BSA Motorcycles 1930s

Today in Motorcycle History

BSA 1936 Models at the Olympia Show

BSA 750cc Frame for 1936

A forged-steel backbone is employed in the frame of the new 750 c.c. overhead-valve twin

BSA 350cc Empire Star for 1936

A special corrosion-resisting nickel-chrome iron is used for the cylinder casting of the Empire Star models ; this is the 348 c.c. machine

BSA Three-wheeler for 1936

A sporting three-wheeler - the 1,075 c.c. four-cylinder de luxe B.S.A.

BSA 750 c.c. model for 1936

The inlet valves are totally enclosed on the new 750 c.c. model. Note the totally enclosed gear change [sic]

BSA 1936 Chain Case

A cast-aluminium oil-bath chain case is fitted to the "Empire Star" models. The clutch is encased in a special cover to prevent the possibility of drag.


STAND 66 : Workmanlike Range of Sports “Empire Star” Models : Improved “Blue Stars” and Front-wheel drive Three-wheelers

B.S.A Cycles, Ltd., Small Heath, Birmingham, 11.

Model Q.8, “Empire Star.”—496 c.c. single-cyl. o.h.v. B.S.A.; dry-sump lubrication; magneto ignition; all-chain drive; oil-bath primary chain case; 4-speed gear, with foot control; fuel, 3¾ gals.; 26x3in. (front), 26x3.25in. (rear) tyres.
Price with electric lighting (solo), £65 10s.

A REALLY workmanlike range of new models is exhibited, these being the “Empire Star” 350 c.c. and 500 c.c. series. Although they follow the lines of the already well-known “Blue Stars,” they embody many refinements and improvements ; material in particular has been a point of special attention, and metals of the most specialised class have been introduced wherever it has been found that the latest developments of metallurgical science would produce greater reliability and enhanced performance. The special hardened-iron cylinder is a case in point.

The frame used for these models is particularly substantial and is of the forged backbone type, with duplex seat and front down tubes, these components being bolted to the main member. The rear stays extend forward under the gear box and join the front down tubes at the front of the crank case, forming a complete cradle frame.

Another detail is the enclosure of the primary drive in an aluminium oil-bath case, and the enclosure of the clutch therein in an oil-tight cover. The clutch friction material is of a special type which will function even should oil reach it, consequently clutch trouble in any circumstances should be a remote contingency and there should be no possibility of drag.

That the “Empire Stars” have been designed from practical road experience is evident from such details as the shield between the front down tubes, the guard on the lower rim of the chain (it is fixed to the long torque member anchoring the rear brake plate), the spring-up prop and rear stands, the hinged rear mudguard, the useful lifting handle, and many other small details.

The “Blue Star” range, the 250 c.c. o.h.v. models, and the medium-capacity o.h.v. twins—500 and 750 c.c.—follow somewhat similar general specifications.

Model B.1.—249 c.c. single-cyl. side-valve B.S.A.; mechanical lubrication; magneto ignition; all-chain drive; 3-speed gear, with hand control; fuel, 2¼ gals.; 26x3in. tyres.
Price with electric lighting (solo), £35 10s.

In the case of the 250 c.c. side-valve model, the B.S.A. concern provides a simple machine for the novice. It is a neatly constructed yet robust solo type, with a detachable-head engine.

Model T.W.10 Three-wheeler—1,075 c.c. four-cyl. side-valve B.S.A.; mechanical lubrication; coil ignition; 3-speed gear and reverse gear, with hand control; fuel, 4 gals.; 27x4.5in. tyres.
Price with electric lighting, £125.

To those who require car comfort and sports car performance at the lowest overall cost, the four-cylinder front-wheel-drive three-wheeler offers these qualities.

Two four-cylinder models are available, one with a normal body, and a de luxe model at £128 The latter has a body of the sports type with a two-colour scheme, dropped doors, folding screen, and disappearing hood.

The 1935 Olympia Show reported in The Motor Cycle, December 5th, 1935.

Front wheel drive ; three speeds and reverse ; balanced all-wheel braking ; interchangeable wheels - these are some of the features of B.S.A. Three Wheelers, offering car comfort for only £4 tax. There are three models—the de Luxe with 9 h. p. air-cooled O.H.V. Twin cylinder engine, reduced in price to £98; the four-cylinder model at £125, and the four-cylinder de Luxe at £128.

There's a wide range of B.S.A. Sidecars, suitable for B.S.A. Motor Cycles from 3.48 h.p. O. H. V. at prices from £17. They are comfortable, well sprung, really smart looking, and are supplied complete with screen and electric sidecar lamp.

The model illustrated is the B.S.A. Sports, finished in two shades of blue, or green and ivory, with sports windscreen, apron and chromium handrail. Price £17.


B.S.A. 7.48 h.p. O.H.V. Twin £75.

A machine with an outstanding performance solo or sidecar. It has a vee-twin O. H. V. engine with 4-cam type valve gear with direct-acting push rods: dry sump lubrication ; 4-speed gear-box. etc.

Model Y13 750cc

B.S.A. 5.95 h.p. S.V. £63.10s.

An ideal machine for sidecar work. It has new vertical engine with high-efficiency detachable head; B.S.A. 4-speed gearbox; quickly detachable and interchangeable wheels, etc.

B.S.A. 4.96 h.p. O.H.V. New Blue Star £61.10s.

B.S.A. Blue Stars need no introduction to sporting riders. For 1936 they have numerous detail improvements such as slotted oil-control scraper ring; improved lubrication system ; totally enclosed and lubricated primary chain. etc.

B.S.A. 4.96 h.p. O.H.V. Blue Star Model Q-21 Specification

B.S.A. 3.48 h.p. O.H.V. de Luxe £52.

A popular 350 machine, with dry sump lubrication; totally enclosed inlet valve ; B.S.A. 4-speed gearbox with foot change ; constant wheelbase front forks. etc.

B.S.A. 2.49 H.P. O.H.V. £38.7.6.

A light, economical machine with a fine performance. It has slotted oil-control scraper piston ring which permits greater oil circulation without increasing consumption ; constant wheelbase front forks ; improved dry-plate clutch. etc.

N.B. The machine illustrated differs slightly to that in the 1935 catalogue which lacks a toolbox, has a second tank cap, different headlight and mounts, and has a flatter saddle.

B.S.A Empire Star, with Air-Hardened wear-resisting alloy-iron cylinder : low-expansion aluminium-alloy piston with slotted oil-control scraper ring; roller 3-bearing mainshaft. etc. 3.43 h.p. model £62. 4.96 h.p. model £65.10s.