Friday, May 22, 2009

Bike found in a hole: Is it a Royal Enfield?

Jason Oxenham photo/Central Leader

The outstanding "The Vintagent" motorcycle blog has uncovered a story out of New Zealand of a motorcycle found buried in a back yard. The article doesn't clear up the mystery of what kind of motorcycle it is, although it clearly is old. One possibility is that it is a Royal Enfield.

The Vintagent is inviting your best guess. Let him know what you think.


  1. Hi David,

    Well, surfing online a bit, the only Royal Enfields I see that have a gearshift lever like the mystery bike are circa 1929, e.g., like this one.

    Starting with 1930 the gearshift lever is different, it is longer and horizontal, pivoting towards the back of the tank and the gearshift link to the gearbox is almost vertical, like this. The exception to this appear to be the large V-Twins, but there the lever is very close to the kneepads, not like in this bike.

    Is it a RE 1929? Doubtful. The upper curve of the gas tank has a little hump in the RE, none in the mystery bike. And the front engine mount is different, the Enfield engine being "rounder". On the plus side, the headlight is held by a curved link and the rear mudguard matches better than that of the BSA that The Vintagent's friend sent (I admit it otherwise looks like a very good match).

    Royal Enfield had a line of many models in the early 1930's, which included forward slanted motors, that would better match the engine mount. But I don't have at hand sources for what the situation was in 1929. Also, all the 1929's I've seen have the same incorrect tank. It cannot be much earlier because in 1927 and earlier the bikes still had the long "square and flat" tank. Maybe a 1928? :-)

    The mystery continues! Have fun!

  2. I love a mystery. Jorge, thank you for your research. You always exceed my expectations. By the way, this item was originally your find, right? The Vintagent credits "Jorge" for sending it.

  3. oh, I just found a link in Google... Thanks...

  4. Apparently the bike was sold.



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