One of the most well-known motorcycle brands in America is probably Harley-Davidson, followed by Kawasaki and Indian. While each design and manufactures stunning bikes, one brand has been producing motorcycles much longer than any of them. Royal Enfield has been around for over a century and doesn’t look like it’s going anywhere anytime soon.
Who has the oldest motorcycle brand?
If you’re into retro motorcycles, then you’ve probably heard of Royal Enfield. For those who aren’t motorcycle enthusiasts, Royal Enfield has been around for quite a long time.
According to Hot Cars, Royal Enfield has been producing motorcycles since 1901. This means it’s now in its 121st year.
Hot Cars stated, “Royal Enfield may not be as famous as the likes of Harley-Davidson, Honda, or Kawasaki, but it has been in the motorcycle business for much longer than all these brands. In fact, Royal Enfield is the oldest motorcycle manufacturer to continuously produce bikes.”
Royal Enfield’s history is fascinating
Many motorcycle manufacturers began as bicycle producers, and while Royal Enfield certainly did that, it was initially a gun manufacturer. The founder, Albert Eadie, began production in Redditch Worcestershire before turning to bikes and motorcycles as his primary source of business. This is where the original logo of “Made like a gun, goes like a bullet” came from.
The firearms manufacturing history also inspired the Royal Enfield Bullet, which was first produced in 1931. In fact, it’s still being produced today, making it the oldest running model in motorcycle history.
Even though Royal Enfield didn’t continue to make firearms, it did supply the British Army in other ways. When Britain became embroiled in WWI, Royal Enfield quickly supplied the troops with motorcycles and the Imperial Russian Government. One of the models was equipped with a sidecar that had a Vickers machine gun mounted to it.
This wasn’t Royal Enfield’s only military involvement Royal Enfield. In 1947, India used Royal Enfield bikes to patrol its borders after officially gaining independence from Britain. It was such a successful venture that India continues to use these bikes for military operations.
Since Royal Enfield closed its door in Britain in 1955, and Enfield of India took over the majority of production, this could have something to do with it. Or it could have to do with the fact that Royal Enfield bikes are well-made and have a solid reputation.
Royal Enfield motorcycle brand has new products coming down the line
Even though Royal Enfield is not the most well-known of motorcycle manufacturers, things are looking up for it. Royal Enfield returned to its UK roots in a fashion. As Top Gear reports, there is now a Research and Development facility a mere 50 miles from the original plant.
Some new motorcycles being produced include the Interceptor 650 Twin. It launched in 2018 and is still going strong.
The Bullet is still in production and maintains a solid fan base for those who love motorcycle history. Then there’s the Himalayan, perfect for bike lovers who want to get off-road for a more exciting ride and exceptional views.
There’s a new bike on the way as well, which may put Royal Enfield on the map in a way that it hasn’t been before. The motorcycle manufacturer is trying to break into the plug-in bike industry with a motorcycle that will be named the Flying Flea. It may not be the toughest of names, but it’s certainly one which won’t be forgotten.