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Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Custom Royal Enfield Interceptor saved from the junk yard

This stunningly dramatic Royal Enfield cafe racer remembers its heritage.
Charles Giordano is the man who rescued a 1968 Royal Enfield Interceptor on its way to the scrap heap. He paid $150 for a motorcycle he didn't even recognize under a load of junk in a truck.

And then he turned it into a work of art.

The stunning custom you see in the beautiful photos here is that very Royal Enfield Interceptor.

He calls it "Gunner" and it does have a mighty and masculine look. But how it came to look like this is a real Cinderella story.

Which Giordano tells in a book he's written about how he builds motorcycles. The book is entitled "I Don't Build Motorcycles."

The "Gunner" abounds in simplicity. The details add instead of distracting.
See the bottle opener?
Confused? Prepare to be entertained as Giordano explains in his friendly style. The book's subtitle is "How to Design an Instant Classic" but don't expect this to amount to three easy steps.

In "I Don't Build Motorcycles" Giordano argues that building motorcycles is not about mechanics.

His book emphasizes feeling, seeing and believing in yourself to bring to life what you have in your mind's eye.

The Gunner: Has a chain guard ever contributed so much to a design?
The battery box was pieced together from six cigar boxes.
But if it doesn't work out, don't worry, he writes.

"Remember, a well-designed motorcycle is a work of art. (However, a poorly designed motorcycle is still better than a well-designed copy machine.)"

Giordano owns two motorcycle exhaust companies, Von Braun Exhaust  and Tailgunner Moto Exhaust in West Tisbury, Mass. He knows a lot about motorcycles but even he wasn't sure what he had after pulling the filthy Royal Enfield motorcycle off the back of a truck.

1968 Royal Enfield as found under a heap of scrap.
Learning that it was a rare and valuable Royal Enfield Interceptor he faced a decision: restore it or customize it? Breaking out of that either/or trap was the first and hardest step, he writes.

Giordano would end up working on the Royal Enfield for eight months before he began creating anything. But, when he did begin building, the motorcycle he wanted already existed in his mind and he knew how to build it, he writes.

Offset gauges, brass Time/Machinest clock handmade by Charles' brother Cal.
The result looks magical.

But it wasn't magical, not originally. In fact it was "bloody awful" and needed more work to make it run right.

And, finally, it did.

"I like this bike a lot" is Giordano's verdict. I do too.

Hardcover $64.99; ebook $5.99; instant pdf $7.99.
His book "I Don't Build Motorcycles" is a fun ride that will make you think about the things you do and the way you do them, even if making a motorcycle isn't your speed.

It's a beautifully illustrated book and available as a hardcover, ebook or pdf. I bought the ebook and enjoyed it. Full disclosure: I'm quoted in the book but I have no other connection to it or Giordano.

Tailgunner Gatling gun exhausts, created for Harleys, look great on this Royal Enfield Interceptor.

1 comment:

  1. Looked better when he rescued it.

    ReplyDelete

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