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Monday, November 5, 2012

Series 2 Royal Enfield Interceptor returns to Britain in bits

Some assembly required. It's a 1970 Interceptor.
Mark Mumford's 1970 Series 2 Royal Enfield Interceptor currently looks more like its own "exploded drawing" than it does a motorcycle.

Mark recently told us about his (assembled and running) 1966 Series 1 Interceptor. He was musing that he would like to have a Series 2 as well and, in just the time it took for me to post the item on this blog, he bought one!

No time like the present, he decided.

"Looking back I think that it had dawned on me that I might have missed the opportunity to buy an S2 while prices were still reasonably low," Mark wrote.

The Royal Enfield Series 2 Interceptor was, if anything, wilder than the already impressive Mark I. It had a wet sump to improve oil flow in its big parallel twin motor. The Series 2 Interceptor was the last model in mass production when England's Royal Enfield stopped making motorcycles in 1970.

Many Interceptors originally went to the United States — and British enthusiasts like Mark now want them back!

"All the old U.S. dealer's stock (Shores, Avellinos, Coopers etc,) had been bought up, (mostly by Hitchcocks,  it has to be said) and bringing single bikes out of the U.S. is still a difficult business. Over here  the bikes just do not change hands; those that have them keep them!

"I did ask a few well known Interceptor enthusiasts, mostly regulars on the Interceptor Forum,  if they'd keep an eye out for me but didn't really hold much hope. The purchase of the George Collins hoard by Allan Hitchcock seemed to underline the end-of-an-era finality of it."

But Hitchcock's round-up of Interceptors in the U.S. produced results for Mark.

"When they'd had a chance to check over the mountain of disassembled bikes, the guys came up with a matching numbers project, a 1970 S2 with the extras — oil cooler, air filter, bash plate, TLS (twin leading shoe) brake etc.

"We think it went to MC Sales (the trading name of Avellinos) but although some factory records exist they get very patchy by this time. I've seen the factory build book and it's really a school exercise book written in biro (ballpoint pen) and with pencil notes in the margin!

"It'll be a big task and it'll have to wait awhile but I'm really looking forward to (restoring) it. There are two Royal Enfields that woke me to the Marque: the Trials Works Replica and the Mark 2 Interceptor and now I have both! And guess what? It's my birthday on the fifth.

"The picture was the bait that Hitchcocks laid. Some of the nice bits (air filter for instance) can't be seen and I also got a seat subframe. Tank, seat and exhaust system are all missing as are exhaust camshaft, timing gear and gauges (clocks to us!) but the hard stuff is there.

"I have a Home Market 4.5 gallon tank which will probably be more practical most of the time but a 'teardrop' would be nice!"

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