Old and Classic Motorbike History, BSA GOLD STAR
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.
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