1965 BSA Lightning

I will admit that I have been concentrating on Triumphs over the last few months because the boxes of Triumph parts I own are calling to me. But by doing this I have forgotten about the competition that BSA put to Triumph during the boom of British motorcycles. This BSA Lightning offered no on eBay is a very nice example of the A65 powered line of bikes offered from 1962 until 1972.

Developed as a unit engine, the A65 was BSA 650cc twin cylinder to pursue the same market as Triumph and their twins. The unique feature of the BSA design were the four pushrods for the over head valves were all located to the rear of the engine. This opened up the front end to more fresh air to help cool the exhaust valves. Offered in a touring Thunderbolt, mid tuned Lightning and super sport Spitfire gave buyers options.

From the seller

This is a beautiful lightning that has 29 miles on the total engine rebuild and runs very strong, the near perfect gas tank is a N.O.S. that had gas put in it for the first time, gauges are rebuilt, the silencers are original Burgess pipes that have the BSA stampings on them rare to find a set of these, the bike is ready to ride.

The Lightning was the middle sibling of the three levels of tune. It offered 54bhp at 7000rpm, and with its twin carbs and 9.0:1 CR gave a top speed of 110mph. This was only a 10mph slower then the super sporting, and temperamentally tuned Spitfire. Like many things found in the middle, the Lightning was more then just a plodder, but less then a prima dona. The Lightning has the distinction of beeing chosen to wear the full fairing, rocket launching, bad girl riding motorcycle in the James Bond Thunderball.

The seller tells us that this is a recent restoration with very few miles. It does look the part. The chrome is shiny, the paint is bright, the seat is warn, but in good condition. It is easy to forget that this is not a late 70’s early 80’s motorcycle, but a hold over from the 1960’s. So if you are looking for a nice representation of the British invasion of the 1960’s that is not a Triumph, this BSA Lightning would suit you very well. BB

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