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Messages - BILL NELSON

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The Star and Garter / Re: A Star is Born
« on: 25 July, 2022, 10:55:38 »
:) :) :) :)

so a starting point of 10K would not be unrealistic.

Mike 8) 8) 8)

Wow! Mike I am truly impressed.
At Brooklands, I met and had more than a few words with someone who works in Japan in a very senior role for one of the major Japanese bikes. He insisted that the Gold Star is under-priced and that " is a 10 grand bike, by any estimation."
Obviously, that would pitch it differently in the market, but how interesting that you both come up with the same figure.
At Founders Day yesterday a couple of people said to me that with short supply, there would be chancers buying speculatively & then selling on at a premium - same as in the car market.

The Star and Garter / Re: Founders day
« on: 25 July, 2022, 09:09:04 »
I'll be there although I'm still stinging from the 40 camping fee for me and Lizzy.

I'll pop in and say hello, so let's hope some of you pop over to say hello to us who's BSAa have more than 2 or 3 wheels ;)

What a fantastic day we had at Stanford Hall, AGAIN!
Great to see you!
Right in the middle of the site was a magnificent display of BSA cars. As usual, Phil had organised a magnificent event for BSAOC - apart from all the preparations and setting up and clearing away, he doesn't stop all day.
The banter was well up to standard, although comments about my camping water bottle were hurtful. You see, last year the tap leaked at the show, so this year I fixed it with a couple of o-rings - 2 leaks - only for the handle to break into 5 pieces the first time the bottle was filled. That's life. But the unkind observations of an intermittent (typical BSA) drip and some wag putting a 2 gallon bucket underneath was just too much. I've decided not to bother bringing it again. I'm very sensitive, you know.
More membership enquiries, more new visitors & as usual existing members doing a brilliant job of telling people about the club. There was a lot of interest in the Internationals & the well-travelled sidevalve outfit adorned with trophies of places visited was a big draw. Geoff & Sarah also had a B33 on display.
Angus had his shiny OIF attracting much attention & (the other) Phil's glorious bike was too good to miss and was loved by the crowds at the parade ring.
From another exhibitor we got a line on a nicely restored B40 available for not much money in NI.
Having a look around with a fan & owner of old Nortons, we were amused to hear a expert announcing a fully restored Manx to be a not-quite-right ES2.
Maybe it indicates a change in the market, but I've never seen so many petrol tanks on offer. Even more intriguing was that most seemed to be BSA tanks, round badge and tear drop types, some of them in very reasonable condition.
Another change this year was so much stuff on sale with no price tags. Asking a few stall holders I have dealt with before, the answer was the same. They want/need to shift stock this Summer, don't want to hold it over the Winter again, so make an offer, walk away if not accepted & try again later nearer closing time...
Is there someone doing good quality and economical retoothing of worn out gearbox and rear wheel sprockets - not the unavailable ones, but everyday classics? There were boxes of absolutely shot examples on sale. And who would want to buy a BSA/Triumph bare clutch basket fit only for weighing in, cracked across the centre, slots hammered after previous filing oversize? Someone did!
Looking forwards to next year already.

The Star and Garter / Re: A Star is Born
« on: 25 July, 2022, 08:31:30 »
I got all excited when I read that a modern version of the BSA Gold Star was being produced, especially at a price of 6-7k!. However, I've just read in Bike Magazine that the engine is based on the Rotax engine fitted to the BMW F650 at which point my heart sank.
All I can suggest is that you wait until you test ride the real thing.
Comments such as imply that this is a redeployment of the old (it's been around years!) Rotax are just sloppy journalism, composed by writers and passed by editors too eager to pre-write their stories and not listen to the technical information provided and seemingly unable to relate all this to their actual riding experience at Millbrook?
Sometimes I wonder if they know enought to ask the right questions and to understand the answers.
I would totally respect anyone who said they had ridden the bike but felt disappointed with ... or didn't like it because... (I'm well known for not liking airhead BMWs after many miles of riding them) that's just personal preference that we are all entitled to. However for them to seek to add credibility to their reports by presenting inaccurate technical impressions is a waste of words.
Sure, the new BSA will not be for everyone, but I for one will listen far more to the views of regular, relevant riders like BSAOC members.

The Star and Garter / Re: A Star is Born
« on: 23 July, 2022, 20:58:28 »
The reason I enquired as to your opinion was solely on the basis that you have much more contact with the various guys connected with the manufacture and sales of the bike. In this instance I would have thought that your opinion was actually likely to be more value than mine as I have contact with any of the foregoing. If I have upset you, which seems likely, I apologise as it was inadvertent although I don't understand why you should be so sensitive!
Hi, I'm not in the least upset; I'm sorry if I gave that impression through rushing a response.
Phil Bull & I have been under strict commercial confidentiality agreements since the first meeting we attended at NMM, as reported at Members' Meetings & AGMs. This means that anything we are told cannot be circulated until cleared. This is standard business practice to avoid misinterpretation or excessive speculation. That tends to happen anyway.
What I try to do is to communicate the potential effects on the BSAOC and our members, resulting from the introduction of a cracking good bike (from early impressions, including the brief rides at Brooklands). A good mate, Mark Fielder, volunteers at Brooklands and facilitated BSAOC in encouraging BSA to be there. Chris Golby & I did the honours for the Club. Brooklands have invited BSAOC along with our own club stand next year, we'll just need some local volunteers to get involved.
Anything to do with the running of the company, the appointment of the distributor or the production and import of bikes is announced by the founders. They are the only people who know everything, so it's best to watch out for anything they put out. Lukas Distribution seem to be releasing their own related announcements.
I get a number of enquiries privately and via various groups, but as a volunteer who still has a more than full time job running my own businesses, I can't deal with them all individually. However, as a significant number were asking questions, like yours and capturing their perception of what was going on, I try to answer with generic answers relating to the bigger picture of manufacturing and industry and trade, that from experience I know will be influencing BSA. Combining our thoughts will help us and others build a better informed picture of how the new BSA project is developing.
Out of interest, how this might work is shown by a number of studies, based on the fairground game of guess how many ball bearings/sweets are in a large glass jar. If you collect a couple of thousand guesses the mathematical average of them all is consistently near the truth! Weird!
Note that I tend to prefer perception to opinion when referring to informed and thoughtful comments like yours. As Club PRO, I fully understand that perception comes from the messages from the organisation and how they are communicated. Opinions are more commonly just founded in prejudice. That's not judgemental, it's just the way it is.
These are exciting and positive times for BSAOC, not only is there the new bike, but The Star confirms what we see elsewhere, that there are a number of bikes and projects being released into the market.
There's no secret that I believe we should encourage every new BSA owner to also acquire a classic BSA, if they don't already have one. There's a whole side of the Club and BSA ownership that delights in fixing bikes, which new vehicles don't offer.
One final point - you won't upset me, I'm too thick-skinned after all the abuse I get from BSAOC whenever I sing You'll Never Walk Alone (YNWA).
Keep smiling, share the joy, we are the Happy People

The Star and Garter / Re: you're never too old
« on: 22 July, 2022, 14:55:04 »
Ha ha  ;D

The Star and Garter / Re: Fuel filler caps
« on: 22 July, 2022, 14:53:20 »
Very helpful, thanks Dave.

The Star and Garter / Re: A Star is Born
« on: 22 July, 2022, 14:51:11 »
Is it your opinion that, having set up the manufacturing process in Asia with the finished project rolling out of the doors as we speak, there is a realistic prospect of Mahindra up rooting the entire shooting match and moving everything over here. Given your comments relating to the initial disruption and cost it seems unlikely that having sorted all that out they will ever move to England, never mind Birmingham and undergo an even more expensive transition.

If that question is for me...

My "opinion" is worth no more than yours or anyone else's.

Locating a production facility is an extremely complex business that requires a great deal of data and calculation, yet still involves a sizeable element of judgement. To add an element of futurology into the mix makes speculation even more pointless.
Uprooting the entire production facility would be another matter all together, quite separate from a decision to establish production somewhere else.
Moving the uprooted production (if that is done) to UK would be something else again.
My comments relating to disruption etc. refer to these practicalities and have nothing to do with any possible or potential facility being built in Birmingham.

What is known is that Classic Legends, the parent company, have repeated on many occasions that they have always intended siting a production facility in Birmingham. That is the best indication we have. I have found them to be entirely honourable people to deal with, so I accept that is their intention.

It is not 1973, BSA is not the major engineering and manufacturing group it was (there was so much more than our bikes being made), so even if manufacturing is set up in Birmingham, the way the global automotive market works, we can be certain that some components and parts will be bought in from overseas. Very few scale operations are exclusively in just one country - look at Triumph.

On another tack, modern frame design and engineering doesn't allow for the few oddities of us who enjoy sidecars in the same way as when an outfit was the main family transport, so the suppliers of sidecars these days sort that out for others, so probably they will do the same for anyone wanting a chair fitting to the new Gold Star.

We must always remember, we are the BSA Owners' Club, not the manufacturer or the distributor or the dealer network.

That's the best I can do, other than to say that after just a brief acquaintance with the bike, I want one.
I look forward to reading Chris's article in the next copy of The Star.

The Star and Garter / Re: A Star is Born
« on: 21 July, 2022, 09:38:26 »

Yes.  It was my understanding that Birmingham was the intended production base.  I would think that if BSA had stayed in production then this model would already be from 20m years ago so definitely a retro/nostalgia trip.
For me there needs to be a really comprehensive trashing test over 25,000 miles to give this bike credibility. 


Thanks Dave,
I answered the Birmingham question as far as I could above.
As for a long term test, maybe not 25k miles, but certainly 4 seasons high mileage would be an essential stress test, way beyond what most owners would be doing. As such, it can't delay launch and sales, but regular reports would certainly build confidence in the brand.
It was so funny to see the reaction when I had a father & adult son, both riders examining "my" bike at Brooklands. The son was lay down reporting on the underneath. It raised a laugh when I asked if anyone had a toolkit so he could take it apart.
When I get another bike, I have to confess to partially dismantling and checking it, before I clocking up the miles for work.
You're right, credibility has to be earned.

The Star and Garter / Re: Founders day
« on: 19 July, 2022, 14:15:20 »
I'll be there although I'm still stinging from the 40 camping fee for me and Lizzy.

I'll pop in and say hello, so let's hope some of you pop over to say hello to us who's BSAa have more than 2 or 3 wheels ;)

Dean, I asked Phil as that 40 fee sounded a bit rich.
He says it's 10 to camp at the Founders show site - he thinks you must be booked in at the commercial site down the road?
See you there

The Star and Garter / Re: Belgium Rally
« on: 19 July, 2022, 14:08:59 »
Great report John!
Well done for overcoming the problems. A 1/4" plywood spacer between the carb & the head should solve the vaporisation problem. I've used plywood on bikes and Minis (when I had them) for years, since being shown it by a former Nascar race mechanic.
Sorry I had to miss another rally.

The Star and Garter / Re: A Star is Born
« on: 19 July, 2022, 14:03:26 »
:) :) :) :)

Of course you are abso right in your observations. Wonder what the pricing will be like if they move manufacture to Birmingham or???

Mike 8) 8) 8) 8)

Manufacturing in Birmingham was always the intention.
So far just the electric bike project will be built here.

To get the Gold Star to market it was just not possible to get the arrangements and facilities in place. So all the tooling and facilities were set up in India. Purely from my own experience, trying to transfer production from India to UK would be a massive and expensive undertaking, involving a lot of additionally costly downtime on production and disruption to supply chains.

Pure speculation (not even a rumour!) if sales volumes justify it, perhaps UK bikes and maybe partial EU demand could be built here with the rest of Europe, USA & Australasia supplied from India. Can you imagine the amount of background work that would involve with two parallel production centres?

There are some very clever, highly skilled people running this business - we only see the tip of the iceberg - let's just go along for the ride.

Let's be honest, for all our ability to point out how it should be done, for 50 years we didn't; they did it in 5!

The Star and Garter / Re: A Star is Born
« on: 19 July, 2022, 10:28:26 »
:) :) :) :)

And they'll make a serious profit. The start price here is a bout 1500 above the projected/rumoured sale price in India.

Mike 8) 8) 8) 8)

Mike, Good observation, but they don't have 6 weeks shipping costs to India, nor import duties, nor UK taxes, nor currency exchange rate risks...
Even at 7k there's not a lot of profit in it, if any, certainly not until the volumes are shifted. On top of that, rumours are never reliable, or else we'd all be locked up just for owning bikes, let alone being subversive BSA types!  8)

Today as part of the Government's transport decarbonisation plan, it was announced that the sale of new petrol motorcycles and scooters will be banned in the UK from 2035.

My concern is that the 5 star petrol which classic bikes were intended to run on is no longer available and many garages are no longer selling E5 as well as E10 petrol. When new petrol cars are banned in 2030 the number of petrol forecourts will inevitably decrease and it may get hard to find petrol at all!

Although Esso 5* 101 octane was great for some bikes, most BSAs were well able to run on "pool" petrol and very low octane fuel as "reblended" in some countries.
Although modern hardened valve seats are higher specification than BSAs originals, they've not been necessary for road bikes, even those used for holiday touring. BSA already used as standard, valve seats suited to all parts of the world, so it never mattered where any particular bike was sent to.
Sure, after many, many miles, but more likely after over-enthusiastic valve grinding, eventually valve seats will need replacing. This is a straightforwards job that the right operator in the right workshop could tackle long before the fully-floating, multi-angle, CNC machines for modern engines were even imagined.

The Star and Garter / Re: A Star is Born
« on: 19 July, 2022, 08:00:38 »
That's it in a nutshell!
Let's just be proud that it has been the BSAOC that has kept the brand and the spirit and the passion alive for 50 years, not the intervening owners of the business.
The new owners share our passion and fully recognise the part played by BSAOC in keeping BSA alive.

The Star and Garter / Re: A Star is Born
« on: 13 July, 2022, 17:51:49 »
Here's Toad's report on yesterday's Millbrook test day for press:

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