Sunday, March 20, 2011

Royal Enfield in Classic Superbikes

Honestly coming to the point, a major motivation for buying the "Classic Superbikes from Around the World" book by Mac McDiarmid is because it featured a Royal Enfield motorbike (which to me is irresistible as you may be knowing). This book has a selection of superbikes in a period of 25 years (1950-1975) which spanned major technological changes in motorcycle industry! A good read for the motorbike enthusiast.

What amazes me is the availability of so many huge cc bikes 1000cc, 750cc in the yesteryears and the lot though these days you don’t find enough manufacturers adventurous enough to compete manufacturing a 1000cc!

The Royal Enfield Constellation

Engine: air cooled 692cc OHV vertical twin
Horsepower: 51 bhp@6250 rpm
Transmission: 4 speed
Frame:Tubular steel cradle,single front downtube
Top speed:112 mph (180.246 km/hr)

- "Where Triumphs tended to do it on revs, the 'Conny' (Constellation) offered sheer punch"

- "The big Enfields enjoyed dynamically balanced cranks and prodigous torque"
Constellation production continued until 1962 and then the 736cc Interceptor was introduced.Neither bike was conspicously successful and sold its last bikes in 1968.A stranded shipment of engines were later used in the Rickman Interceptor. However the successful Enfield 350 and 500s still continues to be produced in India :)


Another one of the interesting bikes featured in the book is Benelli's 750 SEI, the first production motorcycle to boast six cylinders!

Engine: air cooled 748cc SOHC
Horsepower: 71 bhp@8500rpm
Transmission: 5 speed
Frame:tubular twin cradle
Top speed: 114 mph (183.465 km/hr)


This bikes performance was disappointing due to very high pumping losses.
This 100 odd page book is a good read for the enthusiast. It also features the Yamaha RD 350 and BSA Goldstar too!

I do plan to add a section to this blog explaining some terms like- 4 stroke twins,vee config,water cooling,fuel injection,camshaft,crankshaft,camshaft etc.

Have a nice week!

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