Forgive the length of this description, but I want to give a true and fair accounting of my beloved ’68 Thundebolt, which I have owned for almost 20 years and have loved with all my heart, though the time has come for us to part…
What you see in the pictures is an ALL ORIGINAL (with a couple of exceptions, which I’ll point out) 1968 A65TB, one of the best and finest motorcycles ever offered by BSA, a workingman’s bike with a reputation as a rock-solid commuter. The pictures show the matching frame and engine numbers.
I am only the third owner of this beauty, and the guy I bought it from swore that the mileage shown was correct when I bought it, but I have no way of verifying that. It showed 4700 miles when I bought her, I’ve ridden her slightly more than 2000 since. A couple of years ago I was going down the road and she started making a terrible noise, so I shut her down and trailered her to the shop of Johnny Issacs in Bristow, OK ( I was living in Tulsa at the time). Johnny is a champion racer on BSAs (you can look him up) and one of the best Brit bike mechanics in the country. He discovered that at some time in the past, someone had dropped a small washer into the crankcase, and it had gotten sucked up and tried to wreak havoc. Johnny rebuilt the engine, boring it out to slightly over 660, the 147 miles on the tripmeter represents the actual number of miles it has been ridden since, so, effectively you are buying a bike with a brand new engine.
As you can see from the pictures, this is not a show bike, it has been my pressure relief valve and alternative mode of transportation for almost two decades, not an un-ridden collectible. Therefore, she suffers from the cosmetic ravages of age, but nothing more. Chrome is all a bit dingy, but perfectly serviceable and could easily be re-chromed if someone wanted to turn her into a showstopper. Paint is old and faded a bit, the tank badges could certainly use some new paint, and there are small paint chips on the tank – I like my mirrors on the underside of the handlebars, which, if I’m not careful, can bang against the tank when I’m backing her in tight spaces. There is a small tear (3/8″) in the seat cover which you can see on the picture of the right side of the bike. Some flaking paint on one of the side covers. Other than that, she is what you see in the pictures, a classic that will turn 50 next year!
While I can’t say if the mufflers have been on since new, they are correct Dunstalls and certainly appear to be original. The speedo is a correct Smith’s unit for this bike, whether or not it has been on since new or is a replacement, I can’t tell. Lucas headlight is original and correct, new bulb a couple of years ago, however, neither the ammeter nor the lights on the nacelle work, the only things that don’t work as they should on the bike.. She sports new Pirelli tires with around 800 miles on them (just had my first flat tire in forever last week, so, new tube in that one as of yesterday). Fork gaiters have, of course been replaced, most recently a month ago. The speedo gear is not original, I put that on a couple of years back, but it is correct. The side cover decals are newer repros, stick-ons, not alcohol decals as original, but they are correct. I’m pretty sure the carb has been replaced at some time, but it is a correct Amal. The horn seems too shiny to be original, but it’s the one she came with and is correct. BIKE IS MISSING SIDE STAND, center stand only. The side stand was broken off when I bought her, I just never got around to having it re-welded. I have it in a box somewhere, and will include it if, and when, I can find it.
Bike starts first or second kick in any weather, however, she is a bit cold-blooded, so the colder it is outside, the longer she takes to warm up and idle properly (we’re talking a full minute in cold weather). This bike does NOT LEAK A DROP OF OIL! If you’ve ever owned a British bike, you are familiar with those oil spots on your garage floor, but she hasn’t leaked a drop since her rebuild, a minor miracle, I’m sure. She has been garage-kept since purchase.
I am forced to sell due to age, unemployment and other projects that demand my time and attention, and will probably rue the day for the rest of my life, but, that’s the way these things go sometimes.
I will not be responsible for arranging shipping, but I will gladly help your shipper get it loaded and off your way. Maine does not require a title for vehicles beyond a certain age, so she will come with a bill of sale.
Any questions, please do not hesitate to email me. Also, as a final note, I am offering the bike for sale locally, so I reserve the right to cancel this auction at any time before its conclusion.