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Friday, November 16, 2012

Royal Enfield Bullet with rigid rear end looks sleek

The skin-tight rear fender of a rigid motorcycle looks crisp and clean.
A Royal Enfield Bullet with a rigid rear end looks extra sleek. The retro, rigid rear end conversion engineered by Hitchcocks motorcycles for the Bullet looks great.

Of course, like any rigid conversion, it eliminates the comfort and road holding of the standard swing-arm rear suspension.

In Classic Motorcycle Mechanics author Tim Britton recently noted the irony of fitting a rigid rear end to the Bullet. It was the post-war Royal Enfield Bullet that famously demonstrated the advantages of the swinging arm rear suspension.

Why would you choose to go back in time? Well, going back in time has been the Bullet's specialty, as it has changed so little over the many decades since World War II. The temptation obviously exists to push it a little farther into the past, to its Model G forebears.

If your backbone can stand a beating for the sake of styling it might be worth considering.

You could obtain all the pain of riding rigid by simply replacing the rear shocks and springs of your Bullet with suitable struts. But you wouldn't have the genuine vintage look of the Hitchcocks bike.

Hitchcocks catalog shows that you need more than just the subframe.
As you can see from the catalog pages, the proper conversion involves not only the rigid subframe but an "essential" rear carrier, rear mudguard and even a new chain guard. A retro license plate carrier, single saddle, headlamp, levers, top yoke and speedometer complete the look. Components arrive unpainted.

Oh, so you thought buying a time machine would be cheap?

The rigid rear is shown fitted to an older Bullet, not the new Unit Constructed Engine model. Here's a video of the Hitchcocks rigid.

2 comments:

  1. The old rigid Enfields like the Model J sat lower and longer and thus look a lot different than just adding a rigid rear end to the newer Enfields. Hitchcock's is offering a great first step in customizing. Hopefully we'll be able to see an extended (2-3 inches) version with a 2-3" drop. I think that will bring us closer to the silhouette and stance of the greatest generation of Enfield. Photo here... http://tinyurl.com/enfieldmodelj

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Wow, you're right. What a difference. The photo is really remarkable.

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