This year marks a historic event for motorcycles as Royal Enfield, who’s been manufacturing motorcycles since 1901, turns 120 years old.
“From humble beginnings at the Redditch factory in 1901, Royal Enfield, the oldest motorcycle brand in continuous production, has been a preserver of the legacy of building simple, pared-down, authentic classic motorcycles. Holding true to an uncomplicated design philosophy that propounds purposeful longevity, Royal Enfield has spent more than a century traversing some of the toughest terrains in the world, and creating memorable experiences and legendary tales,” said the company through a statement.
WWI Royal Enfield with machine gun sidecar
Originally called the Royal Small Arms Factory in Enfield, Middlesex, the company initially manufactured small precision parts and firearms for the British Army. In 1896, the company diversified into manufacturing bicycles. In 1901, they started manufacturing motorcycles, which still continues today.
To commemorate this milestone, Royal Enfield will mark 2021 with several initiatives across the globe to celebrate the legacy and the journey of motorcycling with riding enthusiasts and communities.
The "Flying Flea" used in WWII
With the values of resilience, inclusiveness, and being accessible, Royal Enfield is the world’s oldest motorcycle brand in continuous production and has demonstrated creativity, adaptability, endurance, and agility across generations. Not only has the brand-built products which have played an integral role in people’s lives over decades, but have also been instrumental in building a culture around riding.
Royal Enfield Redditch Factory
In 1955, Royal Enfield partnered with Madras Motors, headquartered in Chennai, India. The company then started building Royal Enfield motorcycles with parts imported from Britain for the Indian Army. By 1962, all the parts and components were made in India.
Indian Army Bullet 350
“These 120 years have been a journey of undying resilience. Through it all, Royal Enfield has remained true to its core principles of making simple, accessible, and engaging motorcycles. Riding through two world wars, surviving near shutdown in 1967 and 1977 and emerging victorious in rides that have tested the endurance of man and machine, Royal Enfield has remained relevant and desirable through the ages,” added the company.
Today, Royal Enfield is a leading global player in the middleweight motorcycle segment (250cc - 750cc) with an ambition to grow and expand that market, a strong and diverse product portfolio and more than ten million riding enthusiasts across the world, Royal Enfield is 120 years old and only just getting started.