BSA 1966 650


I bought this bike with six others and it was the best of them. At that time I read the odometer and did not believe it had less than 50 miles. After doing the needed maintenance it may be true - you will check this over I am sure. I am the third owner; the bike was bought in England and still has the dealer sticker on the dampener knob. It’s all fitted up as the home market model.

I have done a number of needed things, but also took care to change as little as possible; they are only original once.

The 19 rear wheel was hit by a dog or cat hard, so a new British chrome rim was fitted. Only S.S. spokes could be found in the crinkle hub form for the 19 inch wheel, and I used the nickel plated brass nipples.

The tank was stock paint with quite a few chips and the side covers had been re-sprayed an off color. I matched the darkest red I could find on the tank and redid the paint as close as I could to the stock job, hand painted stripes and all. The side covers are the new ones made here in Flint, Michigan which are better (stronger) than stock. The tank has been cleaned, etched and treated with POR15 prior to painting. Petcocks have new corks and are all cleaned inside. New fuel lines (the best money can buy) are swaged in place - the old ones were rock like. The mono block carbs were very dirty and full of black gook which may have saved this bike as it is today. They now look and work like new. New needle jets were fitted. New nylon lined throttle cables are hand made.


The oil tank required a day of cleaning. The front end came down all the way, the steering head bearing was degreased and than re-greased. The fork tubes and bushings look very new inside, but I have fitted my new improved dampening kit into this bike so the front end works like no other you will find ($250.00 value). New seals and a splash kit were added to the dampener rods. Only the guts have been changed - I even saved the original gators and clips.

When I went to change the front tire, I got a shock; there was no rust under the rim strip. I then opened the head light bucket and it looked like the day it was made. That’s when I knew I had something special on my hands. I have saved the original tires if you want them; they look usable but would be dangerous to ride on. When I pulled the air cleaners, I got another jolt. They were the original ones and still usable. The Lucas stickers on the coils are very clear and the instructions on the air cleaners are still readable.

Timing, primary and rocker covers have been polished. The head was re-torqued and the valves were re-lashed. The rectifier and Zenor were removed, cleaned and replaced. A fuse was added to the battery hook up. The clutch and front brake cables were remade using nylon lined materials; they work like silk, but I reused all the original abutments. Choke cables are original and with some dry lube, now work well. The clutch came apart for a cleanup and checkup. The steel plates were lapped by hand to dead flat and the friction plates were in great condition (soft to the finger nail, they had never been hot). The primary chain had never been adjusted; the shoe was just sitting on the bottom of the case and it had about a ½ play. I re-set it to 3/8 play. I plugged off the main chain oiler at the back of the primary since these make a mess if you don’t. I used F type ATF in the primary.

I added a ground wire to the tail light housing and the head of the engine. I fitted a new AGM battery with custom made plastic fittings to hold it still. I spent several hours getting the old points set with a strobe. This required the making of a timing mark on the rotor and stator. These old points are the type that in order to get the timing just right, the second set has to be re-gapped.

The sump plate was removed and replaced - the case was full of gassy oil. The engine looks like new inside, not even discolored. The speedo drive was disassembled and screws put into the retainer ring so that proper maintenance can be carried out in the future. All the old grease has been removed and replaced with new.

Many of the rubber bits have been replaced - foot pegs, fork spring rubbers, the little rubber tubes on the wire clips that dampen the side covers, the pieces that retain the odee fasteners, and the tires and tubes. The drive chain has been replaced with a real “Renolds” drive chain brand new old stock.

Some interesting notes: the red paint on the fork oil drain screws and the level and drain screws in the primary is still there from the factory. No bolts were found stripped or bunged up or even over tightened. As near as I can tell I was the first one into the covers on this bike. The chrome is old and has the spider web thing going on, but at ten feet it looks good. An old acid leak from the battery left some marks on the left side muffler and a little on the chain guard right underneath the battery. The mufflers are beautifully formed pieces. The reproductions don’t look the same.

The speedometer and tachometer work with their original cables, and have been lubed.

This is a real fine bike ready for use; at a show, if there was a prize for an original ridden bike, you will take it. This is by far the most untouched bike I have ever seen and it performs as it did in1966. Even the seat still feels good. If I were going to tour with it, I would replace the points with at least the more modern 6C’s points that have independent adjustment and the newer better automatic advance unit, and move the condensers out of the timing cover. I can carry out any modifications you might need for real long rides, but right now there’s just 60-70 miles on the odometer. I would hate to see it sitting somewhere not being used. I worked on this bike so it could be finally used as intended. Sold on eBay to a man in Virginia