BSA A65 Lightning Clubman
BSA introduced a pair of new unit construction twins,
typed the A50 and A65 during 1962. Displacing 500cc
and 650cc respectively the new models were initially
offered in comparatively gentle states of tune designed
to appeal to the touring rider, riders seeking a sporting
Beeza twin were able to choose between the Super Rocket
or Rocket Gold Star pre-unit A10 series machines until
1963. The end of production of the two pre unit models
resulted in sporting versions of the A65 being made
available, with a new Rocket, later to be known as
the Lightning being announced for 1963 which was joined
in 1964 by the Lightning Clubman.
Long distance production class races, such as the
Thruxton 500 mile had become important marketing tools
for the major manufacturers and were an arena that
the RGS had excelled in, a tradition that the new
Lightning Clubman sought to continue.
The new model differed visually from the more mundane
variants of the A65 in a number of ways. Dropped bars,
rear-set footrests and a single racing style saddle
together with chromium plated mudguards, headlamp
brackets and headlight combined with a gold fuel tank
with chromium panels to produce a striking machine.
Mechanically the uprated engines, each one of which
was bench tested at the works, featured a newly introduced
alloy head equipped with splayed inlets for the twin
carburettors, a hotter camshaft and siamesed exhaust
system developing a claimed 51bhp at 6750rpm and was
coupled to a close ratio gearbox ensuring that the
performance matched the looks.
Built in limited numbers they are arguably the most
charismatic and rarest of the A65 twins. The example
offered is described by the vendor as being in very
good, original, condition throughout and is arguably
one of the best known examples of this rare machine
having been owned by Chris "The Stalker"
Walker. BVV 693C was featured in the December 1999
issue of Classic Bike and has been used on "special
occasions" whilst in Mr Walkers ownership. We
are informed that it has recently benefited from a
£1200 engine rebuild and rebuilt wheels. The
machine is supplied with a BSA Owners Club dating
certificate, Swansea V5C, an MOT certificate valid
until the 24th June 2009 together with a number of
old MOT certificates and a workshop manual.