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Saturday, 31 December 2011

Restoring a Royal Enfield Meteor Minor- The Legacy Update

Restoring a Royal Enfield Meteor Minor-
In my last posting i said i`d try to get another blog in before the arrival of both the new year and my new baby meteorite. New years eve is upon us and Mrs M is bursting at the seams her due date is today, and she says her belly feels really tight,- so i suppose i`d better get on with it.

Xmas in sunny south Wales went without a hitch. Not counting the fact that Jamie Oliver`s timings for cooking a turkey were spot on if you like your food with the same amount of moisture as Ghandis flip flops, And my darling wife having a bump in my car whilst out xmas shopping......

Mrs M: "i was sat in the car in the car park, i lokooked in my mirror, saw her reversing, and just watched her drive straight into me"
Me: "she couldn`t have been going very fast. did you beep the horn?"
Mrs M: "No, i just didnt think of it at the time"

women.

Anyways, on the upside,the wonderful  mrs M did give me a decent wedge of her hard earned cash to spend on the bike. Hitchcocks here i come. Fuel tank restoration part 2 will be posted sometime in January as long as i can steer clear of being knee deep in baby pooh for long enough to put pen to paper.

Legacy Update
Those of you whom have been following this blog from the start will remember that back in November i decided to join the Royal Enfield owners club. i aimed to enlist their help in researching the history of this motorcycle.
About a week went by before my welcome pack landed on the doorstep and i must say i was impressed, i received:-
a) 3 copies of the REOC bi monthly magazine called "the Gun" which contained news about club events, reviews of different rallies, readers problems and tips, and a for sale and wanted section.

b) My membership number card

c) Various branch details

d) List of approved Spares Suppliers

e) A Royal Enfield Owners Club car sticker

but most importantly,
f) The contact details of all the REOC management commitee

My first stop was to contact Jim Millar. He was the machine dating officer for the REOC and i thought  i would send over rubbings and pics of the frame and engine numbers to see if he could throw a bit of light on the legacy of the bike.
Otherwise, i would have to move to plan B, -drive to Llanfalteg and put thumb screws on the mysterious Mr Taylor until he told me what colour the tank and frame were.


Jim Miller
 In my minds eye i had visions of a man in a huge vault of old books blowing dust off a huge leather bound archive of old Redditch Royal Enfield manufacturing logs.

 He would carefully thumb through the pages which were yellowing with age until he found a match to my engine number -SMCA 7591.


As the custodian of this hallowed book, he would then have access to an unfathomable amount of information regarding my particular motorcycle,
-right down to what colour underwear the fitter was wearing on the day he proudly wheeled it off the production line. Mr Taylors thumbs would be able to keep twiddleing for now at least.

Hmmm, that wasn`t exactly how the story went. Jim Miller had just quit his post as machine dating officer.

Fortunately, Graham, the chairman and don of the REOC organization was on the blower to me the next day to pick up the gauntlet with support of new replacement dating officer Tom Bray.
It turns out that he did indeed have a record of all the Royal Enfield Engine serial numbers which were produced at the Redditch factory and he had found mine without a hitch.
The engine was as advertised, a 500cc Twin which did indeed belong to a 1959 Royal Enfield Meteor Minor. I breathed a sigh of relief knowing that the integrity of my bike and this blog was intact and eased back in my chair to begin rattling off a list of questions regarding the motorcycles registration details, original spec and colour etc. That was when he dropped the bombshell.......

"i have been populating a spreadsheet with a list of engine serial numbers and matching them up with the frame numbers.....your frame has obviously been overstamped with a second set of numbers, but none of the combinations of these numbers are anything like the original serial number for this particular engine."

Shit.

He advised me that years ago when men were men and everybody maintained their own motorcycles, people would often go to scrap yards which were full of old bikes, and interchange any unserviceable items. The boys in work were right. Mrs M had bought me a "ringer"
Graham been looking at the pics i took of the bike and the photos of the dodgey serial numbers. The frame certainly looked the part but he advised me could possibly belong to a Royal Enfield Constallation (the frames are identical).

He would need to contact replacement dating officer Jim Millar, and together they would decide on what my actual frame number was, and whether i could be allocated a new number or the records could be updated.
Until then, the tap of information regarding the bike would have to be turned off.

Well folks that was the last i heard from the REOC and it appears my old Meteor is having an identity crisis. i emailed them last week so hopefully the new year will bring some more interesting news. Hey, i may have even got round to doing something on the bike

Happy New Year
Meteor Man

5 comments:

  1. Good luck Meteor, I'm on my third one this winter. Hitchcocks are great to deal with. Roger

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  2. The turkey sounds delicious. You should write a food blog.

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  3. Keep up the good work mate...my three Bullets are a joy to work on,and I'm about to start assembling a fourth,with a girder front end,and also a 1959 Royal Enfield Redditch made Indian Chief project...I'll be watching your progress with great interest!

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  4. nice opinion, thanks for sharing...

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  5. Damn, it's the middle of March? WHat have you been doing? Got that fuel tank buffed out yet?

    Congrats on the babe...they change your life for the better. No longer is it your wife you would push out of the way, and the wife understands that. Babes are the equalizer.

    But really....lets get going, this moto will never get done with what you're doing now. Sheds are the ultimate babysitting studios.

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