View Full Version : Holy Cow! 250 morphed into 441!

10-29-2009, 03:58 PM
O.K. Guys, here is real ignorance at work. Just bought what I thought was a 1968 BSA Starfire 250cc. Why did I think that? Because PO said the 441 decals were placed there by the 1st owner by mistake. The orig owner's manual is for both 441 & 250 versions. Took it old Brit Bike mechanic (older than I am & Im 15 years older than the bike) yesterday and he said "darn an old BSA Victor". It has 5,400 miles. Told me "You will hate this bike...hard to start, and stops running & you can't get 'er started again". My bad. But, she's mine and I'm putting new tires on and other little tweaks. I am going to master this beast. I do have pics, but there isn't enough file space for me to post. I'm pretty techno illiterate.

tony barnhill
10-29-2009, 09:12 PM
Good find - congrats! But it'll fight back.

10-30-2009, 11:45 AM
Good find - congrats! But it'll fight back.

They always do - Ya have to tame them.


10-31-2009, 09:46 AM
I would think if you hung around the various British bike forums you would find a solution to the starting problem. I wore out a new kicker rubber (cheap replacement) on my Bonneville before I got the carbs adjusted. Rarely more that 2 kicks now.

tony barnhill
10-31-2009, 01:26 PM
My Norton had that problem but it was oil seeping into the dry sump & building up compression when I tried to kick it.

11-02-2009, 12:56 PM
Ok, lets dispel the 441 myths right this moment. If properly set up, it should start first kick, hot or cold, without fail. First, you need to know the correct starting procedure. Turn on the fuel petcock. Depress the little plunger on the carb body for a couple of seconds. Slowly kick down on the KS lever until it is "on compression". There will be no doubt when this is. Release the lever and let it return to the top. Pull the compression release, and slowly push the KS lever about 1/2 way down. Let the lever return top the top. Switch on the key, and give a full bodied kick down, and it should chuff into life. Note, they are mechanically noisy when running. The fins ring, you can hear the valve train. Do not be alarmed. Do listen for bottom end noise though. The 441 has a roller bearing bottom end. They usually last a long time, but they are hard to fix. Have the mechanic inspect the slide in the carb. The wear is apparent from the back side, ie, nearest the engine. If there is ANY doubt about it being perfect, replace it. Amal parts are cheap ebough. Just be sure the "cutaway" number on the new part matches what the parts book calls for. Worn slides, and eventually carb bodies are the cause of 95% of all running problems with these bikes. I love the BSA singles, and have put a fair number of miles on them. I am looking for another, as I sold mine after a fairly good car accident. Wish I hadn't done that. The way to tell the displacement is B25 ( or a bunch of letters then 25) = 250. B44 = 441. The frame number should match the engine number.

11-02-2009, 02:42 PM
Is this bike a roadster (Low pipe, red and white tank) or a Victor Special(High pipe, yellow and polished aluminum tank) By careful parts ordering, you can change the rear sprocket and trans sprocket to make the bike more "roadworthy" The VS comes with really tall gearing for off road work, and it limits top speed severly, as well as the cruising speed. The roadsters are better, and there is a gear set from a 350 (B35) from 66 that is better yet. Either way, anything much over a sustained 45 MPH will vibrate your fillings loose.Be sure that all engine to frame bolts are tight tight tight!!!!

Can you tell I miss mine?? I restored both a 250 and a 441 from basement junk to really nice bikes, and know them fairly well. EEE parts in Rochester Minn had a good parts supply, but that was a few years back. Nice folks though.

11-04-2009, 05:05 PM

11-12-2009, 04:42 PM
Mine is the roadster; low pipe; red & white tank; getting new tires (tyres) right now. Can't wait for the vibration to set in.

dave in St. Louis

03-19-2010, 06:20 AM
Here's a Victor on the DC Craigslist. Price seems a bit steep though.