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Royal Enfield Bullet – ‘The Badger’ V2.0


Posted on October 13th, by Andrew in Classic, Racer. 29 comments

Damn show offs. That’s right – we’re calling it as we see it. The guys from Cycle Icons are show offs. Why? Well listen up, ’cause we’re about to rain on their little parade big time. First they go and create one of the sweetest little Enfields we’ve ever seen. It get a serious amount of coverage and applause from almost everyone, except a few guys in the EXIF comments section which means they are obviously doing something pretty friggin’ right. Job done, yeah? Break out a case o’ cans and rest on your own merits, yeah? Of course! But not for these guys. So what do they do? They go again. ON THE SAME BIKE! C’mon! And as if that’s not bad enough we think they’ve actually gone and made it better. Boo! They’re like that high-school jock who saves the game by scoring in the final minute and then scores again with seconds on the clock just to make sure no one missed the fact that he’s so annoyingly talented. Do you have a mental image of him in your head? Good. Now swap the team uniform for a Cycle Icons Tee. See where we’re going with this?

Here’s the opening blurb from the all-too-flash Team Badger homepage: “Code Name: Project Badger. Royal Enfield based. 500cc “iron barrel” engine… Road and vintage race legal. Kitted for both a license plate, and a number plate. ACE Fireball powered… Hi quality, low brow. Goes like stink. A ride it to the track, flog it in the heat of battle, and ride it home proposition. Possible in this day and age?”

And here’s the pretty boy himself – Leon “Too Much Talent” Stanley. “Though Cycle Icons had originally conceived of the Badger as a cafe/road racer, the seeds for a flat track effort got sown last spring, long before before version 1.0 had even turned a wheel, or set out on its maiden voyage to race at Mid-Ohio’s Vintage Motorcycle Days. Back in April, while visiting the shop with his family, Scott Rounds had mentioned the idea of doing flat track version of the Badger.”

“I’ll just park it here, on this rubber bung…”

“The idea picked up steam just days after the Mid-Ohio adventure, when good friend Bill Clarke called to swap notes about our respective race weekends. Bill had just debuted his RD350 based flat tracker at Oakland Valley Raceway Park, and he was still giddy, having had an absolute ball. Great track, great people, nice low key atmosphere, he said… His short suggestion was: “Leo, you need to put some wide bars and Dunlops on that thing and go flat tracking!” He made it sound temptingly simple. And a helluva lot of fun. And with Oakland Valley being a more manageable 100 or so miles away, riding the Badger to the track was looking a ton more user friendly then Mid-O’s brutal 450 mile test of endurance. Hmmm… the wheels were turning, so to speak.

It did indeed sound like a tantalizingly simple conversion. We hit up good friend of the badger, Lloyd Vintage for some wide bars. We already had a pretty groovy, old school, tracker style tank sitting on the shelf, and again enlisted Mark Rounds to wow us with another of his handed painted creations. Capping off the low brow, shoe string effort of it all; another friend of the Badger, Sammy Sabedra, hooked us up with some vintage Carlisle race rubber. Seemed like the major bases were covered.”

“The build was straightforward. But it seems like no matter how you plan, more often then not, it comes down to the wire, with the conversion to flat tracker essentially beginning the day before the race.

 

“Brakeless? Evidently I have a lot
to learn about flat track”

 

September 18, Sunday morning came, and you couldn’t have asked for a prettier day for a ride. Or a race, for that matter. The ride up was beautiful. The racing was a mixed bag. Scott and his dad, Frank, figured the Badger would be most competitive entered in “750 Ironman Brakeless”. Brakeless? Evidently I have a lot to learn about flat track, as brakeless was the way it was done back in the day. So off came the rear brake pedal and cable. Wow, ain’t that a man! Scott was running with some beautiful bikes, not the least of which were a flat head Harley, and an even more gorgeous Indian Scout. Though still coming to grips with an unfamiliar bike, Scott looked great in practice, and I had high hopes for some good racing. But, just before the heat race, the clutch suddenly packed up, thus ending our day. The Bob Newby racing clutch is now sitting on the bench awaiting installation!”

And that paint job? Wow

“The Badger’s future plans? We had hoped to make it down to the Barber Vintage Festival in Alabama, Oct. 7-9, for a last bit of road racing before season’s end, but events conspired against us.

But the meet that has really captured our imaginations is the East Coast Timing Association speed trials in Maxton, NC at the end of October. Yeah, let’s see how fast we can make this thing go. 120? 125? It could be could practice for Bonneville next year. Ah, next year. Some more road racing, for sure. Then there’s our unfinished flat track business. Maybe a vintage trial or motocross…”

On a scale from one to ten, we give it a…

Seriously though, thanks to Leon and the boys for blessing us with the exclusive for the Badger V2.0. You guys should be proud – she’s a beauty. Oh, by the way – mind if we all come to that party you guys are having at your parent’s house while they are out of town this weekend? What? You don’t mind? Sweet! Now about that brunette “Rebecca” girl you just broke up with…

(Thanks to Scott Rounds and Ron Truch for the photos)





  • http://crankshapt.blogspot.com Vivek

    Where are the front brakes on this thing????

  • jqdp

    Straight Bitchen

  • http://www.pipeburn.com Andrew

    @Vivek – methinks thou didst not read thy story…

  • http://demoniopellegrino.blogspot.com demonio pellegrino

    Mean machine. Love it. The spoke wheels make me wonder…I want to put them on my xr

  • g

    Damn it Vivek! Why don't people read the article before asking stupid questions!

    • MD

      On the flat track, brakes are more dangerous than running without.  If you’re a cyclist, think velodrome…those bikes aren’t equipped with brakes for good reason.

  • http://adamhoff.com adam

    Does anyone know who made the seat? I'm looking for something very similar to fit my 71 BSA street tracker project.

  • J.Learte

    Pretty pretty pretty. Clean, elegant and a superb paint job.Perhaps it's some sort of blasphemy, but I'd put lamps and adapt it to go work every single day. In my immagination there would be no other change. It's perfect.-

  • revdub

    I liked the first version a lot. This is much better! It just keeps getting better. Great bike, Gentlemen.

  • http://crankshapt.blogspot.com Vivek

    OK my bad, the moment I saw the picture, I posted…, only later I read about the brakeless flat track racing thing : How on earth do they do it without brakes? OK an Enfield can be slowed down (until it skids) by aggressive downshifting, but only at low speeds… How is it done?

  • Militiaman11

    First of all, yes this bike is amazing. Excellent job. Now for my question. Maybe I'm being stupid, but what is that contraption attached to the left fork that sticks out back toward the engine?

  • matthew

    steering dampener.

  • Uncle B

    Once upon a time these bikes were available in a Diesel model, for economies sake of course. As America fails, the Feds printing presses hit high gear for Q 3,4,5,6,7,8, "easings" many Americans will become very interested in bikes that run on scrap oil from restaurants, corn oil, even bacon drippings and get fantastic mileage doing it. I will be first in line for one of these admirable Diesel bikes, fully developed and proven in India and even exported to the world of the 1950's, before the insanity broke out in America. Some of these fine machines purported to last hundreds of thousands of miles before engine re-builds, are soon to return and flourish for their durability sake, and their cheap running costs. Please, dig up all you can on these old-time beauties – we are most certainly already in need!

  • http://www.see360studios.com davidabl

    Too bad these guys don't have the money for a "den" of badgers, each one dedicated to different classes of event..
    so they don't have to keep reinventing their "wheeels." :-)

  • http://sidewaysnortheast.blogspot.com/ #39

    Great effort all around. Love the look of Version 2.0!

  • Nate

    You guys may harm yourself or others without brakes. This bike is a bad idea. I'm sorry I meant to say bad ass idea!!

  • http://helmetstories.blogspot.com/ vir

    Version 2.0 just gets better and better. How is she running?

  • http://knsweb.net Kumo

    Steering damper? If you expect a tankslaper, running without brakes don't look… sane?

  • Joe Crow

    …another damn fine badger…and its good to see such a host of positive comments about what started life as a rather humble bike: i have a bullet myself, and i love it to bits!

    badger 2.0 has more class than any of the other aftermarket bullet variants, and if i ever get fed up with my trials trim version i know what i'm going to do ;)

  • Zach

    Meh. Royal Enfields are beautiful machines stock from the factory. The Badger is okay, probably a lot of fun, but it is sad that Pipeburn chose this particular bike rather than a hundred other, much more appealing variations.

  • jack

    judging by a few of the comments, some of you really dont understand much of the tracker world.

    anyway, they need to put an alloy rim on the back like the front, looks really weird without it.

  • http://www.see360studios.com davidabl

    Zach, I think the reason it's on Pipeburn is that it's an actual racer, rather than a racing -styled custom.

  • Cycle Icons

    Thanks for all the comments and kind words.

    Adam,
    I have no idea who made the seat or what it is. I inherited it with a basket case Triumph. It's been kicking around the shop for years looking for its purpose in life. I've gotten a few other inquiries about it also. It's a cool seat that I happen to like as well. I think we are going to wind up doing a run of them, both for other projects and to sell. Feel free to hit me up in an email if you are interested.

    Jack,
    I've been waiting for that one. With flat track being a 19 inch game, we couldn't use the wheels off of V1.0 (18's). The original idea, due to budget, was to just use a set of stock RE 19 wheels, and disconnect the front brake for racing. When I met Sammy to pick up the tires he lent us they were still mounted up, the front being obviously being a very cool improvement. So we ran with it.

    Cheers,
    Leon

  • http://kustomsandchoppers.com/ Kustoms and Choppers

    Now this one looks really good! I like the red and white paint and I love how its done with out front brakes!

  • motofiasco

    I lapped this bike at Mid-Ohio. A big to do about nothing if you ask me.

    • http://www.pipeburn.com Andrew@Pipeburn

      You may have lapped it, but I bet it LOOKED better than the bike you were on – yes?

      • Motofiasco

        I don’t know if I have ever seen a Royal Enfield that was better looking than a Triumph twin.

    • http://garageprojectmotorcycles.tumblr.com/ Rex Havoc

      You only lapped it once on a triumph twin?

  • Vjeet Singh

    Thats a steering damper bro.