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Timing Side

The Bike

I've bought the majority of missing or replacement parts from
Hitchcocks Motorcycles. Hitchcocks are the worlds largest supplier of Royal Enfield spares and I have to say they offer excellent advice on which part to buy. Several of the items I needed to complete the restoration are no longer available new (eg. gearbox middle case, clutch operating lever, RHS fork bottom tube and rear mudguard carriers), but fortunately, Hitchcocks sell used parts as well and could find 80% of what I needed. They have also provided several parts that enhance performance. These can be viewed on our modifications page. Contact: Tel: (+44) 01564 783192

I have used
Penrite oils for a number of years. They are specially formulated for use with classic bikes and cars and I trust them to stand up well to the 40 degree plus heat I will experience in Iran and Pakistan. I will be carrying out several oil changes en route and am taking enough Penrite with me for the whole journey (carried in fuel containers I will use for spare petrol as the oil gets used). I am using Classic 20W50 for running in and riding across Europe, Classic HPR50 (equivalent to a straight 50) for the hotter latter stages of the journey and Classic HPR40 (equivalent to a straight 40) for the gearbox. Contact: Tel: (+44) 1594 562357

None of the standard Bullet throttle, clutch or twin front brake cables fit my bike. 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 plus one extra brake cable just in case. They also supplied a new BAP fuel tap, classy braided fuel hose and a glass bowl fuel filter which I am sure will prove very useful.
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 chose to fit a pair of
Hagon classic shrouded shock absorbers because they will cope with the weight and terrain, improve handling and look great on the bike. They have a double sealed nitrogen cell, automatic compression and rebound damping control with an enclosed hard chrome piston rod. 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 502 6222

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. Tippers recommended I use a 7 1/4" x 5 3/4" plate with curved sides, which fits perfectly onto my numberplate carrier. Contact: Tel: (+44) 01726 879799

Iíve tried to fit stainless steel fittings to the bike where possible. Halcyon Design & Manufacturing, famous for their aviator and motorcycle goggles, produce beautiful handlebar and bar-end mirrors with most components stainless. The styling looks good on a classic too. Iíve chosen a pair of their Stadium 850 handlebar mounted mirrors. They also produce a great stainless tax disc holder that I have also used. Contact: Tel: (+44) 01920 486032

I will be riding up to 10 hours a day and am keen to reduce fatigue as much as possible. One simple improvement was to fit a small screen. We bought a flyscreen for a 1960's Royal Enfield Continental GT from Hitchcocks. Stainless brackets were then made by friend, Derek Thom, which mount the screen onto the headlamp clamp bolts. It works a treat. It also has the added benefit of keeping stones, insects and a certain amount of rain off my sat nav and also my video camera when it's mounted on the tank bag.

I stumbled upon Bob Cooper of
Chrome Restoration Services at the Classic Motorcycle Show at Stafford in 2003. He's done all my chrome plating since then. He's thorough, reasonably priced and the chrome is nice and thick. Contact: Bob Cooper, 34L Bayton Rd, Exhall, Coventry, CV7 9EJ. Tel: (+44) 02476 364004

© 2015 Gordon G. May. All Rights reserved. | info@overlandtoindia.co.uk

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