|The BSA B50 was the last in a long
line of successful bikes, although it also spelt the end of an era with the ensuing
domination of the Japanese Motorcycle Industry. It was manufactured for two years between
1971 and 1972/3, when the BSA marque left the forecourt and only the Triumph and Norton
Following success on the track the B50 displayed innovative new features
which manifest themselves in the form of Oil in the Frame (OIL) technology, improved
swinging arm adjustment, beefed up engine, box type (waffle) exhaust, electric's contained
in a single removable pod and better stopping power at the front wheel.
The design was radical, which did not go unnoticed by the Japanese who some years later
manufactured both small and large bore single cylinder street scramblers, by then known as
trail bikes. Typically the Yamaha
XT500 in 1976, the Honda XL250 in 1978 &
XL500 models in1979.
The Honda CB250RS (1982 pre-electric start) which I
a good piece of engineering with exceptional reliability, counter rotating balance shafts
in the engine, automatic valve decompressor and a four valve head feeding two
The BSA street scrambler was available in 250cc and 500cc versions. The European models
were available with 3 gallon steel tanks, whereas for the American market a smaller 2.5
gallon alluminum tank was standard. The bike was also available in Trail and Scrambles
versions. By this point in the history of BSA most of the production was aimed at and
subsequently sent out to the USA. The Japanese had all but taken the English market and
the sowing machine era had dawned, so called because the throaty boom of the British
exhaust note had been replace by the quiet sowing machine noise of the Japanese models.
Ironically, riders of these machines would quite often swap the silencer for a short
megaphone type to increase the noise, and hence their presence.
Because of the Japanese influx into England at that time there are only a few of this
marque on the road. This makes it quite a desirable model and it is well loved and sort
after in the Scandinavian countries.