The BSA B33 and the knees

ER Classics Desktop 2022

A BSA B33 is the example. But the story is then about the knees of the waving generation of owners of B33s and similar motorcycles. Because to start a British 500 cc single-cylinder, you need quite a bit of pedaling power. The thick one-pits - and many more beautiful things - have been cherished for years within a limited circle. They have grown older together with their owners. But as the condition of the fat BSAs like the B33s and their peers continued to improve through love, dedication and care (and the availability of parts that were often better than the originals), the wear and tear on their backs and knees began owners on a stealthy advance. Peter Koelewijn already sang it: “You are getting older, Daddy”.

Everything has its limits

And at a certain point such a British pestle is simply unstoppable. And an acquaintance got serious advice from his own engineers that he shouldn't do that with his newly installed knee. That still wants, but can no longer 'realization realization usually has to simmer for a few years, but then someone sometimes wants to decide that it is sometimes better to also end a long, loving relationship. That is why there are now regularly again large British single cylinders for sale. And those 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 passed the MOT.

500 cc Is quite a lot

The 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 125 km / h.

With its separate gearbox behind the engine block, this BSA B33 was also an example of classic engine construction. And 500 cc was a very impressive engine capacity at the time. The BSA is a large, almost stately motorcycle. A serious touring machine or sidecar tractor.

Many BSA B models have been made. There are many cherished, preserved and restored. And it is still very easy to drive and maintain a BSA B33. Because there are - also in the Netherlands - a few specialized suppliers who can literally supply all parts just as new, or with experience. And for the most friendly prices too.

Add to that the fact that such a single-seater is technically simple and is key-friendly. Then all you need is a set of 'English' tools, with inch sizes, to be able to enjoy the sonorous hum of such an impressive monk for a very long time. As long as your knees allow it.

Do it electrically

And for the real hard core, a solution has of course been devised in England. For most British single-cylinders there are sets for sale with which the motorcycle, after more or less surgical intervention, can be transformed into an electric starting model.

And if you can see what wonderfully sounding, unpleasant machines that are old British one-pitters, then that little intervention on originality can give a clear extension of playing time for a loyal motorcycle and its aging owner.

It's a shame to have such a beauty dusted


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