But since you took the time and effort to compile your critique and suggestions (appreciated despite our difference in opinions), I feel that you deserve a reply, and since this is my blog, it seems easiest to reply in a new post, rather than cluttering up the comments section with more comments.
I'm not a purist, and never have been. Both of these bikes were acquired by me with missing and incorrect parts on them, the Interceptor particularly so. I originally put them together the way I wanted to, with limitations due to lack of knowledge at the time, serious lack of availability of parts, and lack of personal wealth.
I bought both of them back when very few people had any good information about them, and parts were almost impossible to obtain. They also both suffered from the typical period "modifications" of previous owners, removing front fenders, hacksawing back fenders, throwing "unnecessary" parts away.
The Interceptor was wrecked at least twice before I got it, and it had a set of Triumph forks installed (very, very badly).
I bought the Interceptor in 1972 (hard to believe it got to the state it was in after only 6 years), as a pile of parts. I was friends with the current owner, who took it apart to restore it. It had the Triumph forks on it when he bought it, no front fender, a standard Dunlop rear fender with homemade stays, a Bates solo saddle, and numerous other aftermarket parts. At the time, I was just a young kid who wanted the biggest bike I could get for the least amount of money. I simply put it back together with the parts I was provided with, and rode it around for several years like that.
Replacing all the missing parts wasn't an option at the time, although in hindsight, I probably could have. Since that time, I've purchased several stashes of old R-E parts, although tinware has always been very uncommon in such parts stashes.
The Tomahawk was purchased around 1982 from the original Indian dealer who had sold it new. I had no idea what it was supposed to look like at the time. It had no front fender, a chopped back fender, JC Whitney mufflers... It did have the original gas tank, front forks, engine, gearbox, toolbox and seat (not on it in the picture in this blog). When I put it together, I purchased a front fender from a Domi-Racer sale catalog that was listed as for an Indian Enfield, and given the low price (plus at the time, not knowing what the original front fender should have been) I snapped it up.
The toolbox on the bike is actually from my 1966 Interceptor, the original Tomahawk toolbox had been modified by a previous owner, who drilled four large holes in each side cover, and at the time, I didn't know if they could be fixed, so I just used the Interceptor toolbox. I've since then, gotten the holes repaired, and plan to use the original toolbox during this project.
For the record, this is one Tomahawk that does have all matching numbers, confirmed by the REOC-UK who has the original factory records. The frame, engine and gearbox all match for a Tomahawk that was shipped to the US in November, 1957 .
As for the nuts and bolts vs "resale value", like I said before, I don't care about resale value, I'm not in this for the money. As anyone who's ever restored a motorcycle knows, you're not going to make your money back on a restoration project, so you're a fool if you worry about things like resale value. I've restored other British motorcycles using SAE stainless fasteners altered to look like the original Whitworth or BSF fasteners, and nobody's yet gone over my bikes with a thread guage to determine if the fasteners are "correct" or not.
If/when these bikes are passed on to another owner, replacing the nuts and bolts, should the new owner care about that kind of thing, won't be difficult to do.
Regarding the Suzuki front forks, I'm putting them on for no other reason than because I want to. If you look at the picture I photoshopped, you'll note that I show an Enfield "casquette" headlamp/fork crown on it. I'm having a machinist friend modify the Suzuki forks to fit the Enfield part (which I purchased new from an Enfield dealer a couple of years ago). It's a "because it's there" kind of thing (and I have a really cool mod for the brake calipers which I'm not going to reveal until I've got the forks ready to install), plus, no matter how bad the Suzuki forks/brakes are compared with modern Japanese forks and brakes, they've got to be better than original Enfield parts, this is a cafe racer build, after all not a restoration. The only parts which will be irretrievably altered are a pair of old Suzuki fork legs. (now I'm going to recieve the wrath of Suzuki GT 750 fans!)
I am not planning on throwing the original Enfield forks away, and putting them back on the bike would take maybe a couple of hours of work if I decide I don't like the Suzuki forks.
Given the purpose of this project; to have two complete, presentable bikes for display at a motorcycle show which features Royal Enfield, I'm going to be making compromises, up to and including putting the Tomahawk back together with all the incorrect tinware if money and time prevents obtaining original parts.
I'm going to aim for having it completed with correct tinware if possible, but if I can't, as time and money permits, I can continue to acquire more appropriate parts for the Tomahawk and return it to original specification.
My point here being that no future owners of either of these bikes will be cursing me for putting them together the way I did. No changes to the original bikes are being performed which can't be easily changed back to original specification, and all the unused original parts which I currently have are going to be kept with each bike if I pass either one on to someone else.
Since my most recent post was a distraction, I guess I should conclude this one with an update to that distraction.
I've finally had a chance to use those cheap tires for what they were intended. (concours purists, you may want to close this page now to avoid damage to your sensibilities!)
I can report that they perform amazingly well on both pavement and dirt. Two of my friends who also own vintage BMW's bought pairs of these for their own bikes and we took a trip in Eastern Oregon which consisted of 50+ miles of somtimes very rudimentary dirt road, including two stream crossings, and the tires worked beautifully. These are by far, the best tires I've ever had on my R69S.