How A 1963 BSA Rocket Goldstar Found Me

How A 1963 BSA Rocket Goldstar Found Me

1963 BSA Rocket Gold Star
Pilots view of the 1963 BSA Rocket Gold Star. Possibly the original 14,970 miles.
It was a Wednesday morning on February the 1st 2017, when I received a phone call from a gentleman. Before I answered the phone, I noticed the number on the caller I.D. had a 661 area code, which is local. I thought that was strange because if anyone is familiar with the Antelope Valley or surrounding areas, there are very few vintage British motorcycles running around so I was surprised to receive a call from a 661 phone number.
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"Would you be interested in a BSA Gold Star that I have?"

Business was usual on that Wednesday, so I proceeded to answer the phone. After greeting and speaking with the gentleman he said that his name was John. John asked me "Would you be interested in a BSA Gold Star that I have?" I quickly replied "Sure, I would be interested". The conversation that John and I had was very brief. John told me he was local in Lancaster and that I could stop by and take a look at his bike. John also stated to me over the phone that his Gold Star was given to him from a friend that had no longer had any use for it.
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"I thought the call was a joke..."

At first I thought the call was a joke. I mean, who calls and says I have a BSA Goldstar that I want to get rid of? I personally had an image in my mind that maybe he was referring to the BSA B50 Gold Star or a single cylinder Goldstar in boxes and pieces scattered across a garage in the middle of the desert. I didn't want to get too excited and work myself up because after all, this "Goldstar" might not even exist. I recorded his phone number and address and in the late afternoon I drove to John's house to see what he had.
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190MM Front BSA Brake
190MM BSA front brake. Exclusive to very few BSA models from unit twins and pre-unit twins.
As I began to approach John's house, I noticed that he had his garage door fully open and I could see his BSA motorcycle sitting right in the front standing proud. The first feature I noticed on the BSA from the street (while driving) was the 190MM front brake hub. Immediately I was nervous and excited at the same time! I was thinking to myself, you know, maybe this John guy really does own a BSA Gold Star.
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"There was no haggling or negotiating..."

As I walked towards the garage I was greeted by 3 folks that where outside hanging out waiting for me to arrive. I introduced myself to John and his friends. The first thing John said to me was "You sound much older on the phone". John is right, I sound like I'm in my 30's but in reality, I'm only in my 20's. John and I started to talk to business of what we thought the bike was worth. There was no haggling or negotiating. John threw a price at me and I gladly paid. I was in complete shock, I just scored one of the most collectible BSA motorcycles ever made. Everything on it appears to be correct. Although its missing the gas tank, oil tank, cylinder head, and barrel, its still a "once in a lifetime find".
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Tricon Switch
Original Wipac Tricon Switch on the left hand side handlebars.
Later that evening I went back to John's house with my Jeep and trailer and brought the 1963 BSA Rocket Gold Star to its new home. John must have been in his late 70s. He had many story's that he shared with me and I am very appreciative of that. John has lived here in the Antelope Valley practicality his whole life, in fact he went to school with Eddie Mulder which I found to be fascinating. He stated to me that "Eddie Mulder was the reason I started to ride Triumph's". He was one hell of a rider. Eddie Mulder was a famous west coast Triumph racer, he raced for JOMO, Triumph of Burbank, and other prominent dealers. He was very well known and grew up here in the Antelope Valley.
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The RGS has been in Palmdale (that I'm aware of) since 1970. Its native just like I am. The person that owned the bike before John did had owned the RGS since 1970 according to the 1970 registration that I now have. John's friend appears to be the second owner.
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"I didn't find the RGS, the RGS found me..."

Some might say this was a lucky find, I think it’s more of a blessing. I didn't find the RGS, the RGS found me. I vowed to John that this bike would stay in the C.B.S. family. I have many short term and long term projects of my own, as much as I would like to get this motorcycle back on the road, I'm sure it will be sitting for quite sometime.

4 comments

  • walter pytlewski

    I used to own two BSA Rocket Goldstars, one was an Eastern 1962 and the other was a 1963 Western Rocket Goldstar. Believe it or not, there were subtle differences. I would love to own another one, but hard to find in Idaho

  • Roger Lehman Jr

    Nice story I to have an all original 63 RGS.I inherited it from my dad who bought it new.My parents dated on it,and it only has 18000miles on it.I’m in the process of reviving it out of its 35year slumber.I’m in my mid 40’s and my teenagers are already fighting over who the bike gets handed down to lol.

  • Classic British Spares

    @Mike McD – thanks for reading today. Yes I think many young folks will get into the classic bikes more and more over the years.

  • Mike McD

    Nice find and whatever can be seen here looks to be in good shape. You did, indeed, score a real classic. It is nice to see some younger folks taking interest and keeping the great classics alive.

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