Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Most smuggled motorcycle?

Who needs to smuggle motorcycles these days? Apparently some people in Nepal. Savvy smugglers, they picked Royal Enfields.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Most searched in Google!

Royal Enfield is the most searched motorcycle in Google in India. Blue is nice.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014


Transfigure Custom House is a custom bike builder from Mumbai. Here's an article about them.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Friday, December 12, 2014

A cab upset

The Hampshire Telegraph, December 8, 1900, relays the story of a Royal Enfield quadricycle that startled a horse and made it to overturn its cab. The judge found against the Enfield driver. Click to enlarge.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Stanley Shows 1898-1900

Sometimes it is difficult to pin down original dates. It is claimed that Royal Enfield introduced a motorized quadricycle and a tricycle in 1898. This may or may not be true. According to this article about the Stanley Show (presumably of 1898) published in the Coventry Herald of February 24th 1899, there indeed was a tricycle in the show. No mention of a quad. Notice the (now quaint) final remark about cars.
However, the Morning Post of London November 18t 1899 does mention quads in their article about that year's Stanley Show,
Finally, in The Autocar magazine it mentions tricycles and quads and also Enfield cars for the Stanley Show of 1900.

Monday, December 8, 2014

Automotive Fair, Madrid 1923

From the newspaper "La Voz", April 17th, 1923, an article about the Automotive Fair in Madrid. It says "in stand number 33 are the Royal Enfield motorcycles and the Thomann bicycles, imported by the known industrial D. Domingo Alvarez. The Royal Enfield has a two stroke engine of 2.25 HP, with ignition, two speed gearbox and clutch, it can be said that it is the last word on this type of construction and the most practical and low consumption motorcycle that exists currently."

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Tuesday, December 2, 2014


It is perhaps a fitting tribute to the importance of Birmingham in the development of the motorcycle, that the two largest motorcycle museums in the world are located in cities called Birmingham. We have covered the National Motorcycle Museum in Birmingham, UK. In this post we cover the one in Birmingham, Alabama, USA. Taking advantage of the Thanksgiving holiday, I pointed my Plug-In Prius towards the North. That amazing machine averaged 56 miles per gallon, so the 828 mile round trip costed $33.

But I digress, in Birmingham Alabama is the Barber Motorsports Complex, which includes a racetrack and a vintage motorcycle museum. It claims to be the biggest motorcycle collection in the world. The building is impressive, it is five stories tall,
In the center of the building there is a large elevator that operates through a piston that pushes it up, meaning the five story tall piston must be all buried in the Earth when the elevator is in the basement! Decorating the elevator are motorcycles stacked on its sides, (on the right in the next picture):
The first Enfield I noted was one of the bikes next to the elevator, it was a Bullet Sixty Five,
The next one was a 1964 Interceptor in blue,
The description of the bike noted that it was built putting together two 350cc singles and that at the time it was the largest displacement bike in the UK and that Royal Enfield, in spite of being a relatively small company was very advanced in its technical designs.

The next one was a Clymer Indian using an Enfield Interceptor engine. I believe this one was featured in the magazine Motorcycle Classics
Nearby was a Conti "with every conceivable option added"

In the veteran section was a 1926 250cc two stroke

The caption pointed out that with probably 100 miles per gallon, the 250cc two strokes were very popular among commuters at the time.

Finally, there were some columns with motorcycles stacked all around them. On one of  them there was another Conti, without a description.
Compared to the museum in the UK, obviously this one had much more emphasis on US bikes and less on UK ones. In particular, we see only a few Enfields and almost none before World War II. Before then Enfields only entered the US market in private transactions there were no bike imports to the US. In addition to the motorcycles there are also some race cars, especially Lotus. I strongly recommend the museum.


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