I am pleased now to report on the results of our 2006/07 priority, which was to finally find the time and finance to put a big twin back on the road for my personal use and, more importantly get some serious use out of it. Whilst the primary objective was fun, the more serious side was to re-acquaint myself with the process of living with a newly restored machine for the first few thousand miles, first hand, in order to be able to better serve and advise clients with their machines.
As with any of my own projects, I can't resist improving the brew to some extent and was delighted to acquire a long abandoned and very down at heel '67 A65 Thunderbolt. The motor was little more than a spares donor, but the rolling chassis was realy very sound and complete. Fortunately I already had a similarly sound '72 A65 Lighting motor available for just such a project. This then provided me with my dream combination of a pre oil in frame bike with a stronger and smoother oil in frame motor.
My original plan was to build from it a replica Lightning Clubman, of which I have restored a good number. However when it came to it I was struck by certain similarities between it and the BSA Flagship, the Rocket Goldstar, and used that as a theme, with apologies to owners of real Goldies. I am grateful to my teenage son Rowan for his help with the project and for keeping the old man company on our many trips on it in 2008, culminating in our August bank holiday run to North Norfolk, taking in the 20th Fenman Classic Bike Show. The First Fenman Show was, by the way, our first day's trading at an autojumble. The A65 took the 500 mile weekend in its stride as you would expect.
Included here are some pictures of our year with the A65.
Text and graphics copyright (c) 2008 RJM Classic Motorcycles.