1963 BSA 646cc Rocket Gold Star
Registration no. 4252 TU
Frame no. GA10 1604
Engine no. DA10R 10261
Widely recognised as one of the most desirable of all factory built 'café racers', the Rocket Gold Star arrived in 1962 along with the first of BSA's new unitary construction range. A combination of - mainly - Gold Star cycle parts and the A10 Super Rocket twin-cylinder engine, the newcomer represented the last of the old 'pre-unit' line rather than a new departure and thus was destined for a relatively short life. The idea of making what was effectively a twin-cylinder Goldie originated with Banbury motorcycle dealer Eddie Dow, who had built up a considerable body of expertise in looking after BSA's high-performance singles. Dow believed that his hybrid would bridge the gap between the end of Gold Star production and the introduction of new unitary construction sports models, and so it proved.
The Super Rocket engine's compression ratio was raised to 9.25:1 for the RGS, the claimed maximum power increasing to 46bhp. But for some reason best known to BSA, the RGS frame was unique, although not that different from the production A7/A10 item, as was the wider dual seat. The model was offered in a number of different forms and with a host of options relating to controls and equipment. Motor Cycle tested a Rocket Gold Star in November 1962, summing up the new BSA as a 'scintillating high-performance road burner: good brakes, excellent rider comfort and docile traffic manners.' A top speed of 105mph was achieved. Around 1,600 Rocket Gold Stars were made over a two-year period and today genuine examples are highly sought after.
The restored, matching-numbers example offered here comes with Gold Star Owners Club dating letters confirming its authenticity. Previous owners include marque authority Harold Gardner and famous sports photographer and off-road motorcycling historian Don Morley. The current vendor purchased the machine from Cotswold Classics in August 2011 but has not registered it in his name (purchase receipt on file). Described as in generally excellent condition, this most desirable of post-war BSAs is offered with the aforementioned documentation, assorted email printouts, a substantial quantity of MoT certificates (most recent expired August 2012) and V5/V5C documents.