1971 BSA Lightning
There’s nothing radical or flashy about this early 70s BSA, but it has a low-key charm that I find very compelling. The beautiful photography helps, of course. It’s by the owner of the bike, Adam Green, taken in his hometown of Margate City, New Jersey using a Leica M8 camera. Adam found this BSA at an auction in Texas. “I’d been looking for a bike for about a year,” he says. “I bought it without hesitation two minutes after I saw it for the first time. It just had an aesthetic that spoke to me.”
Adam took the bike to Jason Wonder to get it tidied up, but given that Wonder is primarily a custom bike builder, he couldn’t resist putting his own spin on it. “The classic elements were left alone,” says Adam, “but we introduced other bits from the dirt side of the road.” The bike was taken apart, the frame modified slightly and the motor completely rebuilt. A new leather seat was fashioned to fit the modified frame, and the rear lights were replaced by LEDs hidden under the seat. A custom battery/ignition box tidies things up further, and a PIAA high output lamp lights the way at the front.
To my eyes, this one of those bikes that just looks ‘right’. It’s simple and uncomplicated and begs to be ridden—the perfect vehicle for a dawn escape on a misty weekend morning.
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