Royal Enfield Royal Enfield Royal Enfield Royal Enfield Royal Enfield

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1891
1891

1891

In November 1891, entrepreneurs Bob Walker Smith and Albert Eadie buy George Townsend & Co. of Hunt End, Redditch. Townsend’s is a well-respected needle manufacturer of almost 50 years standing which has recently begun manufacturing bicycles.

1893
1893

1893

The duo win a contract to supply precision parts to the Royal Small Arms Factory of Enfield, Middlesex. To celebrate this prestigious order, they rename their undertaking the Enfield Manufacturing Company Ltd. and call their first Bob Walker Smith designed bicycle, the Enfield. The following year, their bicycles are renamed Royal Enfields and the trademark ‘Made Like A Gun’ is introduced.

1898
1898

1898

Bob Walker Smith designs the company’s first motorised vehicle. Known as a quadricycle, it is built around two sturdy bicycle frames and uses a proprietary 1 1/2 hp De Dion engine. The company finalises its trading name as The Enfield Cycle Co. Ltd., a name it is to use for the following 70 years.

1900
1900

1900

Royal Enfield delves into motorsport when one of its quadricycles enters the inaugural 1000 Mile Trial. Following a torturous cross-country route from London to Edinburgh and back, the event does much to convince the British public of the viability of motorised transport.

1901
1901

1901

The first Royal Enfield motorcycle is produced. Designed by Bob Walker Smith and Frenchman Jules Gotiet, it has a 1 1/2 hp Minerva engine mounted in front of the steering head. The rear wheel is driven by a long rawhide belt.

1909
1909

1909

Royal Enfield’s first V-twin, using a 297cc Swiss-made Motosacoche engine, is launched at the Stanley Cycle Show. The model achieves numerous competition successes the following year, including in the John O’ Groats to Lands End Trial.

1914
1914

1914

Royal Enfield's first 2-stroke motorcycle goes into full production. As Britain becomes embroiled in World War I, production of the company’s biggest motorcycle, the 770cc 6 hp V-twin, takes precedence. During the conflict, the company supplies motorcycles to the British, Belgian, French, United States and Imperial Russian armies.

1924
1924

1924

Continuous development results in a range of 8 models, including the launch of the Sports Model 351, the first Royal Enfield 350cc OHV 4-stroke motorcycle with foot operated gear change. A unique 225cc 2-stroke step-through 'Ladies Model' is also introduced.

1926
1926

1926

A major fire breaks out at the 18-acre Redditch factory. The company's own fire brigade manages to fight the flames which threaten to engulf the entire plant.

1928
1928

1928

Royal Enfield adopts saddle tanks in place of outmoded flat tanks. It is also one of the first manufacturers to change its front fork system from a Druid design to centre-sprung girder forks.

1930
1930

1930

The decade begins with a diverse eleven model range, from the 225cc 2-stroke Model A to the 976cc V-twin Model K. New 350 and 500cc side-valve and overhead valve machines with dry-sump lubrication are also produced.

1932
1932

1932

The legendary "Bullet" motorcycle is born. It is first displayed in November 1932 at the Olympia Motorcycle Show in London. Three versions are produced: 250, 350 and 500cc, all with inclined 'sloper' engines, twin-ported cylinder heads, foot operated gear change and high compression pistons.

1933
1933

1933

Founding partner and joint Managing Director, Bob Walker Smith, passes away. His son, Major Frank Smith. who had been joint Managing Director with his father for a number of years, assumes full control of The Enfield Cycle Company.

1933
1933

1933

The groundbreaking Model Z 'Cycar' goes on sale. Aimed at commuters, this 148cc 2-stroke features a fully enclosed engine and legshields to protect its rider from the worst of the elements.

1936
1936

1936

The 500cc Bullet is radically changed with the release of the Model JF. It features an upright engine with a 4-valve cylinder head. A sports version, with a bronze cylinder head, is available to special order.

1939-1945
1939-1945

1939-1945

Royal Enfield produces large quantities of military motorcycles, bicycles, generators and ant-aircraft gun predictors during the Second World War. The most iconic model is the 125cc 'Airborne' motorcycle known as the Flying Flea. These 126cc 2-strokes can be loaded into specially fabricated parachute cradles and dropped with paratroops behind enemy lines.

1948
1948

1948

The post-war 350cc Bullet prototype, with radical oil-damped swinging arm rear suspension, is previewed in the Colmore Cup Trial of February 1948. Two Bullets form part of the victorious British Trophy team in the 1948 ISDT (International Six Days Trial), held in Italy. Both their riders win gold medals.

1949
1949

1949

The new 350cc Bullet and 500 Twin models are launched in the UK. Both bikes share the same frame, swinging arm suspension, telescopic front forks and gearbox. K. R. Sundaram Iyer launches Madras Motors to import British motorcycles into India, including Royal Enfields.

1952
1952

1952

Royal Enfield's star rider, Johnny Brittain, wins the prestigious Scottish Six Days Trial on his 350cc Bullet, HNP 331.

1952
1952

1952

Madras Motors receives an order from the Indian Army for 500 350cc Bullets. The motorcycles arrive from Redditch in early 1953 and prove to be a great success, being both hardy and easy to maintain.

1955
1955

1955

The Redditch company partners Madras Motors in India to form 'Enfield India'. Work commences on the construction of a purpose-built factory at Tiruvottiyur, near Madras.

1956
1956

1956

The Tiruvottiyur factory opens and Bullets begin to be manufactured under license. Initially, these machines are shipped from England in kit form then assembled in the Madras plant. A total of 163 Enfield India Bullets are built by the end of the year.

1957
1957

1957

Johnny Brittain wins the Scottish Six Days Trial on a Bullet for the second time and also finishes top of the British trials championship. The 250cc Crusader model is launched in Britain. Producing 13 bhp, the motorcycle features a unit construction engine and alternator electrics with coil ignition.

1964
1964

1964

The iconic Continental GT café racer is launched to great acclaim when a team of journalists ride one from John O’ Groats to Lands End in under 24 hours, including 8 laps of the Silverstone circuit. The GT features a fibreglass racing petrol tank, clip-on handlebars, rear sets, a humped race seat, rev counter and a swept-back exhaust.

1967
1967

1967

With only two models left in production at the start of the year – the 250cc Continental GT and the 736cc Interceptor – Royal Enfield’s Redditch facility closes and the site sold to developers. Production of the Interceptor continues at Enfield’s underground facility at Upper Westwood, near Bradford on Avon, until its closure in June 1970.

1977
1977

1977

Enfield India begins exporting the 350cc Bullet to the UK and Europe. Sales grow rapidly as the bike develops a following amongst classic motorcycle enthusiasts.

1989
1989

1989

A new 24 bhp 500cc Bullet is released. The bike is primarily aimed at export markets where it is available in Classic, Deluxe and Superstar trim.

1993
1993

1993

Enfield India produces the world's first and only mass-manufactured diesel motorcycle. Known as the Enfield Diesel, it uses a highly fuel efficient 325cc power unit installed in the standard Bullet rolling chassis.

1994
1994

1994

Commercial vehicle and tractor manufacturer, The Eicher Group, acquires Enfield India Limited. Eicher has roots in India dating back to 1948. It renames the company Royal Enfield Motors Limited.

1997
1997

1997

Forty Royal Enfield motorcycles climb to Khardung La, the world’s highest motorable pass, setting a precedent for epic rides across some of the world’s most difficult terrain and creating a blueprint for the annual Himalayan Odyssey ride.

1999
1999

1999

Utilising the design skills of Austrian company AVL, production of a revised 350cc all-aluminum lean-burn Bullet engine, known as the A350, begins at a new Royal Enfield plant near Jaipur, Rajasthan.

2001
2001

2001

The Daredevils, the motorcycle display team of the Indian Army Corps of Signals, Jabalpur, forms a human pyramid of 201 men on ten 350cc Bullets. They ride a distance of more than 200 metres to set a new world record.

2002
2002

2002

The Thunderbird, a stylish lean burn cruiser, is launched. It features the first 5-speed gearbox used on a Royal Enfield since the 1960s. More than a 1000 Royal Enfield motorcycles of all ages descend on Redditch for the Royal Enfield Owner’s Club ‘Redditch Revisited’ event.

2004
2004

2004

The Electra X, an export Bullet with a 500cc version of the all-alloy lean burn engine, goes on sale. The retro-styled ‘Bullet Machismo’ is rated the ‘No.1 Cruiser’ in a TNS Autocar survey.

2005
2005

2005

Royal Enfield celebrates its 50th anniversary in India with the release of commemorative Thunderbird and Bullet Electra models and ‘The Legend Rides On’ coffee table book.

2008
2008

2008

The Thunderbird Twinspark is launched in India with the new Unit Construction Engine (UCE). Royal Enfield begins exporting the Classic, India’s first 500cc EFI, Euro III-compliant motorcycle, to European markets.

2009
2009

2009

The 500cc UCE engine is launched in India. The retro-styled Classic version immediately achieves cult status and sales grow rapidly.

2011
2011

2011

Royal Enfield riders around the world are encouraged to go for a ride on the inaugural ‘One Ride’ event. It becomes an annual ride, taking place on each first Sunday in April, The company acquires 50 acres of land at Oragadam for its new plant. A factory organised trip crosses the Nepalese border for the first time with ‘Tour of Nepal’.

2012
2012

2012

Royal Enfield launches its first highway cruiser, the all-black Thunderbird 500. Work on the new Oragadam factory continues briskly while the Tiruvottiyur plant sets a new production record to meet 113,000 motorcycle sales.

2013
2013

2013

Manufacturing commences at Oragadam, Tamil Nadu. This state-of-art factory, which includes a robotic paint facility, will be the nucleus of Royal Enfield’s future global ambitions.

2013
2013

2013

Forty-eight years after developing its first production café racer, Royal Enfield rolls out the all-new Continental GT. Featuring a cradle frame designed by Harris Performance and a 535cc UCE engine, this new café racer becomes the starting point for numerous custom builds.

2014
2014

2014

Royal Enfield introduces a new retail experience in India with the opening of the first-of-its-kind exclusive gear store at Khan Market, New Delhi.

2015
2015

2015

The company acquires Harris Performance, a renowned British motorcycle design and fabrication firm, to enhance its engineering and product design capabilities.

2015
2015

2015

Royal Enfield North America is established. With headquarters in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, it’s the company’s first direct distribution subsidiary outside of India.

2016
2016

2016

Royal Enfield debuts the Himalayan, its first adventure motorcycle. With an all-new 411cc SOHC engine and long reach suspension, it’s designed to give adventurous riders the right tool for all roads and no roads.

2017
2017

2017

The new Royal Enfield Technology Centre opens at Bruntingthorpe Proving Ground, near Leicester in the UK. A team of over 100 engineers, designers and testers begin work on research, development and long-term product strategy.

2017
2017

2017

Production commences at the company’s third plant. Located at Vallam Vadagal, near Chennai, this world-class manufacturing facility is dedicated to producing Royal Enfield 350cc machines.

2017
2017

2017

The new 650cc Royal Enfield Interceptor and Continental GT twins are unveiled at the EICMA Motorcycle Show in Milan, Italy, and at Rider Mania in Goa, India. The company opens its first café, called the Royal Enfield Garage Café, in Baga, Goa.

2018
2018

2018

The Royal Enfield Classic 500 Pegasus, a homage to the WWII Royal Enfield Flying Flea, is launched at the Imperial War Museum, Duxford, UK. Limited to just 1000 individually numbered motorcycles worldwide, the Indian market allocation of 250 machines sells in under 3 minutes.

2018
2018

2018

Cayla Riva, an 18-year-old racer from California, sets a new land speed record of 157.053 mph during Speed Week at the Bonneville Salts Flats. Her bike, a Continental GT 650 twin, is specially prepared for Bonneville with S&S Cycle engine tuning.and a Harris Performance frame.

2018
2018

2018

With design cues taken from the 1140cc KX V-twins of the late 1930’s, the 838cc KX Concept V-twin demonstrates the capabilities of the design team at the UK Technology Centre. Featuring girder forks with an integrated headlight and a single-sided softtail rear, it is the star of the show when unveiled at EICMA.