Thursday, September 17, 2009

Royal Enfield Indian after 40 years in barn

Starting in 1955, Tomahawk motorcycles sold in the United States by the Indian motorcycle company were 500cc twins made by Royal Enfield in Britain. U.S. owners of these now rare motorcycles naturally pay attention to Royal Enfields as a source of parts and information. Here's an email from one owner:

"My name is Andy Amescua and live in central Texas. I was trying to find info on the 1955 Tomahawk on the Internet when I saw the picture of the one buried in the dirt. I have owned one for over 40 years and just last month pulled it out of the barn and am trying to to do something with it.

"When I bought it it was in boxes, but almost all the parts are here. I think it is a '55 because it has the turned up exhaust pipes, no badge on the case, and the upside plate holder and tail light. The frame number is 4378, motor number is W5 4256.

"I wonder how many of the bikes are still around. Do you know where I can get manuals or parts books? Thank you for help."

Anyone out there have advice or information for Andy? Leave a comment here.


  1. Anonymous9/17/2009

    what a find!

  2. Anonymous9/17/2009

    I wish I had a barn with a moto-relic in it!

  3. Anonymous9/19/2009

    Join The Royal Enfield Owners Club UK.

  4. Anonymous10/06/2009

    It is indeed a 1955 Indian Tomahawk. As I stated in a separate post, the only Indian-badged RE twin that used the old style frame was the 1955 500 twin Tomahawk. I am currently completing the restoration of one of these models. If I can be of help, my email is:

    Reprint parts and shop manuals are available from Hitchcock's and from Domiracer. I've managed to accumulate orginal shop and parts manuals, as well as original sales brochures at antique motorcycle meets over the past 10 years; the only thing that I'm missing is an original owner's manual.

  5. I have one as well, the best looking bike ever to come from Enfield. I knew the previous two owners so I know the complete history of the bike, my brother and I got it in 1963ish. It had a terrible problem with burning huge plumes of oil which would drip out of the exhausts, hence we picked it up for $50 US. They hadn't been able to solve the problem but when I took the barrels off, I noticed they were cracked. I had sleeves put in at a shop in LA and then took the engine to have the lower end done to a shop in SF that had some stunning bikes like Vincents and Brough's plus of course Royal Enfields. Now it just needs new cables, cleaning and paint. It's good to be at that stage with it, this is a terrific bike, fun to ride, very versatile and stunning to look at. Mine has always been painted British Racing Green.

  6. Anonymous6/22/2011

    I am looking for a Tomahawk frame (only) to purchase. I have an engine which can be seen here:
    (This is a hobby site not a business.) The engine was in a '62 Interceptor frame which I wish to trade or sell, it is frame number 11173 and in very good condition. I did have contact from someone with frame number 6452 who says it is a Tomahawk frame?

  7. I have inherited my dad's 1955 wonder what it is worth. Doesn't run. No key. All original it was his dad's has been in garage at my dad's for the last 40 years when his dad passed

    1. Quickest way to find out is to put it on eBay or CraigsList and see what offers it draws. Test the market in other words.


Follow royalenfields on Twitter