One of the nice motorcycles that was on display at the 2012 British Motorcycle Show in Auburn, Massachusetts was 1966 BSA Hornet. This is a 650cc off-road specialty motorcycle.
1966 BSA Hornet
The BSA Hornet was developed by BSA as a purpose-built off-road and desert racer motorcycle to meet the market demand for a stripped down, powerful off-road machine. BSA Hornets were supplied without headlights or tail lights and with straight through exhaust pipes. The models supplied on the east coast of the USA had high exhaust pipes while the model supplied to the west coast were fitted with low TT style exhaust pipes. The image below shows a page from the 1966 BSA catalog showing the east coast version of the BSA Hornet.
BSA Hornet in the 1966 BSA Catalog
The BSA Hornet motorcycle that was on display at the Auburn show was fitted with a headlight and a tail light. As noted in the advertisement, BSA provided wiring to allow for the relatively easy addition of these features for highway use. This BSA Hornet has a current Rhode Island license, so I guess that Rhode Island does not have a problem with straight through exhaust pipes.
This BSA Hornet Has Been Fitted With a Headlight
The BSA Hornet had a modified engine that came from the 650cc BSA Lightning. This engine produced about 53 horsepower. At this time in the mid-1960s most typical off-road trail bikes had engines in the 100 to 250cc range.
The Straight Through Exhaust Pipes Would Make This a BSA Hornet a Little Noisy
The BSA Hornet had a four-speed transmission and had drum brakes. The front drive sprocket for the chain drive was designed for quick changes to suit the needs of a particular competition.
Tail Lights On This BSA Hornet Were Added To The Base Model
The BSA Hornet was also known by its model designation, A65H. I understand that all of the BSA Hornets came in the “Mandarin Red” color shown on the bike on display at the Auburn show.
This BSA Hornet Has Minimal Guages
The BSA Hornet was made from 1964 to 1967 and then it was replaced by the BSA Firebird Scrambler.