Monday, 17 November 2014

Royal Enfield facts and stories Part 1

Some cool facts about Royal Enfield and it's legacy
Let me tell you a story to chill your bones....
The line seems appropriate, but enough of Iron Maiden. Let's get back to some gritty and loud bikes with muscles shall we. Before we dive in and find out some cool Royal Enfield facts, lets start with a brief history.
In the year 1890 the name Royal Enfield was first licensed by the crown. The company started building their first motorcycle in 1901, and until 1967, they produced their motorcycles at their factory in Redditch, Worcestershire. Unfortunately, it was closed in 1967. In 1970, the company produced their last motorcycles before completely dissolving in 1971. That was the end of one story and the inception of another.

Enfield of India was set up in 1956, and had begun assembling the motorcycles. To fuel their production line in India, they used parts which were shipped from Royal Enfield in the UK. This game plan proved to be immensely successful took off in a huge way. By 1962 Enfield India had blossomed and were producing motorcycles from parts made in India rather than the UK. Enfield's situation in India and UK were contrasting. While the company in UK was beginning to struggle, Enfield India was achieving greater heights and amassing huge fan following. The iconic ‘Bullet’ model was an instant hit and was taking the sub-continent by storm. 

Enfield India continued striking the right chords with the audience and was trading even after Royal Enfield had been dissolved in the UK. Finally in 1995, Enfield India bought the rights to the name Royal Enfield to make sure that the bikes returned to it's spiritual & historic identity. 
Now, that you are well aware of Royal Enfield's history & legacy, let's dive in and find some cool facts about Royal Enfield shall we. 

  1. Royal Enfield, Made like a gun, goes like a bullet - The logo & motto of the original Royal Enfield company reflects their background of weapons manufacturing. The logo of the original Royal Enfield featured a cannon, with the slogan “Made like a gun, goes like a bullet”. This slogan stands to its words when it comes to Royal Enfield motorcycles, but seems uncanny for the lawnmovers which also had the same slogan on their sides.
  2. Royal Enfield, the choice of the brother in arms - In 1912, Royal Enfield first launched a model with a sidecar. The addition of a sidecar to Model 180 of Royal Enfield, helped them gain a lot of popularity in the early days. With the onset of World War I in 1914, they were able to amalgamate their new motorcycle manufacturing strand with their well known traditional military roots. The company even won a contract to supply the Imperial Russian government & the British government’s war department with motorcycles. They even modified the sidecar so that they could accommodate a fitted Vickers machine gun. It surely made RE, one bad ass bike in the World War era.
  3. Royal Enfield Bullet, the longest continuous production motorcycle - Since 1948,  the iconic Bullet model has been in continuous production since in the UK or India. This led to make the Bullet, the longest continuous production motorcycle in the world. The Bullet was produced in 1931 with a four-stroke single cylinder engine. It's frame had a significantly different appearance compared to the look the model is known for today. Since it's inception, it was available as either a 350cc or 500cc version, and the 350cc version was bought by the British government for use, both by army dispatch riders and the RAF during World War II.
  4. Bullet top speed - The current version of Bullet 500 has a top speed of 140 kilometers per hour which equates to around 85 mph.
  5. Royal Enfield's legacy continues in India - The Royal Enfield company was dissolved in the UK in 1971. The original company came to an end in 1971, but the spirit lived on in India which has now been completely brought back to life.

 That's not all, more cool facts and stories about Royal Enfield awaiting you. Also as an added bonus, you can take a 360° virtual tour of the Royal Enfield concept store in New Delhi. Enjoy!

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