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1904 Royal Enfield - Information please.

Mar 21, 2020

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1904 Royal Enfield 3.1/2HP 433cc Minerva

Vintage & Veteran acquired this early Royal Enfield in late 2017, in a complete, unrestored, but very original condition.The bike was missing a carburettor, and basically needed control levers, cables and oil pipes.

The frame and engine numbers are correct for 1904. This is one of only 2 surviving pioneer Royal Enfield motorcyles, and the only one on the road.

It had been in a barn in Honiton, near Exeter, at the home of a vintage and veteran car & bike collector. He had bought it at Beaulieu Autojumble many years ago.

We found a pattern Longuemare carb of the correct type.

We rode our Royal Enfield around the yard for the first time in February 2019. Maybe the first time it has been ridden for nearly 100 years?

The Royal Enfield came to us with no paperwork, no known history, and no registration number. We managed to read the registration D1661 on one side of the front number plate.

An enquiry to Kent archives brought forward the original registration records. D1661 was registered as a Royal Enfield Minerva 3.1/2HP, on 5th December 1904, to Mr Albert Beach, Police Quarters, HM Dockyard, Sheerness, Kent. In 1920 it was transferred to a Mr Baldwin, and then to Mr Jeans, also in Sheerness.

Unfortunately, the Kent archive does not show a frame number, and despite many appeals, the DVLA will not issue the original number without a document linking the registration number to the frame.

It does now have a dating certificate, an age related V5C UK registration, and a Pioneer Certificate.


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