Indian Enfield Interceptor 750
Claimed power: 56hp @ 6,750rpm
Top speed: 115mph
Engine: 736cc OHV air-cooled parallel twin
Weight (dry): 410lb
Price then: $1,545
MPG: 37mpg (avg.)
I bought my first big Royal Enfield more than 30 years ago. Just saying that makes me realize why my hair is streaked with “sophisticated” gray.
I suppose I look back at that old 700 twin through rose-tinted glasses. It may have been very secondhand, but the engine had brutish power and was as smooth as any modern twin with balance shafts, almost certainly due to Enfield’s dynamic balancing of the rigid one-piece crankshaft.
I’ll admit the Armstrong gearbox needed firm pressure to make a change, but it had an auxiliary heel operated lever that let you go straight to neutral from any gear higher than first. And hammering along with the needle of the Smiths Chronometric hovering over the 110mph mark, the Enfield was rock steady.
But it was a heavy bike, and the chassis was out of date. I remember thinking that if only I could drop that engine into a modern frame with the latest suspension, I’d really have something. And that’s just what motorsports publisher Floyd Clymer did.
To read more about the history behind the Indian Enfield Interceptor 750, including full-color photos and author Phillip Tooth’s riding review, order the July/August 2011 issue of Motorcycle Classics. Contact Customer Service at (800) 880-7567 or contact us by email.