BSA 440 Victor Enduro


Make Model

BSA 440 Victor Enduro




Four stroke, single cylinder, OHV, 2 valves


441 cc / 26.9 cub in.
Bore x Stroke 78 x 60 mm
Cooling System Air cooled
Compression Ratio 8.4:1
Lubrication Dry sump
Oil Capacity 3 L / 5 pints
Exhaust Steel, high level


30 mm Amal Concentric


Battery 12V
Starting Kick start

Max Power

20.6 kW / 28 hp @ 6500 rpm
Clutch Wet, multi-plate


Final Drive Chain
Frame Tubular steel, cradle

Front Suspension

Telescopic forks

Rear Suspension

Swing arm, twin shock

Front Brakes

8 in., sls drum

Rear Brakes

7 in., sls drum
Wheels Steel, wire spoke

Front Tyre

3.25 x 19 in.

Rear Tyre

4.00 x 18 in.

Fuel Capacity 

8 L / 1.75 US gal


BSA racing yelllow and silver, Blue/white, Army green (Cheney)

This Cheney-BSA is one of six machines commissioned by the Ministry of Defence, for whom Bryan Cowshall was working as a test driver at the time, for use by the British Army Vase ‘A’ Team in the ISDT and other international events.

Bypassing ‘red tape’, master frame-maker and ex-ISDT gold-medallist Eric Cheney built the first bike in time for Bryan Cowshall to debut it at the National Enduro at Bordon. A win at the following week’s ISCA Enduro was sufficient to interest the MoD ‘top brass’ and the prototype machine (minus Cheney’s special moto-cross motor and rear wheel assembly) was accepted for evaluation together with a second rolling chassis.

Those two machines were subsequently raced successfully by Bryan Cowshall and Army Champion, George Webb, resulting in the purchase of four more rolling chassis from Eric Cheney. To satisfy the civil servants responsible for funding the project, the frames were painted Army Green as the ISDT Team were supposedly riding military machines. Bryan Cowshall’s letter reveals that the frame stamping ‘MVEECY 5’ stands for ‘Military Vehicle Experimental Establishment CheneY number 5’. He further states that which rider rode which bike in the ISDT cannot be determined from the frame numbers, although he was able to identify this machine as his by virtue of an official seal marking carried over from his 1970 ISDT BSA, as well as certain other unique features.

The engines used by the Army’s ISDT team were ‘works’ units prepared in the BSA Competitions Department and fitted with lightened and polished crankshafts and con-rods. A compression plate (with appropriately lengthened pushrods) was fitted together with enduro cams, bigger valves and a special exhaust system designed by Dr Gordon Blair of Queen’s University Belfast. The lubrication system was modified to include the primary drive in order to cool the high-output alternator, while the ignition system – specially developed by Lucas – was dual CDI with external coils mounted on either side of the front downtube. The alloy clutch basket fitted to the Cowshall bike was a personal ‘perk’ from the ‘Comp Shop’ and not fitted to the other machines.

In the ISDT itself, Bryan Cowshall had his bike’s forks seize and lost a footrest on the first morning, but nevertheless managed to finish on time. Unfortunately Bryan, together with several other riders, was taken ill overnight and could not continue with the event.

What happened to his machine subsequently is not known.

"1972 ISDT Works Cheney BSA 441 Enduro"