The History of Legends – The Royal Enfield

Modified On Oct 30, 2018 By Sameer Sheikh for Royal Enfield Bullet 350

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The title “Royal Enfield” do not need any introduction. The synonym of thundering roar and a thrilling riding experience, this legendary ride is holding its place for close to 60 years in the country. For its owners, it is more than a means of transportation, instead it's a lifelong romance. Royal Enfield is amongst the oldest motorcycles in the world, which are still in production.



The Evolution

It was the year 1851, when a man called “George Townsend” ended his needle making mill and named it 'Girvy Works'. Later his son George Jr. & his brother brought one of the first 'boneshakers' – a crude cycle to the Girvy Works. In 1880, they entered into the bicycle parts trade and then slowly moved on to produce bicycle by themselves. Over the next few years, they developed their own range of machines. Each of their bicycle was known for its sturdy frame, which all Enfield bikes followed later on.



The Inception of Royal Enfield


During the year 1890, Townsend came into financial trouble, hence he has to take help from the financiers of Birmingham. Unfortunately their partnership did not work and Townsend parted his ways and left the company to them. Therefore, the financiers brought Alber Edie and R.W Smith. In 1891, the firm was re-created and was named 'The Edie manufacturing company Limited'. Soon after, the Albert Edie got the contract to supply rifle parts to royal army in Enfield, Middlesex and to celebrate that they called their first new design of Bicycle, the 'Enfield'.

In the year 1892, a new company was formed to market newly designed bicycles “The Enfield Manufacturing Company” and the following year the word “Royal” was added and the Royal Enfield arena began. It was the year 1899, when the company advertised the first mechanical vehicle, which was powered by a 1.5 hp motor.

The Royal Enfield Motorbikes


During the early decade of 1900, the company extended their range in quadracycle and tricycles and built the first Royal Enfield car in 1901. After that many upgrades were made in their vehicles. In the year 1909, Royal Enfield surprised the world by showing small V twin engine machine at the motorcycle show. It was built on Swiss tradition and ran very well. It was the year 1911, when company developed a slightly larger model with 2-speed gear.



Updates during the World Wars

During the World War I & II, it was extensively used for carrying machine guns . In 1924, the company launched its first motorbike with 4 stroke 350cc engine. Later in 1928, Royal Enfield became the first company to adopt saddle tanks and center spring girder front forks. The company produced several bikes in the next decade, featuring from two stroke engine to 1140 cc V twin. The first 4 valve, single cylinder motorbike was introduced in 1931 followed by their first Bullet in 1932 with an inclined engine and an exposed valve gear.

The Indian Motorcycle Company


In the year 1955, the Government of India was in search of motorcycles that could be used for patrolling border by its army. This was the only reason why it came to India. Indian Army ordered 800 units of 350 cc Bullets. Therefore, the Redditch company partnered with Madras Motors. Later, the Madras Motors started producing the bikes independently. Since its introduction in the market, it has never looked back. In 1990, Royal Enfield collaborated with Eicher Group and merged with it in 1994.

Royal Enfield is quite popular in India and youth have a special liking towards the brand. Let's check out the most famous models of Enfield:



1. Bullet 350 UCE: Royal Enfield Bullet 350 UCE is equipped with 346cc, 4 stroke engine that generates the power of 19.8 bhp at 5250 rpm and the max torque of 28 Nm at 4000 rpm. It brings out the mileage of 25 kmpl in city and 30 kmpl on highways.

Key Features:

1. Engine: 346cc, 4-stroke

2. Power: 19.8 bhp at 5250 rpm

3. Torque: 28 Nm at 400 rpm

4. Transmission: 5-speed

5. Mileage: 25 kmpl in city and 30 kmpl on highways

6. Top Speed: 100 kmph



2. Royal Enfield Electra: It is powered by 346cc, 4-stroke engine. It comes with telescopic, hydraulic damping 130mm of front suspension and swing arm with gas shock absorbers suspension at the rear.

Key Features:

1. Engine: 346cc, 4 stroke

2. Power: 19.8 bhp at 5250 rpm

3. Torque: 28 Nm at 4000 rpm

4. Transmission: 5 speed

5. Mileage: 20 kmpl in city and 30 kmpl on highways

6. Top Speed: 120 kmph



3.Royal Enfield Classic: The dashing vintage inspired looks of Classic 350/500 surely creates a pure motorcycling experience. It is powered by 346cc and 499cc 4 stroke engines. It comes with a single saddle seat with springs to offer maximum comfort to the rider.

Key Features:

1. Engine: 346cc/499cc, 4-stroke

2. Power: 19.8 bhp at 5250 rpm

3. Torque: 28 Nm at 4000 rpm

4. Transmission: 5-speed

5. Mileage: 25 kmpl in city and 30 kmpl on highways (approx.)

6. Top Speed: 130 kmph



4.Royal Enfield Thunderbird: Available in two, 350cc and 500cc engines. It is a contemporary Royal Enfield that comes with various safety and comfort features. It is equipped with telescopic, hydraulic damping suspension at the front and swing arm adjustable gas filled shock absorber suspension at the rear. It also features digital fuel gauge, analogue tachometer, digital 2 trip meter and alloys.

Key features:

1. Engine: 346cc and 499cc

2. Power: 19.8 bhp at 5250 rpm and 27.2 bhp at 5250 rpm

3. Torque: 28 Nm at 4000 rpm and 41.3 Nm at 4000 rpm

4. Transmission: 5-speed

5. Mileage: 20 kmpl in city and 30 kmpl on highways (approx.)

6. Top Speed: 130 kmph



5. Royal Enfield Continental GT: It is packed with 535cc, single cylinder, 4 stroke, air cooled engine. It offers the traditional feel of Royal Enfield with modern twists. High on power and torque, it is definitely a leap ahead from the Indian Motorcycle makers.

Key Features:

1. Engine: 535cc, single cylinder, 4-stroke, air cooled

2. Power: 29.1 bhp at 5100 rpm

3. Torque: 44 Nm at 4000 rpm

4. Transmission: 5 speed

5. Mileage: 20 kmpl in city and 30 kmpl on highways

6. Top Speed: 140 kmph

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