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The Norton Enfield?

I have a buddy who’s an Enfieldaholic (it takes all sorts- he’s got 3 of the blessed things) so when an article on them pops up in the mags, I give them a bit more than a cursory glance. Reading through November’s Classic Bike Guide, there was a short piece on the Interceptor Mk 2 of 1968-70, which in the back of my mind was simply the big-bore 750cc jobby for the American market (sounds familiar!), but I was stunned by the line, “Royal Enfield’s brief acquisition by Norton Villiers brought Norton forks and front brake.” Indeed, the accompanying photo shows that to be the case.

Having been a Norton devotee for half a century, I thought I was reasonably well-up on the many twists and turns in the marque’s (mis)fortunes, but that was news to me. So I did the obvious thing- googled it. The book of Wiki had nothing to say on the matter, but I did find this slim nugget:

1967 Norton-Villiers bought Enfield Cycle Co Ltd from E. and H. P. Smith; certain assets of the Pedal Cycle and Spares Division had been transferred to Enfield Precision Engineers, another E. and H. P. Smith company. Norton-Villiers placed a contract with Enfield Precision Engineers for manufacture of the 750cc Royal Enfield Interceptor motorcycle.” This was attributed to The Times, 9 March 1967

And this “In 1966 Royal Enfield was acquired by Norton Villiers and much of the business sold off” from a Bonhams Auction description of one of them.

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Yep, as the late Royal Enfield uses the same stanchion 03.0036 used on the N15 / G15, not sure about the internals though as these differed even amongst the G15 models. 

 


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