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1951 BSA New Hudson Silver Arrow

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1951 BSA New Hudson Silver Arrow

Old 06-19-17, 09:11 PM
  #26  
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Howdy folks!

An update on the physical appearance of this bicycle will be coming soon, but for now I'd like to show off some original literature I have collected related to the New Hudson. I now have two copies of the advertisement flyer, and also obtained a dealer's trade list, which includes two letters from BSA explaining the release of the 1951 model lineup and, interestingly, an apologetic letter that there was to be a new surcharge applied to the cardboard boxes the bicycles were shipped in! Pretty nifty.

Ad Flyer:







Dealers' Trade List:







Manufacturer's letters to dealers:






Last edited by Kilroy1988; 06-19-17 at 09:16 PM.
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Old 06-19-17, 10:37 PM
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Nice bike, a real time capsule as others are saying, it reminds me of a vid on YouTube about club cycling in England, I will try to find it although a lot would have probably seen it.
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Old 06-19-17, 10:38 PM
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Here is that vid.

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Old 06-19-17, 10:41 PM
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One of my bucket list bikes, a nice Club bike from this era.
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Old 06-20-17, 05:55 AM
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@Kilroy1988 Thank you for posting these images. Great research. The letter is especially interesting. The apologetic tone and promises of fixes like strategic depots in the future shows they had supply difficulties that seem only natural considering the destruction of the war years, but as I recall, supply problems continued all the way into the 70s. I remember that getting parts was a big drawback for owning BSA motorcycles. It could take months to get a part you needed out of Birmingham in the 60s
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Old 04-01-18, 09:35 AM
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Happy Easter, everyone!

I just wanted to bump this thread by saying that I managed to get through a bit of a financial strait that had this bicycle listed on Ebay for a while. I refused to sell it for less than I paid, and no one was interested in the time that I had it posted... Now I've decided that I surely want to keep it!

I've been out for a couple of rides on it this past week and threw some toe clips on for good measure (and removed the sensitive plastic fenders). It's a real treat and I'm glad to have it around for a spin.

I hope everyone has a great holiday! Cheers!
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Old 04-01-18, 03:05 PM
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Happy Easter,

Great thread and glad you are in a better financial position and still have the Silver Arrow.

Congrats and Enjoy!
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Old 04-06-18, 07:12 PM
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So I've had the opportunity to take the Silver Arrow out for a couple of rides lately, and posted photos from yesterday in the "Where'd You Ride Today?" thread. @gaucho777 inquired about the frame geometry and my impression of the ride quality based on the fit, so I would like to address that here.

My regular steel riders over the past decade have been of a variety of sizes and tube sets, but all had typical modern geometry with around 72 head and seat tube angles. The Silver Arrow is my first bicycle with a more laid back reminiscent of the pre-war era.

I've had to adjust the saddle a couple of times, and keep taking it up higher. I used to ride with only a slight allowance for flex in my knees, but after my left knee began getting sore from various extracurricular activities I found that maintaining a bit more bend is beneficial - though too much bend on a long ride and I can get noticeably cramped, especially while riding fixed. I've found a sweet spot where I'm at right now. I have the saddle set back a bit to account for the lack of reach on the stem, but I don't feel that I'm sitting too far back over the bicycle by any means - my torso feels nicely centered over the bike.

Altogether, I find my current riding position on the Silver Arrow to be very naturalistic, and less stressful than on a larger frame with modern geometry like I would typically find myself riding. I can comfortably stand over and adjust a 65cm frame to suit my riding style, and was at first hesitant to pick up such a small bike. Historically, frame size preferences came and went like fashion, with smaller frames being preferred at times and larger ones at others. In 1930s-1950s Britain, it was common for a 23" frame like this (58cm c-t) to be the largest offering in a lineup, with virtually no one but custom marques offering anything larger.

So here's how it looks! In the drops and out. Cheers!

-Gregory



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Old 04-06-18, 07:27 PM
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Great bike, nice pics Gregory. If anything, maybe you could get away with a slightly longer and taller stem (Hidminium spearpoint would suit) and pull the seat up if needed. Otherwise, a decent looking fit! You are bigger than the bike.
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Old 04-11-18, 08:24 AM
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Twist of fate, this bike is on the chopping block in the Classified section. I've found a bit of a dream bike and need funds. As the Silver Arrow on the small side for me and worth about what its replacement will cost, it seems like the sensible one to part with.

I'm still enjoying it and will continue riding it until someone is interested or my dream bike sells to someone else.

Cheers!

-Gregory

Last edited by Kilroy1988; 04-11-18 at 10:17 PM.
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Old 04-11-18, 08:31 AM
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Very nice bike - and good to see you're enjoying using it out on the road!
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Old 04-11-18, 10:04 PM
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Originally Posted by Kilroy1988
So I've had the opportunity to take the Silver Arrow out for a couple of rides lately, and posted photos from yesterday in the "Where'd You Ride Today?" thread. @gaucho777 inquired about the frame geometry and my impression of the ride quality based on the fit, so I would like to address that here...
Apologies for the belated reply. I've been swamped with other obligations recently. Since I am the one who asked the question about the fit and ride quality, I wanted to thank you for taking the time to update this thread and add those great photos. I've never owned a bike from this pre-war era, so your feedback was informative and appreciated. It's a really special bike, and all the original documentation is terrific. Glad you found a way to keep it and are enjoying it!
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Old 11-01-21, 08:40 AM
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A good first day of November to you all!

So after multiple failed attempts to sell the New Hudson Silver Arrow over the past two or three years I can say that I honestly still get a thrill out of riding it around from time to time, and have put a fresh extended stem and forward slant to the saddle that has brought the center of gravity forward and made the ride more controlled, which is never a bad thing. I took it out for a Halloween ride yesterday and loved every minute of it. British simplicity at its finest!

-Gregory







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