Starfire 441

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zuff
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Starfire 441

Post by zuff »

Image

So,back in 1976, I sold my FS1-E to buy first first 'proper' bike, a '68 BSA Starfire for the princely sum of £180. The bike was a dog but I didn't care...it was loud, pretty and I could hold my head up at the local motorcycle club. But I wanted to modify it to bring it up to date and also to hold its place next to my mates Ducati 450. So I sketched this design. Sadly, I needed to sell the bike in order to go to Uni and the drawing went into my memory box where it has lain for the last 42 years.
Now of course, like many others, I have the time and funds to complete the job, so when the drawing turned up on a tidying cull of the 'stuff' we all collect, I decided to do it justice.
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starfire web.jpg
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Re: Starfire 441

Post by zuff »

Doing it 'justice' has developed into not only wanting to finish the styling exercise but also adding top quality components so that it could compete against the likes of the Ducati Desmo. A capacity increase to 441 or 500 would also be incorporated.
This means Ceriani GP forks and brakes, Borrani alloy rims, jota bars, alloy rearsets, upswept exhaust, top notch shocks and maybe an upgraded swing arm. It would also mean all the usual modern refinements like electronic ignition, uprated electrics etc etc, taking advantage of the hard won improvements of the last 40 years.

So, all I need now is a willing victim!
Step forward Ebay and this....
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BSA start web.jpg
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Re: Starfire 441

Post by zuff »

'This' is a B44 motor in a B25 frame so I can change away without upsetting too many purists!
The previous owner who did the Bobber conversion did a 'proper job'.
The engine has been treated to Alpha bearings and a rebuild at RTS, a lowered compression ratio, Boyer Bransden ignition and a spin on oil filter.
The bike is a perfect starting point as the mechanicals have already been taken care of...the engine is still running in.
So now, its time to start looking up the best places to get those quality components I mentioned.
The big difference is that these days, the classic racing scene means that there lots of options! I have been amazed by what you can find.
So far, the only thing that is eluding me is an original Barracuda small capacity fibreglass tank. The 'bay is awash with indian steel replicas but I wonder about quality. Be interested to hear from any one who has gone down this route. Equally, will listen keenly to anyone who has an original tank to sell!
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Re: Starfire 441

Post by mlb50 »

Regarding your query on Indian made tanks - I had fair success with a B25 replica fitted to my B50. The shape was OK, the frame diameter tunnel a tad to narrow so I had to cut down the side rubber buffers. The exterior needed sanding back a lot and surface filler to eliminate the score and scratch marks all over the tank. The inside had the customary rust.....but the fuel tap threads where correct....and it only had a couple of minor pin holes in the centre seam.
In terms of value for money its OK. You have to put the inspection, leak test and surface prep time into them to get an acceptable tank. The vendor was "Royal Crusaders". And the shipping was OK too.

PS - Just a warning - on B25 tanks the fuel taps are vertical at the rear. When fitted to a B50 the taps are too close to the rocker box (taller motor) so the tank has to sit an inch or so further back and the nose of the seat gets in the way...so I had to adjust the seat. B50 tanks have the taps on the rear curve of the tank so face away from the rocker box.
B50 @ 10:1 - what's a leg between friends?
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Re: Starfire 441

Post by zuff »

Cheers for that. I anticipate a fair bit of fettling but the seat will be custom made once the tank position is set so that should not to too much of an issue. Your comments on Indian tanks are most helpful...and pretty much what I expected!
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kommando
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Re: Starfire 441

Post by kommando »

On the Indian tanks its best to keep to tried and reviewed sellers, pummy8081 has had numerous reviews on his A65 2 gal tanks all confirming they are good on Britbike.com, there are other sellers with good reviews too but also a lot with bad reviews.
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Re: Starfire 441

Post by zuff »

Thanks for the views on Indian tanks. I'm going to try to source an original for now.
They say a journey of a million miles starts with the first step and so here is the first step towards my goal.
Over the weekend, I removed the peak off the headlamp and fitted jota style adjustable handlebars. I think these will temporary as I suspect I will eventually go for clip ons and alloy yokes without risers.
new bars (1024x498).jpg
lamp (498x1024).jpg
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Re: Starfire 441

Post by zuff »

Managed to find a good condition slim line fibreglass tank and the flat track style seat from RedMax is a good match for my drawing.
Attachments
tank seat web.jpg
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Re: Starfire 441

Post by zuff »

Image
Or here if you can't see the image.
Last edited by minetymenace on Mon Apr 08, 2019 8:00 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Starfire 441

Post by zuff »

Thanks Minety....will have to work out how to do that!

Edit by MM:
You can edit your own posts by clicking on the pencil icon box (top right within the post). If you click on the pecil in the post above you'll see the syntax for the code I used. :) (The awesome power of the moderator means he can edit any post, which is part of my plan for world domination, but that's another story). Furthermore, although it is cheaper for Rickard if you don't use space on his server for pictures, if they relate to this forum and are not copyright, probably best to upload them here rather than use Pickybucket etc, there are several topics that are meaningless because the link is broken to another server that holds the images...
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Re: Starfire 441

Post by zuff »

20190421_152719starfire scheme 1.jpg
Here is a mock up on the bike. Original fibreglass tank and a redmax flat track seat that will fit just fine after fettling.
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Re: Starfire 441

Post by zuff »

I think the first side panel scheme looks better than this:
20190421_152900starfire scheme 2.jpg
and here is a view from the rear.
starfire scheme rear.jpg
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Re: Starfire 441

Post by beat »

:thumb :thumb
zuff
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Re: Starfire 441

Post by zuff »

sapphire.jpg
Have finally managed to find the correct paint shade from RS paints. The picture shows a NOS panel that I have added an ivory white centre recess to. The other panel on the left is a replica panel sprayed with Sapphire Blue from their BSA range. The web site paint selector shows the colour for B25 as Nutley Blue, but this is much paler and greener. Like on old C15s.
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Re: Starfire 441

Post by zuff »

This is the front brake to be fitted.
Attachments
front brake 2.jpg
front brake.jpg
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Re: Starfire 441

Post by zuff »

Matching rear brake
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rear brake.jpg
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Re: Starfire 441

Post by zuff »

More shopping!
When I had my original bike I used to knock around with a guy who had a Ducati 450 desmo. The gulf in the quality of the components was stark. I was very envious but no way could I afford a Ducati! But I took inspiration from that to draw my dream BSA with styling cues from the Darmah that had just come out .
So as well as a restyle this project will have only the best Italian components fitted.
Forks and yokes are GP35 replicas from caferacersuspension.
Clipons and rearsets are Tarozzi from Discovolanti
Rims are Borrani from Discovolanti.
Shocks also from CRS
The brakes are UK fabricated by Mick Hughes of Royton Road and Race.
Terry Weedy is fabricating a swing arm.
Attachments
tarozzi-adjustable-clipons.jpg
rearsets.jpg
GS02.jpg
GP35.jpg
borrani.jpg
38yokes_clipon.jpg
Last edited by zuff on Fri May 17, 2019 8:57 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Starfire 441

Post by zuff »

having a new swingarm fabricated.
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swingarm.jpg
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Re: Starfire 441

Post by minetymenace »

Go on Zuff, edit your "More Shopping" post and elaborate on the pictures please...
There is no evidence to support the notion that life is serious.
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zuff
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Re: Starfire 441

Post by zuff »

Your wish is my command! Edit done..
I will elaborate on the paint issue shortly.
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Re: Starfire 441

Post by zuff »

So, further on my research of the 'right' shade of blue, I found the website of RS Paints. Very comprehensive (and not cheap!) range of paints in both aerosol and commercial 2K lacquer. The website paint finder allows you to enter your make, model and year of bike and locates the appropriate colour. For a '68 B25 it lists the colours as Nutley Blue and Ivory white. So I ordered these. In the meantime I was able to track down a New Old Stock nearside side panel in the Blue I recognised as being that of my old '68 bike. I bought a pattern fibreglass relica offside panel and sprayed it with the Nutley Blue.
test blue.jpg
test blue.jpg (10.98 KiB) Viewed 11917 times
As you can see, it is on the left, its much too pale compared to the factory colour of my side panel. But I have seen bikes in this shade, notably the shortlived C25
68 nutley blue..jpg
68 nutley blue..jpg (23.72 KiB) Viewed 11917 times
But I needed a blue more like this
starfire blue.jpg
Fortunately, a colour listed for the Bantam, Sapphire Blue, turned out to be an excellent match
sapphire nutley.jpg
The resprayed panel is on the left, the NOS panel on the right (with an Ivory White recess added) and the tank is still in Nutley
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Re: Starfire 441

Post by zuff »

Been getting on with the cosmetics whilst I wait for parts to be made.
Been teaching myself how to get a nice with finish with rattle cans.
Patience, clean technique with wet and dry down to 3000 and G3 polishing cream gets a fair result. Tank and panels done and one off decals applied. 3M 3mm masking tape amazing stuff for masking complex curves. I did not get it perfect but happy for a first attempt.
Partway mock up shown.
Image
Image
Image
After this, have been fabricating the seat pan to support the fibreglass.
Pics to follow.
Attachments
cosmetics part done.jpg
tank done.jpg
side panels done.jpg
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Re: Starfire 441

Post by zuff »

Seat now painted. Awaiting final polish.
Attachments
seat done2 (498x1024).jpg
seat done (1024x498).jpg
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Re: Starfire 441

Post by lathejack »

A very nice looking bike that will look great when finished. Both the Starfire and the Darmah have great styling, so you can't go wrong by combining the two.
Have you got all your new Italian made components ready for fitting yet?
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Re: Starfire 441

Post by zuff »

Thanks lathejack. Appreciate the interest.
The chap creating my brakes rang me yesterday to let me know they will be posted out next week.
The engineer making the forks is finalising the steering stem fabrication so that it works with the stock headstock and the fabricated yokes. I expect delivery by end of month.
I managed to acquire a new pair of genuine Borrani rims from Discovolante
I am expecting delivery of the swing arm any day now.
So I am planning strip down in July.
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Re: Starfire 441

Post by minetymenace »

Ahh, but do you have the air horns yet?
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Re: Starfire 441

Post by zuff »

Well spotted!
Of course, back in 76 these were all the rage. Spotty youths on Suzy GT250's would have them mounted on chrome leg guards. And of course we wore platforms and flares! I suspect this may be one element of my recreation that I will skip over. Unless any one cries foul!!
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Re: Starfire 441

Post by minetymenace »

zuff wrote:We
?
zuff wrote:We wore platforms and flares
!!!!

Speak for yourself! :lol:

I think you should remain true to the original design and not let sensibilities acquired through life compromise the radical inspiration of youth.... Air Horns are a "MUST"! :cool:
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Re: Starfire 441

Post by zuff »

Just bought!! See what you made me do! :lol:
air horns.jpg
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Re: Starfire 441

Post by minetymenace »

:laugh :ok
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Re: Starfire 441

Post by zuff »

Rear brake returned from Mick Hughes who has worked his magic on it.
After reading discussion on Facebook Starfire page, I think I will get this laced into a WM3 Borrani rather than the WM2 I have.
Attachments
rear brake2.jpg
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Re: Starfire 441

Post by zuff »

Front brake now arrived.
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front brake 1.jpg
new brakes.jpg
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Re: Starfire 441

Post by zuff »

Front forks and shocks arrived from John Cronshaw.
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shock.jpg
yokes.jpg
forks.jpg
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Re: Starfire 441

Post by zuff »

The yokes are a work of art. Cannot wait to fit them but patience is a virtue!
Hopefully all will fit with minimal fettling but I am maintaining a sense of realism.
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Re: Starfire 441

Post by minetymenace »

zuff wrote:Hopefully all will fit with minimal fettling but I am maintaining a sense of realism.
Optimism and realism, now there's a paradox....
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Re: Starfire 441

Post by Leif »

Wonderful stuff you're installing on your project. Your struggle with wanting and finding a correct fibreglass tank is interesting. In the US, because of gas additives, these tanks are virtually give-away... they literally melt with modern gas, liners are a temporary fix at best, and often do more damage than good. Actually, I thought this became a problem long ago, the tanks were changed by BSA to steel in 69 because of problems with the fiberglass... though I think I recall that was a mandated change, not voluntary? Hope this works out for you.
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Re: Starfire 441

Post by Mike A »

With reference to the seat, I fitted the same to my Victor for a while, soon had to change it because anything over a couple of miles was really uncomfortable, and Im a pretty average shape :grin: as for the swingarm, good choice, got mine from Terry a couple of years ago, good bearings and the plating has stood up well, good luck with the project, it's going to look the business!
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Re: Starfire 441

Post by zuff »

Thanks Leif. Regarding the tank....I've taken advice from specialists in fuel tank lining who tell me nothing really works. The key is not to leave fuel in there. So I might just use the fibre glass tank for show only. I've kept the later steel tank and I might paint that up as well. Incidentally, has anyone ever removed to top seam that runs from the filler back? Can you just grind it off?

Mike, I guess the seat issue will only be known once I use the bike. Did you change yours back to standard or find an alternative?
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Re: Starfire 441

Post by minetymenace »

zuff wrote:Can you just grind it off?
Nope. Will need to be butt welded or a fillet and overlap. Having a flange makes it stronger...how about a piece of trim over it?
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Re: Starfire 441

Post by zuff »

OK, thanks Minety. Its not a huge issue for me...its just I prefer the looks of the earlier tank and paint scheme.
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