Lot 1904


1966 BSA A65 Lightning Hornet
Reg. no. VAM 971D
Frame no. A65L 14799
Engine no. A65C 2106
The Lightning, launched in 1965, was designed as BSA’s all-round sports machine for the late 1960s, and was intended mainly for export to the US market to complement the touring range. The 650cc engine, a parallel twin, had been improved from its earlier iterations, now sacrificing a bit of top-end power in the interest of improved rideability. Performance was still lively however, helped by a close-ratio gearbox, and the Lightning could easily exceed 100mph providing the rider was brave enough.
This 1966 Lightning is thought to be fitted with a BSA Hornet-specification engine. The Hornet was a version of the A65 intended for American off-road and desert racing; although road-legal, it was really intended as a stripped-down competition machine. The 650cc engine in the Hornet was of a higher performance specification than the standard A65, with high compression pistons and a high-lift cam. It is not known how the bike came to be fitted with this engine; it is otherwise to standard specification. Imported from the US in 2014, with many parts missing, it was then restored over the course of 2 years, with many new and second-hand parts fitted. The frame, engine and gearbox have all been completely stripped and rebuilt, and the bike has been mainly brush-painted. The wiring has been replaced and two new energy transfer coils fitted; despite this, the vendor reports that the ‘energy transfer’ ignition system is problematic and needs attention before road use. Not ridden on the road since completion, it is in good condition and once debugged should prove an exciting machine. It comes with some bills, a V5c and a dating certificate.

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£2,000 - 3,000

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