MY BSA A10 BIKES

                 Greg Wakeman

See the page links below the photos on left to view BSA A10 photos, books, and A10 literature page

PAGE LINKS
THE LITERATURE PAGE

PHOTOS PAGE 
TIPS AND TRICKS PAGE
BOOKS FOR A10 ENTHUSIAST

CONTACT ME
by E-mail

Please give your e-mail a subject: otherwise it looks like one of those assholes selling Viagra and I'll dump it before I look at it!!

BSA A10 Golden Flash
1958 A10 Golden Flash 
Click to enlarge

1958 A10 Golden Flash and 1963 A10 Super Rocket

 

 

 Last Updated: September 22, 2010 

NEW!!!
I found a great website for T-shirts, and they've created a BSA T-shirt for me. The link below will take you to the site. 

Click here to link to
a BSA T-shirt offer

koala_tees_final_rev_7010003.jpg (37973 bytes)bsa.jpg (42887 bytes)
Click on the shirt
to enlarge the image

NEW!!! Plate your own parts at home
Most of the hardware on my bikes (CAD plated), I have restored myself, and find it to be most rewarding. About 15 years ago I bought the CASWELL "COPYCAD" kit, which allows you to re-plate your parts in your home. It actually uses zinc but when done correctly, according to instructions, it looks just like CADMIUM. In July 2010 I bought a new kit (they're on sale) and it comes with tanks, Zinc plates, agitator, heater, chemicals, etc. Everything you need to begin plating (except power supply: I use a 6 V motorcycle battery). I find that restoring original hardware is fun and very rewarding. See the "TIPS AND TRICKS" page for info on how I set up my plating area.

I have provided a banner and link here, if you're interested in doing it yourself, and saving a bundle. Whenever I have to service the bike and remove parts, I check the screws, etc. and if they look shabby, I re-plate them. Check it out:

Caswell Inc     
CLICK HERE

See the "TIPS and TRICKS" page for photos of my plating setup. It's tip #5

TIPS AND TRICKS PAGE

See the "TIPS and TRICKS" page for things I've learned over many years of restoring A10's.

There's also a "books" page for the A10 enthusiasts. There are great books I have in my collection

I am a 61 year old  Mechanical engineer, enjoying my BSA British motorcycles. I've been a "motor-head" since I was old enough to know what a Go cart was. We built our own go karts, and mini-bikes using parts from discarded lawnmowers and used go kart frames, throughout grade school. Then in Jr. High, and High school we graduated to hot rods. We'd tow the old '54 thru '57  Fords and Merc's out of the junkyards, and turn 'em into hot rods. Being in a middle class family with 4 brothers and a sister, dad was not expected to buy each kid a car when we hit 17. We built our own. Those were the days the movie "American Graffiti" was tailored after. My friends and I got into Bikes in the late '60's. I've never owned a new one. It was the same story.....You want a bike......put one together! Just don't let Mom or Dad catch on. 

We still ride the old British twin motorcycles we rode back then. In fact I've been riding my '58 BSA A10 Golden Flash from 1972 to the present. I bought the A10 Super Rocket to have spare parts for the Flash, but after years of collecting parts, I restored that too. Nothing like twin twins. I also have a great collection of literature and books. See the literature page for many sales brochures, etc. My books include lots of great A10 info such as photos (needed to get things right) and how to books such as the Haynes shop manual SHOP MANUAL 1.

I hope to make this another web site dedicated to the old BSA British motorcycles, in particular the BSA A10 workhorse that leaked oil and required the rider to carry spare parts and a tool kit as well as a good knowledge of repair. It was when the A10 stopped leaking oil that we got concerned. That could only mean the oil tank was empty.

THE BIKES

1958 BSA A10 Golden Flash

I bought the A10 in October 1972. It ran but had been typically butchered by whoever owned it prior to me. Apparently it had been owned by the original owner for about 13 years and then went through an interim owner who butchered it, and then a car dealer somehow got it and I bought it from him for $400.00. I was told by a friend who knew Jim Buyers (the original owner) that Jim had ridden it to Daytona for Bike Week many times in the very early Ď60ís.

The original front fender had been replaced with a generic chrome fender. The handlebars had been replaced with ape hangers. The gas tank was held on with a bungie chord. The rear fender had been shortened and the fender support brackets cut and bent to accommodate the shortened article. The original air filter box was missing. Other than other misc. non-original stuff the bike was fairly complete and restorable. But it was only 14 years old and didnít really cry out for a restoration. 

I rode it for many years. The biggest trip I took on it was during the winter of 1972-1973. I rode it from the East coast to Southern California. My friend Tom on his Norton Commando and me on the 58 A10.  It took us two weeks to cross the country. We camped along the way mostly in National Parks (which were free in the winter). We rode around the mountains and deserts of southern Cal. for three months. Then back to reality hit us.

I rode the bike seasonally until 1982 when I wiped out on loose gravel. Broken pelvis, heel, and wrist, not to mention some sheet metal damage. I laid the bike up in the back of the garage and only looked at it very occasionally until in 1987 my friend Steve took me to Auburn, Mass for the BSA Owners Club of New England (www.bsaocne.org) show and swap meet. After a full day of seeing all those classic bikes in various states of repair, restoration, etc., I decided the í58 was going to come back to life.

It took five years of attending to every nut and bolt, collecting parts etc. With the help of Roy Bacon's book  BSA twin restoration, I was pretty much able to get it close to original. In the spring of 1992, I fired her up. Everything had been completely disassembled and re-plated, (many parts done with my Caswell "CopyCad" plating kit, (see link above), re-painted (by me), fixed and reassembled. I used PPG catalyzed acrylic urethane paint. Itís expensive but 100 times better than spray can paint. I color sanded every part and buffed them to a high gloss. The frame and frame attachments were powder coated.

The Beeza and I have been through a lot of shows (many trophies to show), and great rides since then. As each year passes she becomes more and more of a head turner. Iíve re-painted the fenders, re-plated a few parts, had the magneto re-wound, carburetor sleeved and bored, and continued to find parts ever trying to get it as original looking as possible but still rideable in todayís crazy traffic (northern NJ). I have the original front wheel all restored but sitting in my basement because I canít seem to make the brakes even a small notch above "non-existent". E-mail me if you have any suggestions. Iím using a Twin Leading Shoe brake setup on another wheel most of the time. that's from a later model BSA ('67 I believe)

Through all the years, the Beeza has been very reliable and always gets me from A to B. Carrying tools, spare plugs, cables, chain parts, and a good working knowledge of the machine is a must. Sometimes Iíll be riding and sheíll stop running. The plugs fouled up. Just change Ďem on the spot and keep rolling. No codes to scan, no computers to re-boot, just an unbelievably simple Amal Carb, incredibly reliable Lucas Magneto, a robust engine (as long as itís not beaten up and the oil is kept very clean), and itís a great ride. Remember, the A10's have no oil filter (although conversion kits are available). The gunk the engine creates get caught in the crankshaft "sludgetrap". If that gets filled, the way to clean it out is to dismantle the engine and the crankshaft, and clean it out. Something you don't want to do every 3,000 miles!

WHATíS BEEN DONE TO THE BIKE.

  • This is a summary of significant upgrades.

  • The frame and attachments were powder coated. I think if I do another bike I'll paint the frame with the POR 15 paint system (www.por15.com) . I've used it in other places and it is unbelievably tough stuff. 

  • I painted the sheet metal with the PPG Acrylic urethane paint. It is a catalyzed paint, which requires a lot of skill and experimenting to use. I had to color sand each part to get rid of the runs and bring it the high gloss it has.

  • I plated the parts with the Caswell Copycad plating kit. It is great kit. For more info, click below:

  • Caswell Inc

  • The AMAL 376 mono-block carburetor was bored and sleeved by Lund Machine Co. in Washington state www.amalsleeve.com. . This returns the carb to itís original slider clearances. It is important that the bolts that hold the carb. to the engine should not be over-tightened since the carb body is slightly weakened due to the bore.

  • The magneto was rewound and a new condenser installed by Markís magnetos in Connecticut. (i've lost the link but will attempt to re-locate Mark). He does a great job and the price is fair. I've been told by Mark that he doesn't work through e-mail or a website and that you should call before sending anything to him. His number is: 860-537-3683. Typically, you know the magneto needs a re-wind and capacitor when it runs weak or it won't start when it's hot. I ran both bikes on the original magnetos and could feel them deteriorating via lost power and inability to start the bikes hot.

  • The Boyer Brandsen regulator brings the DC up to 12 volts. No need to upgrade or change the generator in any way. It handles the 12 volts with no problem. It's simple to install, fits in the regulator/toolkit side box, seems to last forever. I bought mine from British Cycle supply in Canada. http://www.britcycle.com

  • The twin leading shoe front brake makes the bike stoppable. I still have the original wheel all set-up and  restored but I still haven't figured out how to make it stop the bike. Any suggestions would be appreciated.

  • I also switched to the 4-spring clutch, which is far superior to the original 6 spring clutch

1963 BSA A10 Super Rocket

I bought this A10 around 1980 as spare parts for the Golden Flash. It was a mess. It had been used as a trail bike for many years. It had no lighting system, no horn, some beat up old non BSA seat, no fenders, bent up handle bars, beat up transmission, smokiní engine, etc. etc. etc.

Not to mention the rust, and thick layers of oily dirt encrusted to every part of the machine. But the previous owner had a ball with it in the woods.

It sat in my garage for I donít remember how many years. After completing the í58 restoration, (and about 5 years of enjoying it) I got the bug to do the í63. I had been collecting BSA parts for about 20 or more years and figured I had enough to at least start. And start I did in around 1996. Since I was no longer living in a house, and moving around a bit (renting), most of the work was done in cold broken windowed garages, in winter months. I recall doing the paint work when the weather was warm, and assembly in the winter. On March 7, 1999, I got it to kick over as a freshly restored BSA, along with his sister miss Golden Flash. I must admit, I havenít ridden the Rocket anywhere near as much as the Flash. Perhaps this year.

Even though the engines and frames etc are the same, there is considerable difference when riding the two.

The Flash is docile. 34 HP, 7.5:1 compression, automatic spark advance, 4 speed tranny that shifts like butter. Cast iron head, Amal 376 Carb, mild 356 cam, etc. Itís fun to ride, handles well but will not snap your neck when asked to accelerate.

To start it, you:

Set the choke

Tickle the carb to allow raw gas into the manifold. You know youíve tickled enough when you smell your finger and smell the raw gasoline.

Make sure youíre in neutral

Kick it over 3- 4 times and youíre off.

The Rocket on the other hand has 45 HP. Hotter cam, bigger carb, aluminum head, bigger valves, higher compression, etc. BUTÖ.it also has a manual spark advance. Why the 60ís hot rods had to have that I donít know.

To start it you:

Do the above PLUS make sure youíve retarded the spark advance or that kick starter will kick you back but good.

When riding you need to remember that spark advance. If you attempt to accelerate without advancing the spark, the bike dies on you. Oh yeah you say to yourself, the advance. Kick that lever up and a whole new engine comes alive. One thing I can say for manual spark advanceÖ.You learn a lot about how spark advance works and how important it is. Most drivers havenít the foggiest clue that sensors and computers are putting that spark advance at the precise best place it could be at every condition the engine is under. With Super Rocket, you move the lever until it runs best. On highways it's full advance. On hilly country roads you have to play with it depending on your speed and the grade of the hill. Often I hear that pinging sound which is saying ADJUST THE SPARK, ASSHOLE!

WHATíS BEEN DONE TO THE BIKE.

  • This is a summary of significant upgrades.

  • The same applies to the paint, powder coating and plating as I mentioned above.

  • The AMAL 389 mono-block carburetor was bored and sleeved. This returns the carb to itís original slider clearances. It is important that the bolts that hold the carb. to the engine should not be over-tightened.

  • The magneto was rewound and a new condenser installed by Markís magnetos in Connecticut. 

    Marks Magneto Service. Mark says you must call before sending him anything.  
    321 McDonald Road
    Colchester CT
    860-537-3683

  • The Boyer Brandsen regulator brings the DC up to 12 volts.

  • The twin leading shoe front brake makes the bike stoppable. I still have the original wheel all set-up and restored. Same comment as above.

So those are the bikes. I bought a í56 A10 Road Rocket basket case about 33 years ago, and have been collecting parts for that. Who knows, maybe a '56 RR is in the making. 

Hopefully I've sparked your interest in British motorcycles and BSA's ! Restoring A10's is a lot of fun and rewarding. Everywhere I go I turn heads, (that is, the bikes turn heads). I must admit there are resources I needed to fix, repair, restore, maintain, etc. Among them:

 BSA twin restoration This book by Roy Bacon was instrumental in my ability to properly identify parts. Not perfect, since it covers all twins, not just pre-unit (A10). But it's a must for any BSA enthusiast.

 SHOP MANUAL 1 The Haynes manual I used for about 25 years thus far. It's well finger printed (greasy ones that is) and marked up. Another must if you are going to ride an A10.

 VERY INTERESTING READING In case you're wondering what happened to the once dominant British motorcycle industry, you'll love this read. Did you know that back in the 50's, One in every Three motorcycles in the world was a BSA?

BSA Motorcycles by Don Morley. He's an "authority" on BSA bikes and history, and will give you better insight to everything "Birmingham Small Arms." These links take you to Amazon.com, which has a terrific money-back guarantee and certainly will save you a few dollars over a trip to the mall. I got these great books by trekking all over the place.

Hells Angels 1 Some fun reading if you're in the biker mood.

More books on the "books" page

M1Stang: this is the kit car website of the M1Stang... a Mazda Miata transformed into a really good looking Mustang look alike. Check it out!!

PAGE LINKS
TOP OF PAGE
THE LITERATURE PAGE

PHOTOS PAGE 
TIPS AND TRICKS PAGE
BOOKS FOR A10 ENTHUSIAST

Web Master: Greg Wakeman 5-23-06
This website is copyright © 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010
All rights reserved
(statcount: 687, 4/13/07)


BSA A10 Super Rocket
1963 BSA A10 Super Rocket
Click to enlarge

PAGE LINKS

MORE OF MY BSA A10 PHOTOS

BSA A10 ORIGINAL SALES LITERATURE PAGE

TIPS AND TRICKS PAGE

GREAT BOOKS NECESSARY FOR RIDERS, OWNERS, AND RESTORERS

LINKS TO OTHER SITES

BSA OWNERS CLUB OF NEW ENGLAND

BRITISH IRON ASSOC. OF CONNECTICUT

OHIO VALLEY BSA OWNERS CLUB

BSA A10 SUPER ROCKET PAGE

Cyber Motorcycle
Website

BSA A7-A10 Forum

The M1Stang kit car website See note at page bottom

CONTACT ME
by E-mail
Please give your e-mail a subject: otherwise it looks like one of those assholes selling Viagra and I'll dump it before I look at it!!

 

 

These are full size photos, so they will take time to load. Once the photo pops up, Click on it to view the bikes in detail. (6/5/08)
58_2.jpg (3560956 bytes)
58_1.jpg (4016491 bytes)
63_2.jpg (3976254 bytes)
63_3.jpg (3802331 bytes)
63_4.jpg (4084589 bytes)