Wednesday, February 11, 2009


Hi Paul,
I get quite a thrill when I review your articles, and the prices [at auction] just astounds me, and although I have nothing of value except nostalgia and a few very cheap bikes in comparison! I still feel it prudent to let you know some of us old fogies truly retired by now, have to some people an interesting story to tell and maybe the odd interesting picture! Especially for some of the much cheaper models which never managed to survive the scrap man.

I would like to start by explaining that the bike in question is not owned by me (wish it was) but by a gentleman in our section of the Canadian Vintage Motorcycle Group (CVMG) Mr Jeff K---; it is a 1937 Royal Enfield 250 cc ohv Model S (which cost about 29 pounds new ), brought over to Canada In 1945 after the war. Dismantled to bits, it laid around in a storage area for many years before the owner eventually passed away, and the bike willed to his nephew Harvey H--- , who in turn thought he would try and restore the glorious old beast... but alas the cost became to overwhelming to a young couple with children and he had to part with it!!
A well known local restorer in turn sold it to Jeff, with very little being done to it; Jeff and his father set about the task of putting this bike back together but again time and patience became the winner - Jeff’s father died and the bike was put to rest as a rolling chassis in his father's old office, until I was privileged to review some of Jeff’s old antiques such as lawn mowers , tractors and stock cars. I was confronted with the old Enfield in a sorry state by now, and I asked Jeff 'why not let me have a go at putting it all back together?' To my surprise he was willing to do, and subsequently arrived at my house with a trailer carrying the old Enfield and all the bits he could find [Now that's a familiar story...].
I must admit I am not a restorer like the dedicated guys in the UK, but I can get most bikes running and looking somewhat like the original, at the minimal costs as I make most of the missing parts!! And of course search the internet hoping to find those hidden treasures... After 5 weeks of reasonably hard toil (and a little cheating) the bike is complete; here are couple of pictures that I hope you find satisfactory just to let you know how the progress turned out, by the way Jeff is elated with the results and hopefully we now have another antique that can be shown within the motorcycle world ,
Best regards Allan
And that's what it's all about - people like Allan make the Old Motorcycle world go 'round.
Royal Enfield is still exists, and like some other old British makes, there are multiple claimants to the name; Matt Holder, owner of Aerco Jig and Tool, purchased the name and rights for Royal Enfield in 1971, and the Velocette Motorcycle Company still manufactures spares for older REs, inside the old Triumph export warehouses in Coventry. Of course, the Enfield India company currently manufactures Bullets under license in India; David Holder recently lost a court case when Enfield India began using the name 'Royal Enfield' with their products... as the Holder family has used the 'Velocette' name as the umbrella for Vincent, RE, Scott, and Velocette spares production, the court in England granted Enfield India the rights to the name 'Royal Enfield Motorcycles'... and such is how the law works. No thanks for keeping the old machines alive.
PS, I spy in the second photo a couple of very interesting bikes... a Wideline Norton Domi and an Indian of 1920's vintage...

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I just have to tell you, I love your blog so much. We've passed it on to so many people and they all do too. Is fantastic.

Sending LA goodness (we've sifted it).