1968 Royal Enfield Interceptor

England's Forgotten Twin

| May/June 2008

  • 1968 Royal Enfield Interceptor

  • 1968 Royal Enfield Interceptor

  • 1968 Royal Enfield Interceptor

  • 1968 Royal Enfield Interceptor
  • 1968 Royal Enfield Interceptor
  • 1968 Royal Enfield Interceptor

It’s the mid-1960s, and you’re on the hunt for a British Big Twin. Looking at the usual suspects, you click them off in your mind as you ponder your options. Triumph Bonneville? Check. BSA Lightning? Check. Norton Atlas? Check. Enfield Interceptor? Enfield? Yes, Enfield.

Jim Stothard wasn’t looking for a Royal Enfield when he discovered his boss had one. “I was really looking for a Bonneville,” he says. In fact, he wasn’t even sure what an Enfield was. But for some reason, the idea of buying it wouldn’t go away.

The Interceptor had sat in a garage for years, after some ham-fisted wrenching had cross-threaded a spark plug. “I kept joking with my boss, asking when he was going to sell me the Interceptor. One day he said ‘right now,’” Jim recalls.

A deal was done. Jim borrowed the company truck, gathered a few buddies, bought a couple of cases of beer, and the Interceptor was shoehorned up a flight of stairs and into Jim’s third floor apartment.

When Jim got the Enfield 20-odd years ago, British bikes weren’t exactly in favor, with parts scarce and advice even scarcer. One local motorcycle dealer even warned Jim not to bring the bike anywhere near his shop!

Fortunately, he stumbled across Vancouver’s British Motorcycle Owners’ Club, and he was able to enlist a number of members to help out with parts and wrenching advice. Jim duly set to reverse the decay that the passing of time had wreaked, rebuilding much of the bike in his living room. Before he knew it, it was time to see if the Interceptor would start.

10/28/2019 11:03:33 PM

I just purchased a 68 interceptor. I pick it up in 2 weeks. It's been garage since 1980. It ran when parked. Not sure if I should just get it running or do a rebuild. It's all together but it looks like parts are going to be hard to find. The bike has less than 10,000 miles on it. Art

2/24/2019 6:47:02 PM

I picked up a 1963 Royal Enfield 2005 and road it to work and around town. It was an amazing bike to ride. It would star on the first or second kick, but you had to know how to kick start it. Because of you just gave it a week kick it might kick back on you. You had a mussel bike and it needed to be treated like one. I would start it when it was on the center stand, then I would get off and it would walk across the floor from the power of the 750. I loved that bike and wished I had never sold it, but I wanted a bike that I could take on long trips and the Enfield wasn’t made for that. It was a fast street bike and made to show those other british bikes who was the boss on the street. It’s to bad it came out when the Japanese exports started coming into the US. I have a photo of my bike , but don’t know how to post it.

1/8/2018 1:43:18 PM

In the late 60s, I was in the Navy stationed in Memphiis. Fresh out of high school, I had my Honda 90 shipped there and enjoyed the freedom it provided. One day, at a convenience store, a guy asked me if I’d like to sell it, or better yet, trade it. He had an Interceptor that was not driveable. Long story, short, it had a broken clutch cable and started on the first kick. He still wanted to trade even up, so I obliged him. I rode the Enfield all over Western Tennesse and loved every minute. That bike totally hooked me for a motorcycle life that still lives on. I check ebay regularly for Interceptors. Great bike!

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