Here's a bike we need more pictures of. This is a Royal Enfield with a Rootes Imp 1000cc 4 cylinder engine. The engine feeds through a Norton transmission and seems to fit nicely in the available space. The Imp engine was a 45 degree OHC inline 4, the first with aluminum block and head. There seems to be a great following online.
On the one hand, ugh: wretched excess. It seems miraculous to me that the large REs -- Meteors, Interceptors et al. -- handled as good as they did, burdened by about (my guess) 125lbs of engine. Their common frame is the least gussetted, most Schwinn-looking of any big British bike I can name.
[Effortfully getting a partial grip on myself] Okay okay, this concludes today's exercise in grumbling. Sorry. (Except, PS., it's ugly too!)
Ugly??? Ever seen a Munch Mammoth? (Since we're talking auto-engined bikes)
Yeah, the Munch is hideous. And not because its maker consciously slighted looks in favor of function (as with virtually all the VW-engined BMWs I've seen, for example). Uncle Friedl put thought, effort, and considerable money into Munch bits such as the ugly cast-alloy seat, the ugly cast-alloy rear wheel, and the ugly-ass headlight housing -- so presumably he thought they looked swell.
The Munch is definitely uglier than the Imp-engined RE; the latter certnly has nice points, such as the primary cover. Also I belatedly read up on the Imp engine's capacity to be hotrodded, and that does make the engine swap sort of somewhat arguably subjectively worth the trouble. So, yeah, I spoke from ignorance (my favorite vantage point).
...I spoke from ignorance (my favorite vantage point).
Heh, I wondered why it was getting so crowded up here...
And Exhibit A from the Repressed Memory Syndrome Museum (Auto Engined Motorcycle Section), I give you the Amazonas:
Oh yeah... that thing! I mercifully, had forgotten about that.
I won my class in the '77 Baja 1000 on one of those. The class was restricted to motorcycles whose dry weight exceeded 850lbs, with a minimum o/a vehicle length of 5' 6"; the only other entrant was a Harley-Davidson Electra Glide pulling a second, wheelless Electra Glide, and it came up DNF after the rider and crew disappeared en masse on the second night of the race.
I remember the race-prepped Amazonas as an agile and fleet machine with a tendency to oversteer, due not to any flaw in the geometry but because I was, despite the factory's advice to the contrary, towing the pit crew and their families, six South American moto-photo-journalists, and a few of Amazonas's sales and PR people behind me on a barge. It was a brilliant machie that should have sold in the tens of thousands.
Sorry again. I typed "o/a length" above; that should have been "wheelbase."
Ahhh, a memorable year. One that combined both motorcycle and car classes. The Amazonas would have combined the worst of both...
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