I would have loved to be in the conference room at Birmingham Small Arms Co. in 1910 when the Managing Director asked for designs for the new line of rifles and someone slapped down drawings for a motorcycle. Needless to say the guy was not fired and by the 1939 BSA had developed a 500cc parallel twin designated the A7 which would not see the light of the showroom until after World War II.
This 1960 BSA A7SS on eBay UK is the sports variant of the 500cc produced from 1946 until 1961. The first A7 Star Twin as a 495cc twin with a CR of 6:1 and would give you 27hp and a top speed of 85mph at 5800rpm. Redesign and renamed the Shooting Star in 1954 bumped the 497cc and CR up to 7.1:1 gave you 30hp with a top speed of 90mph. American Dealer Hap Alzina took a Shooting Star our racing in a production class in 1952 and with 8:1 compression and race fuel was able to get to 123mph.
From the seller:
Here we have a superb A7SS 500cc BSA Twin with great provenance, including original 1960 log book. Factory original engine, and chassis. Engine/gearbox overhauled by SRM engineering costing over £3,500.00. Which includes needle roller crankshaft conversion. Paint, and chromework to a very high standard. No expense spared on the extensive refurbishment of this machine. Comes with a CD of re-build, and a large history file of receipts, and records of work done.
What I have been able to find is that the A7SS was special in that it came with an Alloy cylinder head, 8 inch drum brakes and by 1954 a twin shock, swing arm frame. The performance numbers didn’t seem to change, but the addition in braking and suspension would have been significant improvement in road holding. The design of all BSA twins put the push rods to the rear of the engine and opened up the front for better cooling.
BSA has always been, at best, the 3rd best known British motorcycle, and any BSA other then the Gold Star has figured even lower in the pecking order. This A7SS for auction should show why BSA should be getting more respect from collectors and buyers. This light green color appears to be as offered in the 1950’s and with the optional green frame, the Shooting Star looks to have been a well designed and stylish motorcycle which could have been the first Manufacture named when listing British bikes.