0 Royal Enfield Royal Enfield

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Volume #3

The Timeless Classic

A new identity

Following the extensive overhaul of its brand logo, crest, monogram and badges, Royal Enfield introduced 4 new colours to its popular Classic models in 2014.

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The 500cc variant saw the Tan and Silver as two new colours, where both the frame and casquette were painted black, a design theme that rose to much popularity in the late 1950’s. Additionally, contrasting coloured stripes ran down the mudguards, both front and rear, to add to the classic appeal in these motorcycles. The same treatment was given to the 500cc Black as well.

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The Classic 350 got Lagoon and Ash as the new colours in addition to the earlier Black, Maroon and Silver shades, and now appealed to a generation which was slowly turning towards cool retro motorcycles as their preferred choice.

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The DESPATCH RIDER

The job of a motorcycle despatch rider was to relay vital information between headquarters and ground forces through the Wars, often requiring them to ride long days and nights through varying weather and terrain. Royal Enfields were one of the most popular motorcycles for this arduous task due to their durability and ruggedness.

 

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Based on the rich history of the World Wars, and taking inspiration from the despatch riders of that era, a new limited range of Classic 500s was introduced by Royal Enfield. This limited edition Classic 500 was launched in 3 colours - Squadron Blue Despatch, Desert Storm Despatch and Battle Green Despatch, of which the green was meant only for international markets.

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Each of these motorcycles came with a commemorative plaque inscribed with a unique number signifying the limited edition run. It was also adorned with special leather accessories which added to the detailing around the post-war styling cues of this motorcycle.

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These motorcycles had classic military detailing that made them look different from all the previous Royal Enfield models. The matte black finish on the engine, lamp casing, indicators, exhaust and silencer was inspired from non-reflective paint on war-era Despatch rider motorcycles. The unique camouflage pattern was achieved through hydrographic print transfer done by hand.

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Inspired by the uniform that the Despatch Riders wore, the Royal Enfield gear launched alongside the motorcycles blended war-time heritage with modern materials. A palette of browns, greens, olive, tan and blues was paired with classic regimental detailing - epaulettes, plackets and gorgets. Fabrics such as leather, twill and canvas were chosen for their utility.

Leather jackets were the defining pieces of this collection, complemented by other outwear pieces. Signature design motifs such as hexa-quilt detailing, inspired by the nuts and bolts of the motorcycle, and leather shoulder and elbow patches on woollen sweaters were cues borrowed from classic motorcycling gear.

Squadron Blue

The Royal Enfield Squadron Blue Classic 500 sported a clean matte blue finish, taking its inspiration from the Indian Air Force. It exhibited the familiar facets of the exemplary post war design of Royal Enfield motorcycles, whilst retaining the modern underpinnings.

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This motorcycle joined the Desert Storm and the Despatch Rider editions together constituting the wide range dedicated to Royal Enfield’s long standing association with the armed forces. While working on this motorcycle, the design team had to be very particular about the colour to create an authenticity and also provide the motorcycle its post war appeal.

Next Chapter

The Timeless Classic

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