Real Classic - - Letters -

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

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