Author Topic: Need help with Enfield Indian ID  (Read 599 times)

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BCondon1929

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on: February 09, 2021, 04:42:29 am
Hi...I'm brand new to the board and know NOTHING about Enfield Indians but I ran across one and this looks like the place tp learn. Any help in identifying such as year, type, size. Remember I am a complete novice so any help is appreciated. There is a title with it that states it's a 1959. Where would the vin numbers be? I found some numbers on the engine. Thanks


AzCal Retred

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Reply #1 on: February 09, 2021, 08:54:13 am
Welcome to the "Hoard of the Archaic"!

Here's your primary resource:
https://accessories.hitchcocksmotorcycles.com/

Hitchcocks has a huge parts inventory, specialty tools, manuals, and their terrific online parts book.

David Blasco's Royal Enfields page is also a great information resource:
https://www.royalenfields.com/2021/02/the-royal-enfield-flying-fleas-that.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed:+royalenfields/qqMm+(Royal+Enfield+Motorcycles)

Graham Scarth of the Royal Enfields Owners Club UK can ID these from the frame & engine numbers. Pictures will always help Graham. See attached JPEG.

E-mail Graham & peruse the Hitchcocks website. You can e-mail them as well for particulars on parts fitment, etc.

Post more pictures of the old girl - there are many interested here.

Good Hunting  - ACR -
A brace of 1999 Bullets: 1 Red Deluxe, 1 Green Standard. Also, 1 wee orphan 1956 Fire Arrow project.


Adrian II

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Reply #2 on: February 09, 2021, 02:13:34 pm
That is the RE version of the Indian Chief, which was based on the UK model 700cc Super Meteor, but very much dressed up for the American export market.

Another member of this forum completed an epic restoration of one of these fairly recently, which should inspire you here:

https://forum.classicmotorworks.com/index.php?topic=21851.0

Hitchcocks' will indeed by a mine of information and some parts, though their on-line parts books don't specifically cover the Indian-badged export models. They do have a service manual for the other Indian-badged 700 twins, the Trailblazer and the Apache, which you can download here, much of the information will apply to your Chief too.

https://accessories.hitchcocksmotorcycles.com/core/media/media.nl?id=238076&c=1062795&h=5f339b49eb5a31c3fa66&_xt=.pdf

This web site also might be helpful to you.

www.re-indian.com

A.
Grumpy Brit still seeking 500 AVL Bullet perfection! Will let you know if I get anywhere near...


BCondon1929

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Reply #3 on: February 09, 2021, 02:33:10 pm
Thanks for the replies. So, it's an RE version of the Chief, 700cc, based on UK Super Meteor. Can you tell me what the RE version means? Thanks again. Here are a couple more pics. I've been reading that a lot of these are made of different year parts...true?


BCondon1929

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Reply #4 on: February 09, 2021, 03:53:02 pm
OK..RE is Royal Enfield..I'm a little slow here. Anyway, here's another shot. I don't own it yet. Last ran in early 2018. Asking 4000. What do you think?


grumbern

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Reply #5 on: February 09, 2021, 06:10:45 pm
HI,
looks to me like this one has been "updated" with some parts of a Trailblazer, like the mudguards, mudguard carrier and airbox as well as an Interceptor primary case. Seats, tail light, mufflers and headlamp are aftermarket parts. The rear brake won't do anything as the lever is on the wrong side of the foot peg ;)

It is missing some of the hard to get parts, but on the other hand is more complete than mine was just five years ago (see adrian's post).

Andreas


AzCal Retred

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Reply #6 on: February 09, 2021, 06:42:44 pm
So - is it in your garage yet? Looks like with a battery, a set of spark plugs & carb clean out it might run. A set of tyres and you could likely take it around the block, after of course rectifying the "anti-lock brake" rear brake issue as pointed out by Grumbern.

Even a running 1998 or later 500 Bullet is $2500 - $4000, the twins generally much more. As has been pointed out it's basically intact, just missing a few cosmetic bits. It'd be a nice ride when sorted out. AdrianII gave you some good resources for manuals, I'd start there. Always best to have a bit of "secret knowledge" on tap before opening things up.

Make certain your tie down straps aren't rotted! I saw of a morning coming into Victorville California $50K worth of what used to be a matched pair of Honda Gold Wings that somersaulted off of some hero's motorcycle trailer. $50 bucks worth of new Ancra tie downs would have been a wise investment in retrospect.

What are you expecting to achieve, a nice weekend driver? Maybe a show bike? As intact as it is, it looks to be readily made to run after some fettling and a few aged rubber parts are replaced. There isn't a huge following for these like for a Vincent or Gold Star, so there isn't gobs of cash awaiting you if you brought it fully back to "as new" status, but there is a really nice British twin and quite bit of charisma for when you are stopped at the local gas station or diner. That's some affordable fun!

Did you find the frame number? The steering tube or front downtube might be a likely location to find a stamped number.

Looking forward to seeing pictures of that Indian in your driveway - ACR -
« Last Edit: February 09, 2021, 06:59:58 pm by AzCal Retred »
A brace of 1999 Bullets: 1 Red Deluxe, 1 Green Standard. Also, 1 wee orphan 1956 Fire Arrow project.


Bilgemaster

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Reply #7 on: February 09, 2021, 07:20:00 pm
OK..RE is Royal Enfield..I'm a little slow here. Anyway, here's another shot. I don't own it yet. Last ran in early 2018. Asking 4000. What do you think?

Welcome! I'd say it's a very promising-looking fixer upper, and a $4000 asking price doesn't make even this skinflint "clutch the pearls". But of course the devil's in the details. Does it kick through with decent compression? Have you ever wrenched on any old British iron?
So badass my Enfield's actually illegal  in India.

(Legal enough to pass muster if they don't look too closely in Woodbridge, Virginia, where the buses don't run at night, holidays or weekends and I'm a contender for 'Village Idiot')


BCondon1929

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Reply #8 on: February 10, 2021, 12:03:07 am
Thanks again for the replies There is a title with just a 4 digit identification number. Is there a photo or diagram that shows just where on the steering or front down tube that the frame number would be? Right side or left? By the way, I have not wrenched on a British bike.


AzCal Retred

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Reply #9 on: February 10, 2021, 12:03:29 pm
My 1999 500 Bullets are the first britbikes I have had adult ownership exposure to, coming from a Japanese machine background. These machines were quite modern for their time. As the engine cases are vertically split, they'll never be as oil tight as a Japanese machine, so don't obsess over a bit of leakage & weeping. The oiling system is a bit rudimentary compared to modern equipment, but that's expected. Change oil & filters often. Understand that whatever oil you use is 10x better that anything available in 1950. The primary side clutch seems to like Type "F" ATF, proper gear oil in the gearbox, 15W50 for the motor. Keep on top of the points & tappets until you get a feel for wear on these items. The shifter ratchet system is external to the gearbox and likes an occasional finger full of white grease smeared into its bits.
The Pre-Unit construction has some real advantages. Many major tasks can be carried out with the engine in the frame.
The Albion gearbox shifter mechanism is fascinating to me. The entire gearbox (save the bellcrank) can be renewed in place.
The separate primary & clutch means not only can the clutch be renewed in place, the primary ratios can easily be altered as well. It also means that changing the front drive sprocket requires removing the inner primary case, thus the obsession of British riders for keeping their drive chains clean, properly lubricated and adjusted to minimize this task.
The Twin's engine I have no experience with, but there are many here that are exceeding well versed in it.
The frame and wheels work well on the road. Both my Bullets have that "telepathic" brit steering thru corners, at least at the moderate speeds I am willing to push them. The rear wheels on mine are QD style, the brake & sprocket stay attached to the bike during flat repairs. The rear fender pivots entirely up out of the way to facilitate this by loosening a 4 nuts. The front brake with addition of the "sticky" Hitchcocks shoes and some tuning works well for a drum brake.
What makes it all work is Hitchcocks. They make it easy to own an Royal Enfield by providing a ready supply of parts & information. You don't need to own a machine shop to keep these bikes running. Owners of other makes can only dream of such a resource.
In any event - get a suitable manual & read through it. Hitchcocks has provided many online. Post some pictures of it in your driveway! - ACR -
A brace of 1999 Bullets: 1 Red Deluxe, 1 Green Standard. Also, 1 wee orphan 1956 Fire Arrow project.


Adrian II

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Reply #10 on: February 10, 2021, 12:37:50 pm
The frame number is stamped at the front of the frame on the left hand side, up at the top on the steering head casting. It is possible someone has taken the number for the casting by mistake instead.

What you're looking for is something like this.

A.
Grumpy Brit still seeking 500 AVL Bullet perfection! Will let you know if I get anywhere near...


BCondon1929

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Reply #11 on: February 12, 2021, 07:07:33 am
Pulled the trigger tonight. Here's the vin


ddavidv

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Reply #12 on: February 12, 2021, 12:33:10 pm
I'd say $4000 is right in the ballpark.
I bought a Interceptor (newer twin but in the same family as our subject) that had been off the road since 1974 for slightly more than that. The Indian branded Enfields are sort of a love it or hate it thing. The Indian purists don't like them because they are British. The RE guys sometimes look at them as a gussied-up, blingy proper RE. They are interesting though, and if you like the fully faired mud guards and some of the other Americanizations you'll have a unique piece that will puzzle many people.  :)

Michael Waller has an excellent video series on restoring a somewhat similar Trail Blazer that should provide a lot of education into these RE/Indian twins. https://youtu.be/Uc3YZf8zWwY

They have a few quirks but are generally very easy machines to work on compared to some of the British iron. Above average performance for their day.
2007 five speed 'Deluxe', 2008 Triumph Bonneville, 2012 Triumph Tiger 800


grumbern

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Reply #13 on: February 12, 2021, 03:55:44 pm
His Trailblazer also has the gearbox of a Chief and a sprocket mady by me ;)


BCondon1929

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Reply #14 on: February 13, 2021, 03:50:45 am
Thank you for setting me up with Graham. I have sent him a few photos and need to send a couple more. He has been extremely helpful with identifying the frame and engine. So far he told me that the frame is a Chief made on Feb. 13th, 1959 and the engine is from a Trailblazer made in December 1955. Next to get some pics of the gearbox case....


AzCal Retred

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Reply #15 on: February 13, 2021, 06:36:49 am
Graham is 'da bomb! Isn't it nice having real info? ;D ;D ;D
Those tyres look new - I'm guessing that fresh fuel, oil changes and some fettling & carb tinkering and you'll be circling the block making beautiful 360 parallel twin noises. More Pictures!     - ACR -
A brace of 1999 Bullets: 1 Red Deluxe, 1 Green Standard. Also, 1 wee orphan 1956 Fire Arrow project.


Karl Fenn

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Reply #16 on: February 24, 2021, 02:10:33 am
I must say that looks a nice bike not to much corrosion just needs a deep clean appears to be no evidence of oil leaks which is a good sign, but you need to get running to hear it, be sad case if the bottom end gone, would be expensive repair even if you could do it your self, beautiful looking bike in saying that to good to ride.


BCondon1929

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Reply #17 on: February 24, 2021, 02:08:56 pm
I've got a down payment on it. I'll find more info when I get it home. might be several months.


Karl Fenn

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Reply #18 on: March 07, 2021, 01:19:31 pm
I must say the more l look at this bike the more l like it, pity they stopped making them a real motorbike in every essence of the word.


ddavidv

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Reply #19 on: March 07, 2021, 01:42:28 pm
They are also wonderfully easy to work on and have several clever designs. I've really become a fan of the brand and have shelved my desire to have a Triumph twin.
2007 five speed 'Deluxe', 2008 Triumph Bonneville, 2012 Triumph Tiger 800


Karl Fenn

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Reply #20 on: March 12, 2021, 09:04:17 pm
Mind you triumph are not without their problems rest assured l have owned a couple over the years, thy had many issues believe me.