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Monday, July 12, 2010

Royal Enfield Fury: very fast, super rare,
but they're out there if you look

I've written with reverence about the Royal Enfield Fury, a very rare model of the single-cylinder Royal Enfield Bullet. Its distinguishing feature, I gather, was that the Fury, built in Britain, had the "Big Head" motor, along with other parts that made it go fast.

It all started in 1960, according to Ian Chadwick's The History of The Royal Enfield Bullet:

"Huge, one-piece alloy cylinder head ('Big Head') casting... The Royal Enfield Fury, produced at this time for the U.S. market, is essentially the same bike as the Bullet (both 350 and 500cc models), capable of reaching the 100 mph mark... It differed from the Bullet by having a larger inlet port, an Alfin aluminum alloy barrel with cast liner (instead of the Bullet's iron) and a higher compression piston (8.9:1 instead of 7.3:1). It also had a flange for mounting an optional rev counter, an 18-inch rear and 19-inch front wheel. Between 1959 and 1963, only 191 machines were made. The 500cc boasted a 40 bhp output, up from the UK models' production of 27 bhp. A 600cc model was also made for a short period. "

With so few made, I never thought I would hear of one and, yet, in the last few weeks I have been contacted by no fewer than THREE readers who have — or appear to me to have — Royal Enfield Furys. I am asking for you readers to help me out here. I am not enough of an expert on these things to tell, for sure.

First, let's look at the pictures here of a Royal Enfield Fury emailed to me from Couturier Francis, who is offering it for sale near Reims, France. Rather than expose his address here, if you want to buy it, just email me and I will forward your address to him. He prefers to communicate in French.

My French is not good, so I have been able to get only a few details about this lovely machine. Here, with the help of Google's language tools, is what CF has told me:

"The price is €8,400 (there are some parts included). Contact me in French if possible (I do not speak English well). The Fury is equipped with Big Head, 50mm exhaust valve, all-aluminum cylinder, special (9-1) high-compression piston, racing cam, GP 38 carburetor, racing magneto, close-ratio racing transmission, K-81 tires. New paint and mechanically restored."

7 comments:

  1. I too have a Big Head Bullet . Not sure if it is truly called a Fury , a Westerner or a West Coast Woodsman . Engine , frame numbers dates it as late 1958 early 1959 . Came as a frame with the motor and tranny bolted together with the front end and wheels attached . Nothing else . I have pictures if you would like and a bit of a story . My e-mail address is obsolete@bell.net

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  2. no one wud give a rat's ass wen new royal enfield fury has come...

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  3. With only 191 Furys made it's very hard to ge the parts to make copys , Hitchcocks will give all the engine parts needed and better but the head stock and headlamp and speedo parts are very rare most of all is the correct taco parts , in the end I think Hitchcocks will give way to the high demand for this very fast and special motorcycle , there are a few scattered examples in flat track racer museums in the USA and most remain hidden in storage as prices soar , it's true that a gold star or Vello thruxton were more robust but it is possible now to extract 50 bhp from a Fury copy engine due to metal technology , 100mph bullets is easy stuff now but nowhere near as sexy looking as a Fury , the new factory Fury is a piece of commuter shit but a proto type GT with a british frame has suddenly popped up , I think some at the factory in India know that we know what a real motorcycle with a Royal Enfield badge should live up to if you want true respect ...and my bike is a 1995 one ...no metric parts , last of it's kind but now kicks 40 bhp !

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    1. I wish Hitchcocks would do a run of the rare parts , I,ve never seen a photo with the tacho but it would help if they publish the parts book so I can find out all the small changes like folding footrests , did it have a close ratio gearbox , a replica Fury is my wish list .

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  4. Anonymous, we'd all like to hear more about your 1995 and see pictures. Send me an email, please. All best.

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  5. Is there an "Expert" on these bikes? Have an opportunity to buy one but need to know if it is all original or pieced together. Any serial numbers for frame and engine on the web? Thanks

    Sure looks like the bikes above

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    1. Email the frame and motors numbers to Graham Scarth of the Royal Enfield Owners Club UK and he will tell you what the factory records say about the bike. Frame number is on the left (facing forward) of the headstock. Gearbox numbers are useful as well. Email address is chairmanATSIGNroyalenfield.org.uk

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