1970 BSA 650 Thunderbolt Scrambler
First and foremost, any bike that Dick Mann has touched is worth its weight in..gold?, titanium?, chromoly? Doesn’t matter, its going to be a great bike.
In 1970 something, I had a father in law that loved Yamaha’s. In his garage sat an RD350, an R5, a DT1, and an XS650. He never rode the R5 or the XS650, but truly loved his RD350 and the DT1. The XS was too heavy and the R5 wasn’t the RD. Ah well, there is no training some people.
One day while working as a lot monkey at Bobby J’s Yamaha in Albuquerque, this guy rides in on a Yamaha TT500 that didn’t look like any TT500 I had seen. Tank was right, seat was right, side panels right, it was a TT motor but something was different. I called my father in law (never a pleasant experience) and asked him to swing by the shop, if he was coming into town, and take a look at this bike.
Jay showed up a couple of hours later, looked at the bike, talked to the shop service guy and then left. Didn’t say a word to me…OK, he never liked me anyway because of a ride we took a year or so earlier and I left him in a cloud of Kawasaki H2 two stroke exhaust. Actually, I was so far gone, he only got the slightest whiff of Castrol, but that is an entirely different story for another time.
The TT got its new tires and off it went. Nobody really noticed anything about the bike so I just forgot about it as well.
A month or two later, under great duress, I went over to the outlaws, I mean in-laws, for dinner and was shown the new treasure…a Dick Mann framed Yamaha TT500. It was beautiful. In a moment of lunacy, father in law Jay asked me if I would like to ride it. Let me think about this…I couldn’t grab my helmet fast enough.
The TT was set up dirt only. Fine by me, we lived right next to about five million acres of desert, mountains and riverbeds. I had ridden his old TT500 before and thought it was a street bike dressed up to be an almost dirt bike. Riding the DMS TT500 was a whole new experience. A full tank of gas later I showed up for dinner with a huge grin on my face and looking for a pen and paper to get Mr. Mann’s phone number.
So, what has this got to do with the BSA Scrambler on e-bay? Almost everything…I’ll go back to the opening line here…”Anything Dick Mann touches is worth it’s weight in gold”. There are very few motorcyclists left that so intimately know how any type of motorcycle be it flat tracker, road racer, moto-crosser, trials or everyday street bike, will ride, Dick Mann is one of those very few.
This BSA is beautiful. The 650 motor is perfect in so many ways and when set into a Dick Mann frame, you now have a motorcycle that will do whatever you want it to do, when you want it to do it and, how you want to it to do it. These motorcycles are truly a riders motorcycle.
This is a motorcycle that right now is a bike that is under valued and I wish I had the money to go get it. Click on the pic’s below for more info.