Royal Enfield has been one of the big hit brands of the past few years. Its 650 twins and new 350 single have soared to the top of the sales charts, with UK fans impressed by their styling, solid performance and good value.
And now there’s another option in that class – the new BSA Gold Star. Like Royal Enfield, BSA is a brand which was historically British, but is now owned by a huge Indian company. In the BSA case, it’s the massive Mahindra firm which owns the marque, providing strong financial and corporate backup for the BSA brand.
This is the first big bike from the firm, and it uses the legendary Gold Star name. The original BSA Gold Star moniker was given to a range of 350 and 500 single-cylinder sportsbikes, built between 1938 and 1963 with racing success alongside the high-performance road bike range. Indeed, the name came from a ‘Gold Star’ pin won by Wal Handley in 1937, when he lapped the Brooklands circuit at over 100mph on a BSA Empire Star.
The new bike doesn’t have much in the way of modern track performance, though it sticks with a single-cylinder layout, using an all-new water-cooled four-valve DOHC 652cc unit. It puts out 45bhp at a lowly 6,000rpm, and drives through a five-speed gearbox and wet slipper/assist clutch. The chassis is fairly standard stuff: a steel tube double cradle frame, twin-shock steel tube swingarm, 41mm front forks and preload-adjustable rear shocks. The brakes are by Brembo, with a twin-piston sliding caliper up front and single-piston rear, with a proper Continental dual-channel ABS setup. Tyres are also big-brand items, Pirelli Phantom Sportscomps, with 18” front and 17” rear wheels.
It’s the design and styling that has caught the attention of bike fans though. BSA has gone for a light update on the classic Gold Star looks, with the engine, instruments, fuel tank and paint work all echoing the 1960s styling. The twin-pod clocks feature individual analogue speedometer and tachometer units with LCD multi-functional display. The needles feature the same reverse sweep function as the original Smiths clocks. The fuel tank builds on the tank of the M24 and DB34 Gold Star, with similar chrome touches on the sides, an offset fuel filler cap and a dash of colour with contrasting pin stripe. The BSA logo commands the same prominent position on either side.
The engine looks exactly like a pre-unit BSA single too, with large sweeping exhaust header, extensive finning and polished casings. Wire-spoke alloy wheels –18-inch front and 17-inch rear – give a really classy look, the flat bench seat complements the overall design and also works with the optimised handlebar and foot peg position to offer a seating position that’s commanding yet comfortable. The back end is kept minimalistic, with a reimagination of the original Lucas lamps but with modern LED technology within.
The new BSA Gold Star will also be available in Legacy Edition, which is inspired by the Gold Stars of the past and finished in a special ‘Silver Sheen’ colour. Other unique touches on the Legacy Edition include chrome-finished fenders, mirrors and levers, polished engine covers, white beaded seat and a gloss black finish on instruments, headlight cover and foot pegs, along with chromed components across the motorcycle.
Other colour schemes for the new BSA Gold Star include Insignia Red, Dawn Silver, Midnight Black and Highland Green.
The BSA Gold Star also keeps links to the UK, according to Ashish Singh Joshi of BSA Company. “For us, the new BSA Gold Star is not just a motorcycle, but an emotion and we pursued the journey of bringing BSA back with utmost passion. To stay authentic to its roots, the new Gold Star was designed and engineered in the UK. The new motorcycle incorporates BSA’s DNA and stays a Gold Star that is true to its lineage.”
No word on price as yet, but you can find out more info, and register your interest here: https://www.bsacompany.co.uk
BSA Gold Star Specifications
Engine: Liquid-cooled, single cylinder, DOHC, four valves, twin spark plugs
Compression ratio: 11.5:1
Max. power: 45bhp@6,000rpm
Max. torque: 55Nm@4,000rpm
Frame type: Tubular steel dual cradle
Swingarm: Twin-sided, tubular steel
Front suspension: 41mm telescopic forks
Rear suspension: Twin shock absorbers with five-way adjustable preload
Brakes: 320mm disc, Brembo two-piston floating caliper (front), 255mm disc, Brembo single-piston floating caliper (rear), ABS
Front wheel/tyre: 100/90-18 Pirelli Phantom Sportscomp 36-wire-spoke alloy rims 18 x 2.5”
Rear wheel/tyre: 150/70-R17 Pirelli Phantom Sportscomp 36-wire-spoke alloy rims 17 x 4.25”
Fuel capacity: 12 litres
Dry/wet weight: 198kg/213kg
Seat height: 780mm
Features: Dual-channel ABS (Continental) A&S (Assist & Slipper) clutch Engine immobiliser Handlebar-mounted USB charger 12V socket (jacket heater)
Service interval: 6,200 miles.