Friday, November 7, 2014

Swearing at your Royal Enfield? Watch your language

What language do you use when you curse at your Royal Enfield?

A part from a Royal Enfield military motorcycle of World War II led to this discussion on the Historic Military Vehicle Forum recently.

Rusted Royal Enfield forks.
Member Einbeck Bowl discovered his Triumph motorcycle project came with a mysterious front girder fork that other members helped him identify as coming from a Royal Enfield WD/CO, circa 1943.

He determined "to put some work in it, in order to preserve it," but soon found he couldn't fully loosen one of the spindles at the top of the forks.

"Are the threads running in opposite direction? The other spindle is completely stuck; I tried heat, oil and yelling at it in German. Unless I find a (cheap) WD/CO without a fork this will be stored here for years or it will become someone else's problem," he wrote.

A member named Ron replied, explaining that the spindle threads are left-hand on the right hand side and right-hand on the left side of the forks.

"I think if you get both links very hot at the spindles, then let them cool for a minute or two, then screw the spindle inwards with the square end, they should move," Ron wrote. "If the spindles are seized in their bushes, then the whole area will need heat.

"Or try swearing in English as I doubt they will understand or even want to respond to German."


  1. The following is from a novel on Modesty Blaise, named “Cobra Trap” by Peter O'Donnell. This is about Willie Garvin, the sidekick of Modesty Blaise:

    “Another quality he (Willie) had long ago acquired from Modesty Blaise was a belief in the idea that inanimate objects could be perverse or cooperative according to one's attitude towards them. ‘Don't curse the recalcitrant screw, give it a little affection.’ In consequence he had fashioned his tiny parachute contraption with benign care and good vibes. If it failed him he would not complain, but he was cheerfully hopeful... and cheerfully grateful when it worked.”

    Enfields are sensitive to cussing no matter in what language – spoken or unspoken. In the 43 years of having my Enfield 350, I have always treated it with affection. It is not a coincidence that I once came home from Hyderabad to Bangalore in the wee hours of the morning after doing over 300 miles. Later that day, the bike would not start – no compression at all. Found out at the mechanic's that the valves were burnt out. This is just one of the scores of incidents.

    So, try swearing at the spindle in English, and you might end up with a rusty paperweight.

  2. I owned "proper" Bullets during the 1960's. They would all respond to good old Anglo Saxon. I now own an Indian EFi Bullet but Anglo Saxon still seems to work when necessary (must by the Imperial connection - UK did, after all, export the whole Bullet setup to India in 1956.

  3. Hi can any one help me .desperately looking for brake springs(front and rear) for my 1941 royal enfield wd co

    1. Strongly suggest you ask the question on the Historic Military Vehicle Forum.

    2. There's also the WD Motorcycle Forum, which has a parts-wanted section.


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