1965 Royal Enfield 736cc Interceptor MkI Frame no. YB15598 Engine no. 11318

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Lot 231
1965 Royal Enfield 736cc Interceptor MkI
Frame no. YB15598 Engine no. 11318

Sold for US$ 7,020 inc. premium
1965 Royal Enfield 736cc Interceptor MkI
Frame no. YB15598
Engine no. 11318
Launched in 1948, Royal Enfield's 500cc twin followed orthodox British lines, though the use of separate barrels and cylinder heads, and the incorporation of the oil tank within the crankcase, was unusual. A 693cc version along similar lines - the Meteor - arrived in 1952 and for many years was the UK's biggest twin. Both models were extensively revised in 1958, the new high-performance '700' adopting the name 'Constellation'. The latter was stretched a few years later to 736cc, becoming the 'Interceptor'. Built to satisfy the North American market's insatiable appetite for ever-larger engines, the Interceptor arrived in the UK in 1962 and was closely based on the Constellation but with the added refinement of a dynamically balanced crankshaft. In 1966 Royal Enfield was acquired by Norton Villiers and much of the business sold off. After a brief hiatus in production, Royal Enfield introduced the Series II Interceptor, with revised wet-sump engine, towards the end of 1967 and the model continued in this form until the company's demise in 1970.

Although it sold in relatively small numbers when compared to the more popular BSA and Triumph twins, the big Interceptor had a character all of its own and even today commands a loyal following. Testing a Series II back in 1989, Classic Bike magazine's Frank Westworth reckoned the Interceptor "one of the great top gear performers, and once I had got used to the idea of not changing down at every corner the vast torque of the engine would haul the bike through any swervery with great aplomb."

Sold new in the UK, this Interceptor MkI was supplied new to W & S in Leeds, England, as evidenced by the supplier's plaque on the rear light unit. The machine was purchased by John Shola from motorcycle dealers C Wylde & Son Ltd of Leeds, England in 2005. An email communication on file states that the Interceptor previously belonged to a friend of the Wyldes, who had owned the machine for nine years and used it on local club runs, in which role it proved very reliable. When purchased by the Wyldes' friend, the Enfield had been partly restored, including an engine rebuild, and he went on to rebuild the gearbox, wheels (including new rims) and forks. He also stripped and rebuilt the engine (which is unleaded compatible) again to cure an oil leak. In addition the machine was fitted with new mudguards, rear shock absorbers, silencers and electronic ignition, while all tinware was restored and the electrical system converted to 12 volts. By 2005 the Enfield had covered approximately 4,000 miles in the hands of its previous owner, the odometer reading at that time being 25,501 miles. Described as 'very reliable and usable', this rare British classic is offered with sundry restoration invoices, instruction book, parts list, State of Illinois Certificate of Title, UK V5 registration document and a quantity of expired MoT (roadworthiness) certificates.

Saleroom notices

  • The frame and engine numbers have been transposed. Frame no. 11318, Engine no. YB15598.
Contacts
1965 Royal Enfield 736cc Interceptor MkI Frame no. YB15598 Engine no. 11318
1965 Royal Enfield 736cc Interceptor MkI Frame no. YB15598 Engine no. 11318
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