BSA B33. For the next generation: kickstarting

BSA B33. For the next generation: kickstarting
ER Classics Desktop 2022

The knees of the wavering generation of owners. Because to start a British 500 cc single-cylinder, you need pedaling power and good knees. And the thick single-pitters – and much more beautiful things – have been cherished for years within a limited circle. They have grown older along with their owners. But when the condition of the fat BSA's such as the BSA B33 and their peers got better and better, the wear and tear on their owners' backs and knees started to creep in. Peter Koelewijn already sang it: “You're getting older daddy”.

Everything has its limits

And at a certain point, such a British pestle such as such a BSA B33 simply cannot be used anymore. That realization usually has to simmer for a few years, but then someone wants to decide that sometimes it is better to end a long, loving relationship. That is why there are now regular large British single cylinders for sale again. And these are of course not only the motorcycles of BSA, but also those of the other once renowned brands. And that is lucky for the people whose knees have still passed the MOT.

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500 cc Is quite a lot

The BSA B33 is an enlarged version of the 350 cc B31 and with a bore x stroke of 85 x 88 mm an almost 'square' engine design. The B33 in its third gear was just as fast as the B31 in fourth gear and the top speed of the half-liter bicycle was about 130 km / h.

With its separate gearbox behind the engine, this BSA was also an example of beautiful, classic motorcycle construction. And 500 cc was a very impressive cylinder capacity at the time. The BSA B33 is a large, almost stately motorcycle. A serious touring machine or sidecar tractor. And motor for serious people such as veterinarians and artisans.

Many BSA B models have been made. Due to their basic quality, many have been cherished, preserved and restored. And it is still very doable to drive and maintain a BSA B33. Because there are – also in the Netherlands – a few specialized suppliers who can literally supply all parts new, or with experience. And that for the friendliest prices.

British single cylinders are, of course, heavily dated. And such a good pestle is not very happy with long journeys on motorways. In his day there were not even motorways in England. Today, however, a 350 or 500 cc single cylinder is the ideal partner for lazily dancing along the most beautiful secondary roads. This does not only apply to the BSA B33, but also to the other (BSA) single burners.

Add to that the fact that such a one-piece is technically simple and key-friendly. Then all that is left is a set of 'English' tools, with inch sizes to enjoy the sonorous hum of such an impressive single burner for a long time to come. As long as the knees can take it.

And in terms of comfort, with the BSA B33, serious kilometers can also be run on such a day. Inland to the Zeeland coast or the low side of the Ardennes? That is more than 350 kilometers away. And that is a wonderful ride.

And if the knees don't want to anymore? Then there are – of course in England – providers of easy-to-assemble sets to start the business electrically. In addition, there are reborn and 'new' brands that make very classic-looking motorcycles that do have starter motors. But as retro as they are, they are not classic.

For the next generation: kickstarting
For the next generation: kickstarting
For the next generation: kickstarting
For the next generation: kickstarting
The 2022 Gold Star. And whether it is a Real BSA? But he has a starter motor


Give a reaction
  1. Those BSA's are still very nice two-wheelers!
    Someday, sometime, then…. I catch myself passionately salivating when I see such a bicycle. And then that sound.
    Haste is indeed objectionable and is therefore something for those who always leave late, right?😃 And as much as I love to drive my R1150R,… my 'golden old' (now officially classic!) Blue is still my favourite. Relax and enjoy. As my late acquaintance said 40 years ago: “Don't worry, don't hurry and don't forget to smell the flowers”. It turned out to be definitely on her side!

  2. Years ago, when I was about 15/16 years old, a girl next door, a few years older than myself, had a big 500cc English 1 pitter.
    1 small problem. Despite the fact that her knees were very MOT worthy, she could not kick this bike. The young lady in question was of the size ultra slim. Weighed (estimated) Approx. 55 kg. So she could dance on top of that kickstarter, hip-hop (hadn't heard of it in the 80's) whatever she wanted, but it wouldn't move a millimeter down.

    I pushed behind that device several times, along with her, to get it to talk.

  3. There's little like the slow blows of a fat single burner; strong from below.. but asthmatic from above.
    But then you are already in the 'wrong' speed range with fillings vibrating loose on your bike..

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The August issue, containing:

  • Fiat 127 from 1972
  • Heemskerk V-twin, the best motorcycle BSA has never built
  • Restoration Mini Traveler 1963
  • Peugeot 104, a party
  • Volkswagen Golf Country was too far ahead of its genre
  • Driving with a Yamaha R5 (1971-1972)
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