1935 Royal Enfield


・Complete nut and bolt restoration
・Like-new condition
・Runs and rides perfectly
・MoT and tax exempt


Formed out of the New Enfield Cycle Company Limited, Royal Enfield produced its first motorcycle in 1901 and went on to make machines for military use in both the first and second world wars as well as for civilians. A partnership with Madras Motors of India in the mid 1950s saw Enfield of India building bikes for the domestic market, initially from components imported from the UK and latterly, manufactured locally. The company continues to manufacture bikes under the Royal Enfield name and is enjoying considerable success with retro-style motorcycles. 

Royal Enfield bikes produced prior to the Second World War are among some of the most recognisable and iconic from the time. They are also some of the hardest to identify, with strikingly similar frames hiding engines of outwardly-unidentifiable capacities. The Model S uses a virtually identical frame and transmission to the model T and the Model A but has a 248cc single-cylinder engine as opposed to the 148cc of the Model T and a completely different variant in the Model A (225cc).

All used stamped forks with a central spring and friction dampers and a four-speed transmission with hand-shift. Brakes were by internal drums front and rear and they also featured a six-volt electrical system and no speedometer. There was no rear suspension but a sprung seat gave an acceptable ride and the model S, for example, had a selling price of 34 Guineas and an annual tax cost of 22 shillings and sixpence. 


The owner bought this 1935 Model S as he travels to India annually and has a Royal Enfield there for use when abroad. However, his real desire is a 500cc Bullet from the mid 1950s and he admits that he bought this Model S in haste, as he fell for its classic looks. Despite it not being the actual model he wanted though, he nonetheless undertook a complete nut-and-bolt restoration at the hands of an experienced classic-motorcycle technician in the year he has owned it. He estimates the cost to be in the region of £8500 and no area of the bike was left untouched. He now presents the Model S for sale to allow him to pursue his dream of a 1950s Bullet model although should it not reach its reserve price, he will simply keep the Model S. 


The restoration of the bike was carried out on an informal basis and as a result, there is no paperwork to accompany it. However, the bike does come with its current V5 registration document, confirming its first registration date as February 27 1935. It is also accompanied by some historical paperwork from work carried out in the past and a CD of photographs taken by a previous owner. 


The exterior of the bike is what the owners describe as virtually brand new. Since the restoration was completed, it has covered just 22 miles and as a result, is in pristine condition. 

The frame, left-hand engine case, mudguards and front forks are finished in high-gloss black which appears to be unmarked, as is the toolbox/storage bin immediately behind the engine on the right-hand side. The front mudguard carries the classic-style vertical number plate while the rear mudguard carries several holes originally intended for either a carrying basket or a pillion seat, neither of which is present with the bike. 

The rear-wheel-mounted main stand functions perfectly and it – as well as the grab handles to pull the bike up onto the stand – are all finished as per the rest of the bike’s frame. The rear number plate features new but period-correct lettering and the ‘1935 Model S’ logo is also period-correct according to the owner, though it has been remade in modern materials, as is the Royal Enfield logo above it on the rear mudguard. 

The bare aluminium has clearly been stripped, presumably blasted and the end cases on the right-hand side, covering the generator, have been polished. The fuel tank has been resprayed and the correct Royal Enfield logos applied and a pair of new knee rests fitted. The interior of the tank was also relined to prevent corrosion or damage.

The brightwork – on the headlamp surround and areas such as the kickstart, the rear-brake actuating rod and the gearshift rod – appears to be in excellent condition and the sprung rider seat seems to have been reconditioned and recovered in leather. 

The exhaust pipe appears to be new and is in excellent condition, with just minimal heat glazing and the owner is unsure whether the silencer is the original design or not but is that supplied with the bike when he purchased it.  


The mechanics of the bike were also completely renovated when it went through its restoration process. The wiring loom was remade in a period-correct design yet with modern materials and the engine was completely stripped and rebuilt with a new piston, bearings and gaskets. The gearbox was similarly rebuilt with worn parts replaced and the restorer was also forced to form many parts from scratch, as replacements were not available. One example is the brass pipe running from the fuel tank to the carburettor, following the original shape as closely as possible. 

The handlebars maintain the original levers, including the manual ignition retard and while this is still connected, it is largely redundant when riding the bike nowadays following the rebuild. 

The bike was fitted with new tyres, in a replica of a classic design and style but very much manufactured with modern technology. The clutch and transmission operate perfectly, according to the owner and even riders used to foot-operated gearchanges will be able to adapt quickly to the hand-operated shifts, he says. 


This is, simply, a stunning motorcycle. Aside from its origins and what it is, it is in incredible condition, having clearly been the subject of an extensive, sympathetic and passionate restoration by a specialist who obviously has a huge amount of love for his work and classic motorcycles. 

The fact that it is some 84 years old and can be ridden immediately is a testament to not only the work that has gone into it but also, how motorcycles were built in the golden age between the two world wars. The owner confirms it is ready to ride and indeed, is surprisingly easy, even with the hand gear-shift.

It’s not a particularly difficult stretch of the imagination to imagine this very bike being ridden by British airmen around the English countryside in their downtime, searching for a pub or dance hall to unwind in. It is similarly easy to imagine it being rushed back to the airfield as clouds of bombers fly overhead, the pilots jumping in their planes ready to protect King and country once more. 

Riding it around the English countryside (or indeed, anywhere in the UK or abroad) will be a very different experience today but it is still one that will take the rider back to a different era, with a different pace of life. There will be no point in trying to rush or get anywhere quickly; with a top speed of 45mph, four hand-operated gears and a mighty 248cc to exploit, this is the perfect machine to relax and enjoy sweeping through fields of wheat and grass on a glorious summer’s day. 

Chocks away lad…  

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Vehicle specification
  • Year 1935
  • Make Royal Enfield
  • Model Model S
  • Colour Black
  • Odometer 22 Miles
  • Engine size 248
  • Location Kent
  • Country United Kingdom
Bidding history
  • No bids

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