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#869421 01/18/22 9:54 am
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Kev Ev Offline OP
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Hi all,

Some years ago a friend of a friend told me about someone local who could paint my 1955 Royal Enfield 350 G2 Bullet frame and swinging arm for me. To cut a long story short, the painter friend of a friend of a friend disappeared from the city along with his business and after many months of trying to track him down (days before the internet and mobile phones) I had to accept the fact that I had lost the frame and swinging arm for good.

I bought another frame from Hitchcocks Motorcycles a while later (this was still back in the eighties, when prices for such second hand parts were still reasonable) and it went into storage with the rest of the bike bits for renovation when I got round to it.

I have now almost reached retirement and plan on putting the bike back together. While tracking down the parts from boxes of bits in the loft and garage I have noticed that the replacement frame appears to be different to how I remember the original.

I believe it may be a 1954 frame, as it has a flat gusset welded in the frame for the swinging arm spindle mounting. Like in the first attached image.

I remember my original 1955 frame had a cast part in the frame instead of this gusset, as can be seen in the second image.

I am assuming that everything else from the 1955 bike will fit ok in the (what I believe to be) earlier frame?

Does anyone know of any potential problems I may encounter? Any parts that I may need to source that are different for this frame?

Are the two frames dimensionally the same, even though they are constructed in a different way?

Any information that would help me would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you, Kev Ev

54 Bullet Frame Detail.JPG 55 Bullet Frame Detail.JPG
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Finding someone with a deep knowledge of both the 54 and 55 might be a big ask, although you don't know unless you try.

My 1st suggestion would be to get hold of the parts books, and see if major components like gearboxes and wheels and tanks share the same part numbers. If they don't, its then that you start trying to fit them up, and see how you fare.
Seat too. You'd hope that they simply swap over - so GOOD LUCK !

Thats a bit naughty that your painter eloped with your frame ...
I bought a project where the previous owner had left some parts to repair with someone,
he'd moved, and took some tracing - we went round 8 years later to see about them.
He didn't have any contact details, so he'd thrown them out - the week before !
I think there is something in law about a mere 1 or 2 years ?

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And you know that H's have all the applicable parts books online.

https://accessories.hitchcocksmotorcycles.com/Parts-Book-Online

In my experience, its when you start intermingling 350 and 500 parts that the differences start to thwart yer plans,,
although thats earlier era than bullets experience...

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Kev Ev Offline OP
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Hi Rohan,

I appreciate that there probably won't be many early Bullet 'experts' around but was just hoping someone may be able to inform me if there is anything glaringly obvious that I might be missing, or anything that I should be aware off.

The 'painter' story is a bit of a bummer for me. It was a long time ago, I was still growing up and was in that time of life when you don't always prioritise things well.

My dad gave me the 1955 350 Bullet when I was 17 (1973) and I had just passed my test on my 250 BSA C15. I rode the Bullet around for a while and thoroughly enjoyed it but started getting fed up of being left behind while out on rides with mates on modern Japanese bikes. So I got myself a Suzuki GT550 and the Bullet spent a lot of time just sitting in the garage. A really good friend of mine asked if he could borrow the Bullet for a while, until he could afford his own bike and I agreed to let him have a loan of it. He took it from where we live in Hull, to Brighton, on a camping trip one time. On the way back home he seized it up, due to a lack of oil (and intelligence), which resulted in a snapped crankshaft pin and other damage. He bought another bottom end, but it was a later type with the alternator. When I eventually got the bike back I decided to strip it down and do a complete restoration on it.

That is when I was told about this guy who had a paint shop. This was around 1981 and this painter was the brother of someone who worked with another friend of mine. Anyway I took the frame and swinging arm to him and he told me he would make a perfect job of painting it for me. I called back to him a few times over the next few weeks and each time he told me that he hadn't got round to doing it yet because of his workload. At the time I was under the impression he was doing it cheap for me as a favour, so didn't want to press him on it. Anyway as time passed and I was getting on with bikes, beer, music and girls, as you do. The frame and swinging arm went on the back burner in my head. Months passed by and one Saturday morning I took a drive to the paint shop to see if there had been any progress. When I got there it was all shut up, with for sale notices on it. I had no phone numbers, or other addresses for anyone and when I asked my friend to find out from his friend where his brother had disappeared to, he told me that his friend had emigrated to Australia and he had no contact details. Turned out they weren't really good friends, just work mates. So that's how my original frame went missing.

The one I bought from Hitchcock's in the mid 1980's is, I believe, a Woodsman frame and looks identical to the 1954 Bullet frame that is on their online parts books. It differs to the 1955 frame because it has two tubular braces going from the rear engine mount tube to the swinging arm mount gussets. The 1955 frame did not have these braces and instead has a casting brazed into the left and right rear frame tubes. This casting incorporated the swinging arm and footrest mounts. I think it also looks nicer and I wish I could find another frame like that, but I will have to do with what I have. Hopefully something will come up in the future.

Cheers, Kev Ev

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Kev Ev Offline OP
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Just to follow on with the Hitchcock's online parts books: -

I have compared a lot of the cycle parts on the 1954 and 1955 models and there doesn't appear to be a lot of difference between the two, despite the different style frames. This makes me think that dimensionally the two frame types must be the same?

The gearbox and clutch operating mechanism appear to be different. Although the main body of the gearbox is the same (so no mounting issues) the outer covers and clutch change mechanism are different.

One thing that is confusing me is the swinging arm. If you look at the images you can see that the swinging arms look identical for the two different years. I have cross referenced all of the associated parts and they all have the same part number, apart from item 23, the swinging arm nut. I don't think this part will pose any problems though.

If you look deeper into the swinging arm detail on their website it comes up with a different part number for the 1954 and 1955 years. I'm not sure if the numbers are actually Royal Enfield numbers, or something Hitchcock's have used as a reference, but the dimensions appear to be the same and when you look at the rear wheel hub and brake details they are all the same numbers. So is there two different swinging arms and if so what is the difference?

54 Swinging Arm.JPG 54 Swinging Arm Detail.JPG 55 Swinging Arm.JPG 55 Swinging Arm Detail.JPG
Last edited by Kevin E; 01/19/22 10:58 am.
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Hi Kevin E,
You can phone me on 01904 764806 (York) if you like to discuss this.
Graham Scarth (REOC chairman)

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May we enquire the jist of this chat ?
Or are we talking secret squirrel stuff ...


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