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Friday, 3 February 2017

Friday bike

This week's is a bike that I'd only seen once, had completely forgotten about, and only remembered due to a chance remark.

1964 Royal Enfield 250cc Turbo Twin Sports

I was talking to someone about bikes and mentioned that my Bonneville had its ignition key on the side of the headlight. They said they had never seen a bike without its key at the handle bars, so I said that my Honda CL 350 had its key under the tank, I remembered bikes with their keys on the sidepanels, then I remembered a bike with its key on top of the crankcases.

Back in 1976 just after I'd left school, I was out one day and one of my former classmates stopped to say hello on a Royal Enfield Turbo Twin Sports. I remembered him switching off the crankcase mounted key. We had a chat then he rode off. That was my only sighting of a Turbo Twin.

It was a bit unusual as most Royal Enfields of the time were four stroke singles, but the Turbo Twin was fitted with a Villiers 4T two stroke twin engine. It was also one of the last British built REs, with four stroke production continuing to this day in India.

You'll have noticed the lack of turbocharger, so why the name? Apparently it was due to the rubber mounted engine being so smooth and quiet, it was 'like a turbine'!

Royal Enfield Turbo Twin Sport Specification

  • Engine: Villiers 249cc Mk 4T two stroke twin
  • Transmission: Villiers Four speed to rear of engine
  • Carburettor: Villiers S25 plunger type
  • Electrics: Lucas 6 volt
  • Fuel capacity: 3 ½ gallons
  • Weight: 298lbs
  • Performance: top speed 75mph/standing ¼ mile 21.6s
  • Fuel consumption: 96mpg @ 30mph/52mpg @ 60mph
  • Ground clearance: 5 ½ inches

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