Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Royal Enfield motorcycles are core of amazing collection

John Ruff of Huntsville, Ontario, Canada has managed to gather 28 Royal Enfields plus parts of another 20 or so motors. It's not just a collection — he works on them. Join him as he walks us through more of his amazing menagerie in his own words. (Note: the pictures are somewhat out of date and most of these projects have moved beyond what you see here).

BEFORE: 1935 Royal Enfield Model LO motor.
"Found this very rare 1935 Royal Enfield Model LO three-valve at an automotive swap meet. Did not know what it was other than being a Royal Enfield. Turned out (Royal Enfield expert) Roy MacMillan wanted it real bad, so I traded it to him for the GP carb, a bottom end rebuild on a '54 700 Meteor motor, couple wheels for a Norman and a promise to build the Super Five motor when I find tranny parts. When I dropped off the motor I picked up a unit 250 Works Trials Replica near completion from him.

AFTER: Royal Enfield Model LO sloper.
"Here's the LO after I cleaned it up. What a beauty, eh? One year only. Quite a find. Roy has been working on building a bike around this unit. He will do it, whereas I do not have the contacts, mechanical experience or the qualifications to do it myself. Only reason I let him have it was so it could be a motorcycle again.

Royal Enfield 250 Clipper with DKW front end.
"Here's what I call the World's Second Slowest Indian. A 250 Clipper or, in the States an Indian Hounds Arrow I believe. Found a bunch of real Indian and Harley parts at a farm (another story altogether) and built a 1940 and most of a '46 Chief. Did some trading and got a 250 Indian frame with the motor and tranny bolted up together. That was all, nothing else.

"Frame ended up being bent badly. Found a frame at the same automotive swap meet that the LO came from. Saw a DKW at another meet in the Fall. It was just a frame, with the front end on it and a gas tank. Bought it for $50. Modified the front end to suit the Clipper and proceeded to make up the rest of the bracketry to mount some parts that were kicking about. Keeps me busy during our long winters. Have not run it yet

Royal Enfield Super 5 awaits attention.
"The Super Five as it was purchased and still is. Waiting for a redo. Missing the five-speed tranny, the covers for the bottom links of the forks and a couple other minor pieces. Another pretty rare Enfield. At least in this country.

Just one wall of John's shop.
"One wall of the shop at the cottage. Has been changed a bit since the picture. Fuller. Motors are all empty, parts are all cleaned up. Hobby way out of hand, as they say.

John's Royal Enfield Interceptor.
"My ride for the last four years, a 1A TT Interceptor 1967-'68, last year before the Series II. Original, unrestored. Another story again altogether.

1950 Royal Enfield Model RE.
"The Model RE after a major parts search and redo. 1950 model, 125cc. Picture is upstairs at the shop.

"Have I worn you out yet?

1952 Model RE is a project.
"Here is yet another picture of a project that I have not started as yet. Still missing a few bits, but pretty complete just the same. 1952 (I believe) RE2 125cc two stroke.

Works trials replica; a pretty little thing.
"Here is a shot of a Works Trials Replica that I made a deal with Roy on. He phoned one day and told me he was going to build one of these models. Continued to say that he had parts to build up most of another one. Only four had come into Canada. Was I interested in the parts one? I said OK, but while you are doing yours, do mine too. Waiting now for dimensions for a skid plate, so one can be fabbed up. Also need the quick disconnect plug in for headlight and full trials type exhaust. Couple other minor things. Pretty little thing though.

Royal Enfield Model G or J.
"A project, rigid late '30s Model G or J, need lots for this one.

1927 AJS as found.
"Found this '20s AJS. Had a motor for 17 years. Finally found a frame for it.

Ariel Square Four.
"An Ariel Square Four that I have been gathering parts for now at least the last 20 years. Built it like this but need to redo, as the motor is a 1950 and frame is a 1953. Now have a '50 frame, front fender and gas tank, so want to build it as a 1950. Will sell off the other parts to help finance this project. My daughter's name is Ariel.

American Moto-Scoot.
"Ever see one of these? Bought barn fresh out of bargain paper. Late '30s early '40s American Moto-Scoot. Got it running. Going to sell one day, once a buyer is found.

Indian Woodsman 500cc.
"Indian Woodsman 500cc project. All the body parts are the Royal Enfield India take off stuff. Just made up different brackets to suit, so I did not have to modify original parts. Something I usually do so if the original stuff is found at a later date, then the parts can go on another project without any trouble.

Royal Enfield Constellation.
"Constellation project. It is a little better since these pictures were taken.

1950 Royal Enfield Model G.
"1950 Model G project. Not much further on this one than what the picture shows.

1950 Royal Enfield 500 twin.
"1950 500 Twin project. Managed to do a bit more to it since the picture was taken.

Strange but oddly appealing snow-goer.
"Oddball snowmachine I picked up. Alsport Tracker. Very little info out there on these that I can find. Going to have to sell it. Takes up too much room. Made in Ohio. Skis in winter, wheels in summer, double track, two seater with reverse. Cool; rare, I think.

Royal Enfield built three-wheeler.
"A three-wheeled Royal Enfield. Actually it is a Pashley. In the States it was called an Indian Patrol Car. Usually red or black. Fifty of these came over to Toronto, Hamiliton area to be used by the Police. Usually for the meter maids to mark tires to see how long a vehicle was parked in the same place and to collect money from the meters. The operators wore a green outfit and rode these yellow machines. They were nicknamed the Green Hornets.

"This one was originally used by the Toronto Police, then went to the Barrie Police. Auctioned off there and used at a campground. Bought from there and taken apart for resto. Nothing was done and it was exchanged a couple more times and I finally ended up with it and just put it all back together. Tank is off another parts one that I had already. The other parts one, the motor had been sent to Trans Anglo Iran in 1960.  Wonder how it got here?"
Follow royalenfields on Twitter