BSA B44 Shooting Star

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BSA B44 Shooting Star
BSA B44 ss.jpg
Also calledVictor Roadster[1]
Engine441cc (26.91 cubic inches) Four-stroke, single-cylinder, air-cooled, OHV, 2 valve per cylinder
Power30 hp 21.9 KW @ 6500 rpm
Transmission4 speed/chain
Wheelbase52 inches (53 inches in 1969)[2]
DimensionsL: 82 inches (83.2 inches in 1969)[2]
W: 28 inches (28.2 inches in 1969)[2]
Fuel capacity3.96 gallons (15.00 litres)

The BSA B44 Shooting Star was a motorcycle made by BSA at their factory in Small Heath, Birmingham. Similar to the BSA C15 and sharing many of the same parts, the B44 had an uprated chassis.[3] A weak point of the BSA 250 and most 350 unit singles were the big end bearing and timing side crank bush. The B44 and later B50 had double needle roller big end and roller bearings supporting both ends of the crank.


In 1965 an off-road motocross BSA B44 named the ‘’Victor’’ was launched at the Earls Court Show. Developed from scramblers used by Jeff Smith to win the 1964 and 1965 500cc World Championships, followed by the Victor Grand Prix and Victor Enduro models, as well as a road-going version, the 1967 Victor Roadster. The Victor Grand Prix Scrambler had a displacement of 441cc, and the Enduro model was known as the 441 Victor in the United States. BSA began offering a road version, the B44VR Victor Roadster, in 1967. When that model was exported to U.S. dealers in 1968, the name was changed to the B44SS Shooting Star.[1] The B44VS Victor Special was also successfully exported to the US between 1968 and 1970.[4]

In 1968 the B44 became BSA's top export model.[citation needed] The good availability of spare parts and the relative simplicity of the single-cylinder engine meant that the surviving examples are easily restored to as-new condition.[5]

On the original 1969 footage of the Woodstock Concert, producer Michael Lang is seen riding the off-road version, the BSA Victor Special, motorcycle across the pastures.[6]


The Victor Roadster (or Shooting Star, a name borrowed from a 1950s-era BSA twin), had a top speed of around 90 mph (the same speed as the 250 BSA Barracuda) and was designed with a focus on easy riding over speed. It came with high-rise handlebars and reflectors both beneath the tank and on either side of the tail light. In 1969 the Shooting Star was updated with a steel gas tank and a twin-leading-shoe brake.[2]

Victors had impressive power-to-weight ratios that made them ideal for hill climbs. The 9.4:1 compression ratio required a compression release lever for kick starting.


  1. ^ a b "The BSA 441 Shooting Star". Motorcycle Classics September/October 2009. Retrieved 10 December 2012.
  2. ^ a b c d Bacon, Roy (1982). B.S.A. Gold Star and Other Singles. Osprey Publishing Ltd. pp. 116–118. ISBN 0-85045-447-6.
  3. ^ "BSA". Classic Motorcycles. Archived from the original on 4 March 2008. Retrieved 6 July 2018.
  4. ^ "1968 BSA 441cc Victor Special - Auction Lot". Motorbase. Retrieved 6 July 2018.
  5. ^ Riches, Tony (July 2004), "Restoration or preservation?", Classic Bike Guide
  6. ^ "BSA 441 Victor Special in "Woodstock"". Retrieved 6 July 2018.

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