DESIGNING THE BORN-AGAIN BSA GOLD STAR 650
Bike SA|February 2022
Bal Ghataore SPEAKS

The born-again BSA Gold Star 650 has been widely acclaimed for its successful visual link to the original bike built 60 years ago. The man responsible for this is 47-year old British designer Bal Ghataore, so let’s hear from him how he achieved this.

AC: Bal, by the time you were born in 1975 BSA had been dead and buried for three years, so creating what’s essentially a tribute to the original Gold Star can’t have been easy. What’s your background?

BG: I’m a designer by trade, but although I was born in London I moved to the Midlands when I was very young. So I grew up in the Coventry area, and I’ve been Midlands-based for most of my life so much so that the first time I went abroad, believe it or not, was for my honeymoon! I was the guy who was holidaying at Skegness each summer while my friends went off to Majorca. But this means I grew up in what used to be BSA’s back yard, and having always loved motorcycles as I grew up I was certainly aware of BSA’s significance and heritage, even if they didn’t make them anymore.

I went to Coventry University where I did Automotive Design, then in 1996 I started at a company called Renfrew Group, where I began working with clients on developing bikes. But eventually in October 2008 I and some other guys from there founded our own company called Redline Studios in Leicester, and we carried on working with several firms in the motorbike industry, including Triumph, Moto Guzzi, Aprilia, Peugeot, CCM, Garelli and so on.

AC: So when did you start work on the BSA?

BG: The first time we chatted to Ashish was in 2015, but he didn’t mention it would be BSA! We had a short conversation at the Milan Show, and he was telling us about his plans to resurrect a historic brand, a British icon, what did we think of that? Well, that started to get us excited, and when we went away from that meeting, myself and my colleague Alan Ainsworth who was also one of the designers who worked on the design, we said, sounds like BSA, the way Ashish is getting so excited about it, the way he’s talking about reviving an icon. So then we met up again late in 2016, and it was then he revealed to us they’d secured the BSA name, and it all got very exciting after that. Basically at Redline Studios there were four people who all worked on creating this bike, so it was myself, Alan Ainsworth, Daniel Field and Andrew Wardle who collectively designed and developed it.

It was in 2017 we first started working on it, and essentially it was ourselves at Redline, Ricardo Motorcycles, Graz Technical University in Austria, and Classic Legends, the parent company. The four of us UK firms got together in Leamington Spa, at Ricardo’s, and that’s where we got briefed by Ashish and told what he wants. From that point on we started working on the bike, but then in July 2021 I joined BSA from Redline, but we’re still continuing to work with them, just that I’m now full-time with BSA and nobody else.

AC: So as the lead designer, back in 2017 what were you told that they were looking for you to do in creating a born-again BSA Gold Star?

Continue reading your story on the app

Continue reading your story in the magazine

MORE STORIES FROM BIKE SAView All

Unnecessarily Fast, or Unnecessarily Dangerous?

“The bigger they are, the harder they fall.” This truism comes from boxing, but applies to all walks of life. Innovative MotoGP superstar Marc Marquez, however, adds a new twist.

4 mins read
Bike SA
May 2022

Wet Weather Riding

Wet roads can make you faster and smoother. They also open up a whole new world of riding possibilities.

10 mins read
Bike SA
May 2022

The Perfect Surprise

Anniversary Getaway

10+ mins read
Bike SA
May 2022

Langen Two-Stroke 250 Back to the Future

First ride on the debut model produced by Langen Motorcycles, the limited edition 250cc Two Stroke repli-racer produced by Britain’s newest manufacturer that’s now in production

10+ mins read
Bike SA
May 2022

International Female Ride Day 7 May 2022

It is that time of the year again and the ladies are coming together to promote female riders and ladies in biking. This international event is celebrated globally and in SA we are not shy to participate. Last year’s event brought together about 300 ladies on various motorbikes and we are aiming for 400 participants this year.

2 mins read
Bike SA
May 2022

Ex-norton Motorcycles Boss Stuart Garner Avoids Jail After Investing £11 Million of Pension Savings

Stuart Garner has received a suspended prison sentence after pleading guilty to using other people’s pension money to invest in his own business, Norton motorcycles.

3 mins read
Bike SA
May 2022

Being A Pilot

A Conversation with: Valentino Rossi & Lewis Hamilton

3 mins read
Bike SA
May 2022

Charley's Chat

Another story of Charley and friends’ madcap adventures...

6 mins read
Bike SA
May 2022

MotoGP Springtime for Aprilia

Don’t ask me how that happened. Aprilia, I mean. From bottom of the class to the top of the podium, in one easy move. Well, perhaps not one … it’s actually taken seven years of dogged persistence in the face of serial humiliation. But it still seems to have elements of all-of-a-sudden.

3 mins read
Bike SA
May 2022

Well, Sort of...Ducati 500 Bicilindrica GP

Classic Race Test: This article marks the 50th anniversary commemorated in 2021 of the debut of Ducati's first-ever 90° V-twin racebike in the 1971 racing season

8 mins read
Bike SA
April 2022
RELATED STORIES

Strong Investment

Weighted vests are your battle armour in the war against flab and ill health. Become stronger, leaner and fitter—just like the elite soldiers who started this military-inspired movement. It's for war.

6 mins read
Men's Health South Africa
May June 2022

Devil's Advocate

A Royal Enfield Indian disruptor from J. Shia’s Madhouse

3 mins read
Cycle World
Issue 3 - 2020

LIMON LOVIN'

Welcome the zest of spring as your home soaks in the sunshine with summers knocking at thy door

1 min read
Elle Decor India
April - May 2022

Modi should get Nobel Peace Prize for Covid work, says BSE chief

Chauhan claimed that the free ration distribution by the Centre to over 80 crore people amid the pandemic was greater in terms of the number of people getting the benefits than the UN World Food Programme, which was awarded the 2020 Nobel Peace Prize.

1 min read
The Indian Express Delhi
April 30, 2022

13TH Apollo CV, Awards 2022

THE 13TH EDITION OF APOLLO CV AWARDS 2022 HELD IN PARTNERSHIP WITH APOLLO TYRES RECOGNISED THE EFFORTS OF THE CV INDUSTRY IN 2021. EVERY STAKEHOLDER BOTH FROM THE FLEET AND NON-FLEET ECOSYSTEM IMPRESSED THE JURORS WITH THEIR INVALUABLE CONTRIBUTION TO MODERNISING THE CV INDUSTRY.

10+ mins read
Commercial Vehicle
April 2022

Justice for the silenced

Supreme Court order cancelling bail of prime accused in Lakhimpur Kheri deaths upholds right of victim to be heard

4 mins read
The Indian Express Delhi
April 26, 2022

केंद्रीय गृह राज्यमंत्री के बेटे आशीष का आत्मसमर्पण, जेल भेजा गया

सुप्रीम कोर्ट ने 18 अप्रैल को जमानत रद्द कर आशीष मिश्रा को एक हफ्ते में आत्मसमर्पण करने को कहा था। आशीष को सुरक्षा कारणों से अलग बैरक में रखा गया है।

1 min read
Jansatta Delhi
April 25, 2022

Union minister's son Ashish Mishra surrenders in Lakhimpur court

Union Minister Ajay Mishra's son Ashish Mishra on Sunday surrendered at a local court here, days after the SC cancelled his bail in the Lakhimpur Kheri violence case.

1 min read
Millennium Post Delhi
Delhi 25 April 2022

Ashish Mishra surrenders, sent to Lakhimpur prison

Ashish Mishra, the main accused in one of the cases related to the 2021 Lakhimpur Kheri violence, surrendered before the chief judicial magistrate on Sunday, six days after the Supreme Court set aside his bail order.

2 mins read
Hindustan Times
April 25, 2022

केंद्रीय गृह राज्यमंत्री के बेटे आशीष मिश्रा की जमानत रद्द

हाई कोर्ट ने हड़बड़ी दिखाई, पीड़ितों को नहीं सुना : सुप्रीम कोर्ट

1 min read
Jansatta Delhi
April 19, 2022