Established in 1893, Royal Enfield was the obvious choice for our Classic bike fleet. These motorcycles take us back to an era where the 500 single ruled. Years ago the 500 thumper was manufactured in England by many companies such as Royal Enfield, AJS, Norton, BSA and many others. The throb of a 500 single between your legs is what true classic motorcycling is all about. The Royal Enfield is the oldest motorcycle still in production so you are riding over 120 years of motorcycling heritage. Solidly locked in the past, the design and concept uphold a heritage like no other but the technology moves the bikes into the 21st century for reliability. Truly a motorcycle that is ‘made like a gun and goes like a bullet’. There was no other choice for us; Royal Enfield rules.
The Empire Strikes Back, the History
1891 The story begins when R.W. Smith and Albert Eadie take over the Townsend Cycle Co. in Redditch, UK. Soon after this they start supplying precision rifle parts to the Royal Small Arms Co. in Enfield, Middlesex. The company is thereafter called the Enfield Manufacturing Company Limited.
1893 The word ‘Royal’ is taken from the Royal Small Arms Co. And the ’Royal Enfield’ name is born with the trademark ‘Made like a gun, goes like a bullet’
1899 Royal Enfield begins producing
a Quadricycle, a bicycle modified by adding a four
wheeled frame, retaining a rear saddle and handlebars.
There was a front seat for a passenger and a rear
mounted De Dion engine.
Royal Enfield Quadricycle
1907 Royal Enfield begins
production of the Enfield-Allday automobile.
1909 At the motorcycle show that year Royal Enfield displays a small 2 ¼ hp V twin engine machine built in the Swiss tradition, which runs very well.
1913 Enfield 425cc
1924 Launch of the first Enfield 4
stroke 350 single, using a JAP engine. It is soon
replaced by their side-valve and over-head valve
1923 Royal Enfield 225cc
1932 A four-valve single cylinder engine is introduced and christened ‘Bullet’. It has an inclined engine and an exposed valve gear.
1940 The most well known offering for the second world war is no doubt the ‘Flying Flea’. Also known as the ‘Airborne’, this lightweight 125cc motorcycle was capable of being dropped by parachute along with airborne troops.
1947 Royal Enfield makes a J2, the first model with a telescopic front end, followed in 1948 by a 500cc twin.
1949 The 350cc ‘Bullet’ is launched in India, when Madras Motors wins an order to supply the Indian army with motorcycles.
1950 Several models are introduced:
a 650cc Meteor
twin; a 250cc clipper; a short stroke 250cc
Crusader; a 250cc Trials; Super 5; Continental; 500cc
Sports Twin; Super Meteor; Constellation and
Royal Enfield Crusader
1955 The Indian government orders 800 Bullet 350cc motorcycles, being judged the most suitable, for patrolling the country’s borders.
1955 Enfield India is incorporated as a public limited company. Enfield India becomes the country’s first four-stroke motorcycle manufacture.
1956 The Thiruvottiyur factory is set up on 2.56 acres of land. 163 Bullet motorcycles are produced during the first year.
1960 Eddie Mulder’s Big Bear Endura victory gives Royal Enfield a new foothold in the US. Models include the 250cc Hornet, the 500cc Fury (essentially the Bullet), and the 700cc Interceptor. Enfield’s win 31 out of 39 races.
1967 The Redditch factory where Bullets were made is closed down.
1970 The Bradford on Avon factory closes and the Enfield Cycle Company in the UK goes out of business.
1984 Indian exports to the UK and Europe commences.
1990 Royal Enfield launches the first production diesel motorcycle in the world.
1993 Royal Enfield launches the Bullet 500-India’s first 500cc motorcycle.
1994 Enfield of India buys the rights to the name Royal Enfield.
1994 The Eicher Group acquires Enfield India Limited. The company name changes to Royal Enfield Motors Limited.
1997 40 Royal Enfield motorcycle’s travel from New Delhi to Khardung La – the highest motorable pass.
2001 The ‘Dare Devils’, the display team of the Indian Army’s Corps of Signals, Jabalpur, forms a Human Pyramid of 201 men on ten 350cc Enfield motorcycles, riding a distance of more than 200 meters.
2003 1000 riders descend on Redditch for the Royal Enfield owners club’s 25th anniversary. Royal Enfield is ranked in the top 10 for 125-500cc motorcycle brands in the UK.
2004 The ‘Bullet Electra’ is launched. The retro styled ‘Bullet Machismo’ is voted the ‘no 1 cruiser in the TNS Autocar survey. The Bullet Electra International with its lean burning engine is launched in the UK.
2005 Royal Enfield India celebrates 50 glorious years of motorcycling in India and unveils a blueprint for the future. The 2005 Bullet features a revolutionary left-shift 5 speed gearbox that makes the marque more accessible to motorcyclists. The legend rides on. Royal Enfield revives the Himalayan Odyssey and makes it an annual event.
2006 Royal Enfield develops a fully integrated twin-spark engine incorporating a 5 speed transmission that delivers a dramatic increase in performance and fuel efficiency.
2008 Royal Enfield exports the ‘classic’; India’s first 500cc EFI, Euro 111 compliant motorcycle to European markets. The Thunderbird Twinspark is launched with new unit construction engine (UCE) in India.
2009 Royal Enfield launches ‘Classic’ 350cc and 500cc models for the Indian market.
2010 Royal Enfield makes its entry into the Californian market.
2013 In May a new assembly plant was commissioned at Oragadam, Chennai, India.
2013 The Continental GT with a
535cc fuel injected engine rolls off the Oragadam
assembly lines and is launched at Ace Cafe in London.
Royal Enfield, a genuine touring motorcycle has reached ‘cult’ status and stands for riding and eating up the miles.