Greetings, All! I'm trying to ID my latest acquisition... ( Yikes another project! ) The numbers don't quite fit in with the lists I have. They are : Engine: SMR 4447, Frame 2796 ( the last digit could also be an 8 or a 0 as it was double stamped & obscure under the thick paint).It was represented to me as a Trailblazer based on some of the cycle parts present. It might be from the 55-56 period, but some of the parts don't quite seem right. Since it is an old custom, it might be a survivor "Bitsa" from back in the day. I will eventually post some photos once I get back in the office. My dial-up here in the sticks is totally useless for sending photos. Any help is appreciated in advance!
Hey Ray Glad to see you made it home in one piece with your treasure . I checked the Aussie RE Indian site which shows the SMR designation assigned to the Apaches However the highest SMR number he has is 57 SMR 4240 then the prefix changes to SMRA but the numbers start at 6501 . Who knows ? George
Greetings! Hope you had a nice ride back home & likewise glad to hear you are back safely. I sure did enjoy the Britbike gathering. It was good to meet more of the forum members face to face. Thanks for the serial # info! Maybe someone out there knows where this machine fits...otherwise, I am trying to date the cycle parts (which appear to be mix matched). So far I have noticed that the wheelbase is approximately 4 inches shorter than my 57 Blazer & the frame has dedicated brackets for mounting the tool/airfilter box. Either the previous owner was a very tidy & proficient welder or these brackets are factory items. My 57 Blazer uses saddle bracket clamps to hang the box & has a much longer swingarm... The mystery continues! Sure would be ultimately cool if it is an Apache engine!!!
I'll have to check my list tomorrow to find a date range. I have a 57 Apache engine and It should be a close S/N to mine.
The frame number looks like an older one. I don't have enough frame information to be sure what year/date range. The Apache models didn't come from the factory with tool/battery box like a Trailblazer. All they had was a battery tray. This gave them more room for the TT carb set up. My 57 Apache was set up with a K2F mag with manual spark advance. The 1957 Apache used the same rear fender carrier as the 500 twin Tomahawk and the same short swing arm for better handling. The long swing arms were first used on the Trailblazer then later a crosstube support & heavier axle fittings were added for additional strength for the later Trailblazer and Chief models. The long swing arm was carried over to the Interceptors when they came out.
I checked my numbers list and between April and July of 1957 they stamped all the cases starting from #4200 up with mixed machine prefixes SMP=Trailblazer, SMQ=Super Meteor, and SMR= Apache. I think any of them could have a number between 4200 and 4500 with any combination of model prefix stampings. I think the reason for this was that the new removable cam case was being introduced and they wanted to use up all the old cases first. The stampings for the 1958 model year started in July of 1957 and would have had the new prefix letters and the late type cases. They probably saved quite a few old type cases for replacements for warranty problems. I've seen later cases with no numbers stamped on as replacements for busted parts but I don't know what their practice was back in 57.
I was wondering if your engine case has the removable cam bearing covers? If it doesn't then it is definitely one of the early 1957 from April to July machines. If it does then it might have been a replacement case made later on. I know Apache riders were hard on their mounts. A lot of the old Apache parts I have are broken from abuse.
The only frame information I have states that frames from #4000 through 4613 were used in 1957. I've seen machines made in late 1957 with higher frame numbers than that so I don't know how much truth is in this information.
Hi, George & Kerby! Thanks for the shared info! This narrows things down a bit. I am still dating things based on the cycle parts... The main frame seems to be early trailblazer with alloy fork legs ( post 54 ), steel cushdrive quick detatch wheel ( 53-56 ), factory fitted tool box ( best guess ), dual front brakes with big stewart warner type crown ( 55 on ), huge tank without side panels ( I think...maybe bondo covered ), and no evidence of a wiring harness. There is a 6" miller type headlight bucket, bates rear lite mount, and rectifier bracket under the front of the tank. The puzzlement is the extremely short swingarm with a cast lug front portion & non-adjustable Armstrong shocks dated 2/55...Maybe from an earlier model year or 500? Dang, wish I could get this picture posting thing worked out....sure would save a thousand words! Anyway, the engine is a/the puzzlement... SRM serial number without removeable cam caps. Possibly a replacement case ( ??? ), but the SR-2 Magneto has a production date of 2/58! Also the transmission HDG529 has a dipstick!!! I can't remember when I last saw one of those! No sign of trans numbers stamped on the cases ( maybe under the grime? ). I have not torn the clutch apart to see if it has a cush drive, but it is pusher type release mechansism. The engine has a single 376/42 carb that was mis-jetted by miles! Also, the timing cover shows no evidence of ever having a badge fitted. After quite a bit of effort ( whew! ), it now at least runs and smokes like a bandit. Unbelievably, it has 150lbs of compression on both cylinders! That beats my other Blazer engine by miles! Due to the pattern of grease & grime, it is clear that this thing was in use when parked... but it has "new" valve adjusting screws. I forgot to check if it has removeable lash caps or not... It does have the stamped steel retainers. So the detective work continues... I'll continue to work on posting photos at some point. To bad these old bikes can't talk! They all have tales to tell!!!
Ray So it does run . Good deal . MAybe I really should try my Inter. Seems the mysteries are even greater than what we talked about in Ohio. Beginnig to look like a bitsa . Are you an REOC member ? Maybe they could provide some specs . I think their records are good except for the Interceptor era. George
Hi! I am a member of REOCNA not UK... yet. Yep, it runs...now on to the fourth oil flush! It is still pumping "green snot" out of the breather & smokes like heck, but has a very healthy return oil stream. Makes me wonder if it has the "right" crank breather bolt. It evidently had new chain & sprockets installed, but the rust virus got to the chain. The open primary is rusted all to heck & the master link had been brazed! Go figure! By all means...start prodding the Interceptor! I would at least oil up the engine to prevent any further storage issues... A bit of Marvel Mystery oil in the cylinders will at least start freeing up stuck rings... Of course, these things need to be fully disassembled & inspected, but I do like to hear these old things bark long enough to indicate general condition.
Hark, Photos! Success! Another small step for mankind & a very LARGE ONE for Bigtwin & my Dial-up!...Here are some glimpses of the Mystery Twin as found... Any ideas about this thing? Ugh-Oh! It is starting to rain! Hope this sends before the string between the tin cans gets soggy!
It looks like you got a pretty complete bike as things go for a 1950s model. My information lists an HDG prefix transmission as a 1955 item. There was nothing really wrong with those older gearboxes. The swing arm, rear shocks, and rear wheel hub all sound like 1955 too. The swing arm was still short in 55 just like a Meteor. The Super Meteor came out in 1956. They probably put a later Apache motor in to either pep it up or replace a broken case (or both). The tank looks more narrow than my 56 Trailblazer tank but the 55 tank may have been just that.
You have the old style seat that has stays at the rear. I think these were a 55 & 56 model item too. I know all the ones I own were all bitsa bikes. Some worse than others. Even my 58 Tomahawk had a Concentric carb installed when I got it. The headlight shell looks like an old Lucas 6 inch type. All of the Trailblazers used the 7 inch type but your fork brackets are correct for a blazer.
Royal enfield was building the Trailblazer in 1955 but they were still producing the Meteor for home market. It wasn't till 1956 that they produced the Super Meteor for the home market. I guess they new that what ever was sold to the Americans would have to be tougher to take the unending abuse of trail & desert riding that was so popular back in that time.
Hi, Kerby and thanks for the shared info! I am actually enjoying the fact that I did get a reasonably "whole" machine! I might have to nickname this thing "time warp" (due to the paint!) or "snapshot" based on the modifications and general mix of parts. At this point I am leaning toward it being an early 55 Trailblazer with a 57 Apache Motor fitted. There is no external evidence of catastrophic failure that I can see. Maybe a complete tear down will provide more evidence. The magneto from 2/58 is a puzzlement still. So far, just for test purposes, I fitted other wheels & tires (brakes!) sealed the primary, flushed the engine again, & took it for a 2.5 mile test ride. The smoking is starting to abate & it generally feels more "spunky" than my other blazer engined bike, but that could be an illusion due to gearing & straight pipes! The fact that it runs at all is an added treat! For now, it shall remain in this condition until I get my MK-1a project up & running.