BSA Gold Star


In 1937, Wal Handley came out of retirement to ride a three-lap race for BSA at Brooklands. This was quite unique in itself, as BSA had not taken part in road racing since the 1921 Isle of Man Clubman’s TT where all of the motorcycles that were entered failed to finish. Handley won his race, with a fastest lap speed of 107.5mph and earned himself the Gold Star Pin (awarded for race laps that exceeded 100mph) and with this began the development of the Gold Star motorcycle. In 1938, the M24 Gold Star was produced, complete with its trademark alloy barrel and cylinder head. The engines were typically built from individually selected parts and bench tested units. The Gold Star was an instant success with customers and was regarded as quite a bargain, selling at £82. It was capable of reaching speeds

latest DB series. In 1956, further modifications were made to the cylinder head for the DBD34 Gold Star range. The very last DBD34 Gold Star was built in 1963. This was not due to a lack of demand, as the motorcycles were regularly winning races but the BSA management had decided they did not want to build any more. The Gold Star was a model like no other, able to perform in a variety of forms including roadster, touring, endurance racing, scrambling (motocross) trials and international six-day trials.

of 90mph but lacked the handling to match. After World War II, BSA launched the ZB32 Gold Star in 1948. Having to fulfil the requirements for the Clubman’s TT, over 100 machines were built; 21 of these Gold Stars were entered into the 1949 350cc junior race, which was to be largely dominated by Gold Stars for the next eight years. The 500cc ZB34 Gold Star followed the 350cc model. The BB series was launched in 1953 and was fitted with a new duplex cradle frame and swinging arm rear suspension. One year later, the CB series was launched with a modified engine to improve performances during road races. This Gold Star series was quickly becoming successful in the Clubman’s TT and the engine redesign was used again the following year with the

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