the lowly bsa victor

Discussion in 'Old's Cool' started by Abdelhub, Feb 25, 2012.

  1. Abdelhub

    Abdelhub Blanco Trasho

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2007
    Oddometer:
    727
    Location:
    Snohomish County
    I try to do searches to learn more about the BSA victor but i think if you have one in your stable (or ever owned one) it shows up in every damn thread search.

    That said I have a 1970 441 and I truly have a love/hate relationship with the bike. For example...after a complete rebuild (piston, valves, valve guides, gaskets, bearings) it still leaks oil.....frustrating but ill deal with it...yes i did read the oil tight section in the unit single bible....

    but even though the bike has its issues, today while doing 30 foot roosts in the wet grass of my neighbors yard (he's not home) its still a hoot....I wonder how many of the folks on this forum still ride their bsa victors or b50/b25's....I know lots of you had them "back in the day" but how many of you still tinker and ride them....

    I know lots of them were sold in the states but never seem to find any "riders"

    and if you do have a rider.....sound off...lets hear about them...I know 22manyrides has a big single....anyone else?

    Thanks,

    Mike
    #1
  2. Abdelhub

    Abdelhub Blanco Trasho

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2007
    Oddometer:
    727
    Location:
    Snohomish County
    the contraption...
    <iframe width="420" height="315" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/AiXw3263pH8" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>
    #2
  3. slipjoint

    slipjoint Engraver

    Joined:
    May 20, 2006
    Oddometer:
    492
    Location:
    N. CA
    I have always enjoyed the looks of the victor - Beautiful - I know one guy in this area who races one - He's a very talented young guy - built his own stroker kit for his - rods everything! I have never owned one but have been tempted many times - A Triumph Cub - only 200 cc but classic killer looks -
    #3
  4. roverlad

    roverlad Adventurer

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2011
    Oddometer:
    10
    #4
  5. England-Kev

    England-Kev Long timer

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    Feb 5, 2007
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    4,187
    Location:
    England. Somewhere on the Canal.
    #5
  6. ricochetrider

    ricochetrider MotoMojo

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    Sep 5, 2011
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    Location:
    Out There Somewhere
    I'd love to take a 441 motor and custom build a dual sport with it as the power plant.
    #6
  7. Abdelhub

    Abdelhub Blanco Trasho

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2007
    Oddometer:
    727
    Location:
    Snohomish County
    I have bought gaskets from him in the past....I don't think he still makes them though....

    He does the victor challenge..."how many times can you start a victor in one minute?"....I think he did it nine times.

    Mike
    #7
  8. oldhippie1

    oldhippie1 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2011
    Oddometer:
    604
    A friend of mine Harold Earls in Florida had a new 1969 and the head bolts stripped out from vibration.
    #8
  9. Mista Vern

    Mista Vern Knows all - tells some.

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2005
    Oddometer:
    18,811
    Location:
    McMinnville, Oregon
    I have a 71 B50SS that has been on project status for a while - it's gonna run one of these days! One for sale on Portland CL this week too, so they pop up now and then.
    #9
  10. Abdelhub

    Abdelhub Blanco Trasho

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2007
    Oddometer:
    727
    Location:
    Snohomish County
    I have been hating this bike and then loving it over the last few years....Im finally coming to grips that it is a bar bike/town bike and thats about it.....no world travels on this fella....I do have a pazon ignition and a modern flat slide carb on it and she runs great.

    One thing that really bugs me is the slip fit joint of the header into the head....after years of shaking the hole is no longer round and there are exhaust leaks causing backfires....I don't know whether there is some kind of exhaust putty or header wrap hose clamped on that will seal it.....other than that its a hoot.

    Its the one motorcycle that literally feels like its coming apart as you go down the road...but the acceleration is fun for a 42 year old bike.....

    [​IMG]

    Mike
    #10
  11. Steve G.

    Steve G. Long timer

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    Oct 30, 2004
    Oddometer:
    9,015
    Location:
    West is the Best
    My first English bike was a 250 Starfire with a 441 stuffed into it. All I can say is, the 441 engine has a horribly under-engineered bottom end,,,,run it hard for a long time and you'll consistantly have to rebuild it.
    I know the guy in the video above,,,,,he runs a Honda now.

    Steve
    #11
  12. Rich B

    Rich B Long timer

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2010
    Oddometer:
    1,116
    Location:
    Stone Creek, OH
    Still ride my 1966 B44. It is a hoot to ride. These bikes are sweet handling bikes. Vibration...seems to vary between bikes. The cranks can be balanced. E & V Engineering can balance the crank.

    My 66 came in boxes and had a rough life. But most of it was there. Seat & tank were MIA, but remnants of another 66 B44 in my misspent youth were donated. Fenders were gone, but plastic trials fenders fit/work just fine.

    From a nice back road ride late last fall (like the day after Thanksgivng):

    [​IMG]

    In 2008, attended the BSAOC International Rally held on the Isle of Man. The ride, a 70 B44 borrowed from a friend in Wales. Rode from central Wales to Liverpool, crossed over on the SteamRacket Ferry to Douglas, spent a week riding the island on the Victor. This picture is from the last ride up the back side of Snaefel on a goat trail. Really, we had to heard the goats out of the way on the ride! Can't say enough about how well I liked the B44 on this trip

    [​IMG]

    Another B44 is taking shape SLOWLY in my garage. Need a ride to participate in vintage enduro's. You guessed it, a B44 in a 71 wet frame, Bul forks & wheels, mildly built engine for reliability. Looking forward to getting this one done.....of course time and inspiration is an issue.....
    #12
  13. Scrivens

    Scrivens Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2011
    Oddometer:
    747
    Location:
    usually the garage
    Perfect description. I had a few of the B Series - Starfire, Shooting Star, Victor - and they were the roughest singles I've ever owned. The Victor made the Matchless feel as smooth as a BMW. There's not much you can really do about the exhaust as it has to be able to move a bit due to the vibration. We used to wrap the last inch or so in very thin copper sheet before inserting them in the head and get a tightish fit that would still allow for some movement.

    I mentioned one of the threads on the B25 that the best thing you can do with one of these is to fit a low compression plate under the barrel gasket to take them back to about 8:1. As Steve G. said above, the bottom ends just can't handle the 9.5:1 standard compression. They run sweeter and last a lot longer at 8:1. You can make up a plate with some thin alloy sheet about 1/16" thick and it only takes about 30 mins to do a barrel-off overhaul on a B motor, so it's a quick thing to test whether you like the change. The jetting can stay as it is usually.
    #13
  14. Rich B

    Rich B Long timer

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    Apr 10, 2010
    Oddometer:
    1,116
    Location:
    Stone Creek, OH
    Unit B series vibration - Like the unit twins, the unit singles get a knock on vibration. But most unit singles, like unit twins are missing a small piece on most bikes....the infamous BSA "packing piece". Seriously, that is what BSA called it. Nothing more than a washer or two or three or more depending on the bike.

    The engines have to be shimmed to fit the frame. If not, they shake, badly. Most unit singles and twins need at least one washer at the bottom motor mount, some require more. Front motor mounts as well, though this seems to be more inconsistent than the bottom mount as far as need. Unit singles also suffer the indiginity of front motor mounts not being shimmed to fit and the ears are actually bent.

    If the engine fits the frame loose, you are in effect tightening a spring when you tighten the hardware. The engine will never actually be held tight.

    Also head steady must be there and tight. If you are going to ride it, then upgrading the hardware and using hardened washers is ok...really it is.

    My B44 is shimmed to fit front and bottom with upgraded hardware everywhere except the bottom stud. On the road, yes there is some tingle in the bars/pegs, but not uncomfortable. Actually, only slightly worse than the DR.

    Bottom ends - B44's are pretty tough, B50's even more so. B25's though do have a reputation, mostly deserved. But most B25's can be improved with mostly the application of labor. It is all in the details.
    #14
  15. Abdelhub

    Abdelhub Blanco Trasho

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2007
    Oddometer:
    727
    Location:
    Snohomish County
    I just ordered a decompression plate from ccm In england. I'll see how that works.
    Mike
    #15
  16. caponerd

    caponerd Kickstart Enthusiast

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2005
    Oddometer:
    1,980
    Location:
    Halfway between Munich and Redditch.
    I have a 1970 441 Shooting Star. Low pipe, larger steel gas tank, otherwise identical.

    I run Metzeler street tires on it and have a 46 tooth rear sprocket, which makes it a bit less intense for street riding.

    Been offroad with it a couple of times, and was impressed with how well it handled even with the street tires and road gearing.
    I've dragged a pair of extra wheels out of the parts bin so I can rig it with more dirt orieinted tires when I want to.

    Mine has proven to be reasonably reliable over the years. It leaks a bit of oil from the little plate at the bottom of the crankcase with the mesh screen in it. Not real bad, but I do set a piece of plywood under there when it's parked long-term.
    #16
  17. caponerd

    caponerd Kickstart Enthusiast

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2005
    Oddometer:
    1,980
    Location:
    Halfway between Munich and Redditch.
    I cured mine using some of that red silicone exhaust system sealant and a good quality finned aftermarket exhaust header clamp, pushed tight against the cylinder head and tightened while pulling the header outward.
    The sealant squished out between the clamp and the cylinder head, with the whole mess under tension because of pulling out on the header while tightening the header clamp.
    It fixed the backfiring, and seems to be holding up well.
    #17
  18. Abdelhub

    Abdelhub Blanco Trasho

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2007
    Oddometer:
    727
    Location:
    Snohomish County
    just got my "de"compression plate from ccm in england.....look forward to putting her in.....i got the thinnest one so it shouldnt knock the power to far down....Its a quality piece of gear...glad I didnt try to make one myself...

    [​IMG]

    Mike
    #18
  19. dirtydan

    dirtydan Cheese hat on ?

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2006
    Oddometer:
    263
    Location:
    Wisconsin
    The snow went off enough to get my Victor out. This was the (short) first ride of the year 2012. I would apoligize for the lousy pictures but the wife is sitting right here . So here is the Low Life Victor , First bike out of the garage.
    [​IMG]

    This road just cleared out today.

    [​IMG]

    Its a mix of parts. Suzuki SP forks. Norton rear fender, Ebay tank and paint (shagadelic)
    [​IMG]

    Home built seat (nice effort) not the best .

    It leaks everywhere. It wet sumps. The Monoblock will not idle but thats OK. It starts great.

    When this snow melts I will need the side stand.
    [​IMG]

    I hope to take it on a epic journey some day.

    Dan
    #19
  20. dirtydan

    dirtydan Cheese hat on ?

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2006
    Oddometer:
    263
    Location:
    Wisconsin
    Later I almost hit the wive's car.
    [​IMG]
    Some how I missed the canoe. It's going to be a great riding season.
    Dan
    .
    #20