Ask any motorcycle enthusiast to name the greatest motorcycle makers of all time, and Royal Enfield will likely be on their list. For over a century, Royal Enfield has played a vital role in the motorcycle industry, which is why it has such a cult following in many parts of the world. Royal Enfield is known for making some of the finest retro motorcycles, including the Bullet, Meteor 350, Classic 500, Interceptor 650, and more.
Having been there for so long, Royal Enfield has seen its fair share of ups and downs. So let’s explore ten quick facts about Royal Enfield that you probably didn’t know.
Royal Enfield is the world’s oldest motorcycle brand in continuous production
Royal Enfield may not be as famous as Harley-Davidson, Honda, or Kawasaki, but it has been in the motorcycle business much longer than any of those brands. In fact, Royal Enfield is the oldest motorcycle manufacturer to continuously produce bicycles.
The company was incorporated as New Enfield Cycle Company Limited in 1896 to produce cycles and cycle parts. Soon after, Enfield decided to branch out to increase profits, and in 1901 the company launched its very first motorcycle. Since then, Enfield has produced some of the greatest motorcycles of all time.
Royal Enfield was originally established in the UK
Royal Enfield does most of its business in India these days, but what many don’t know is that it was actually founded in England. As previously mentioned, Royal Enfield was established by Albert Eadie in the late 1890s in Redditch, Worcestershire – initially as a cycle maker, but then branched out into motorcycle production from 1901.
After operating in England for more than six decades, Royal Enfield was forced to close its doors in 1967. Fortunately, Royal Enfield had founded Enfield of India in 1955, and in 1999 the Indian company began to officially use the name of trademark “Royal Enfield”.
Royal Enfield started out as a gun maker
Before Royal Enfield established the New Enfield Cycle Company Limited in 1896, its main activity was the production of firearms. Company founder Albert Eadie had won contracts to supply gun parts to the British government’s Royal Small Arms Factory.
After embarking on motorcycle production, Enfield decided to honor its firearm-making history by showcasing a barrel in its original logo and using the slogan “Made like a gun, goes like a gun. ball “. On top of that, the company also offers a long-standing model line known as the Bullet.
Royal Enfield built the world’s first Superbike
The Honda CB750 was widely regarded as the world’s first superbike when it was launched in 1969. However, that couldn’t be further from the truth, as Royal Enfield had produced superbikes more than a decade earlier.
In 1957, Royal Enfield presented two incredible motorcycles: the “Constellation” and the “Super Meteor”. These two motorcycles were powered by twin parallel 700cc engines and were the fastest motorcycles at the time.
The Royal Enfield Bullet is the oldest motorcycle nameplate in continuous production
The Bullet is the pride and joy of Royal Enfield. Introduced in 1931, the Bullet is the oldest motorcycle model and one of the best-selling motorcycles in history.
The first Bullet was developed from scratch in 1931 and was fitted with a 346cc single cylinder OHV engine. It was different in many ways from its familiar successors, for example, its frame had a center spring beam front fork. In 1949, Royal Enfield implemented a number of changes to bring the Bullet up to date, many of which still remain today.
Royal Enfield motorcycles were used during World War I
During World War I, Royal Enfield supplied a large number of its motorcycles to the British War Office as well as to the Russian Imperial Government. One of the most popular Royal Enfield bikes used during the war was a sidecar model fitted with a Vickers machine gun.
Fast forward to 1939, and Royal Enfield was again called upon by the British government to develop military motorcycles. Interestingly, Royal Enfield produced a tiny 125cc two-stroke motorcycle that could be parachuted into the war zone.
Indian Motorcycles sold badge Royal Enfields to the United States in the 1950s
In the early 1950s, the Brockhouse Corporation – which had a controlling stake in Indian Motorcycles at the time – decided to stop producing motorcycles in America. Instead, they imported Royal Enfield motorcycles, painted them red, and sold them in the United States as Indian Motorcycles.
However, American motorcycle enthusiasts were not impressed with the badge Enfields, and the marketing agreement between the two companies ended in 1959. Beginning in 1961, the Royal Enfields were sold in the United States. under their own name.
Royal Enfield builds bikes for the Indian Army
After India gained independence in 1947, the new government decided to buy motorcycles from its army to patrol the borders. In 1952, the Indian government selected the Royal Enfield Bullet as the most suitable motorcycle for the job, resulting in a partnership that would last for decades. The Indian Army still uses Royal Enfield motorcycles to this day.
It wasn’t just the Indian Army that used Enfield bikes. The Russian and British armies have also used Royal Enfield bikes in the past.
Royal Enfield mass-produced a diesel motorcycle
The Bullet Diesel – also known as the Taurus – is a diesel powered motorcycle that Royal Enfield introduced in the late 1980s. The Taurus was based on the Bullet and even had its round headlights, gas tank in teardrop shape, its metal wings and bench seat.
However, instead of the Bullet’s gasoline engine, the Taurus was powered by a 325cc diesel engine. While the engine’s 6.5 hp output could only propel the Taurus to a top speed of 40 mph, its gas mileage of 200 mpg was unmatched.
Royal Enfield is one of the fastest growing motorcycle brands in the world
Since Royal Enfield moved to India, it has grown steadily. Motorcycle enthusiasts love Royal Enfield bikes for their classic looks, powerful engines, excellent ride quality and affordability compared to other top brands.
The company currently sells motorcycles in over 50 countries around the world and even surpassed Harley-Davidson in total worldwide sales in 2015. Interestingly, Royal Enfield now exports to its home country and sells more bikes there. than any other manufacturer.
A sports bike can be a great source of fun … unless it comes with a lot of issues – such as the ones we’ll take a closer look at here.
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