A65 VIN question

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A65 VIN question

Postby gstridr » Sat Mar 09, 2013 5:47 pm

Just acquired another project - an A65 titled as a 1965. Having a bit of difficulty ID'ing the bike as its been chopped, although frame, engine and wheels are orig. First of all, engine and frame numbers match - don't appear to be altered. I thought that until after 1965 frame and engine numbers rarely matched with frames usually A50. The numbers are A65CD****. At first I thought that the title year was wrong and the CD stood for March 1970, for number changes after 1969 - but there's an absence of the letter indicating model for post "69 bikes. The engine is definately a '65 circa as its got the smooth unfinned rocker box. Anyone got any ideas? Many thanks!!!
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Re: A65 VIN question

Postby Welsh Wizard » Sun Mar 10, 2013 9:09 am

To the best of my knowledge the engine and frame numbers on the A65 M/C did not match until the year series for 1967.
from memory they would start dating for the next year before the end of 1966, so it was possible to find a 1966 frame stamped as 1967 before the end of the year depending how they went out of Smallheath.

also the frame could relate to a A65 D ( and the C is ref to a close ratio gearbox) a lot depends on the way the numbers are marked on the engine and the way they are stamped on the frame and also where on the frame the number is stamped.
sorry can't be more helpful.
If the engine is A65 C with a D then some thing has to be wrong as the A65 C relates to a A65 Rocket with rev counter and they were a very short run from about Sept or Oct 1963 and they used a lot of A10 bits up, and I think less than 5000 were ever made, as the Rocket morphed into the Lightning and the Thunderbolt depending on single or twin carb head, and with rev counter and without rev counter.
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Re: A65 VIN question

Postby gstridr » Mon Mar 11, 2013 12:02 pm

Frame.jpg
Engine.jpg
Thanks for the info WW. I was aware that in 1965 BSA used the "C" coding after the A65 to designate a "rev-counter". I still cannot explain the"D" following. The engine is dual carbed so therefore a Lightning. I've attached pics of the numbers as they appear on the engine and the frame. Thanks, in advance, for any help available.
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Re: A65 VIN question

Postby Welsh Wizard » Tue Mar 12, 2013 8:26 am

Case's suggests a 1965 lightning, I know some of the books refer to it as the Lightning Rocket ( twin carb with Rev counter, While the single carb with no rev counter was referred to as the Thunderbolt Rocket, however most people forget that back in 1964 the Lightning was marked by a D and all Rockets were either B or C stamped ( please note the Rocket and Lightning were hard to tell apart, main thing to remember is the Rockets were a use them up parts from the A10 series, While the lightning was using the later parts. if you check the parts books for 1964 /65 you will find differences in number between the two.
and should look like

A65 B
A65 C
A65 D
The lightning Clubman was stamped as follows
A65 DC
note the D was always before the C

If it of any help at the beginning of 1965 the
Lightning Clubman stared with A65 DC2158
and The lightning started with A65 D1742
The Rockets started as follows
A65 C1082 or A65 B334


I also checked my notes from 1966 and from Jan/Feb 1966 all frame and engine numbers were the same for certain models.
At the time it was still possible for you to end up with a frame on an A65 that was stamped A50, as the line would grab what it could if the right part was not at hand for easy assembly. ( this makes it very difficult to say that a BSA is Concourse, as the factory always used parts that were at hand and during a weeks production you could have ten or twenty variants on the same Model.or the person stamping the frame may not have been paying attention.
I have had some thing similar with a A65 C I own , Swansea insist the engine number should read A65 R it does not BSA never stamped and engine A65 R just some dozy not paying attention when it was first registered,

There was always one number stamp space between the A65 and the letter
if it not there then some one has possibly added it and the letter needs checking to see if the Stamp style and size matches.


The C is def for Rocket with Rev counter, The D was used for the early Lightnings so its possible you have a transitional version of the Rocket before it became fully a Lightning, easy way to tell, is the frame a full loop where the seat sits, or does the frame come to two abrupt ends.

Is there any chance of more of the frame around the number being pictured
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