Friday, October 8, 2010

Royal Enfield Interceptor led family
to start a motorcycle collection

"Here is a picture of our Royal Enfield 1964 Interceptor, less than 6,000 miles and ALL original. I haven't seen one yet that compares. It is truly a fun bike to ride."

That's how Chad Brenneke introduced himself to me. It turned out there was a lot more to the story. The Royal Enfield ignited an interest in motorcycles that brought a half dozen more to Chad and his family. They are in Churubusco, Ind., a small town just north of Fort Wayne.

Chad's father and mother are Jerry and Marsha Guiff. They sell real estate, at least when times are good, Chad says. Chad and his wife Barb have a 10-year-old daughter, Heather.

"We own a bar and a restaurant and I am a paramedic as well, so, as you can imagine, with the restricted time that we have, the support of my family is very important," Chad wrote.

Here's the story Chad ultimately told me, with pictures of some of the motorcycles involved:

"We are the second owners of the Interceptor. The original owner was into his 70s and was unable to start it as it does kick a little hard. To our knowledge the cases have not been polished; we just make sure to clean it on the rainy days. We even have the original tires for it. We get to ride it a couple times a week just around the back roads so as to enjoy its nostalgic feeling.

"I am not sure if I mentioned we had a '59 Royal Enfield Indian Chief we were working on that hasn't been plated since the '70s. Well, it was quite the project, but finally we are able to say we are done. But I'm sure we will find other things to add or correct on it.

"My wife and I are avid Harley fans as we each ride our own. When my (step) father decided to take up riding again after a 40 year absence from the game he wanted to find the bikes he was comfortable with and loved so much as a young man. That started this wild fascination with motorcycles that has grown to an uncontrolled habit, you might say.

"It started with the '64 Royal Enfield that was pretty much the way you see it in the pictures. We have had the magneto rebuilt and the carbs but that it is about it. Then came the '59 Enfield Indian purchased in Upstate New York. This project started two-and-a-half years ago.

"Rebuilding and trying to find the correct parts for it and switching it to a 12-volt system while trying our hardest to keep it original has been a challenge, but one that I wouldn't trade for anything. It has been a great experience and has brought us closer than ever.

"Next came the '73 Triumph 750 Tiger; this one was found in a shed and basically we have just done some carb and basic wiring and it has been on the road ever since. We have had plans to restore this one but I can't keep him off of it long enough to start on it.

"Next came the little '73 Indian SE 74 Enduro; it was just in too good a shape to pass up, as well as the Cushman Highlander. This little gem is ridden weekly as much as the others are.

"Somewhere in this collection we acquired another Harley and the '68 Triumph T100-C Trophy that had to have a lot of carb work and the controls, exhaust, paint and just a lot of pieces to put it in the state it's in now.

"We are currently starting on a '56 Enfield Indian Trailblazer that I actually found on your website. It was in California. We have it stripped and ready to put on one of lifts now.

"We are not pros by any means but we enjoy the time we spend together learning as we go and especially the nice days when we can actually take them out and ride them.

"Most of the bikes we find need something done to them, as we enjoy them that way. The '59 has been the most challenging so far, although as we are starting the '56 Trailblazer we are finding this one will give us even more of a challenge. But it is a welcome challenge.

"As much as my father and I would love to take the credit for all of our fun, it helps that we have all of the support from the rest of our family, even though I can't seem to get my wife to ride anything other than a Harley. I even have my 10-year-old daughter Heather moving up from her minibike to the Cushman and in hopes of the '73 Indian soon."

Chad and Jerry with '59 Enfield Indian


  1. Anonymous10/08/2010

    Nice bunch of bikes....I am looking into Royal's as a bike to bring me back to my youth as my dad had a BSA


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