Royal Enfield Motorcycles

Royal Enfield made its first motorcycle in 1901 and the Bullet is the longest-produced motorcycle model in history, dating back to 1948. Although it put up a pretty good fight, by the end of the 1960s the Redditch-built Royal Enfield Bullet – was out-gunned, outmaneuvered and outdated by the Japanese invaders. It wasn't to be the end of the war for Royal Enfield though… Originally set up as a satellite factory supplying the Indian military, the Enfield India plant at Chennai (then Madras) had been bashing out Bullets since 1949, and by the time the UK arm ceased production, the plucky little single had not only won hearts and minds on the battlefield, but had captured the imagination of the civilian population too. The same attributes that had given it the edge for military use: ruggedness, reliability, a simple design and its ability to tackle a multitude of terrains, meant it was a big hit. In recent times the desire and necessity for modernisation has led the Bullet to pick up a few more concessions to modern motoring: a left-foot change, five-speed gearbox; hydraulic disc braking; and most recently a unit construction engine and electronic fuel injection. The Royal Enfield range has also been expanded to incorporate the thoroughly modern adventure sport ‘Himalayan’ and the increasingly popular 650 Interceptor and Continental GT twins. A new development centre here in the UK and massive investment in the Indian production plants - where they produced 846,000 machines in 2018 - means there’s undoubtedly more to come …