BSA followed their acquisition of Ariel with the purchase of Triumph in 1951. It was decided from the outset that BSA and Triumph would retain complete autonomy. Indeed, that policy endured for almost two decades, until BSA Triumph Group Ltd were in dire financial straits, by when a certain amount of ‘badge engineering’ did then occur, albeit against great opposition from a loyal middle management.
BSA’s 650cc A65 sold across the globe in tens of thousands; its rugged engine also evolved into the definitive mode of propulsion in the hyper competitive world of European sidecar racing. By 1965 this machine had become the Lightning, which was a natural design progression aimed at the American market. A highly tuned version of the BSA A65, with twin Amal carburetors and high compression pistons to give lively acceleration. Not just the extra power, but American market high bars were thought to be persuasive to an American buyer in the mid-1960s.
The matching-numbers machine offered here is in exceptional original condition. The 1967 vintage bike offered here was part of the personal collection of the late Triumph and BSA restorer, Lars Elvik, member of the British Iron Association in San Diego. It has just been fully serviced by a marque expert, with new battery, etc.
The bike has a lovely setlled patina of a well-maintained and cherished 53 year old motorcycle. The bike runs well, stops and handles as it should. The engine feels taut and it shifts well through all gears. The bike is sold on a clean, clear California title in non-op status.
Equipped with a sidecar, this Lightning offers a wonderful vintage ride, that can be enjoyed by the whole family.