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.

Tuesday, 31 August 2010

Game On

Well folks, after months of waiting it has finally arrived, the hardtail is in town. Nicely made it is too, with fitting instructions and everything. The instructions show it going on with the motor still in place, guess that must be to keep the rigidity in the front loop as the engine is a stressed member. All looks pretty straight forward though, and could conceivably be a weekend job if all the standard stuff is being retained. However there'll be no-one home if Mr Standard comes a'knockin' 'round here.
There are a few lugs and brackets that look to be excess to requirements, but they can stay until everything has been fitted prior to finishing.
GAME ON.................................

Sunday, 29 August 2010

English Craftsmanship

Seriously considering scoring one of these for the Bobbet, still hand-made up in the Midlands it is, in my opinion, a classic piece of English heritage. It certainly makes a change from the run of the mill single sprung pad seen on virtually everything nowadays. It will add a narrowness to the bike, that, along with the right tank, will emphasise the size and presence of the motor.
The potential problem is whether it can be slung low enough down into the pocket to maintain a clean line.

Thursday, 26 August 2010

Potential Front End

Talking to a bloke earlier and he's got a couple of pairs of these up for grabs. Made in India, which is kind of appropriate, they are repops of the military Triumph 3HW girders. They will apparently fit the Bullet neck, and I kind of trust the old boy because he's hardcore when it comes to Enfields and Bullets in particular.

Tuesday, 24 August 2010

Possible change of plan

This is the 350 Bullet that I bought about 4 months ago off of DB'er Largo down in Dover. The original plan was to use this whilst work was being carried out on the Madras Marauder. The performance is uninspiring to say the least, probably not a lot slower than the 500 top end wise, as long as you've got a while to get there.
Thinking about the decision taken recently about going the black and aluminium route, it is likely that the bike will end up at least 50 pounds lighter (25 kg in new money), making for a performance increase. There is also, of course, lots of stuff in the Hitchcock's catalogue that will breath a little more fire into it's belly.
Using this as a base to start from also means that things can get under way a bit sooner. Originally I was going to get everything ready before starting, to keep the down time to a minimum. That would no longer be an issue, and work can start before the fabled hardtail becomes available.
This is really beginning to sound like a plan.

Anybody want any stock Bullet bits ??????

Saturday, 21 August 2010

I have seen the light............

Going through some back issues of GK the other morning, when, somewhere in the middle of issue 8 I experienced an epiphany. The overall style of the Bullet has been flying 'round in my head for some months now, things come and go but nothing firm. Then I saw Andy Salt's Ironhead Sporty and that's nailed it. A big thumbs up to Guy for mailing me these two pix.

I've always had a thing for early dirt bikes, particularly trials bikes and flat trackers from the immediate post war period. So the blending of these forms with the custom twist on top should sit quite well. Polished aluminium and liquid black paint, bloody timeless that is.

This M33 defines one edge of the styling window frame, beautiful bike but too competition orientated. Although the valanced alloy rims and the purposeful simplicity are great styling cues.

This early "Colonial Style" Triumph sets the other edge of the design possibilities. The high pipe is definitely going on, and we're going to be rollin' on alloy rims, 16 back with a 21 pointing the way, as well as trying to maintain a restorer's eye for detail.

Tuesday, 17 August 2010

........and then there's the other way.

Peter gave me the heads up on this bike listed on the bay. Starting price of one thousand pounds, surprisingly no bids at the moment. It's listed as a Bobber, now that will raise a few eyebrows in parts of this parish that's for sure. I'm not knocking the guy's efforts here, beauty in the eye of the beholder and all that, but this bike represents the very antithesis of we're trying to achieve here.

A recurring theme that seems to run through virtually every custom Enfield on here so far, is that people don't want to change major components and are prepared to live with the standard offerings. This is reminiscent of the 70's when loads of Trumpets and Beezers suffered the indignity of slugged forks, high bars and a seat with a backrest, all in the name of Chopperdom.
It's almost as though the Bullet is not generally regarded as a contender for customisation, this will be changed.

Monday, 9 August 2010

Keeping Good Company

The Madras Marauder getting a bit of advice down at the Hayride.

Saturday, 7 August 2010

Feeling a bit of a fraud......

When I started this blog I was full of grandiose ideas of how I was going to build a cool custom Bullet. Those of you that follow this blog, whom I thank, are waiting for some action, I appreciate that. As you are aware the hardtail, or lack of, has really halted any progress.
I still have no date from Hitchcock's and no reply from Briz at Custom Cycle Developments, I have just mailed Allan Hitchcock again for a sit rep, fingers crossed on that.
With all the down time and lack of tangible stuff to post I have been scouring the web for pics and stuff from elsewhere relating to custom Bullets. Apart from the stuff being built in India, where they seem to be going down an OCC type of road, there really seems to be very little being done out there. This makes it all the more important to get this thing moving in a forward direction again.
The world is our small bi-valved mollusc my friends, if we could only get the bloody shell open.
Keep The Faith