Royal Enfield Interceptor
Re-commissioning a fairly rare Royal
A good friend of ours asked me if I would have
a look at a Royal Enfield Interceptor MK2 belonging to an old friend of his, as
he no longer rides it and ought to pass it on to someone who would. It was in a
bedroom of an old but weather-tight house and hadn't been on the road since 2006,
so would need checking over and any necessary parts replacing, together with the
usual oils and filters. I went round to see it and was pleasantly
surprised at the generally good overall unmolested condition - the only obvious
replacement parts needed were the rubber fork gaiters which were split in many
places and one footrest rubber but there are bound to be other parts needed as
work proceeds. Although I was busy with other jobs, the hydraulic bike bench
being occupied by a long term 400/4 restoration, I promised I would get the bike
to a saleable standard for him at some point.
Eventually I did manage to clear the bench
and arranged to borrow a trailer and we made the trip to pick the bike up and
although a few tight corners had to be negotiated in the house, without damaging
any decoration, it only took about 15 minutes to extract from its resting place.
Once outside in the open air, a better assessment could be made and sure enough,
it would certainly live to fight another day!
We trailered it home and loaded it onto the
bench and then returned the trailer to its owner. I ordered the fork gaiters and
footrest rubbers from Hitchcock's and set to, removing the front wheel, mudguard
and fork legs in readiness for the new gaiters. The wheel - the same as
Norton Commando, together with the twin leading shoe front brake cleaned up
really well and after lubricating the pivots and cams, set it to one side until
the parts arrived for reassembly.
A couple of hours with Solvol soon cleaned up the pipes and
silencers to a very acceptable cosmetic standard, with only a small amount of
pitting evident - this bike will not be concours but should make a very
presentable and useable classic machine. The twin Amal concentric carburettors were next off and stripped
completely before a good clean in the ultrasonic bath. The fuel in the tank
stank terribly so I swilled it around for a while before draining it completely.
The inside of the tank looked pretty good so I just put half a gallon of fresh
fuel in. The battery was absolutely bone dry and not even registering millivolts
on my multimeter so I fitted one from my 400/4 as a temporary measure to see if
the thing would start. Having Boyer Bransden electronic ignition would hopefully
prevent too much sweating while attempting to start it. The oil was very clean
so decided to leave it until I could get it hot before draining and renewing. Turning on the ignition, closing the chokes, tickling the carbs
until fuel came out, it was now time to try starting. Three prods on the
kickstart and away it went, along with half of the tools and nuts and bolts on
the bike bench - hell these large capacity parallel twins vibrate - good job
I've still got most of my own teeth!!
The Q/D rear wheel was easily removed once I let the air out of
the tyre to give clearance between the drive flange and swinging arm and again
the linings were near new, so needed little more than a good vacuum plus then
the pivot and cam lightly lubricating. I cleaned around the swinging arm and
chain-guard before re-fitting the rear wheel and everything now looks very
That's it! - running and cosmetically a good bit
better than when I first saw it. It's now for sale, so if you would like
to be the next custodian, please email me (ianstallard 'at' hotmail 'dot' com -
rearrange to make valid address) and I will put you in touch with the owner.
Transport from Orkney can easily be arranged using our excellent couriers McAdie
and Reeve who are motorcyclists themselves and have transported my bikes for me
in the past.
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