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Royal Enfield 1943 WD/RE Flying Flea Restoration....

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Inspired along by our Ron, I thought I'd post a series of images and stuff regarding our Flying Flea that has been fully restored within the last two years..............

Here's the bike as acquired...........

First contract Flea, Frame 8083...........according to the old buff log-book not civilian registered until the mid-1950's as an ex-Government vehicle........seemingly, this Flea was one of possibly 1,500 retained post-war by the War Department for possible use but they seem to have spent that entire period in store prior to disposal...............we must remember that post-war the WD retained reduced Airborne Forces, plus glider's, so the Flea would potentially have remained as part of Airborne issue equipment..............

It was first civilian registered in Norwich, Norfolk..........it then went through a series of owners all in the North Norfolk area, largely Cromer, and the last recorded user was a Doctor in the early 1970's who no doubt used it as a runabout when visiting patients..............it seems to have then come off the road......it was bought in Lincolnshire very reasonably too, and according to Jan despite being first contract was not delivered until September 1944 to the War Department at Cambridge, that area at the time being extensively populated by Airborne forces.............

The bike was surprisingly original when acquired.........purists will note the non-original timing cover which had been upgraded at some point to a BSA Bantam type WiCo-Pacey flywheel type, but the bike came with a whole host of spare parts including the correct wartime Miller timing cover and fittings so no worries there.............

Other WD-specific parts still present included the Miller headlight, the fuel tank filler cap, the Villier's carburetter and filter, the exhaust system, toolbox, folding footrests, kick-starter and contract plate..................

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Now in the workshop.................

Note the RE engine number plus the stamping for the frame number of the bike into which originally built (also first contract)....seemingly, a year after civilian registering in the mid-1950's the Flea was fitted with a replacement engine, though also ex-WD.......this is noted in the log book..............most original WD Flea's should have the frame number stamped on top of the engine as per this example.............the "V" prefixed number is a separate factory build number for the engine and it is thought that the "V" prefix indicates the fitting of a Villier's carburetter.............

Second image shows the frame number on the right-hand side of the headstock............note the original WD SCC No.2 brown paint beneath the green................third image shows the contract plate wrapped around the centre stand.........this is hugely unusual but seemingly original to this bike.............most first contract Flea's have this plate clamped around the left-rear upper frame rail, just above the chain-guard..........subsequent contract had it affixed to the rear mudguard just beneath the tail-lamp..................

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The Flea into the workshop...........time to study, start the strip-down, and go through all the WD/RE spares I have accumulated over the years to see exactly what I have, and don't have..........work also progressed rapidly on the engine..............

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Didn't take a lot of effort to get the cycle parts sprayed once blast-cleaned.........khaki paint matched by a local auto-paint specialist to a sample from my frame..................

Work also progressed on the Flea's engine, which was found to be in surprisingly good condition internally...............biggest worry was that at some point in it's post-war life, it had been fitted with a Bantam-type Wipac flywheel magneto assembly, although the original Miller assembly fortunately remained within the many spares acquired along with the bike.............I had to buy a (Bantam) extractor to get the magneto flywheel assembly off the engine prior to stripping, but then went through my various spares, the original parts, etc, and was able to rebuild the Miller assembly in perfect working order prior to re-fitting...........:-)

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