Friday, August 31, 2012

250cc 1951 Royal Enfield Model S is rarely seen

A Royal Enfield Model S: ever seen one of these?
The 1951 Royal Enfield for sale on eBay in Canton, N.C. probably left many who saw the ad wondering what model it might be. The seller knew it was a "Model S," but apparently not much more, not even that it is a 250cc motorcycle.

It's not surprising. The Model S is "seldom even mentioned," Roy Bacon wrote in his book "Royal Enfield, The Postwar Models."

1954 Model S had a rigid frame and an old-fashioned look.
Bacon explains that 250cc motorcycles were hot in the postwar market, partly because 250cc was the upper limit allowed to British riders on learners' permits.

To meet this market, Royal Enfield developed its 250cc Clipper and even lavished the new swing-arm rear suspension on it.

But not everyone could afford the Clipper.

This motorcycle will need complete restoration.
So, briefly, the company produced the Model S version, with a cheaper rigid frame.

The Model S also would not receive the new Royal Enfield "casquette" instrument panel, incorporating the headlight. An old-fashioned separate headlight would do.

Classic Smiths speedometer.
"It made a useful utilitarian package but was not kept in the range for long and left it in late 1954," Bacon writes.

Today, the Model S is seldom seen, much less mentioned.

This particular Model S, number S224, is one of only 51 dispatched to the United States in 1951, according to research in factory records by Graham Scarth, chairman of the Royal Enfield Owners Club UK. Only one other seems to have been sent, in 1955.

The eBay motorcycle is rare indeed.

There's no doubt it's a Royal Enfield.


  1. As usual there is a twist. The 250 Model S existed before the war (with springer forks). According to Steve Wilson's book, it was reintroduced (presumably with telescopic forks) in 1952 for export only. In 1954 it was introduced in the UK, together with the rear suspended Clipper "to take advantage of the many post-war stop/go government economy measures, namely the 1953 budget concessions which to encourage sales reduced the cost of road tax for sidecar combinations under 250 cc." The rigid Model S is not there in the 1955 UK lineup. I have not been able to determine for how long they were exported. The 1954 UK model does not look at all like this bike, it has the bullet logo in the tank and the engine has the "T" feature at the top of the head much shorter than in this bike. But the export model could have been different. And that type of tank painting was there in the 1952 UK model G and J.

  2. I have a Royal Enfield 250cc 1951 model but the chassis needs a replacement and I cant find the chassis anywhere. Do you guyz have any idea where could I find one of original chassis for my bike.

    1. Devendra, you should add to your message where you are located: U.S.? UK? India? The only solution is to spread the word of your need and provide as much information as you can. For instance, what numbers are on the (frame?) you want to replace? Knowing that will help sellers know if they have something you could use. Best of luck.

  3. Hi David, I have a Royal Enfield s51 model as new. Do you tel me what is the market price? Thank's

    1. In my opinion the best way to determine market price is to put the motorcycle on the market and see what is offered. Where you are located, the year, whether you are willing to ship it and even the color of the bike will influence price, all of which you can make clear on eBay. Best of luck with it.

    2. Hi. I used to own a clipper rigid frame like yours. If for sale I may make an offer. Can u email pictures, please?
      Howard Nalder

  4. Anonymous12/19/2017

    I have engine number S672 but cant find frame number on headstock were the frame and engine number the same

  5. Hi David, I got an Engine in the clipper era.Í mean only engine. The doubt is whether it is 250 cc or 350 cc.
    I can say the engine number starts with letter "G"

  6. Jimal, I believe "G" typically corresponds to the Model G Royal Enfield, which was a 350cc single. You could get more (and more precise) information by writing to Graham Scarth with the motor number. He is chairman of the Royal Enfield Owners Club UK. The club has the factory records. Graham makes no charge for his service. Information on how to contact him is in my item here.

  7. Anonymous9/29/2023

    My 51 Royal Enfield model S looks to have had a red frame at one time, was that a factory color?

  8. Anonymous9/29/2023

    Is there much of a collector value in a 1951 Royal Enfield model S ? Where can you find parts, mine has wrong headlight? Mine also appears to have had a red frame at one point.


Follow royalenfields on Twitter