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Thursday, October 1, 2009

Great old photo of Royal Enfield motorcycle

A very cool looking Royal Enfield motorcycle is pictured on Flickr, posted by a man who says the picture shows his father Donald astride it, some time in the 1950s.

The rider is dressed in a very smart Canadian Boy Scout uniform and looks proud of his machine, which is possibly a wartime Royal Enfield CO, complete with girder forks. It also sports white wall tires and a strange but probably comfortable seat.

The light on the front fender is an accessory from a catalog or some other bike: note that it doesn't exactly fit the curvature of the fender.

But what is really remarkable is the paint job, a pastel color appropriate for the 1950s that has been applied to everything, including the handlebars and seat springs. The knee pads have been rendered in white, to match the seat cover.

What a magnificent beast! The picture was posted by Da Qi, who says he has no further information about the family photo except that the motorcycle did belong to his father; the proud scout wasn't just posing on someone else's motorcycle.

I'm indebted to reader Chris Bartlett, who spotted this great old Royal Enfield. It's a reminder that vintage motorcycles weren't always pristine. If I came across this one in "as pictured" condition, I would leave it just the way it is.

Does Donald's motorcycle from the genuine 1950s remind you of the new Royal Enfield C5, in green?

4 comments:

  1. The seat is typical for Indian motorcycles from 1945-1953. Judging from the girder forks, hardtail and traingle tool box, I bet this is a 1945 Enfield. Funny that Boy Scouts and Enfield riders have the same motto "Be Prepared."

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  2. This is a pre war (About 1938) 350cc Model G Enfield. The front Engine bolt is higher (As on this engine) than a WD/CO. The 500cc model J used a similar engine but the rest of the bike dosn't look big enough to be that model.

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  3. Thank you, Anonymous. Very much appreciated. Were you familiar with bikes of that era?

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  4. Unfortunatly I'm not familier with the late 30's machines to much, I had a 1936 500cc but now I concentrate on War time Machines. I've got about 5 complete WD/COs and WD/C sand another 5 incomplete machines too. Oh and a 1948/52 bitsa Model G. Through scouring jumbles etc. for parts and buying the wrong items, I've learnt to identify many other pre war and post war parts and models. I have some photos of a barn find 1938 Model G which is very original, if you would like to see them and any WD stuff email me at m3bobby(at)hotmail.com

    Cheers, Chris.

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