Custom Chrome European Series Champion. A BSA Gold Star Named Son Of A Gun.

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)

18 Responses to “Custom Chrome European Series Champion. A BSA Gold Star Named Son Of A Gun.”

  1. 1 Sportster Mike Apr 11th, 2011 at 7:28 am

    Saw this at Ally Pally in London in February
    Awesome looking bike – lots of small details that you look at again and again – well deserved winner
    Will have to pop into his place for a cup of coffee soonish as I only live in sunny ‘Darset’ over the border
    and the alloy wheels on my car and on the Harley are going crappy thanks to all the snow and the salt that gets put on the road, I’m sure he’ll be able to sort me out on the powder coating front

  2. 2 Marc Mazerolle Apr 11th, 2011 at 8:15 am

    This is so cool to see, my after-school program is building a BSA with the kids. It’s an A65L motor that we are building kind of a tracker/bobber style. It’s not to the level of this build but the kids seem to be loving it!! Great to see more british motors!!! Keep them coming!!

  3. 3 Tom Keller (thug custom cycles) Apr 11th, 2011 at 8:21 am


  4. 4 Richard Fly Wills Apr 11th, 2011 at 8:23 am

    Simply Stunning bike 🙂
    Congratulations on a well earned win!

  5. 5 Blue Apr 11th, 2011 at 9:20 am

    I first saw the BSA two months ago as Larry wheeled it into the hall at Alexandra Palace for the London International Custom Show. In the many years I’ve been doing this job, I have never seen a hall come to a complete halt for any bike, as it did for ‘Son Of A Gun’. I spent an hour sitting on the floor beside it that afternoon, just looking at it.

  6. 6 Sid Apr 11th, 2011 at 9:33 am

    I have seen this bike somethere….really good …impressed by this colour….but it a litlle bit funny …looks like a grasshopper, a golden grasshopper)

  7. 7 Hondo Cat Apr 11th, 2011 at 9:39 am

    It’s so KOOL to see quality custom Brit bikes regardless if they’re cafe racers, bobbers, or choppers.

  8. 8 zyon Apr 11th, 2011 at 10:13 am

    That open chain primary gives me a chubby! I’m going with a double open chain on my current bobber. Hope it looks as good as this one does.

  9. 9 Jeff Nicklus Apr 11th, 2011 at 10:14 am

    Very, Very NICE!

    Over & Out,


  10. 10 Dave Blevins Apr 11th, 2011 at 11:30 am

    A beautiful bike.

  11. 11 chopperfreak29 Apr 11th, 2011 at 1:50 pm

    Incredibly beautiful bike.

  12. 12 Alan K Apr 11th, 2011 at 1:50 pm

    Beautiful! One of those creations I’d spend some time looking at every detail.

  13. 13 Jose Pratt Apr 11th, 2011 at 5:36 pm

    Not functional. Awesome look.

  14. 14 morpion Apr 11th, 2011 at 7:30 pm

    lots of work and details

  15. 15 nicker Apr 11th, 2011 at 8:11 pm

    Nice to see more innovation.
    Small bore customs can be just as cool as the big inch scooters.


  16. 16 ger Apr 12th, 2011 at 4:15 pm

    stunning 🙂

  17. 17 rags Apr 12th, 2011 at 8:48 pm

    awesome, great bike

  18. 18 Neil Apr 13th, 2011 at 9:48 am

    Larry’s bike will be in Sturgis at the World Championship if you want to check it out up close. He won the London International Custom Show in February which pays his bike freight costs.

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Cyril Huze