Monday, November 29, 2010

Descended from the Royal Enfield Flying Flea,
the 1959 Indian Lance was more motorcycle

"Rare, documented, original and running" — just the things you want to read in an ad for a vintage motorcycle that has caught your eye.

This one is a 1959 Indian Lance motorbike, built by Royal Enfield for sale in the U.S. under the Indian name. Royal Enfield expert David Parapilly pointed it out to me, noting that it is "Very rare. In fact, the first one I am seeing in this condition."

The Lance corresponds to the Royal Enfield Ensign of the day, with a two-stroke engine, probably of 148cc (literature I have differs but this one comes with a pile of reference material).

Royal Enfield was actively developing this model at the time, and it already had come a long way from its ancestor, the Flying Flea of World War II. It now had both front and rear (plunger) suspension, full fenders and foot gear change (but still only three speeds in the transmission).

Its single sprung saddle kept it from appearing too modern.

This pretty motorcycle was for sale on CraigsList in Port Huron, Mich. Asking price was $3,950. The seller tells me that it has sold.

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