BSA Owners' Club Forum

The BSA Workshop => Singles => Topic started by: nickdun on 30 May, 2018, 22:46:06

Title: 1969 B44 Victor Special.
Post by: nickdun on 30 May, 2018, 22:46:06
I have owned the motorcycle for about 2 months now and work has started in earnest on restoration.  An enquiry with an officer of the BSA Owner's Club at Stafford revealed that the bike was made in Nov 69 (consistent with frame no.) and exported to the Eastern USA BSA dealer in New Jersey in early 1970.  I bought the bike as a restoration project form the West Midlands, UK, (it has matching numbers, and was mainly all there.)  It has never been registered in the UK, although it was a barn find and has apparently been here for a decade or so.  It was recovered from someone's estate after their death and comes with no documentation whatsoever, although I was assured all import duties have been paid.  The bike came with an energy transfer ignition system suggesting it could have been a competition bike at some point, although the frame etc. is surprisingly unmolested (aside from some broken brazing and a minor crack.)

I am clearly a newbee to owning an imported vehicle and would be very grateful if someone out there could advise me how I could find more about the history of the bike.  Is it possible to find out about who owned the machine in the US, when it was repatriated and who owned it here?  I am also new to classic bike blogs so apologies if this is a well discussed subject.

Thanks in advance.
Title: Re: 1969 B44 Victor Special.
Post by: AWJDThumper on 30 May, 2018, 23:00:35
You can apply to the BSAOC Dating Officer for a Dating Certificate which will tell you were the bike was originally despatched to. See the following link:

https://www.bsaownersclub.co.uk/applyformachinecertificate.html
Title: Re: 1969 B44 Victor Special.
Post by: DON GRAY on 31 May, 2018, 16:29:49
Hello Nickdun,

Funnily enough I did exactly what you are undertaking just over a year ago. The same model too! I bought my Victor Special from a chap who had ridden around the woods for a bit on it, then left it unridden for several years. It too was repatriated about 10 years ago from Texas & came with no documents - other than my purchase receipt. First thing with regard to documentation is to get a NOVA form from HMRC & you'll get it cleared that there is no duty payable on it. It all seems a bit daunting to start with but the guide on this website as given above is very helpful. Just follow the steps... Then once it's all rebuilt & together you apply for an age related number plate, having got a dating certificate from the BSAOC to prove it is what it is!

I too would be interested in finding out where my bike had been from it's despatch in 1967 to the US before coming home but I believe that the US transport depts don't hold records for such things like us Brits!

An interesting project. Wishing you good luck! 
Title: Re: 1969 B44 Victor Special.
Post by: DON GRAY on 31 May, 2018, 16:38:07
To encourage you here's mine as it was finished at the end of last year......
Title: Re: 1969 B44 Victor Special.
Post by: ducati2242 on 31 May, 2018, 17:50:34
There must have been a batch of them .
Title: Re: 1969 B44 Victor Special.
Post by: nickdun on 31 May, 2018, 21:41:43
Thanks for the inspiration guys.  Mine looked like this 6 weeks ago (there are a lot more scrap parts on it than is apparent in the photo)

(https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1740/40672902240_492d1282de_n.jpg)

now its a pile of bits, and that's a bit demoralising.  Still some elbow grease (and a pile of cash) will remedy that.  In my experience the enthusiasm starts to grow again when the first few powder coated bits start reappearing.  Looking forward to a blast in 18 months to 2 years.  Where'd you guys get the chain guards and mud guards?  They seem to be hen's teeth at the moment....
Title: Re: 1969 B44 Victor Special.
Post by: DON GRAY on 01 June, 2018, 09:11:36
Hi Nick.

Stating the obvious really...but in case you didn't know the books by Rupert Ratio are the "Bible" for these bikes... full of useful info & improvement tips. As for mudguards, mine came with the alloy jobs but they can be had from a couple of places I spotted on the interweb...Try Feked. They took over the Sammy Miller offroad stuff. As for chainguards...you're right, they're hard to find especially in half decent nick. I had to do quite a refurb job on the one I tracked down. I believe there's someone in the states who has had some made.....but blimey.... Good luck!
Title: Re: 1969 B44 Victor Special.
Post by: ROBT on 01 June, 2018, 15:16:25
Common, aren't they!
Has anyone carried out the Carillo conrod modification and if so, by whom?
Title: Re: 1969 B44 Victor Special.
Post by: MICKREEVES on 05 June, 2018, 19:04:27
Don, Ducati, Nick and Rob. Do your B44 s vibrate more than most bikes?
Mine does.
Mick
Title: Re: 1969 B44 Victor Special.
Post by: ducati2242 on 05 June, 2018, 21:17:43
Mine doesn't vibrate badly at all . It vibrates more than my DB 34 but not too bad . The again I dont over rev it and keep it to about 65 mph in top .
Title: Re: 1969 B44 Victor Special.
Post by: MICKREEVES on 06 June, 2018, 06:31:16
Have taken mine to top speed once. This was 89 MPH, at 6500 rpm. Exactly correct for this model.
In town traffic it will cruise at 30 MPH in top gear OK. It vibrates at all speeds, not at certain rpm. I hope to meet another B44, to compare.
It is not pleasant to ride.
My C15 SS was designed to reach 80 MPH at 8500 RPM. Mine was short of this. 8500 was the rev limit, and they were prone to
fail at those high revs. I geared mine up by two teeth on the output. Now it would be about 6500 at 70 MPH.
It struggles to reach that, but is happy at 65. Of couse, I could hold in third gear to get that extra if I wanted to, I dont want to!
The bike is pleasant to ride.
Mick
Title: Re: 1969 B44 Victor Special.
Post by: nickdun on 06 June, 2018, 07:07:32
Mine hasn't run for donkey's years.  When I took off the sump plate there was a gudgeon pin circlip in the filter.  It was undamaged so I assume it was dropped in there by mistake and not recovered (I assume if it'd passed between the piston skirt and bore it'd be very damaged.)  However there was also a bit of broken piston ring......I fear the worst....   

It's off to be reconditioned in a month or two.
Title: Re: 1969 B44 Victor Special.
Post by: BEEZABUCK on 06 June, 2018, 23:41:34
Hello Nick
I have an early Victor Special(Enduro) of 1966 which came back from USA in 1990 with 720 miles, so the bike was completely original and had E/transfer ignition which was awful, no advance/retard, these were fitted to the early ones, I would have thought that yours should have a battery/coil/points, but well worth looking at an electronic kit, tanks were always Yellow, far as I know. I get parts from Burton Bike bits. Lovely engine, great fun to ride and pretty looking bikes.

Good luck
John (Somerset)
Title: Re: 1969 B44 Victor Special.
Post by: nickdun on 08 June, 2018, 12:49:24
Hi John.
Your bike looks good, hope I get there soon....
I think mine has been used competitively at some point and the battery (and tray) have been removed and presumably there'll be an energy transfer alternator in the motor (haven't looked yet!)  Mine should definitely have a battery and alternator etc. as it's a much later bike than yours.
Nick
Title: Re: 1969 B44 Victor Special.
Post by: MICKREEVES on 08 June, 2018, 20:48:23
Mine now has the bigger C25 tank.
Mick
Title: Re: 1969 B44 Victor Special.
Post by: BEEZABUCK on 08 June, 2018, 23:56:13
Thanks Nick
The bike is still unrestored, has 8K on the clock now. I looked at yours and looks very much original, the front mudguard on these are steal chrome and always have more of a gap at the top front for some reason, never understood why, rather unique to these, you can also get the correct size K70 tyres from Vintage tyres, the alloy tanks are very difficult to find, although small can get 80 - 100 miles ok, so hey I hope you keep it original, great looking machines, different.

Cheers John B
Title: Re: 1969 B44 Victor Special.
Post by: MICKREEVES on 09 June, 2018, 07:07:51
photo
Mick
Title: Re: 1969 B44 Victor Special.
Post by: nickdun on 09 June, 2018, 12:34:28
Does anyone have a 69 or 70 model with the toggle switch in the headlamp?  Looking at the wiring diagram it has at least one warning light in the shell too.  I have bought a new Lucas reproduction of the original headlamp but the holes for the lamp(s) and switch need to be drilled.  Can anyone supply a picture showing where they should be?

Ta  Nick.
Title: Re: 1969 B44 Victor Special.
Post by: MICKREEVES on 10 June, 2018, 12:30:03
I think the small alloy tank on the b44 looks WRONG. It does not fit!
My gold tank fits, and looks much better!!
Mick
Title: Re: 1969 B44 Victor Special.
Post by: MICKREEVES on 10 June, 2018, 13:13:39
Holes are 1/2" , and set 3 1/4" APART. Three and a quarter.
Photo -
Mick
Title: Re: 1969 B44 Victor Special.
Post by: nickdun on 11 June, 2018, 06:35:54
Thanks for the pic Mick but my 69 model has a 3 position toggle switch and 1 or possibly 2 warning lamps.  It doesn't have an ammeter.
Title: Re: 1969 B44 Victor Special.
Post by: BEEZABUCK on 28 June, 2018, 00:02:24
Hello Nick
Just dropped by, regards the headlamp, my 66 is different to yours but Victor Specials were made for off road in USA so would have been kept basic, parts book isnt any help, all I can find are these 2 pictures and can see a light switch top centre and one warning light to the left side, as they dont have oil lights it'll be a high beam light, hope that helps.
Title: Re: 1969 B44 Victor Special.
Post by: AWJDThumper on 28 June, 2018, 05:37:32
The picture below is the best I can find of the headlight arrangement for a 1969 VS. The lighting switch is in the middle of the headlight and the main beam warning light is to its left.
Title: Re: 1969 B44 Victor Special.
Post by: bilbo on 29 June, 2018, 15:34:27
Hi, I have just joined the forum as a friend of mine has a B44 Walker Special. I am trying to research this bike and so far have found out that Alan Walker built one-off race bikes; we have some notes that says the bike won the pre-74 British classic championship and was ridden by Mark Boxley? The bike ran on Methanol but now runs on petrol.
I would like to try and get it registered as there is no V5, any advice and info is appreciated.
Title: Re: 1969 B44 Victor Special.
Post by: DON GRAY on 03 July, 2018, 09:22:03
Here's a pic I found on the interweb when researching the look of my bike. It says its a '69 bike, but has a different headlamp layout to what you're after I believe....
Title: Re: 1969 B44 Victor Special.
Post by: nickdun on 05 July, 2018, 17:27:15
Hello Don.  Mine has the 3 position lighting switch and just the one warning lamp for hi beam.  Still not sure where they should be though!
Title: Re: 1969 B44 Victor Special.
Post by: BEEZABUCK on 08 July, 2018, 22:51:27
It's difficult, 1 or 2 warning lights? and toggle switch, there is only the high beam, no oil pressure switch, be handy to know someone who has one of these bikes, a few have been re-imported, maybe try the owners clubs in USA,http://www.bsaocsc.org/ being an export model they must have some info, Americans are very helpful. Good luck.
Title: Re: 1969 B44 Victor Special.
Post by: ROBT on 09 July, 2018, 09:46:16
Here, with appologies for the quality of the shots, are pictures of my stock 1970 B44VS headlamp.

There is one central positioned 3 position light switch and two indicator warning lights. The LH green indicator is for "high beam" and the RH red indicator is redundant.

The holes are set back from the chrome rim egde by 44mm. The indicator centres are equidistant from the light switch centre by 70mm. (N.B. These dimensions don't take into account the arc of the headlamp shell but are linear measurements)

I hope it helps.
Rob

Title: Re: 1969 B44 Victor Special.
Post by: JulianS on 09 July, 2018, 09:57:13
To add to the possible confusion below is from the Lucas service information showing details of warning lights. It only shows a green for 1968 -1970 but who knows....
Title: Re: 1969 B44 Victor Special.
Post by: nickdun on 12 July, 2018, 20:14:57
It's a minefield.  The 1969 parts book, as I said, lists a red and green warning lamp but the wiring diagram a green only for high beam.  I'm going to do mine like yours robt and mr thumper.
Title: Re: 1969 B44 Victor Special.
Post by: MICKREEVES on 13 July, 2018, 06:45:26
The second warning lamp is for the winkers.
Mick
Title: Re: 1969 B44 Victor Special.
Post by: Riding B44R on 13 July, 2018, 20:40:50
Hi,

My 1967 B44R Roadster came back from New Jersey in 2007 and I've tried a few things to trace its history.  I did get a response from BSAOC Ohio, which covers the New Jersey area and they were helpful.  They suggested I emailed them my serial number and advertised it in their BSAOC magazine but I haven't got 'round to that yet.

I think you'll find their email address on our site here.  If you find any successful methods I'd appreciate a line as it's something I'd like to do.

Regards
Title: Re: 1969 B44 Victor Special.
Post by: MICKREEVES on 20 July, 2018, 08:53:21
I am putting my B44 on Ebay, today
Mick
Title: Re: 1969 B44 Victor Special.
Post by: nickdun on 27 July, 2018, 17:44:48
Anyone any idea how tight the swing arm pivot nut needs to be?  Very?
Title: Re: 1969 B44 Victor Special.
Post by: MICKREEVES on 13 August, 2018, 14:44:07
I have now sold mt B44.
I will stick to the C55 SS
Mick
Title: Re: 1969 B44 Victor Special.
Post by: Rain Dutton on 19 August, 2018, 12:10:01
Hi
I did a similar thing some eight years ago, 1970 B44VS.
I have a spare/surplus battery tray and tool side panel, both as the returned from powder coating if you still are looking for these items
Robin
Title: Re: 1969 B44 Victor Special.
Post by: nickdun on 22 August, 2018, 17:35:55
Could anyone help? My seat pan is missing the front fixing that clips under the bracket on the top of the frame.

Could anyone who has one be kind enough to measure theirs and send me the dimensions so I can make one?

(https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1859/43482346454_682cdb0461_b.jpg)
Title: Re: 1969 B44 Victor Special.
Post by: ROBT on 23 August, 2018, 11:44:18
Hello Nick,

Here's mine, a bit mis shapen over time but .....

A= 2"
B= 1.5"
C= 1"
D= 5/16" x 7/8" slot

1/8" MS plate with 3/8" radius bends.

Hope this helps,
Rob
Title: Re: 1969 B44 Victor Special.
Post by: nickdun on 23 August, 2018, 17:12:54
Thanks Rob, that helps a lot.  I have found some suitable vinyl at Martrim so I can now go ahead and get the seat base repaired.  Cheers.
Title: Re: 1969 B44 Victor Special.
Post by: nickdun on 23 September, 2018, 12:41:34
Help help.  The fork oil seals supplied by both Feked and Burton Bike Bits are 2 mm too big for the seal holders.  The forks are just standard pre-shuttle valve items.  The inner diameter is correct for the stanchions.  Anyone had this problem and how did you overcome it?

Thanks
Title: Re: 1969 B44 Victor Special.
Post by: Bowen on 23 September, 2018, 16:17:54
Peter Quick here https://www.bsaunitsingles.com/index.htm is super helpful, very knowledgeable about Victor models and has most parts.
Title: Re: 1969 B44 Victor Special.
Post by: MICKREEVES on 01 October, 2018, 15:51:13
I have taken the ouput sprocket down to 16 teeth. (I had 17, originally 15)
It now reaches 75 MPH, I think.
Still trying to get the speedo reading correctly.
Mick