1971 BSA Rocket 3


  • 2 owners from new
  • Eye-catching Flamboyant Blue paint and brightwork
  • Amal carburettors

The Appeal

The Rocket 3 from BSA was arguably the world's first superbike. Being released just weeks before Honda's equivalent. 

It made use of a new engine layout for the time, an inline triple. Being technically advanced at the time of its release, owners were happy to welcome less vibrations compared to earlier twins and singles. 

BSA also made sure to appoint the Rocket 3 with striking looks to match the advanced mechanics, giving for a more than capable motorbike.

The History and Paperwork

  • MOT exempt
  • Originally purchased in Canada, later imported to South Africa and then the UK
  • Selling due to relocating
  • Paintwork in good condition
  • Engine rebored for slightly oversized pistons, no notable effect on capacity
  • First registered in UK 01/07/22 
  • Desirable cooling duct for front drum brake
  • Good condition for the age

The Interior

  • Seat in very good condition
  • Desirable Smiths gauges
  • Handlebar and grips in good condition

The tank strap is in good condition with a few chips and blemishes. 

The saddle is also in very good condition, absent of any rips or tears and still offers good comfort. The passenger grab handles are in very good condition, well looked after and still possessing a great shine. 

The riders foot pegs, brake and gear levers are all in good condition with the usual wear you would expect. 

The passenger foot pegs are in very good condition with minimal wear.   

The Exterior 

  • Flamboyant Blue paintwork in good condition
  • Matching wire spoke alloys in good condition
  • Some paint chips and blemishes present
  • Exhausts in fair condition

This example of the Rocket 3 is painted in gorgeous Flamboyant Blue. 

The paint and brightwork has been kept in good condition considering the age and mileage. There are some chips and blemishes present, notably around the fuel tank and rear subframe bodywork. 

The polished exhausts are in fair condition with a few small dents, scratches and some discolouration on the tips. All other brightwork is in fair to good condition, with some corrosion present on the wing mirrors. 

The current owner informs us that he has fitted stainless steel rims and spokes from the wheel exchange in the UK.

The Mechanics

  • 31,967 miles from new
  • Both tyres with good tread
  • Hagon rear shocks
  • Engine and gearbox casings in good condition

This Rocket 3 boasts twin Hagon rear shocks as well as triple Amal carburettors. 

The ignition has been upgraded with a Boyer system. Both tyres have good tread and are in good condition. The engine and gearbox casings are all in good condition with some oil residue present around moving parts such as kick start, gear selector etc. 

The seller makes us aware that the engine and gearbox casings have never been split due to regular servicing. It is worth noting that the clutch cable is worn where it meets the front brake cable. 

Also included in the sale is a box of miscellaneous second-hand spare parts for the engine. 


This BSA Rocket 3 is an honest example that has evidently been cared for throughout its life. 

Considering the age and mileage it is in good condition overall. 

The paint still retains its shine and accounting for the few chips and blemishes is in good condition. It has been kept as true as possible to its original condition which is impressive considering the age and mileage. 

This proves to be a great opportunity to own an honest example of arguably the first superbike format, from one of Britain's most renowned motorcycle manufacturers. 

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Vehicle specification
  • Year 1971
  • Make BSA
  • Model Rocket 3
  • Colour Blue and Silver
  • Odometer 31,967 Miles
  • Engine size 750
Auction Details
  • Seller Type Private
  • Location London
  • Country United Kingdom
Bidding history
2 bids
  • hill.am•••• £7,500 11/10/22
  • Tony Ge•••• £7,100 04/10/22

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