The birth of Birmingham Small Arms Motorcycles
BSA Motorcycles (part of the Birmingham Small Arms industrial group) was the world’s largest motorcycle manufacturer from the mid-1930s to the early 1960s. They peaked in the 1950s as one of the world’s largest companies and purchased Triumph and Ariel motorcycles.
In 1884 Birmingham Small Arms began building bicycles, after over 30 years producing rifles. They progressed into motorised bicycles around 1905, and grew from strength to strength. As with many motorcycle manufacturers they had expansive growth during and after the two world wars, but in 1946 they launched their BSA A7, their own 500 vertical twin engine. This developed into the BSA Gold Star.
Trials and Tribulations
The BSA Gold Star was their champion motorcycle, it was selling rapidly and winning races and sure-fire way to growth – however by the mid-1950s BSA made a series of blunders which knocked them off the top stop. This included discontinuing their Gold Star and redesigning their A7 and A10 models, three moves which didn’t go down well.
The 1968 launch of the BSA Bantam went down like a lead balloon and the bike was criticised for its outdated look, whilst other manufacturers were taking the market by storm. In 1971 BSA lost £3 million and this was the last year of production for most of their motorcycles.
What are the different types of BSA motorcycle?
There are a few different types of BSA motorcycles including…
Gold Star – BSA’s superstar! They were hand-built and one of the fastest motorcycles in the world during the 50s; they dominated the TT.
A7 – BSA’s first vertical twin engine, replaced by the A50 in 1963.
A50 – The A7’s replacement in 1963, but sales didn’t see the same success
A10 – 646cc Vertical Twin, it was replaced in in 1965 by the A65 (which never sold as well as the A10).
Rocket 3 – BSA’s three cylinder superbike was outshone by Honda’s 750.
Bantam – BSA’s commuter bike, now a classic, it was criticised in its day for looking too dated.
How can I get a quote for my BSA?
Your BSA bike insurance provides one of three levels of cover, depending on which you choose: fully comprehensive, third party fire and theft, and third party only. This includes a 24/7 claims line should you ever need to make a claim, as well as 90 days’ worth of cover across the EU – which could save you a significant sum of money if you’re a regular traveller across Europe.
We will need you to provide us with a few details to provide a quote, such as security for your bike, your location and occupation, mileage, driving habits and whether you have any no claims bonus. We’ll also need to know about any convictions within the last 5 years.
Get a fast quote online right now, or give our friendly team of advisors a call and they’ll give you a quote for your BSA over the phone on 0345 872 3614.
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