I read with interest your article on yet another works BSA – Mart’s Beesa. It is very important (to me at least) that as many details as possible are gleaned at this time as the witnesses are fast disappearing.
A few observations if I may – the first is that both this and Sid’s bike are derived from the BSA Victor GP as opposed to the production C15T which used the heavier frame of the Victor Enduro amongst others.
To make it more suitable for trials, the wheelbase is shortened by fitting the swinging arm from the Enduro/c15t/victor Special etc, which is an inch shorter than the GP and by putting an extra degree or two into the top yoke. You can see the rake on the very first big picture – daylight at top yoke greater than bottom. Also you will note the chainguard is fixed to the welded-on boss on the swinging arm.
The picture of the three brothers is very revealing as it shows the painted (yellow) GP tank complete with bung on Sid’s bike – I think Mart’s one was also yellow in this picture; it might have been painted white later, and it would have had the tank with the bung – they have done away with the airbox (too heavy) and use a bit of fabric to shield the air filter and electrics from the mud. The works engines all had a distinctive points cover turned from a lump of alloy – this is a bit of a secret to distinguish works bits – both Sid’s and Martin’s bikes had them.
Works bikes tended to have nickel-plated frames – both do – the plating bath was right next to the comp shop.
The forks are interesting as they are bolt-up end caps and are chrome-plated – again a works thing – I don't know the origin of the forks but they are longer than production items.
You show a picture of the bulb horn situated adjacent to the seat loop of the GP frame – unused for the trials seat as they were attempting to keep the seat lower – this loop was cut off the works scrambles bikes in 1967.
Both hubs would be Bantam – being so much lighter than others.
I would say that Martin’s bike was as much a works bike as any other – it has bits only available from the comps department and it would have been difficult to get hold of a GP frame at that time. At around this time, perhaps a little later, Scott Ellis had a GP framed C15 – it would eventually transmogrify into the Otter.
Some bikes were fitted with a scrambles cam, which made it a bit lively to ride – hence you usually saw the works BSAS take sections at speed! The frame shows signs of someone adding brackets for bits and pieces and the ignition system would have been energy transfer – which the works mechanics took a lot of trouble to set up and which did work, so I am told. Thank you for a very interesting article. Mike Wadsworth Email Hi Mike, the problem all magazine editors have – and we’ve discussed this before – is space. For bikes such as the Lampkins’ BSAS I could easily have filled the magazine with information. Thanks for solving a few queries as well, perhaps we ought to do a definitive Victor piece too… TB