Old Commercial Development of Diesel Motorcycles

Early B.S.A. Development

Facts concerning early B.S.A. development

Alistair Cave, who was the factory manager at BSA for a number of years, until its closure, confirms that there was a project to fit a bike with a diesel engine.

This was around 1953 or 54 and in conjunction with engineers from Daimler, which was a subsidiary of BSA at the time.

However the impracticality of making a new engine small enough to fit a motorcycle frame, and the fact that they were concentrating on lightweight machines such as the Dandy, to supersede the Winged Wheel and the development work that had to go into this, plus, improving suspension on the larger bikes with the then new swinging arm suspension meant that the work on the diesel bike was dropped.

As far as we are concerned B.S.A. score top points for even considering building a diesel motorcycle back then. With power output likely to be low this was a brave company to even think about tackling such a project.

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