“ROCKET 3 …VERY RARE ….FIRST YEAR…correct/stock/original/runs good /16,000 miles ….$10K or TRADE for other classic BIKE”
1969 BSA Rocket 3, 750cc triple. Automotive design firm Ogle styled the bikes very poorly, with “Shoebox” tank, slab-like side covers & laughable “Ray Gun” mufflers. It hurt sales badly.
BSA & TRIUMPH TRIPLES
Pride also got in the way, as many BSA execs resented Triumph’s success & made decisions accordingly. Well ahead of the market for a change, development had started on a 750cc triple as early as 1963 (as a Triumph) & by 1965 there were prototypes running around. The original idea was that this new 3-cylinder would be the replacement for the aging Triumph 650 vertical twin line (ie: Bonneville & TR6), and it would be called the Triumph Trident. But, true to form, BSA couldn’t make a decision & so the project stalled…until word came down in 1967 that Honda was soon to introduce their ground-breaking Honda 750-Four. Suddenly BSA came to life & the project was pushed through, but not without a good dose of “BSA logic”, or lack thereof. If Triumph was going to get this cool new triple, then BSA Motorcycles should have one too. But not something sensible like a simple re-badging. No, BSA wanted their own bike! So, a new engine had to be designed & tooled-up, the same as the Tridents 3-cylinder 750, but with the top end canted forward 12-degrees. Then they wanted a new frame, more like the BSA duplex frames than the Triumph’s single-downtube frame. This extra work delayed introduction of both the BSA Rocket 3 & the Triumph Trident such that they only beat the Honda 750-Four to market by a few months, even though they had started on it over 5 years earlier! And the styling!! Yuck! Instead of making them look like Triumphs & BSA motorcycles, they hired an automotive stylist called Ogle to style the bikes unlike anything else on the market. They certainly got that part right. The boxy tank & silly Ray Gun mufflers were a joke & hurt sales badly.
1972 BSA A65 Lightning with oil-bearing frame. Actually a very handsome machine. Frames came painted light dove gray from the factory in 1971, but was switched back to black for 1972.