The bike kinda builds itself,
all I do is put it together.

The contents of this blog is a record of work carried out by the author and other third party information and pictures gleaned from various sources on the internet. It is published for academic interest and entertainment only. It is neither suggested or intended that any work or modifications shown here are to be carried out by any party reading the blog.

The Hitchcock Rigid Conversion

Mission Statement

This blog has been set up as a record of my attempt to build a cool Bobber style bike out of the Royal Enfield Bullet. With the cost of genuine early British and American bikes and parts spiralling upwards in the face of the current global economic climate, building a retro style custom is rapidly becoming cost prohibitive. Initially, there will be a period of accruing parts and information as the bike I intend to re-create is my daily rider.
I have heard so many horror stories about the Indian made Bullet from people who's mate used to have one, that I have lost count. All I can say is that I have covered over 20,000 miles on mine in the last three and a half years, and feel happy that it is quite capable of doing another 20.
So if you like the idea or just curious, you are welcome to come along for the ride.

Wednesday, 27 October 2010

Desperately Seeking......

.....one of these, I would rather not have to surrender my first born in exchange for it. Condition doesn't really matter as long as it is complete.

Tuesday, 26 October 2010

More from The LightSide

Had a parcel when I got back from work, I love parcels. This one came from Sammy Miller's in Hampshire and was full of nice alloy bits. As you can see it is pretty much the full handlebar/control set, except for the decompressor lever and a dip switch. Any ideas on where to get an alloy decompressor lever would be very much appreciated.
The levers are genuine Amal as opposed to the similar looking Taiwanese knock-offs, as is the twist grip, gone for the trials style 90 degree number to route the cable along the bars, instead of hanging straight down.
The cross brace on the bars is destined for the skip as it has no use on a road bike unless I come off a lot more than anticipated.
I guess that this pretty well nails it style wise as more flat-track than Bobber style, but after spending hours looking at it, it feels the natural thing to do.

Sunday, 24 October 2010

Weight reduction

As the Bullet is only of the 350 persuasion, weight of components is a bit of an issue. Pretty much everything that can be made of aluminium will be. In "Tuning for Speed" they even go as far as discussing drilling the centre out of the bolts on the bike to reduce even more weight.
A not inconsiderable saving in weight can be effected by waisting the bolts down to a diameter equal to bottom diameter of the threads, leaving a short parallel at each end to centralize the bolt or act as a register for the engine plates if required; alternatively, if the bolts have solid heads they can be drilled down the centre, as shown in the diagram, the hole (which must be accurately concentric with the outside) extending very nearly to the beginning of the thread. Far from weakening the bolts, this treatment actually makes them less prone to fatigue-failure and, if carried out consistently throughout the whole machine, a perceptible mass of excess metal will be eliminated.

Wednesday, 20 October 2010

As Rare As It Gets!

Saw this when I visited Andy the other weekend, a genuine 1936 ex-works racer. I never knew that Enfield got seriously involved with Road Racing as they are better known for their exploits in Trials. But this goes to show that they definitely had intentions in that field.

As can be seen from this, not particularly good, shot, it featured a 4 valve bronze head, similar to what Rudge and, I believe, Excelsior were doing at the time. Andy said he also has the original Magnesium crankcases for it, but they are put away somewhere safe as they really are irreplaceable.
I have sent Jorge at My Enfields a copy of these pictures and he is going to contact Andy for a more in depth chat about this unique bike, and do a far more informative write up.

Monday, 18 October 2010

This looks worth a look

Found on SUMP

Sittin' on the clock of The Bay

Saw this yesterday whilst searching around that well known internet auction site. You know how it goes, it was there at £35.00 with nine hours to go, and the questions were flying through my mind, Do I want it?, What would I do with it?, Where would I put it?, what the hell let's watch it anyway. I missed the close of play, but looking this morning revealed it went for £107.00, not knowing what the other max bids were of course doesn't say what it would have gone to had I have pitched in.
Did I want it?, I still ain't sure, but it would have looked nice all polished up again.

Wednesday, 13 October 2010

Extension Added

Grant sent me a list of Enfield bits that he wants to get rid of, and says he would rather The Bulleteers get the first look at 'em. So that got me thinking, there is now a page that is available for posting stuff that is up for grabs. Also, it can be used if you are searching for the final part that will set you on the path of Bullet Nirvana.
Mail me with any stuff you want posting on there, and if you could do me a favour and let me know when it's no longer available it would be appreciated.

Tuesday, 12 October 2010

Display Purposes Only.........

The number plate laws in the UK are pretty strange, vehicles built before 1972 are allowed to run with white or silver characters on a black background. Anything after that, must have black letters on a reflective yellow background. Up until recently, this was somewhat of a technicality and it was possible to bend the rule a little. Now however the makers of the old style plates need to see a copy of the registration document before they will make a black and white one, therein lies the rub.
The 350 falls outside of the cut-off date and therefore does not qualify.
Luckily I managed to get this screen printed by a guy who does control panel fascias, just for display purposes you understand.

Saturday, 9 October 2010

A trip north

Had a little go in a car today, drove my daughter's car on a 430 mile round trip to Lancashire. That is almost certainly further than my total four wheeled pilotting over the last two years, can't say I enjoyed it, although it would have been an adventure on the Marauder that's for sure.
The purpose of the trip was to deliver the project motor to Britain's most respected Enfield tuner, Mr. Andy Berry. He is going to tune the motor to scrambles (that's moto-cross for the young guns out there) spec, as it's only a 350 and I ain't the lightest of blokes I figured a little more coal in the old boiler department wouldn't go amiss.

Andy is passionate about his Enfields to say the least, this Big Head motor was sitting on the bench. The finish is superb, and everything looks just right, when he asked what level of finish I want on the 350, I said "like that one"

Amongst other things in his workshop was this Street Scrambler, again fitted with a genuine English Fury head, later frame and a five speed gearbox, very nicely done.

He reckons the 350 motor should be ready around Christmas, that's cool, I'll gladly wait. It ain't gonna be cheap, but the best seldom is!

Wednesday, 6 October 2010

Oh yes,

Sumo from Vintage Chop sent this over, he thinks it's taken at The Mooneyes Show in Japan, this is probably the best I've seen so far, the bar has been set.

Tuesday, 5 October 2010

Trying to separate the gearbox from the main cases at the moment. Simply held on by four studs projecting from the back of the crankcase/oil tank it is a straightforward set-up. However we all know the bond that can form between aluminium and steel, especially if undisturbed for the best part of twenty years. It's the bottom right that's giving the grief, whether the fact that the bike spent a good part of it's life down by the sea has a bearing on it, I don't know. Whatever it's certainly not playing the game at the moment, plenty of WD40 and trying to part it with slow tapered wooden wedges whilst aiming a heat gun at the case has not worried it in the slightest.
Left it soaking in a tray of Parafin (Kerosene) for now, see if that gets in there.

Sunday, 3 October 2010

The Next Step

Well, it was always gonna be a test of the hardtail's accuracy in manufacture. The time has/had come to whip the lump out. Luckily enough Craig chose this weekend to come for a check on progress.

All oil was drained from the various plugs underneath, in the handy cat litter tray, along with the primary oil. Two things worthy of mention here; firstly, the Enfield primary case has gotta be the best ever made!!! Single bolt fixing and it don't leak....period! Secondly, I might skank it for The Marauder as the black primary cover is kinda nice.

Alternator and clutch were removed, 'fess up here, I bought a couple of tools here to make life easier. The pleasure and ease is appreciated long after the price is forgotten. Luckily Craig had a trolley jack that replaced Chennai's stout wooden block in the scheme of things, taking the weight of the motor as the front engine plates were removed.

The rest of the engine studs were removed, basically tapped with a small rubber mallet to get things moving, and then extracted by hand. All in all, the hardtail is a well developed and nicely made piece of kit!

Within no time the motor and the frame were individual entities, and soon separated, I shit you not people, it really is like working on a Honda. The next part of the story is in place but not firm, it will be worth it.

Cheers Craig, The job's a good 'un!