Wednesday, 11 November 2009

128mph Royal Enfields and pig farmers

I know it's about as Italian as Dolmio sauce, but I've been chatting with Richard Stevens, the old time racer and our local bike dealer. Richard was the development rider for Enfield's Interceptor, based at the Bradford on Avon workshop, which was actually an old mine RE moved into for WWII but somehow never left. Last summer Richard bumped into a Canadian who was fed up with his Interceptor, so a deal was struck, Richard repatriated and restored it, then stuck it in his shop window. He's a quiet but fascinating chap I met in the 70's when he raced my old Yoshi 460.

When RE folded Richard was working on an 800 Interceptor he wound up to 128mph at MIRA, alongside a dumbstruck Percy Tait testing a Trident. ("Percy Tait was like a farmer - well he was a farmer"- thank you Richard, another childhood hero brought down to size)

Richard raced and won on the Interceptor - MCN made much of this with a front page splash showing "Cal Rayburn trying out the new racer" Turns out he was riding round Heston Services carpark. Richard had brought the bike up in a van, and even had to lend the mighty Rayburn his riding kit

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