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Old 19th June 2015, 22:48   #1
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Lightbulb Royal Enfield Model G: The Rarest of Rare

As a kid born in the late 70's fascination for bikes happen to be either in the form of a Bullet or Yezdi or Jawa or the macho RD 350. Fascination for cars in my youth used to be the Chevy Impalas or the Mercedes 220D’s or in some part of Greater Mumbai the Buicks and the Cadillacs.

For some reason fascination in cars stopped rather prematurely but the mojo for 2 wheels always remained. I use to envy my friend's elder brother who owned a RD 350 and a Bullet 350. Back then (probably 91-92) i used to hear from him and his friends Redditch made vs India made and i never really understood that. Most of these conversations were after our Sunday dash with another British legacy, Cricket. These guys used to be relentless and crazy and used to talk about heavy crank, normal crank, Amal Carb vs Non Amal Carb, Dynamo this Dynamo that.

Out of the whole conversation we juniors just picked up one thing. That the Redditch made bullets were far superior than Chennai made bullets. I still do not believe that but nonetheless let's go with the flow. (I mean Enfield India got the same equipment under license from Royal Enfield to make stuff here, so how different could they be? But that’s a discussion for another time may be)

My uncle riding a Rajdoot met with a very serious accident in 94, and he survived. What didn't survive was my dream of buying a motorcycle. My Mom was very sure- nothing on 2 wheels for her "Ladla Beta". While all this was happening lots of Japanese bikes entered the market and the commuter segment was flooded with bikes that i called "bikes without character". Save for the RX 100 and Shogun. Whoever rode it loved it.

College life was all about riding friends two wheelers, from Kinetic Honda to Bullet 350 and occasional spin on someone’s Bullet 500.

After 6 years of on and off "Garib Shakal" look and at times “Rebel look” on my face mom relented and gave me permission to get a two wheeler. As luck would have it my friend decided to say Ta-Ta to India in order to pursue MBA in the USA and who else would he sell his beloved Std 350 to?
So got hold of a Std 350, my priced possession ever since.

OK; So you guys would be like “What’s the rare part stupid?" Read on..

Many of team bhp forums discussion on royal enfield vintage bikes revolves round G2 engines and finding a good old Redditch made G2 stamped Royal Enfield. The folklore is that these bikes vibrate less due to the round chassis. The heavy crank is stuff that legends are made up of. RIGHT???

Well, as my wife calls it, a mid life crisis, has dwelled upon me and so is my obsession in finding out a Royal Enfield that’s prior to G2. It used to be called Model G.

Some history now based on my reading of various publication and dare I say Wikipedia. The predecessor to the G2 engine was the G engine. G engines (post war) were produced for a very small time period (1946 to 1954). G2 engines were produced 1952 onwards. So from 1952 to 1954 G as well as G2 engines were available.

Also worth mentioning is the fact that 1952 was the year when RE introduced spring frame on all of its bikes as a standard feature.

So most of the spring frame bikes by default had the G2 engines on them. Only for two years (and that too for a special batch of 500 bikes) were the G engines mounted on the spring frame chassis. This model was called the "G Model Deluxe" or the “Clipper 350”. Not many were sold as obviously masses went for the G2 model. What was a significant change in the G2 models was the placement of the oil compartment. Oil for these new engines (G2) was contained in a rearward compartment of the heavily finned crankcase the G models carried the oil forward of the crankcase.

Clippers were of basically of three types: the more popular clipper 250, Clipper 350 with the G2 model and Clipper 350 with the G model. Clipper 350 is very rare and the Clipper 350 with the G model engine is rarest of rare. Try figuring it out online and you would know what I’m so excited about. Globally not many are available and its even rare to find one in India.

Attaching some pictures for you to see what this looked like..

As to the question of did i find her? where did i find her? what condition did i find her? is it road worthy?

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Royal Enfield Model G: The Rarest of Rare-img20150607wa031.jpg

Internet has to be regarded as one of the greatest invention of all time. It has just shrunk the world into your laptops and your palms.

The search for these antiques would just be impossible or basically restricted to your city and/or known contacts in other cities. It's now possible for individuals to search for whatever one needs once connected.

Finding Clipper was not easy. As a matter of fact it was a very satisfying journey into Royal Enfield's past looking at various models and then researching to be sure if they are authentic.

With no disrespect meant to anyone, many models claimed to be vintage were basically a rip off from a different chassis and different engine mounted together and they were shamelessly called as antiques. While this practice is prevalent throughout India it's moreso prevalent in Kerala. Again i mean no disrespect to anyone here it's just a fact that i noticed.

Some basic checks to be aware of while searching for these oldies


Some basic things that you may want to be able to immediately spot based on ads in olx or quikr. Round chassis is a good sign, Aluminum center stand is a good sign, Original Smiths meter is a good sign (Although the copy looks as good as the original you need to be aware that the original meter costs anywhere between 15k to 22k, so that's a good bargaining point), Front and Back mudguard styling, Chain guard (sprocket) styling. There are a lot of literature available online which dates the mudguard or chain guard (sprocket) style to a particular year's model. So just be aware of that.

Getting the photograph of the engine no. and chassis no. along with the RC book front and back is also an important check. Smart cards issued for an antique without the original or at least a photocopy of the original is a red flag. So be careful. You get these smart cards made for as low as INR 1,500.

I looked at over 60 bikes and while my expedition was to find a good old G2 engine before 1958 somewhere in between i started noticing bikes that had different engine setups from what we are used to seeing in Royal enfields. Doing some research i came about knowing that these were the Model G. And then began my search for Model G in a decent condition.

All you need is internet and whatsapp and lots of free time

There were exactly 4 Model G that i came across but were as antiques as antiques can be. It was as if someone did not care for these beauties and were better left to sleep peacefully than to tinker with. And i let them be!

Then a friend sent me the post to this bike in the southernmost part of India. Setting my sights on her i was sure this is it! I was wanting to just close the deal with the seller. No questions asked.

But commonsense prevailed and i had to go through my self prepared due diligence checklist which i did judiciously and pestered the seller with questions one after the other and a request to send me pics of various things through whatsapp, of which one is starting the engine and revving the bike to hear the sound of the engine.

MUSIC TO MY EARS I MUST SAY!!!

After two weeks of deliberations I closed the deal and requested the seller to ship her off to me!

As I write this post she is on her way and is expected to arrive tomorrow. Will post more pictures of Clipper once she is her. Till then, some pictures that I have of her before restoration.

Thanks and Regards,
Rajesh

Royal Enfield Model G: The Rarest of Rare-img20150607wa029.jpg

Royal Enfield Model G: The Rarest of Rare-img20150607wa030.jpg

Last edited by GTO : 22nd June 2015 at 14:48. Reason: Adding your latest updates to the opening post :)
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Old 20th June 2015, 15:30   #2
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Default Re: Royal Enfield Model G: The Rarest of Rare

Thanks that is a very informative post. Learnt a couple of new things about this old bike we love.

I had a friend who had this bike we called budi. As in old woman and boy oh boy that was the smoothest bike I have ever been on.
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Old 21st June 2015, 10:48   #3
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Default Re: Royal Enfield Model G: The Rarest of Rare

Congratulation, that is a pricey possession
What is that additional lever on the gear box other than the shifter and the neutral finder ? Also I think that the bend pipe is that of a UCE Bullet, right ? If so, unless the original can be sought, the bend pipes of the CI bullets would suit more.
regards adrian
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Old 21st June 2015, 11:17   #4
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Default Re: Royal Enfield Model G: The Rarest of Rare

Quote:
Originally Posted by adrian View Post
Congratulation, that is a pricey possession
What is that additional lever on the gear box other than the shifter and the neutral finder ?
That's the lever that attaches to the clutch cable.

Quote:
Originally Posted by adrian View Post
Also I think that the bend pipe is that of a UCE Bullet, right ? If so, unless the original can be sought, the bend pipes of the CI bullets would suit more.
That is a good catch. I will have to check it once i get the bike.

Thanks and Regards,
Rajesh
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Old 22nd June 2015, 07:20   #5
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Default Re: Royal Enfield Model G: The Rarest of Rare

Wow, what an amazing story and what a beautiful looking motorcycle, my friend!! I love such stories filled with unending quests to achieve your heart's desire and I look forward to this union and hope she is all that you hoped for!

Once she is settled down with you, please have a walk-around video shot for us with the engine running so that we can at least listen to the mystic thump which has been missing in the Bullets of recent times.
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Old 22nd June 2015, 16:53   #6
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Default Re: Royal Enfield Model G: The Rarest of Rare

raj981 mate you've got yourself a collectors motorcycle and that too a Royal Enfield. The model you've mentioned is very rare and not very easy to come across. This same model came in a single cylinder 500cc variant with twin exhaust pipes. Once you have this motorcycle in your hands you can restore it cosmetically to its former glory. I too am a sucker for British vintage motorcycles and have two RE vintage motorcycles in my garage. These models are extremely difficult to find and restore and I know the pain one has to take to acquire these old beauties and restore it. Congrats to you.
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Old 22nd June 2015, 21:01   #7
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Default Re: Royal Enfield Model G: The Rarest of Rare

That is an incredibly beautiful motorcycle! Kudos to you for choosing such a piece.

As Navin said, the j2 (500) had the same motor construction but with twin exhausts and a rigid end.

Is that the original paint?

Those indicators remind me of the ones on them old ajs/matchless.

All the best for the restoration!

Regards,

BOV
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Old 3rd July 2015, 15:12   #8
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Default Re: Royal Enfield Model G: The Rarest of Rare

@raj981 - Its nice to see pics of a clipper. From the photos that you've posted it appears to be in original condition. Would be keen on getting some more information about your experience with the motorcycle once you get your hands on it.

Last edited by moralfibre : 5th July 2015 at 20:55. Reason: Moved RahulSingh's post to the appropriate thread. Thanks!
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Old 3rd July 2015, 19:19   #9
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Default Re: Royal Enfield Model G: The Rarest of Rare

Apologies for not updating this post in time.

Got the delivery of my priced possession 10 days ago. There were a couple of unscheduled but extremely critical tasks that cropped up.

You wouldn't believe after getting the delivery of the bike it took me around 4 days to actually ride her.

So here it is...

Experience with Gati Movers and Packers


Getting the clipper to Mumbai was the most difficult task i must admit.

Sitting in Mumbai and speaking to an agent and sometimes a subagent in a remote location in the South of India is no easy task. And the language barrier really makes it even more difficult.

Trying to have a conversation in my preferred language is one thing but talking business and bargaining and requesting for packing the clipper as per my satisfaction is totally a different animal.

I made around 30-40 calls to various agents and sub agents of various mover and packers. Agarwal, Gati and Safeexpress were amongst the known names that i could come across. The issue is that not all transporters offer "packing" as a service. Safe express was shortlisted but then they did offer any assistance in packing the bike. So it was out.

Agarwal movers and packers: I made around 3 phone calls to them and chatted twice and they promised that some one will get back with the fee quote and whether they would be able to offer packing services. And they actually did get back to me (after the bike was delivered to Mumbai)

Gati: By far the best experience (in booking the consignment) i must say. From giving clear guidance and also arranging at their remote location, facility to pack the bike, they were on the top of their game. They have a flat fee of INR 600 to pack a Royal enfield bike. The bike had to be dropped by the seller to their depot (just 1 km from the sellers house) and after that Gati's agent did the rest.
The bike took 4 days to reach their Panvel warehouse in the evening and for some reason left their Panvel warehouse the next evening. Effectively the bike reached me one day late than what was promised because some one in Panvel forgot to designate it to Mumbai North. Well, Alls well that ends well.
The bike came to me in Tata Ace with lots of stuff loaded around and top of the bike. When i first saw this i was terrified and was sure that there will definitely be some kind of damage to the Clipper. But thank god, i was wrong.
Not a single blemish on the Clipper! The INR 600 packing did its job well!

Anyways, it took 4 people to offload the bike from Tata Ace. (No they did not have a ramp) We had to literally lift the bike off the vehicle and bring it down.

I would give Gati 7 out of 10.

There were two layers: The inner material was the styrofoam kind of material and the outer layer was a thick jute bag which covered most of the bike. For 600 buck i must say it was worth it. Absolutely Brilliant!!

Some pictures of the bike with the packing material.
Royal Enfield Model G: The Rarest of Rare-thumb_img_0040_1024.jpg

Royal Enfield Model G: The Rarest of Rare-thumb_img_0041_1024.jpg

Royal Enfield Model G: The Rarest of Rare-thumb_img_0042_1024.jpg

Royal Enfield Model G: The Rarest of Rare-thumb_img_0043_1024.jpg

Royal Enfield Model G: The Rarest of Rare-thumb_img_0044_1024.jpg

Royal Enfield Model G: The Rarest of Rare-thumb_img_0045_1024.jpg


When you transport the bike, most operators empty the fuel tank. So if you intend to take delivery of the bike from their consolidation center/warehouse carry a litre of fuel, at least, to get it up and running.

After taking the delivery of the Clipper it took me approximately 20 minutes to remove the packing material off her. Filled her up with a litre of petrol and started her with half a kick. No exaggeration here. It's all that it takes to start her. 63 years old and starts with half a kick.

Anyways, I will post the riding experience in a bit. Just didn't want to delay posting on this thread even more.

Until next time sharing some pictures of her in full glory. My little one taking charge of his legacy in the first one. LOL
Royal Enfield Model G: The Rarest of Rare-thumb_img_0055_1024.jpg
Royal Enfield Model G: The Rarest of Rare-thumb_img_0078_1024.jpg
Royal Enfield Model G: The Rarest of Rare-thumb_img_0079_1024.jpg

A little DIY on her by yours truly. Enjoy!!!
Need to get the ugly watermarks off her. Spoke to a good friend and based on that i need to get a good buffing agent and leather. Will do it this weekend.

Royal Enfield Model G: The Rarest of Rare-thumb_img_0074_1024.jpg
Royal Enfield Model G: The Rarest of Rare-thumb_img_0076_1024.jpg
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Old 3rd July 2015, 21:35   #10
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Cool stuff!! The motorcycle looks far better in these photographs than the one's you'd shared earlier. It sure does look fabulous.

The previous owner appears to have gone a bit overboard with the "gold" but I'm pleased to see that the originality is still there.

Look forward to reading about your riding experience - Its been a few years since I've ridden a motorcycle with an advance / retard lever but I can imagine the thrill of opening the throttle and pushing that lever.

There's a chap called Salim in Mumbai who charges around Rs1000/- for the entire day and sits and manually buffs and polishes all the metal on vintage / classic motorcycles (I've used his services for 2 of my motorcycles and have been happy with the results). You may want to give him a shout in case you don't get the time to work on the buffing on your own.
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Old 5th July 2015, 10:02   #11
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Default Re: Royal Enfield Model G: The Rarest of Rare

Hello Raj,

This post was real informative. I love the old school bullet, but I have never researched on the various Engine models. Maybe it is because I am not yet ready to buy a Bullet yet. But someday when I am ready, I know whom to contact.

One of my friends had a bad experience with Gati but that was not a motorbike. Anyways, I really enjoyed reading through the whole thing and the motorbike looks fab.

I don't think you have mentioned the cost of purchase or did I miss that?

Congrats and many happy miles!
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Old 6th July 2015, 16:58   #12
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I don't think you have mentioned the cost of purchase or did I miss that?

Congrats and many happy miles!
Let's say i got it at a good price. The seller, who is now a friend, didn't want this to be disclosed as i was one of many who were vying for the clipper. So just honoring that. Hope you appreciate!
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Old 9th July 2015, 20:15   #13
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Let's say i got it at a good price. The seller, who is now a friend, didn't want this to be disclosed as i was one of many who were vying for the clipper. So just honoring that. Hope you appreciate!
Oh, I totally understand. Anyways, wishing you a pleasant ownership of the Bull. Reading through, I get the hint of why everyone prefers the old generation RE's over the Indian made. It is quite something to just look at.

Cheers!
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Old 11th July 2015, 21:25   #14
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Default Re: Royal Enfield Model G: The Rarest of Rare

Awesome piece of possession. The clipper is as rare as the interceptor and deserves to be cared and cuddled. The paint job is great, reminds me of my father's AJS and the Ariel's self restoration project way back in 1984.
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Old 27th July 2015, 17:34   #15
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Sorry for not being upto speed in updating the post as regularly as i should have.

The Clipper has surely bought a lot of good news and one of which is my migration to the USA.

I'm moving lock stock and barrel to the USA post Diwali so as hard as it may seem i'm putting her up for sale.

If any one from our TBHP community is interested and is willing to care for her PM me and i will be happy to take the dialogue forward.

On the riding experience. I will put that up this weekend.

Thanks and Regards,
Rajesh
PS: Mods: i hope this is not considered an infraction. Apologies if it does!
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