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Monday, April 27, 2009

For sale: Very rare Royal Enfield twin port

A very rare and unusual Royal Enfield motorcycle is up for sale in Roswell, Ga. The 2003 black Deluxe has many upgrades, from electronic ignition and a close-ratio gear set to the right-side shift conversion. But what really makes this single-cylinder Royal Enfield Bullet unusual are its twin-port exhausts.

Instead of one exhaust port in the head, and one exhaust pipe, this Bullet has two. Yes, it's a gimmick, but it's a gimmick with an interesting history. The British motorcycle industry experimented with this interesting configuration before World War II, turning out bikes that promised more performance and extra style. AJS/Matchless, Cotton, New-Hudson and, yes, Royal Enfield, offered versions.

This Royal Enfield Bullet is probably one created for Kevin Mahoney of Classic Motorworks, the U.S. importer of Royal Enfields. It is now owned by Chris Sherman of Roswell, which is near Atlanta, Ga. It is for sale on CraigsList. The advertised price is $4,950.

"It's interesting being named 'Sherman' in Atlanta. I get that a lot," Chris says. He likes the Bullet but is moving and wants to sell it. He plans to ask the buyer to give him first crack if it ever goes up for sale in the future.

"I spent years tracking it down on Google before I found it," he says. "As soon as I even heard of it I knew it would look fantastic."

Chris wanted a Bullet with extra performance because "people don't remember this about Atlanta, but we do have quite a few hills here." Aside from the dual ports, his Bullet has 600cc, a custom piston created by Royal Enfield guru George Helm, the Miracle Clutch, Venom tires and "anything else I could change out. Literally, anything they had, I got it." It now has 2,700 miles on it.

The twin-port has "quite a bit of torque," Chris says, but he adds that this is because he had the left-side port partially restricted. That's historically valid: the great twin-port motorcycles of the past never proved they had much of a performance advantage.

Kevin Mahoney left this comment on one Internet message board in 2006: "I can attest to the fact that the Twin Port head will not give a performance enhancement (as was noted when we sold the few I had made). My experience with one has shown me that it uses more fuel (probably running right through) and sounds and look very cool, but no faster."

The twin ports delivered on style, at least. The opportunity to have two shiny mufflers decorating a motorcycle is hard to overlook. And what a conversation piece. Chris confirms this: in a biker bar surrounded by dozens of Harleys, his Enfield is the one people talk about.

That happens to Royal Enfield riders all the time in the U.S. In the case of this motorcycle, however, it might even be true if the bar was surrounded by dozens of Royal Enfields.

It is a rare bird. You can contact Chris at 678-459-8783 or 770-804-8789.

3 comments:

  1. I wonder if there's such a thing as a false 2nd pipe kit. It looks so cool to have two, and if the real twin port adds nothing but style points, I'd get one in a heartbeat. I'm serious. Paging Mr. Mahoney? :)

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  2. Is this bike still for sale?

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  3. TWIN PORT MY ASS. WHO CARES ABOUT THOSE SISSY SINGLE PIECES OF KRAP. LETS HEAR ABOUT THE REAL ROYAL ENFIELDS THE TWIN. THANK YOU.

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