A very British motorbike

A collection of the news items that have appeared on the site since the project started


Radical Bodywork Revision “First attempt was too retro

April 23 2013 (St George’s Day)

Enigma 1050 sporting new bodywork

We've got rid of the rear subframe, remodelled the tank and come up with an altogether more modern seat and tail unit. Final version will be in carbon fibre and self-supporting.

“Too retro” was the verdict on the bodywork so we had a radical rethink. The quality of Terry Hall’s work was not an issue. We needed something more modern.
Ace sheet metalworker Chris Allen remodelled the tank while Promach machined the mounts to which the seat unit attaches.
You can find out more about Chris Allen and his work by clicking here.

The old style bodywork for Enigma 1050

Nothing wrong with the workmanship on the original bodywork. We just decided it was too retro and a bit too heavy.

Finishing the swingarm and rear suspension

December 12 2012

Tigcraft welding the swing arm
completed swingarm for enigma 1050
Enigma 1050 rear caliper mount by Promach
Enigma 1050 chain adjuster assembly
Even we are stunned by the way that the components are turning out. Put together the tube bending, welding, machining and design skills of Tigcraft and Promach and this is what you get – a swingarm so good to look at, it hurts.
The arrangement of the chain adjusters was invented by Dave Pearce of Tigcraft and Mick Edwards of Promach and is unique to the Enigma 1050 project.
Pictured below are the linkages for the rear suspension – another one off job. The curve in the dogbone will allow us to use the full range of ride height adjustment afforded by the K-Tech rear unit.
Rear suspension linkage for the Enigma 1050 British Motorcycle

…and putting it together

enigma 1050 about to receive swing arm
Enigma 1050 rear suspension linkage in place
Left to Right: Enigma 1050 from the back with the swingarm about to be fitted. The rear suspension linkage in place. Thrust bearings with a backlash adjustment mechanism ensure precise location of the swing arm.
Enigma 1050 swingarm thrust bearings
And here it is up on its wheels again. Shortly after these pictures were taken, Enigma 1050 was on the move once more back to the Promach workshops where Mick Edwards is busy making the footrests, instrument and headlight mounts, radiator mounts, top yoke and a few other bits and pieces too.
Meanwhile down in the South of England, serious deliberations over the bodywork are taking place. We promise that the result will be radical but that’s all we’re
saying just now.
Developing a bike from scratch on a tight budget takes a long time and we’ve had a few hold-ups over the summer. However, we have overcome the difficulties we have been facing and things are now moving rapidly.
It’s coming on Christmas and we’re all looking forward to a break but we’ll be back with more development news soon.
Merry Christmas everybody and thanks very much for all the encouragement.
Enigma 1050 in Jim Lindsay's workshop


The Front End Goes East…

Pace Products make one-off cooling system components for everything from pre-war vintage racing cars up to modern Superbike racer machines. They are yet another of the amazing British manufacturers that we have come across in the building of the Engima 1050 British motorcycle. We’ll have more info on them in the near future.
The front end of the bike is at their Haverhill workshops in Suffolk where they are designing and making the radiator and oil cooler. The entire manufacturing process will be done in house.
We’ve blacked out the back end so you can’t see the temporary arrangement comprising an ancient Suzuki RGV250 swingarm and an equally aged rear wheel from a Cagiva 125. Dave Pearce of Tigcraft put these in so we could move the bike around.

…and the Back End Goes to the Midlands

We are showing the design of the swingarm in full for the first time. Mick Edwards of Promach and Dave Pearce of Tigcraft cooked up the means of attaching the wheel spindle mounts/adjuster blocks between them. It’s unique to the Engima 1050 and, in our view, rivals anything we’ve seem when it comes to combining elegance and function.
They finish the stunning lines of the arm to perfection. Just wait until we get the paint on. It’ll look even more amazing.
Mick has also been busy making the linkages for the rear suspension. You can see pictures showing close up detail of the of the adjuster blocks here. On the same page,you’ll also see the suspension linkages.
As usual, the quality of Mick’s machining and design is top notch.


Enigma 1050 British Motorcycle in UK publication Motorcycle News

Click on the page to see the story at full size

British Motorcycle Enigma 1050 in Motorcycle News

Click on the page to see the story at full size

Thanks once again to the guys at Motorcycle News for their continued interest in the project. They were behind us right from the start and we appreciate that.


Enigma 1050 British motorcycle in the Austin Racing workshop

Rich Austin of Austin Racing has finished the prototype exhaust. We are using the standard Triumph Speed Triple 1050 header pipes which Rich has modified to give us the route and the ground clearance we want.
The link pipe is made from stainless steel while the GP style end can is carbon fibre. What you see here is not the finished product. It will be used as a pattern to make the final exhaust.
The system will feature a catalytic converter to keep Enigma 1050 within the emissions laws. The system will also be fitted with a removable baffle.
Rich Austin comes from an F1 manufacturing background but has always been mad about bikes. He is currently developing a full exhaust system for the new Ducati Panigale, which he reckons is one of the most interesting fabrication challenges he has ever faced. You just know it’s going to be good.


Rich Austin Racing Enigma 1050 exhaust
Enigma 1050, the British motorcycle, has been on the move again. It’s been to Tigcraft for some frame modifications and a few days ago we dropped it off with Austin Racing, who are making the exhaust system.
We chose Austin Racing because of the quality of their components and also because of their enthusiasm for the project. On the left you can see Rich Austin offering up a possible exhaust to the bike. Below is Rich with the bike at the AR workshop. More information on the making of the exhaust coming soon.
Rich Austin with the Enigma 1050 British motorcycle

Tank and Bodywork Developments Take Massive Leap Thanks to Terry Hall

Enigma 1050 British Motorcycle with bodywork
Enigma 1050 British Motorcycle Bodywork lefthand side
IT’S TAKEN METALWORKER TERRY HALL just five weeks from being presented with the chassis and a few rough ideas of what we wanted to come up with this stunning tank and bodywork for the Enigma 1050 project.
While Jim Lindsay was collecting the bike, he met one of Terry’s customers, Richard Harvey, who said “He’s not so much a metalworker as an alchemist.”
We agree. It’s a stunning piece of work. See how he did it here.
20,000 and counting

We launched this website to publicise the Enigma 1050 British Motorcycle project at the end of November last year (2011). Last week, after just four months on line, our visitor numbers passed 20,000. Thank you very much to everyone who has visited us and shown such interest in the project.
We hope that you will stay with us and help us see the project through to the end. Your support counts.
Remember, if you have any comments to make, or if you have any questions you would like to ask, you can email them to Enigma 1050 project leader Jim Lindsay.

Tank and bodywork almost finished

The Enigma 1050 team heard from Terry Hall a couple of days ago. Work on the tank and bodywork is going well. We expect to be collecting the bike from his place soon.
We will be showing pictures of the completed tank and bodywork soon after and also giving details of how they were made and what materials Terry used.
Meanwhile, we have had a change in schedule. Ever the perfectionist, Tigcraft’s Dave Pearce wants to make a few changes and additions to the chassis before we take the bike to Austin Racing for the exhaust to be made so the bike is going back to the Tigcraft workshop for a couple of weeks for that to be done.

Master metalworker Terry Hall at work on the Enigma 1050 fuel tank


Enigma 1050 at tank builder Terry Hall's place
With the rear subframe, seat and light added, Enigma is beginning to take shape. We have also added some temporary footrest so we can start working on the riding position. Handlebars and top yoke are temporary items and will be replaced soon.
Terry Hall starts making the Engima 1050 fuel tank
Terry Hall makes a start on the Enigma 1050 fuel tank.
Enigma 1050 has been on the move. It’s in Shropshire at the moment having its fuel tank and rear bodywork made. It will be away for about three weeks. On our way up we called in at Promach to show Mick Edwards the work so far. “I can’t wait to have a go on it,”Mick said after swinging a leg over the Enigma for the first time.
The Enigma Team at Promach's HQ
Some of the Enigma 1050 team admiring progress
The rear bodywork is a mock-up that Tigcraft did to give an idea of the final shape. Terry will be making the master once he’s finished the tank.
After that we’ll be taking Enigma South to Austin Racing for the exhaust system. When that’s done, we’ll be off to Suffolk to get the radiator built by Pace Products. It’s getting closer. 
Chris Taylor of K-Tech picks up ISO9001 certificate

Chris Taylor of K-Tech (right) receives the ISO 9001 certificate from Ian Thompson, International Adviser at UK Trade and Investment

K-Tech Double Top

K-Tech Suspension supported rider, Fabien Foret, took victory in the World Supersport championship at Imola this weekend (1 April). Foret, now 39 years old, also took the lead in the championship.
Success of the track also came a few weeks ago when K-Tech achieved BSI ISO 9001 certification for the whole range of their activities: design, manufacture, parts supply, workshop service and race support.
Chris Taylor said “We are proud to have achieved ISO 9001 accreditation which not only provides a measure of how well we manage the business today, but for the future will also assist us in our quest for continuous improvement of our products and services.”

Fabien Foret K-Tech supported wins at Imola

French Rider Fabien Foret won the Imola round of World SuperSport on his K-Tech equipped Intermoto Step Kawasaki ZX-6R

enigma 1050 on its wheels at Tigcraft


This is a big, big moment. The Enigma 1050 is up on its wheels and now we can start to see something of what the finished bike will look like. Our next task is to get the tank made and then it’s time for the bodywork.
There is still a huge amount to do but we’re just taking a brief pause to savour the moment before getting back to work.
rear view of the enigma 1050

Enigma 1050 update in Motorcycle News 29 February 2012
update in MCN

Motorcycle News ran a two page update on the Enigma 1050 project in this week’s paper.
They gave us an excellent write up, emphasising the fact that we are concentrating first and foremost on getting the prototype built and sorted rather than worrying about getting into production.
They also underlined the one-off nature of the work we are engaged in and that every component has to be designed and manufactured rather than just picked out of a parts bin.
They plan to run more stories on the bike as the build progresses. Thanks for the support guys. We appreciate it.

Enigma 1050 update in Motorcycle News 29 February 2012

There is an archive of previous news items. To view it, click here.

Enigma 1050 gets visitors from the Czech Republic

We were delighted to welcome three visitors from the Czech Republic. They are from Czech outfit Meteorsport who have six bike shops. They specialise in unusual bikes and go for diversity. They are the importers in their country for Bimota and Victory plus a few other one off European makes.
Meteorsport are planning to promote Enigma 1050 to the press and will be our agents in the Czech Republic and also in neighbouring Slovakia once the bike is in production.
You can read more about them here.
Thanks for making the effort to call in on us guys. It was great to see you.
From left to right: Martin Rigó, Radim Tyfa, Jim Lindsay and Tomas Kocar.

Dealers from the Czech Republic visit Enigma 1050
Enigma 1050 in holland

Dutch Magazine Motor features Enigma 1050 on the news pages of the latest issue. Check out their site here. Thanks guys.

Enigma on its dymags

Enigma 1050 with the Dymag wheels in placeWe’ve got the Avons on the Dymags and the one of the Dymags on the bike.

Enigma 1050 feature in Dutch Magazine Motor
somebody else’s idea of a bike

Andy Titcomb's alternative Enigma 1050 Time for some light relief. JIm Lindsay’s old schoolfriend Andy Titcomb reckons that this is what he would build if we let him loose in the workshop. Don’t call us Andy… But if you want to buy a really unusual ace teapot, he can do that no trouble. Thanks for the picture Andy.

Tank design added

Enigma 1050 is primarily a road bike and that means a decent tank range. We asked Benoit of Tigcraft to bear that in mind and he came up with this initial design.

bottom yoke design

Bottom fork yoke for the Enigma 1050Meanwhile Mick Edwards of Promach has designed the bottom yoke which will be machined soon.

Tigcraft CAD drawing for Enigma 1050 seat
Avond 3D Ultra Sport tyre for Enigma 1050
avon tyres chosen for enigma 1050

WWherever possible, we are choosing British made components for the Enigma 1050. Avon was the natural choice for us. Avon tyres are manufactured in Melksham, Wiltshire. We have oped for their Ultra 3D Sport tyres. These are designed for road use. Since Enigma 1050 is primarily a road bike, we have chosen these over the super sticky 3D Ultra Extreme tyres.
Avon have been making motorcycle tyres since 1911 and are the only motorcycle tyre manufacturer to make their entire range in the UK. Dunlop still make the D211 tyres in the UK but over than that, their range is all made abroad.
You can read more about Avon Tyres here.

Avon 3D Ultra Sport rear tyre for Enigma 1050
16 Jan 2012 – Fresh work on the design from Benoit Gachet

While Dave Pearce at Tigcraft is pressing ahead with the final work on the Enigma 1050 swingarm (pictures next week) his long term collaborator and honorary Brit Benoit Gachet has been putting in some hefty hours on the CAD program to start developing the bodywork in conjunction with the actual layout of the frame as it is evolving. Here is one of Ben’s drawings of the seat. There will be more from him in the near future. His next task is to produce ideas for the tank.
Benoit has been responsible for all the CAD drawing so far, including the one of the swingarm you can see below.

Enigma 1050 CAD drawing to show seat
CAD drawing for the Engima 1050 swingarm
Swingarm design partly revealed

This recently completed CAD image shows the detail of the swing arm design. While the layout of the actual component is very close to the the picture on the left, we are being secretive about the exact form of the end plates at he moment because they are a new design. All will be revealed soon.
You can see how far we’ve got with the fitting of the swingarm by looking here. The rear suspension unit has arrived from K-Tech and we are getting close to having the prototype standing on its own two wheels for the first time which will be a great leap forward.


Kar Lee’s original visuals gave us a great start to the project but they were concept visuals. We need to move on and develop the design to encompass the engineering decisions that we have made about the chassis. We have approached well known designer, John Keogh, to produce some visuals which reflect the direction that the development is taking. Here is one of his early sketches.

The frame in its current state of development
Above: The frame differs from the concept visuals. The design is changing to reflect that.

John Keogh's first sketch for the Enigma

ENIGMA on the front page – December 21 2011

We made the front page of Motor Cycle News four days before Christmas and they also featured us on pages 2 and 3. The bike is generating much interest both at home and abroad. What started out as an idea to build just one bike as showcase for the UK industry is turning into somethingbigger.

Enigma featured on American site The Kneeslider

In the Kneeslider top four – December 20 2011

The Kneeslider is one of our favourite sites. It’s all about people getting off their butts and doing stuff rather than just dreaming about it. We were really pleased to be chosen as one their top four Significant events in the Motorcycle Business This Year. Thanks guys. We appreciate the support. If you haven’t done so already, check out the knee slider here. While you’re on the site, have a look at the Motus MST, an all American touring motorcycle built with more than just straight line cruising in mind. It features an all new Vee Four engine.

Enigma 1050 – a very British motorcycle being built in Hampshire, Derbyshire, Leicestershire, Berkshire, Wiltshire, Surrey, Sussex, Suffolk, Shropshire and Cambridgeshire.