Royal Enfield Motorcycles

Today in Motorcycle History

Enfield Cycle Co

of Enfield Works, Redditch, Worcestershire. Telephone: Redditch 121 (5 lines). Telegraphic Address: "Cycles, 'Phone, Redditch". (1937)

The company was established at the end of the nineteenth century in Redditch, Worcestershire. With its roots in needle-making, the company of George Townsend and Co was founded in 1880, as munitions and arms manufacturer. Best known for their motorcycles, they also produced bicycles, lawnmowers, stationary engines, and even rifle parts for the Royal Small Arms Factory in Enfield. This legacy of weapons manufacture is reflected in the logo, a cannon, and their motto "built like a gun, goes like a bullet". It also enabled the use of the brand name Royal Enfield from 1890.

In 1955 Enfield of India started assembling Bullet motorcycles under licence from British components and, by 1962, were manufacturing complete machines.

In the early 1890s Albert Eadie and R. W. Smith formed the Eadie Manufacturing Co in Hunt End, near Redditch.

  • 1893 The Enfield Manufacturing Co. Ltd was registered to sell the Enfield bicycle, built by the Eadie Company.

    1896 The New Enfield Cycle Co. Ltd was formed to take over all bicycle activities.

    In 1897 that became the Enfield Cycle Co. Ltd. Eadie Manufacturing Co. then moved to other premises, and the whole of the Redditch works became the premises of the Enfield Cycle Co.

    1890s In the early 1890s Albert Eadie and R. W. Smith bought the bicycle business of George Townsend near Redditch, to form the Eadie Manufacturing Co.

    1896 The company was registered on 1 July as the New Enfield Cycle Co to take over from the Eadie Manufacturing Co, certain works for cycle manufacture.

    By 1897 the company was titled Enfield Cycle Co Ltd and had moved to Redditch.

    By 1899 they were producing a De Dion powered tricycle.

1910 Cycle and Motorcycle Exhibition
The Enfield Cycle Co., Ltd.
Redditch. Stand No. 75.
The Enfield motor-bicycle has had a very good season, the little Kharki twin being frequently met on the roads. A still better season is anticipated in 1911, and one or two material alterations are introduced. Firstly, the power has been increased, the bore and stroke being now respectively 54 and 75 millimeters, the present-day popularity of the long stroke being fallen in with. A more radical departure consists in the adoption of chain drive, but without dispensing with the pedalling gear. This is accomplished in the following fashion A sprocket wheel is mounted on the engine shaft by means of a friction clutch, which allows for a certain amount of give to the engine impulses. On the end of the bottom bracket are two chain wheels, a large and a small one. The first is coupled up to the engine sprocket, and the second to a sprocket on the road wheel by endless chains. The magneto is arranged behind the bottom bracket and is driven by a shaft, which passes through the foot of the diagonal tube, which is forked for the purpose. The cylinders are arranged at 60 degrees to one another, and the valves, all of which are mechanically operated, are arranged at the back and the front of the cylinders instead of between them. The front fork is mounted on parallel links, the top links being extended to carry one end of an anti-vibratory spring, the other end of which is fixed to the cross bar of the fork above the tyre. Inverted levers are fitted to the steering handles. The Bowden wires connected to these, as well as to the carburetter control levers, are enclosed within the handlebar tubes, and issue from an aperture below the lamp bracket, which is formed in one with the lug on the top of the handlebar stem. In addition to the front rim brake a pedal brake operates on a dummy rim fixed to the back wheel on the two-speed machine. An ingenious and convenient idea consists in fitting all the connections to the tank at one side so that the tank can be easily withdrawn from its position in the frame towards that side.
  • 1914 Manufacturers of cycles, motor cycles and carrier vehicles. Employees 1,000.

    1970 The company ceased manufacturing.

Source: Graces Guide

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