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Vintage Motorbike converted for rail use

Discussion in 'Narrow Gauge Railways' started by kscanes, Jul 16, 2022.

  1. kscanes

    kscanes Resident of Nat Pres

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    Slate Mus Motorbike railcar 7-22.jpg


    Do we have anyone knowledgeable about vintage motorbikes here?

    What motorbike is the pictured rail vehicle based on?

    The photo was taken a few days ago at the Welsh Slate Museum, Llanberis, by my colleague Andrew Waldron. It is not a new discovery, it has been known about for decades, but it occurred to me that we don't seem to know what machine it is based on. It was used as a runabout at the Oakeley Slate Quarry near Blaenau Ffestiniog. When the quarry closed circa 1972 it was rescued and has been in the museum since 1982.

    There is a photo of it in the slate quarry here: https://museum.wales/collections/on...e2671ebf71ea/Oakeley-slate-quarry-photograph/
     
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  2. 30854

    30854 Resident of Nat Pres

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    What a maginifcent contraption! Could that be a 2-stroke JAP engine (looking at shape of cyl head)? Those were as often found on lawnmowers as owt else. I wonder if the hexagonal tube is a toolbox or a fuel tank?
     
  3. Dunfanaghy Road

    Dunfanaghy Road Well-Known Member

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    Royal Enfield. (Looking a bit Royal Oilfield!). Combined Petrol and Oil tank with (I think) manual lube pump. State of the art c.1914.
    Pat
     

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  4. 30854

    30854 Resident of Nat Pres

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    Ye gods .... a good 10-15 years older than I'd suspected.
     
  5. Dunfanaghy Road

    Dunfanaghy Road Well-Known Member

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    1914 was a guess, 1st World War Triumphs were similar.
    I don't know whether the crankcases tell us that it was a RE engine, or a. n. other with their logo. They used JAP and Motosacoche engines early on. (Unfortunately I'm no longer a member of the owner's club, so can't see all the good stuff on their website.)
    Pat
     
  6. Enterprise

    Enterprise Part of the furniture

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  7. Dunfanaghy Road

    Dunfanaghy Road Well-Known Member

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    making due allowance for the 'customisation*', I think that you are right.
    Pat
    *Designed in a pub, built in a shed.
     
  8. kscanes

    kscanes Resident of Nat Pres

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    Thank you for your replies. Royal Enfield it is. I've been looking at such photos as I can find on line and cannot match that fuel/oil tank shape with that engine. So, a prewar fuel tank (and presumably frame) with a post war engine? A bitsa in other words?
     

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