One of BSA's rarest race offerings...

0 comments / Posted on by Kirk Chapman

As I approach an age where I can safely say I have spent half of my life in the motorcycle business, I have to admit I've gotten a little desensitized to just how awesome an old Euro bike actually is. Not that I take them, or what I get to do everyday, for granted, but I'm always so immersed in them that it takes something really special, like a 1952 Zundapp K601, or a rare race part coming in the door, to really get the heart rate up. In this case, it's the latter–a cylinder head for a BSA pre unit A10, straight out of the race catalog, set up for twin remote float carburetion.

Twin carburetor cylinder heads are common place with the popularity of BSA unit twin models, like the Lightning Kirk is on now, or the likes of Spitfires, hornets, etc., but nearly unheard of in the pre-unit series. 

Two problems exist with this head. 1) It's deplorable condition. (Like, what is scrap aluminum going for right now? ) 2) Manifolds for it exist only if you're able to time travel back to your local BSA shop and hope they'll order a set for you from Nutley, NJ., where the BSA/Ariel East Coast warehouse existed. 

So, what to do...

Solution 1) Have the head fixed by our friend, and very well-respected machinist, Ed Johnson from JVE. It will take all the talent in the world to fix this head, and, luckily for me, that's only 3.2 miles away. Seat repair, fin repair, resurfacing, port smoothing–it needs it all. 

Solution 2) New manifolds have actually been made from wax molds and only need to be cut in half and taped to make 1 left and 1 right side manifold which are unique from one another. Ed is the man for the job again. 

Either way, it's a good thing we have Ed. This is the kind of part you get completely rebuilt and ready to go, and just wait for that perfect BSA pre-unit twin to come in the door. It's kinda like finding the most perfect sunglasses in London, and you know you won't need them for a long time but better grab them for when you do. I'll post on the progress. 

 

Bradley

 

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