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.

Monday, 27 December 2010

Wheel Building

With the festive activities pretty much over and done with, and a break in the Arctic conditions, I popped over and picked the wheels up. Pleased ? Well you could say that, they're looking as cool as the weather and twice as bright. The rims are Akront Morad and not Borranis, a shame in a way but the drive towards period originality in the custom world has pushed the price of original Borranis through the roof. These look the same and Akront were a big player back in the day, don't matter which they are they're still a bastard to clean. Wait for the holidays to finish now and get 'em rubbered up.

Wednesday, 22 December 2010

Off to the side

Sorry chap's too cold to get down the shed so I offer up this for your delectation. From Heiwa in Japan, it knocks my socks off, can't find anything that I really dislike about it.
I reckon that Street Trackers and this, the Brat Style are the future of customising, because donor vehicles are available and they're still cheap, get in early.

A Bit Of An Update

Andy Berry phoned up last night with a progress report on the motor. The hold up is the crank, when he stripped it to replace the floating bush with a roller big end the drive side flywheel had been galled where the crank pin had been pressed in during manufacture. This is now at Alpha bearings getting the two flywheels line bored to accept a new slightly larger pin. Otherwise everything else in and on the motor is ready to go back together. I'm not really fretting about this as it's got to be right, and from what Andy is saying it will be a joy both to look at and use.
So I'm afraid it's gonna be a little longer yet chaps.

Sunday, 19 December 2010

Bloody Snow !!!!!!!

The wheels are done, or so I'm told. Can't get over to pick 'em up due to the prevailing weather conditions. Ho Hum!

Friday, 17 December 2010

A Strange Affliction

The Madras Marauder is my sole means of transport, and as such gets used in all weathers including the sub-Arctic conditions we are experiencing across Britain at the moment. Generally the Ol' Girl is fine, starting and running on demand on the coldest of mornings, and that hasn't changed. However, of late, after running for a mile or two it started to miss, well not really missing as the exhaust note still sounded about right, but there was a decided un-willingness to rev and a hesitation. So I checked the points, the plug all the normal shit but to no avail, still the same. Thoughts of big end failure started to sneak in, and wouldn't go away, although stopping and starting again when it was in this condition was not a problem and it certainly felt free and smooth enough on the kick-start.

I'm running a 180 Watt alternator with a solid state rectifier/regulator package, all bought from a well known aftermarket manufacturer of such things, and a 60/55 Watt Halogen headlight bulb. For the last six months it's been overcharging when running without lights, so I've been lights on man since then, no problem there, just a bit gay I suppose. I wondered if that was the cause of the new problem, although the ammeter showed a reasonably well balanced state of affairs, I'm not sure if the AC from the alternator was "getting through" the regulator and screwing with the ignition coil. As a quick and easy test I opened up one of the two alternator leads and inserted a switch in line. This allowed me to effectively remove the AC input from the system when the problem occurred, just to see if there was an effect.

An effect there certainly was, when the gremlin kicked in the switch was operated to isolate the alternator and the cure was immediate, back to smooth normal running. This brings another force to bear though, drawing about 6 Amps from a small battery is not a long term prospect. So with temperatures struggling to get up to freezing it was a fun filled ride to the salt mine this morning, groping around under the seat to hit the switch whilst wearing gloves, being a manual cut-out type of thing.
Problem found then, but not the cure as yet, because of the weather and Britain's refusal to concede that we live in Northern Europe, the postal service is all to cock. I mean, snow at Christmas who would ever of thought it ? I phoned Paul Goff today and he is going to get a rectifier/regulator in the post Special Delivery so hopefully it'll be here Monday and normal service can be resumed. Just a point here, Paul did not supply the original unit that has gone FUBAR so this is new ground we're covering here.

Tuesday, 14 December 2010

Yokohama everywhere

The ripples from the Yokohama show spread far and wide nowadays, it is rapidly becoming the International show of the year. Came across this earlier from Stoop Motorcycles in Japan, now I ain't sure myself as to the aesthetics of it, but it does go to show that the Bullet is gaining a following within custom circles. A quick peak at their site reveals a novel approach to the hard tail conversion.

Saturday, 11 December 2010

Up and coming over at Sideburn

Gary and the boys over at Sideburn have been given/lent/donated a barely used EFi Bullet by official importers Watsonian Squire. They will, of course, not be leaving it as it is, Gary reckons that there are some radical alterations in the offing for this unsuspecting puppy. Judging by their previous projects it should be worth following, and it will be on here.
Not really sure what is available yet performance wise, although Hitchcock's are listing a Power Commander for them, so it could be ground breaking stuff.
Good luck chaps, you've got backing from this corner.

Sunday, 5 December 2010

Feast Your Eyes On This

I know, I know.............. it ain't an Enfield and it ain't by any stretch a Bobber. What it is though is a Ron Wood Racing 800 BMW (Funduro) Flat Track warrior. You've gotta be a hard ass chopper man not to appreciate this.
On reflection, it could be argued that it is the evolutionary offspring of a Bobber. Accepting the fact that in the early days bikes were stripped of the unnecessary weight to make them faster both on the street and the ovals, then this surely is a direct descendent of that ethos.

Rollin' On

Took the opportunity to borrow the daughter's car this morning. Got the hubs, rims and spokes over to the wheel builder, also took the back wheel that I've had in the frame as an offset check. Means that the rolling chassis is no longer that, but I feel the inconvenience is worth it for a couple of weeks.

Saturday, 4 December 2010

Flying Bullets

This is where six hundred and twelve cubic centimetres will get you. Hitchcock's Twin Shock series scrambler, nipping along you would of thought.

Friday, 3 December 2010

Anybody fancy a winter project?

Had an e-mail today with what could be the start of something good. Not for me, at the moment you understand, but if anybody is interested e-mail me or leave a comment. Here's a copy of the message;

1946 Model G 350 cc that needs finishing off, the engine and gearbox have been done the frame repainted wheels and hubs rebuilt and new tyres fitted, the headlamp repainted all the parts are with it to complete the restoration it comes with the original buff log book showing just one owner from new, the frame and engine show matching numbers, price is £1750,

It's not the bike pictured above, but that's what it should look like.
But there's a good foundation for a nice bike, no messing about waiting for a hardtail there. I'd be on it like a shot if I had the room and everything else in the queue was finished.

Wednesday, 1 December 2010

This is more like it.

When the I first saw the front page of the new Kustom magazine JUNK my eye was immediately drawn to the bottom left. Sitting there in a little pane is this sweet looking Ariel Street Tracker, looking quite familiar in it's general demeanour. I mailed Billy Whizz, one of the main men behind the new magazine, to see if I could get a sneak preview of the bike. He kindly sent this unpublished page over so I/we could get a better look, well worth it as well in my opinion. Nice bike, nice bloke, this country is rapidly running out of decent folk and them's that are left should be supported. If anybody needs a Christmas present to themselves, their wives or the cat a sub to JUNK will fit the bill.

New Cistern Ornament

This dropped through the door this morning, the 2011 Hitchcock's Soft Pornorama. The 2010 copy can now be replaced from it's position of honour on the cistern above the throne. Not really much new for the Classics other than the prices, lots of extra pages on EFI models and a section covering Amal carbs and bits in the back.
There is a new oil pressure relief valve been added, cuts in at 30 PSI and splices into the rocker feed line and diverts flow back into the tappet adjustment window.
Bound to be more in there on closer inspection, got a year to find out.