162 of 202 – 1972 BSA A70L Lightning

In England, Sport by AbhiLeave a Comment

Post Sale Update: After 15 bids on eBay, this rare BSA sold for $7,250.

Every Britbike enthusiast knows about the A65 twin and the several model variants it powered. But did you know that there was a rare evolution called the A70? BSA produced 202 examples for homologation purposes so that they could use a 750cc twin in AMA flat track racing. Here’s #162, and it will need some work – it’s complete but the seller calls it a “rolling restoration project.” Still, the A70L was BSA’s rarest and biggest post-war twin, and should make this an appealing project for BSA fanatics.

Let’s go back to 1969. Up until that point, AMA Class C rules stated that OHV motors used in competition would have be less than 500cc. When the AMA opened up the class to 750cc motors, BSA figured it made more sense to develop a new twin from the A65 instead of using their heavy 750cc Rocket Three triple. The A70 was born, and BSA sold just over 200 of them to satisfy homologation rules. Basic specifications were approximately 54 horsepower, 110 mph top speed, and a 390 pound dry weight. The motor was paired with a 4-speed transmission and braking was taken care of with a twin leading shoe drum up front and a single leading shoe drum in the back. For more on the A70L, check out this buyer’s guide from Sump Magazine.

This bike (VIN: A70L/HE01162) shows 12,822 miles on the odometer but the seller suggests that he can’t be 100% sure that’s the correct number. Thanks to some documentation that will be included in the sale, the seller believes that this is of 23 units that were originally shipped to California. As mentioned above, this bike is going to need some work. The main problem spot seems to be the electrical system but you’re going to have to do a bit of digging to see what the problem is. There’s a lot of potential here, and it’s nice that it seems relatively untouched. Who’s got a hankering for a rare project? Thankfully, the seller does an excellent job of including lots of photos of different spots on the bike to aid your visual inspection. This bike has had 3 owners and it looks like it last ran in 1975. Let’s hope owner #4 changes that!

Find this rare BSA for sale in Idyllwild, California with bidding up to $4,065 and the reserve not yet met