Royal Enfield is the world’s oldest motorcycle manufacturer. Over more than 100 years of its existence, there are quite a few myths that have been developed and are widely spread. The brand has a cult follower-ship around the world and there are many active rumours about the brand. What are these myths and are they true? Let’s find out.
Bigger is always better
The smallest engine in the current line-up of Royal Enfield is the 346cc engine. Many Royal Enfield lovers keep the engine capacity at a high regard when talking about the brand and assume that higher displacement is always better. Well, the output of the 346cc single-cylinder engine of Royal Enfield is similar to the modern-day 150cc engines. Why? Because the Royal Enfield engines are designed quite differently.
The Enfield engines have low compression ratio and inherently have low operating RPM. These engines have high torque output that helps in moving the heavy bikes. It is the character of the Royal Enfield bikes and is something that makes them popular in the market. So bigger is not always better.
Royal Enfield has survived longer than any other motorcycle manufacturer in the world and the reason behind it is the constant evolution. The Unit Construction Engine (UCE) is the only product that can be termed as outdated. Royal Enfield’s LS-engine that powers the Himalayan and the 650cc parallel-twin engine that powers the upcoming Interceptor and Continental GT 650 are as modern as engines can get. It shows how Royal Enfield adapts to the changing scenarios to bring out new products.
They are ultimate mile muncher
Royal Enfield motorcycles have built a reputation of being long distance mile-munchers but there are products in the market that are far more refined and much more comfortable to ride. The Royal Enfield motorcycles are not the best motorcycles for touring. The vibrations from the motorcycle can make you uncomfortable over long distances and can also develop body aches. The unrefined engines make the body tire much quicker, which forces the riders to take breaks often.
Royal Enfield motorcycles are high on maintenance and have the dubious myth that they can break down anywhere. However, that is not the case. Royal Enfield bikes need extra care and much more attention from regular bikes. If proper service and preventive measures are done regularly on the bike, they will act just like any other bike on the road. Royal Enfield motorcycles do have higher maintenance cost than most bikes but you do get the Royal Enfield aura and presence that only a few can match.
As modern as the competitors
While they are not outdated, they are not as modern as their competitors too. Royal Enfield recently started to offer ABS on the Indian models, which is quite late, especially for the Royal Enfield bikes that cost over Rs. 1 lakh. Most of the Royal Enfield bikes do not get fuel indicator and even the fuel injection system is not closed-looped, which makes it quite ineffective.
Many believe that because of the high engine displacement in the Royal Enfield bikes, the bikes return extremely low mileage. However, that is not the case. The Bullet 350 returns about 35 km/l, which is quite good. Royal Enfield engines are relaxed and do not rev to high RPM. It can churn out the maximum power at a lower rpm, which means lesser work and in turn, lesser fuel consumption.
Starting them is a pain
Modern-day Royal Enfields can be started by a child. They come with electric starters that can start the bike with one push. However, they need to be started every now or then or it can take some extra effort to start them.
If the electric starter fails, the new Unit Construction Engines (UCE) of Royal Enfield get the decompressor unit, which makes them easy to kick-start and without any back kick.
Oil leaks are common
Yes, the Royal Enfield motorcycles are infamous for leaking oil but the modern range of the bikes leak as much oil as any other modern counterpart. Due to the oil leaks, early Royal Enfield models needed constant oil level check and failing to do so can cause the engine to seize. However, the modern Royal Enfields have overcome this problem and most customers do not complain by any oil leaks. The modern engines use better sealing and have much better protection against the oil leaks, unlike the older models.
Easy to handle
Many regard the Royal Enfield bikes as easy-to-handle bikes. It is one of the major reasons behind the bike’s popularity on the long-distance circuits. The heavy bikes need a lot of energy to manoeuvre. Yes, they are stable on the straight roads but on the twisted mountain roads, the riders can get easily tired while handling an Enfield. The low output engines also do not help the cause.
This is one of the biggest myths about the Royal Enfield bikes. Most of the people and enthusiasts say that the long waiting period of the Royal Enfield bikes is due to the fact that they are handmade. Well, Royal Enfield uses modern robotic arms on their production lines. Nothing is handmade in a modern day Royal Enfield. Earlier, a single family of painters used to put the pinstripe on the fuel tanks of the Classic 350 and Classic 500, which made the myth go wild.