With the announcement of BSA returning, motorcycle stores, bike nights, coffee shops, and the internet have been awash with opinions, rumors and general gossip about an all new for 2022 BSA Gold Star.
Safe to say the new Gold Star 650 as well as the BSA Motorcycles comeback has caused quite the upset.
With many shouting from the rooftops that whatever they produce won’t be ‘a real BSA’ and others over the moon excited to see the BSA marque back in action.
I fall into the latter, and am beyond excited to see BSA back at it, regardless of where the factory is, bikes are made and who the new owners are; after all, are Triumph’s still produced in Hinckley? or are all Harley’s made in Milwaukee?
It was 1973 when the last BSA badged motorcycle rolled off the Birmingham production line, so nearly 50 years later we are finally about to see some new BSA’s back on the road.
Not just any BSA though, the Mahindra Group have decided to go with the most famous of all, the iconic BSA Gold Star.
Before we take a look at this all new Gold Star 650, let’s recap on how BSA is back in the game.
Table of Contents
- Who are Mahindra, the new BSA owners?
- 2022 BSA Gold Star Review
- 2022 BSA Gold Star Spec Sheet
- New BSA Gold Star FAQ
- Final Thoughts
Who are Mahindra, the new BSA owners?
Before the official announcement, rumors were spreading like wildfire about the Mahindra Group’s plan to launch the BSA brand again having purchased it in 2016; with the fuel to the fire being that they were going to be heading up the charge on a range of electric bikes.
This is what we currently know, there is an all new BSA factory not far from the original home of BSA in Small Heath, Birmingham. This is where the new petrol bikes will be assembled using a combination of home and abroad suppliers.
There is also a new research facility near Banbury which is charging forward with developing electric motorcycles as part of the long term plan and the future of the BSA brand. This has been funded in part by a grant for the UK Government.
The Mahindra Group is owned by Indian Billionaire Anand Mahindra, and is one of Asia’s largest automotive and engineering companies; other brands owned by Mahindra include Jawa and Peugeot two-wheeled department.
Anand Mahindra has made the point of ensuring the new BSA’s are assembled in the UK to keep in line with the authenticity of the brand.
He has acknowledged publicly that the UK was at the forefront of the motorcycle revolution in the early 1900’s and BSA is a vital part of that history.
BSA started out as a firearms production factory in 1861, the first motorcycle division was set up in 1903 followed by the first BSA in 1910 (BSA is short for Birmingham Small Arms).
Throughout the 1950’s BSA became the world’s biggest motorcycle manufacturer; they were so successful they purchased Triumph Engineering Co and were producing Brit bikes under both brands.
During this glory period for BSA Motorcycles one in every four bikes sold worldwide was wearing a BSA badge.
That is some prestige backing the BSA brand up and I think the Mahindra Group intends to honor that history.
2022 BSA Gold Star Review
Prior to WWII, Wes Handley rode an Empire Star to victory in the Brooklands Race, the fastest lap saw the bike reach 107.5mph, he took home a ‘Gold Star’.
The iconic British brand were so excited by this achievement the new model they developed would be named the ‘Gold Star’. Only 500 units would be produced pre-war; post-war the BSA Gold Star would become one of the most successful motorcycles both on the track and in terms of sales numbers.
These post war original BSA Gold Star motorcycles can cost in the region of £12,500-£25,000 while pre-war models are reaching up to £50,000.
Fear not because what we all now have the option of, is to buy an all new Gold Star 650 that closely pays homage to the original, with modern functionality at a fraction of the cost of a classic model.
Powering the new 2022 BSA Gold Star is a 652cc single-cylinder new engine which is based on a pre-unit single, retaining the same styling in keeping with the authentic feel of the bike. There are even cooling fins, reminiscent of the old air-cooled motor.
Service intervals are every 6,200 miles, and the new BSA has an assist and slipper clutch.
Brakes are in the form of twin-discs up front and a single disc on the rear both with Brembo calipers; and the 2022 BSA Gold Star will come with ABS.
Pirelli Phantom Sportscomp tires are providing the rubber, and there will be spoked wheels, with an 18” front wheel and 17” rear wheel.
The designers have created an equally commanding and comfortable riding position, with wide bars, neutral pegs. You sit in an upright position, on the traditional bench flat seat, ready to go wherever you want with supreme confidence and control of the 650 thumper.
You get a twin instrument panel, with analogue speedo and tacho, bringing the Gold Star into the modern era you also get a small LCD multi-functional display and a handlebar mounted USB charger.
Chrome touches are found everywhere as a nod to the past, on the side of the fuel tank, the filler cap, and the fender.
The new BSA Gold Star will be available in Insignia Red, Silver Midnight Black, Highland Green and Silver Sheen which is the legacy edition.
The BSA logo sits on either side of the fuel tank, there is classic pinstriping, the offset filler cap and serious attention to detail.
As well as the Silver Sheen paint scheme the Legacy Edition will also have chrome finished mirrors, fenders, levers and engine covers among other little details.
Frankly the all new Gold Star 650 up close is just stunning, it gets your heart pumping.
It is a modern bike without all the frills of a tech filled, self-riding monster, the Gold Star remains a pure motorcycle with the only real tech being ABS and a USB charger port.
For me that is the bike’s appeal, it is stripped back, raw, but finely detailed, expertly finished, and if the pricing rumors are right, it will be affordable for all.
The obvious comparisons will be drawn with Royal Enfield, who were once a British company but have been revived by the Indian multinational company Eicher Motors.
If Royal Enfield is the blueprint for modern day success, I think BSA will do just fine in the new market. The award winning Royal Enfield Interceptor 650 and the new Meteor 350 have enjoyed lucrative sales success in the UK.
2022 BSA Gold Star Spec Sheet
Engine and Transmission
- Engine – Liquid-cooled, single-cylinder, DOHC, 4 valves
- Capacity – 652cc
- Compression Ratio – 11.5:1
- Max Torque – 55 Nm at 4,000 rpm
- Max Power – 45 horsepower at 6,000 rpm
- Transmission – Five speed gearbox
- Cooling System – Liquid
Chassis and Dimensions
- Frame – Tubular steel, double cradle
- Front Suspension – 41mm telescopic forks
- Rear Suspension – Twin shocks with 5-step adjustable preload
- Front Brakes – Single 320mm floating disc, Brembo twin-piston floating caliper, ABS
- Rear Brakes – Single 255mm disc, Brembo single-piston floating caliper
- Weight – 213kg Wet
- Fuel Capacity – 12 litres
- Fuel Consumption – 70.6 mpg
- Wheelbase – 1,425mm
- Seat Height – 780mm
- Rake – 26.5 degrees
New BSA Gold Star FAQ
Being from Birmingham, with both my Grandad and Great Grandad not only having owned BSA’s (both guns and bikes) but they also both worked for the original BSA company; it is safe to say I am excited to be the next generation that is going to be able to enjoy the evolution of those original machines.
If the new 2022 BSA Gold Star is setting the precedent of what we can expect from the company in terms of design, styling, honoring the past while propelling into the future, then I think we all have a lot to look forward to.