Imitation game: BSA working on electric bike vibrates and makes sound like a petrol

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BSA’s new Gold Star is currently a model range of one and although it’s pretty clear that more petrol models will follow, the new owners are staying tight lipped about what  they have in the pipeline.

What we do know, however, is that the firm’s electric project is in full swing and being worked on here in the UK. “We had an electric prototype before we had the petrol one but the market is not ready,” explains Anupam Thareja, Co-Founder of Classic Legends.

“There is a wrong way to do it – buy a motor, buy a controller… we’re talking about accentuators, we have a button that’ll give you the vibration, we have a sound button.”

BSA bosses Ashish Joshi (left) and Anupam Thareja

BSA Director Ashish Joshi takes over at this point to explain a little more: “The battery unit is what it is. A white label product with your name on it is easy to do but we want to make a BSA.”

The project is being partly funded by the Advanced Propulsion Centre’s fund (the same one Norton are using to develop their electric bike) and is being worked on at BSA’s tech centre in Coventry with a long list of UK-based tech partners.

Joshi added: “We’ve thought of sound, that’s some of the proprietary technology… air chambers inside the motor pump in air to produce an acoustic effect.”

MCN will bring you more on the development of BSA’s electric bike as and when we get it.


BSA returns with new UK factory, petrol and electric bike plans

First published on 18 November 2022 by Phil West

British factory set to open in 2021 to build new BSA bikes

Historic British bike brand BSA is to be relaunched with a new range of petrol AND electric machines entering production in the Midlands as early as next year, according to latest reports.

The development will see the legendary name back on the road alongside other great-revived British brands Triumph and Norton for the first time since the early 1970s.

BSA flier

The announcement came this week from Indian billionaire Anand Mahindra whose Mahindra Group, one of Asia’s largest automotive and engineering conglomerates, bought the BSA brand in 2016. Mahindra also bought the Jawa brand that year and in addition owns the Peugeot two-wheeler brand. Jawa was relaunched in India in 2018 with a range of retro-styled, 300cc four-stroke singles reminiscent of Royal Enfields, which have proved a huge success with over 50,000 sales in its first year.

Now Mahindra is readying to relaunch BSA with hopes to assemble initially petrol bikes at a new factory near BSA’s historic home in Small Heath, Birmingham, as early as mid-2021. Reports state this will create about 45 jobs and the bikes will cost between £5000 and £10,000 with parts from both UK suppliers and abroad.

Longer-term, however, ‘new BSA’ is looking to electric power and was recently awarded a £4.6m UK government grant to develop electric machines. It will now shortly begin building a research facility near Banbury to develop the technology where it hopes to create at least 255 jobs.

BSA poster

The Mahindra-owned BSA Company Ltd also recently consolidated the brand by buying three other BSA companies from the BSA Regal group, which previously owned the brand rights.

“The UK was the leader in bikes right from the start,” Anand Mahindra told The Guardian. “That provenance is something that we really want to retain”, adding that it is “very important” to have the bikes assembled in the UK “for the authenticity of the brand.”

In 1951, after BSA’s purchase of Triumph, the original Small Heath company became the world’s largest motorcycle manufacturer, famous for models such as the Bantam, Gold Star and Rocket. However, following a dramatic decline in the 1960s it was amalgamated into Norton-Villiers-Triumph and produced its last BSA-badged machine in 1973.

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Ben Clarke

By Ben Clarke

Assistant Editor (Motorcycling), hick for life, two cylinders max