Live Auctions

BF Exclusive: 1950 BSA Golden Flash

With a name like Golden Flash, you know this bike will be fun! BSA built some cool bikes back in the ’50s and ’60s, but few are as interesting as the Golden Flash. It received a unique paint job, specifically for the US market with optional plunger rear suspension and a twin parallel engine! BSA didn’t plan on it being a sport bike, but they ended up being a lot faster than was expected and could easily keep up with the Triumph Tiger. This particular example was found by reader Fred O after being stored in a barn for the past 33 years. He’s decided to part ways with it and thought Barn Finds was the perfect place to list it! If you’d like to give this project a new home, you can email him here. The bike is currently located in Indianapolis, Indiana and Fred is asking $4,000.

From Fred – It’s been a barn dweller since ’84 and still wears its California tag from then. Also still titled in California, yep, that’s a pink slip. It was customized long ago, black and gold paint with ribbed fenders, the recovered Bates seat and what was once a Wassell fuel tank which has been heavily modified from its original state. Also, prior owner at some point installed a distributor in place of the magneto. A cobbled up mess that I’m sure could be convinced to work again. I’ve got the magneto and the correct saddle seat, which is in excellent shape and the correct fuel tank. The handle bars aren’t original either and maybe some of the more motorcycle minded readers will be able to identify them as Flanders bars. It’s an old 6V bike that got converted 12V but they didn’t swap out the dynamo so it’s probably wanting a rebuild. Of course if the magneto was installed then maybe a flash would reset the magnets, but who the heck knows.

The engine has good compression which makes me believe it would run without much trouble but as for the clutch and gearbox, I couldn’t report honestly. I pulled the spark plugs revealing pistons that aren’t carbon coated. That’s a 650 cc, and they called these Golden Flash because they were really fast. 1950 and 100 mph weren’t common but the BSA was the sure bet for speed. Engine number and frame number are both on the registration and in all likelihood are mates from the factory. Old choppers are getting hard to find, and since this frame is still uncut, this is a great example of the early 60’s custom. Are you cool enough to ride this around?

These really are sweet little bikes when in good working order. This one needs work, but it looks fairly complete and it shouldn’t be that difficult to find the parts that are needed to make it run. So do any of you have memories of riding a Golden Flash? Special thanks to Fred for listing his bike with us!


  1. Howard A Member

    Good heavens, altered is right. I like all bikes. They all show the creativity of the owner. This is a radical departure from what I would consider a beautiful bike originally. Parts? Good luck. While I’m sure there’s some “Burt Munro” chap with a pile of these in his garage somewhere, try and find them ( although, the internet sure helps there, although, I doubt “Burt” would have the internet) I’d say it’s too far from original to return it to this. Check it out, what a beautiful bike,,,it was.

    • Mark S

      I don’t know Howard he says he has the original tank, seat, and mag in good condition he also states that the frame is uncut. I’d venture to say that a complete pull down and restoration would be straight forward. A good paint stripper product would get rid of all that ugly gold paint. I think it would be a lot easier than doing a car restoration and probably Cheeper too. JMHO.

  2. nglshmn

    It’s essentially an engine and frame with some wheels attached. Almost everything else would have to be replaced to return it to its former glory and value. As it is, it’s a fairly ugly 1960’s chopper that isn’t worth as much in my view – certainly not $4k. I wouldn’t give it garage space unless I had another spares bike to go with it.

    • DrinkinGasoline


  3. DrinkinGasoline

    B-ike S-everely A-ltered….pass.

  4. Kenny

    NADA for a mint original A10 plunger is $6,960. The only original parts left are the engine, frame and possibly the headlight bucket. I don’t think you could source the missing parts, repair the listed defects and paint the bike for $2960.

  5. JW

    Kind of looks like this one at our local car show BUT this one is completely made out of WOOD. Tires / Cables / Engine / Brakes = Wood

    • KeithK

      No rust worries here. Just mind the termites.

  6. junkman Member

    Black denim trousers and motorcycle boots and a black leather jacket with an eagle on the back, he had a hoppin cycle that took off like a gun, that fool was the terror of highway 101. First thought came to mind when I saw this bike.(sorry couldn’t help myself)

  7. Scott

    The price for mint stock bikes always surprises me. So much work goes into them. $7k for one of these beauties, amazing.

    As is, got to admit it is ratty enough that I would enjoy riding it around.

    Would then spend the time to collect the parts to bring it back. Frame, tank, seat, engine, wheels and forks are there. Would enjoy it as a hobby and just like all proper hobbies a money loser

  8. Ck

    I like it !Buy it get it running, customize it to your liking.If ya want an original BSA buy it that way.This one is kool the way it is,it would make a nice bar hopper.I love the gold,Whats not gold I’d paint black,with No chrome….none.I’d also like to say I know absolutely nothing about BSAs.But I am a HD guy and thats what we do ,we customize.

  9. Dave Wright

    One of my dad’s business partners was a factory race rider for Triumph. I saw him last fall, he still has his last TT special race bike. He used to talk about BSA’s dramatic engine failures that would include a rod outside the block at speed hopefully missing your calf.

  10. Cliffyc

    As most readers will know the badge on the right side gearbox cover is the emblem of BSA,which stood for “Birmingham Small Arms”,the company formed in 1861 by 14 gunsmiths to supply weapons to the British government for the Crimean War. In 1880 they started building bicycles and built their first motorcycle in 1907,so it is 150 years since the first bike was produced!.

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