Single & Twin BSA A65 Dream Bike
Words: Gary Inman
Photos: Tommy Hetzel
‘The bike is late-‘60s, early-‘70s style, based on a 1971 oil-in-frame Triumph which is nearly the same as the BSA one, but still needed altering to take the A65 engine,’ explains Jörg Solar, owner of Single & Twin Motorcycles of Hamburg, Germany. Jörg is a regular face at races and events all over Europe, always travelling in his 40-year-old van with his wife Stephanie, who also races. ‘I have been in business for 25 years now. We care for British bikes, but we don’t specialise in anything in particular, just the normal madness you have with British bikes.’
Jorg has raced flat track in the Spain, France, the UK, Netherlands and Germany, and has also organised race events in Germany, a country enjoying a growth in the interest of going fast and turning left. With so many more opportunities to race on dirt ovals it made finally made sense to build his dream bike.
‘I built it from scratch after having the idea in my mind the last ten or 15 years, it is a kind of dream bike to me. When I finally started to build the bike it still took three years to finish. It is made from a pile of junk lying around in my workshop, plus some very special spare parts. It all started with the ARD-type magneto conversion. I bought from eBay for £25 ($30) back then and I thought I must build a nice bike around it.’
The engine itself has a lot of modifications. The crankshaft has a needle roller conversion, with altered oil feed, made by a local mechanic Rainer Traupel, who is known locally by the nickname ‘Düse’, and is well known in the A65 scene. The engine has an SRM alloy barrel with bigger bore, that increases capacity to 750cc. There is the magneto conversion that started it all; SRM camshaft; slightly bigger valves and a ported head. The carbs are standard Amal MkIs and it has a stock four-speed gearbox.
The front end is a mixture of Ceriani GP forks with a small spool hub, while the rear has a Yamaha XS650 hub, both with 19in shouldered alloy rims. ‘The rear brake anchor is of parallelogram type with floating brake plate,’ Jörg explains, ‘which eliminates “pedal pumping”. That was the hardest part of the build, designing the rear brake and of course to build the engine from scratch. That's why it took three years. The first season I raced the bike without painting it, in a rough bare metal look, then for 2020 we painted the frame and body parts in the traditional paint scheme.
According to Jörg the big BSA will suit long tracks and there is only one available in Germany, the 800m (half-mile) track at Parchim.
‘I wanted the bike to be period correct,’ says Jörg, ‘because my all-time hero Dick Mann rode one and I am a BSA enthusiast. He used Mikunis, but I don't like them because they have no tickler and you can never tell if there is petrol or not. The only modern upgrade is the alloy barrel. In my opinion it is more important to have a nice, beautiful and correct bike than to ride the most competitive one.’