Resurrecting Rust: This owner revives a vintage 1952 B.S.A. A10 Golden Flash
It’s easy to see where some motorcycles get their name.
Take, for instance, the B.S.A. A10 Golden Flash. Introduced late in 1949 as a 1950 model, B.S.A.’s Golden Flash was the first 650cc parallel twin in the company’s range. And, it was finished in a sandy beige – almost gold – colour. This was at a time when most other British motorcycles came in dour black on black.
The A10 was a logical progression from the B.S.A. A7, a post-war 500cc parallel twin motorcycle that was designed by Val Page and Herbert Perkins. Launched in 1946, the A7 was by all accounts a solid and staid mount, but was saddled with lacklustre performance.
When news broke in 1949 that B.S.A.’s competition, Triumph, was developing a 650cc twin the Birmingham Small Arms company had to respond. B.S.A. designer Bert Hopwood was given the task. He engineered the 646cc A10 powerplant with overhead valves and single camshaft – this placed behind the cylinders. The A10 had to be ready in a few short months, and to shave development time the 35 horsepower 646cc engine simply bolted straight into the A7 chassis. The frame, fork and wheels of the 500cc machine were more than strong enough to handle the extra power output of the new and larger 650cc engine.
By 1950 both the A7 and A10 featured plunger rear suspension. Prior to plunger suspension, the B.S.A.’s had a rigid rear frame. Simply stated, plunger suspension sees the axle of the rear wheel mounted between an upper and lower spring in a pair of towers either side of the rear frame, thus effecting a form of suspension. However, plunger-style rear suspension did not last long. In 1954 a more modern full swingarm setup with dual shocks was introduced to both the A7 and A10 range. The A10 carried on with the Golden Flash, and other variants such as the Super Flash, until 1963.
When it comes to finding and restoring a motorcycle there are easy ways and hard ways. The easy way is to restore a complete machine. The harder way is to take on a basket case project, one where the previous owner has dismantled the bike. And one of the hardest ways is to pick up bits and pieces, eventually building a complete motorcycle from parts.