Bikernet Blog Search Bikernet
Ride Forever -
Friday Edition

Sturgis Motorcycle Museum - BSA 441 Victor Special

One of England’s oldest motorcycle companies, BSA grew out of a consortium of firearms manufacturers.

By Christine Paige-Diers (Sturgis Motorcycle Museum & Hall of Fame), with additional photos from the Bob T. Collection.

Share this story:

As one of England’s oldest motorcycle companies, BSA grew out of a consortium of firearms manufacturers who first expanded into bicycles, then into the fledgling “motor bicycle” market by fitting a stronger frame with a Belgian-made Minerva engine. 
That was 1905. By 1910 Birmingham Small Arms was building its own 30 cubic inch flathead single and BSA was on its way to becoming a household name.
In 1964 and 1965, Jeff Smith rode a modified bike with BSA’s 441cc single and won the 500cc motocross championship both years.  At that time, motocross championships were good for sales of road bikes.  After the two wins, BSA introduced Victor Special to the public.  
These bikes were built for the track, and not for the general public.  Some of the modifications that made them great for racing, turned out to be problems when they were introduced to the public.  In reality, the Victor Special was more a 250cc bike with a 441cc engine.  
The components were made to race in short sprints, not be ridden over the longer haul.  Starting the bike was more than a slight challenge for riders unfamiliar with the process, and parts build to withstand those short stints on the track commonly needed replacement.  
Still, BSA built and sold a considerable number of these bikes, and if you’re in the market for a vintage bike, you can pick one of these up fairly easily for a relatively reasonable price.  

Share this story:

Back to In History, Special Reports

Your thoughts on this article

Your Name
Anti-Spam Question:
Please enter the words you see in the box, in order and separated by a space. Doing so helps prevent automated programs from abusing this service.