c.1963 BSA 646cc Rocket Gold Star Registration no. 9188 LG Frame no. GA10 148 Engine no. DA10R 9633
Widely recognised as one of the most desirable of all factory built 'café racers', the Rocket Gold Star arrived in 1962 together with the first of BSA's new unitary construction range. A combination of - mainly - Gold Star cycle parts and the A10 Super Rocket twin-cylinder engine, the newcomer represented the last of the old 'pre-unit' line rather than a new departure and thus was destined for a relatively short life. Around 1,600 Rocket Gold Stars were made over a two-year period and today genuine examples are highly sought after.
This particular RGS was fully restored in the early 1980s by the well-known ex-Long Eaton speedway rider Barry Wilson, a skilled toolmaker. The engine features his own lubrication system, designed to prevent oil starvation at the main bearings. It incorporates a positive oil feed and a needle/roller ball bearing, which replaces the timing-side plain bush. This improved lubrication system was fully described by Classic Bike magazine in a three-page article when it featured Barry's fully restored RGS on the front cover of its March 1984 edition (copy available).
On 3rd June 2005 '9188 LG' was ridden by Phil Read in the Dunhill Classic Rally from London to Paris (see copy article on file). It was purchased by the current owner five years ago and has been used sparingly since acquisition. The machine is described as in generally excellent condition and original with the single exception of the Pazon electronic ignition, which ensures that it starts and runs well. (A fully restored original magneto comes with the machine). Needless to say, the RRT2 gearbox works perfectly as a result of Barry Wilson's attention, and it is worth noting that the clip-on handlebars show the original BSA part numbers. Other noteworthy features include Eddie Dow front fork double damper units, Dow tappet covers and Borrani alloy wheel rims.
The vendor, who owned an RGS in the 1960s, has been able to trace the BSA's previous owners back as far as 1971. Supporting correspondence and his personal account of its history come with the machine. Also included in the sale is a quantity of expired MoTs and tax discs; DVLA ownership search results; (copy) old-style logbook; owner's handbook; battery charger/conditioner; V5C registration document; and Gold Star Owners' Club dating certificate. It should be noted that the latter states the frame and engine did not start life in the same Rocket Gold Star. Currently MoT'd and taxed, '9188 LG' represents a wonderful opportunity to acquire a well-sorted and significantly improved example of this highly desirable model.