Lisa Ballard approached me about shooting a feature bike for Chop Cult. I was stoked of course! I asked my good friend T-Bone at Blue Collar Choppers if he knew anyone with a bike that would like to be featured. He put me in contact with Rob- the owner of this sweet '72 BSA. Turns out, Rob and I have other mutual friends, so it was a cool hook up for his feature. San Diego weather the past couple weeks leading up to the shoot day was El Nino rains and floods. Finally, a sunny Sunday broke the cycle and we chose the historic and iconic Balboa Park for a backdrop. Rough life in San Diego right- the rest of the country is in a snow storm and we're off shooting photos of a sweet bike in 65-degree weather. Thank you, to Lisa and Chop Cult and T-Bone for arranging Rob's bike for the feature.
Owner name, location: Rob Dalby, San Diego, CA
Chop Cult Member Profile: thebiglarobski
Engine, year and make, model, mods: 1972 BSA A65 Lightning case, thunderbolt (single carb head) bored 40 over, full top end rebuild, new pistons, and rings, new pushrods, new valves and seats, painted cylinder, head resurfaced and bead blasted, custom oil line into head, Amal 928 carb, Pazon electronic ignition, all hardware nickel plated.
Frame: 1968 BSA A65, cut and made rigid, kickstand relocation, custom mounts, tabs etc.
Fork: 1962 & 1964 combo, custom made tubes, modified springs, bushes, spacers, oil seal holders, and shrouds. Fab’d headlight bracket. Overall shortened 4+ under.
Chassis mods: Custom spec’d hardtail welded on. Both hubs and drum brakes are original BSA, rebuilt from the inside out, shoes relined etc.
Tire/wheel size and style: Rear is a nickel plated BSA crinkle hub and drum brake set up laced with stainless spokes to a 16” Kelsey Hayes Harley Davidson Panhead rim and a Shinko tire. The front is a BSA drum, powder coated and laced with stainless spokes to an original 19” British Dunlop rim and an Avon speed master tire. Both front and rear drum brakes and rims are powder coated and all hardware and mechanical components are nickel plated, both backing plates are polished aluminum.
Favorite thing about this bike: It’s small and nimble and it handles great but my favorite part is the brass kicker turned by Pat at Benchmark in Carlsbad, CA. I also really like the O.G. Siamese headers from the U.K.
Next modification will be: Raise the front end up about ¾” and mod the oil bag cap to match the kicker.
Other mods, accessories, cool parts etc: Unity F1 headlamp from Chicago, After Hours Choppers L.E.D brake light. Custom fab’d brass rear brake assembly and stay. Bar enterprises solo seat, 1970’s Japanese grips and custom fab’d bars.
Any building or riding story or info you’d like to include: I got the parts in a basket case project, the frame was damaged, the motor hadn’t run since the 80’s, she rides straight and pulls strong now. . .
Thanks to my lady Katie for all her support and for inspiring me to build another bike, Rob North, Matt & Megla MFG, Johnny Bain, T-Bone & Blue Collar Choppers for hooking me up proper, Jeff at Chop Cult, Pat & Benchmark, Tom & BBC Triumph in Ventura, John & Lemon Grove Plating, the homeboys in Tijuana that chromed my tank, Paul & GP Moto, Dan at Angry Monkey for his negative ground advice, online blogs and forums, ebay, heavy metal music for countless hours of garage time, all my friends that helped out and had my back along the way and to all the haters and their bullshit negativity and doubt, Shovelhead’s next, better watch out. . .
Photos by Jeff Lisowski.