3 Page – PDF Download – Complete Article – BSA A65 Rebuild
“The Price of Enthusiasm – BSA A65 Restoration
By Peter Dobson
Simon Wilson had a bit of luck when he bought a Bonneville and discovered it was worth ten times what he paid. As for this BSA restoration – it was built from two ‘chopped’ bikes he bought for £700.
A brace of BSA A65’s for £700? Two Lightnings for the price of one? But owner Simon Wilson seems to have a lot of luck with bargain bikes. Last year he bought a Triumph Bonneville which, quite by chance, turned out to be an ex-Syd Lawton Thruxton racer worth something in the region of £25,000, or roughly ten times what he’d paid for it! How lucky can you get!
‘The Lightnings were a mess’, he says, ‘and a lot of parts were missing, but I’d always wanted a 650 BSA. Fifteen years ago when I was a kid I bought a BSA A7 ‘cafe racer’ and the bloke who sold it to me said it had an A10 engine.’
He found out later that it wasn’t true. That apart, it wasn’t a bad bike and Simon rode it for some years. When he married he shoved it in the shed and it was out of sight and out of mind until his young son found the bike last year.
That got the old enthusiasm stirring. He started to rebuild the ‘cafe racer’ but couldn’t wait to get back on two wheels which was when he bought the Bonnie.
He acquired the two A65’s, ‘sight unseen’ as the expression goes, towards the end of 1990 through an advert. ‘I think the vendor thought I was mad,’ he says, ‘and when I got them home I reckoned he was right.
‘I’d meant to build one bike and sell the other, but there was just one tank, one seat, one gearbox, one set of mudguards, and no clocks. They’d both been ‘chopperised’. Six inch extensions had been welded to the forks and the better engine was seized solid.”
Read the full BSA A65 Rebuild by Simon Wilson…