One of the best known motorcycle brands in America is probably Harley-Davidson, followed by Kawasaki and Indian. While everyone designs and builds amazing bikes, one brand has been producing motorcycles for far longer than any of them. Royal Enfield has been around for over a century and doesn’t look like it’s going anytime soon.
Who has the oldest motorcycle brand?
If you love retro motorcycles, you’ve probably heard of Royal Enfield. For those who are not motorcycle enthusiasts, Royal Enfield has been around for quite a long time.
According to Hot Cars, Royal Enfield has been producing motorcycles since 1901. That means it is now in its 121st year.
Hot Cars said: “Royal Enfield may not be as famous as Harley-Davidson, Honda or Kawasaki, but it has been in the motorcycling business far longer than any of those brands. In fact, Royal Enfield is the oldest motorcycle manufacturer to continuously produce bicycles.
The history of Royal Enfield is fascinating
Many motorcycle manufacturers started out as producers of bicycles, and while Royal Enfield certainly did, it was originally a gun maker. Founder Albert Eadie started production in Redditch Worcestershire before turning to bicycles and motorbikes as his main source of business. This is where the original “Fit Like a Gun, Go Like a Bullet” logo came from.
The history of gun manufacturing also inspired the Royal Enfield Bullet, which was first produced in 1931. In fact, it is still produced today, making it the oldest model in motorcycle history race.
Although Royal Enfield did not continue to manufacture firearms, it supplied the British Army by other means. When Britain was involved in the First World War, Royal Enfield quickly supplied troops with motorcycles and the Imperial Russian government. One of the models was equipped with a sidecar on which a Vickers machine gun was mounted.
This wasn’t Royal Enfield’s only military involvement Royal Enfield. In 1947 India used Royal Enfield bicycles 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 in Britain in 1955 and Enfield of India took over the majority of production, it might have something to do with it. Or it could be that Royal Enfield bikes are well made and have a solid reputation.
The Royal Enfield motorcycle brand has new products coming
Even though Royal Enfield is not the best known motorcycle manufacturer, things are looking up. Royal Enfield has returned to its British roots in a way. As Top Gear reports, there is now a research and development facility just 50 miles from the original factory.
Some new motorcycles produced include the Interceptor 650 Twin. It was launched in 2018 and is still going strong.
The Bullet is still in production and maintains a strong fan base for those who love motorcycle history. Then there is the Himalayas, perfect for cycling enthusiasts who want to get off the beaten track for a more exciting ride and exceptional views.
There’s also a new bike on the way, which could put Royal Enfield on the map in a way it never has before. The motorcycle manufacturer is trying to break into the plug-in bike industry with a motorcycle that will be called the Flying Flea. It might not be the most difficult name, but it’s definitely one that won’t be forgotten.
RELATED: The oldest motorcycle model may surprise you