Made Like a Gun
Very few companies can say they’ve been manufacturing continuously for over 100 years, let alone declare that they created the longest lived motorcycle design ever. Royal Enfield can.
A lot of early motorcycle manufacturers came from either the world of bicycles (Excelsior, Indian, Triumph) or Military products (BMW, BSA) Royal Enfield came from both. The first Enfield Rifle was produced in 1853. Royal Enfield built their first bicycle in 1886. The name of it’s signature motorcycle, The Bullet (You know “the longest lived motorcycle design ever.”) and it’s Motto “Made Like a Gun” reflect the munitions side of their history.
Royal Enfield’s first Motorcycle hit the road in 1901, and there have been Enfields built every year since. No other company has been making bikes longer (that upstart Harley Davidson didn’t come along till 1903). In 1931 the company built their first Bullet; this bike and it revisions were used in war (by the British Army and The Royal Air Force), on the race track (winning the 1948 and 1953 International Six-Day Trials) and as a damn good ride.
The company that makes Royal Enfields in Chennai, India today was created by Royal Enfield UK and the Indian government to meet the Indian Police and Military’s need for more Enfield Bullets than the Reddich, England based company could produce.
The late 60’s and 70’s saw the end of most British motorcycle manufacturers including Royal Enfield, but the bike continued to be made in India using the same tooling that had always made the bike distinct and desirable.
All Enfields have the classic thump of it’s single cylinder engine. But the company has upgraded brakes, ignition systems, and added fuel injection all without losing style or class. Royal Enfield knows it’s past. They embrace it but aren’t afraid to improve on it.
Stop in to our shop to see the latest models: The Continental GT, a grand café racer, The Bullet 500, and two versions of the Classic 500. There just might be a “Thump” in your future.