The Eadie patent duplex front fork was used on their tandems. It followed an idea patented by Referee (see bottom of page). On the Referee the two fork blades were extended up to the headclip, while Enfield fitted two extra forks next to the original pair, thus avoiding any infringment of the Refree patent.
1898-1900 Royal Enfield crossframe Tandem
Eadie patent duplex front fork
Frame: 23″ front; 22″ rear
The Royal Enfield tandem sold by the company as a ladyback model from 1900 onwards had a loopframe design on the rear portion and the company’s patent duplex front fork. The example featured here was usually marketed as a crossframe racing machine for two men (below) without the strengthened front end. But, as you can see here, it appears that prior to the 1900 version Royal Enfield also removed the rear top tube to provide a crossframe ladyback model with the special front fork.
The Bowden levers and cable-operated rim brakes fitted to this machine look to be from 1900/1901. Compared to bicycles, not many tandems were sold, and companies invariably kept a supply of old tandem frames in stock rather than build new ones. So my assumption is that this tandem was built in 1898 but supplied by the company when a customer ordered it i a few years later.
1900 ROYAL ENFIELD CATALOGUE EXTRACTS
EARLY 1900s ROYAL ENFIELD MOTOR BICYCLES, TRICYCLES & QUADS
FOR COMPARISON: THE REFEREE PATENT TRIPLE HEAD