Jump to content
Nikos

My Royal Enfield Flying Flea

Recommended Posts

Hi Chaps. Not been on here for ages, had a busy season with the Jeep. However I thought I would move to a new section with my latest MV. I bought this Flying Flea from a friend in the MVT late last year and have spent a good few weekends over the winter getting her into shape.

 

Let me first say I am a Jeep owner (and fanatic). I don't even have a motorcycle license. All I knew is I wanted a flying flea and kept looking around and chasing for one until I got one, and I love it.

 

She is a matching number frame and engine (5256), meaning production date is probably early 1943. (Though Enfield Club have her dated as 42. Contract was very late 42 start date so I think they are off on that). When I got her she was running but had not been used or out of a garage since the 80's. I have (with some help) re-wired, fixed the breaks, tidied the carb up and sorted the lights. Sanded down, painted the whole lot. Done the unit markings, census numbers, tire pressure markings and the yellow balance marker for glider loading. So this has been a nice light and fun refurbishment rather than restoration. She runs great and flies along (no pun intended)

 

Now for those among you who know anything about flees there are a few postwar bits, the carb, front end of the exhaust and the coil. I have the correct exhaust and carb ready to fit. The coil is simply out of necessity due to lack of parts. You can just about see she now has the folding kickstart as well which I fitted a few weeks ago. The only other thing which is incorrect is the blackout mask, it should be a one peice affair. This one looks okay for now until I get the right pattern. I also managed to find a New Old Stock mansfield saddle by an incredible stroke of luck, as the old one was very tired. So all in all a very original bike which is soon to be near completely original and correct.

 

She'll be carried to shows in an original British airborne trailer and pulled by a '44 Willys, so a great setup.

 

 

 

 

fleamarch1.jpg

 

 

fleamarch2.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Enjoy it Nikos. It's from the same contract as mine, which was demanded on 2nd Jan 43 and completed by early 44. Ron

Lightweights 009.jpg

Edited by Ron

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks, and that is lovely. Service brown looks very nice. The previous owner of mine found it under coats of paint on mine when he stripped it in about '85. I went green (SCC15) because it was green when I got it and my Jeep and trailer are green also.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Before I found an original tank badge. I got an arty friend of mine to paint in the white bits as per the war time badge. Ron

Lightweights 029.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Also after going to great lengths to reproduce the Miller tail lamp. I eventually found an original quite cheap on ebay. The seller didn't have a clue what he had!!

Not many of these supplied. Just the Flea, Velo MAF and the few Miller equiped Matchless G3L's. Ron

Lightweights 085.jpg

Edited by Ron

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hell of a find on that miller light. A fellow member of my MVT group is restoring four fleas all at once and is having a hell of a time finding any.

 

As for the white paint on the plate, didn't know that. I have been researching all I can on the bikes since I got it but not come across that. Will have to have a closer look at mine and see if anything remains and consider some work on it. What was the reason for this? Were they supplied that way from the factory?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That is correct on the badge Nikos. The post war badge replaced the white enamel with brass. So it's quite easy to paint it in with Humbrol if you have a small brush and steady hand. Ron

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Excellent, thats a job to add to the list. Nice little detail to add on. She's almost there. There was no evidence of the unit markings left so I did her up to match my Jeep, 53rd Airlanding Light Regiment (Worcestershire Yeomanry). I've never seen pictures of them on one but there are several accounts of them using the fleas. It just so happens the guy in the workshop beside where I keep her is a motorcycle fanatic and mechanic whose father was an airborne dispatch rider who rode one as well as pretty much every other Brit bike. So he has given me a good bit of help along the way.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Terry Roberts at Metal Magic makes quite a few repro parts for these including exhaust systems. 01189 731631. Mention my name.

 

Ron Pier

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Metal Magic is in fact where I got my front exhaust and folding kickstart from. The kickstart is fitted. The exhaust isn't yet because my cylinder isn't threaded. That's on the list to get done.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Metal Magic can thread your barrel if you can't find a genuine one. Ron

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Metal Magic can thread your barrel if you can't find a genuine one. Ron

 

Threaded barrel's were only used on pre and wartime-manufactured Flea's, plus very few 45-46 civvy examples........I have owned and restored two WD Flea's in my time, and it is far harder to restore a WD Flea than a James ML......very little early and WD Flea stuff is interchangeable with the post-war parts.......even the frame, crankshafts and engine cases are different, add to that the handlebars, sprockets, etc..........

 

I still have a fair bit of mechanical Flea parts (engine, gearbox, carb, electrical, etc) in deep storage........but can't remember exactly what....tho I do have some NOS Miller points, etc.........it's all a question of where....??!!!:undecided:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I know where your barn is Steve. Just leave the key under a brick........I'll find those parts!!

 

Ron

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ah, nice to see another one restored!

 

Here's mine, and it stopped running last Sept, and have not touched it since!

 

DSCN20832.JPG

 

No repro parts on this one!! (even the tyres are original!)

 

Cheers,

 

Lex

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Very nice !!! Correct Miller blackout mask too........plus I note you also have the (later) modified plate on the points cover (the "banana" shaped bar) to protect the HT cable housing from ammo boots !!!!!).......this is a rare item in itself........the last one I restored fortunately had this still in place.......

 

I still have a lot of mechanical Flea parts in storage, including a few of the impossible-to-find Miller points assemblies and carb parts........all of this is becoming increasingly difficult to source.......>:(

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks Steve, have also a secret stash of parts like points, condensers, etc. and a complete N.O.S. engine in parts.

Do you have any info floating around on the prewar Royal Baby?? as I have one of those too.

 

But I was not entirely honest, I did fit new tubes, and replaced the canvas on the handlebars, as the old stuff fell apart!

 

Motorcycle_Tube_002.jpg

 

Motorcycle_Tube_007.jpg

 

This Flea also has a bit of history, it was stolen of an airfield in the UK, by the crew of a B17, and taken "home" to the US, and used briefly in Florida after being painted red, then it sat for years and years in the former B17 pilot's cellar, and the rims rusted away, so had to replace those too.

 

Cheers,

 

Lex

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Subscribing this thread, purely for the pictures, there are some lovely bikes in here, and they give me a reasonable idea of what shape mine should be, once I find all the bits for it that is!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...