BSA-Mahindra
The Deal of the Century

THE BSA-MAHINDRA DEAL: WHAT THE HECK IS GOING ON?
The worst-kept secret in the motorcycle industry today is that Indian tractor giant Mahindra bought the rights to the BSA brand in October 2016 with plans to start building new BSA motorcycles in India starting in 2019. Mahindra is not only the world's largest producer of tractors today, they have also been in the motorcycle business for quite awhile already, mostly cheap, lightweight 2-stroke commuter bikes sold in India and other parts of Asia. Then in 2014, they acquired 51% of Peugeot Scooters and moved into the scooter business. Now it's clear they want to move into the upscale motorcycle market, and with the reverence that Indians have for classic British motorcycles in general, and the long-standing reputation of BSA in particular, there was no better choice of brands to buy than BSA. They paid 3.2 Million Pounds (about $4.1 Million USD) for it, then shortly after also bought Jawa. They plan to build BSA's in their massive factory complex in Pithampur, Madhya Predesh, India starting in 2019 to ship them mainly to Europe and the US.
WHAT WILL A BSA-MAHINDRA LOOK LIKE?
Well first off, I'm sure they won't be calling them BSA-Mahindras. They'll be badged as BSAs, and there probably won't be any visible markings on it indicating its Mahindra origins. No one knows for sure what the new BSA has planned under Indian ownership. Certainly Mahindra has more than enough money and the production capacity to take BSA as far as they want to, but just how far is that? So far they've been very tight-lipped about it and all we have for now is conjecture, educated guessing, and a few insider tips. The common wisdom here is that the BSA Gold Star name has so much market cache that they will almost certainly launch with some version bearing that name, and likely that would be a 500cc single with some dirt bike-attitude. Beyond that, only time will tell, fortunately 2019 isn't all that far off.
BSA-MAHINDRA INSIDER OPENS UP
Veteran motorcycle designer Lee Thompson worked closely with the new BSA in the very early stages of planning. These are some of the drawings that he did for BSA during his brief tenure, along with his words:
"I worked with the designs with BSA on a potential range and individual introduction to the market. I started with an expected 500cc retro with a twist and alternative look which was called the "Road Star". I was not in agreement with the idea and encouraged the idea of something a little more special. I was asked for various ideas. "
"I then took a budget and cost-effective project on where new colours and new image was more to the forefront than a retro bike would be. Although I maintained a look of BSA about it the one frame model allowed me to use an engine of a 350 twin up to an 800 triple and high powered full on sports model. The name of the smaller 350-500 twin was an adventurer type all-rounder and work machine and called the 'Ignite'. The bigger 800 triple was named the 'Rage N', this included touring cases (up to 4) and the front 2 acted leg protection with different paint designs. The full sports fairing option was the flagship headliner and an 850cc triple I called the 'Rage'"
"The next option was an idea for something to catch the eye, something very different and thought provoking. Love-it-or-hate-it, it had to stood out. Enter the ‘Temptress’, a super twin of various sized engines again, from a 350cc entry level version, up to not a 600-800cc version, it would come in as a commuter work horse based version and a more sporty version with optional nose fairing."
"The last bike I was asked to consider was a redesign of the legendary BSA 500cc Gold Star. I felt the iconic status should remain, with over 50 years between then and now incorporating new emission laws and advancements to make a direct copy would have been pointless and in my view and insensitive. Then if thought of a grandson of the original, and a progressive worthy ancestor to the Gold Star adding to the name calling it the ‘Gold Star Guardsman’ and making the engine a sporty 600cc keeping the DNA of the original looks alive would provoke a sincere interest of an even wider fan base...This idea again was held in very high regard."
JUST GOTTA WAIT FOR THE 2019 BSA-MAHINDRAS
Until they tell us something more tangible or some spy gets a good picture of one, we don't know anything more than this about what the new BSAs will look like. But as the story develops we will keep you informed.

Check out these BSA BOOKS

BSA - THE COMPLETE STORY


BSA MOTORCYCLES: THE FINAL EVOLUTION


HISTORY OF BSA MOTORCYCLES


BSA: ILLUSTRATED MOTORCYCLE LEGENDS, by Roy Bacon


HOW TO RESTORE YOUR BSA ROCKET 3 & TRIDENT


CHILTON’S BSA MOTORCYCLE REPAIR & TUNE-UP GUIDE


BSA SINGLES 1945-1963 GOLD PORTFOLIO


BSA SINGLES 1964-1974 GOLD PORTFOLIO


BOOK OF THE BSA - OWNERS SHOP MA NUAL, PRE-WAR


BSA 350, 441 & 500 SINGLES, UNIT CONSTRUCTION 1958-1973


BSA CLASSIC MOTORCYCLES


BSA & TRIUMPH TRIPLES: GOLD PORTFOLIO 1968-1976


BSA UNIT SINGLES: COMPLETE STORY


BSA A7 & A10 TWINS, 1957-1962, by Haynes


BSA A50 & A65 TWINS: ALL MODELS


ILLUSTRATED HISTORY OF BSA MOTORCYCLES


BSA TWINS A7 & A10 1946-1962, GOLD PORTFOLIO


THE BSA GOLD STAR


MAINTENANCE MANUAL FOR BSA M20


SECOND BOOK OF THE BSA 500 & 650 TWIN 1962-1969


BSA PRE-UNIT SINGLES WORKSHOP MANUAL, by Haynes


TRIUMPH TRIDENT & BSA ROCKET 3 WORKSHOP MANUAL, by Haynes


BSA BANTAM WORKSHOP MANUAL 1948-1971, by Haynes


BSA UNIT TWINS, THE COMPLETE STORY


BOOK OF BSA SINGLES & V-TWINS 1936-1952


RUPERT RATIO UNIT SINGLE ENGINE MANUAL, BSA & TRIUMPH


RUPER RATIO, EVERYTHING BUT THE ENGINE, BSA & TRIUMPH


BSA A50 & A65 TWINS 1962-1973, Haynes Workshop Manual


BSA GOLD STAR & OTHER SINGLES, by Roy Bacon


BSA MOTORCYCLES SINCE 1950,BR>

BSA UNIT SINGLES OWNERS WORKSHOP MANUAL #127, 1958-1972, by Haynes


BSA TWINS 150 & 165 GOLD PORTFOLIO, by RM Clarke


ILLUSTRATED BSA BUYER’S GUIDE, by Roy Bacon


BSA BANTAM, by Owen Wright


BSA PRE-UNIT TWINS, by Mick Walker


BOOK OF THE BSA OHV & SV SINGLES - 250cc 1954-1970


BSA TWINS & TRIPLES, by Roy Bacon


TRIUMPH & BSA TRIPLES: THE COMPLETE STORY


BOOK OF BSA TWINS, ALL 500 & 650 1948-1962, by Floyd Clymer


BOOK OF THE BSA OHV & SV SINGLES 1945-1954: 250, 350, 500 & 600


BSA BANTAM BIBLE, ALL MODELS 1948-1971


WHERE BSAs DARE: BSA’s 1952 ISDT GOLDS & MAUDES TROPHY


ILLUSTRATED MOTORCYCLE LEGENDS: BSA, by Roy Bacon


BSA BANTAM ESSENTIAL BUYER’S GUIDE


BOOK OF THE BSA BANTAM


BSA 500 & 650 UNIT TWINS, Clymer Repair Manual


BSA COMPETITION HISTORY


BSA MOTOR CYCLING ANNUAL, 1937, Kindle






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Last updated 9/19/17

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