1937 Royal Enfield 499cc JF Bullet
Registration no. DFJ 245
Frame no. 25913
Engine no. JF 2454
Royal Enfield is arguably the oldest two-wheeler marque still in use, the original company having made bicycles since the 1880s and under the Royal Enfield name since 1898. Perhaps never having quite the glamour attached to sportier makes, the Redditch factory produced many renowned designs up to 1933, when its ohv 'singles' under the name 'Bullet' appeared. 'Made like a gun, goes like a Bullet' being the slogan. Though Enfield's parts lists and catalogues can be confusing, it seems that the 'JF' Bullet was initially listed with an optional four-valve cylinder-head, in line with makers such as Rudge, but this was later discontinued in favour of the two-valve option, the model being re-titled the 'J2' in 1938. DFJ 245, registered in July 1937, has the 'JF' engine prefix but the two-valve, twin-port cylinder head, and was discovered thus in 1976. The Enfield has been soundly restored, though its long-term owner regrets that the tank and 'guards, originally chrome, were painted at the time 'because of a shortage of cash'. The engine was reconditioned with new parts and has always been a strong and reliable runner. The ancestral connection between this engine and the recent Indian Enfield units is immediately apparent, of course. Complete with V5, old-style RF.60, spares list, bills, old tax discs and MOTs, much correspondence with Enfield expert Ivor Mutton and other material, this is a sound and reliable Bullet capable of improvement but ready for riding following safety checks.