Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Royal Enfield Bullet twin tube bicycle

Here's a rarity bicycle-wise. I've only ever heard of one other of these surviving though there are probably a few more hiding about here and there... It's mid thirties Royal Enfield Bullet model cycle. Enfield used the Bullet model name pre-war for their top of the range sports models both for motor and pedal cycles. The Bullet cycle, though not as long lived as its motorcycle brother, continued in production right through from the thirties to the sixties. The twin top tube frame however only featured between 1934 and 1937.

Various bicycle frame builders experimented with small diameter twin tube designs through the thirties and forties, the Enfield frame bears more than a passing resemblance to the Moorson which appeared first in 1926.

Interestingly (or perhaps not depending on your point of view!) the Bullet's top tubes do not appear to be one length of tube going from headstock to rear drop outs. If you look carefully the top tubes appear to be separate from the rear triangle uprights and both are straight lengths butted on to a lug which incorporates the apparent bend on the tubes.

Side view on and the Bullet is nothing particularly special.

The Enfield Bullet came my way quite recently as a rather sad bare frame. I've got to confess to having taken a perfectly good and original ladies cycle from the thirties to break down and donate parts to building up the Bullet. I felt a bit bad about sacrificing it but in the end I think it went to a good cause....

The current spec is a bit more touring utility than the super sports machine it originally left the factory as. The plan is to slowly accumulate parts to put it back to close to original spec.

This is where you can see that the Bullet is slightly special!

And here it is as per catalogue. The
catalogue grab is taken from the very
excellent Veteran Cycle Club online library.
The library is open to all but I strongly
recommend joining.

A different angle. The special twin top tube cable clip makes
me suspect that the Bullet was originally supplied with a
Sturmey three speed hub as now fitted.

And another view. The frame has had a lot of touching up
here and there but some parts of the original transfers are
clinging on to the down tube.

Sturmey three speed hub with drum brake.

Near side view of the Bullet.

Here you can just about make out where the straight tubes
are butted on to the lug. I guess it was easier to make this way
than bending up a pair of tubes and brazing them on. It would
have cost slightly more in materials like this but would be lot quicker to
build up and certainly a lot easier to make sure the frame is straight
and true as well.

Cable clip for Sturmey hub shaped to the twin tubes.

And a Sturmey front drum to match the rear.

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