BUILDING A BETTER BEESA
Here is my A65 ‘refurb’, a labour over several years fitted in between work, work travel, family, holidays, etc. It’s an import from Wisconsin, USA, a 1971 BSA A65 with the grey frame, at least it was originally. I am sure my partial patina-retaining refurb may not be liked by fans of full restorations but, apart from the one big mistake I made early on getting this into rideable and enjoyable condition, I quite like it.
On arrival, the grey frame looked pretty grubby with poor paint condition, rust coming through in many places, a broken frame rail where the main stand attached and poorlyrepaired accident damage by the PO. This was evidenced by the upwards bent left footrest. The side panel ‘graphics’ are by the PO and the creative use of ‘that’ tank design with BSA transfers, looks kind-of cool, at least to me, at least over time.
I wasn’t sure what I was in for, but I followed some advice from the ‘if it ain’t broke then don’t fix it’ side of my brain and put effort into getting the engine going. After an oil change, ignition check, etc, I got it to bark into life courtesy of the Boyer-Bransden electronic ignition, and almost had it ticking over after a little warm up. No smoke from the exhaust, plugs clean as a whistle after 10 minutes running and it sounded RealClassic good!
Then I thought: great, the engine’s good so let’s full restore the rest. That was the mistake which I had plenty of opportunity to repent during many leisure moments over the following years. First I had the frame beadblasted. Unfortunately, the bead blasters almost removed all of the frame number in their enthusiasm to clean it all up. Then I compounded this enthusiastic approach by powder-coating the frame and totally obscuring the frame number. Not good; more delicate work required to retrieve it from the paint.
Looking at the now sparkling black frame, I think this has severed the history of this BSA A65 from its present day incarnation. I still feel disappointed with my decision to change the colour and not just leave it alone, but hey ho, onwards and upwards.
Et voila! Here it is, ready for its MoT. So far, so leak-free, so I’m happy about that. I’m still not sure about that frame colour though. Indicators will be added but I can’t decide whether to use the old originals or some smaller new style ones. Decisions, decisions...
Graeme Kraemer, member
Most encouraging! Thanks for this. If my own A65 looks half as good as yours I shall be delighted. More delight if it actually works, too… Frank W