1968 Royal Enfield Interceptor

England's Forgotten Twin

| May/June 2008

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.

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!

12/5/2017 6:39:28 PM

Do you have any info on the firing order interval? Were these 360 degree or 180 or 270? Thanks in advance.

Michael Ahberg
11/22/2010 5:04:44 AM

Current and future owners of this super classic Aston Martin of English Motorbikes will find much support material and discussions through the Royal Enfield Interceptor Owners web site since 2001 at http://www.ozemate.com/interceptor which is for owners to share information which is mainatined with zero commercial interest. Michael Ahlberg "Royal" Brisbane Australia

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