Royal Enfield brand has been around for than a century now. In India, it has become a cult brand and followers in every corner of the country. With such a long history of the brand, there are a few things that not many know about. We bring you 10 such things that you didn’t know about Royal Enfield.
Longest running production bike in the world
As many of you may have guessed, it is the Bullet 350. The motorcycle was first launched in 1931 and it has been 87 years since then. The bike was first launched in the UK market in 1931. In 1951, the Bullet reached in India which started the journey of Royal Enfield. No other motorcycle in the world has lived for so long. It shows the fan following of the bike even in the present day world.
But Royal Enfield is not all about motorcycles
Before coming into the motorcycle business, Royal Enfield used to make Lawn Mowers. Yes, you read that right. Also, Royal Enfield was in the arms business, which later inspired the tagline “Made like a gun”. The company supplied rifles to the army and had sporting guns too. They also were into the still engine business.
No, they are not hand-made
Even though they may look vintage, Royal Enfields are made using modern robots on the assembly lines. Before 2014, a few Royal Enfield motorcycles were assembled by hand but post-2014, everything from painting to the assembly is done by the machines. Although the pinstripe on the Bullet tanks is hand painted. The painting is done by the same family of artists since the inception of Royal Enfield in India.
The Interceptor 650 is not their biggest bike
They had bigger bikes in the past. Royal Enfield used to offer 1,000 V-Twin engine in the international market among many other engine options. In India, the brand used to sell a 650cc V-Twin and 700cc V-Twin during the 1970s but due to the lack of their popularity, they were discontinued.
They had a bike more fuel efficient than a Splendor!
That’s right and it was a diesel-powered bike called the Taurus. The 325cc, single-cylinder diesel engine produced 6.5 Bhp and 15 Nm. The low revving engine was in the market for 12 long years but we do not see them much on the road. The bike had a real-world mileage of above 70 km/l!
Royal Enfield now exports to its birthland
Royal Enfield is a UK-based company that was bankrupted and shut down. The Indian arm took over the Royal Enfield name in 1999 and continued using it. Many legal battles were fought after which the Royal Enfield got the naming rights. Now the brand has expanded its market and sends its bike all over the world, including the UK.
The army supplier!
Royal Enfield supplied motorcycles to three armies of different countries. Before starting to supply the British Army, Royal Enfield used to supply motorcycles to the Russian army. It started supplying motorcycles to the Indian army in the 1950s and there are thousands of them in parts of India. These motorcycles are still being used by many army personnel.
Royal Enfield is oldest motorcycle manufacturer
Even older than the Harley-Davidson. Enfield started its motorcycle business in 1901 while Harley-Davidson launched their first product in 1905. Royal Enfield sells more motorcycles in India alone than Harley-Davidson’s overall sales in different countries. Looking at both the brands, it does not seem that any of them will die soon.
India’s first commissioned motorcycle
The Royal Enfield was commissioned in the Indian army in 1955. The Indian government ordered 800 units of Royal Enfield bikes and the British company had set-up an assembly plant in India with the partnership with Madras Motors of India. Initially, they assembled Bullet 350 and later also assembled Bullet 500 under license from the Redditch company.
Lead the four-stroke way
Royal Enfield was leading the innovations back then. In 1924, the company had developed the four-stroke 350cc single-cylinder engine. India got the first four-stroke bike in the form of Royal Enfield Bullet 350.