BSA 500 & 650 Twins
The Essential Buyer's Guide
A7, A10, A50 & A65
1946 - 1973
So what's inside the book?
A complete guide to buying both pre-unit and unit BSA Twins
Just like having your own BSA Twin expert by your side
Ownership advice - is it the right bike for you?
10 minute and 30 minute evaluation checklists
How to check the bikes' authenticity
Which models are best?
The implications of restoration
Running cost details
How to get the paperwork right
Lists of useful contacts in the BSA community
Get the right bike at the right price
Triumph stole a march on BSA with parallel twin architecture. The 1937 Speed Twin was such a hit that it became clear to the rival UK motorcycle manufacturers that multi-cylinder (albeit just two at present) was the future of biking.
And so it was that in 1946, with WW2 over, the Birmingham Small Arms Company announced the launch of the 500cc pre-unit A7. Val Page, Herbert Parker and David Munroall greats in their fieldwere the design and engineering team. The A7 was initially available as a 495cc, air-cooled parallel twin, but was later reconfigured to 497cc.
At Sump, we've got a particular fondness for these hard-working motorcycles. They're strong, durable and solid, and yet surprisingly gentle too. A7s simply lope along effortlessly and reliably. Maximum speed is around 85mph. Economy is around 60mpg. Long distance touring is recommended.
In 1949, BSA enlarged the A7 brief and launched the 650cc A10. Externally, it was a very similar machine. But now, another top designer had been brought in to revise the concept. That designer was Bert Hopwood, of Norton Dominator fame.
By 1962, pre-unit construction (engine and gearbox as separate components) gave way to unit construction. This was the beginning of the equally worthy A65 range, and the design carried BSA along for another decade.
This guide by Peter Henshaw will help you look for the right bike, uncover whatever problems there might be, understand the fixes, and feel confident to buy. The A7, A10 and A65 range are all excellent classic bikes that just about anyone can learn to live with. No special skills are needed, and very few special tools are required. You simply need to know where to start, and where to finish.
Thousands of motorcyclists worldwide already own these bikes, and there's always room for one more rider...