Friday, August 3, 2018

Royal Enfield Silver Shotgun shines with ideas

The Silver Shotgun is a custom Royal Enfield cafe racer from Germany.
If you Google it, you'll find that "Silver Shotgun" was the nickname of a Ducatti motorcycle of the 1970s, so-called because it was painted in silver metalflake.

But I recently came across a stunning 1955 Royal Enfield Meteor that seems to have a better claim to the name. It's not paint that makes this gleaming cafe racer shine, but its beauty. It's for sale, in Germany.

The Silver Shotgun is based on a British Royal Enfield Meteor 700 originally sent to Duval of Antwerp, Belgium in 1955. It was a very powerful and fast motorcycle for its day but, of course, it then looked nothing like it does now.

The designer of the Silver Shotgun calls it "dynamic art."
It's the work of German designer Ekkehard Homann. The Royal Enfield Silver Shotgun apparently first appeared in a 2009 exhibition of his works at the Ringelheim cultural center.

The designer's website provides the best description:

"A symbiosis of form and function. Countless details to discover, flowing soft forms in harmony with power and speed."

 It's "dynamic art."

From every angle the Silver Shotgun looks stunning.
Homann himself is best described in a 2010 issue of the German motoring magazine Motorrad as a driven creator who plays the piano, but won't bother with computers or the Internet.

"Interested people will Google in vain," the magazine concludes. This is a man who works with his hands. He dug graves to finance his projects, the magazine reports.

Homann's brother gave him the Meteor after becoming frustrated with the production machine's annoying shortcomings, typical of Royal Enfields of the time.

Designer Homann and his creation.
Inspiration followed:

"On a March evening 2003 I was in front of the machine, many parts were broken and very hard to get, I had no coal and thought: Come on, build the parts yourself, and fix the weaknesses."

1,650 man-hours were spent over five years in building this unique Royal Enfield.

Wolfgang Fuchs of Motorrad Fuchs in Osnabruk, Germany, has the Silver Shotgun for sale. He provided this information:

"First, the engine was completely overhauled and modified. There were classic tuning measures, polishing the intake ports, crankshaft, connecting rods. Of course the crankshaft was fine balanced. The engine has since made about 50 hp. With the four-speed gearbox, a top speed of almost 118 mph is possible.

"The chassis has also been modified. In front is an internally ventilated double duplex drum brake with a diameter of 250mm... Rear is a full hub-width drum brake."

He added that wheels are 18-inch front and rear. The empty weight is 370 pounds.

While so much changed, the Silver Shotgun retains the Royal Enfield nacelle.
There really is no way to improve on it.
According to the 2010 magazine article, Homann wouldn't subject his dream project to testing, but said he felt sure of 10 additional horsepower. His internal modifications were "not rocket science, but classic optimization."

I did manage to reach the designer by email. I asked him about the name "Silver Shotgun."  I wondered if that is how he thought of the Royal Enfield when he was making it.

"Over all the decades the motorcycle was called by me 'Enny!'" he replied. Certainly a more affectionate sentiment.

I also asked about the subtle bracing visible under the tank. It's attractive in its own right but was Homann trying to fix some problem he preceived?

"Indeed, I constructed an additional frame structure, because I knew that there was a point in the original frame that makes the frame 'soft!' The same problem was the slim casting of the engine block, so I tried to divert the energy from the block to the mounting!"

Gaze at the photos of the Silver Shotgun here and on Motorrad Fuchs and I think you're likely to be  fascinated by the design ideas it displays. Price is on request. For information, email

The front wheel is eye-catching in its own right.
Normally unadorned, the Silver Shotgun's engine plate adds beauty.
Royal Enfield's traditional clam shell chain adjusters
remain but in far more elegant form.

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