Indian billionaire plans to revive and electrify a classic UK motorcycle brand

The new BSA could announce an electric motorcycle as soon as late 2021.

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1971 motorcycle BSA A75R Rocket 3 Mark II tank emblem / badge. (Photo by: Arterra/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)
Arterra via Getty Images

One of the world’s most iconic motorcycle makers could soon get a second life as an EV manufacturer. In an interview with The Guardian, Indian billionaire Anand Mahindra said he plans to resurrect Birmingham Small Arms (BSA). In the 1950s, the company was the world’s largest motorcycle maker, only to go bankrupt two decades later due to mismanagement.

The revived company has set an aggressive timeline for itself. It plans to start manufacturing combustion engine motorcycles in 2021, before announcing an electric battery model by the end of the year. In a separate interview with Bloomberg, Mahindra said whether the plan goes ahead will depend on if the UK is able to secure a trade deal with the European Union — that’s a big unknown at the moment.

BSA wouldn’t be the first iconic British motorcycle maker to reimagine itself as an electric vehicle manufacturer. Earlier this year, Triumph (which BSA owned for a small time during its heyday), released the Trekker GT, its first electric bicycle. Across the pond, Harley-Davidson has been experimenting with electric motorcycles and e-bikes.

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