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Classic Motor Show 2022

26 Jul 2023

1971 BSA Power Set - the last full range production year before BSA’s demise.

BSA Owners Club Stand: 5-612
1971 BSA Power Set - the last full range production year before BSA’s demise.
1971 BSA Power Set Brochure Cover and Bikes in Display
The BSA Owners' Club is displaying examples of standard and rare motorcycles from the 1971 model year - last full range production year before BSA’s demise in 1973 – 50 years ago.

The BSA Owners' Club is partnering with one of its members, Angus Campbell, to display a rare collection of models from the BSA 1971 model year to mark the 50th anniversary in 2023 of the demise of the marque prior to its relatively recent acquisition and revival.

1971 was the last full production year for BSA before it had to scale down operations due to financial difficulties that ultimately led to a cut down range in 1972 and finally one model in 1973 before it was merged into the new Norton Villiers Triumph concern. BSA was dead, albeit temporarily.

The 1971 range was named The Power Set and comprised an ambitious and vastly revised range of revamped and newly developed motorcycles, including rare models built to homologate certain features for road and dirt track racing in both the UK and, more importantly, the large US market.

The BSA Owners' Club is displaying almost every example of the 1971 range on its stand at the 2023 show, including newly developed models that did not reach production, rare homologation models and also short run paint scheme models. These are from early production runs in the 1971 model year which distinguishes them from other manufacturers in them having a distinctive dove grey painted frame rather than black. These were only produced between Nov 1970 – May 1971.

The full line up being displayed as part of this theme is as follows:

- BSA A75V Rocket Three. 750cc three cylinder. Five Speed. Firecracker Red. Only 200 built to homologate the five-speed gearbox for the factory road racers;

- BSA A70L Lightning. 750cc twin cylinder. Bronze/White. Only 200 built to homologate the larger capacity for US dirt track racing. The standard BSA Lightning is 650cc;

- BSA B50SS Gold Star 500 SS. 500cc single cylinder. Flamboyant Red/Black. Original and unrestored. One of the first off the line; however, production of the model did not begin until late May 1971 and by that time the factory had reverted to painting the frames black at the request of the US market;

- BSA E35R Fury. 350cc DOHC twin cylinder. Plum Crazy. Only a handful of pre-production examples exist as the newly developed model did not reach full production before the factory suffered financial problems and the model was axed. This example is the very bike used at the extravagant launch of the 1971 range at the Royal Lancaster Hotel, London, on 10th November 1970;

- BSA E35SS Fury SS. 350cc DOHC twin cylinder. Plum Crazy. Street Scrambler version of the same model above. Distinguished by the high-level black exhaust, chrome mudguards and black brake plates. As per E35R above, only pre-production examples exist;

- BSA B25SS Gold Star 250 SS. 250cc single cylinder. Flamboyant Blue. One of only 146 examples built in one batch in Jan/Feb 1971 in Flamboyant Blue trim before the colour was axed in favour of the more common Flamboyant Red and Black colour scheme as per the B50SS above;

- BSA K2 Ariel 3. 50cc single cylinder two-stroke. Everglade. The three-wheeler moped was aimed at female shoppers and was to be sold via white goods stores such as supermarkets. It flopped after being marketed through the usual big bike dealer network and was axed in 1971 having earned the nickname “Granny Killer”.

The bikes will be accompanied by original period marketing posters and factory publications including those associated with the very rare Fury models.

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