1964 Lightning Rocket

Finding the Lightning Rocket
A couple of weeks before my 50th birthday a high school friend of mine sent me a text informing me of an online auction of a British bike collection.  Although I wasn’t looking to buy anything until I finished my Hornet restoration I decided to take a look. Wow, there were a couple of bikes that I was really interested in. The Lightning Rocket was one & the Royal Enfield Interceptor was the other. I ended up with the winning bid on both. The pick-up date and time was on my birthday to top it all off! Pictures of the bikes as purchased are below. 

I checked the oil & pushed the BSA up and down the road to get it pumped through engine. The oil looked clean so I thought I would give it a go. There were two issues with the bike. The first was that the rear tire was too large for the bike and rubbed the fender lightly. It was also missing a coil. Although it shifted through the gears I would not be taking it for a spin.  I hooked up a Norton dual lead coil to the points and connected a battery charger. Spark was great. I had the original tank but it was full of rust and I did not want to use it. One carb was stuck so I cleaned out the slide to get it working smoothly. I filled the carbs with gas via a syringe and gave it a couple of kicks. It started fine but ran a little rough. It should be a great starting point for a restoration.

 The original owner had taken it apart and restored it at some point in time. It has pre-unit mufflers, some odd bits in an already odd 6 volt wiring system and is missing the gages. He probably was not sure where to get cad plating done as all hardware is painted gold and some has been swapped out. I will collect missing parts for now and line it up for restoration behind the Interceptor.

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