The Birmingham Small Arms Company dates all the way back to 1861, when a group of Birmingham gunsmiths came together to address threats from both Royal Enfield and foreign gun makers. The plan was to move from hand-crafted weapons to mass-production (and funding it the reason they came together), and the quality of the items they produced would become a hallmark of the company. They first diversified into pedal bicycles, and bicycle components, then launched its first motorcycle in 1910. The company was established at Armoury Way, Small Heath, just to the South-East of Birmingham city centre, and after the Second World War this site was turned over exclusively to motorcycle production.
1952: A new cylinder head design