Fleeting But Memorable

Fleeting But Memorable

Bike: 1948 G2 Bullet Trials | Owner: Jim Hemingway

My first experiences with Royal Enfields were fleeting but memorable. At the age of 17 my local bike shop; Buslingthorpe Motor Exchange I think it was called, was trying in vain to fix my old Yamaha and there in the window was a grey bike, pride of place. I asked the shop owner about it , ‘Oh that’s my bike, a Royal Enfield Bullet its a fantastic bike, its not for sale’.

That was it, my first glimpse of man and machine attachment, the connection that goes beyond mere ownership.

A few years later at the vintage races I saw Steve Linsdell, a guy with significant skill in riding and tuning simply slice through the opposition to win race after race. There’s something about these Enfields I thought, they have potential well beyond your expectations.

Fleeting But Memorable
Fleeting But Memorable

However after a few unsuccessful attempts with my mates to buy a bullet to race and not fall off, the idea faded leaving only the memory of the sleek riding style and amazing performance of the humble Enfield.

It was quite unexpected when I bought the Bullet. My mate had had it for a year or two in various boxes and still had his Norton ES2 to finish plus his Bonnies and Velo to keep him busy. As I only had three bikes at the time it seemed reasonable on one particular night to let me have it for what he paid for it.

So with £350 less in my pocket I picked up the tea chests and boxes to be told its a bullet or a trials, and that was it, a strange bike in my garage and a lot of things I didn’t know.

It was obvious from the start that if it hadn’t been for Hitchcocks and the regular Enfield auto jumble stalls, I wouldn’t of got very far. Thanks to their willingness to listen and help the uninitiated I made steady if unsure progress due to the occassional wierd differences which would be evident in the new trials machine.

Life, children and finding places to live slowed the progress of the Enfield but after a number of years and a visit from the DVLA with the help of the REOC to obtain the original number CHL 528, she was ready to go.

I am really glad to have come across this historic bike it looks great and goes very well, being one of the first ever proper trails bikes in the world kept me going and I tried to stay true to the original concept and use over time (for example I left the dents in the tank someone had made for better steering lock).

It would be good to know the history or if any of the 10 others from 48 still survive (apparently 10 built – info from REOC when my wife Melanie Hemingway was a member in the 90’s).

Fleeting But Memorable
Fleeting But Memorable

There is something about a single that makes you smile, the simplicity of one cylinder rhythmically pushing you forward, fast or slow it doesn’t matter.

Start the engine, thud, thud, put into gear and that’s it, wind on your face and smile.

The Enfield is very cleverly designed to be simple, all the engineering requirements solved efficiently without fuss and with a bit of individual style.

When I start my bike it goes, simple sure and enjoyable, one cylinder some petrol in the tank and the open road. You can go at your own pace with an Enfield, because its an Enfield, everyone hears the exhaust note, looks around and where ever you are going its a special sight.

I ride my bike to work or out on the country lanes fun independent (and inexpensive), every ride is a bit of an adventure, a bit of an experience, a bit of making the most of the good times.

If you can help Jim in his quest
drop me a line and I will make sure
he gets the information.

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