1966 BSA Hornet

HIGHLIGHTS


  •  In fantastic show condition
  •  Matching numbers
  •  A65 high-compression engine
  •  Extremely low mileage
  •  Ready to display or ride

THE APPEAL


The BSA star has shone bright since 1861, and a century later, the stripped back BSA Hornet was developed on the same A65 platform as the Lightening and joined other evocative model names such as Thunderbolt, Rocket and Spitfire.

A far cry from the streets of Birmingham, the purpose-built Hornet was squarely aimed at the enthusiastic off-road desert racers in the U.S. and successfully competed against other British marques such as BSA-owned Triumph. Famously, Steve McQueen was hooked on desert racing and reportedly praised the Hornet’s powerful engine.

This stunning British bike was restored in the late 1970’s, is still in amazing condition, and takes advantage of the original specification Hornet high-compression engine with road-going ‘luxuries’ such as lights and a speedometer!. 

THE HISTORY AND PAPERWORK


  •  Californian export
  •  Restored in Denmark around 1976
  •  UK import paperwork

A dating Certificate supplied by the BSA Owner’s Club, and based on official BSA records, suggests that this stunning Hornet was despatched to West Duarte, California, on the 5th December 1966.  

Having soaked up (and possibly competed in?) the Californian sunshine for around ten years, it was then sold to a collector in Denmark who restored it and converted it to the road-friendly Lightening specification, retaining the original Hornet engine and transmission.

Yorkshire based dealer, Mike Ives Classic Motorcycles, then purchased the gentleman’s entire collection in 2015 or early 2016. The V5 indicates that the first U.K. keeper registered it on the 12th April 2016 and applied for a 1965 registration number.

The current second U.K. owner, and keen motorcyclist, acquired this gorgeous BSA soon after, on the 27th May 2016 and has only ridden it a couple of hundred miles. He has clearly kept it in tip-top condition and attended to any maintenance requirements.
  
This bike does not have a current (exempt) MOT and the (exempt) tax is on SORN.

A pleasing file of supportive paperwork includes:

  •  NOVA paperwork
  •  Number Plate Authorisation Certificate
  •  BSA Instruction Manual
  •  Up to date V5
  •  Two previous healthy MOT’s from 2016 and 2017
  •  BSA Owner’s Club Dating Certificate
  •  Sales Receipt from Mike Ives Classic Motorcycles
  •  Invoices for recent parts and labour
  •  Two sets of keys

THE CONDITION


  •  Stunning paintwork
  •  Spotless chrome
  •  Great instrumentation

The photographs of this quintessential classic British bike hopefully speak for themselves. Despite being cosmetically restored a good few years ago, this BSA is in fantastic condition and has clearly been kept indoors primarily for display purposes.

The classic black paintwork and extensive bright work is excellent, and the full double-cradle frame is in great order along with the fuel tank complete with it’s striking ‘BSA’ star emblems.
The side oil tank and battery cover feature ‘Lightening’ decals and a reference to this bikes earlier Hornet specification is mounted on the rear mudguard.   

A Smiths speedometer and rev counter sit up front and are accompanied by a Lucas ammeter mounted on the headlight. Again, these are in great order, as is the saddle, alloy components, rubber fittings and lighting.

The gleaming rims and spokes look great and are shod with older but correct Dunlop Gold Seal K70 tyres with ample tread remaining.  

THE MECHANICS


  •  Popular and powerful A65 650cc
  •  Well cared for mechanicals
  •  Ready to ride

Conforming to original Hornet specification, this A65 2H 650cc OHV parallel twin appears to be in good order. Featuring a high lift cam, two new 32” Amal mono-bloc carburettors, energy transfer coil ignition and 12 volt negative earth electrics.

With a claimed power of around 53bhp @6,800rpm these bikes are no slouches. Indeed the owner tells us that “this engine shifts”. The low-geared competition 4-speed transmission undoubtedly helps with acceleration but at the natural expense of top-end speed. The hydraulic front forks, swing-arm rear suspension and drum brakes are also said to perform well.  

This BSA indicated around 100 miles on the clock when the owner purchased it in 2016 and he suggests the current mileage of 410 could be genuine?. There is no accompanying evidence or proof of a rebuild. 

Reassuringly, the fuel tank was relined by MTS Classics, Milton Keynes, in 2016 and the usual oil leaks were rectified along with a service and MOT by The Motorcycle Workshop, West Sussex in 2017.

SUMMARY


The BSA Hornet (and indeed Lightening) are both highly collectable classic British motorcycles
and arguably the coolest looking bikes in the world.
 
This renovated beauty must surely epitomise what a motorcycle should look like. It is undoubtedly ready to admire or enjoy riding out with your motorcycling mates.

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This item is sold on an ‘As is Where is’ basis. The condition of this item is the opinion of the seller and may differ from your own opinion. Photos and listing descriptions are for guidance purposes only*.** Car & Classic do not warrant listing accuracy. Full inspection is recommended. Viewings are at the seller’s discretion. Buyer is responsible for delivery and collection of any item purchased.*

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Vehicle specification
  • Year 1966
  • Make BSA
  • Model Hornet
  • Colour Black
  • Odometer 410 Miles
  • Engine size 650
Auction Details
  • Seller Type Private
  • Location Sussex
  • Country United Kingdom

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