BSA - Gold Star- M 24
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BSA D2-492-83-20
Photo ou archives : F-M. Dumas

Capacity : 500
Model : Gold Star- M 24
Production : 1938 -
Category : (R) Street Bike


500 M24 Gold Star – 1938

The star of Brooklands

In June 1937, the regulars at the Brooklands track southwest of London – whose slogan was "The right crowd and no crowding" – were surprised to see recently-retired Grand Prix star Wal Handley riding a specially prepared BSA 500 Empire Star running on alcohol.

Gold Star Winner

Until then, the Birmingham giant had shown little interest in competition (after its disastrous showing in the 1921 Isle of Man Tourist Trophy), but the new bike allowed Handley to win at an average of 102.27 mph, earning him the coveted "gold star" awarded to riders who had lapped the celebrated banked oval at over 100 mph. BSA adopted the name for its new sports models.


Unlike Handley's prototype, the production Gold Star M24, launched in 1938, benefited from an aluminum cylinder with an iron sleeve and a cylinder head with screwed- in valve seats. Its designer – Val Page – paid great attention to weight-saving, employing light alloys wherever possible. He even used magnesium for the gearbox shell on pre-1939 models. The new Gold Star proved fast and reliable and quickly demonstrated its ability as an all-round sports bike. The British Army team used Gold Stars in the 1939 ISDT in Germany, and after WWII, Gold Stars won many trials, motocross events – John Draper was Motocross Champion of Europe in 1955 on a works Gold Star – and national races.


Engine: 496cc (82x94mm) air-cooled single-cylinder four-stroke

Power Rating: 30 hp @ 5800 rpm

Valves: overhead

Fuel System: Amal TT carburetor

Transmission: 4-speed, chain final drive

Suspension: Webb girder forks (front); rigid (rear)

Brakes: 7 inch drum (front & rear)

Wheels: 21 inch (front); 19 inch (rear)

Weight: 315 lb

Maximum Speed: 90 mph

Shown here in its 1938 form, the BSA Gold Star was one of the most remarkable sports bikes of the immediate pre- and post-WWII era.

Motorcycle encyclopedia Moto Passion, realised by François-Marie Dumas, include almost 2000 photos presented with an exhaustive history of the motorcycles exhibited.

This unique collection has been realised with the participation of many specialists. With many thanks in particular to Yves Campion, Michael Dregni, Didier Ganneau, Jean Goyard, Helmut Krackowizer, Michel Montange, Christian Rey, Bernard Salvat, Mick Woollett, etc

One can order here

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