British-Indian Classic Royal Enfield Bullet Returns

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Nov. 6 – Motorbike enthusiasts worldwide will be pleased to hear that Royal Enfield has launched its retro thumper, the Bullet Classic.

The bike that harks back to Enfield’s classic British motorcycle design has been launched with two engine options. The Bullet Classic 350 will come fitted with the same engine that was seen on the Thunderbird TwinSpark, with unit construction and a carburetor. The variant will cost Rs98,000 (US$2,200). Accompanying it will be the Bullet Classic 500, which will come fitted with RE’s internationally available 500cc fuel-injected unit construction engine. The Bullet Classic 500 has been priced at Rs124,000 (US$2,800).

The design of the bike will be its obvious USP, with its simple and sensuous lines, and that smartly upswept exhaust. Vintage bike cues abound on the Classic, with its spring loaded split seat, thigh pads, headlamp hood and old Royal Enfield graphics on the tank. Modern elements that will add to the practicality of the bike are present too, like the gas-charged shock absorbers. A shift from 19-inch wheel to 18-inch ones will also allow riders to choose from a larger variety of aftermarket tires.

Royal Enfield was the brand of the Enfield Cycle Company, a British engineering company. Notable for producing motorcycles, it also produced bicycles, lawnmowers, stationary engines, and even rifle parts for the Royal Small Arms Factory in Enfield Lock, North London. This legacy of weapons manufacture is reflected in the logo, a cannon, and their motto: “Made like a gun, goes like a bullet.” It also enabled the use of the brand name Royal Enfield from 1890.

In 1955, Enfield of India started assembling Bullet motorcycles under license from U.K. components, and by 1962, was manufacturing complete bikes. The original company was dissolved in 1971, but Enfield of India, based in Chennai, continued and bought the rights to use the Royal Enfield name in 1995. Royal Enfield production continues, and now Royal Enfield is the oldest motorcycle company in the world still in production with the Bullet being the longest production run model.