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Author Topic: Royal Enfield & Indian twin engine identification  (Read 1863 times)

Grabof54

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Royal Enfield & Indian twin engine identification
« on: June 21, 2012, 07:05:29 PM »
In the USA, there are a couple of published lists of Royal Enfield and Indian twin cylinder engine numbers. You guys seem to trust these lists in order to date bikes, but this is not reliable. These lists were compiled from the Greenland Mills engine factory records and are often "at odds" with  the Redditch parent factory despatch ledgers for complete motorcycles.

As a specific example, these lists state that VA 60004 - 133 are Constellation and VAX 60134 - 345 are Interceptor. This has given rise to a popular (mis)belief as to how many 700cc Interceptors were produced. It would appear this has been calculated by subtracting the lowest VAX number from the highest to come up with a figure of 211.

The Redditch ledgers do not record the prefix letters, but do indicate that there is NOT a definitive split between Constellation and Interceptor at 60133-4. They also record some of the machines with these engines as Super Meteor.

I have photos of 2 engine number stampings in the 602xx area that have VA as the prefix. These are recorded by Redditch as being Constellation and therefore contradict the published listings. They are not the only Constellations in what is supposedly the Interceptor number range.

There are 12 of these VA/VAX engines not accounted for in the Redditch ledgers, but even if all were Interceptor, there still wouldn't be 211 of them.

One of these listings states that 200 Super Meteor and 100 Constellation engines were supplied to Berkeley for use in their microcars. Whilst this may well have been the intention when the engines were built, not all of them went to Berkeley and quite a number of were fitted to motorcycles at Redditch.

I strongly recommend that these listings are used as guide only with caution. The factory ledgers owned the UK Royal Enfield Owners Club are the definitive source for correctly identifying exactly what your UK built Enfield is, and whether the frame / engine are the original pairing.

Whilst we do not have access to the Madras (Chennai) factory records, I have been collecting the numbers from Indian built machines in order that we may date them. There is a "black hole" between mid 1964 and the end of 1968 when we can only make an educated guess. Anything before or after this can definitely be dated.

Graham Scarth
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Tom 60 Chief

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Re: Royal Enfield & Indian twin engine identification
« Reply #1 on: June 21, 2012, 07:31:22 PM »
Graham, Thank you for this information.  Definitive, from the source facts are always welcome.  In a previous post you asked about someones transmission number that would be stamped on the engine case.  My 700 has the number C530 stamped behind the cylinders near the distributor on both crankcase halves.  Is this the number you are referring to?  What is the significance of these numbers?  Thank you again.  Regards, Tom.

Grabof54

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Re: Royal Enfield & Indian twin engine identification
« Reply #2 on: June 22, 2012, 05:42:15 PM »
Hi Tom,
The C530 numbers on both halves of your crankcases are the "matching half numbers" stamped to ensure the correct pair stay together after machining. To the best of my knowledge, these are always on the flat deck behind the cylinders on twin motors.
The Crusader 250 variants have them at the front of the cases, as do the pre unit 250, 350 & 500 singles I believe.
The 125/148cc two strokes have them stamped on the bottom of the cases.
Please note that for now, these comments only apply to post war singles (no pre war parallel twins!!) as my knowledge of pre war machines is very limited.

Graham

rotorwrench

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Re: Royal Enfield & Indian twin engine identification
« Reply #3 on: June 24, 2012, 04:11:08 PM »
Graham
I always wondered about the Galaxy 700 models as well. I think they were just a USA version of the Super Meteor of the time but I spend more time guessing about stuff than actually knowing with these machines. I've always wondered where "the list" came from that I got in an old issue of the REOC/NA news letter and seem to remember something mentioned about the motor factory at one point but I've never been too sure about anything with the Enfield/Indians. That whole 1961 through 1962  model time frame is a mystery especially where Cooper's USA involvement was. Hell they were making engines for the Berkely cars too. No telling where all that stuff ended up.

Kerby

I have an Interceptor that the engine information indicates is 1964 but the frame is an unknown. I'll have to post it up and see what you think about it

barenekd

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Re: Royal Enfield & Indian twin engine identification
« Reply #4 on: June 25, 2012, 12:38:55 AM »
I think all the "Indian" models were out of production in 1959. The leftovers continued to be sold as the then current year through 1962. So the factory production serial numbers would not necessarily correspond to the year on the title.
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rotorwrench

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Re: Royal Enfield & Indian twin engine identification
« Reply #5 on: June 25, 2012, 07:20:18 PM »
That was kind of another unknown. The AMC folks kept the Chief models in the line up up into 1962 but there are some records that seem to indicate that Royal ENfield kept making them for a good bit after Brockhouse sold to AMC in late 1959. I've never known how much AMC delt with RE after they took over Indian Sales Corp. AMC didn't have anything big enough to interest any USA police departments. Quite a few old Indian dealers got dumped in favor of the then current AMC dealers in some areas too. I've heard a few storys about how beefed those dealers were at that time. They had to start getting involved with the Royal Enfield distributors to have bikes to sell. AMC having sort of a dibbs on the big Chief kept the other Royal Enfield dealers from getting it. It was a messed up deal for sure. It left a lot of folks hating AMC.
« Last Edit: June 25, 2012, 07:31:16 PM by rotorwrench »