The legendary British brand returns with a 650 single
Finally, the wait is over. About this time last year, we wrote about the news that Mahindra Group in India had bought the rights to the BSA brand, and would be producing them in the UK. They just pulled the wraps off their debut model a day ahead of “Motorcycle Live 2021” in England. BSA sneak-previewed their all-new Gold Star 650 at England’s National Motorcycle Museum in Birmingham before the Motorcycle Live event at the NEC, the first in a series of motorcycles the brand plans to bring to market in the coming year(s).
BSA was purchased and revived by the Mahindra Group back in 2016, and the corporate heads have stated all along they planned to build the venerable Brit bikes in merry old England, specifically with an R&D facility in Banbury, then a manufacturing plant in Midlands. These particular debut bikes were designed and developed in the UK but built in India for now, until the UK plants are fully operational.
This new Gold Star 650 is propelled by a chain final drive 650cc single thumper, making about 45 hp, with about 40.5 ft. lbs. of torque. Not immensely impressive, but hey, it’s a 650 single. The bike’s styling is spot-on with spoked rims, a classic round headlight, chrome and paint teardrop tank with vintage-looking BSA Gold Star tank badges, dual pot analog displays, wide chrome handlebars, chrome “pea-shooter” pipe and a traditional two-up bench style seat. This is one classic looking bike, easily confused with it’s ancestors at first glance.
A second glance reveals an array of modern tech that will be included on the BSA machines. We’re seeing disc brakes with dual-channel ABS, water-cooling, emissions controls, adjustable rear shocks, and EFI of course. Unsure if these bikes will sport traction control or rider modes, but just spitballing here, we’re guessing they’re targeting the Royal Enfield Conti and INT 650 Twins so they might include these and other features to be competitive. No word yet on pricing, although when we shared the story last year, price “guesstimates” landed in the $6600-$13K ballpark, USD.
The BBC reported that BSA has built a technical center in Coventry, England, for the express purpose of developing an line of electric BSA models. They apparently received a 4.6 million (Euro) grant from the British government to develop zero-emissions bikes. These will be developed and built along with these petrol-powered Gold Stars and other models, for the foreseeable future. For now, we look forward to getting eyeballs on more shots and footage of these new BSAs, and applaud Mahindra for reviving an iconic brand and planting them back in their homeland of England.
*photos by BSA Motorcycles (their Facebook page)