Monday, March 2, 2009

Why not a trailer for your Enfield Military?

Perfect for "liberated" congac, tent halves and C-rations, the motorcycle trailer has a time-honored place in the history of mechanized warfare.

Or, maybe not. The image above was created in Adobe PhotoShop. My thanks to Gavin Birch's book Images of War, Motorcycles at War, for the original picture. Here we see an M10 tank destroyer grinding through a motorcycle traffic control post in Percy, France, on Aug. 2, 1944.

Not in Liberated France on that day in 1944 was the Inder trailer sold by Classic Motorworks for Royal Enfield motorcycles. I added it to the picture.

I am probably not the first person who has thought what a wonderful addition the Inder would make to a Royal Enfield Military model. Paint it olive drab (using a broom for a brush), stencil on a white star or a British Army style C (for "Census") number, and you're all set.

The only question then is what you put in it. I had the opportunity to see an Inder trailer at Classic Motorworks recently and was impressed by how really small they are. Much less room than you get in the overhead compartment of any airline. This is not luggage for two, the way my wife packs, at least. The Inder I saw was red (above) but apparently they are being sold only in black, so far.

For comparison's sake, I took a close look at the luggage compartment of the Ural sidecars shown at the International Motorcycle Show in Minneapolis Feb. 14. They are maybe a bit roomier.

But, still, there is the question of what you put in there. The Ural was shown with an old-fashioned tire pump, the perfect thing for a military motorcycle in my opinion. Of course, the Ural also can come with a spare tire mounted on the sidecar -- a bit obsessive about punctures, I'd say, but a great look. Hey, wouldn't the Inder look great with a sidemounted spare for its little wheel?


  1. that thing looks like it would fit *inside* my IWL Campi single-wheel trailer! If it's modeled after the PAV, it probably would!
    The Achilles heel of the PAV though was that there were no wheel bearings - just brass bushings. I wonder how closely they've copied it? My Campi also has a swingarm suspension...
    I'd like to have a mount for the Campi on my Enfield, though I admin the thought of a dedicated OD green trailer for it is appealing. That goofy stalk thing on the side would get introduced to Mr Sawzall real quick though.

  2. Anonymous4/26/2009

    Any ideas of where or who makes sidecars for the military enfield?

  3. Wow that is a really great question. I have never seen a Military with a sidecar, but it's a great idea. Let's try to find out. Thank you for the question.

  4. Anonymous4/27/2009

    Well, we know Ural makes a standard model with sidecar and there is a custom bike maker in OH that makes URAL knock offs. Maybe they would craft a sidecar. I found out about them search on ebay. Below I included a phone the ebay webpage. Not sure if they would custom something or not. 1-440-341-3176 Yuri

  5. Anonymous4/27/2009

    Maybe the more important question, does the Enfield have teh capability, space to connect and power, for a sidecar?

  6. Sidecars are sold for Royal Enfields. They weigh about 200 pounds, according to U.S. importer Classic Motorworks. That, plus wind resistance, must slow you down. Braking will not improve, either. Like a carnival ride, being in one probably looks like more fun than it really is, too. But they sure are cute.

  7. Anonymous2/02/2010

    the WW11 picture is not a Royal Enfield, it is a Harley WLA45, open ya eye's

  8. That's true. I was trying to illustrate the use of motorcycles in war, in general.


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