Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Rare Royal Enfield Fury still sought after

Imagine a Royal Enfield Bullet that could keep up with the fastest bikes then available? Such a machine existed in the 1960s and, in America, you could buy it from the factory. It was the Royal Enfield Fury and it remains a kind of Holy Grail even today for those who would make their Bullets go faster.

Ian Chadwick's authoritative history of Royal Enfield describes the Fury this way:

"The Royal Enfield Fury, produced (between 1959 and 1963) for the U.S. market, is essentially the same bike as the Bullet (both 350 and 500cc models), capable of reaching the 100 mph mark (a 350cc Enfield tuned by Steve Lindsell in the late 1970s reached 95.64 mph).

"It differed from the Bullet by having a larger inlet port, an Alfin aluminum alloy barrel with cast liner (instead of the Bullet's iron) and a higher compression piston (8.9:1 instead of 7.3:1). It also had a flange for mounting an optional rev counter, an 18-inch rear and 19-inch front wheel. Between 1959 and 1963, only 191 machines were made. The 500cc boasted a 40 bhp output, up from the UK models' production of 27 bhp. A 600cc model was also made for a short period."

Furys were real, but they're hard to find. The picture above is of one that was re-imported into the UK and came up for sale there in April.

People won't stop looking, though. The following ad appeared recently on CraigsList in Denver:

"Does anybody have a Royal Enfield Fury they may be willing to part with. Fury motor? Fury cylinder head? Any Royal Enfield flat track items? Thanks."

The would-be buyer is under no illusions that he will get instant results. He is Kenneth Hargens, and he told me:

"I always admired those folks who raced the Royal Enfield brand. I realize that the fastest Royal Enfield singles were those that had the 'doghouse' or Fury head. I have a well-beaten vintage Royal Enfield and I would like to increase its performance with the Fury cylinder head. It is rare to see one advertised for sale."

Hargens says he has 62 vintage and classic motorcycles in his collection and "I'll just have to be content with blasting around the hills to the music of the shorty megaphone on my Goldstar!!"

If anyone has Fury items for sale, please contact Hargens through his CraigsList ad.


  1. Anonymous6/07/2010

    ivalvemy dad bought itnew in 1959 he bought just the motor in a cratehe made a hillclimber and was #1 for about 12 years then it sat in my cousins barn for about 20years i got my kids into hillclimbing so i got the bike from my cousin and got it running again it was allways hard to start with that amel carb the first thing i did was put a macuni 38 flat slid and it starts better than ever i cant ride much anympore because i was injured in a big truck accident but i do love to start it once and a while and drg it out now and again this motor is bored out 100 thousents and a homemade piston and it has about 300lbs of compression it boke a few guys feet trying to start it back in the day well thats my comment thank you if you have any questions please comment have enfieldindian500cc single highcompresion big head 2inch intake

  2. Anonymous, I would like to ask you more about your very rare motorcycle. And do you have a picture you could email? Email me at


    All best

  3. Anonymous9/19/2010

    Hitchcock motorcycles make brand new fury heads , they can build you a 40hp motor with parts off the shelf .

  4. Anonymous2/04/2011

    The Redditch factory dispatch ledgers have 193 Fury 500cc machines recorded - 2 more than the cogniscenti believed were manufactured.
    The list in circulation in the US was "missing" the first two made, their frame numbers not being in the (almost) sequential run of the 191.
    There were also 10 Fury 350cc machines manufactured, making these extremely rare.
    Graham Scarth - REOC UK chairman

  5. I know anonymous and he is looking to sell this bike. Any offers?

    1. Hi Unknown, I wonder if you could introduce me to Anonymous. I'd like to talk to him (with dollars) about that bike if it's still around. I'm a real person, an Enfield enthusiast, and I LOVE a bike with history. I like this history particularly. Please have him reach me at scott.squire@luma-touch.com

  6. I am looking for a workshop manual for my 1959 500cc big head model.
    Any hell


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