500cc, the alloy OHV-powered single weighed 380 lbs dry and featured a 4-speed gearbox. The “Gold Star” name commemorates a BSA that lapped the famous Brooklands racing circuit at over 100mph and was awarded the gold star pin to commemorate the achievement, although that original machine was a racing special running on alcohol with a 13:1 compression-ratio that might have made daily use a bit of a chore…

1954 BSA Gold Star L Rear

The first road bike to wear the Gold Star name displaced 496cc and was built up until the outbreak of World War II. Postwar, BSA introduced a 348cc version of the Gold Star, and this lightweight, basically hand-built hot rod was successful in a number of different competition classes, including both on-road and offroad racing. A 500cc version was reintroduced in 1950 and built alongside the 350 until 1956, when the 350 was discontinued.

1954 BSA Gold Star Clocks

This Gold Star features the optional “CB” engine with a slightly different appearance but, more importantly, reinforced internals for increased performance. This exact bike dyno’d at 38.2 bhp when new: Gold Stars were tested at the factory before being delivered to verify performance of each machine.

The seller includes quite a bit of history, along with maintenance and restoration history. From the original eBay listing: 1954 BSA Gold Star for Sale

History: Included documentation as provided by the Gold Star Owners Club, Great Britain Registrar shows that this bike dispatched to Hap Alzina, USA in Clubman trim on 4 December 1954 with engine number CB34GS308 and frame number CB32 1694.  A copy of the original factory Engine Brake Test is also supplied and shows this bike was tested in clubman configuration and produced a maximum B.H.P. of 38.2 at 6500 rpm fitted with a GP carb on Oct 21, 1954.

Also included in the auction is the original Lucas Mag/Dyno with new points installed.  There is nothing wrong with this mag/dyno.  I ran the bike with the Lucas installed for approximately 300 miles before installing the BTH.  I installed the BTH because I wanted the ability to set timing and forget about it and the advance curve.  I ran a BTH in my Velocette and loved it.  Note that the tag (see pics) on the BTH indicates Lucas.  BTH Components goes out of their way to retain authenticity in appearance.  The BTH is solid state and makes starting a breeze and allows the bike to idle nicely with the monobloc installed.  The TT carb is a racing carb and does not have an idle adj/stop screw, however, when up to running temp the bike does idle nicely with the TT.  There is also an original BSA tool kit included.  I did not take pics of the tool kit but can do upon request.

I installed the Nova Racing gear cluster because I was unhappy with the ratios of the original scrambler box in the rolling hills here in Northern California.  It doesn’t get any sweeter than a Nova 5 spd.  The clutch plates are near new with very little use.  I have put less than 1500 miles on the bike since installing the TT carb, Nova 5 spd, and BTH mag. 

This is essentially a new CB34 Gold Star with original engine and frame numbers as shipped from the factory in 1954.  The bike has been well cared for and is in pristine condition.  The title is clear and in my name.  It is registered in the state of California and expires in Feb this year.  I will most likely non-op the bike if it does not sell before Feb 16 as I am unable to ride it due to health issues. 

1954 BSA Gold Star L Front

Bidding is up to $15,000 with several days left on the auction. Gold Stars have held their value very well, and this one looks to be in nearly perfect condition with very desirable upgrades. They’re always in demand: if you’re a fan of classic British iron, you probably lust after a Gold Star… They embody everything people love about classic bikes: they’re fun, characterful, and involving. Parts are available to keep them running and they sound the part, with enough performance to make a weekend ride rewarding.


1954 BSA Gold Star R Side

Wish upon a Gold Star 1962 BSA Gold Star Catalina

In 1937 Wal Handley came out of retirement to ride a three-lap race for BSA at Brooklands. (A track I’ve been too that is pretty much gone but it has a neat museum there now.) This was unusual in itself, as BSA had taken no involvement in road racing since the disastrous 1921 Senior TT when all the machines entered failed to finish. Winning the race, with a fastest lap of 107.5 mph, Wal earned himself the Gold Star (awarded for race laps in excess of 100 mph) and with it launched the Gold Star marque.

As I understand it the Gold Star was made up the best components BSA was making at the time. They were a Factory made race ready bike. Because of the manufacturing techniques of the era some pieces would be close to perfect and some pieces would just barely meet specs. Parts like cases and cranks. BSA would check these parts as they assembled the bikes and put the cream of the crop in the Gold Stars. That’s not the only thing that set them apart from their standard bikes. They came with Alloy Barrels and Cylinder heads. Out of the box these bikes would go 90mph, pretty good for it’s day. By the time they got to 1955 the bikes were pretty much perfected and became something you would order and not see at a dealership. The later ones have really low production numbers and can bring a pretty hefty value.

Read closely and ask questions… From the seller:

Restoration is almost complete on this rare and collectible BSA Gold Star, the best bike BSA has ever built. The engine and transmission, wheels, frame, and components have been totally and professionally restored. Over $6,800 spent on parts and labor, not including the cost of the bike. Cases vapor blasted, frame coated. New parts include seat, handle bars, levers, lots of stainless hardware and components. All parts included in the sale are pictured. you’ll need a tank, pipes, and ignition. Most of the parts are here and the decision is yours – finish it as a scrambler, Gold Star cafe, custom cafe, flat track, your imagination is the limit. the hard work is already done… Forced sale, this motorcycle is one of my prized possessions and it has been in a climate controlled environment. Located in San Francisco, California. No title, sold with a bill of sale.

No title and missing some key pieces like the tank makes for the possibility of a fair price buy in on this project. If you’ve always wanted to dominate the competition on the vintage race track or just have a very uniques investment this bike is for you. These come up for sale very rarely so it’s hard to put an exact value on it. The Nada Guide has a perfect one valued at $15k. This auction will prove or disprove Nada’s accuracy.  Since “the holy grail” is used to describe certain bikes I hesitate to say this is the Holy Grail of classic sport bikes but I might say it’s the holy grail of the BSA’s.


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