BSA is back in business (although its business plan is considerably different from the original company’s formula), and the first bike it’s releasing is the all-new Gold Star 650.
BSA originally stood for Birmingham Small Arms, and the company originally started out as a British gunmaker (just like Royal Enfield) that branched out into other industrial production, including motorcycles. After going bust in the 1970s, the brand was kept alive in overseas markets as a re-badging marque slapped on small-cc commuter bikes. Now, Indian industrial giant Mahindra has purchased the BSA production rights, and is manufacturing new machines under its Classic Legends subsidiary.
The new Gold Star 650 is the first motorcycle built by the revived company. Like many of the great Brit bikes of old, it has a single-cylinder engine. Maybe big thumpers aren’t dead after all? The 652 cc liquid-cooled single-cylinder has a five-speed gearbox and slipper clutch, and supposedly makes 45 hp at 6,000 rpm and 40.6 lb-ft of torque at 4,000 rpm. It has a four-valve head, and dual spark plugs (which should make for more efficient fuel burn, contributing to the Euro5 approval).
BSA says the new Gold Star has a single 320 mm disc brake up front, with two-piston floating caliper. There’s a single-piston caliper in rear, with 255 mm disc. Brembo supplies the calipers, and ABS comes standard.
The front forks are 41 mm telescopic units, and the rear shocks are five-way preload-adjustable. Fuel capacity is 12 litres, and the bike’s wet weight is a claimed 213 kg. There’s an 18-inch wheel up front, and a 17-inch wheel in rear (nice, classy spoked rims, too).
All in all, a machine that looks like a respectably fun backroad ride, especially if it can come in at a price that doesn’t break the bank. For now, we only know it’s going to the UK and presumably other Euro markets, and likely India. If it comes to Canada, expect the new BSA brand to compete with Royal Enfield on pricing. Given Mahindra’s expertise in industrial production, we’d also expect a very reliable machine.