BSA A7 Star Twin

1946-1962.  500cc OHV air-cooled twin.  


1949 BSA A7500cc BSA A7 Star Twin


The 500cc BSA A7 twin; as popular with private citizens in the UK domestic market as it was around the world with the numerous Commonwealth police forces that bought the machines. Solid, surefooted and smooth running, the A7s are ideal starter classic bikes requiring minimal maintenance and offering generally reliable and docile service. Highly recommended.

That's a 1949 model on the left, by the way, and a 1950 model on the right, both with rigid frames.


The BSA A7 was the first post-war twin built by Birmingham Small Arms. The basic concept was in development by August 1939. Herbert Perkins and David Munro were the architects; two talented engineers building upon a foundation laid down by Valentine "Val" Page.

The A7 first appeared in 1946 and continued for 16 years until 1962. It started as a rigid frame model, then went to optional plunger frame (1951) and finally to swinging in arm (1954).

The BSA A7 originally featured a bolt-on gearbox in the style of the "semi-unit construction" Triumph 6/1 or Royal Enfield Bullet. But when swinging arm frames appeared, the gearbox was separated creating a more traditional pre-unit engine layout.


BSA Star Twin advert


In 1949, the A7 became the Star Twin. In 1954, the A7 Shooting Star arrived with its twin-carbed, aluminium alloy cylinder head and performance camshaft.

The problems you're likely to get with this bike are the usual everyday things that can happen to any classic. Electrical faults. Carburettor issues. Magnetos irritations. Loose nuts and bolts. Leaking fuel tanks. But there are no serious design flaws with the Star Twin. We've ridden a few of these A7s over hundreds of miles, and it's always the same; easy starting,  unfussed performance, reasonable braking, and comfortable.

In short, these are all docile, good natured, easy-going classic BSAs; bikes that will lower rather than raise your blood pressure. If that's your kind of ride, then ride one. But if you want more rock'n'roll in your life, look elsewhere.


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