MotoGP Motorcycle Sale 2011

Back to lot listing

1911 Royal Enfield Model 160

Lot No.: 61

Registration: AF673
Frame Number: 1476
Side Car: No
Engine Number: 16700
Number of cylinders: 2
CC: 325
Year of Manufacture: 1911
Sold for (£): Result to follow

The first automotive vehicles with the Royal Enfield name were produced in 1898 - a quadricycle with a De Dion-Bouton 2.75 hp engine. However, it was not until 1910 that Royal Enfield established their name as a world-beating motorcycle manufacturer. In 1910 came the first of the famous Enfield V-twins, initially with a Motosacoche 344 cc 2 3/4hp (2 kW) engine and later with Enfields own engine. It was due to the success and reputation of the v-twin models that enabled Royal Enfield to be called upon to supply motorcycles to the British War department and also for the Imperial Russian Government from 1914-1918.

When originally road tested by Motor Cycling magazine on 20th August 1912 the writer was mightily impressed after his ride from London to Worcester on a Model 160 via the Edgware Road. "Along the busy thoroughfares mentioned, I was able to make good progress, and I can say at once that I have never ridden a machine more handy in traffic or on the open road than the Enfield... there was no shock from the chain transmission and the engine accelerated wonderfully." Once successfully in Worcester the exhausted rider simply: "pulled up for tea, and glad I was to sip the refreshing beverage, while strawberries added daintiness to the feast." It's quite hard to imagine MCN journalists indulging in such luxuries pulled over on the A43.

This beautifully authentic 325cc Motosacoche engined Model 160 was first registered in Cornwall on 11th May 1911 to a Mr John Theodore Taylor of Penzance. An original buff log book details the succession of owners. Described by the vendor as a 'useable pioneer' this bike underwent a detailed restoration approximately 15 years ago. It is supplied with a current MoT test certificate until August 2011, past MoTs and Sunbeam Motor Cycle Club pioneer certificate of authenticity. It is not often that such an important piece of Royal Enfield history comes onto the open market.