Reference: BSAs: which to choose?

BSA C15 Star

Nowadays, though, that situation has changed with the bigger models in particular developing quite a following and being priced accordingly.

Announced to the 1959 season, the C15 Star was based – quite blatantly, which was a slight shock to the system as BSAs and Triumphs hadn’t, thus far, looked alike – on the Triumph Tiger Cub, itself a development of the Triumph Terrier. The C15 Star was not intended to be exciting or glamorous; it was a tool to do a job. That job? To get people to work, reliably, efficiently and comfortably.

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Soon, the boys in BSAs comp shop were playing with the baby Beezer, it soon finding itself a niche in the off-road market. Though trials success came, it was the scrambles world where the unit Beesa most excelled, with Jeff Smith world champion in 1964 and 1965.

In a twist of irony, right at the end of the BSA/Triumph group’s days, some B50MXs were sold badged as Triumphs. It wasn’t the end for the unit BSA though, as CCM continued campaigning and developing them through the 1970s, with some remarkable results. Description and years of models follow…

1958 BSA C15 Star
Launched at the end of 1958, the new BSA borrowed much from the Triumph Terrier/Cub range, though the cylinder was vertical rather than inclined. It looked modern and was sensibly styled, aimed at the ‘ride to work’ market.

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1967 BSA B40 WD
BSA tendered for the contract to replace the army’s Triumph TRWs in 1965 with a military B40 in 1965 – by the time the order came, in 1967, BSA no longer built B40s but because that was the specification of the tender, B40s the army had to have…

1962 BSA B40 SS90
From 1962 to 1965, the SS90 was the sporting version of the 350cc B40, which had joined the range in 1960. Compression ratio was up to a pretty high 8.75:1, with claimed power 24bhp. Lashings of chrome added show to the go.

1970 B44 Victor Special
There was a host of B44 variants, with the Victor Special joining the B44 Victor Roadster, Victor Enduro, Victor GP and Shooting Star. All shared the same capacity of 441cc, achieved by stroking the B40 to 90mm, from 70mm.

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1967 B25 Starfire
There were several C25/B25 variants (Barracuda, Starfire, Fleetstar, Victor Trail and even Gold Star) which shared the same basic 250cc engine, though in various states of tune. Reasons for the change from C25 (1967) to B25 (for 1968) remain unclear.

BSA B50MX
The last of the BSA-built range of singles, with the B40/44 stroke retained, but bored to 84mm, giving a touch under 499cc. There were the road going Victor and Gold Star, plus the one which outlasted them all – the B50MX, made until 1974.

Visit the Mortons Archive for more information and online search options concerning BSAs, or speak to our archivist Jane Skayman on 01507 529423 with your requirements. Email enquiries@mortonsarchive.com bike

Other articles in the 'which model' series:
? Ariel Square Fours
? BSA Bantam
? BSA A10s
? Cammy Norton Singles
? Norton Commando
? Norton ES2
? Triumph Thunderbird
? Velocette LE

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