The Musket V-Twin – Jay Leno's Garage

well another episode of Jay Leno’s Garage and the fun thing about this website is you meet other people have cool websites and you all help one another and I discovered a bike I’m going to show you on a website called bicurious now it it’s really interesting it’s based on the Enfield Bullet okay see we love hot rodding we like people to take something stock and just make it something faster and cooler before we do that let me introduce a OB ami has this website bicurious how are you good to see you good to see you again Jay now I think your website is fantastic it’s all motorcycles but it’s not just Japanese bike it’s all cut you have vintage you have classic you cover the whole range of motorcycle yeah it’s one of those things it started just because I’m obsessed about bikes right it would no matter what it is I enjoy riding it I’ve done a few rides in the past where you know last summer I went to the top of the last got a bike and then a couple years ago I did a border border run from Canada to Mexico in less than 24 hours now he comes from my hometown to Van Dorma that’s right and that’s kind of cool so we have something in common there and the fact that you find all these unusual bikes the fact the bike we’re going to see in a few minutes I found through your website I would never have known about this you know the fun thing about America is hot rodders come from all walks of life arkus-duntov the famous Corvette guy he was from Russia other guys are from Poland and I see more and more young men and women from India coming to America getting into hot rodding and it’s really kind of cool that’s what your friend is done in absolutely yes and this is a bike built in India this is the Royal Enfield now the Royal Enfield was originally made in England then I guess India bought the rights to it or yeah whether hat was happening was you had a lot when the British colonized India right you had a lot of British Army British soldiers things like that and so to make it easier they were selling bikes they’re producing bikes in India right for that market and even though it’s a vintage looking bike it has fuel injection and it’s fairly modern and up-to-date and it’s hugely popular in India but India like everyplace else has hot rodders and they like to make things go faster and maybe even add more cylinders if they have to and that’s what your friend is down in it okay absolutely what’s his name tell us his name now his name is Onika vardhaan right and like you said he’s been able to take one of these single cylinders and and make it a v-twin now he too was born in India but came to America yeah and I find a fascinator do a Harley which everybody does he’s Indian so do an Indian bike I mean I he’s right over here like show you the bikes he’s done and I cuz how are you good to see ya delighted to meet you J gods good to see you I must say you are a master fabricator and builder these look like factory motorcycles and they’ve not only does he add an extra cylinder he makes the pattern himself not using 3d print using wood right you’ve carved carving wood I mean this is great stuff he casts his own cylinders and he makes this this is a thousand CC and this is what a 700 hundred yes okay now this is this is based on a much earlier Royal Enfield actually both of these bikes are based on what was the original British Royal and pupil it which had a cast-iron barrel had a separate gearbox separate crankcase and separate clutch case and it was basically a quintessential 1950 style British single so for the longest time I think up to the late 2000s Royal Enfield in India made that version of the bike and then various regulations with emissions and noise and so on have them redesign the engine with fuel injection to meet all those new requirements but for almost 50 years they made that motorcycle as it was made in 1955 virtually unchanged that’s the bike I grew up looking at in India and saying one day I want that thing which goes dug dug dug dug dug right and when I was in college I got one and that’s half the story and what blew my brains was one day I was riding my bicycle and I stopped at the store and I’m gonna buy pencils or something and I see this motorcycle parked outside and it is unlike anything I’ve ever seen and I stand there and it seems like it has two engines right and I had never seen anything with two engines before so I stand there and I’m waiting to see who’s it belong to what’s he look like is he gonna write it what’s it gonna sound like and the guy comes out and I ask him and it turns out it is a harley-davidson WLA from World War two oh okay so it’s just a twin cylinder it is but compared to the other little hundred cc 130 CC scooters and mopeds which I’d grown up seeing it was something from another planet right so I’m frothing at the mouth now because I want to hear what this thing sounds like because it’s gonna sound like something

else and how old were you in all this I was nineteen nineteen okay I was in architecture school not paying much attention to architecture paying more attention to my Royal Enfield Bullet which no because your parents have been thrilled you’re an architectural student put your engine dickering with bikes all day you’re going down the tube every Indian parents dream that kid is gonna work with motor not yeah exactly okay so go ahead continue so this guy comes and I find out and then he goes on it and he goes boom it goes to Duke and my mouth hangs open because in that one second I realized that thing sounds like a gigantic human heartbeat right because the human heartbeat is not evenly spaced thuds like Duke the heart beats Duke Duke Duke Duke that motorcycle sounds like a heartbeat and it was that moment when you know when you have your first kiss or you ride your bicycle for the first time and you have that moment which will never happen again when you realize that life from now on is not gonna be the same so kinda like in that movie vertigo where our main guy falls in love with this woman who then is gone she’s lost and he is so shattered by that that he tries to recreate that woman from another woman alright and I try to do that with his motorcycle right and of course I’m sure it broke your mother’s heart when you came home with a motorcycle it went from thumb so it’s kind of come full circle you hear a heart you break a heart oh my god that’s amazing to me is that well look at some of these photos he did all this himself did all these casting now there’s a picture in the book that you gave me I thought was amazing where you were carving into the wood and you found something tell him about that so the patterns like I wanted to make it the way they would have made it back in the 1950s like it was not just like make an engine but really have the flavor and the feel for that time period when there was no you know automatic 3d printing and everything and plus when you’re carving wood it is so much more satisfying to work with a beautiful piece of wood than it is to work with a piece of synthetic plastic which is used these days so I had these chunks of gorgeous kiln dried seasoned maple and I love maple because I also build guitars and you know I you make my necks out of maple so I love the maple and I’m machining it and suddenly my tool makes this angry sound and I stop and I pull it out of there and it’s a small bullet like a bullet from a rifle which was wedged in the tree from which that piece of wood came oh and I tell myself okay I’m working on an engine for a motorcycle called a Royal Enfield Bullet I’m making the pattern and inside the wood there’s a bullet it is a sigh from away from above yes I couldn’t put it better yes it is a sign you are absolutely right sir that’s right now you call this the Enfield musket because bullet musket gun I mean I must say do people think this is a factory bike the first question which people ask is what year is it right and I tell him and they say the day you did you restore it and I tell him no I didn’t actually restore it that motors made from scratch and that’s when they say ah tell me more and then I don’t know more well I mean it’s beautifully I mean imagine what we’re saying here you take some wood and you essentially carve the cylinder and then you cast it and then you have to allow for shrinkage and all of that so obvious and you’re a very educated engineer correct not engineer Kjell I did architecture okay and then when I came to the US I did a master’s in industrial design okay which is product design but still not engineering okay we have your masters yes okay smart guy I wouldn’t say master’s mean smart it’s smarter than me okay oh it’s um than me so I have to I must say the level of detail I mean it’s just so nice to see it done the old-fashioned way that’s what I mean there’s a great joy and working with your hands everybody now works sort of with computers so to meet someone like yourself who’s so much younger than I am and enjoys working with their hands it makes me realize oh maybe the old ways aren’t going to die I you know and it was just fantastic so tell us some more about the problems you encountered I mean did you get the cylinder design right the first time you have to make a number of pattern the pattern actually worked perfectly fine the very first time J but the the big hiccup the big you know oh dear moment was that I am teaching design at an Art and Design School in Columbus the Columbia College Art and Design and in my spare time on the weekends I’m working on this project right so I’ve designed it I’ve drawn it up and I’m making the casting patterns out of wood and it’s taken a couple of years at least of doing this and I haven’t done that I’m trying to find a foundry which

is going to pour molten aluminum in there so there’s a place in town which is kind of busy and they say we won’t be able to do it but there’s one guy and he’s a small shop and he might be able to help you so I go there it is a small shop and so the guy says he will do it and I go and I drop off my patterns and he says come back next week and I go back next week and he basically it he says it doesn’t work out and you’re gonna have to make some changes and so on and so forth so I go to pick up my box and I see something’s wrong and I pick up my box of patterns and my fingers are shaking right now because I’m but I’m telling you this because this was bad he’d put them next to a window it had rained furiously over the weekend and my box with my painstakingly made patterns made over two years had been soaked and they’d been sitting wet until the bottom of the patterns had just swelled and split and basically just wrecked them oh man so for three I mean the furnace was going on there and I had a you know really think this carefully that should I push that guy into the furnace and run for it and that’s it I’m free and clear yeah or that would kind of mess things up and and they will probably put me in jail and then I’m not be able to build a bike right so I just picked up my box and I just walked out there and I left and by the way those days I had a 1950 Plymouth okay that made me feel a little better right so anyway side note so I go back home for three months I don’t touch it I said this is too depressing I’m just gonna not look at it because if I do I’ll start crying and and plotting revenge and negative things like that right so after three months or so okay I’m fine I’ll get back to it so I just got the whole messed up parts away and I made them all over again and you know sand it and smooth and everything and then spray the clear coat and then you can’t really tell anything happen and then I look for a different foundry and I found a great place in Toledo and I’d love to give you their name seaport mold right and there are a prototyping foundry they will give you one casting if you want or they’ll give you a hundred and they’re so amazing that the owner told me that get here eight o’clock in the morning we will cast them on the same day and you’re taken back home okay I said okay and eight o’clock morning I was there and sure enough i profusely had my camera clicking constantly with them packing the sand on the bowl and melting the aluminum and pouring in and they gave me castings and I came back home and and that was the first big deal it is actually in metal now it’s no longer a piece of wood and it can’t work with a piece of wood but Wow and that that was the one major setback oh yeah and that’s a huge setback well a lot of other people might have given up I’m glad you didn’t because uh the end result is really really impressive so that’s a thousand seas yes and this is a 700 yes OS it’s just fascinating to me okay what tell me about the transmission sure we’re going to do there this motor will drop into the stock crankcase I beef off the clutch that can handle the extra torque with a clutch springs and that same gearbox which the bullets have is what Royal Enfield in the UK back in the day used all the way up till there interceptor models which were the 750 sure I remember and they made the actual finder yes yeah that’s the exact same box of the neutral finder and they were able to you that box all the way up to like the 52 horse for interceptors so that box is beefy enough to handle that so this motorcycle should be putting on let’s say just under 50 horse bar so I am using the stock box or the beefed up clutch and so far no issues at all and the story with that engine is that once I finish this one and I put some videos up on YouTube I got a lot of views and emails from folks saying that I would really like to have an engine like that and put it in my bullet are you going to make more of these yes so then this whole top process of okay if we have to make these for potential enthusiasts or customers how should I go about it do I need to change something do I need to improve some details do I need to make it easier to manufacture so that result in a complete redesign and that engine has a totally different crankcase which was molded a game from scratch and I made the patterns all over again everything got done all over again new castings do everything and with this one what I did was that it allows the customer to choose if they want the 350 heads on there or the 500 so they can order a 700 or a 1000 I say so this one has a tighter V angle because after that one being a slightly wider because I wanted to be as smooth as possible right and be as cool as possible temperature-wise a degree that’s a 70 degree 70 okay and this one so 59 okay so tighten it up and it’s closer to what a Vincent angle that’s like a Vincent yeah yes see I thought when I first saw this you had just gotten a couple of heads off a couple of bullets and adapted them but you didn’t he

he made the heads okay that’s pretty pretty impressive and these are kickstart only those are kickstart only yes that fancy electric no that would add a dramatic amount of machining and weight and manufacturing complexity to it so keep it true to that vintage Brit bike thing where you just kick it over and you go I kept it with kick start only do you think of this is an Indian motorcycle or is a British motorcycle because when you were a kid they were built in India yes yes still yeah I think it’s kind of a hybrid I mean yeah it’s something which was originally in England adapted in India and then this thing was dreamt up here in the US and this is where it was possible to do it and the fun thing about India to me is it’s a bit like England after the war you have all these little shops where he’s extremely talented machinists and painters and detailed people they’re not organized at all one guy’s here the other guy’s way over there one guy could be in his mother’s basement you know it’s not a factory it’s it’s it’s fascinating craftsman because I’ve met so many Indian craftsmen you know while we’re sitting here playing video games or watching TV they’re actually making stuff I mean it it’s fascinating well I am anxious to to hear it run can we start it up absolutely so do you use any any stark stock bullet parts on this all the stock bullet internal parts will fit like the connecting rods the Pistons the heads the valves the cans the push rods and all of these parts are available upgraded high performance from various places like Hitchcock’s in the UK and ace Performance bullets these are guys who are really good friends of mine and they get a custom forged piston made I say order Carillo Conrad’s they get the head forwarded by Joe Mandela’s shop and they get 40 horses from the 535 CC single ok so one thing we’re going to do later on is to do a v-twin version using their high-performance parts and then we end up with close to 80 horses Wow and then we leave this bricks and plenty of torque go ahead fire it up and see how she goes okay usually she won’t need the choke on a one day yeah that’s good there you go – can you see sign much like a bullet can we take it for a ride absolutely let’s take it for a ride as you see it’s got a nice v-twin Rumble to it like a classic Vincent or bro superior now if you’re looking at the head you might notice hey why the spark plugs there no wires attached well that’s where the compression release normally would be in the old days you pull a lever and raise the exhaust valve and make it easier to kick through but as Annika said those can leak so what he’s done is he just done a couple of spark plugs in there but he is going to make the dual plug head he’ll make it both plugs firing will make it even more efficient so I’m anxious to take from right it’s a nice-sized bike it’s pretty light what is it weighed you know 420 pounds so and the classic v-twin Rumble why it really does feel like a production-ready motorcycle you know to compare it’s like gone from a bullet to a 50 caliber and at 422 pounds it’s really flickable you can flew this thing around I love the neutral finder that’s pretty neat last time’s the fight drawers kick him down second for a second for a second first you you know the real surprise to this motorcycle is how little he did throw said before it’s about 100 degrees here surveillance engine eyes off my leg to be roasting what it’s obviously not probably because the compression ratios not that high it’s a nice torquey motor and it feels about well twice as fast as a bullet it’s just fun to roll on that big tour it really does feel like a mid 50s classic British v-twin

gotta make you wonder if a guy Columbus Ohio can do this in his house why can’t the Indian make a beach win like this you’d be really popular keep this bike is bill for a special class of person well that’s it really for people that like metal in their motorcycles cos plastic I don’t mean that mess sarcastic way I just mean there are some motorcycles they need to look like motor sights maybe they don’t have to be the fastest or the quickest stopping or the best handling but they need to look like motorcycles bullets have always looked like the classic interpretation performer cycle metal fenders metal metal around here chrome headlight rim you know the whole deal and it’s kind of on and it still only 420 how cool is it when you pull up to a motorcycle beat sequence what kind of bike is as you go home I made it myself you made the engine think of how many manufacturers don’t even make their own end why I get almost no vibration at all from the mirrors when I’ve driven an antique Harley to stuff we can’t he can’t even see your own reflection had shaken so much but no fuzziness coming through the bars I mean there’s a nice some thump thump but not not buzzing it it’s not uncomfortable well what a nice bike does is to ride you know it’s not the fact that it it does anything better than anything else the fact that it does everything very nicely I mean it’s got 18,000 miles on it and it was made by one person by hand I mean this is a close this is close to having a baby if the guy will ever get you know you make something you create it it drives it breeze it gets you around it’s it’s pretty amazing you know I think it’s just fantastic you know it restores my sort of faith in America you know the people come here from all over the world but their dreams to make something and build something and that’s what this young man is done here look at this there’s no weeping around any of the cylinders none of bass gaskets are leaking haven’t had to make any excuses transmissions a little bit notchy but that’s okay that’s not the end of the world it just drives so nicely it doesn’t throw any heat it’s really beautifully really beautifully done and to shake the hand of the man who built this come on Anna come on in let’s see man I am very impressed thank you so much you’re very you’re a very modest guy I’m come on Albie I mean I want to thank I’ll be – I found out about this through his website bicurious now people can buy and sell bikes on your website – right yeah so if you have a really cool bike you think you’d like to put on his website send them an email but I just want to thank you for really making something really different and fun I mean anybody can go out and buy a motorcycle how many people can build a motorcycle and make the cylinders and the crank it’s it’s it’s just amazing so congratulations Thank You Jay there you go very much your mother would be proud