The majority of missing or replacement parts came from Hitchcocks Motorcycles., the world's largest supplier of Royal Enfield spares. Several of the items I needed for the restoration are no longer available new (eg. gearbox middle case and pushrods), but fortunately Hitchcocks also sell used parts and could find just about all I needed. They have also provided several parts that enhance performance which can be viewed on our modifications page.
Contact Tel: (+44) 01564 783192
The Royal Enfield's alloy engine cases were in well used condition. I sent them to CC's Carburettor Cleaners who specialise in ultrasonic and vapour cleaning. Using high pressure water and fine blasting media, they returned the crankcases, barrells, cylinder heads and gearbox shell to a lustrous satin finish. CC's are experts at cleaning old carburettors, as well as larger components such as cylinder heads and wheels, using safe and gentle processes.
Contact Tel: (+44) 05602 051339
My bike's rims and spokes were in poor shape. I sent the hubs to wheel experts Central Wheel Components who rebuilt them using stainless steel rims and spokes. The result is a superb finish that won't rust. The company also provided spare spokes for the journey.I've opted for a non-standard 21″ front wheel to give better off-road capability and an 18″ rear to enable a wider choice of tyres. It's always such a pleasure to deal with efficient experts such as Central Wheels.
Contact Tel: (+44) 01621 841100
My new MK1 Concentric Premier carburettor came from The Amal Carburetter Company. Made to exceedingly high standards, it is slightly larger than the WWII Amal carbs so not 100% original for my bike but a reliable, no fuss carburetter is priceless. I also have an Amal Repair Kit just in case anything needs working oin during the journey. Contact Tel: (+44) 01722 412500
After much research, I used Silkolene Comp 4 Synthetic ester based engine oil for the ride to Vietnam. It was superb. It's especially good for engines running in hot climates. It's also suitable for many vintage and classic engines where monograde oils were originally specified. The manufacturter, Fuchs, offer great technical support for their oils Contact Tel: (+44) 01782 203700
None of the standard Royal Enfield throttle, clutch or twin front brake cables fit my modified 500 Twin. Carrot Cycles, a UK web-based business specialising in made-to-order control cables and quality classic motorcycle consumables, came to the rescue. They provided me with custom-made cables that fit perfectly. I'll be taking a spare of each just in case. Their turnaround is fast and they are friendly, helpful people. Contact Tel: (+44) 01522 595975
The original Royal Enfield shock absorbers were pretty good in their time, but certainly would struggle with the weight I will be carrying, especially on poor roads. I used a pair on the Bullet I rode to India and they were terrificd. On the 500 Twin I'm using Hagon classic shrouded shock absorbers because they will cope with the weight and terrain, improve handling and look great on the bike. There are 3 easily selectable settings ranging for soft to firm, giving modern standards of comfort and road holding combined with classic appearance. Contact Tel: (+44) 0208 5026222
The restored twin engine uses 700 Meteor cylinders and cylinder heads for extra cooling. In combination with the 500 Twin’s bottom end and 700cc pistons this gives a hybrid engine displacement of 600cc. There are no new 500 Twin con rods available so we had custom rods made by Thunder Engineering. They are bulletproof, an absolute work of art.
Contact Tel: (+44) 0116 2834640
My ancient Smiths 120 MPH Chronometric Speedometer was serviced byPhilip Woods. Along with his father, David Woods, Philip also offers fully restored Smiths speedometers on an exchange basis. The superb finish speaks for itself. Contact Tel: (+44) 01903 724509
Most of the bike was powdercoated, as close to as its original shade of grey as possible. However, the chrome plated petrol tank deserved special treatment and was beautifully painted and pinstriped by classic motorcycle paint expert Rob of Shropshire Classic Sprayers.His enthusiasm is boundless and the quality of his work outstanding. Contact Tel: (+44) 07800 863969
Unusually, the 500 Twin and early Meteor used a Lucas dynamo with a distributor mounted on top which was driven by a skew gear. Mine was worn out so I gave it to expert Martin Jay, the Distributor Doctor, who replaced all worn parts and ensured everything was running true. There’s nothing like working with a master of his craft!
Contact Tel (+44) 01984 629 540
I stumbled upon Bob Cooper of Chrome Restoration Services at the Stafford Classic Motorcycle Show in 2003. He's done all my chrome plating since then. He's thorough, reasonably priced and the chrome is nice and thick. However, he's somewhat grumpy and not very quick ... a job can easily take months. That said, this seems to be the case with many chrome platers. He did a stunning job on the Enfield's tank, including removing dents.
Contact Tel (+44) 02476 364004
In the UK, pre-1973 cars and motorcycles can use an old style numberplate with silver or white letters on a black background. Mine was made by specialists Tippers Vintage Plates. The numerals are die pressed, highly polished aluminum on a stove-enamelled black background. It looks stunning on the bike; far superior to the stick-on white letters you often see applied to the rear numberplate of many classic bikes.
Contact Tel: (+44) 01726 879799
I’ve tried to use stainless steel fittings where possible during the restoiration. Halcyon Design & Manufacturing, famous for their aviator and motorcycle goggles, produce superb handlebar and bar-end mirrors made in the UK from stainless steel. The styling looks perfect on a classic too as they're made from the original 1950's / 60's Stadium tooling. I've usied a pair of their 850 handlebar mounted mirrors on all my overland journeys. Contact Tel: (+44) 01920 486032