1962 BSA Gold Star DBD34
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After the money changed hands, John carted his prize home and started looking for the missing pieces. A conscientious restorer, he enjoys the rebuilding process as much as riding the finished product. Like most of his restorations, the bike looks stock on the outside, but this Gold Star features several internal updates suggested by BSA enthusiasts.
These include aftermarket fork damping rods for a superior ride, and a three-spring Triumph clutch. “It’s much easier to operate than the six-spring BSA clutch,” John says. The carburetor is a 1-3/8-inch Amal GP carb, which looks identical to the standard 1-1/2-inch GP but helps it start easier.
Electrics guru Bob Kizer at PODtronics rebuilt the magneto and generator, important items on a Gold Star as a weak magneto will have you kicking until the cows come home. A Gold Star will start easily if it has a fresh spark plug and a good magneto, John says. Just use the kickstart to get up on the compression stroke, give the throttle a quarter turn and kick hard. “With a little luck, mine will start second kick,” he says.
Eventually, the Gold Star was completed, but it wouldn’t run smoothly. John took it to Ron Halem, who identified the carburetor as the culprit. Careful inspection showed someone had filled the air slide slot with JB Weld, clogging it. Cleaning the slot with a Dremel tool fixed the problem.
Niesley likes to ride this bike on the regular club runs in his area. “I got a prize once for having ‘The Sweetest Single,’ and another time I got the local BSA Club’s ‘President’s Award.’ It really is a delightful bike to ride. It’s comfortable the way it is,” he says, adding, “It’s lighter than a modern bike, and a lot of people are surprised to find out it’s not vibratory. The gearing is tall, and if you are going up hill, you have to shift down. The carburetor doesn’t have an idling screw, like a Monobloc, and you have to hold the throttle open a little at stops. It runs better if you keep the RPM over 4,000, although on a flat road you can loaf along at 3,500. This might just be my bike. My rear sprocket is 42-tooth. Stock is 46. They came with different gearing. By today’s standards, it’s slow, but it’s a fun rider. It’s not bad, not bad at all.”
Competitive when it was new, and with a successful competition record that continued long after it went out of production, the Gold Star is today considered one of the most iconic motorcycles of all time.
Too bad BSA didn’t pay more attention to its American dealers and keep the model in production just a little bit longer. MC
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