After the debacle of the 1923 TT, when a full BSA works entry failed so completely and embarrassingly, it took the commercial opportunities offered by racing success in the US market thirty-years later for BSA to forget, swallow their pride and try again.
In the late 1940s, with the British economy still struggling after the war, the government encouraged manufacturers to export or die. By the early 1950s, North America was becoming BSA's biggest market, and after fact-finding missions to US dealers in 1951 and 1953, BSA embarked on a program of systematic development to produce motorcycles specifically for the American competition market, motorcycles which could be used on long 200-mile races like Daytona or mile and half-mile oval tracks.
Roland Pike, then a BSA development engineer, was given the go-ahead to produce prototype Gold Star and Shooting Star models to race at Daytona in 1954. These had to be production-based to comply with US class 'C' AMA race regulations of the time. A welded trails frame with a rigid rear, alloy mudguards, rims, top yoke and removal of excess brackets substantially reduced weight. Both used Daytona gear ratios to deal with the unusual combination of sand and tarmac. While the BSA Gold Star was already being produced as a competition motorcycle, for Daytona a pre-production CB engine was fitted inside the shell of a BB engine.