Royal Enfield was the name under which the Enfield Cycle Company (a division of the British arms-making company Royal Small Arms Factory in Enfield Lock), made motorcycles, bicycles, lawnmowers and stationary engines. This legacy of weapons manufacture is reflected in the logo, a cannon, and their motto “Made like a gun, goes like a bullet”. Use of the brand name Royal Enfield was licensed by the Crown in 1890. The original Redditch, Worcestershire based company was sold to E. & H. P. Smith in 1963 and then to Norton-Triumph-Villiers (NVT). Production ceased in 1970 and the company was dissolved in 1971. In 1893, the Enfield Manufacturing Company Ltd was registered to manufacture bicycles. By 1899, Enfield were producing quadricycles with De Dion engines and experimenting with a heavy bicycle frame fitted with a Minerva engine clamped to the front down tube. In 1912, the Royal Enfield Model 180 sidecar combination was introduced with a 770 cc V-twin JAP engine which was raced successfully in the Isle of Man TT and at Brook lands. Royal Enfield motorcycles made in England were being sold in India from 1949. In 1955, the Indian government looked for a suitable motorcycle for its police and army, for patrolling the country’s border. The Bullet was chosen as the most suitable bike for the job. The Indian government ordered 800, 350 cc model Bullets. In 1955, the Redditch Company partnered with Madras Motors in India to form ‘Enfield India’ to assemble, under license, the 350 cc Royal Enfield Bullet motorcycle in Madras (now called Chennai). The first machines were assembled entirely from components shipped from England. In 1957, the tooling was sold to Enfield India so that they could manufacture components. By 1962, all components were made in India. The Indian Enfield uses the 1960 engine (with metric bearing sizes), in the pre-1956 design frame. An independent manufacturer since the demise of Royal Enfield in England, Enfield India still makes an essentially similar bike in 350 cc and 500 cc forms today, along with several different models for different market segments. In 1986, UK civil servant Raja Narayan returned to India and organized an export arm for the company to market the Bullet in England. Starting with a Bullet 350 in 1986, he was soon giving feedback that led to improvements. By 1989, the Enfield Bullet appeared in UK motorcycle shows. In 1994, Eicher Group bought into Enfield India. In late 1995, the Enfield India firm acquired the rights to the name Royal Enfield. Royal Enfield of India now sells motorcycles in over twenty countries. Since 1992, Enfield has once again been building the more powerful 500cc engines, and we use them exclusively for our touring. Motorcycle touring has always been a strange combination as a means to an end, and an end in itself; it is an unbeatable way to experience someplace new, and it is an experience in itself. This is what powers the latest Bullet, a bike that marks a return to Enfield’s core appeal in its export markets in the past two or three decades: classic biking on a budget. This is a revival after all. The old Bullet was being killed off by modern regulations, and this new one brings all the charm and character back, as well as the authenticity of following on directly and being made in the same factory, by the same workers. Royal Enfield is now the oldest motorcycle brand in the world still in production with the Bullet model enjoying the longest motorcycle production run of all time.
Ladakh Moto Tour consists entirely of new Royal Enfield Classic 500 EFI with electric starters, 5-speed gearboxes and gearshifts on the left. The Enfield is still India’s luxury big bike and a favorite toy of the young and wild. The Royal Enfield Bullet is a dream machine. It is a soul mate and companion; farmers to office executives, tradesmen to diplomats and armed forces’ personnel, all have their own reasons for owning a Royal Enfield. This mean machine brings with it the 1950’s vintage charm & gives you the “Retro Bullet feel. Power is up from about 22bhp to a more useful 27bhp, and because the construction is modern, you can make full use of the bike for long periods. So as to ensure you a tour with perfectly maintained motorcycle, All of our Enfield’s are equipped with full touring gear, including a front disk brake, dual horns, crash guards and roomy. We always have a reserve rider if anybody gets too tired to ride.