Bodywork – Method and Materials

A very British motorbike

The Material – Aluminium Alloy 1050a (No Relation!)

To make the tank and the bodywork, Terry Hall used 1050a Aluminium alloy. 1050 is a popular grade for general sheet metalwork where moderate strength is required. Alloy 1050 has excellent resistance to corrosion and is highly ductile.
The material is available in different levels of hardness, determined by the tempering process during manufacture. For the Enigma 1050 bodywork, Terry used both quarter hard and half hard grades in 2mm thickness.
Enigma 1050 motorcycle aluminium alloy 1050a
Aluminium rolls Enigma 1050 motorcycle
Chemical Element % Present
Manganese (Mn) 0.05
Iron (Fe) 0.40
Copper (Cu) 0.05
Magnesium (Mg) 0.05
Silicon (Si) 0.25
Zinc (Zn) 0.07
Titanium (Ti) 0.05
Aluminium (Al) Balance
Melting Point 650 °C

The table shows the chemical composition of 1050a Aluminium alloy. Aluminium is the most abundant metal in the Earth’s crust and accounts for 8 per cent of the weight of the Earth’s surface.


Choice of Method – A matter of Cost, Time and Philosophy

Standard Method

The bodywork and tank are modelled in clay first. When the modelling is complete, moulds are made from the clay master. Cost? Somewhere in the region of £10,000. It’s a fascinating process (have a look here) and one which is widely used in the motorcycle industry. For ENIGMA 1050 though, we decided that it was too costly, too time consuming and at odds with the philosophy of the project.

Enigma 1050 British Motorcycle clay modelling
Above: California based British designer, Glynn Kerr, working on the clay bodywork model for the Fischer MRX  motorcycle. This is the usual method but we chose a different route for ENIGMA 1050.
The Enigma Method

Our method is cheaper, faster and produces the same result. We used Terry Hall’s design and metalworking skills to manufacture the petrol tank and the bodywork for ENIGMA 1050.The alloy bodywork will be used to make moulds for grp and carbon fire components.
We can automate the tank construction by having dies made for metal pressings at a later date if we need to.

Terry at the wheel for Enigma 1050 British Motorcycle

You can see details of the construction of the petrol tank here

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