Britbike forum
Posted By: rufusneckbone Literal barn find Interceptor - 03/04/19 3:38 am
Hello, my name is Chuck and I must apologize in advance for a lengthy post. I recently came across a 1966 Royal Enfield Interceptor which is pictured below. I just purchased it from my great uncle, who bought it new originally. He drag raced it here in NC in the late 60s and has a curio cabinet full of trophies that it won. I was told, in fact, that he only ever lost one race on it, because he just wasn’t paying attention. He parked it in his shed in 1970, and has not ridden it since. It even still has the 1970 license plate on it. It is complete, with no dents, dings, etc. Although he said the primary cover is cracked, and the clutches are shot. Everything chrome has seen better days, so, once the initial teardown and assessment of the internals is done, I will either be getting a lot of things refinished, or trying to source new ones. Other than that, it’s just covered with 49 years of dust.

Family history aside, and disregarding the fact that I’m half British, I have always admired British motorcycles from afar. I have only owned one motorcycle, a Honda 750, and that was a good 20 years ago. Therefore, I am entirely new to the whole Royal Enfield brand, and may as well be new to motorcycles in general. My father and I wish to restore this bike to its original, factory configuration and condition, or at least as close as possible. To say I am excited to get started on this journey is an understatement. I am also quite overwhelmed at the prospect of tracking down parts. Any info, tips, or especially links to a good parts book or shop manual for it would be greatly appreciated. Also, any possibility of me providing someone the engine and frame reference numbers to find out more about it would be awesome.

I am super happy to have found this forum, and hope to post regular updates on the progress to getting this piece of British steel back on the road.



[Linked Image]
[Linked Image]
[Linked Image]
[Linked Image]
[Linked Image]
Posted By: Bigtwin Re: Literal barn find Interceptor - 03/04/19 4:05 am
Hi, Rufus!
Congrats on keeping it in the family!!! You will learn a lot bringing it back to life, to be sure! It has all it's "bones" , though, and that makes it a much easier job! Thanks for the Pix!!!
Got to love the seat!.

Regards!

Bigtwin
Posted By: rufusneckbone Re: Literal barn find Interceptor - 03/04/19 4:27 am
Thanks. That seat is something else. That and the high rise handlebars and windscreen will probably be the first things to go. I am guessing the seat may have been a factory option. Not sure on that. I am just going to put it back black, though. Cheers!
Posted By: franko Re: Literal barn find Interceptor - 03/04/19 4:32 am
Hi Chuck: Very nice and to do it with your Dad, awesome.
Posted By: rufusneckbone Re: Literal barn find Interceptor - 03/04/19 6:14 am
Thanks. Yeah, my dad is retiring this year, and I figure we could do something to keep him busy. My oldest son is going to help out, too. I feel very fortunate and can’t wait to get started.
Posted By: Chris Overton Re: Literal barn find Interceptor - 03/04/19 5:04 pm
Chuck, what a great heirloom! And a restoration project for your family. I expect you have seen both pages of the post running concurrent with yours, titled Royal Enfield Information Request. Graham Scarth posted, with his email address. Graham can tell you factory dispatch date and destination dealer if the RE Owners Club has the data. Unfortunately, in the era your bike was built, there is what amounts to an entire book missing from the series of factory ledgers. If the records exist, Graham will share. If not, the numbers on your known intact bike are especially valuable, because they will fill in gaps in the ledgers, and help us verify other machines. So many have been recorded this way, that the club can tell by comparison if the numbers on a bike are in the right ranges.
It is clear from your photos the engine number on your bike will begin YB 15 or YB 16 followed by 3 more numerals. Probably a 1964 or 1965 model registered in 1966. The RH/LH Monobloc carbs, magnetic insturments, seat shape, R side gas tap, balance tube on the cylinder head inlets, and rear shocks are all indicative. Engine number on left side of crankcase, just below the cylinders. Frame number stamped into the left side of the headstock (not the raised casting number on the right side). Gearbox number on the top of the case, near the cover with the joints on the right side. That number is repeated on the front of the crankcase right half. Tell us the numbers, or write to Graham directly.
The seat is definitely one of a kind, and the top panel follows the pattern of one version that came from the factory. The factory seat top had the stitched lines about 1" apart. Usual color was black, but a near white version of seat top was supplied to southern USA markets because the black got so hot in the sun. The difficulty with the stitching was that rain water would soak thru into the padding. The next day the top dried, but the water squeezed out of the padding only when the seat had weight on it.... Obvious effects on the riders jeans....
The rail around the back of the seat is aftermarket, and was common on Enfield-built Indian-brand bikes.
Posted By: oilyamerican Re: Literal barn find Interceptor - 03/04/19 5:17 pm
Howdy Chuck,
Glad to see there's still "diamonds in the rough" to be found.
Regarding your seat.... I'm thinking only the cover was a custom job. The seat pan is probably original to the bike.
Overall, it looks like you got a real good basis to work from; and thank God it still has it's toolbox and gauges. Expensive bits to replace.
Concerning parts, you'll be pleased to make the acquaintance of Hitchcock's motorcycles in the UK.
Their online parts books are a real God send, and you'll find them to be friendly and helpful; not to mention the huge supply of replica and original parts available.
Burton's Bike Bits is another parts source and they also have an Interceptor register. Feel free to submit your bike's numbers to contribute to the knowledge base.
And there's always eBay ! Seems like somebody's selling Interceptor parts at one time or another. Just keep a daily watch on the new listings.
You might want to check out the Yahoo Interceptor owner's group, the ozemate Interceptor website, the North American Royal Enfield Owners club, and last but certainly far from least is the UK Enfield owner's club. Like Chris O. already advised, you can reach out to Graham Scarth and send him your numbers so he can check them against the factory ledgers and give you some specific info on when and where your bike was shipped when it was new.
Have fun and keep us posted with your progress !!!
Cheers,
Oily
Posted By: raf940 Re: Literal barn find Interceptor - 03/04/19 8:39 pm
i swore to de lawd (and my wife) that when I finished my 72 commando recently I would never ever build another bike.....but an Interceptor? hmmmmmmm...I saw one when i was 17 years old...1969 at a local honda dealer it had open short megas and a bacon slicer on front brake guy took off on it and it sounded like rolling thunder....hmmmmmm...have fun with your project keep us posted with pics
Posted By: Al Eckstadt Re: Literal barn find Interceptor - 03/04/19 10:16 pm
Wow Chuck! Welcome to this forum. I got hold of a pig barn "67 Interceptor several years ago. I tried to not restore it but just refurbish it into a rideable bike. Today it is running great and I can ride it almost anywhere. Overall it was not an expensive rebuild, however I did not have to do much to the engine. I suspect with only 6400 miles you won't have to go too far into the engine either.
As the others have said - Hitchcock's and Burton's Bike Bits but also Baxter's in the US has a lot of parts in stock. British Cycle Supply has excellent stock of standard Brit bike parts and good customer service. And you will want to log in on the Yahoo Group RE Interceptors where there is another register and links to other RE Interceptor sites.
Regards
Al
Posted By: rufusneckbone Re: Literal barn find Interceptor - 03/04/19 11:46 pm
Thanks again, everyone for all the information. I certainly am glad to have found this site. I will indeed send the numbers over to Graham asap, and hopefully that will help us both kind of fill in the blanks, so to speak. Since I intend on doing a complete “frame off” restoration, I will be taking lots of photos and video, and I will surely have a ton of questions. Again, I appreciate all the help thus far. Take care, everyone.
Posted By: tomoil Re: Literal barn find Interceptor - 03/05/19 4:30 pm
Cool Beans Chuck!
Certainly a worthy project, but even better is one that is a family bike to be restored by family.
Just wait till you hear it running!
I have an S1 interceptor that came from N Carolina originally.
Don't hesitate to ask questions, and keep us posted.
All the best
Tom Oil
Posted By: kevin Re: Literal barn find Interceptor - 03/05/19 6:07 pm
Originally Posted by tomoil
Cool Beans Chuck!


just so you know, yesterday i was informed by my 18-year-old daughter that "cool beans" is passe', and is now used ironically by the millenial literati.

so we have just graduated into a generation one more step back into the distant past.
Posted By: Rohan Re: Literal barn find Interceptor - 03/05/19 10:53 pm
It looks like if you polished it, and renewed all the chrome and some bolts, you would have a largely unrestored gem of a bike.
Don't let anyone strip that paintwork off unless you are 100% sure they can redo it the same.
Some folks would kill to have original paint like that.
They are only original once !
Have fun, whatever ...

P.S. Does the other side have tank badges ?
Try not to discard that stripey seat and red screen, even if not fitted those are remarkable survivors. ?
Posted By: rufusneckbone Re: Literal barn find Interceptor - 03/06/19 2:28 am
Originally Posted by kevin roberts
Originally Posted by tomoil
Cool Beans Chuck!


just so you know, yesterday i was informed by my 18-year-old daughter that "cool beans" is passe', and is now used ironically by the millenial literati.

so we have just graduated into a generation one more step back into the distant past.



That’s a shame. I use it almost every day....
Posted By: rufusneckbone Re: Literal barn find Interceptor - 03/06/19 2:29 am
Originally Posted by tomoil
Cool Beans Chuck!
Certainly a worthy project, but even better is one that is a family bike to be restored by family.
Just wait till you hear it running!
I have an S1 interceptor that came from N Carolina originally.
Don't hesitate to ask questions, and keep us posted.
All the best
Tom Oil


Thank you, sir. Everyone here seems to have a vast amount of knowledge. I am sure I will come up with some questions soon enough.
Posted By: rufusneckbone Re: Literal barn find Interceptor - 03/06/19 2:34 am
Originally Posted by Rohan
It looks like if you polished it, and renewed all the chrome and some bolts, you would have a largely unrestored gem of a bike.
Don't let anyone strip that paintwork off unless you are 100% sure they can redo it the same.
Some folks would kill to have original paint like that.
They are only original once !
Have fun, whatever ...

P.S. Does the other side have tank badges ?
Try not to discard that stripey seat and red screen, even if not fitted those are remarkable survivors. ?


I am going to try to preserve everything I possibly can. I ama gunsmith by trade, and I am used to dealing with rust and neglected metal. Hopefully a lot is salvageable.

The other side did in fact still have the original tank badge. Once I get the bike into the workspace in the next week or so, I am going to start cataloging everything to see where we stand. I will do my best to document everything, and I am sure I will be asking you all tons of questions as well. Thanks.
Posted By: oilyamerican Re: Literal barn find Interceptor - 03/06/19 2:12 pm
In looking closely at the photos, I can see where the original knee pads left a bit of a shadow.
The only deviation from original paintwork seems to be where someone added some stripe tape (?) to the original gold pinstripes.
Posted By: Keane Lucas Re: Literal barn find Interceptor - 03/10/19 11:14 pm
I highly recommend gREgg K,for rebuilding the clocks.
He is a britbike member,and you could send him a PM, 'personal message'.
He straightened out,my tach,after it was botched by someone else.
Initially at 70mph it read around 3,000 rpm,instead of around 4,000 rpm.
Live and learn.
Once the rebuilt clocks are in place,you may want to wet sand and polish
the aluminum fork crown,to bring it up to snuff.
Get some new hardware.
Now that headlamp shell,really looks bad...
See where I'm going?
Or to those who have seen my bike,where I went.
Not a bad thing.
Your's is all there,and restored or not,another Interceptor,on the road!
Posted By: gREgg-K Re: Literal barn find Interceptor - 03/10/19 11:41 pm
Thank you Keane, for your kind thoughts.
Chuck, I would be pleased to restore your instruments when you are ready. A word of caution though: resist the urge to run the instruments before they are restored: The lube in those gray-faced instruments tends to dry out, and if run, the spindle bearings will quickly perish.


Cheers,
... gREgg
Posted By: rufusneckbone Re: Literal barn find Interceptor - 03/16/19 12:10 am
Originally Posted by Keane Lucas
I highly recommend gREgg K,for rebuilding the clocks.
He is a britbike member,and you could send him a PM, 'personal message'.
He straightened out,my tach,after it was botched by someone else.
Initially at 70mph it read around 3,000 rpm,instead of around 4,000 rpm.
Live and learn.
Once the rebuilt clocks are in place,you may want to wet sand and polish
the aluminum fork crown,to bring it up to snuff.
Get some new hardware.
Now that headlamp shell,really looks bad...
See where I'm going?
Or to those who have seen my bike,where I went.
Not a bad thing.
Your's is all there,and restored or not,another Interceptor,on the road!


Honestly, I hadn’t even thought about the importance of restoring the internal workings of the clocks themselves. I will definitely look into that as soon as I get to that point. I got the title this week from the original owner and now I am getting a place to work on the bike and keep it secured this weekend, and will then begin the tear down procress in earnest. I have already sourced a place locally to blast and powdercoat the frame, along with getting the seat re-covered, so that will be getting done while I assess what all needs to be done in the way of wheels and brakes. I am trying to approach it as methodically as possible, and build it back up from the ground up, getting a rolling frame first and then getting the engine/drivetrain finished, and moving on to peripherals last. Thanks for the heads up, and I will absolutely contact Gregg for the restoration.
Posted By: Chris Overton Re: Literal barn find Interceptor - 03/16/19 2:25 pm
Many people have frames powder coated. Durable, but tough to touch up if chipped. Brush painting with a good enamel is still viable, and can be repaired easily. In these times of VOC free paints, it is still possible to buy marine paints that behave like the original stove enamel.
Posted By: oilyamerican Re: Literal barn find Interceptor - 03/16/19 3:15 pm
Can you suggest any types or brand names for these marine paints ???
Posted By: rufusneckbone Re: Literal barn find Interceptor - 03/23/19 9:47 pm
Alrighr, finally got the bike moved into the space I will be using to work on it. Also sent the case number off to Mr. Scarth, and will get the frame number sent tomorrow when I go back down to work on it. Pulled the battery and checked the toolbox. Pretty dirty, but thankfully not rusted through anywhere. Pulled the windshield off and already have a complete stock handlebar assembly coming from Hitchcock's and Baxter's this week.

Now to start on the teardown.
Posted By: tomoil Re: Literal barn find Interceptor - 03/24/19 4:09 am
Keep the seat!
Posted By: rufusneckbone Re: Literal barn find Interceptor - 03/25/19 3:13 am
Originally Posted by tomoil
Keep the seat!


I will keep the seat. Probably just for the sake of having it.

I did make some progress finally on the teardown this evening. I had limited time, but I got the handlebars off, got the gas tank off, determined the original exhaust is salvageable with some steel wool and krud kutter. Also got the frame and AGX numbers to send to Mr. Scarth, who I had already sent the case number to previously.

[Linked Image]

I do have one question. What's up with the rear light assembly on mine? Surely this was something modified by the owner, and not factory installed? I want to put it back with the original black nameplate and single brake light assembly, but I am curious about what I have pictured below....

[Linked Image]
Posted By: tomoil Re: Literal barn find Interceptor - 03/25/19 5:37 am
Well Rufus
I guess you noticed there were a few modifications on your bike, but not to many.
If you go to Hitchcock's website, you can easily pull up their parts page and what parts would be correct for your bike.
I would also recommend getting the correct parts book so you have a hard copy.
Will NC let you keep that cool looking licence plate?
Have fun with your build!
Posted By: rufusneckbone Re: Literal barn find Interceptor - 03/25/19 1:15 pm
Yeah, I have been spending a lot of time on Hitchcock's site going over their online parts book. I also have an original shop manual inbound today. I was curious as to whether the setup on mine was done to appease our DMV with regards to turn signals or something.

As far as I know, NC will let you have antique tags on the vehicle as long as you have the new one in the vehicle also. I could be wrong but will double check. In a set of saddle boxes I was given, my great uncle also had a 1968 and 1969 tag as well as some old Indian tank badges. Pretty cool.
© Britbike forum