Classic Bike Dossier: BSA Unit Singles

From the March 2005 Issue of Classic Bike Magazine
Story: Mike Duckworth • Photography: John Noble • Studio Photography: Lyndsey Church

BSA’s long line of rugged and simple ohv unit singles offer everything from the humble 250cc C15 to the fiery 500cc B50. Commuting, fun riding, police duty, military service, trail riding, motorcross, trials, grass track, dirt track, road racing, hill-climbing, speedway. BSA’s unit singles have done it all and often very well.

Despite this record, the versatile thumpers are often reviled for clatter, leaks, vibration and terminal blow-ups. Some of the notoriety is justified, since Small Heath’s build quality was uneven in the factory’s later years and so the smaller units were often victims of abuse and neglect.

That doesn’t mean a unit Beeza can’t make an enjoyable, dependable classic today. It’s a matter of choosing the best one for your needs and treating it to the care that many of the singles were deprived of when new. You only have to look at historic trials, motocross and dirt track to see that these machine can be very well sorted.

Our dossier covers models from 250 to 500cc sold from 1958 to 1973. It includes the post-1967 Triumph badged singles. Spaces precludes detailing every one of BSA’s myriad export and fleet.

To read the rest of this review, history lesson and general overview of BSA unit singles, click here to download the PDF file: Classic Bike BSA Unit Singles Dossier

One Response to “Classic Bike Dossier: BSA Unit Singles”

  1. Brunow says:

    Thanks! Great read!

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