How does it compare to the Royal Enfield Interceptor?
Visually and when it comes to attention to detail, you have to say the BSA trumps the Enfield when parked side-by-side. It may cost about £700 more but, on the Gold Star, you get branded brakes where the Interceptor’s are bare, quality Pirelli tyres compared to questionable CEAT rubber, lashings of chrome (aside from the exhaust, which the Enfield has and the BSA lacks) and a far more period-authentic retro styling. True, the Enfield has piggyback shocks (which add no extra adjustability), chrome engine cases and rubber fork gaiters but overall, the BSA is more likely to draw a crowd of admirers.
Hit the road and the Enfield feels the sportier of the two bikes. Narrower, lighter and, thanks to its matching 18-inch wheels, keener to turn, the Interceptor lacks the BSA’S slightly lazy handling. Aim the Enfield at an apex and it drops quickly on its side where the BSA with its 18-inch front and 17-inch rear requires more persuasion. However, once lent over, the BSA’S quality tyres and longer wheelbase make it feel more surefooted midcorner. Acceleration-wise out of bends, they are pretty evenly matched.
Away from the corners and the Enfield’s parallel twin feels the less demanding motor, despite the fact the BSA’S single makes virtually identical power and torque. On a motorway at 65-70mph, the BSA sounds and feels like it is working hard where the Enfield is far smoother and content, helped by an extra gear to drop the revs.
However the trade-off is the fact it lacks the BSA’S spirit and, when on B-roads, it hasn’t got anything like as pleasing an exhaust note.
‘The BSA trumps the Enfield’