1961 BSA Super Rocket Rebuild

Jerry Doe

May 21, 2003
I picked up my BSA Super Rocket today. Its going to be a fun restore, but probably going to take a while. I'll post updates and ask questions here. I am probably going to need a lot of advice as I am Norton. Here are some photos.

To see the full gallery of photos in this album look here:
BSA Rocket Rebuild Album

Didn't the National Motorcycle Museum take all the Bruce Maine Smith archives?? Doubtless reprints copies from there, but UK post, of course..

PS: Isn't a fender some sort of guitar :)
Didn't the National Motorcycle Museum take all the Bruce Maine Smith archives?? Doubtless reprints copies from there, but UK post, of course..

PS: Isn't a fender some sort of guitar :)
Hello mate, I have to ask in American as I dont want to ship from UK. However that might be a good idea the way the exchange rate is. I just ordered a parts and workshop manual on ebay :)
(So I deleted the above post)
Nice project ! Thanks for putting it up ! Will be following closely , ‘72 Lightning was my first taste of Brit bikes ..... lots of fun was had on that stretched beast ......
Jerry, which clutch did you get, 4 spring or 6?

Hi Glen,

I am going to have lots of questions for you, sorry.

Its a 4 spring clutch. I heard that is better?

I got a handle on most of it I think except the tank. I don't want to buy an Indian one even though they look good. To get that tank fixed up, is going to cost me a few grand (I think). I want it to look original. Matt knows someone who might have a tank in better condition. The problem is I am now becoming obsessed. I am wondering what the tank is supposed to look like for 1961. I searched Google images and some of the tanks have a pear shaped tank badge and some like mine a round badge. I know east coast tanks were larger than west coast tanks and I want an east coast tank (I think that might be what I have). BUT which style of tank badge is it supposed to have. Do you know?

It is missing the clocks. I saw a speedo on eBay for $700. For now I have just purchased 2 indian instruments. They will do for now. They look nearly the same. I will keep a look out for originals for less $.

Once I decide what to do with the tank and get it on its way, I will start on the motor and gearbox. I'll have to get some chroming done too. I cant wait to get into the motor. The tires are flat so it was probably ridden on the freeway a lot. There are no obvious signs of abuse.

Will keep you updated

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BritCycle and/or Walridge motors might offer some help , info on tank and badges ....
I have found out that the correct tank should have a pear or tear shaped badge. Mine is not correct...
The four spring clutch is borrowed from Triumph and it's a very good clutch. It was used on 61-63 A 10s, so it's also the correct one for your bike. The earlier 6 spring BSA was quite problematic, particularly when BSA bumped power levels first to Road Rocket then to Super Rocket levels.
The late Super Rocket (61-63) has a bit more pep again due to the Spitfire cam and bigger inlet valves. So it's a good thing that they went to the stronger clutch.
If my Super Rocket 4 spring clutch is any indication, it's a really nice, light, smooth engaging clutch.
Your 61 is very similar to my 63. There were only a few changes in 62 and then the 63s were just a continuation of the 62s. There were a lot of good changes 60 to 61.

I'm not sure on the tank badge but it sounds like you've got that sorted.

Thanks Glen.

I am so lucky sometimes and thanks Matt. Matt just happened to know someone with a very nice original Rocket tank that they wanted to sell. Its now mine :) It will soon be off to Brent and will become sapphire blue on top with the super rocket decals and gold stripes. Stoked about this, very lucky.

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Nice tank ! Actually it’s a real beauty , after a white vinegar soak over a couple days , inside should be shiny too ...