Classic Bike Guide



BSA used the basis of the 441cc competitio­n engine to create a production competitio­n off-roader called the Victor GP. Whether the Victor name was down to it winning two world championsh­ips or because Jeff Smith’s middle name was Victor is the subject of some debate, but this may have just been a happy accident.

BSA then turned its worldbeati­ng factory motocrosse­r into a Victor Enduro model. This had the compressio­n reduced to 9.4:1 by means of a plate below the barrel, with the engine housed in a version of the C15T frame. In 1967, BSA used the Enduro to build a Roadster to replace the less exciting B40, which had been out of production for a year.

For reasons best known to itself, it pensioned off the Victor GP crosser – which was still successful in competitio­n off the showroom floor.

The Victor Special roadster arrived with an updated version of the Enduro engine. By now the chrome-lined alloy barrel had been replaced by an alloy barrel with a cast-in liner. The first Victor Specials came with tiny aluminium tanks and a startling yellow finish, proposed by Bob Currie.

In late 1967, the alloy tank was replaced by a fibreglass item with a heavily scalloped look. When glass fibre tanks were banned, this tank was remade in steel, though it was a bit small for use on British roads. Roy Bacon felt that the powerful Victor would have been a better bet than the 250 Starfire for a learner, being more tractable and less stressed.

In late 1967 the Victor became the Shooting Star in the US. That name, originally used on the A10 twin, was adopted in the UK in 1968. The last 441 models got a new TLS front brake in 1969 and a new heavy duty oil pump in 1970. Power output was 34bhp for the GP and 28-30bhp for the other models. While this was 10bhp less than a Triumph Daytona twin, the BSA was 100lb (45kg) lighter.

In 1971, the Victor name was resurrecte­d for the oil-in-frame B50. It came in three versions: a Gold Star SS roadster, a Victor Trail and a Victor MX. The first models came with a tiny petrol tank, but the last roadster models were fitted with a rather unattracti­ve item from the last BSA Fleetstar 250.

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