The Restoration of my 1969Motorcycle

Last Updated 06/01/04

That 70's Picture

On April 25th, 1975 I entered the world of motorcycling, purchasing a 1969 BSA 250 Starfire that had been advertised in the local paper for $300.00. It was an under powered beast but it ran. It quickly grew out of my father's good graces because of the oil puddles it produced.  I was force to place a tray beneath it when it was parked in my father's garage in Massachusetts. It also became readily apparent that it had some severe mechanical problems and needed an overhaul. My dad and I rebuilt the engine, replacing worn parts and nearly every gasket. It ran better but we could never completely stop the oil leaks. At some point, I had also repainted the tank and covers. After the overhaul, I put less than 25 miles on the odometer as  I purchased my friend's 1972 Honda motorcycle. The BSA was unceremoniously pushed into my dad's old barn out in the back. Nearly, forgotten, it remained there for nearly 15 years.

On July 10, 1991 my mother and sister arrived at my home in Virginia with a Ryder rental truck as a stop on the way in my sister's move to Texas. The bike was untied from the back of the truck and backed down the ramp. The front wheel was flat and dry rotted. The side cases were off, accessories were hanging, and the bike was coated with dust, dirt, rust and cobwebs.

Just out of mothballs!

Hope I can remember where everything goes

Since then, I have proceeded to totally dissemble the frame with the intent of removing all rust and deterioration and to eventually have the frame repainted.

In December of 1998, the frame and 49 assorted pieces were sandblasted and powdered coated by Vanwin Coatings Company of Virginia.

Barenaked Starfire

Brass fork sleeves

Shuttle type front fork assembly

Fork Yoke Assembly with Steering Head bearings


Overhauled Front Wheel

Engine prepped for cleaning

Assembled Fork Assembly with Rubber Gaiters

Assembled Fork Assembly with Rubber Gaiters

  Back on its wheels with new tires after 11 years

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Before and After Pictures

BSA Single
In 1910 the Birmingham Small Arms Company changed from bicycle, to motorcycle manufacture. 1958 saw the beginning of complete departure from the usual engine/transmission design with the introduction of the unit construction machines in place of the 250 CC C12, the 350 B31 and the 500 B33. The first of these new breeds of motorcycles, the 250 CC C15 Star, was an instant success. It had a clean, uncluttered appearance and provided reliable and economical transport. The 350 CC B40 followed in 1960 and in 1965 BSA offered the powerful 441 CC B44 to be superseded by the 500 CC B50, which, in a moment of nostalgia was named the Goldstar. During 1967 the 250 CC C15 was replaced by the B25 Starfire and C25 barracuda models, which featured a quickly detachable rear wheel and 12-volt lighting. The Barracuda was sold in the United States as the B25 Starfire and joined by a larger model known as the B44VR Victor Roadster. This had a 441 CC version of the engine with the same square-fin engine style, although inside it there was a built-up crankshaft with roller big end. Externally it was as the C25, and both had twelve-volt electrics and a bright finish with chromeplated mudguards and Bushfire orange tanks and side covers.