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BSA A65 Lightning Clubman

1964 BSA A65 Lightning Clubman

BSA introduced a pair of new unit construction twins, typed the A50 and A65 during 1962. Displacing 500cc and 650cc respectively the new models were initially offered in comparatively gentle states of tune designed to appeal to the touring rider, riders seeking a sporting Beeza twin were able to choose between the Super Rocket or Rocket Gold Star pre-unit A10 series machines until 1963. The end of production of the two pre unit models resulted in sporting versions of the A65 being made available, with a new Rocket, later to be known as the Lightning being announced for 1963 which was joined in 1964 by the Lightning Clubman.
Long distance production class races, such as the Thruxton 500 mile had become important marketing tools for the major manufacturers and were an arena that the RGS had excelled in, a tradition that the new Lightning Clubman sought to continue.

The new model differed visually from the more mundane variants of the A65 in a number of ways. Dropped bars, rear-set footrests and a single racing style saddle together with chromium plated mudguards, headlamp brackets and headlight combined with a gold fuel tank with chromium panels to produce a striking machine. Mechanically the uprated engines, each one of which was bench tested at the works, featured a newly introduced alloy head equipped with splayed inlets for the twin carburettors, a hotter camshaft and siamesed exhaust system developing a claimed 51bhp at 6750rpm and was coupled to a close ratio gearbox ensuring that the performance matched the looks.

Built in limited numbers they are arguably the most charismatic and rarest of the A65 twins. The example offered is described by the vendor as being in very good, original, condition throughout and is arguably one of the best known examples of this rare machine having been owned by Chris "The Stalker" Walker. BVV 693C was featured in the December 1999 issue of Classic Bike and has been used on "special occasions" whilst in Mr Walkers ownership. We are informed that it has recently benefited from a £1200 engine rebuild and rebuilt wheels. The machine is supplied with a BSA Owners Club dating certificate, Swansea V5C, an MOT certificate valid until the 24th June 2009 together with a number of old MOT certificates and a workshop manual.