Parting Shot: BSA Motorcycles

The 1950s were the heyday of BSA motorcycles, whether for racing or cruising to a wedding.

| July/August 2006

  • three men in white tuxedoes posed on BSA motorcycles
    From L to R: Friends Tom Rose, Tom Markham, and Blair Springer on their way to a wedding in 1958 with their BSA motorcycles. Rose and Markham are each aboard a 1957 BSA 500 Flash, while Springer rides a 1958 BSA 650 Road Rocket.
    Photo courtesy of Tom Rose

  • three men in white tuxedoes posed on BSA motorcycles

In BSA's heyday in the 1950s, the firm's advertisements proclaimed the storied marquee as the maker of "The Most Popular Motor Cycle in the World." It was a justifiable claim, with BSAs selling hot and fast around the world, especially in the increasingly important U.S. market. BSA motorcycles swept the field at Daytona in 1954, and the company's success on the track helped fuel sales across the country. British BSA (Birmingham Small Arms) hit its zenith in the Fifties, and its bikes were among the world's most beautiful.

Young Turks Tom Rose, Tom Markham, and Blair Springer (see Image Gallery) clearly appreciated their Beezas' style, showing their loyalty by riding their mounts to a wedding in Jacksonville, Fla ., in 1958. Rose sat astride a 1-year-old BSA 500 Flash, Markham had an identical 1957 Flash, and Springer rode a brand new the 1958 BSA 650 Road Rocket, one of BSA's most popular machines ever.

The memories remain, but the bikes have long since disappeared. Rose's was stolen in 1961, and Markham and Blair parted with their Beezas years ago. The three are still close, and both Rose and Markham get out and ride as much as they can. Good memories, indeed. MC

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