1955 BSA A7
Birmingham Small Arms (BSA) was founded in 1861 by fourteen gunsmiths in Birmingham with the purpose of supplying small arms to the government during the Crimean War.
During the 1880s the company manufactured cycles, the first powered cycle being produced in 1903. BSA’s first machines were all single-cylinder, but the company later became well-known for its’ V-twin models, although perhaps the most famous BSA of all was the single-cylinder Gold Star introduced in 1938.
By the start of the Second World War BSA had 67 factories in the Midlands and during the period of hostilities produced 126,000 M20 military motorcycles.
After the war a new design, the twin-cylinder 500cc A7, entered production in late 1947. Initially performance was unsatisfactory for most customers, but a redesign and the introduction of the 650cc A10 Golden Flash and the later A7 sports 500 – known as the Star Twin which competed successfully for the Maudes Trophy for endurance – the model proved a big seller for the manufacturer.
THE COLLECTION’S EXHIBIT:
BSA A7s were a very popular machine and many were used throughout the 1950s. This motorcycle was produced in 1955 and is fitted with a 4 gallon (18 ltr) fuel tank which, with a fuel consumption of 55-65mpg, permitted a range of 220-260 miles on a full tank.
The exhibit was donated to The Shuttleworth Collection in December 1999 by Mr Roberts.
Manufacturer: Birmingham Small Arms (BSA), Smallheath, Birmingham, England
Engine: 26hp ohv twin, 500cc
Top Speed: 85 mph