Thursday, April 23, 2009

Flying Flea restoration raises questions

A Royal Enfield dealer with an RE 125 "Flying Flea" motorcycle under restoration asked me questions I can't answer. Perhaps someone out there can. Let him introduce himself:

"My name is Hans Eberlein. I live in Freire, south Chile, am 55, and owner of 15 bikes, 12 of them British, and three of them are Royal Enfields: a RE 125 1946-7; a CO 1945; and a Bullet 2009 ES.

"I bought the Flying Flea about two weeks ago in what is almost a miracle, considering that British bikes are rare in Chile, aside from Santiago. To my surprise both the rear and front tyres are nearly unused AVON Supremes. Do you know them?

"It is not a (military) Flying Flea. Searching books and the Internet, I see only few differences, such as the extra silencer ahead the exhaust pipe, the higher seat, of course, the matte khaki paint, the absence of the tail number plate, etc.

"Yesterday I completed the dismantling of the bike, having concluded that restoring it should be not too complicated; the ignition is worst, but solved by buying a complete Miller ignition cover at Hitchcoks in England. As a mechanic, the rest is no problem for me.

"I will slowly form a museum with my bikes, and this RE could be a special attraction if I convert it to a military model, with the parts mentioned above, and making a tubular crate and attaching a parachute hanging in the ceiling of my showroom. Since December last year I am a Royal Enfield dealer, so, I think, this idea is a must. What do you think about it?

"I want to know what is the shape of the bottom of the cradle. Unfortunately, the downtube that comes from the seat down, is broken at the area where there are two threads that support the rear mudguard.

"I have an idea to slide a piece of tube about 2" long into the downtube and braze it together, but before I do that, I need to know the shape of the most underside frame. It is flattened from the lug up to the lug of the downtube: 10" to 12".

"Do you know that shape? Have you perhaps parts for sale?"

If you can help Hans, please write him directly at

Hans was nice enough to send pictures of his Royal Enfield collection and dealership.

"The Bullet 350 is the only one in running condition; of course, it is new," he writes.

"The CO, the blue one, is a mix of swinging arm and tele, not matching with the rigid and girder as original. I bought recently from USA a used girder fork, and, locally a rear tail frame. From Hitchcoks, a seat, pipe, silencer and other small parts. On eBay, a battery carrier (pattern), and toolboxes."


  1. Anonymous11/08/2009

    i may be able to help . u can email me @ Matt

  2. e davison10/06/2010

    I am desperate for an exhaust pipe for a 1948 flea. The slip on to the stub in the head variety and with expansion chamber. Both Hitchcocks and Armours have straight pipes but this is not correst for my RE 125.


  3. Anonymous10/04/2012

    does anyone know where I can buy the flying flea headlamp ( glass dome )



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