In the late 1950s BSA was in a bit of a pickle. The Brits, still convinced their motorcycles were the world leaders, believed gentle improvements would keep them in the lead until the cows came home. Yet motorcycles were being hyped as ever bigger and faster, especially in the U.S. And while BSA had plenty of competition success to crow about, with wins at Daytona and Catalina Island, to name just a few, it was losing ground to higher performance, more modern twins from Triumph and Norton. This led to the development of the BSA A50 Royal Star.
The big news from BSA came in 1962, with the arrival of new unit-construction engines, available in the 500cc BSA A50 or the bored-out 650cc BSA A65. In England these were known as Star models, whereas in the U.S. they were called Royal Star. Curious that, since we Americans had fought a bloody revolutionary war to get rid of the monarchy, and now we appeared captivated by anything that smacked of royalty.
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