BSA has had a good start in the UK, with Gold Star emerging as the bestselling retro motorcycle in March with sales at 253 units
With good response to Gold Star in the UK, BSA is looking to expand its portfolio and explore other international markets as well. Towards that end, BSA has plans to resurrect some more of the iconic BSA models.
Three new trademark applications have been filed for Lightning, Thunderbolt and Bantam titles. The applications have been filed in the US, Australia and New Zealand. If approved, retro enthusiasts can look forward to some more exhilarating rides to experience the glorious motorcycling era of 60s and 70s.
BSA Lightning, Thunderbolt – Names trademarked
It is not certain what approach BSA will take for the resurrected Lightning and Thunderbolt bikes. In their original format, both bikes were powered by a 654cc OHV parallel twin engine. While Lighting was an all-round sports machine, BSA Thunderbolt was positioned as a touring motorcycle. The bikes were in production in the 60s and 70s.
If BSA chooses to continue with the original format, the resurrected Lightning and Thunderbolt will turn out to be twin-cylinder bikes. They will primarily rival the likes of Royal Enfield Interceptor 650, Continental GT 650 and Super Meteor 650. However, BSA already has Gold Star that seems to be doing a good job of challenging Royal Enfield 650cc bikes. Gold Star has a single-cylinder setup, but that hasn’t dented its prospects.
The other option is to upgrade to a higher capacity to take on other prominent brands such as Triumph’s Bonneville range. Even Bonneville was a 650cc bike in the 60s. It has now moved up to 900cc to 1,200cc segment. Having a diversified portfolio seems more relevant, as it will allow BSA to target a larger customer base.
BSA Bantam could be based on New Jawa / Yezdi
In its original format, BSA Bantam was a two-stroke motorcycle, available in 125cc, 150cc and 175cc variants. It was in production from 1948 to 1971. The resurrected BSA Bantam is likely to be a smaller capacity retro machine. It could borrow the hardware from either Jawa or Yezdi bikes. New BSA Bantam will primarily rival Royal Enfield bikes in 350cc segment. It will also take on upcoming smaller capacity bikes from Harley-Davidson-Hero and Bajaj-Triumph.
The fact that trademark applications have been filed in the US reveals that BSA is serious about resurrecting these iconic models. As per new legislation in the US, brands cannot randomly trademark names that they don’t plan to use. They can get trademark protection only for names that they intend to use in near future. This is quite different from other locations, where one can get trademarks registered without any commitment to launching the product.
As far as Indian market is concerned, BSA doesn’t seem to have any immediate plans. The company will continue to focus on international markets. BSA’s entry into India can be considered at a later date. As of now, India is being used solely as a production hub for BSA motorcycles.