The Royal Enfield ‘Lightweight Sports’ is a budget version of Royal Enfield’s top-of-the-range ‘Bullet’. They both feature duplex tubing and an upward-sloping top tube. As it has the same unique frame design, the ‘Lightweight Sports’ was also more expensive than the company’s other bicycles.
A model named ‘Lightweight Sports’ does not appear in any of the catalogues, but the ‘Club Lightweight’ illustrated in the 1935 catalogue is similar.
The duplex tubing on these models was no doubt influenced by the the trendsetting Moorson Twin Tube. However, the distinctive upward sloping top tube appears to have been a unique feature of the Bullet and Lightweight Sports/Club. It is interesting because the upsloping top tube was an evolutionary feature of bicycles built between 1892 and 1895. Its chainwheel is unusual, being an Eadie (owned by Royal Enfield).
This Bullet with this frame design was offered between 1934 and 1937. By 1938 the Bullet no longer had either duplex tubing nor an upward sloping top tube. Royal Enfield started offering the KBC 3-speed gear in their catalogue halfway through 1936 (they had two catalogues that year). They also offered it as an option in 1937, though not in 1938. In my opinion, this ‘Lightweight Sports’ was sold in late 1936 or 1937 using the 1935 ‘Club Lightweight’ frame.
Although similar in appearance to the Bullet – including the Lauterwasser handlebar – it is a road model with three speed gear and hub brake, and metal mudguards rather than celluloid. One could justifiably argue that despite being called a ‘Lightweight Sports’ it is neither lightweight nor sporting! It was most likely a special order from a customer who fancied the sporting lines of the Bullet but needed a machine for long-distance touring or regular commuting.
This very rare machine is in excellent unrestored original condition.
1937 Royal Enfield Lightweight Sports
with Duplex Upsloping Top Tube
Sturmey-Archer ‘Model KBC’ 3-Speed Gear with Internal Expanding Brake
1935 ROYAL ENFIELD CATALOGUE EXTRACTS
1936 ROYAL ENFIELD CATALOGUE EXTRACTS
1935 ROYAL ENFIELD CATALOGUE EXTRACT