Monday, 18 January 2010

The joys (and otherwise) of pattern parts

Seeing as BSA shut down in 1973, it's amazing that you can still get virtually every part. Hardly any of it is original though, and the tinware generally comes from India.

You can get chromed tanks from the very useful Kidderminster Motorcycles (01562 66679), as well as headlamp brackets, mudguards and headlight shells. It ain't cheap: the original brackets I picked up at Stafford were £65 discounted, but I chose the wrong ones. The shorter replacements, for the earlier drop-yoke A50s, were £90 from the equally helpful Burton Bike Bits (

The catch is that this stuff only fits approximately. The chroming and polishing and overall quality is good, but one of the brackets was 7mm taller than the other. It needed shortening with Alan Seeley's disc cutter to fit between the top and bottom yoke. This then leaves a gap which rain and muck could get into, so I'll need to find some fat o-rings or use RTV to bung them up. The 'ears' are too wide for the 7in headlamp shell too, so I Araldited on a couple of washers to the inside to take up the clearance.

The biggest pain has been a new fork top nut. The threads are just too fat to screw into the new (or, for that matter, the old) fork tube. Mr Seeley's thread files and rat tail files have made no impression so far. I really need a lathe.

The picture shows Diplomat finishing off the installation of a new timing cover gasket last Sunday afternoon. What a fine fellow he is.

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