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Hemmings Find of the Day – 1971 BSA B54 cafe racer

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From the seller’s description:

1971 BSA B54

Perhaps the most Iconic cafe racer ever offered by a factory design remains the DBD34 Gold Star Clubman, but that all ended in 1963. In 1967 the B44 Victor Roadster emerged with a compact and light 441cc engine for the street. When we cupped the heart of this inspired Cafe Racer with the very light chassis donated by a BSA B50 the mixture of racing histories began to emerge. The only thing left was the long process of modification and upgrading for the canyons of California.

All modifications and assembly performed by Banke Performance, Felton California.

A 1967 BSA 441 Victor engine was used.

Completely rebuilt by Mickey Peters, modifications by Banke Performance:

  • Hand built intake manifold;
  • Mikuni 32 mm carb;
  • Pazon ignition;
  • Hand built three stepped ceramic coated header/exhaust; Super Trapp muffler;
  • Modified19 tooth sprocket;
  • Custom built rear engine mounts;
  • The kick-starter was modified using a kickstart quadrant from a 1969 BSA Victor grafted to a splined shaft that would accept a Yamaha SR500 kickstart lever. All to clear the exhaust and rear set.

The frame and swing arm were donated by a 1971 BSA B50:

  • Re-angled the steering head;
  • All unnecessary attachments were removed;
  • Modified the in-frame oil tank;
  • Lowered the seat height, rear fender and taillight mounting;
  • Built new frame members and a small subframe.
  • Holes of varying sizes were drilled in flat surfaces
  • Additional custom work included the rear-set brackets, controls and linkage.

The front end was completely replaced as follows:

  • A Banke Performance triple clamp was used;
  • Betor forks, originally from a Vintage Can-Am, were shortened and resprung / re-valved;
  • A Grimeca 4 leading shoe brake (a copy) was installed;
  • Banke Performance built the brake stays, fender mounts, fork slider trim covers, brake pull stops and the gauge and fairing mount;
  • A Matchless G50 faring and ‘flyscreen’ reproduction was fitted;
  • One 90mm Italian hand made aluminum fender was fitted;
  • Italian clip-ons and Italian grips, Magura brake and clutch levers, compression release and a K&S switch cluster were mounted;
  • A SPA Techniques electronic analog tach/speedo was mounted in the flyscreen;
  • The Front wheel rim is a 2.15×18 Akront-Morad flanged Aluminum with Buchanan’s stainless spokes and nipples, built by Banke Performance and a 100/90 Avon Roadrider was mounted.

Fuel & Seat provided by:

  • Wards/Benelli Mojave NOS gas tank, modified by Banke Performance to work with the oil in frame filler neck and reshaped at the bottom of the tank to sit properly on the modified frame;
  • A fiberglass seat from Roc City Café Racers was shortened, narrowed and an aluminum seat pan constructed by Banke Performance. Edge trim was added to match the tank and upholstery was provided by outside vendors.

Electrical system:

  • Under the seat is the heart of the Banke built electrical system that includes a small, lightweight Shorai battery, ignition components, and the starting point for a hand built wiring harness reaching back to the taillight (the only light) and forward to the ignition system, tachometer, ignition switch and the handlebar K&S cluster.

Rear end suspension modifications:

  • A B 50 rear hub and brake was modified and Banke Performance also built the brake actuating arm and the brake stay. A 150 mm hand made Italian aluminum rear mud guard was modified into a rear sub fender. Shocks are YSS, adjustable for preload, rebound, and length. The rear wheel rim is a 3.00×18 Akront-Morad flanged Aluminum with Buchanan’s stainless spokes, built by Banke Performance. The rear tire is a 120/80 Avon Roadrider.

1971 BSA B54 cafe racer 1971 BSA B54 cafe racer 1971 BSA B54 cafe racer 1971 BSA B54 cafe racer

Location Marker
Balboa Island, California
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