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Old 9th June 2021, 16:47   #1
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Default Rumour: 650cc single-cylinder engine to power BSA bikes

Having re-introduced Jawa, Classic Legends now plans to resurrect two more popular brands. These include Yezdi and BSA.

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Earlier this month, a trademark application was filed for the Yezdi Roadking name, which suggests that the company's plans are on track. Now, there's news about BSA.

According to a media report, the upcoming BSA motorcycle will be powered by a 650cc, single-cylinder engine and it is likely to be paired with a 5-speed transmission. While details about the engine are still under wraps, it is estimated to produce around 50 hp and 50 Nm.

The new BSA bike is likely to be built in the UK and will compete with similar offerings from Kawasaki and Triumph. It is expected to boast a neo-retro look similar to its competition.

Although the new BSA 650cc bike could easily take on Royal Enfield's 650 twins in India, the brand is unlikely to be introduced here anytime soon.

Source: Autocar India

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Old 9th June 2021, 20:50   #2
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Default Re: Rumour: 650cc single-cylinder engine to power BSA bikes

A 650 single is not what India deserves, but it is what India sorely needs!

I thought I'd never contemplate buying another Motorcycle ever again but if this comes true then I'm sure I can make an exception.
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Old 9th June 2021, 21:29   #3
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Default Re: Rumour: 650cc single-cylinder engine to power BSA bikes

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Originally Posted by ashwinprakas View Post
A 650 single is not what India deserves, but it is what India sorely needs!

I thought I'd never contemplate buying another Motorcycle ever again but if this comes true then I'm sure I can make an exception.
I miss the point entirely. And am happy to learn why the market needs a 650 single when twins are to be had for very reasonable money?
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Old 9th June 2021, 23:02   #4
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Default Re: Rumour: 650cc single-cylinder engine to power BSA bikes

While the Autocar India article doesnt have the usual speculative wordsmitthing that we get from some of the other Indian automobile sites, the scoop on the supposed BSA strategy doesnt make any sense to me. Lets just consider the UK market only for now.

- At the lower end of where this might slot, there are the A2 limited motorcycles. The Interceptor 650 gets you 47 HP at an affordable price of 5,499.
- Above this, lies the Street Twin that gives you 64 HP at a price of 8,400.
- Admittedly there is a big price gap between the two. However, the Interceptor and GT 650 have stolen a lot of the thunder of the Street Twin and similar motorcycles. It is reflected in the sales charts.
- If the BSA is above 47 HP, it cannot be sold to the big market that qualifies under the A2 restrictions. Thats where the Interceptor / GT 650, Duke / RC / Adv 390, R3, Ninja 400 etc make their volumes in foreign markets. So the BSA will not play the volume game.
- If its going to be made in the UK, we can forget about economical costing for the product. So the BSA will not play the value game.
- Who is going to sell and service these bikes? The Mahindra owned Peugeot dealerships?
- What will the big single on the BSA offer? 55 HP? And say a price of 7,500?

This makes no business sense at all. But knowing Mahindra / Classic Legends' business acumen, this may be the exact reason for them to get excited about it and pump in a lot of time and effort to bring this to market.
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Old 10th June 2021, 09:53   #5
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Default Re: Rumour: 650cc single-cylinder engine to power BSA bikes

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Originally Posted by neil.jericho View Post
While the Autocar India article doesnt have the usual speculative wordsmitthing that we get from some of the other Indian automobile sites, the scoop on the supposed BSA strategy doesnt make any sense to me. Lets just consider the UK market only for now.
It's a carefully worded press release that is being worded as a scoop. The tech specs and supposed product placement sounds more like the excuses marketing departments conjure up during press launches.

Q. Why are they charging Rs.850 for veg kichdi? A. (marketing dept) Sir this is a premium kichdi and we are aiming for the premium niche market. Traditionally in a bygone era, this kichdi was the food for Royal palettes. Royal = 60% price hike. Please do not compare with your regular restaurant kichdi, premium sir premium!

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Originally Posted by neil.jericho View Post
- If the BSA is above 47 HP, it cannot be sold to the big market that qualifies under the A2 restrictions. Thats where the Interceptor / GT 650, Duke / RC / Adv 390, R3, Ninja 400 etc make their volumes in foreign markets. So the BSA will not play the volume game.
What will the big single on the BSA offer? 55 HP?
The odd/rigid engine & gearbox choice makes me wonder if this is simply an off the shelf unit. The old discontinued Rotax/BMW 650 unit comes to mind, similarly power mated to a 5 speed box, used till about 2006-07 by BMW. Readily available off the shelf, albeit devoid of any real character. A nice smooth reliable single with a decent torque spread.

In order to save costs the 650 engine production was moved to China briefly but Rotax struggled with quality issues and after two years production was moved back to Austria. The Chinese maker Loncin still produces the 650 single for buyers. I think Kymco Korea also has licensed rights for the engine. So yes easily available engine.

Don't think it'll pass BS6, so cannot be sold in India. We have amongst the world's strictest two wheeler pollution norms. Marketing dept will word it as, 'Sir these are premium bikes for goras, aapka aukaat nahin hain'. Sounds fancier than, Sir we can't afford a brand new BS6 engine.

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Originally Posted by neil.jericho View Post
if its going to be made in the UK, we can forget about economical costing for the product. So the BSA will not play the value game.
- Who is going to sell and service these bikes? The Mahindra owned Peugeot dealerships?
-And say a price of 7,500?

This makes no business sense at all. But knowing Mahindra / Classic Legends' business acumen, this may be the exact reason for them to get excited about it and pump in a lot of time and effort to bring this to market.
Made in the UK because there are substantial grants and easy/cheap loans available for industrial start ups. A motorcycle company catches a lot of media attention especially in a Brexited Britain, so support is abundant. So finding capital is not an issue.

UK/Europe bikes are sold & serviced primarily by multi brand dealers rather than committed single brand showrooms, so that isn't a challenge. Unlikely to be sold in India for aforementioned reasons.

Finally, business sense?
Someone young sold a brilliant presentation to M&M management.
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Old 10th June 2021, 10:42   #6
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Default Re: Rumour: 650cc single-cylinder engine to power BSA bikes

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Originally Posted by shortbread View Post
The odd/rigid engine & gearbox choice makes me wonder if this is simply an off the shelf unit. The old discontinued Rotax/BMW 650 unit comes to mind, similarly power mated to a 5 speed box, used till about 2006-07 by BMW. Readily available off the shelf, albeit devoid of any real character. A nice smooth reliable single with a decent torque spread.

In order to save costs the 650 engine production was moved to China briefly but Rotax struggled with quality issues and after two years production was moved back to Austria. The Chinese maker Loncin still produces the 650 single for buyers. I think Kymco Korea also has licensed rights for the engine. So yes easily available engine.

Don't think it'll pass BS6, so cannot be sold in India.
It did sound like a press release to get a feel of the market response.

I was thinking about the engine yesterday. I couldnt think of any modern 650 single from a major manufacturer that can be used. So will BSA develop an all new engine? That makes no sense at all. So it has to be something that exists. But to be sold in Europe, it will have to meet Euro 5 / BS6 norms. That means R&D costs in plenty. Even if it is to bring a discontinued engine to modern standards.

Quote:
Originally Posted by shortbread View Post
Made in the UK because there are substantial grants and easy/cheap loans available for industrial start ups. A motorcycle company catches a lot of media attention especially in a Brexited Britain, so support is abundant. So finding capital is not an issue.
Cash inflow and subsidies will not be the problem. Im sure Mahindra's pockets are deep enough to fund any expense. But manufacturing in the UK is going to make it expensive in the European markets, when buyers are moving towards affordability. And if it is an unproven (in Euro 5 guise) engine, then people may be wary about plonking down their money on it.

Especially when RE does a brilliant job with the 650 twins that have set the benchmark for value and refinement.

Quote:
Originally Posted by shortbread View Post
Finally, business sense?
Someone young sold a brilliant presentation to M&M management.
That is what I am worried about. When the entire market is moving towards economies of scale and trying to tap into the emerging markets, here is BSA with just the opposite strategy. Just Mahindra / Classic Legends things!
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Old 10th June 2021, 13:18   #7
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Default Re: Rumour: 650cc single-cylinder engine to power BSA bikes

Quote:
Originally Posted by neil.jericho View Post

I was thinking about the engine yesterday. I couldnt think of any modern 650 single from a major manufacturer that can be used. So will BSA develop an all new engine? That makes no sense at all. So it has to be something that exists. But to be sold in Europe, it will have to meet Euro 5 / BS6 norms. That means R&D costs in plenty. Even if it is to bring a discontinued engine to modern standards.
Joining all the dots it will be the chinese Loncin 650, or so I think. The engine (as mentioned in the previous post) is based on the BMW/Rotax 650 that was discontinued by the Germans 15 years ago.

The chinese derived engine is Euro 5 ready using Bosch fuel injection and the manufacturer Loncin has been trying to launch it's motorcycles in Europe for some time now, marketed as BMW powered. Oddly enough it is also mated to a 5 speed box, similar to what's mentioned in the Autocar article.

Unlikely M&M will develop an all new engine, will be impressive if they did.
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Old 19th August 2021, 13:10   #8
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Default Re: Rumour: 650cc single-cylinder engine to power BSA bikes

New BSA motorcycle that Classic Legends is currently developing has been spied.

Rumour: 650cc single-cylinder engine to power BSA bikes-smartselect_20210819130757_chrome.jpg

Rumour: 650cc single-cylinder engine to power BSA bikes-20210819125435_bsa_bike_india_2.jpg

The upcoming BSA motorcycle would be powered by a 650cc single-cylinder engine.

Source

Last edited by Venkatesh : 19th August 2021 at 13:12.
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Old 25th August 2021, 13:32   #9
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Default Re: Rumour: 650cc single-cylinder engine to power BSA bikes

Just wondering, how useful is the camouflage really in a naked-type bike like this. Maybe it is just the norm in some sense.
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Old 25th November 2021, 09:40   #10
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Default Re: Rumour: 650cc single-cylinder engine to power BSA bikes

BSA Motorcycles have announced their comeback and shared brands Logo.

Rumour: 650cc single-cylinder engine to power BSA bikes-smartselect_20211125093814_twitter.jpg

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Link

Last edited by Venkatesh : 25th November 2021 at 09:49.
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Old 25th November 2021, 11:43   #11
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Default Re: Rumour: 650cc single-cylinder engine to power BSA bikes

"The new BSA bike is likely to be built in the UK and will compete with similar offerings from Kawasaki and Triumph. It is expected to boast a neo-retro look similar to its competition"

Errm...what are these bikes that Mahindra assumes will be it's competition from Triumph and Kawasaki? Do they wish to compete with them in THE PAST?! I can't think of any 650 or single cylinder retros that are currently produced by either manufacturers.

The only competition I can think of is the SR 500 from Yamaha.
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Old 25th November 2021, 13:07   #12
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Default Re: Rumour: 650cc single-cylinder engine to power BSA bikes

Pardon me if I am getting a little confused here but wouldn't there be a potential copyright/trademark conflict if Mahindra tries to register the BSA brand in India ?

As per the records BSA (Birmingham Small Arms Company Limited) functioned from 1919 to 1972 based out of UK and Mahindra has acquired the rights to same BSA motorcycles brand which was registered in UK.

Source - Wikipedia and other online records

In between 1980-1983 TI Cycles (part of Murugappa group) introduced BSA brand for bicycles in India which is functioning till date.

Source - BSA-Hercules Records

As per my limited understanding of copyrights BSA motorcycles and BSA cycles can be two different brands however who would actually own BSA name itself ?
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Old 25th November 2021, 13:58   #13
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Default Re: Rumour: 650cc single-cylinder engine to power BSA bikes

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Originally Posted by darkLightning View Post
In between 1980-1983 TI Cycles (part of Murugappa group) introduced BSA brand for bicycles in India which is functioning till date.

Source - BSA-Hercules Records

As per my limited understanding of copyrights BSA motorcycles and BSA cycles can be two different brands however who would actually own BSA name itself ?
As far as I can see the headtube badge of BSA bicycles (TI Group) is exactly the same as the original 3 rifle badge of BSA. Nothing in it suggests its for bicycles only as far as I can tell.
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Old 25th November 2021, 14:57   #14
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Default Re: Rumour: 650cc single-cylinder engine to power BSA bikes

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Originally Posted by ebonho View Post
As far as I can see the headtube badge of BSA bicycles (TI Group) is exactly the same as the original 3 rifle badge of BSA. Nothing in it suggests its for bicycles only as far as I can tell.
Noticed the similarities in logo just now.
On further digging I have found this info.

Quote:
BSA Motorcycles were made by BSA Cycles Ltd, under the BSA parent, up until 1953 when the motorcycle business was moved into holding BSA Motorcycles Ltd.
Quote:
The BSA bicycle division, BSA Cycles Ltd., including the BSA cycle dealer network was sold to Raleigh in 1957. TI Group owners of the British Cycle Corporation bought Raleigh in 1960 thus gaining access to the BSA brand. Bicycles bearing the BSA name are currently manufactured and distributed within India by TI Cycles of India but have no direct connection to the original Birmingham BSA company.
It would be really fascinating to see how the trademarks are handled.
The case here seems to be that BSA cycle was once the parent of BSA motorcycle but is as of today unrelated to BSA motorcycle and no one bothers because of not existing in same market, however as BSA motorcycle makes a comeback this could be of note.
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Old 25th November 2021, 16:22   #15
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Default Re: Rumour: 650cc single-cylinder engine to power BSA bikes

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Originally Posted by darkLightning View Post
Noticed the similarities in logo just now.
On further digging I have found this info.

It would be really fascinating to see how the trademarks are handled.
The case here seems to be that BSA cycle was once the parent of BSA motorcycle but is as of today unrelated to BSA motorcycle and no one bothers because of not existing in same market, however as BSA motorcycle makes a comeback this could be of note.
Yup. Most British motorcycle makers started off as cycle manufacturers first. The earliest motorcycles after all were as simple as putting a motor on to a bicycle frame. Literally.

Royal Enfield if I'm not mistaken used to manufacture sewing machines. Or was it someone else? Anyways, I digress.

By dint of being the progenitor or the parent, the Bicycle arm, owned legally by TI therefore to my mind has nothing to worry about.

Its the motorcycle progeny arm that might be in for some wrangling before things get amicably sorted out.

The Raleigh brand is now owned by a Chinese firm, Suncross, incidentally.

As far as Classic Legends is concerned, Jawa (and Yezdi) are not the same deal. Because neither exists anymore as motorcycle manufacturers. BSA (and Raleigh) both do, as cycle brands.

Just like Norton and Triumph both do, as motorcycle brands. Having both been resurrected from the dead, albeit under different ownership.

Cheers, Doc

Last edited by ebonho : 25th November 2021 at 16:30.
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