Monday, March 21, 2011

Old Royal Enfield mystery motor identified

Royal Enfield used inclined cylinders on its single-cylinder, four-cycle motorcycles for only a few years, in the 1930s. Some had four-valve heads; all looked racy indeed.

Royal Enfield motor has forward-sloping cylinder.
But which Royal Enfield model was this curious chromed "sloper" motor, which had served as a doorstop for 40 years?

Scott, a resident of Sunderland, Ontario, Canada, asked for help identifying it. He wants to sell the motor (or parts of it) to those who can make proper use of it.

He provided this history of his "doorstop:"

" Back about 1974 I had a Super Meteor (never should have sold that!) One  spring day I rode to Magic Motorcycles (British motorcycle shop, now gone) to get a gasket set for a friend's pre-unit Triumph. The owner had the little motor holding the door open while he was sweeping out the winter's dirt. He had a strip of masking tape on the cover marked 'fifty.' I had to have it, if only to be a doorstop. It looked so neat.

"Purchased the motor and the gasket set, called father to drive down and meet me, to load it into his trunk. Kenny (the shop owner) had told me it was a '63. He gave me a carb and said 'good luck'. I have no intake manifold; probably when it was chromed someone nabbed the cams as well.  I have enjoyed it as a doorstop for almost 40 years.

"Now my thoughts are that someone somewhere may need these parts to complete a project. Perhaps by piecing the motor out, lots of guys can complete projects. I have no idea how many of these are out there or how much interest there is in a little motor."

Well, we now know it was no '63. Blogger Jorge Pullin narrowed it down to a Model T, S or S2 of the period 1935-'38! One way to distinguish between the Model T and the S models would be to measure the bore, Jorge suggested. It should be 56mm for the Model T, 64mm for the S models.

And that is what Scott did.

Royal Enfield 1936 Model S motorcycle.

"My thoughts are that it is likely a Model 'S'," he wrote.  "I have removed the head (two-valve) and measured the bore; 64mm."

If you have a serious interest in the motor, email me with your contact information and I will forward your message to Scott.

In the meantime, he writes that he is "completing a two-year restoration on my 1940 Indian Chief 'Essential' (a war-time model built for civilians with jobs judged essential to the war effort).  I always regretted selling my big Enfield."

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