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OT-Raggy, you're brave if you MX a B50!

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  • OT-Raggy, you're brave if you MX a B50!

    I saw in another post you mentioned "MX" and "B50" in the same breath. You're a brave boy to be sure!
    I can't think of many bikes less likely to make a good MXer than a B50.
    My last 4 stroke MXer was a 98 Husaberg 501,
    even that was a pain in the arse on the dirt. Yes, it was light (B50 isn't), powerful (B50 isn't), handled well (B50 doesn't) but it was totally unrelaible.
    In one race I had the kickstart fall off as I was trying to start it to move to the gate.
    Next moto the carb blew off the head, left me on the gate again! DNF-DNF, it was a good day.
    HAving said all of that I'd still enjoy *restoring* a B50 if that's what you're doing.


  • #2

    My life history goes back further than B50's!! I started in MX in the early '60's, I rode a genuine BSA Gold Star (in the days when MX was called 'Scrambles'). Modified it with an Eric Cheney frame kit (in Renolds '531' - a British steel similar to '4140') and added bits like electron gearbox cases and rocker boxes to get the weight down. When BSA introduced the B44/B50 it was much lighter, responsive, but just about as difficult to start!

    I now have a 'collection' of B44's and B50's, yea I know, I am a sad puppy!! One of these bikes is the factory B50 racer from 1967. The factory built 3 bikes for club level road racing in the UK, the idea to be to use them as a rolling engine test bed for the factory MX team. The bikes were ridden by 'road racer mad' mechanics, who just happened to populate the competition shop at BSA. Another bike I have is the B50 pre production prototype, which was used as a 'Press' machine (for journalists to test). I also have a 4 valve B48 (well its 480cc!!) prototype, and some other interesting BSA/Triumph objects.

    As for Husqvarna's, I've also got a TE610 from 1989. Engine is currently in rebuild with a blown piston. But the rest of the bike is restored (WP front USD forks, Ohlins rear shock, Brembo front disc, mag rear hub with 5" shoe brake ~ what a specification!). I was drawn to this because of the unusal concept of a 2 stroke bottom end with a 4 stroke OHC 4 valve top end, the engine is so light!!

    The B50 racer BTW has the distinction of beating the works Yamaha and Suzuki 354cc strokers at a race meeting in 1967. Bob Heath beating Barry Sheene (Suzy) in the Shellsport 500cc final.

    I run the B50 occasionally in Classic Motorcycle races, on it's last outing it finished 3rd in an unlimited race at Mallory Park. Beaten only by a 900cc BSA Rocket 3, and an 850 Norton Commando. They got me on the straights! I passed them in the corners!!

    I'd love to bring it over to do the Steamboat Springs Classic Race in September, run by AHMRA, maybe one day! I'll find a good picture of the racer and post it, if anyones interested?!


    [This message has been edited by Ragarsed Raglan (edited 10-16-2003).]


    • #3
      I'm interested, love them old motorsickles. Smitty
      Smitty.... Ride Hard, Die Fast


      • #4
        Great stuff!!
        The only BSA I owned was a 66 Spitfire, I blew it up on the M4 one day so after that had it converted to 750 with a Devimead barrell - what a bunch of cowboys they (Devimead) were!
        I also had a 74 Trident T150V - rode it to the 82 TT. I put a twin disc conversion and the old pipsqueek pipes on it - nice smooth bike, good power but NO ground clearance.
        Now at one time BSA did a Ti framed Victor for MX didn't they?


        • #5
          Oh Raggy,
          I still have my collection of Mottorcycle Mechanics and Bike magazine from the 70's at my parents in Southampton. I'll be over at X-Mas so am looking forward to dragging them out and having a read.
          I think the earliest issue of "Bike" I have is #4. I bet there aren't too many of those around nowadays.


          • #6

            Yes please, pictures always good.
            Sounds like you've got some nice bikes!

            There used to be a few CCM bikes here in NZ in the 1970's? (in fact I have a brochure somewhere) - were they related to the B50? I grew up on a large farm which was used once a year for an enduro, the CCMs sure sounded the best!


            • #7
              Right here goes, keep your fingers crossed as we struggle with the wonders of the Internet:-

              Ignore this attempt and use the lower url

              So as not to use up too much bandwidth on this precious BB - you are invited to inspect the album 'B50', and to keep on topic of machining, you are also invited to check out the album entitled 'work' at the following:-


              The pictures of the B50 are dated as it now wears a genuine set of 'works' front forks (with magnesium sliders), a Airheart rear disc (as originally worn in 1967), and some different engine cases (in magnesium). I'll scan a few race pictures and put them into the photobucket album when I get a minute.

              The workshop photo's are of my home shop, that is the photo's with the LJ lathe and the F3 mill. The one on the crazy angle is the Thiel at work in our 'Play Pen', the guy with the Wohlhaupter boring & facing head on the Thiel is my mate Roger!!

              Peter, yes the CCM of the '70's was a direct descendant of the B50. CCM bought all the work in progress when Small Heath closed down, enough to keep them going for 8 or 9 years. The new CCM's are Rotax motors now. If you think a CCM sounds good ~ the short stroke B50 racer on an open mega is Bliss!

              Is this a record for the number of edits???


              P.S. Is it too late to enter the 'Cluttered Workshop' competition? that was going on a few weeks back - I didn't realise how messy my shop was until I looked at the photo's!!!

              [This message has been edited by Ragarsed Raglan (edited 10-17-2003).] Try again!!

              [This message has been edited by Ragarsed Raglan (edited 10-17-2003).] HELP!

              [This message has been edited by Ragarsed Raglan (edited 10-17-2003).]

              [This message has been edited by Ragarsed Raglan (edited 10-17-2003).]

              [This message has been edited by Ragarsed Raglan (edited 10-17-2003).]