Time machine

‘The most exciting super-equipped road and road-racing model offered in America!’ blared the brochure. Just for once, they weren’t over-stating things: 123mph from 654cc

WHEN BSA BUILT the Mk2 Spitfire in 1966, the 654cc twin wasn’t simply the fastest thing to leave Small Heath’s production line.

It was in fact the quickest standard motorcycle that Motor Cycle had ever tested.

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The Spitfire covered a standing quarter-mile in an unprecedented 13.6 seconds.

While the normal single-carb, roadgoing A65 topped out at 104mph, the highly tuned Spitfire sprinted onwards – past 110, then past 120 – all the way to 123mph.

The BSA was quicker than the equivalent Bonnie, which was a full second slower over the quarter-mile and ran out of puff at 115mph.

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Even Honda’s four-cylinder CB750 could only just match the two-cylinder A65 for top speed.

Read more in July’s edition of CBG
 

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