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BSA A65 Lightning Gallery

BSA introduced a revised series of parallel twins for the 1962 season featuring unit construction and revised styling. The presence of the Rocket Gold Star in the BSA catalogue initially precluded the need for a production racing variant, however, once production of the RGS ceased a competitive replacement was required. The Lightning Clubman sought to address this deficiency when it was introduced in September 1964, continuing in production until October 1965, in the process becoming the most charismatic of all the unit BSA twins.

The model was equipped with dropped handlebars, a humped single seat, rearsets, a cranked kick-start, twin carburettors, a siamesed exhaust system with a less restrictive silencer and a close ratio gearbox.

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1964 BSA A65 Lightning Clubman BSA A65 Lightning Clubman More BSA A65 Lightning Clubman info...
1965 BSA Lightning Clubman BSA Lightning Clubman

BSA offered three variants of the A65 in Britain during 1967, the single carburettor Thunderbolt, the sporting Lightning equipped with two Amal Concentric carburettors and the range topping Spitfire aimed at the clubman. The Lightning proved popular combining good performance and flexibility with secure handling and braking.

1965 BSA A65 Lightning BSA Lightning A65  
1967 BSA A65 Lightning BSA A65 Lightning

Once introduced in the early 1960s the design of the BSA unit construction twin remained largely unaltered in both 500 and 650 forms until 1964 when various modifications were incorporated into both the 500 and the 650 A65 design, the most significant being the splayed port cylinder head, fitted with its twin carburettors. The resultant machine proved to be a potent mount, and well capable of challenging the high performance Triumph twins of the day. More BSA Lightning A65 info...

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1969 BSA A65L Lightning 650 1969 BSA A65L Lightning 650
1970 BSA A65L 650cc Lightning 1970 BSA A65L 650cc Lightning  
1972 BSA Lightning 1972 BSA Lightning  
1974 BSA A65 Lightning BSA A65 Lightning

1971 wittnessed the introduction of a new oil bearing frame for both the BSA and Triumph twin cylinder ranges. Developed at Umberslade Hall, the new chassis incorporated internally sprung slimline forks, revised brakes and amended styling.

Towards the end of BSA's activities as a manufacturer of motorcycles the company developed at the request of their American arm, a "longstroke" engine displacing approximately 750cc. Intended to provide a powerplant for the company's US flat track racing team, 200 machines were produced for homologation purposes and in doing so provided the inspiration for firms such as Devimead who subsequently offered "Jumbo" conversions for the A65 powerplant.

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