The big Royal Enfield v twin was and still is a formidable machine. Powered by the mighty JAP 770cc sidevalve engine it was first introduced in 1912 mainly as a power unit for a sidecar. The 2 speed drive was by countershaft, with there being different primary drive ratios (2 different drive ratio sets of sprockets). To engage the 2 speed was via a lever mounted on the side of the petrol tank (often referred to as the Tram Handle). It proved a popular choice for the public sector as well as the private. The Post and Telegraph used them, bakers, plumbers, builders, tinkers, and handymen used them. And in 1917 a consignment was sold to the russian military. Everybody wanted one.
In 1920 it was upgraded to a new bigger model and was fitted with a 976cc v twin engine designed and built under licence by Vickers Wolsely. Still a 2 speed countershaft drive (Royal Enfield didn’t introduce gearboxes to their range until 1925)
I particularly like this manual because it is steeped in history. Not a clean copy but instead each page has been well fingered with greasy digits. Just imagine dad or grandad in his tweed suit squatting down beside the bike on a Sunday morning performing the monthly maintenance routines and regularly thumbing through the manual for the tappet settings or ignition timing. Mother, with her hair tied back with a tea towel bringing out a cup of tea because he, the grubby one, is not allowed back inside the house until hands have been scrubbed and nails scraped clean. And once again I dream away ……….
Mrs Whayman proving that even a woman could easily handle the mighty side valve.
One uniqueness about the big twin is its starting method. Unlike other big capacity motorcycles that had a kick starter the Royal Enfield model was started with a crank handle from the right hand side of the bike. There was a knack to this procedure and should one get the ignition advance lever wrong the kick back can definitely strain the wrist.
Royal Enfield V Twin showing the starting crank handle.
Originally this manual was complete as a maintenance handbook and parts book however it would quite a big file so we have split it into the two separate parts. The second parts book section will be published at a later date.
Included in this manual are sections on lubrication, adjustment of the 2 speed countershaft, tappet and ignition timing as well as maintenance of the cycle parts.
Click on the Royal Enfield below to see the complete manual.
It is a 7.3M PDF so you will need Adobe Acrobat Reader to view it.