Sunday, November 7, 2010

Is this the Royal Enfield actor James Dean rode?

 Update: It's not the one. But read on...

No sooner do I do an item on the rare Royal Enfield J2 motorcycle actor James Dean rode than a Royal Enfield J2 shows up for sale on eBay in Owego, N.Y.

Is it this the same Royal Enfield motorcycle Dean sold after breaking down near Harrisburg, Penn. — just 180 miles away — in 1953? No one knows what happened to Dean's motorcycle.

Thanks to research by author/historian Lee Raskin, we do now know that Dean's Royal Enfield was serial number J2/7484. The eBay seller doesn't list a serial number and hasn't yet responded to a phone call I placed to him.

He listed his motorcycle as a 1952, whereas Dean's J2 is thought to be a 1951. But the seller says he has no title or registration material available, so the date given may be approximate. The seller says his J2 has been in his garage for 30 years. That would account for a huge chunk of the time Dean's motorcycle has been missing.

The Buy It Now price for the non-running J2 on eBay is $2,000. Depending on its serial number, that could be one heck of a bargain price. A motorcycle owned and ridden by the famous actor is certainly worth more than that.


  1. Anonymous11/07/2010

    I gave the seller a call - nice guy - but, sadly, he says that this bike does not match that serial number.

  2. Anonymous9/02/2013

    If this author had any credentials he would know it was a 500 twin and he would also publish his name.

    1. I may be misunderstanding your comment. This blog is my work. My name is David Blasco and I live in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. My photo is in the upper right corner of the blog. Regarding the 500 twin, it's my understanding that the original theory that Dean rode a 500 twin has changed and it is now thought to have been a single-cylinder J2. I wrote about it here.


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