Friday, December 25, 2020

1964 Royal Enfield Interceptor brought back to life

Front end of 1964 Royal Enfield Interceptor.
The Royal Enfield Interceptor of the 1960s made quite a visual impression.

A sparkling blue 1964 Royal Enfield Interceptor is for sale in Florida. Its story is one of sitting ignored for many years before being saved, restored and then restored some more to bring it into its present condition.

Seller Kevin Lemire gave the motorcycle its most recent attention. He told me about it in an email:

"David, my story on the '64 Interceptor is pretty short actually. I purchased it this year from a fellow who bought it several years ago in from the John Stanley museum where it had been restored after sitting in an Idaho shop for about 30 years. 

"John Stanley I assume coordinated the restoration and I have receipts in the neighborhood of $4,500 worth of parts that went into the effort. The bike had not run in about four years when I got it and the carb slides were firmly stuck.

Left side of 1964 Royal Enfield Interceptor.
Twin exhausts add to the gleam.

"The owner dropped the bike off and headed back home to the west coast of Florida, a two-plus hour drive. I pulled the carbs, put them in the ultrasonic tank, freed them up, cleaned them and remounted them. Checked and filled fluids, fresh gas, checked for spark and had the bike running before the owner arrived back home.

"I was not happy with the frame paint so stripped the bike, powder coated the frame, swing arm, and front fork shrouds and reassembled all. Adjusted timing, valves, lubed everything and just gave it a thorough going over. 

"I attached a file that shows the parts and work done (scroll down to see it). The bike has been thoroughly refreshed and starts, runs, shifts, and stops great. And the clutch works very well, even lets you select neutral at a stop."

Kevin supplied a YouTube video of the motorcycle running.

The reference to John Stanley caught my eye. A Hood River, Ore. motorcycle restorer and collector, he's best known online for his on-line "museum" of the motorcycles he restored. It remains an amazing record of beautiful motorcycles he preserved.

The blue Interceptor was one of his.

Right side of 1964 Royal Enfield Interceptor.
Florida sunshine makes a ride on an Interceptor an inviting prospect.

"This was my first attempt at restoring a British bike," he wrote about it. "My brother bought one of these news in '63 or '64. According to Cycle World's road test, it was the fastest bike in that year. They claimed an honest 120 miles per hour."

The spread sheet of parts purchased indicate that Stanley did a lot of work bringing the motorcycle back. In the end, he judged it to be "a very comfortable, smooth and powerful bike."

(Note: The advertisement, written by a friend who placed the ad, refers to the motorcycle's "wet sump" motor. The 1964 Interceptor has a dry sump motor.)

Spread sheet of work done.
A spread sheet of work done.


  1. Lots of very cool bikes in that online "museum..."

  2. They advertise it as being a wet sump. That bike isn't.


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