# There are several rarer versions of the marque, but for most people the definitive Gold Star is the DBD34 in Clubman trim with its gleaming chrome, clip-ons, close-ratio gearbox, twin clocks and terrific 'twitter' on the overrun
# The 1948/49 350s and 500s were known as ZBs, from their engine numbers. The letters GS followed the model number - so a genuine Gold Star of this period was identified as a ZB34GS or ZB32GS
# The first ZB32 348cc Gold Star produced around 25bhp. Five years later, the CB32 made 32bhp
# The GP carb can make any bike hard to start and difficult to set a stable tickover, so most roadgoing Gold Stars are fitted with Amal Concentrics for everyday use
# You could buy a Gold Star in almost any trim you chose: tourer, trials, ISDT, scrambles, racing or Clubmans. So these days you find them in just as many formats - and all are genuine Gold Stars (although there are plenty of cooking BSA singles dressed up as Goldies, too!)
# In 1955, a B34 500 Goldie reached 110mph in speed tests. It stopped from 30mph in 29 feet. At a steady 50mph, it achieved 72mpg
A long time ago, a school friend owned several BSA bikes including a Gold Star. also a Bantam(?) and one whose name I forget. They seemed to be forever broken down or being 'fettled' in greasy pieces covering the floor of his parents garage. Not being an enthusiast I owned a Honda Super Cub C90. All I ever did with it was to check the oil level and tyre pressures, and take it in once a year for servicing. Nothing ever went wrong (apart from a stuck speedometer, and occasionally running out of petrol due to my own stupidity) with any of the 3 Cubs I owned. Once you've owned one for a while, it's easy to understand why a model introduced in 1958 is still in production today.
I never owned any of the big British marques but I had plenty of bikes almost all German,in those cash strapped analogue days we spent far too much time opening up engine cases and renewing spent bearings. This followed the traditions of the "cafe racers" who we pathetically attempted to emulate whilst the lamentable electrics really made the most passionate patriot question the ability of an industry set in a wet northern climate that produced timing mechanisms that required constant attention. I borrowed my brother in laws C90 Honda step through to ride from Wadebridge to Truro through torrents of rain, on my return I realised that allowing ones prejudices to influence vital transport choices was one hell of a mistake.
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Photo taken in Fitzrovia, London, UK
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