1966 BSA Thunderbolt A65

In England, Touring by AbhiLeave a Comment

Post Sale Update: After being relisted on eBay, this BSA Thunderbolt sold for $4,600.

The BSA Thunderbolt, despite the aggressive, sporty name, was designed to be a touring bike from the Birmingham Small Arms company. That’s right – BSA (which at its peak, was the largest motorcycle producer in the world) was a originally a gun manufacturer. Guns and bikes – how’s that for two exciting hobbies?

BSA Thunderbolt A65 - Left Side

Powered by the traditional 650cc air cooled twin with a single Amal carb, the BSA Thunderbolt (also known internally as the A65) had evolved to minimize vibrations found from previous BSA Twins. This allowed for sustained 70 mph travel in comfort for the first time. In road tests, this bike was also able to ‘do the ton’, as the Brits loved to call 100 mph. Unfortunately, as you might be able to guess, quality control issues tanked the reputation of this bike. This combined, with the influx of Japanese bikes like the classic Honda CB750, contributed to the demise of the Thunderbolt.

BSA Thunderbolt A65 - Gauges

This specific BSA Thunderbolt features the classic story (usually a lie) that it was found in the back of a barn. With that said, unlike the other BS ‘barn find’ stories, this was claimed to have been founded as a project that has been brought back to life. The only cosmetic concern would be the tank – the chrome wasn’t salvageable, so it features a two-tone paint job instead. This is a numbers-matching bike with the factory options of a larger tank and uprated clutch. We like this bike because it’s, as the seller says, “more a preservation than a restoration”. Other than the paint on the tank, everything is original equipment. Take two kicks to get it started, then enjoy this classic touring bike!

BSA Thunderbolt A65 - Headlight

Find this BSA Thunderbolt for sale here on eBay with a Buy-It-Now Price of $4,600 in Dunedin, Florida.

BSA Thunderbolt A65 - Gas Tank