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18th March 2013

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Saved from the Scrapyard

Two wonderful old warriors have emerged from hibernation. Do you happen to know anything about either of these classic motorcycles?...

A couple of interesting old bikes have recently come to light, saved from a scrapyard in Shropshire by Mike Powell. Among them was this 1920/1921 Radco. We know very little about this model and Mike's keen to learn more about it. EA Radnall and Co of Birmingham, aka Radco, started building bikes in around 1913 (great timing guys!) with a 211cc two-stroke model which featured belt final drive and their own front forks. They introduced a 247cc single in 1920, which came with the option of a two- or three-speed Burman gearbox and rapidly replaced the smaller machine.

Gent's Sporting Model!...

By 1924 the 2½hp (that's a rating, not an equivalent to modern bhp) model had grabbed a bagful of silver cups and gold medals in speed and long distance trials, both as a solo machine and with a sidecar attached. It could be ordered to suit the type of riding, either as a single-speed with belt drive (just run-n-bump to start it) or with a two-speed transmission, chain drive and (how modern!) a kickstarter. In this form it stayed in production until 1926.

The front tyre's only flat at the bottom...

Mike says; 'It is engine number 21226 but we can't find a frame number. It looks fairly original to me apart from the bars and levers which would be nice to find. Does anyone know any more about these bikes?'

'Costs 1/4d. per mile to run. 30/- road tax'...
Barn Finds on ..

Alongside the Radco, Mike found an Enfield 500 twin in spiffy condition. We've mentioned how highly we rate the Royal Enfield twins before, so we were delighted to be sent a couple of snaps of this recent discovery. From the looks of it, the twin just needs air in its tyres, fresh fuel in the tank, and some committed kicking to get it going once again…

Recognise the pannier frames?...

Mike says; 'It's a 1952 model which was first registered at Smethwick in late 1954, sold by Copes Motorcycles of Dudley. It looks totally original to me apart from the seat (which looks more like it's off an A10 BSA). The Enfield is very sound and not heavily rusted under layers of grime so it might be a running restoration - if it'll go!

That's a Royal Enfield Owners Club sticker below the nose of the seat...

'With those panniers it's quite a distinctive machine. Maybe someone recognises it or knows something about its history?'

If you can shed light on either the Radco or the Enfield, Mike would love to hear from you. He's at

Meanwhile, we expect a full roadtest on the Enfield within a fortnight. OK, Mike?


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