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Machine Identification

Machine Dating.

First of all a word of caution; anybody buying a machine, particularly if it does not have any documentation, proof of origin or you are generally unsatisfied, DO NOT BUY; as mistakes can later prove very expensive. Remember:  Buyer beware.

If you know the frame and engine number of your BSA you can use this list to identify it. These are always stamped, so any raised numbers are casting numbers. As with all listings of this type there will be mistakes. However, hopefully they will be few and far between. It should also be borne in mind that these listings are given in BSA seasons. This ran, generally from the August in the previous calendar year through to the factory shut down in at the end of the following July. Therefore the 1953 BSA season ran from August 1952 through to July 1953.

The listing has been drawn up using despatch book information cross referenced with listings from other BSA sources such as parts lists and dealer service sheets. The despatch books only go back to 1930 in total with some models books going back to 1925. Therefore anything listed before 1929 cannot be cross referenced but the information is taken from official BSA documents for these earlier machines. If you have a pre-1929 machine and know the date of registration then please e-mail the librarian so that the knowledge of early machines can be increased. The despatch books list the date which a machine was dispatched from the factory and the receiving dealer. It sometimes lists whether they have a special finish or special specification. Only in very few circumstances does it list a registration mark usually where the factory registered a machine for a specific event or as a press road test machine.

We can provide a dating certificate for your machine from these records. To obtain one you need to write to the librarian. He will require rubbings of the frame and engine numbers, preferably a photograph showing the machine and a self-addressed envelope.

The librarian's address is:

Mr. Steve Foden.
BSAOC Machine Dating Officer

PO Box 111


CH28 9DA.
United Kingdom.

The certificate costs £5 for Club members and £10 for non-Club members and cheques should be made payable to the BSA Owners’ Club Library Account.

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