Model: SV 350
Color: Olive Green
Engine Size: 175 cc
Engine Cylinders: 1
Engine BHP: 3.5 BHP
Transmission: Manual 3-Speed
- BSA (Birmingham Small Arms) est. 1861.
- 1912: Pioneered all steel bodies.
- BSA produced rifles, ammunition, motor-cars, folding paratrooper bicycles.
- Currently makes air guns/shotguns.
LeMay volunteers and Vintage Motorcycle Enthusiast members, Pat Barnes and Dick Casey, brought this particular 1924 BSA back to life in 2004. Pat and Bob spent hours tinkering and tuning until the roar of the motorcycle could be heard. This motorcycle features an interesting 3 speed gear box with shift lever mounted to the side of the gas tank and disk brakes, front and rear.
Birmingham Small Arms Company, also known as BSA, began in 1854 in Birmingham, England when 14 gunsmiths grouped to sell arms for the Crimean War effort. They officially formed a company in 1861, signed papers in 1862, and opened a factory in 1863. Bicycles and bicycle components were the main factory output throughout the 1880s, with motorized bicycle production beginning in 1903. The first real motorcycle was created by BSA in 1910 – a 499 cc side-valve.
Production ceased during WWI while BSA pursued its traditional gun manufacturing. In early 1920, they acquired a design engineer from Daimler named Harold Briggs who designed new sporting machines. The popular 1928 Sloper was one of the first new designs from BSA. The first and only two-stroke, a 175 cc unit construction bike was produced for only one season in 1928. BSA’s famous Star series started in the 1930’s with the Blue Star singles in 250, 350 and 500 cc versions. The Empire Stars followed.
Reliable rather than innovative, BSA became the largest motorcycle company in the world between WWI and WWII. In 1946, BSA announced a new competition model – the 350 cc B31. As the company continued to grow, they were able to purchase Triumph in 1951.
BSA’s most famous single, the 499 cc ohv DBD34 Gold Star, started production as the Blue Star, became the Empire Star in 1937, and was then renamed the Gold Star after Walter Handley won a Gold Star at Brooklands that year. Production of the new Gold Star began in 1938 and continued until 1963.
During the 1960’s, the company was slow to innovate and made several failures. Although an industrial giant, the company proved unable to compete well against Japanese competition, and by 1970 they hit financial hardships. They were bought and absorbed into the Norton-Villiers-Triumph group in 1971. Production ended in 1973.