August Musing - BSA C15 Star

Aug 08, 2018
Good Day All,

Midsummer, the sun is shinning, I look out across the valley and think how good it would feel to kick a bike into power and roar away.

I only owned one bike, she was a used BSA C15 Star in their beautiful BSA dark maroon colour. Cost me 45 GBP, I had to sell my canoe and air rifle to help raise the cash. Mum was dead against me having a bike but I worked on Dad as he had owned a Brough Superior and liked bikes. Most of my friends were getting high speed multi cylinder two stroke Japanese machines but I wanted to be different. I saw a BSA C15 Star in a local motor bike shop, I liked her but next time I visited she was gone. Then I found one advertised for sale privately, Dad and I went to look at her, Dad started her up and disappeared on a test run, it seemed ages before he came back, he was smiling, he looked at me and said he thought she was to big for me! I worked on him quickly and a deal was done. The owner delivered my bike to the farm and Dad drove him back to town.

BSA C15 Star

I seized my chance as Mum was out so I was home alone, I pushed my bike out of the drive into the meadow by the house. Hell was she heavy, good job there was only a side stand because I doubt I could have got her up on a center stand. The bike and I fell over the first time I tried the kick start, then I flooded her. Eventually I had her running, pulled the clutch in, put my toe on the gear shift, one down and three up. One down, "snick", as she went into gear, release the clutch twist the throttle and we were away, at that moment I wouldn,t have traded my bike for even a girl. This was unbelievable.

My bike was a single, 4 stroke, 250 cc, simple electrics with a kick start, the only poor features were drum brakes and a 6 volt head lamp, you really need good "night vision" on a dark night!

So I would climb on, kick the stand up, push forward to check she was in neutral, take the fuel cap off, rock the bike to look and listen for how much fuel was in the tank, no fuel gauge. Then gentle push down on the kick start until I could feel compression, foot off, reach under the petrol tank, turn the tap on, tickle the carb ( no choke, the tickler was a spring loaded pin that would depress the float allowing extra petrol into the carb) turn the electric switch to on, this was behind my right thigh, no ignition key. Then foot on the kick start, throw all my weight onto that leg and push down, it was very rare that she failed to start first time. She sounded beautiful, the previous owned had installed a super after market exhaust and did she roar. I used to love beating up the back alleys in Bury St Edmunds on a dark night after leaving the pictures, the roar just echoed off the walls in the tiny streets and then I beat it before the local Police in their Panda cars showed up, once they arrived a big Austin Westminster. I had been "set up", I could not outrun him so I beat it home on all the back roads, all black top, but single lane and twisted and turned in all directions, I remember I wore my foot rests down that night, what fun, I lost the Police in the first two miles but never slowed up, I would love to go out and do that right now. Where the exhaust pipe came out the cylinder head the chromed pipe had turned a rich blue from the heat.

For two years that BSA represented my freedom, she never let me down, I failed her once when we disappeared into a deep ditch. I needed help to drag her out, but she started and took me home despite my cracked ribs and her bent handle bars. Sadly life moved on and I reluctantly was forced to sell her to raise money for my first Austin Mini pick up.
Mr. Wolverine

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