The first engine powered bicycle produced by BSA (Birmingham Small Arms) was launched in 1905 with a small Minerva engine attached to it. By the 1950’s the company was producing more than 75.000 bikes and was the largest manufacturer of motorcycles worldwide. At that time the Gold Star became a very popular roadster and racing bike and remained in production up until 1963. Larry Houghton of Lamb Engineering in Wilshire UK used one of these 1951 Gold Stars as the base to build this superb “Cafe Racer”.
To simplify my task at listing the tech sheet, almost everything is one-off engineering or parts conceived and fabricated by Larry himself or of unknown origin! Of course, hand fabricated parts include the frame, swingarm, gas tank, etc. In addition to the rebuilt and meticulously detailed 500 cc BSA engine, “Son Of A Gun” is equipped with gearbox whose origin is uncertain (Larry thinks it’s a BSA M20 tranny). open primary chain drive and chain final drive to the rear wheel. Forks are one-off upside down style made from alloy. Front brake is cable operated but to keep clean bars. brake-fluid reservoir is directly at the caliper! One-off, rear suspension works using a combination of chains and springs. Both wheels are 17“ Excel/Talon purchased on eBay.
From his shop in England, Larry tells me that labor was extremely intensive, about 1200 hours, but that its total cost in parts was only £6000 (about US $9700.) What to add? Just admire because it’s the new reference in minimalistic Cafe Racer design. A well deserved title of Custom Chrome European Series Champion. Congrats Larry. Lamb Engineering. (pictures copyright Onno Wieringa (Madness-photography), H. Roesler & F. Sander for Cyril Huze)