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Author Topic: 1956 indian  (Read 1532 times)

j95r

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1956 indian
« on: June 04, 2012, 02:27:04 AM »
Hi
I recently got a 1956 royal enfield indian and i dont know anything about them but i love the looks of the bike and im trying to restore it but before i start i want to try get it runing. Thats the first problem where can i find the battery for it and what model battery am i looking for? ???
Second where can i find parts for this model.
And please anything i should know about it feel free to tell me.
Im new to this forum but ill see if i can find how to post a picture of my new sexy and hopefuly running machine

Arizoni

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Re: 1956 indian
« Reply #1 on: June 04, 2012, 04:33:27 AM »
If no one has messed with the electrical things you will need a 6 volt battery.
Try to find one that is slightly smaller than the battery support.

Before buying a battery check the voltage on the light bulbs.  If your RE has a magneto the battery voltage shouldn't matter but if it is using points and a igntion coil see if the voltage is marked on it.

I'm sure the others will know exactly what you have but to me it looks like one of the 700cc engines they made at that time.
Jim
2011 G5 Deluxe
1999 Miata 10th Anniversary

Tom 60 Chief

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Re: 1956 indian
« Reply #2 on: June 04, 2012, 05:01:13 AM »
Very nice start.  You have a 1960 or 1961 Chief, depending on which year it was sold.  It appears to have the kidney shaped Matchless tool box on the left hand side that was used starting in 1960 after AMC took over and sold the remaining Royal Enfields as part of the deal.  The title on my 60 even lists the name of the bike as 'MATIN' as in Matchless Indian. There are others on this forum that own Chiefs and I am sure will chime in.  As to your battery,  the original is listed in the 1960 parts book as Lucas #GUZ11E, which translates to nothing currently available. Any 6 volt battery that will fit the box will work.  I have two B-49-6 batteries wired in parallel, fits the box, still 6 volt and way more capacity than necessary.  Hitchcocks in England (google it) has most if not all the mechanical parts.  Luckily you seem to have the original sheet metal, dash and headlight, so you are way ahead of the game in that respect.  Wonderful, interesting machine.  Regards Tom.

ERC

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Re: 1956 indian
« Reply #3 on: June 04, 2012, 11:31:38 PM »
Nice looking bike if it's a Chief it probably has a battery ignition distributor.So you'll need a battery to run it. Do you know the engine and frame # might give you a good idea of the year. I'm a REOC member and they are pretty good at letting you know the exact model you may have. I also have a Chief.   ERC
2-57 Apaches, 2-57 Trailblazers, 60 Chief, 65 Interceptor, 2004 Bullet, 612 Bullet chopped.

rotorwrench

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Re: 1956 indian
« Reply #4 on: June 04, 2012, 11:42:07 PM »
Royal Enfield started making the Chief models for Indian Sales Corp (John Brockhouse) in September of 1958 for the 1959 model year. I can date it by the engine number if it still has the original motor. The frame numbers can be dated for dispatch from Redditch UK by contacting the REOC/UK. Their dating officer is quick about getting back to you and there is no charge unless you want a certificate. That bike looks pretty complete. Most are bits in boxes.

I think the original battery was a Lucas PUZ/7E but they havn't been around for years. You might try to get ahold of Phil at RE-Indian. He has a large battery box for a big Panasonic battery. Here in the states they were likely modified for some other battery anyway. The 6-volters used by the older Harley and Indian bikes are kind of tall for the RE machines.

Hitchcock's over in the UK has the most stuff for all of the Royal Enfields but some of the Springfield Indian parts, even though made by RE in the UK, are unknown to most suppliers. Hitchcock's has a very good web site. I think they have remakes of many of the shop manuals and parts books for the American Indian REs. I've also seen reprints and some original manuals on E-pay from time to time. There isn't any separtate parts book for the Chief models. They added an addendum to the 1955 thru 1958 Trailblazer manual to cover them and there are no pictures or illustrations.

The sort of kidney shaped box on the left side was the only one made for the Chiefs but it is more of an electrical box since the key switch was mounted in there.

j95r

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Re: 1956 indian
« Reply #5 on: June 05, 2012, 12:06:03 AM »
Thanks all of this is great info and much needed im at work at this time but as soon as i get home ill look up the engine number and frame number.
This weekend ill be looking for the battery and hopefully get it runing soon.
And i just want to say This is my first time on a forum and really like it it you guys are great  :D

j95r

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Re: 1956 indian
« Reply #6 on: June 05, 2012, 01:48:59 AM »
Hey rotorwrench
I dont know if this is the corret number for the engine but it is what i found (bmc) pc50422 and frame # is 4759 and i will see if i can get the info off from reoc

Thanks

Tom 60 Chief

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Re: 1956 indian
« Reply #7 on: June 05, 2012, 02:25:06 AM »
re-indian.com has frame or engine numbers for chiefs listed on his web site if you wish to save a step.  He also has Chief parts books (reprints) available.  There are indeed no pictures in the parts book but it does have Chief specific part numbers that are different than the '58 numbers and all the electric part numbers are the Lucas numbers (switches, headlight etc.) that can be useful.  Your kidney shaped toolbox was original on some 1952, '53, and '54 Matchless motorcycles and since AMC (who owned AJS/Matchless) didn't acquire control of Indian Sales Corp. until september of 1959, and didn't begin selling until 1960 your machine is almost certainly a 1960 or later.  The 1959 Chief used the triangular shaped Enfield toolbox.  The GUZ11E battery is 7 5/8"lgt. 3 7/8" wdt and 6 1/2" hgt. by the Lucas book.  I just saw your message with your engine number and it falls within the PC50181 to PC50500 for 1960/61.  Regards, Tom.

rotorwrench

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Re: 1956 indian
« Reply #8 on: June 05, 2012, 10:11:39 PM »
That number is a very late number and in the last batch made in 1960. These were being made for AMC since Brockhouse sold out in Sep of 1959. AMC didn't have any bikes that big and were still trying to attract police department sales on these big twins. Some of these bikes were in the show rooms as late as 1961. Your frame number is off though. Make sure you are looking at the left side of the steering head. The numbers were stamped in and not raised . There is a raised number with a triangle "delta" that was part of the forging process on the right side I believe.

Tom 60 Chief
I've seen only one "tool box" on the civilian Chief models and it is on the left side that is not very visible in j95r's photo. The kidney type boxes that I was thinking about, were on the old hard tail frames like the late 40s G & J models. I was not aware that Matchless added any parts to the Royal Enfield made machines since Royal Enfield was so prolific & proficient at making sheet metal parts. Trailblazers and Tomahawks had the big air box/battery box/tool box with a lid on each side but the Chief had an open battery carrier and the round Lucas air filter attached directly to the carburetor. That odd shaped box on the left (that had the key switch)was in more than a few photos and it was on all of the stock civilian Chiefs "I've seen". Police departments and owners may have added stuff for their own needs though. I've seen the triangle box in one of the Police bike adds but it had foot boards & solo saddle and a lot of stuff you don't see on the stock civilian models. The book lists a P/N 44847 which may in fact be the triangle tool box you are mentioning. That's part of the problem with these old machines is that there aren't enough pictures of them in unmolested form. Royal Enfield archived some photos that ended up with an enthusiast at some point which became part of the REOC/UK collection. I've only seen a few of them that pertain to the Indian models that they made for Brockhouse & maybe some for AMC I don't know. Phil at RE-Indian has some of those photos but I haven't seen them all so my knowledge of Chiefs is somewhat limited. I know more about the Tomahawks & Trailblazers since I have more interest in them. I'm still learning about all the British redskins even after near 30 years of owning some of them.
« Last Edit: June 05, 2012, 11:22:00 PM by rotorwrench »

ERC

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Re: 1956 indian
« Reply #9 on: June 05, 2012, 11:30:02 PM »
Rotor is right 4759 is the casting # on the frames all 7 frames I have from 55 to 65 have that # cast on them. You need the number stamped on the other side.  ERC
2-57 Apaches, 2-57 Trailblazers, 60 Chief, 65 Interceptor, 2004 Bullet, 612 Bullet chopped.

j95r

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Re: 1956 indian
« Reply #10 on: June 06, 2012, 12:12:19 AM »
Ok as soon as i get home ill look again on the other side
This motorcycle came from a friend of mine father who didnt have the time to get it done its been in a tool shed for a long time but they told me that they do have a few boxes with parts that hopefully ill have by september and i hope i find some good stuff in there

j95r

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Re: 1956 indian
« Reply #11 on: June 06, 2012, 04:04:31 AM »
Hey  roto
I look on the other side and found the number 9230 could that be it?

rotorwrench

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Re: 1956 indian
« Reply #12 on: June 06, 2012, 05:51:23 PM »
That's it and it maches up for a Chief too. They were mostly in the 9000 series.

Grabof54

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Re: 1956 indian
« Reply #13 on: June 14, 2012, 04:03:30 PM »
Indian Chief with frame number 9230 was despatched from Redditch on the 21st December 1960 to Associated Motorcycles in the UK for subsequent export. They took over the Indian name from Brockhouse in 1960, selling their own Matchless badged machines under Indian model names. They took the last 200 Chief machines from Enfield.
The engine number should be PC 50422, but I would like to know the AM... transmission number stamped on the front of the crankcase please.
Graham Scarth (UK REOC chairman)