Aqualung - a 1969 BSA Cafe

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Aqualung - a 1969 BSA Cafe

Post  chuckspeed on Sun 5 Dec - 17:01

This is my latest project - now that you've seen my older cafe project bikes...

Aqualung.

A 1969 BSA Thunderbolt. It was given to me by one of my neighbors in non-running condition; I have spent the last several weeks getting it working well enough to ride on the street. It was assembled from a bunch of old BSA parts, and the former mechanic appears to have never worked on a british bike before. I have it looking okay for the time being - but now that I know what I have and what needs to be done - it's going to get torn down and rebuilt the way I like.

Here are pictures taken just yesterday:




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bsa

Post  Road Rash on Sun 5 Dec - 19:56

Wow, nice bike, friendly neighbour! I'd like the bike the way it is, and you already have the ace bars for the cafe racer appearance! But yes always wise to inspect and overhaul the engine, to know what you have and minimize the risk of a breakdown. I read this on the internet 'The BSA 650 had a bronze bush main bearing on the right hand side, doubling as the crank oil feed, with a lack of effective crankshaft end play control, that all had difficulty staying together when thrashed', I am not a mechanic and do not know whether it is relevant to the bike you have, but perhaps good to research whether upgrades are available. Good luck!

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Re: Aqualung - a 1969 BSA Cafe

Post  TinTin on Sun 5 Dec - 22:46

chuckspeed wrote:A 1969 BSA Thunderbolt. It was given to me by one of my neighbors in non-running condition;

Wish I had neigbours like that..... lucky you!
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Re: Aqualung - a 1969 BSA Cafe

Post  Tobias on Mon 6 Dec - 22:54

there is a sludgetrap in there, in your crankshaft.
You can take the risk and run it like this, but it has to be clean otherwise you ruin your engine.
I overhauled my engine for this, but it turned out my sludge trap was completely clean haha
I am still trying to get a good caferacer look with my a65

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Re: Aqualung - a 1969 BSA Cafe

Post  chuckspeed on Tue 7 Dec - 18:31

Tobias wrote:there is a sludgetrap in there, in your crankshaft.
You can take the risk and run it like this, but it has to be clean otherwise you ruin your engine.
I overhauled my engine for this, but it turned out my sludge trap was completely clean haha
I am still trying to get a good caferacer look with my a65

Yes - -I am aware of the sludgetrap in the crank. Leave it to a brit bike designer to bury a critical process deep within the motor, requiring a complete teardown to access what is effectively a centrifugal oil filter. These are the same designers which crafted a carburetor requiring the use of a propane torch to set the float height. Then there's the British Standard toolset - no metrics or SAE to be found.

Nutters all.

After the rebuild, the bike will get:

- flanged alloy rims (19" WM2's front and rear)
- 19 x 3 Avon Speedmaster in front; 19 x 3.50 in the rear
- battery delete
- cafe seat (hand fabricated)
- electrics relocated to the seat hump
- side covers deleted
- centrestand delete
- tank restored

It will be a proper ton-up bike then. I'll try to keep the progress posted here.

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Re: Aqualung - a 1969 BSA Cafe

Post  Tobias on Tue 7 Dec - 19:46

where do you live? My bsa has a big dent in the rear rim..and I am trying to get it original

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Re: Aqualung - a 1969 BSA Cafe

Post  chuckspeed on Tue 7 Dec - 21:20

Tobias wrote:where do you live? My bsa has a big dent in the rear rim..and I am trying to get it original

I live in Key West, Florida. The rims that are on my bike are quite grotty, so I doubt they would be of much use to you. I plan on getting the rims from Buchanan's Wheel service:

http://www.buchananspokes.net/

since I live in the land of salt air - the bike needs stainless spokes - and I want the alloy rims to reduce unsprung/rolling weight. If you want original - they carry Made in England stamped Devon Rims. They're USD$233 each.

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