Parting Shot: BSA Motorcycles

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

  • 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

The sound and the fury: celebrate the machines that changed the world!

Motorcycle Classics JulAug 16Motorcycle Classics is America's premier magazine for collectors and enthusiasts, dreamers and restorers, newcomers and life long motorheads who love the sound and the beauty of classic bikes. Every issue  delivers exciting and evocative articles and photographs of the most brilliant, unusual and popular motorcycles ever made!

Save Even More Money with our RALLY-RATE plan!

Pay now with a credit card and take advantage of our RALLY-RATE automatic renewal savings plan. You save an additional $5.00 and get 6 issues of Motorcycle Classics for only $29.95 (USA only).

Or, Bill Me Later and I'll pay just $34.95 for a one year subscription!

Facebook Pinterest Instagram YouTube Twitter