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Hitchcocks Enfield Trailblaster 350
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Every year, Hitchcocks Motorcycles put together a special edition Enfield, taking parts straight off their shelves to show what you could create at home. This year the Trailblaster just blew us away, so we asked Richard to tell us more...

Hitchcocks started supplying spare parts for British-built Royal Enfields back in 1984, based in Redditch, the home of the original marque. Since then the company has moved to near Solihull and broadened its range of services to encompass over 9000 items of stock for British and Indian-built Bullets, plus the Crusadar and Clippers, and middleweight and awesome big twins. Hitchcocks now source components from over 300 different suppliers to offer a selection of factory and aftermarket spares. And somehow Richard squeezed enough hours in the day to build the Trailblaster this winter, too. We wanted to know where the inspiration for the bike came from, and how difficult it was to do. Could a typical RC reader build a similar bike at home? And how much would it cost? Over to you, Richard…

Nope, those lights don't do it for me... Hitchcocks Enfield Trailblaster 350

The Trailblaster began life as a perfectly standard Indian-made 350cc Royal Enfield Bullet. The aim was to create an alternative style of Bullet that could be produced at reasonable cost with parts from our current Bullet catalogue — and a little imagination. Similar results could be achieved using almost any Royal Enfield Bullet. The trail styling is intended to offer an alternative, up-to-date but less radical version of our very successful trials kit. We had in mind that the vast majority of those who prefer a trial/trails style bike never (or very rarely) venture off-road!

The first job was to remove the standard parts and fittings that we would not need on the new model. Removing the headlight casting, mudguards, dual seat and long standard silencer resulted already in a very considerable weight reduction…

The replacement parts were selected from Hitchcock’s latest 2009 Bullet catalogue. Some items were repainted, including the tank, chain-guard, side cover and rear sub-frame. We chose TSA Silver (spray paint 97063 at £14 a can) and lacquer (97070). Silver emphasises the light and trim look of the bike, the colour is also a nod in the direction of the late 1950s and early 1960s works trials Bullets!

Our new lightweight front mudguard-stay was an obvious choice (92589, £60), together with a narrow stainless steel mudguard (200064S, £36). This new neat mudguard-stay clamps directly to the forks and passes under the mudguard. The entire headlamp casing was removed and replaced with good quality twin headlamps (92050, £59.75). A number of alternatives were tried before we settled on this unit, mainly because of its quality and because it continued the theme of a lightweight appearance.

The single instrument top yoke (92590, £169) was chosen and was fitted with the white-faced speedo (in mph 92578, in kmp 540003 at £35). The forks were left uncovered, using dust caps as finishers (170121, £2 and clip 170122, £2.70). Silver anodised handlebars were chosen (the only component which was not supplied by Hitchcocks) and a side-action Amal twist grip was fitted. This twist grip looks neat and gives the cables a tidy run across the handlebars.

The petrol tank is the Royal Enfield competition style tank (92674, £295). On the Trailblaster the tank is fitted with chrome side panels but it would look equally smart if the whole tank was painted silver and decorated only with the Royal Enfield plastic tank badges (92677, £45). Fitting the new trials seat (91475, £69) gives a very attractive line, flowing through to the stainless steel rear mudguard (200063S, £56). The tail lamp is a small rubber mounted item (92055, £7.50), a new addition to our catalogue.

Bullets Bits on eBay.co.uk

The high level exhaust is attractive and practical. We used the Woodsman front pipe (91044, £65) and decided to pair it with the short megaphone type exhaust (91009, £62). But beware; this ‘silencer’ is not baffled and is unsuitable in this form for road use). This combination was chosen as a nostalgia trip – harking back to the Ray Petty Manx Nortons that Derek Minter rode so brilliantly in the mid-sixties! A very attractive (and less noisy) alternative to the megaphone would be the Universal silencer (91045, £35).

The engine was smartened-up with a few after-market items – alloy tappet cover (32441, £12), alloy engine plates (for kickstart models 92770, £17.50), alloy contact breaker cover (200007, £22.50), small air-filter and sump guard (35495, £35).

Those lights still don't do it for me... Hitchcocks Enfield Trailblaster 350 in the wild

The finished machine is very light and well-balanced. These changes can be made to almost any classic Bullet at modest cost. The aim of the whole project was to produce a bike that would be ideal for ‘backroads’ – we had in mind the quiet, remote roads that snake their undulating way through Mid-Wales!

However, unlike other kits Hitchcock’s supply, the Trailblaster is NOT designed as a ‘bolt on’ complete kit. To produce a full replica of the project bike it would be necessary to adapt or modify some parts, to ensure that they fit and operate satisfactorily. One method of carrying out these modifications would be to undertake the work in stages. So Stage 1 would include the exhaust, side-cover and rear suspension; Stage 2 changes the forks, mudguards and headlamp; and Stage 3 finishes with the seat, tank and engine fittings.

All parts fitted to the Trailblaster are available from Hitchcocks, but please keep in mind that the intention with this project was to illustrate just one way to personalise the standard Bullet. Some owners choose to replicate the Trailblaster as we have presented it, others choose alternative items to match their own needs. And don’t forget that the prices quoted here do not include VAT or delivery!

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FOR A FREE COPY of the Hitchcocks 2009 catalogue, send 81p A4 self-addressed envelope to Hitchcocks Motorcycles, Rosemary Court, Oldwich Lane West, Chadwick End, Solihull, B93 0EY.

Some bikes with proper headlights, yesterday...

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