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Monday, December 31, 2012

Custom Royal Enfield gained 3 cylinders, shaft drive

This Royal Enfield built Indian Tomahawk twin now has
triple-cylinder Yamaha power; and shaft drive!
"I'm working on a 1957 Apache and ride a customized '59 Tomahawk" wrote William Barrere, of Ekalaka, Mont.

Customized?! When I asked him to tell me more about his motorcycles I had no suspicion that his Royal Enfield based 1959 Indian Tomahawk now sports a three-cylinder Yamaha motor with shaft drive!

It was a matter of using what was on hand, he explains:

"This is a 1959 Tomahawk that my Dad bought in the early '60s. He rode it 'til he broke the drive chain and broke the back out of the engine. It had been stripped down and dirt raced before he got it so there was only the bare essentials to it

"As a little kid I would sit on it and ride a million miles on it in my daydreams. In the late '70s or early '80s we put an old 650 Yamaha twin in it and brought it back to life. The 650 stayed in it 'til a few years ago when the tranny locked up sitting over the winter.

"Well by that time I'd had my fill of the old 650 and having the rear brake and shifter all on the same side. I had a '78 750 triple shaft-drive Yamaha that was still in fair shape but had just got an '81 850 triple that I like better.

"So I cut the backbones out of the '59 and the '78 then welded the '59 backbone into the lower frame half of the '78 to have what I now have here."

1957 Indian Apache required assembly.
William's 1957 Apache looks more like the Royal Enfield twin it was when it started life, but that's no accident either.

"I found it in a pile of pieces," William explains. "It was hard to tell just what it was, but it came with part of a '58 Enfield frame and (an extra) 700cc engine.

"It was a good thing, because the 700 with this bike was a real basket case good only for parts. It took a while to figure how to put it together but I finally did. I still have a lot of work ahead and will probably have to pull the motor back out and tear it down and reseal everything, because it leaks like a sieve

"Some of the parts are older than '57 because I found a generator and distributor in the parts. I've got two mags but can't seem to make them work. I'll have to find a regulator and get the generator rebuilt. So the work and the hunting of parts goes on."

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