BSA 1970s

1971 BSA A65L Lightning 750

1971 BSA A65L Lightning 750
Odometer: 48887
Engine Number: A65LDE06505 Frame Number: A65LDE06505
$11,000 - $14,000

Who Knew?

One of only 201 built, the A65L is perhaps the rarest BSA design ever created. Targeting the US market, the BSA Lightning was designed as the all-round sport bike. The development team prioritised reliability over top speed which ultimately improved mid-range performance and handling. Nevertheless, with twin carburettors of the A65L, it could still deliver a convincing 175kph. A close-ratio gearbox combined with a high-lift camshaft made for lively acceleration and performance at higher rpm than was possible with the standard A65. A useful feature was an ‘emergency starting’ key position for times when the battery was flat to connect the alternator current directly to the ignition coils. A less-useful improvement was the oil-pressure warning light, which had a tendency to malfunction, so riders learned to ignore it. Ducati seemed to follow this ‘innovation’ into the late 70s! At the time, the Lightning was out of step stylistically; however, the modern lines today seem relevant and successful. This example has had four owners from new. It has also been restored professionally in Canada – offering new tyres, tubes, rims, wheel bearings, wiring, fuel lines, new paint, etc. It has been in museum storage since 2009 and may require freshening.

Auction March 2013
Image and text courtesy Webbs Auction House NZ Profile at


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