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BSA (Great Britain).
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BSA is the most famous and successful brand of the British era. The company name stands for, Birmingham Small Arms Association. BSA was in the winners circle right from the start when motocross emerged as a sport in the mid 40's. The company itself was well over one hundred years old by that time.
In 1946 the BSA factory released the 500cc OHC twin. Riders like Bill Nicholson, Fred Rist, Ray Scovell and John Avery rode their 250cc B21, 350cc and 500cc BSA's in British Championships as well as a few international events that took place that early.
The marquee gained popularity immidiately and riders from Belgium, Sweden and of course Great Britain rode BSA in the late 40's. Nic Jansen, André Milhoux and Marcel Spiroux among others rode their BSA's to an overall win in the 1948 SPA race. But it was a bit into the 50's that BSA contracted the young rider Jeff Smith that their incredible success period started. Between 1952 and 1956 BSA machinery took 6 top three final standings by the riders John Avery (third, 1952), Jeff Smith (third, 1954), John Draper (first, 1955), Bill Nilsson (second, 1955), Sten Lundin (third, 1955) and John Draper (second 1956) in the European 500cc Championship.
In 1952 Brian Martin, Norman Vanhouse and Fred Rist rode three stock A7 Gold Stars Twins for a 7,240km test. They won the ISDT trophy. Gene Thiessen broke the speed world record reaching 143.5mph (230km/h) in the Bonneville salt desert.
Jeff Smith won the 1964 and 1965 World 500cc championship riding BSA. This was the time when BSA experimented with titanium frames and such. One interesting thing is that he scored 56 points during the 1964 season out of 56 possible!! After that season BSA's placed themselfe in top three each year until 1970 when the two stroke machinery simply beat the four stroke stomper to it. Jeff Smith and John Banks where the last riders in the late 60's to defend the BSA domination.
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