1913 Royal Enfield Duplex Girder Gent’s Model 115
Given the prominence of Royal Enfield in the history of British motorcycle and cycle manufacture it might seem strange that it’s so difficult to calculate the age of Royal Enfield bicycles. But frame numbers were not sequential, factory records are sparse, and the company often used old stocks of frames and parts. Also, in common with other companies in the early years, catalogue illustrations were line drawings rather than photographs, and it was not a priority for companies to create accurate drawings of their models: sometimes old illustrations were used. The only reliable source of information is the written descriptions of models in the catalogues.
The 1909 catalogue, for instance, introduces the ‘duplex’ girder frame, which has twin supports between the seat tube and the rear stays. Compare the other Royal Enfield Girder Frame model which has a single support. Both types were apparently in use after 1909, but the ‘duplex’ type would not have been made earlier than 1909.
It is believed that the familiar Royal Enfield ‘cannon’ chainwheel came into use in 1913.
This bicycle is believed to date from 1913, though it’s possible that it was made during WW1.
The illustration below, of the 1913 Model 115, shows a chaincase. Bicycles were cheaper if purchased without a chaincase, and some customers preferred them this way to make it easier to replace a chain. The 1913 ‘Constabulary’ version of this bicycle (illustrated further down the page) was sold without chaincase.
FROM THE 1913 ROYAL ENFIELD CATALOGUE
1913 ROYAL ENFIELD CONSTABULARY MODEL