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British Motorcycles

Royal Enfield 1920s

An article on the 1926 Tourist Trophy Races in Motor Sport Magazine reads:

The Enfield company are the latest recruits to the standard machine policy ; it being possible to purchase a machine almost identical with the actual racer. The only modifications being an 8 in. back brake and a 21 gallon petrol tank. The engine is a two-port J.A.P., modified to include the Enfield lubrication system. Enfield forks and brakes are fitted, and it is interesting to note that about half a dozen prominent trade entries in the races are also using Enfield brakes.

A Sturmey Archer close ratio gear-box is used with a gate change. Dunlop wired-on tyres are fitted, and a small tank drips oil on to the rear chain. The machines have quite racy lines, and in the hands of C. H. Young and J. G. Burney should perform well. The 250 c.c. machines are similar, except for tyre sizes and gear ratios.

Extract from a report on the 1926 Olympia Show in Motor Sport Magazine:

Since Motor Sport road tested the 350 c.c. Royal Enfield J.A.P., this company has produced a similar model embodying an o.h.v. engine of its own design. The chief feature of the design is the neatly enclosed and lubricated overhead valve gear, a feature that should occupy designers' attention far more than it does at present. The Royal Enfield big twin sports machine is also shown-but is the same as last year's model barring a few minor improvements.

Excerpt from Reports on Sports Machines of 1926 in Motor Sport Magazine (penned in 1949).

There followed a 346-c.c. o.h.v. Royal Enfield, having a single-port J.A.P. engine adapted to Enfield mechanical pump lubrication with but one external oil pipe. Providing the B. & B. carburetter was flooded the engine started easily and ticked-over at an incredibly slow speed. Semi-T.T. bars, Terry saddle and adjustable footrests gave a comfortable riding position, but the gear-lever controlling the three-speed Sturmey-Archer gearbox was badly placed, necessitating bending forward to reach it. Steering was delightfully light, road-holding excellent and in town, fine acceleration notwithstanding, this Royal Enfield was notably unobtrusive. Yet it would do 45 m.p.h. in 2nd gear and 60-65 m.p.h. in top.

A sweet, smooth clutch and the Enfield rubber-block cush-drive transmission, coupled with excellent balance, made feet-up manoeuvring easy at a snail's pace. Both the internal expanding brakes worked really well, although care was needed for a smooth stop from the rear one and the pedal was rather too high above the footrest. At first excessive oil supply caused plug oiling, but this was cured by cutting down the supply, while petrol consumption was approximately 90-100 m.p.g., riding fairly fast. Altogether this £50 sports model created a very good impression, although frequent oiling of the push-rod cups was required and the rockers relied on grease cups.

Royal Enfield 1927

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