Please patronize our advertisers

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Royal Enfield Military with sidecar looks like Army issue

Grab handle and open design make this sidecar look like Army issue.
Royal Enfield Military model motorcycles look great with sidecars attached, I wrote, in 2009. There was only one problem: sidecars available today tend to look like civilian models, whereas the British Army of 1940 seems to have used a side car I called "a slab sided open box with grab handles and spare wheel on the back."

Northumberland Fusiliers, 1941.
So I was surprised to see a distinctly military looking sidecar attached to a 2012 Royal Enfield Desert Storm model, for sale on CraigsList in Crystal Lake, Ill.

It's made by Inder in India but as far as I know, only Scoots4U in Crystal Lake has it for sale in the United States.

Desert Storm model recalls the battle of El Alamein.
Bob Pilz of Scoots4U imported them himself.

"The car is an Inder product... It's a model that was just introduced. Nice change from the Cozy Rocket and Euro (sidecars available from Royal Enfield USA)," he explained.

"I imported the cars myself. It was an experience but I got four of them in and three have been mounted up."

Belgian girls give flowers to British troops riding a Norton motorcycle combination in Herseaux, as the BEF crosses the border into Belgium, May 10, 1940. © IWM (F 4344)
The Desert Storm with sidecar is advertised at $9,515, with a two-year warranty. According to the ad, Scoots4U also has the Royal Enfield Battle Green military model in stock, both with and without the sidecar.

Just add a tin helmet and tan shorts.
To me, this sidecar looks like just the thing to have if you want to look like the Northumberland Fusiliers.

Front plate was armor!
BUT NOT QUITE: From reader Mark Mumford: "The sidecars you illustrated are specific to the Norton Big 4 motorcycles they are attached to. The bikes had a driven sidecar wheel engaged by a crude dog clutch off the rear wheel. When they were sold off after the war the drive was usually "gas axed" (acetylene cut) off.

"I've seen a few of these at jumbles (swapmeets) and very few complete examples survive. The reason for chopping off the chair (as we call it) is that it was designed as a light Bren Gun carrier (a light machine gun) and that upright front is actually an armoured steel plate! Just losing that must have liberated a few horses! Enfield themselves don't seem to have supplied outfits to the Forces except for evaluation, which wasn't taken further."

Britain went to war on motorcycle combinations.

3 comments:

  1. Just a heads up - Philadelphia Scooters in Philly, PA has these Inder sidecars for Enfields as well.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Nice sidecar... I've got to get one for my enfield

    ReplyDelete

Translate this blog