Wednesday, October 23, 2013

'Unrestored" Royal Enfield looks too new to be true

This Royal Enfield looks good but it doesn't look old to me.
A supposed 1968 Royal Enfield Bullet for sale on CraigsList in Denver, Colo. is almost certainly not the motorcycle its owner claims it is.

Perhaps innocently, the seller enthuses about how original the motorcycle is, although the pictures suggest that it is either not that old or, if it is that old, it has been updated.

According to the ad:

"How about 300 original miles! This bike was in a climate controlled museum since new, and I bought it with 84 miles. Had my fun, time to pass it to someone who wants to ride it, look at it, brag about it, whatever! This thing is so original (no restoration of any kind!), even the tires look new!...

"No disappointments, it's the real deal, serious inquiries only please, but best offer around $12,500 will own it."

Maybe. But in many ways the motorcycle closely resembles the 500cc 1999 Bullet I own. While the overall design of the made-in-India Bullet remained unchanged, some small modifications were made over the years.

It is hard to avoid the conclusion that the tires on this one look new because they are new and recently fitted.

Many older (but hardly antique) Royal Enfield Bullets are being expertly restored in India. When finished, they look terrific, and may well have brand new speedometers with few or no miles recorded. The paper work used to import them may show a date meant to convince authorities that they are old enough to evade emissions and safety regulations.

It is hard to believe they are all so perfect because they have been in museums.

This motorcycle may "look better than new" but its claims to being a 1968 original are suspect.

In a separate ad on CraigsList, the seller makes additional claims:

"It is a 350cc, and was one of the last bikes built in England. Yes, it has the brake on the wrong side, the shifter(s) on the wrong side, it has a chain oiler that runs off the crankcase, and is totally English!!"

Production of single-cylinder Royal Enfield Bullets anything like this one ended in England by 1962. Only twins were left by 1968. India, of course, continued to produce the single-cylinder Bullet and until a few years ago it had right-side shifting — just like this one.


  1. Anonymous10/24/2013

    That's a 500 head.
    Nice red.

  2. Anonymous10/24/2013

    Well done Blasco for exposing a fraudster , methinks the seller should be flogged within an inch of his life - quite so .
    Your servant ,
    Bunty etc .

  3. If it were a Redditch Bullet it would have had to have been a 1955 or 1954. From 1956-62 the toolbox had a different shape and for 1963-64 it had unit construction engine. And prior to 1954 there was no nacelle. A 1954 or 55 would have had a magneto. And the seat was of different shape. Of course everything can be changed...

  4. Anonymous10/25/2013

    Hopefully whoever buys this does their homework and doesn't pay $10k more than it's worth. I wonder what this guy paid for this museum kept relic?


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