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Old and Classic Motorbike History, BSA GOLD STAR


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Information courtesy of Glenn Roberts
BSA Gold Star

Date of Manufacture: 1950
Engine Size: 500CC

Birmingham Small Arms was England's largest and for a time, the world's largest motorcycle manufacturer. The company began in 1854 as a joint venture of a number of small Birmingham, England area gunsmiths to supply armaments to the British forces during the Crimean War. The progression to build bicycles came in the 1880's as a result of a decreased demand for firearms. BSA's motorcycle business started in 1903 building re-enforced frames to hold an imported 2hp engine. The first BSA to roll off the line with all of its parts produced in-house was a 498cc side valve engine in 1910. During World War 1, BSA supplied some motorcycles to the war effort but concentrated most of its attention to making armaments for the allied forces.

The Gold Star made its debut in 1936 and was originally called the Empire Star. The name was changed to Gold Star after a tuned Empire Star broke 100mph at the Brooklands banked circuit and received the coveted lapel badge- a Gold Star.

BSA had a relatively strong racing presence prior to the Second World War. All racing activity was put aside during the War but resumed afterwards to give the company consistent racing results which had eluded them beforehand. Racing success equals strong consumer sales and the motorcycles were considered very reliable and a good value for the money.


1967 Yamaha YCS1 Adler M200 Ariel Square Four Benelli Tornado BMW R27 BMW R51 BMW R51/3 BMW R75/5 BSA Gold Star Ducati 750S Ducati 851 SP1 Ducati Monza Ducati Pantah Ducati Sebring Garelli Mosquito Harley-Davidson H-D XLCR 61ci Hercules Wankel Honda 305 Dream Indian Boardtracker Indian Chief Innocenti Lambretta IZH Planeta Sport Jawa OHC Kawasaki Mach III Mars Stella Matchless G80 CS Moto Guzzi Eldorado Moto Morini MV Agusta Nimbus with Bender sidecar. Norton Dominator NSU 250 NSU Max Puch Rickman-Triumph Metisse Rudge Scott TT Suzuki T-10 Triumph Bonneville Triumph TRW Velocette Thruxton Victoria Aero Victoria Bergmeister Vincent Rapide Series C Whizzer