BSA Company

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For other uses, see BSA (disambiguation)

BSA Company Limited was a motorcycle manufacturer which purchased the rights to its BSA name from Birmingham Small Arms Company's successor, Dennis Poore's Manganese Bronze on the liquidation of Norton Villiers Triumph.

Origin[edit]

When NVT Motorcycles Limited was liquidated in 1978, its management, then under William Colquhoun, formed a new company - BSA Company and bought from NVT the rights to the BSA Motorcycle brand.

Military motorcycles[edit]

BSA Company produced military motorcycles (with Rotax engines) and motorcycles for developing countries (with Yamaha engines) under the BSA name. In the latter case the old "Bushman" name was recalled to duty;– it had previously been used on high ground clearance Bantams sold for the likes of Australian sheep farmers. Having moved from Small Heath to Coventry in 1973, Colquhoun moved it again in 1986 to Blockley in Gloustershire, where production continued on its military and off road motorcycles - mostly then exported to African states.

Andover Norton[edit]

In 1991 BSA Company was merged with another buy out company, Mike Jackson's Andover Norton International Ltd., to form a new BSA Group. BSA purchased the Norton Spares business from Norton Motors and this change to the cash starved spares business prompted a rapid and continuing growth in the sale of genuine parts. MZ (GB) Ltd was acquired and BSA Group became heavily involved with the renowned Norton F1 designers Seymour Powell in developing and launching the MuZ Skorpion, later to win the 1994 BBC Design Award. In December 1994 Colquhoun and Jackson's BSA Group was taken over by a newly formed BSA Regal Group and the company moved again, this time to Southampton.

BSA Regal[edit]

In 1997 production began on the hand built 400cc Gold SR with the first batch of over 200 machines being exported to Japan. Production of the BSA John McLaren also commenced in 1997 and small numbers continue to be built under licence. The very comprehensive spares business continued to supply the world's Norton twin owners and restorers. Development work with Government agencies and non-European motorcycle manufacturers had been augmented with the strength from the Southampton based Regal Group and in 1999 a 500cc version of the Gold SR was launched for the European and American markets.

By 2003 it had become clear that demand for the hand built Gold SR was not reaching previous expectations and production ceased. The 1,000cc Tempest, widely acclaimed in its prototype form, did not reach the production line and MZ sales failed to reach their promising potential. In 2007 BSA’s involvement with MZ ended when the parts business was sold. In the same year Joe Seifert, the then new owner of Norton Motors Ltd, made an interesting and successful bid for the Norton Commando parts business. The bid included the return to BSA Company of its European trademarks.

In 2009 a serious infringement of the BSA trademarks occurred in India when Tube Investments of India, the eventually owners of the BSA trademarks for bicycles, used the trademark on electric powered motor scooters. In May 2011 the infringement case was still in the Supreme Court of India.

As of 2012, the BSA-Regal website [1] lists only the history of BSA bikes, not any new or re-manufactured models. Nor does it list any spare parts service; however, the Norton-Andover website [2] seems to list all the BSA spares businesses, which then relate to the relevant section stated above as to who owns the spares business.

External links[edit]

References[edit]