The Oldest Motorcycle Brand
in Continuous Production

1891

R.W. Smith and Albert Eadie take over the Townsend Cycle Company in Redditch, UK, renamed it to Enfield Manufacturing Company Limited (EMCL) and commenced supplying precision machine parts to the Royal Enfield Small Arms Factory in Enfield, Middlesex.

1893

EMCL becomes Royal Enfield – ‘Royal’ being taken from the Royal Small Arms Company. The trademark ‘Made like a gun’ is introduced

1898

R. W. Smith designs a prototype motorised quadricycle, a fourwheeled bicycle using a proprietary 1 1/2 hp De Dion engine.

1900

Royal Enfield enters motorsport when one of its quadricycles enters a 1000 Mile Trial. The event does much to persuade the British public about the viability of motorised transport.

1901

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

1909

Royal Enfield’s first V-twin is launched at the Stanley Cycle Show, having a 2 1/4 hp engine made by the Swiss company, Motosacoche.

1914

Royal Enfield’s first 2-stroke motorcycle goes into full production. As Britain gets deeply involved in World War I, production of all other Royal Enfield motorcycles ceases barring this machine and the Company’s biggest motorcycle, the 770 cc 6 hp V-twin.

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-strokemotorcycle with foot operated gear change. It is powered by a JAP engine. A 225cc 2-stroke stepthrough ‘Ladies Model’ is also released.

1926

A major fire breaks out at the 18-acre Redditch factory. The Company’s own fire brigade manages to fight flames that threatened to engulf the entire plant.

1928

Royal Enfield replaces outmoded flat tanks with saddle tanks and becomes one of the first manufacturers to change its front fork system from a Druid design to centresprung girder forks.

1930

Model range expands to 11, 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

The legendary “Bullet” motorcycle is born and first displayed in November 1932 at the important Earls Court Motorcycle Show in London. Three versions: 250, 350 and 500cc are available, all with inclined ‘sloper’ engines, twin-ported cylinder heads, foot gear and high compression pistons.

1933

Two years following the demise of Albert Eadie, founding partner R.W. Smith passes away. Major Frank Smith assumes control at Enfield.

1935

Cecil Barrow, riding a 500cc Bullet at the Isle of Man TT, finishes in 8th place averaging 74 mph. It is Royal Enfield’s last factory sponsored entry in the event. Thereafter, the 500cc Bullet is radically changed with the release of a new sporting version, the Model JF, featuring a 4-valve cylinder head.

1939

Royal Enfield produces large quantities of motorcycles and bicycles during the World War II which includes the most iconic military model, the 125cc 2-stroke ‘Airborne’ motorcycle – Flying Flea. It could be loaded into a specially fabricated parachute cradle and dropped with paratroopers behind enemy lines.

1948

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

1949

The new 350cc Bullet and 500cc Twin models are launched in the UK, both having the same frame, swinging arm suspension, telescopic front forks and gearbox. K. R. Sundaram Iyer launches Madras Motors to import British motorcycles into India. Besides Norton and Matchless machines, he sells Royal Enfields.

1952

Madras Motors receives an order from the Indian Army for 800 350cc Bullets. The motorcycles arrive from Redditch in early 1953 and prove to be a great success, being both hardy and easy to maintain. Johnny Brittain wins the prestigious Scottish Six Days Trial on his 350cc Bullet, “HNP 331”.

1955

The Redditch company partners Madras Motors in India to form ‘Enfield India’. Work commences on the construction of a purposebuilt factory at Tiruvottiyur, near Madras.

1956

The Tiruvottiyur factory operationalises with the manufacture of licensed Bullets. Early production is based on assembling machines that come in kit form from England. 163 Bullets are built during the year.

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, it features a unit construction engine and alternator electrics with coil ignition.

1964

The iconic Continental GT café racer is launched to great acclaim when a team of photojournalists ride it from John ‘o Groats to Lands End in under 24 hours, by way of 7 laps at the Silverstone circuit. The GT features a racing petrol tank, clip-on handlebars, rear sets, a humped race seat, rev counter and a swept-back exhaust.

1967

With only two models left in production – the 250cc Continental GT and the 736cc Interceptor – Royal Enfield’s Redditch facility closes. Production of the Interceptor continues at Enfield’s underground facility in Bradford on Avon.

1970

The Enfield Cycle Company in the UK goes out of business. The remaining Interceptor engines are sold to the Rickman Brothers and fit in proprietary Metisse frames. Approximately 90 of these machines are built. Production in India continues without interruption.

1977

Royal Enfield India begins exporting the 350cc Bullet to the UK and Europe. Sales grow rapidly as the bikes develop a following amongst classic British motorcycle enthusiasts.

1989

A new 24 bhp 500cc Bullet is released, primarily aimed at export markets, where it is available in Classic, Deluxe and Superstar trim along with the 350.

1993

Enfield India produces the world’s first massmanufactured diesel motorcycle – the Enfield Diesel having highly fuelefficient 325cc power unit installed in the standard Bullet rolling chassis.

1994

The Eicher Group acquires Enfield India Limited and renamed it Royal Enfield Motors Limited.

1997

Forty Royal Enfield motorcycles tour Khardung La, the world’s highest motorable pass, setting a precedent for epic rides in some of the world’s most difficult terrain.

1999

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

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 Enfield motorcycles, riding a distance of over 200 metres.

2002

The Thunderbird, a stylish lean burn cruiser is launched in India. It features the first 5-speed gearbox used on a Royal Enfield since 1965 in Redditch. Over 1000 Royal Enfield motorcycles of all ages descend on Redditch for the Royal Enfield Owners Club Redditch Revisited event.

2004

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

2005

Royal Enfield celebrates its 50th anniversary in India.

2008

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

2009

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

2011

The Company launches its first annual ‘One Ride’, where Royal Enfield riders globally are encouraged to go for a ride on the first Sunday in April. Royal Enfield acquires 50 acres of land at Oragadam near Chennai for its new plant. A factory organised trip crosses the border with ‘Tour of Nepal’.

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 new production records.

2013

Royal Enfield commences manufacturing at its second facility in Oragadam, Tamil Nadu. With increased capacity, the state-of-art factory will be the nucleus of the Company’s global ambitions in the future.

2013

Forty-eight years after developing the world’s first café racer, Royal Enfield rolls out the all-new Continental GT. Rockers, critics and riders agree that it is the most fun one could ever have on a motorcycle.

2014

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

2015

Royal Enfield acquires erstwhile collaborators Harris Performance of the UK., a motorcycle engineering and design firm, to enhance its engineering and product design capabilities.

2015

Royal Enfield sets up its first direct distribution subsidiary outside India, in North America with headquarters in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

2016

Royal Enfield moves into its state-of-the-art Tech Centre at Leicestershire, UK to design and develop new motorcycle platforms for global market.

2017

Royal Enfield moves into its state-of-the-art Tech Centre at Leicestershire, UK to design and develop new motorcycle platforms for global market.

2018

Royal Enfield unveiled its first modern 648cc air-cooled parallel twin cylinder engine, designed to offer right balance between power and torque to provide smooth riding experience without frequent gear shifts.

2019

Royal Enfield launches its first twin-cylinder motorcycles in 50 years with the all new Interceptor INT 650 and Continental GT 650 amidst global enthusiasm.