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BSA B44 441 Victor Gallery

The BSA 441 Victor, or Victim, depending on who you are, was introduced in 1966 to capitalize on the BSA that Jeff Smith won two back-to-back world championships.

Realizing that to produce a true race replica of Smith’s bike would put BSA into more dire financial straights, the boys at Birmingham did the next best thing: they produced a motorcycle that looked like the factory MX bike, but shared none of its winning attributes, such as handling, reliability or light weight.

One thing it did share with the factory race bike was power. The production 441 was fast, but that motor was housed in a 320-pound package that flexed, bounced and tank-slapped its way from one near disaster to another. Forks and shocks were straight from the “street” department of BSA, and had the dubious distinction of blowing seals, sacking springs and other nonsense that didn’t endear themselves to going fast in the dirt. Rear shocks were street Girlings that would fade on a busy bar room door, and had a true operational life span of around 2 hours.

It took a mighty leg to start the Victor, and BSA saw fit to use a valve-lifting mechanism that would sometimes stick, and wreck the top end. The points wore like an eraser, with the points cam supported by a tiny bronze bushing that BSA offered no replacement for. If it wore out, you had to machine one from scratch. Electrics were handled by Lucas, with the fabled Zeiner Diode/Alternator set up that caused more cursing than a Bosuns Mate Chief with his crank stuck in the zipper of his khakis. But wait, there’s more…...With no air-box to speak of, large mice could walk through the air cleaner without bumping their heads, but the paper filter and devious path the air had to take strangled the motor.

A rather short wheelbase of 52 inches made handling at speed nervous, and a whole aftermarket industry sprung up around the Victor to make it handle within reason.

One could spend hundreds of 1970 dollars on new swing arms, shocks, forks, frames, etc. and still have a motorcycle that no one wanted. Resale value was a joke, and back in the day one of these tricked out Victors could be had for three hundred dollars all day long.

A British 32mm Amal monobloc or concentric carb dealt with the mixing chores, and proved to be a pain, with floats sticking and slides breaking and getting themselves ingested into motors. The usual Amal stuff.

Bike Image Description
1967 BSA Victor 441 1967 BSA Victor 441 The BSA 441 Victor was only produced for four years, and was the last of a dying breed. The boys at Birmingham never thought their beloved double-knockers and long stroke singles would be surpassed by anything from Japan, and scoffed in their ale when Honda or Yamaha was even mentioned. Sadly, it was on bikes like the Victor that most of us cut our teeth on, and why the Japanese took over the industry so quickly.
1967 BSA Victor 441 BSA 441 Victor  
1967 BSA B44 Victor Special 1967 BSA B44 Victor Special BSA B44, more info..
1968 BSA B44 Victor 441 Enduro BSA B44 Victor 441 Enduro  
1969 BSA Victor Special AHRMA BSA Victor Special 1969 AHRMA Air cooled, four stroke, single cylinder, OHV, 2 valve per cylinder.
1969 BSA 441 Victor single 1969 BSA 441 Victor single
1970 BSA Victor Special BSA Victor Special B441 Trials Outfit.

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