The BSA Firebird 650 is already a cool machine, but the folks at Barnyard Scraps Restoration took it to another level with subtle improvements to their custom cafe racer. Clymer caught this metal flake beauty on video at the 2013 Heart of America Motorcycle Enthusiasts show.
Clymer Girl and the crew didn’t have to go far to attend the HoAME show and rally, as it was just up the road at the Kansas City Airline History Museum in the Downtown Airport. The show was packed with classic vintage and antique motorcycles representing the best of British, German, Japanese, Italian, and American manufacturers. Some of the brands on display were Honda, Yamaha, Suzuki, BMW, Harley-Davidson, Triumph, BSA, Norton, Indian, Cushman, Vespa, Laverda, Lambretta, Ducati, Matchless, Zundapp, Moto Guzzi, and more. There was everything from 100% perfect restorations, to well worn bikes daily riders, to full-on customized cafe racers, choppers, bobbers, dirt bikes, road racers – any type or style of motorcycle you could image. As part of the museum’s permanent exhibits, there were also vintage propeller driven passenger planes, including a Douglas DC-3, a Martin 404, and, the pride of their collection, a 1958 Lockheed Super Constellation.
BSA (Birmingham Small Arms) was originally a maker of rifles and other munitions formed in the 1960s, but by the turn of the century had many industrial divisions making all sorts of products. The company had dabbled in bicycle manufacturing before, but by the 1880s were producing their own design of “safety bicycles”, and by 1910 were working on motorizing them. When they finally quit they had been making motorcycles for more than 75 years
The BSA A65FS 650cc Firebird Scrambler is a cousin to the much more popular BSA Lightning, but typically fitted with a detuned engine, upswept exhaust and a few more part to make it a scrambler. This particular bike is even closer to Lightning spec though, because it has been customized into a cafe racer with a decidedly on-road focus. The high, two-into-one pipes are still there, but now terminated by a nearly open megaphone. Instead of a upright, cross-braced, handlebar, this bike sports dropped clubman bars. And, of course, there is that brilliant candy apple metal flake paint.
Clymer manuals provide the information you need to maintain and repair your motorcycle, whether an amateur or an old hand at fixing bikes. The step-by-step procedures, detailed photos and extensive exploded parts views in each manual are based on a complete disassembly of the bike. If you have a BSA 650 twin, you’ll find all the information you need and more in the Clymer Vintage Collection Series – 4-stroke Motorcycle Manual or the British Street Bikes Manual.