BSA B50 SS Photo (1972).
Do you want to have your BSA B50 SS on this page please
send me your photo and I publish it here.
The name Bluebird was my son's idea. he thought the bike should have a name.
The color reminded me of the color of the vehicles that Sir MalcombeCampbell
ran to world speed records in the 20th century. From little bits of evidence
I've found i believe the original color was the Flamboyant red scheme.
I believe this blue was a BSA color but not one used on the B50.
Jim Eby USA
Wilfried (Jonny) Schmidt´s BSA B50 SS 1972 (Germany).
I have had the bike for 4 years
Paul C. Isserlis BSA B50 SS 1972 (Canada).
Looking better than it runs.
Rick Barbers´s BSA B50 SS (1972)
Wellington, New Zeeland 1976
When I was 17 in 1974 I bought a 1969 Triumph TR25W then a year later I had to sell it
to by a 2 year old B50SS, not running and stripped for racing, road bits still in the box.
I still have the mighty B50SS and have production raced it in 1976 and triumphed over
Honda 500 4s of the era.
The B50 commuted me to work in Wellington New Zealand from the Kapiti coast, nearly killed
me when the crappy original front guard broke off at the welded joint and locked up the
front wheel, took me on tours around the New Zealand, proving totally reliable, provided
very regular maintenance was carried out, oil changes every 1000 miles, chain adustment
every week. I am an ex mech design draughtsman and spent many an hour cursing an learning
off the B50, and discovering why the English motorcycle industry failed.
The bike still connects me with a wonderful era of talented people and legends of
motorcycling and english engineering heritage, innovation and management staltification.
I remember as a lad reading the mags of the B50's great race victories and the marque will
go on for many years to come. My bike is still original except for the front guard,
which as this old photo attests is off a Suzuki, 185sss twin ringadinger, probably long
trashed, unlike my quality B50SS.
John Maillard´s BSA B50 SS (1972)
I just got my bike, its a 1972 b50 with 17 thousand miles, from a man in Liverpool.
It was the bike in the 1988 Classic bike article and has only done 700 miles since.
However its dropping third and having difficulty engaging second and the head is leaking a bit of oil.
Here is a picture you can see its the same bike in the article. It wasn't renovated just cleaned up
I recon the gears were reverse because the owner had the same problems I am having.
So its an original bike apart from the exhaust ( made by a speed way rider)
Frank Shockley´s ex BSA B50 SS (1972)
South Carolina, USA
Martin Smith´s New BSA B50 SS (1972).
I have a '72 B50 which is 'Brand New' - only has 12 miles on the clock,
even has the engine shop delivery label (from engine shop to assembly line)
still attached to the rocker box. This bike was registered and taxed in the
UK (Coventry) delivered to its new owner who was then unfortunately killed in
an aircraft accident the following day. His widow locked up the garage [with
his other bikes] and never opened it for 20 years! when she did she allowed
me to buy the bike with the express wish that it should be looked after well.
- I've been keen to ride it, but it seems such a shame to use it, as it has stood so
It's got bits on it that used to fall off on the first ride (like the small
sheet steel pressing between the swing arm mounted chainguard and the rear of
the primary transmission case!!!) and are now a real rarity. The tool kit is
complete and never opened, and as I said it's still got the despatch label
from the end of line engine test releasing it 'for production'.
John Hartman´s BSA B50SS ( 1972 )
Washington state USA
I have an unrestored 1972 B50SS in very good condition (~8,000 mi),
but am afraid to ride it because the top end makes so much noise
(sounds like piston slap).
Mike´s ex BSA B50 SS ( 1972? )
I bought my B50SS new in 1973, rode it for about 10yrs, modified, Jawa/Eso piston,
big bore (88mm), large valves, 38mm Amal, Commando front brake, Matcho rifle butt
megaphone exhaust, 19t c/shaft, flambouyant purple, no battery, long tank model,
only a few came to Australia in the last shippments,
(only bike I regretted selling) actually still running B50 pistons in my
road/race matchless G80, still have a A65 t/bolt, haven't got BSA out of
my system completely.
Look at Mike´s homepage at
Classic Motorcycle Fibreglass
Barry Pope´s BSA B50 SS (left)
Point at photo to see more 26 kb
I purchased my B50 SS KG 01573 in April 1973 from a local BSA dealer in Brighton.
(Sussex, UK). The tank colour was 'Hi-violet', with matching mudguards
back and front; the frame colour was black. (I believe earlier ones were
grey). The machine was not one that had been standing around in the
showroom for a long time, but had to be ordered specially from the BSA
factory. I believe that this was after the factory had stopped making
any more bikes, but before it had actually been shut and sold. I was told
that it was a 'late 1972' model, and indeed it came with all the
later-fitted equipment, ie large (3-gallon) petrol tank, front-fork sliders
without the rib down the side, etc. I was intrigued to see that according
to your dating service the letters 'KG' denote a machine manufactured in
September 1971, and the latest engine/frame number given is for July 1972.
(HG). The earlier date does, however, tie in with the numbers 9 6 71
stamped on to the top of the front crankcase engine mounting lug. Had it
been manufactured as early as September 1971, I would have expected it to
have the smaller 2-gallon tank and older-style front forks. Also, the
Replacement Parts List 1972 (ref. 00-5732) I got soon afterwards has inside
the front cover " Commencing Engine and Frame Numbers JG 00101B50T,
JG 00101B50SS and JG 00101B50MX".
So, a mystery remains; was it an 'odd' number stamped on the frame and
engine? Was it actually made in September 1971 and kept until April 1973?
Or was it built up in late 1972 from an older engine/frame set-up, but using
the later fork/tank equipment??
I have used the second oil feed from the
back of the frame tube ('drain plug') for about 25 years; but bear in mind
that there is no filter on that feed line. I now change the oil every 1500
miles or so. The oil feed to the big-end passes through the crankshaft on
its way to the big-end; the centrifugal oil filter in the crankshaft blocks
up after about 50,000miles and this then causes the big-end to sieze and the
con-rod to break. (This happened on the way to the Isle of Man TT races in
Graeme Bassett´s ex BSA B50 SS (1972)
Point at photo to see more 14 kb.
It was purchased new in 1974 and I had it for the next 9 years running up a total of approx 35000 miles. In that time it had one rebore to .020, valves and guides and a complete gearbox rebuild due to faulty hardening of the gears.It was oil tight and in the time of ownership only let me down once and that was due to the welding on an after market exhaust. Down any curvy road it was a delight and showed many bigger and more modern machines a
a clean pair of heels.I sold this machine and kept a 69 A65 Firebird but it was never the same and now have a 71 Triumph Daytona.
I do regret selling the B50.
Håkan Cerne´s BSA B50 SS (1972)
Point at photo to see Left side 28 kb.
Stan Mewhorter´s BSA B50 ss (1972).
Norm Fernengel`s ex BSA B50 SS (1972)
Photo from Peter R Cartledge.
Peter´s friends BSA B50 SS in around 1975,
Unknown owner BSA B50 SS (1973)
Point at photo to see more. 17 kb
Updated 23:25 2006-11-19
© Rickard Nebrér