I was originally looking for a historic sidecar to go racing again, having previously raced dirt track [short circuit] sidecars in the 1980’s on a Norton and a Kawasaki with my brother Graham as passenger; we still have both these outfits in the shed down in NSW.
My renewed interest in racing again, started with a visit to Broadford, I think it was in March 07 where Graham and Bryce Davies had a Vincent outfit to ride, then in May I went down to Winton Vic for the 2 + 4 Historic car and bike meeting, the look, sound and smell of all those old, alcohol burning machines was to much to ignore.
Why don’t you get yourself an old bike and come racing, good cheep fun said my brother. [sarcastically I soon realised]! The bug had bitten.
Back from Winton the hunt was on for one of these old bikes. Off to Warwick to a historic meet, then a few weeks later off to Stanthorpe to a meet there, after many phone calls and suggestions on who may have something for sale, I had no sidecar but a couple of solo’s to look at in South Australia. Returning from SA and no bike I received a call from Steve Dawe who thought he may have what I was looking for, a BSA Goldstar and only 10 minutes from home. A deal was soon done and off home to get the bike ready for my first ride on a race track that wasn’t dirt, a ride day at Qld Raceway.
Change the oil, check every nut and bolt etc the big moment had come, let’s start her up. Sounded OK at home, so down to the industrial area to give the bike a couple of full throttle runs. A slight turn of the throttle under load and it was obvious some serious tuning needed to be done. A call to Tommy Shearer [old speedway tuner] and a few hours later it was running pretty good. His knowledge from years of tuning bikes for some of the best speedway riders in the world is amazing, not to mention the things they tried or got up to is a story in itself.
I headed off to Qld Raceway nervous and excited. By lunch time I had had enough, so of home to do some more adjustments and load up for the NSW championships at Oran Park.
After a couple of race meetings it was time to freshen up the engine [I wanted more power] so a call to Mike Farrell was needed. I wanted Mike to check the crank and rod etc and we decided to up the compression. I took the head back to my workshop, Maroochy Cylinder Heads, we fitted new valve seat inserts, new valves and valve springs, set spring tensions etc. Mike machined the piston to get the correct piston to valve clearance and compression ratio. The engine is making good power without sacrificing any reliability; the next things to improve are the handling and brakes.
My only regret is not getting involved in historic racing until recently, Bryce Davies tried to convert us when we were still dirt tracking back in the early 80’s, should have listened.
The old Beesa has had many changes and modifications since I first proudly wheeled her into the shed. Countless hours tinkering and fixing over a few cold beers.
BSA Goldstar DBD34 1956
Std Goldie frame
19” rims with BSA conical hubs to replicate Manx hubs
Avon AM26 tyres
BSA swing arm with needle roller bearings fitted Hagon rear shocks
38mm Amal Mk 2 smooth bore running on methanol Mike Farrell crank and Carillo con rod
13.5 to 1 compression
BSA gearbox 5 speed.
Belt drive conversion with Norton clutch