Friday, July 27, 2018

Tim in NZ makes his own Royal Enfield twin motorcycles

Looking mighty and mighty clean, this Indian
is a combination of Trailblazer twin and old Bullet frame.
While Royal Enfield continues to delay sales of its new 650 twin motorcycles, a former Royal Enfield dealer in New Zealand is putting powerful and stylish Royal Enfield twins of his own design on the road.

It's the kind of "what if" daydream Royal Enfield fans sometimes have. Suppose you took this, and combined it with that — wouldn't it be great!

Tim in NZ, as he signs himself on Royal Enfield-related forums, is doing it. He recently emailed me the photos you see here.

"Some shots of another of my recent resurrections: another Bullet/twin hybrid," he wrote.

"1952 Bullet frame and tool boxes; April, 1955 Indian 700cc Trailblazer motor and gearbox; 2005 front wheel, suspension, brakes, petrol tank; Continental GT mirrors; engine breather and catch-can straight off a 2006 Electra X, which is then vented off the rear of the bike, working well.

"Now done 2,000-plus miles since assembly and is purring along like a tiger!

"Cruises comfortably at 80 mph if wanted and with plenty in reserve.

"Oil consumption is minimal at less than 100cc per 500 miles, which is good for having simply fitted new rings to the original pistons and bore.

"Comfortably pulling tall gearing (4.3:1), 3,300 rpm at 60 mph, at which speed it is running as smooth as silk and returning approximately 65 to 70 mpg.


"I love Enfield twins!"

Absolutely clean lines point to hulking motor.
Tim's enthusiasm is obvious. It's backed up by the fact that this is the third hybrid twin he has produced.

There was the 1951 Bullet frame with the 1955 Indian Trailblazer motor.

And then there was the 1953 Meteor frame with the 1963 Interceptor motor.

And now there is this latest, 1952 Bullet frame with the 1955 Trailblazer motor. Tim is widely known on Royal Enfield forums for his intricate knowledge of vintage Royal Enfields. But surely this mix-and-match stuff can't be easy, can it?

"Nothing at all was tricky, all went together as if it was all designed and made to fit together," he responded.

My knowledge is limited, but what about the fact that these twin-cylinder motors originally went into frames of a then-new pattern Royal Enfield adopted after 1954? This has a more open center area than is seen on the earlier Bullets or even on my own 1999 made-in-India Bullet.

Tim is using the older frame style for his twins. If the old frames are desirable, why did Royal Enfield design a "new" frame anyway?

"Not only would the post '54 frame have been cheaper to make, but it made fitting the engine and gearbox a LOT easier. Which was undoubtedly one of its primary design aims," Tim explained. "The central 'console' made battery and air filter access much better too.

"Down side of the post '54 frames and the deletion of the top gear box 'triangle plates' was the reducing in engine-to-frame contact points, which over time frequently resulted in fretted and elongated mount holes in the lower gearbox mounting plates. (Sloppy handling and vibration issues.)

"The post 1962 India-made frames overcame this with the adoption of the frame that most Bullet owners are familiar with, with the longer 'triangle' plates and the through bolt attaching the plate to the frame."

Tim's new bike certainly works for him.

It's a Bullet-sized motorcycle with more go.
"What more can I say about the 'new' 700 Trailblazer? If the 350 Bullet is a great wee bike, then the 700 is twice as much fun.

"Standard crank, plus-20 in the bore, new valves and guides. All Indian made gears in the 'box, Indian wheels forks shocks and guards.

"Runs standard 500 Indian Bullet clutch plates and springs; no slip or drag and copes with 45 hp just fine. After market factory disc front brake kit fitted, for goodish 'modernish' braking. Two-into-one header with common reverse cone megaphone. 32mm Mk1 Amal carburetor.

"SR2 mag, starts second kick every time; alternator only just keeps up with the lights so I am about to fit a higher output stator.

"Do I need a slipper clutch? No! Fuel injection! No! ABS brakes? No! Electric start? No! Modern solid state computerized engine management systems? NO!!!!!

"Down side?  Let me think.

"I might have to get back to you on that one as right now I can't think of any detractions.

"And for what it is worth, there is another (hybrid) in the pipe-line."


  1. I bought the previous bike Tim built (53 frame with 63 intercepor motor) I use it regularly and thoroughly enjoy it


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