Sunday, July 26, 2015

The Starting Point - RE Interceptor II

My first order of business was to get the Interceptor title transferred over to myself, which is not normally an issue. The bike was last titled in 1974 and the latest plate was from 1978. Unfortunately there was a typo on the original title so a request for change had to be sent to the state. This worked out alright and I owned the bike after a month or so. I live in Western Michigan and the bikes were purchased close to where I grew up near Flint. I was surprised to see the Interceptor belonged to a man who lived in the same small town. I remember seeing him ride bikes and probably the Interceptor. The BSA was also owned by a different person a couple of houses down from him.

The starting point. 

After checking the oil and putting gas in the fuel lines the Interceptor started and idled very well. There were some noticeable issues with the bike. Turn signals had been added and non-standard handlebars replaced the original ones. The rear number plate was fabricated to include turn signal mounts, a few splices in the wiring were found, but other than a few small things the bike is original. The rear wheel bearings were completely shot and probably took the bike out of commission. This prevented me from taking it for a ride.
A nickel in the tach drive? I will have to find out what this is all about. 

A spacer to accommodate a stretched primary chain. 
At least it wasn't a lug nut like I found in the Hornet. 

Interceptor Video:

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Switching Gears

The Hornet which has been the center of my previous posts is completed and running quite well. I have a few things to take care of such as forks that leak a bit out of the bottom, and a rear wheel that took twice as much weight to balance as it should have. Both of these things will be alright for the summer but need to be looked after once the riding season is over. I also rattle canned a few gloss black brackets which will be refinished correctly when I have parts painted for my next project.
2014 auction finds. 

It’s time to start my next bike which is a 1969 Royal Enfield Interceptor. The following posts will detail its restoration. I will try to cover the unique features of the restoration and not duplicate previous postings. I will apply my lessons learned to this project and streamline my process. The Interceptor is close to complete and original which will make it a more straightforward project. I hope to complete it within two years which is a year faster than the Hornet. Spreading out the spending, working around my day job, accommodating bike rides and vintage bike shows, and making family events a priority are all things that will make this length of time necessary.

A nice diversion this summer. AMA Vintage Motorcycle Days. 

The Interceptor was purchased I year ago. A high school friend told me about an auction that had many British bikes and parts for sale. After reviewing the auction bill I decided to bid on the Interceptor. There were two for sale in this auction which is hard to believe. There was also a 1964 BSA lightning Rocket which is their first dual carb hotrod. I was attracted to this bike as it was made the year I was born. I knew I had enough money to win one bike but probably not both. I ended up winning the pair along with a box of side panels and lot of Monoblocs & Concentrics. I should have bid on the box of gauges offered but I didn’t. They went quite cheap and I did not realize their value at the time. A miss on my part. Both Interceptor tanks were in a separate lot. The guy who won the second Interceptor wanted them worse than I and he got them. I later found a refinished one on eBay which cost half the price of the bike. Holy S….t!. The most interesting thing about the bike auction is that the pickup was on my 50th birthday. I told my wife it was fate but I don’t think she is buying it.  

Lightning Rocket & Interceptor II in the back of the truck and heading to their new home. 
What a great 50th birthday!

I submitted an application to have my Interceptor put in the Royal Enfield Owners Group registry in England. From their organization I learned that the bike was dispatched from Bradford on Avon on June 23, 1969 and sold through a Warren Michigan distributor. Although it is titled as a 1970 is was made in 1969. So here I go, time to tear it down and see what I have. I can’t wait to get started as the Interceptor was on my “Dream List” of bikes and I thought I would probably not have one as they are hard to find and expensive when you do. Life is good.