Royal Enfield, the brand which has a cult status in India, is reportedly planning to stop producing 500cc motorcycles since the Bharat Stage VI emission norms will make them unviable. The company will upgrade its line up of 350cc motorcycles instead for Indian markets and promote its 650cc motorcycles as its primary export drivers.
Here are some lesser known facts about the brand.
Royal Enfield vs Harley
Royal Enfield sells more in India alone than the total overall global sales of Harley Davidson. Both are very old brands but Enfield is older than Harley as it started in 1901, Harley in 1905.
You can own a miniature version of your Royal Enfield too. A scale model of the quintessential Royal Enfield is now available. This is a 1:12 scale replica and it's available from Royal Enfield for Rs 1200.
First commissioned motorbike
The Royal Enfield has many firsts to its credit. The company started supplying motorcycles to the Indian army in 1955, the first to do so. The first bike commissioned was the 350 cc bullet manufactured in England.
Exporter to country of origin
Originally a UK based company, the Royal Enfield went bankrupt and shut down. The Indian arm took over the name in 1999 and continued to manufacture them. Today, the brand has a global presence and has started exporting to its country of origin too- the UK.
They are not hand-made!
Royal Enfield bikes have been known to be hand-made, a popular myth that many consider true. They just have a hand-built look, but are made on assembly lines by robots. However, the pinstripe on the Bullet tanks is hand painted which is what popularised the myth.
The company made lawn mowers once
Royal Enfield's history also goes back to lawn mowers. The company used to produce lawn mowers apart from being in the arms business. These lawn mowers were designed by none other than experts who knew exactly what the gardeners wanted. Interestingly, the slogan "Made like a gun, goes like a bullet" was used on the lawn mowers too.
Longest running model
The Bullet 350 is the longest running bike model. It has been in continuous production since it launched.