If there's a constant on The Kneeslider, it's our preference for seeing projects being built, when people decide their ideas are worth the effort and actually make them happen. This brand new British motorcycle, the Enigma 1050, is our latest example. Jim Lindsay, the man behind it all, sent us the background to how it came about.
The Enigma 1050 project was born out of Jim Lindsay’s lifelong love affair with motorcycles in general and British engineering in particular. Jim, who makes a living as a Macintosh computer specialist, used to earn his living as a journalist in the UK and still freelances for the bike press over there.
Enigma started as an idea for a series of pieces on the UK bike industry, that is, until his wife, Margaret, hearing Jim's frustration with British manufacturing far too many times, suggested that he should build a bike instead, responding to Jim's "Someone should!" with the simple and powerful "Well, how about you?"
That was back in October 2011. Jim put together a team consisting of legendary Tigcraft frame builder Dave Pearce, joint owner of suspension specialists K-Tech, Chris Taylor, engine tuner and Dymag Wheels distributor Larry Webb and machining specialist Mick Edwards of Promach. Impressive!
Since then, a low mileage Triumph Speed Triple 1050 has been bought and stripped for its engine, exhaust and electrics. The main frame is built. Work on the swingarm has started. The fork yokes are about to be machined from billet, construction of the Carbon Fiber Dymag wheels has commenced and initial work on the bodywork has begun.
The braking system in its entirety is being supplied by the Coventry UK manufacturer, AP Racing.
The man who will be making the alloy fuel tank and the molds for the carbon fiber bodywork is Terry Hall. Terry knows quite a bit about shaping metal. He spent much of his working life hand building armor for the British Household Cavalry who are deployed on many ceremonial occasions in London.
The team is aiming to build a road oriented motorcycle with all day comfort, stunning looks, top quality components and, given the heritage of the frame and suspension, handling that will keep it up front of the advanced group on a track day should the owner so wish.
The Triumph three pot 1050 lump is a great road engine. It may be long in the tooth by now (it was first laid down in 1997) but it’s flat torque curve and respectable 121 bhp (tested) makes it a great power plant for real world motorcycling.
The target date for completion of the prototype is April 2012 and initial testing will be carried out at the demanding UK circuit of Cadwell Park.
All the team members are former racers and road riders. They are all hands on as well. Jim will be undertaking the majority of the final assembly and he will also be the initial test rider.
All the businesses involved in the project are small. Free of long chains of command, they have been able to get the project from a discussion into metal in a relatively short time.
Jim says that he has had two sales inquiries already and that if there is sufficient interest, the team will be looking to sell production models in both kit and ready built form.
Jim stresses that the visuals are just that – pre-production concept illustrations that were done even before he had removed the engine from the donor bike. They visual will be updated on the site as development progresses.
The team also has two further bikes planned again based on Triumph engines and majoring on British components.
The Enigma looks like an excellent start on a home grown British motorcycle. The assembled team brings a lot of talent and experience, the work already done in the short time they've been at it shows this group means business, no endless discussions and planning sessions, just a lot of hard work and problem solving as they move ahead.
This is a project well worth watching and one that should generate a lot of interest. The potential for kits as well as fully built motorcycles is an exciting addition. We'll keep you posted as more information comes in.
Link: Enigma Motorcycles