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Royal Enfield Information Request #765631 02/17/19 1:58 am
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LanceH Offline OP
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Hello there,

I’m hoping someone can help me with a bike I’ve owned for a while now. It’s a future project that was unearthed during a recent archaeological dig in my garage and I thought I’d try to get some information about it.

It’s apparently a 1955 Royal Enfield Constellation of some kind but, although I’ve seen similar fairings and front guards on other bikes, I’ve not seen the faired in side covers and tailpiece or the rocket 2 into 1 exhaust. I haven’t bought any RE books yet, but a quick look on the net hasn’t come up with any particular information on this specific model.

It’s certainly a bit unusual. So ugly it’s beautiful, in fact, but the factory has spent a lot of time shaping the fairing around the frame, 2 into 1 and the engine. The speedo may be a bit optimistic at 150mph, but I love the alloy rocket tip on the silencer.
Can anybody help point me in the direction of information on this bike?

Cheers, Lance.

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Re: Royal Enfield Information Request [Re: LanceH] #765647 02/17/19 6:42 am
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Rohan Offline
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Certainly an interesting bike. Wish i could find something like that lurking in the back of my garage...!

Gordon May's book "By Miles the Best" shows photos of each years models by year, and that combination of features certainly isn't unique.
An optional Airflow fairing (with that front guard or its ineffective), the optional 2 into 1 exhaust and other bits seem to point towards mid 50s or later, although there were no Connies that early,
it could be a Meteor or Super Meteor , or into the 1960s if it is a Connie ? I can't see it in that colour though.

Hitckcocks have got a fairly good collection of pics of various models.
Frank on something similar ?
[Linked Image]

Someone who knows these models better may be able to nail it down
These bikes (fairings) were way ahead of their time ?, only the D type vinnie was comparable.. ?

Re: Royal Enfield Information Request [Re: LanceH] #765648 02/17/19 6:53 am
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Rohan Offline
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Could that colour be Wedgewood Blue ?
Have you tried polishing a patch (in a discrete spot maybe, if you wish to keep the unkempt look.)
(A good wax and polish may actually bring out an exceptional original-finish bike ?)
Don't touch the chrome until we have discussed tricks of reviving it either).

Someone will have details of how to contact Graham, in the Enfield Owners Club, he offers a service of dating
bikes in return for all numbers being supplied, so as to update their records too.

Re: Royal Enfield Information Request [Re: LanceH] #765681 02/17/19 5:25 pm
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Chris Overton Offline
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A very nice find indeed. Probably a 1961 Constellation, altho they made some in 1962 - '64 too. The fairing is RE's own design Airflow fairing. Reg Thomas gets the credit. (Form follows function....) Semi-enclosure rear mudguard, side covers behind the toolbox are hard to find, toolbox is special shape to blend in the lines. (It tapers in from back to front.) Lifting handle, altho I see one of yours is missing. Chronometric speedo is well made and worth restoring. RE really wanted the 3 piece silencer to work and had a series of issues with the central stud coming loose. Big issues at the time were effective silencing without reducing performance. The government was setting max sound levels and promising to set lower dB levels. Engine will be 700cc altho 24 Constellation 750s were built and sent to the USA.
The story will be told by the serial number on the left side of the engine, just below the cylinders. All the letters and numerals are important. Frame number stamped into the headstock on the left side. (Not the raised numerals on the right side, which are a casting number.) Gearbox number on the top of the case on the right side, near the joint with the covers, small and covered in grease usually. Gearbox number is copied onto the front of the crankcase on the right side. Go to the excellent blog www.royalenfields.com and you will see a blurb in the right sidebar about contacting Graham Scarth. Or post the numbers here and one of us will contact Graham. Dispatch records will show dispatch date and destination dealer from the serial numbers.
A rare and special bike.

Re: Royal Enfield Information Request [Re: Chris Overton] #765682 02/17/19 5:29 pm
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Mark Mumford in England has pointed out the single carb and painted tank indicate a Super Meteor, not Constellation. Numbers please, to unravel the mystery! Still a special model.

Re: Royal Enfield Information Request [Re: LanceH] #765687 02/17/19 6:31 pm
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What a worthy project.Best of luck,with it.
That old rear tire has quite a 'square' crossection/profile...?
Maybe I'm a bit too young (58),to remember such things...?


1969 BSA A65T w/A70 engine
1970 Royal Enfield Interceptor S ll
Re: Royal Enfield Information Request [Re: LanceH] #765694 02/17/19 8:27 pm
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Looks like a Flying Flea tank badge on the fork top enclosure.

Re: Royal Enfield Information Request [Re: LanceH] #765730 02/18/19 10:45 am
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Correct on both counts Flying Flea badge and correct for bike. Richard

Re: Royal Enfield Information Request [Re: LanceH] #765889 02/19/19 11:46 pm
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Graham Scarth Offline
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Hi Lance,
UK Royal Enfield Owners Club chairman here. If you provide me with the frame and engine numbers of this machine ([email protected]) I can identify it for you from the factory records owned by the Club.
Frame number is on left side of the headstock and reads top to bottom. Note that 4759 on right side in raised digits is the pattern number of the casting.
Engine number on left side just below the cylinder and will most likely have an SB or SC prefix.
Graham Scarth

Re: Royal Enfield Information Request [Re: LanceH] #765909 02/20/19 2:38 am
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LanceH Offline OP
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Hello Graham,

Thanks for your post. I’ve actually sent you an email on Monday, at 5.13pm my time, with images of the engine and frame numbers. There doesn’t seem to be a prefix to the engine number, but an O or Q D above it. Will be interested to see what you make of it.

Thanks to everyone for their input. Yes, although there is photographic evidence of one other and several similar bikes, it seems like mine is a rare bird.

Rohan, I’ve given it a polish and it is black. I think black is a bit severe as a colour on this bike. I thinks a dark blue would suit it. I don’t know if that was an option at the time. Will look it up.

Keane, the thought of riding it with that rear tyre is truly frightening. Especially in the wet.

Cheers, Lance

Re: Royal Enfield Information Request [Re: LanceH] #765912 02/20/19 3:06 am
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Rohan Offline
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They may not be real common, and you probably won't meet one on every corner, but Enfields with Airflow fairings are more common than you may think ?
Googling this subject produces lotsa pics...

[Linked Image]

http://motorbike-search-engine.co.uk/classic_bikes/royal_enfield_meteor.jpg
http://motorbike-search-engine.co.uk/classic_bikes/1960-royal-enfield-meteor.jpg
https://c1.staticflickr.com/4/3752/18711727634_5e7e09ef32_b.jpg


There is mention there someplace too that the fairings were available until recently, they were of course a bolt on option
-including getting them fitted from new on your Enfield. They also were supplied to fit the smaller models.
https://scontent-ort2-2.cdninstagra...?_nc_ht=scontent-ort2-2.cdninstagram.com

There was also the Sportsflow fairing, a more sporty version. They may be less common again ?

https://www.team-bhp.com/forum/atta...advertisement-brochure-thread-196308.jpg

Hopethishelps, Cheers.



Re: Royal Enfield Information Request [Re: LanceH] #765916 02/20/19 3:50 am
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LanceH Offline OP
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Yes, there seems to be a few Enfields with the fairing, some with the front guard too. The rare bit seems to be the steel rear bodywork. I read somewhere these may have been to special order?

I also read somewhere that most of the manufacturer's were trying aerodynamic bodywork at this time, but the Enfield was the only one that actually worked. Apparently, even the Black Knight Vincent had more drag than the naked bike!

Cheers, Lance

Re: Royal Enfield Information Request [Re: LanceH] #765919 02/20/19 5:25 am
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Rohan Offline
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The steel rear bodywork looks to be a standard part of a number of Enfields in the 1960s,
some Crusaders and Meteors and Connies and Bullets had it, Airflow or not,
Its shown for a number of years in Gordon Mays book of models.

Some otherwise similar models didn't have it, so I don't know what was on their minds..
Even without the Sportsflow, this model Crusader had the seat enclosure.
Connie too.


[Linked Image]
[Linked Image]

Remember this is the era when Turnips and Nortons had bathtubs and deluxe enclosures.
(and they weren't entirely popular ?).


Re: Royal Enfield Information Request [Re: LanceH] #766026 02/21/19 8:36 am
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LanceH Offline OP
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I stand corrected. Still, there doesn’t seem to be that many around. The opposition efforts look truly awful to me, and probably not helpful when working on the rear end. The Enfield effort strikes me as much more stylish and practical.

Re: Royal Enfield Information Request [Re: LanceH] #766050 02/21/19 5:26 pm
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Lance, any response yet on the serial numbers? There are documents in N Am originating from RE engine factory records. An internal RE company record, not the Redditch dispatch ledger. In 1970 someone saw those records and made a hasty summary. Useful, but hindered some by errors, omissions, and generalizations. Later, that summary was simplified, introducing more of the same errors, and printed by DomiRacer in their parts catalogue. I posted that ID chart at:
http://www.ozemate.com/interceptor/k_baseIndian1.htm
Going back to the first summary, I see engines QD20305 - QD20328 were built in Oct - Dec 1960, which is in the 1961 model year. Engines QD20329 - QD20411 were built from 14 Mar 1961 to 07 Nov 1961. Usually, at that point in time, bikes dispatched after 01 Sept were 1962 models, but the hasty summary says all were 1961. The engines were built at Upper Westwood and sent to Redditch where they were installed in frames and the completed bikes dispatched, usually within a few weeks.
Graham has the dispatch records, so he has the last word.

Interesting you note the Vincent Black Knight had worse aerodynamic drag than a naked bike. That is truly poor. RE's design engineer, Reg Thomas, reported in Anne Bradford's book on RE, that the Airflow fairing was tested in the wind tunnel at British Aerospace and they found they could not improve on his design. Evidently Reg was not there for the test. The man who did the test thought the aerodynamic performance was poor. That may be points of view. Users of the Airflow report they are effective weather protection, and the wind noise is much lower so you hear the mechanical noises more. An aerodynamics pro would have been as interested in the trailing edge as the leading edge. The Airflow that was sold was only on the front of the bike. Versions with aerodynamic styling the length of the bike were tried, but never made it to market.

Re: Royal Enfield Information Request [Re: Chris Overton] #766056 02/21/19 6:25 pm
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Graham Scarth Offline
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Hi Lance,
I haven't received your email with the photos I'm afraid.
Graham

Re: Royal Enfield Information Request [Re: LanceH] #766366 02/25/19 3:33 am
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LanceH Offline OP
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Well there we have it. Graham has very nicely confirmed that my RE is a matching numbers Super Meteor, which left the Redditch factory on the 23rd January, 1961, bound for Perth, Western Australia. Although no spec sheet is available, Graham feels the bike was probably supplied as is, with the Airflow features. In black, I’m wondering if the dealer was perhaps trying to convince the local police to try an alternative to their BSAs?

I’ll now look at collecting the missing bits for future restoration.

Cheers, Lance

Re: Royal Enfield Information Request [Re: LanceH] #766368 02/25/19 4:51 am
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Rohan Offline
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Do you know any of this bikes local history ?

"future restoration"
It looks like with a good wax and polish, it could come up a million bucks already, missing parts or not.
And judging by your dry climate (?), the alloy and chrome could easily clean up very nicely too.
How far it is off running ?

Chrome cleaning comment No 1
[Linked Image]

Oil it or wax it afterwards, or the rust weevils may have another go...

Re: Royal Enfield Information Request [Re: LanceH] #766511 02/26/19 10:26 am
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LanceH Offline OP
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No, unfortunately I don’t have any history for this bike.

I’ll look at it a bit more seriously and assess the condition, but I suspect a bit more than a good wax and polish is required. Future project, so will start collecting the bits, but unlikley to be running very soon. I must say that the phosphoric acid looks like a wonder solution. Will have to give that a try.

Cheers, Lance

Re: Royal Enfield Information Request [Re: LanceH] #766563 02/26/19 10:54 pm
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Rohan Offline
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We really think you should attend to this bike soonish, before the rust gains a foothold ?
Removing the brown rusty look does wonders for the cosmetics.
Phos acid works equally well on paintwork with light rust, since it doesn't affect the paint either.

(Always try on a spot out of sight first though, you don't want to find out otherwise !).

As always, oil or wax afterwards, you don't want the rust coming back.
Perhaps with the occasional progress report
Cheers.

Re: Royal Enfield Information Request [Re: LanceH] #766871 03/01/19 10:37 pm
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Highly likely it was a Police bike as i had one the same with fairing,the previous owner was a police officer and knew all about it's history.Perth bikes were allways black and they went over to Kawasaki w1 afterwards.

Re: Royal Enfield Information Request [Re: LanceH] #766910 03/02/19 7:10 am
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LanceH Offline OP
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Was that in Perth? I was aware that the Queensland police had used Royal Enfields, but that the WA police had used BSAs before the Kawasakis. They have tried other brands out occasionally, such as Harley Davidson, so maybe a similar trial? It was only a hunch on my part, but looks likley. Thanks.

[Linked Image]

Last edited by LanceH; 03/02/19 7:13 am.
Re: Royal Enfield Information Request [Re: LanceH] #766961 03/02/19 9:35 pm
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Rohan Offline
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The Qld police used Norton 650SS's from the early 60s, along with some BSA's and Triumphs.
The Royal Enfield outfits were prewar ?
Along with some Harley AJS and BSA v-twin outfits.

If an ex-police rider in Perth had an Airflow Enfield, that suggests it may have been an ex-police bike ?
Interesting...
Is there any history of West Oz police bikes - often they have a history museum ? Maybe even online.

Re: Royal Enfield Information Request [Re: LanceH] #766989 03/03/19 2:48 am
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LanceH Offline OP
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I had a quick look online when I first thought the bike may have had a police connection but, although there was some WA police history, the poor old motorcycle coppers didn't even crack a mention. I was lucky to find the image above.

A mate of my old man's was a motorcycle copper. He had to ride his BSA over the 6 foot high seesaw at the Royal Show. Better him than me.

Cheers, Lance.

Re: Royal Enfield Information Request [Re: LanceH] #766991 03/03/19 3:37 am
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Rohan Offline
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There is a police museum and website in Perth.
Why don't you contact them and ask about motorcycles used - there is mention of motorcycle patrols.
Offer to supply them with pics of your bike (once restored ?) if the subject arises of 'payment for information supplied' (!!)
They need a serious update to their 'automobiles dept' if it was written in 1918 !!!
(They do have a 1932 picture though...)

https://policewahistory.org.au/HTML_Pages/Committee.html

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