BSA is probably best known for their Lightning, but they also had a touring complement known as the BSA Thunderbolt. 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. Plus, with a 4.2 gallon gas tank, riders were able to go over 200 miles per gallon without filling up. The 46 horsepower engine enabled the bike to hit 104 miles per hour, and a dry weight of 385 pounds helped keep the bike manageable.
Unfortunately, quality control issues in later models led to oil leaks and premature rust, tanking the reputation of this bike. This combined with the influx of Japanese bikes like the classic Honda CB750, contributed to the demise of the BSA Thunderbolt. This specific example has a recent service with a valve adjustment and carb rebuild. It’s got 25,537 miles and is now ready for you to put on some more.
Find this BSA Thunderbolt for sale here at Velocity Vintage in Richmond, Virginia for $3,200.